Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: Tuesday, June 9

Jun 9, 2009

The Florida Chamber of Commerce announced State Senator Garrett Richter, above, as the 2009 Most Valuable Legislator.


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Florida Chamber Poll: Floridians Support Increasing Property Insurance Options

The Florida Chamber of Commerce released a poll it says shows that 60 percent of Florida voters believe Governor Charlie Crist should sign HB 1171, a bill which deregulates pricing for some large property insurers, while 24 percent disagree.


Florida-based United Insurance Holdings Corp. Announces Resignation of Chief Financial Officer Nicholas Griffin; Company to Immediately Begin Search for Successor

United Insurance Holdings Corp. announced today that Nicholas Griffin, the Company’s Chief Financial Officer, resigned from the Company, effective June 5, 2009, to pursue another opportunity.


Senate Insurance Chairman Named Florida Chamber “Most Valuable Legislator”

Releases Annual Publication Reviewing 2009 Legislative Session

Today, the Florida Chamber of Commerce announced Senator Garrett Richter as the 2009 Most Valuable Legislator, along with 21 additional Distinguished Advocates who fought for Florida’s employers throughout session.


Local Fire chief hopes Crist will veto crash-fee ban

If governor signs legislation, revenue may have to be found elsewhere

City commissioners passed an ordinance in January that would have allowed the Tallahassee Fire Department to assess fees for responding to serious car crashes. Now, revenue from those fees may have to be found elsewhere, TFD Chief Cindy Dick said.


Sen. Al Lawson: Ensure insurance in Florida

Florida’s economy is built on small businesses. And some of the most important small businesses in Tallahassee – and every other community in our state – are insurance agencies operated by local entrepreneurs.


Editorial: Stormy weather

FEMA idea to use foreclosed homes for Florida hurricane refugees has merit

With hurricane season upon us, FEMA has come up with a good idea that should be pursued: Using foreclosed homes to shelter Florida evacuees and refugees if a storm such as Hurricane Katrina devastates part of the state.


Florida may be epicenter of Chinese drywall complaints

Shortly after Frances Gari-Colon moved into her Riverview townhome, she started to get itchy eyes and headaches. Then the air conditioning unit stopped working – the copper coils turned black. The builder replaced them, but it happened three more times.


Drywall examiner warns of health risk

The Florida Department of Health is taking air samples from a home in South Florida built with tainted Chinese drywall.


Florida-based home-builder WCI Files Plan of Reorganization and Disclosure Statement

Company Looks to Exit Chapter 11 in Q3 of 2009

WCI Communities, Inc. announced today that it filed a Plan of Reorganization and related Disclosure Statement for itself and approximately 130 of its wholly owned subsidiaries in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware; the impact of potential Chinese drywall claims was cited as a factor.


Severe Florida storms can turn deadly in a flash

The gruesome scene of a man struck and killed by lightning in Coral Springs and a house up in smoke from a strike in Weston were grim reminders Monday afternoon of South Florida’s status as the lightning capital of the nation.


Crist signs agriculture legislation

Governor Charlie Crist today signed House Bill 255 relating to pest control, which ratifies the IPCC which is a 37-state cooperative effort to help fund the control, suppression or elimination of agricultural pests.


Flooding causes famine for Florida farmers

Soggy potatoes rot in fields; processors idle

As farmer Stanford Robertson stood in his empty potato packing plant, surrounded by turned-off machines and empty boxes and bags that should be filled with produce, he said he worried about his 50 seasonal and full-time workers that won’t get a paycheck this week.


Florida Insurance Consumer Advocate Sean Shaw: Balance billing must be stopped

Supporters of Senate Bill 1122, on managed care, claim that all the bill does is change to whom the insurance company sends the check for payment of covered medical services rendered by an out-of-network medical provider. Instead of sending a check to the insured patient, the check would be sent directly to the provider of services.


Florida targets ‘doctor shopping’

Nine people die every day in Florida from abusing prescription drugs, according to state officials.


In first big speech, Alex Sink stresses the personal

Alex Sink, the state’s chief financial officer and a candidate for governor, launches her campaign with a speech aimed at letting voters know who she is.

Alex Sink, vying to be Florida’s first female governor, stood before hundreds of enthusiastic supporters and spoke with great affection about childhood mornings spent on her family’s North Carolina farm.


Sink leads McCollum for governor in Quinnipiac poll

A new poll on Florida’s race for governor shows Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink slightly ahead of Attorney General Bill McCollum, but that may be just because she’s a Democrat — and a woman.


Fla. Christian Coalition head Baxley quits to endorse Rubio

Dennis Baxley, a leading voice for social conservatives in Florida and formerly a major powerbroker in the state House of Representatives, has endorsed Marco Rubio for senator.


Gelber begins campaign for state attorney general

Democratic state Sen. Dan Gelber of Miami Beach officially began his campaign for state attorney general Monday, about a week after bowing out of a tough race for the U.S. Senate.


Anti-development ‘Hometown Democracy’ amendment has enough signatures for 2010 ballot, supporters say

Backers of a proposed state constitutional amendment that would give residents control over changes to local land-use plans believe they have enough signatures to get onto the 2010 ballot. But that’s only if a pending Florida Supreme Court decision goes their way.


Judge puts limits on investors in Florida-based BankUnited

A federal bankruptcy judge blocked large investors in BankUnited Financial Corp. from trading stock or convertible debt in a bid to preserve potentially valuable tax credits belonging to the thrift holding company.


Supreme Court says judges can’t rule in cases involving own big donors

The risk — and look — of bias is too great, the Supreme Court decides in a 5-4 ruling. Chief Justice Roberts dissents along with Scalia, Thomas and Alito.

Reporting from Washington — The U.S. Supreme Court put elected judges on notice Monday that they must step aside from deciding cases involving big-money donors who helped them win their jobs.


U.S. House Seen Moving Quickly On Surplus Lines Bill

The House plans to speed up consideration of a measure to reform regulation of surplus lines insurance and reinsurance, insurance lobbyists said today.


Reinsurers to Raise U.S. Catastrophe Rates 15% as Demand Grows

U.S. catastrophe reinsurance rates may rise about 15 percent next month after the financial crisis eroded insurers’ capital and as the market for catastrophe bonds to offset potential hurricane losses remains limited, insurance broker Aon Corp. and reinsurers including Munich Re said.


NCOIL to Treasury: State officials a must in insurance policy debates

National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) President Sen. James Seward (NY) today urged Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner-who orchestrated an insurance reform summit at the White House last week-to expand future outreach efforts to include state legislators, governors, and attorneys general.


Alabama Gov. Riley: State won’t shelter as many storm evacuees

Alabama may not opens its doors as wide this year for hurricane evacuees from Louisiana and other states.


Study: Federal effort to protect homes from wildfire is lacking

While more than 1,000 homes across the West burn each year in forest and brush fires, only a fraction of federal efforts to reduce fire danger in the region has been concentrated in the communities at greatest risk, a group of scientists found.


Credit Scoring Ban Fails In Conn., Flex Rating Bill Renewed

A bill that would have banned credit scoring in Connecticut was altered and then died in the Senate at the end of a legislative session characterized as “challenging” by one insurance industry representative.


Deloitte Finds Evidence ERM Lacking In Major Firms

A global survey of 111 financial institutions including insurers has found only 36 percent have an enterprise risk management (ERM) program, the Deloitte consulting firm said.


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