Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: Thursday, March 25

Mar 25, 2010



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Crist and Senate at odds over insurance rate bill

A Senate panel voted on Wednesday to let property insurers raise their rates without approval from regulators, despite public urging from Gov. Charlie Crist that lawmakers reject the plan.


Column:  Can Florida condo associations afford fire safety upgrades?

Florida lawmakers are considering extending or ending condo fire safety upgrades

Can your condominium community afford to retrofit its buildings with fire sprinklers or manual fire alarms?


Florida Insurance Commissioner to Deliver NAIC Financial Summit Keynote Address

Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty will deliver the keynote address at the fifth annual National Association of Insurance Commissioners Financial Summit to be held June 2-4 in Jacksonville, Florida.


Brevard Health System MIMA settles Medicare fraud case for $12 Million

Cancer center denies wrongdoing, but US still alleges fraud

MIMA and former radiation oncology chief Dr. Todd Scarbrough have agreed to pay the government $12 million to settle a whistleblower’s claim they bilked Medicare out of millions of dollars in unnecessary, unsupervised and inflated radiation cancer treatments.


Florida Jury Awards $26.6 Million to Smoker’s Widow

A Florida jury ordered R.J. Reynolds and Philip Morris Wednesday to pay $26.6 million to the widow of a longtime smoker who died of lung cancer, the latest verdict against cigarette makers in the “Engle progeny” lawsuits.


In Tallahassee today, the Senate’s day starts early on lawsuit limits 

A day after it passed landmark education legislation, working into the evening hours, the higher chamber meets at 9 a.m. to consider a package of measures to limit lawsuits.


Texting while driving ban advances in Florida Senate

Drivers, put away those BlackBerrys and iPhones. A ban on texting while driving took a crucial step forward Wednesday in the Florida Legislature.


Florida House moves to dump state retiree health insurance subsidies

Drawing criticism from employee unions who accuse lawmakers of breaking a promise, the House moved forward Tuesday with a plan to eliminate subsidies that help government retirees pay health-insurance costs.


Blog:  Florida emergency room relief bill on ‘life support’

A bill that would have provided sovereign immunity protections to health care providers who treat patients in emergency situations is “on life support,” with a poor prognosis, according to its supporters.


Florida Senate committee approves lowering auto tag and driver’s license fees

After getting an earful from motorists around the state, lawmakers are moving to repeal or roll back some of the more than $1 billion in driver’s license and vehicle registration hikes they approved last year.


Florida Senate OKs lawsuit protections for businesses

A part of Senate-passed bills would make it harder to win lawsuits against businesses for slip-and-fall accidents and for injuries children suffer while participating in risky activities.


Floridians’ personal income plummets 3.3%

Only 10 states fared worse, according to a federal Department of Commerce report released today.


Legislature, Seminoles closer to a deal on Florida gambling regulations

Legislators are closer than ever to resolving their differences over a gambling compact with the Seminole Tribe and injecting $450 million into the state budget, the lead House negotiator said Wednesday.


Florida Senate passes ‘electioneering law’ changes

After a sharp Senate debate Wednesday, a bill is headed to Gov. Charlie Crist’s desk that would revive and modify a Florida “electioneering” law that was ruled unconstitutional last year by a federal judge who said it violated freedom of speech.


Florida’s GOP-proposed tax credits would be sellable perk

Most of the tax credits that Florida Republicans would use to attract film companies to the state would be cashed in by well-established corporations such as Wal-Mart, Sherwin-Williams or Bank of America.


Blog:  Collective bargaining measure splits law enforcement

There’s something about the House Government Affairs Policy Committee, chaired by Rep. Robert Schenck, a Spring Hill Republican, that generates some controversial meetings.


Farmer-businessman latest to challenge Brown for Florida U.S. House seat

Black has raised more than $30,000 for his GOP campaign

Dean Black, a former military man who has a 48-acre farm on Jacksonville’s Northside, has mingled with the region’s Republicans for months preaching the need for a GOP ouster in the Democrat-heavy 3rd Congressional District.


Gaetz turns eye toward April 13 vote for Florida House seat

He will face Democrat Jan Fernald of Santa Rosa County

Jan Fernald, the Democrat who will oppose Matt Gaetz in the April 13 special election for the District 4 state House seat, said Wednesday that it was discouraging to see him emerge as the winner from Tuesday’s Republican primary.


U.S. Senate hopefuls Crist and Rubio slug it out with television commercials

Gov. Charlie Crist on Wednesday launched his first TV ad in the Republican U.S. Senate primary, a 30-second assault on Marco Rubio’s image as a darling of the conservative insurgency.


Florida’s need for change spelled out in shrinking census numbers

Like Toyota’s bigger-than-expected recall, Florida may need to take more aggressive steps to repair and restructure the state’s economy. New U.S. Census estimates out this week show that Americans – long accustomed to moving often and eventually heading to the Sunbelt and Florida – are still pretty much staying right where they are.


“Innocence Commission” Rejected By Florida Supreme Court, but Not Dead

The Legislature must find funding to establish the panel.

The Florida Supreme Court rejected a petition this week to establish an “innocence commission,” but the idea is not off the table.


Bank of Florida ordered by regulators to take “prompt corrective action” to raise more capital

Bank of Florida Corp. has been ordered to take prompt corrective action by its regulators because its banks are undercapitalized.


Florida Senate committee votes to tax bottle water and use the money to clean up litter

In a Legislature averse to raising taxes this election year, one item might not be off limits: bottled water. The state would tax the product for the first time under legislation given initial approval Wednesday by a Senate committee.


Plug Could Be Pulled from Flood Insurance Program Again This Weekend

Insurance and real estate agents are being advised to prepare their clients for another possible interruption of the federal flood insurance program in three days, which could be longer than the one that happened last month.


Marsh Says No To Contingent Commissions On Core Business 

Marsh has announced it will not accept controversial contingent commissions in its U.S. core insurance broking segment.


Claims Adjusters Seen As Hardest Hit In P&C Sector Jobs Decline

The recession’s impact on jobs in the property and casualty insurance sector is hitting claims adjusters the hardest, an industry expert told an industry conference.


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