Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: Tuesday, June 29

Jun 29, 2010


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Condo owners at uninsured complex that burned have little recourse

Days before their condo building burned, residents of Park South Six gathered to hear their association president say their building couldn’t afford flood insurance.


Utility Reconnect Fees Waived at Winter Haven Apartment Complex After Drywall Repairs

City commissioners agreed Monday night to give Carlton Arms residents affected by Chinese drywall a break on their utility reconnection fees.


Editorial:   Flood insurance for 2.1 million Florida policyholders must be renewed

Florida needs home sales to sustain its fragile recovery, and it needs federal flood insurance to sustain home sales.


Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles News Release:  Florida’s 2009 Crash Statistics Now Available Online

Florida’s crash fatality rate dropped last year to the lowest rate on record.


No-Fault Fraud Increasing, Moving North In Florida

The good news is a fraud task force set up by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) in South Florida in 2002 seems to have had an effect on automobile insurance fraud.   The bad news is criminals appear to have moved north within the state.


Florida gets $11.5M bonus for food-stamp program

First, the good news: Florida is getting a nice pat on the back from the federal government for the accuracy of its food-stamp program – an $11.5 million bonus.


About 15,000 Florida home buyers could lose tax credits

About 14,830 home buyers in Florida are at risk of losing their tax credit barring a last-minute extension of the home sales stimulus plan by Congress.


Florida State Representative Tom Grady represents Naples woman, other Republican donors in class action lawsuit against Crist

Linda Morton of East Naples donated $500 to Gov. Charlie Crist’s campaign for the U.S. Senate, while John Rood of Jacksonville, a retired U.S. ambassador, contributed $4,800 to the Republican.  Now they want a refund.


Florida Attorney General candidate Dan Gelber quit law firm after it agreed to represent BP

Democratic attorney general candidate Dan Gelber disclosed late Monday that he quit his law firm after it agreed to represent BP against oil spill disaster claims.


Florida State Senator Dan Gelber:  I’m renewing my call for Special Session on Oil Spill Crisis

Floridians are nervous and rightfully so. BP’s promises to “make things right” only goes so far, and it’s more than possible that our state’s share of a $20 billion escrow will be woefully inadequate to compensate Florida for the decades of damage that may follow.


Florida Republican leaders drawing up Arizona-styled anti-immigrant legislation

Florida Republican leaders have begun crafting anti-illegal-immigrant legislation modeled after an Arizona law that has incited widespread protests and fueled national and international debate over U.S. immigration policies.


IRS is probing Miccosukee casino payouts

IRS agents are investigating whether Miccosukee Tribe members receive large cash payouts — from tribal casino profits — without paying required federal income taxes.

The IRS is investigating allegations that the Miccosukee Tribe used armored vehicles to deliver up to $10 million in cash from its gambling operations to hundreds of Indians four times a year — without anyone reporting the money as taxable income, according to federal court records.


THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA: Mendelsohn, Heffley Added to 2008 Senate Campaign Lawsuit

Former state Rep. Tim Ryan has added fundraiser Alan Mendelsohn and lobbyist and political consultant Rich Heffley as defendants in a lawsuit alleging Ryan’s record was falsely portrayed during a state Senate campaign in 2008.


U.S. Supreme Court gun ruling draws mixed reaction from Florida politicians

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that no matter where you live in the United States you have the right to keep a handgun in your home.  That decision didn’t change the rules in Florida, where that right already existed statewide.


Head shop owners sue to stop Florida’s new ‘bong bill’

A state law that makes it a crime to sell smoking devices such as pipes and bongs at most head shops takes effect Thursday.


Chiles undeterred by Dem complaints

Bud Chiles, the son of former Florida Gov. Lawton Chiles, is shrugging off Democrats’ suggestions that he should abandon his independent campaign for governor in order to avoid damaging Florida CFO Alex Sink’s Democratic bid.


Local oil spill jobs exist, but fill quickly

A job listing for “support personnel” to help with oil spill clean-up warned that the work entails manual labor to remove crude oil on beaches, rocks and booms.


Making Value Judgements on Agricultural Land

Florida property appraisers examine agricultural exemptions

Until this year’s legislative session, Florida’s greenbelt law had largely stayed out of the headlines. The law, enacted in 1959, seeks to minimize the pressure that farmers face to sell their land for development.


Editorial:  Cities need to make pension changes

For the longest time, it has been the third rail of fiscal policy – don’t touch pensions.  But with so many South Florida municipalities in dire financial straits, they not only are in a position where they have to touch pensions, they have to dive in and make big alterations in plans that have become unsustainable.


U.S. District Court rules liability for lead paint unconstitutional

U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph T. Randa has granted summary judgment to a defendant in a lead paint case, holding that imposition of liability would violate substantive due process.


Connecticut Appellate Court:  Workers’ compensation claimant cannot sue third party, TPA

The workers compensation exclusive remedy doctrine bars an injured correctional officer from suing an “independent third party” and the party’s third-party administrator, a Connecticut appellate court has ruled.


California Launches First-Ever Disaster Corps

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has launched the first-in-the-nation Disaster Corps to professionalize, standardize and coordinate trained disaster volunteers statewide.


Insurers Could Ease Pressure on Hawaii Hurricane Fund

First Insurance Co. of Hawaii said that AXIS Insurance Co. is entering the Hawaii hurricane market, replacing Argo Group US as its provider of hurricane insurance for its homeowner and property policyholders.


N.Y. Governor Introduces Bill To End Workers’ Compensation Group Self-Insured Trusts

New York Governor David Paterson has introduced a program bill that would, except under limited circumstances, close all private group self-insured trusts in the state, tracking recommendations made by a task force earlier this month.


Oil Spill, Chinese Drywall Drive Fears Of Tort Spike 

There are signs of tort inflation in 2010 and 40 percent of companies anticipate it, said the Insurance Information Institute in a recently released report.  The report, “Tort Inflation 2010: Stability Today, But For How Long?” examines some factors that could lead to an increase in legal disputes-a trend tracked by the institute because it could correlate to higher insurance costs.


Texas Wind Rate Increase Means Predictability 

A 5 percent rate increase by the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association may lead to more stability for consumers, said an official from an independent agent association in the state.


Louisiana Hurricane Recovery Board Disbanding

The Louisiana Recovery Authority’s board ended its multibillion dollar rebuilding work on June 24, nearly five years after Hurricane Katrina roared ashore.


Insurers should pay damages for late claims says London-based Association of Insurance and Risk Managers

Insurance companies should pay damages to clients when they are slow to pay claims, according to the London-based Assn. of Insurance & Risk Managers.


Catlin to Establish Swiss Reinsurer

The Bermuda-based Catlin Group Limited has announced that it intends to form a reinsurance company in Switzerland to “significantly expand the European-based reinsurance business underwritten by the Group.”



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