Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: Thursday, October 7

Oct 7, 2010


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News Release:  CFO Alex Sink Proposes Contracting Changes to Citizens Property Insurance for More Accountability

Florida CFO Alex Sink today sent a letter to Scott Wallace, President and Executive Director of Citizens Property Insurance Corp., outlining proposed changes to Citizens’ procurement policy and contracting procedures.


Changes to state laws reduce or erase many homeowner insurance discounts

Many Florida homeowners shelled out hundreds or thousands of dollars to fortify their homes against hurricanes in recent years to qualify for insurance discounts.


State Farm Review Could Lead to Layoffs

State Farm spokesman Michael Grimes said the companywide review is under way but he said the Illinois-based insurer has not determined how many positions could be affected at its Florida headquarters in Winter Haven, which employs about 1,400 people.


Lee County Issues Code Violations For Hurricane Shutters 

Mike Williams: “I’m not going to take it down. It’s not code enforcement’s say so.”


Ameriloss Public Adjuster Appeal of Declaratory Statement Dismissed

Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal by AmeriLoss Public Adjusting Corp. from a declaratory statement issued by the Florida Department of Financial Services in the Matter of Clyde Lightbourn.


Erin Brockovich law firm urges Florida to continue search for Acreage pollution

The New York City law firm that works with environmental activist Erin Brockovich wants Florida officials to test The Acreage’s air and canals for toxic substances before ending the state’s study of the community’s cancer cluster.


Florida gets $3M for caregiver background checks

Florida received $3 million in federal funding to conduct criminal background checks on applicants who want to become caregivers at long-term care facilities.


THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA:  Medicaid reports ‘not a pretty sight’

A year’s worth of audit reports newly compiled for lawmakers paints a troubling portrait of Florida’s Medicaid program but also sets a course for reform, a top state senator said Wednesday.


Class-size ballot issue survives legal challenge

Florida voters can decide in November if they want to scale back the toughest requirements of the state’s 2002 class-size rules, the Supreme Court of Florida ruled today.


Florida U.S. Senate candidates blast each other in debate

Crist, Meek and Rubio offer their plans to break D.C. gridlock

Gov. Charlie Crist and U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek sought to reignite their U.S. Senate campaigns Wednesday by attacking Republican Marco Rubio as an “extremist” who would privatize Social Security and support fiscal policies that hurt the middle class.


Scott tells West Palm Beach Forum Club he would freeze regulation of businesses in Florida

Republican Rick Scott told a bipartisan crowd of 600 here today that he’d slash spending, cut taxes and freeze regulation if elected governor.


Blog:  Attorney who sued Bank of America says Sink had nothing to do with securities fines

Tampa attorney Jonathan Alpert takes full credit for turning the feds onto a NationsBank securities fraud in the 1990s, a case that led to a class action settlement and a $6.75 million fine for the bank.


EPA’s strict new standards for Florida waters put on hold – for now

The agency has until Nov. 14 to more forward with the new pollution standards

The Environmental Protection Agency decided last week to wait a little longer before deciding whether to set strict new pollution standards for Florida’s waters.


Jim Greer’s lawyers attack state’s prime witness

Jim Greer, of Oviedo, is charged with bilking the Florida Republican Party

Lawyers for ousted Florida GOP chairman Jim Greer have begun their attack on his former No. 2, Delmar Johnson III, the party’s former executive director, who avoided prosecution by turning on Greer and becoming his chief accuser.


Wells Fargo to offer mortgage relief to Florida borrowers

More than 4,000 Florida homeowners will be eligible for loan modifications and mortgage-balance forgiveness totaling nearly $388 million under an agreement Wells Fargo Bank reached with eight states, Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum said Wednesday.


Expansion of drug courts not yielding expected savings to Florida

An expansion of the state’s drug courts is not yielding the cost savings lawmakers had originally projected, a state review found.


Survey says Floridians OK with one higher tax

A new survey of Floridians on how to handle the state’s budget woes may undercut some of the proposals being made by GOP gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott.


Democrats allege financial abuses in state House 47 race

State House candidate James Grant is facing three elections complaints tied to campaign finances, including a $40,000 bank loan the 28-year-old secured days before the August primary election.


Blog:  Sierra Club endorses Crist and Meek, and Meek says no thanks

Because Democrats aren’t conflicted enough over Kendrick Meek and Charlie Crist … the Sierra Club said today it is endorsing both of them.


Blog:  Outgoing Florida House Speaker Cretul to Governor Crist — We need those Space Florida appointments

Gov. Charlie Crist has been fond of saying as the public schedules get leaner in the twilight of his executive branch tenure, that no matter where he is he’s never not the governor.


The Wall Street Journal:  A Florida Double Crist?

Kendrick Meek might drop out of the Florida senate race and thereby pave the path to victory for Charlie Crist

Republican leaders in the Sunshine State are fretting that a deal may be in the works to get Democratic nominee Kendrick Meek out of the Florida Senate race in order to boost Charlie Crist’s flagging chances of beating Republican Marco Rubio.


Buying the office or selling out?  Alex Sink and Rick Scott battle over money in politics

Democrat Alex Sink says her Republican rival, Rick Scott, is trying to buy the governor’s office with tainted money. Scott’s campaign shoots back that Sink has already sold out to liberal special interests.


Florida CFO Candidate Ausley wants job protections for state agency watchdogs

Loranne Ausley, the Democratic candidate for chief financial officer, on Wednesday called for new job protections for state agency watchdogs.


Power players in Northeast Florida wielding political influence statewide

They wield far-reaching influence, but still have First Coast ties

If you are running for office in Florida, the endorsement of the Florida Chamber of Commerce is a coveted prize.


Amendment 4:  Growth inhibitor or smart planning?

Florida’s growth – and all the perks and problems that come with it – is at the heart of a thorny, contentious and expensive amendment on the Nov. 2 ballot.


National Hurricane Center to issue hurricane warnings earlier

The National Hurricane Center said Tuesday it will begin issuing storm watches and warnings about half a day sooner in the biggest change to its warning system in decades.


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to Allow Medical Loss Ratio ‘Discretion’ as NAIC Action Approaches

Health insurers will be allowed flexibility in implementing new medical loss ratio rules, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced.


U.S. Firms Plan New Oil Spill Insurance Fund

U.S. oil explorers are talking about forming a new insurance fund that would cover the costs of any future oil spill, to avoid a scenario where smaller companies are unable to drill offshore, a senior industry executive said on Thursday.


North Carolina Beach Plan protects property owners

While 19 counties in eastern North Carolina have seen recent flooding, it appears likely the Beach Plan won’t have see any major test this hurricane season.


Zurich Financial Services Group to settle with US policy holders for $455M

Swiss insurance company Zurich Financial Services Group says its U.S. subsidiary has agreed a $455 million settlement with up to 13 million policyholders who claim they were charged inflated fees.



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