Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: Tuesday, March 31

Mar 31, 2009

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Republican state legislators’ plan would hike homeowner insurance rates 23% on coast

Coastal homeowners could see their insurance rates jump 23 percent and state workers would prop up the state’s catastrophic storm fund under a proposal Republican leaders plan to unveil this week.


Florida Panel Advances Bill to Restore Parental Liability Waivers for Kids

A Florida House panel moved to override a recent state Supreme Court decision that blocked enforcement of a liability waiver signed by a parent on behalf of his child.


Florida House slates final vote on insurance issue

The Florida House is ready for a final vote on a measure that would restore a cap on attorneys fees in workers’ compensation cases.


Florida lawyers fighting workers comp caps – again

When the Florida Supreme Court last year struck down caps on attorney fees in workers compensation cases, Jacksonville lawyer Tom Edwards knew immediately what he would be doing during the spring session of the Legislature.


Aid bill for crash victim stalls

A Broward family’s efforts to collect $30.76 million from the Broward Sheriff’s Office after a car crash that paralyzed a teen stalled Monday when lawmakers tabled the bill in its first committee stop.


State Farm Agent Tells Customers: Hold Tight

Bill Pancake, a State Farm Insurance agent, knows how much anger has been directed at his company since they decided to stop writing homeowners policies in Florida.


State investigates Brevard County shutter company

The state Department of Business and Professional Regulation is investigating a Brevard County-based hurricane shutter company working in Indian River and St. Lucie counties, according to agency officials and documents.


Insurance carrier in Manatee protects small clients

Ask Hank Abbott, executive vice president of Southern Eagle Insurance Co., about the joys and sorrows of the insurance industry.


New Medicaid pilot could be in the works for Florida

Medicaid Reform could branch off in a new direction under a proposal that could emerge from a House committee this week. It would set up “medical homes” for patients using community health centers, based on the famed Mayo Clinic model of having a whole team consulting on a patient’s needs in one site.


THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA: Kidcare bills languishing

Advocates for uninsured children are urging lawmakers to hear a bill to streamline enrollment procedures for KidCare, the state’s subsidized health insurance program for children, reminding them that it would bring in extra federal money they do.


Sen. Jim King says he would step down to take job as university system chancellor

State Sen. Jim King, R-Jacksonville, wants to be the next university system chancellor and is ready to step down from the Legislature after 23 years if the Board of Governors will have him.


Lawmakers try to draw Gov. Charlie Crist into budget battle

Crist has stayed out of the budget fray, but lawmakers have begun to question the wisdom of his stance.

Gov. Charlie Crist’s policy of disengagement is testing the limits of lawmakers’ patience and raising questions about his leadership. As the legislative session nears the midway point, Crist keeps at a safe distance from the politically turbulent talk of painful budget cuts and higher taxes swirling about him.


    State Legislature working on its own tobacco tax

    Senate Republicans and Democrats Monday announced a broad tobacco-tax plan to address rising health-care costs in the state budget.


    Real estate professionals push tax credit advance for home buyers

    A coalition of real estate professionals, including home builders, lenders and Realtors, said it would pressure state lawmakers to find a way to advance a new $8,000 federal tax credit to new home buyers so they can use it to make down payments.


    Gambling industry ties run deep in the Florida Legislature

    No legislator is immune when it comes to the influence of the gambling industry in Florida.


    Editorial: Easing term limits

    Bennett proposal to add 4 years holds merits

    What best serves the public interest? Should seasoned and respected legislators be automatically booted out of office in favor of a raw recruit lacking knowledge of statehouse political maneuvering?


    Sarasota senator looking for new ways to pay for schools

    Sarasota’s Nancy Detert, chair of the Florida Senate’s Committee on Education Pre K-12, is among those who have spent the past few weeks trolling the recession-dry state budget in an effort to find enough money to adequately finance public schools.


    THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA: Central Florida rail commission calls on Atwater to support SunRail

    Supporting a proposed commuter rail project in the Orlando area would fulfill Sen. Jeff Atwater’s pledge to his constituents to focus on issues that reduce unemployment, backers wrote the Senate president in a letter Monday.


    State, local and tribal governments to receive $168.8 million in stimulus funds for energy efficiency and conservation

    Governor Charlie Crist Tuesday announced the allocation of more than $168 million in federal economic stimulus funds to state and local governments through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program.


      Crist facing suit to fill impending Central Florida judicial vacancy

      A senior judge trying to retire from a Central Florida appeals court asked the Florida Supreme Court on Monday to force Gov. Charlie Crist to name his replacement.


      Trade With Cuba Represents ‘Huge Opportunity’ for Florida

      State to gain much if decades-old embargo is eased.

      Back in the days before the Kennedy administration slapped an economic embargo on Cuba, Tampa shipping agent A.R. Savage & Son was at the forefront of a lucrative trade with the island.


      Eleven South Floridians indicted in mortgage fraud scheme

      Eleven South Floridians have been indicted in a mortgage fraud scheme totaling more than $4.7 million, according to the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida.


      Insurance Orgs Urge G-20; Don’t Apply Bank Solutions to Industry

      In an open letter to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, released at the European Insurance Forum in Dublin, a number of the world’s leading insurance organizations urged him to recognize that “insurance has a fundamentally different business model from banking.”


      New Federal Bill Will Put Tight Lid On Finance Sector, Say Dodd, Frank

      The chairmen of key U.S. Senate and House committees have promised President Obama they will work together to have legislation on his desk by year’s end creating a “new, more robust regulatory framework” for financial services firms.


      Changes in Medicare Advantage Reimbursement May Prompt Members to Shop for New Plans

      Deft Research Releases Study showing state of the senior health care market

      Deft Research recently released the 2009 Senior Market Dynamics Study, which describes switching and shopping behavior in the senior health insurance market.


      For Injured Workers, a Costly Legal Swamp

      Carlos Pabon, left, hurt on the job in 1997, spent years seeking workers compensation. The hurt workers wait on benches at the Queens office of the New York State Workers Compensation Board.


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