Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: Tuesday, May 19

May 19, 2009

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National Federation of Independent Business: New workers comp bill will help Florida businesses

Business owners are watching Gov. Crist’s bill-signing pen more closely than his senatorial campaign, awaiting his decision on House Bill 903 regarding workers compensation.


Editorial: Hurricane ready?

Gov. Charlie Crist wants us all to “just be ready” for the hurricane season, which begins on June 1.


A soaked Florida watches the tropics

The season’s first tropical disturbance has formed off the coast of Cuba, with a low potential of developing into a tropical storm.


Letter to the Editor: Let State Farm go, all of it

It really burned me when I saw State Farm commercials touting how I’d save so much by having both my homeowners and auto insurance with them.


Headaches mount in Southwest Florida over tainted drywall

As the number of new homes and condominium communities affected by tainted drywall continues to rise, fear and uncertainty among residents, owners and potential buyers in Southwest Florida are growing.


AAMGA Florida Conference Update:  What Does Washington Know About Surplus Lines Insurance?

At the annual conference of the Association of Managing General Agencies (AAMGA) now underway in Boca Raton, Florida, attendees are very much attuned to what’s going on up north in Washington, D.C.


Law enforcers focusing on new Florida seat belt law

A new seat belt law goes into effect in Florida on June 30, but state officials are wasting no time in beefing up compliance with the law already in effect.


    WellCare Health Plans to pay $10 million to settle regulatory claims

    WellCare Health Plans, the Tampa-based managed care provider, will pay $10 million to settle regulatory claims it kept $40 million it was required to return to state agencies and overstated its net income.


    Editorial: Unmanaging care

    Bill doesn’t provide enough patient protection

    For the past several years, most of the health-care discussion in the Florida Legislature has revolved around containing costs — including several large-scale experiments that pushed Medicaid recipients into managed-care networks.


    CFO Sink unveils Web site to track government spending

    CFO Alex Sink today launched a Web site designed to make it easier for taxpayers to find out where their money is going.


    Senator Alexander: Monitor Fla.’s Spending Better

    Senate budget chief says unified system would have helped curb costs.

    The Legislature cut enough out of the state budget to make up for the $6.1 billion shortfall in revenue predicted for this year, but it could have cut more if the state had a system to monitor the spending of its departments and agencies, Sen. J.D. Alexander said.


    As party leaders crown Florida frontrunners, not everyone is pleased

    Facing the most unpredictable election season in decades, Florida’s political party leaders are frenetically crowning frontrunners 15 months before the 2010 primaries and, in some cases, firmly shoving potential rivals aside.


    At McCollum rally, GOP unity

    With the party chairman, lieutenant governor and legislative leaders joining him, Attorney General Bill McCollum opened his gubernatorial campaign on Monday, promising to have an administration that will highlight “access and inclusion.”


    Election for Sen. Pruitt’s successor set for June 30

    An anticipated state Senate District 28 Republican primary between former state representatives Joe Negron of Stuart and Art Argenio of Fort Pierce has been set for June 30.


    Two file to replace termed-out Rep. Poppell of Vero Beach

    Republicans from Cocoa have filed paperwork in bids to replace state Rep. Ralph Poppell, R-Vero Beach, in 2010.


    Bill awaiting Crist’s signature would gut Florida’s controls on development, opponents say

    Florida’s county governments and environmental groups are pushing Gov. Charlie Crist to veto a bill they say would encourage urban sprawl, worsen traffic congestion and eliminate important safeguards that normally apply to development proposals.


    Space Florida looks to blue skies; names interim executive director

    Stung by legislative critics who threatened to halve its budget and wounded by a reputation for inertia, the governing board of Space Florida chose a new trajectory on Monday, naming industry insider Frank DiBello as interim executive director.


    Alley to remain in FDOT hands

    No one bids to lease Everglades stretch of I-75

    Alligator Alley will remain in the hands of the state, for now.


    U.S. House Financial Services Committee to Hold Hearings on Credit Rating Agency Regulation, Municipal Finance

    The U.S. House Financial Services Committee has scheduled hearings this week related to credit rating agencies and municipal bond financing, the latter being accomplished specifically through a federal reinsurance proposal.


    The Hartford’s Neal S. Wolin Confirmed as Deputy Secretary of the Treasury

    Neal S. Wolin was confirmed by the United States Senate late Monday to serve as the Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. 


    A.M. Best Releases Draft Methodology on Rating Commercial Paper

    A.M. Best Co. is requesting comments from market participants in the insurance industry and other interested parties on its proposed update to its commercial paper methodology.


    Fitch Ratings: U.S. Insurance Industry Outlook for 2009 Hurricane Season

    Fitch Ratings has published its annual hurricane season reference guide for insurance investors, providing analysis on the potential effects of a major storm season on large insurance companies and the industry as a whole.


    Economy Forcing Changes in Carrier Investments

    The current economic environment has produced several influences that in combination are negatively affecting, or at least stressing, property casualty insurance carriers in unique ways, according to one experienced industry analyst.


    Insurers Looking Beyond Pay-As-You-Drive Face Risks, Says Expert

    Insurers may face new transparency obligations and regulatory challenges as they explore pay-how-you-drive and pay-where-you-drive insurance coverage, an insurance executive advised at a forum in Orlando.


    PCI To Treasury: Don’t Let Bailout Give Some Firms Unfair Edge

    The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) is asking the Treasury Department to “tread carefully” in providing financial aid to life insurers with property-casualty operations so as to ensure those receiving such aid don’t wind up with an unfair competitive advantage.


    The Hartford Says No Sale Of P-C Operations

    After qualifying for $3.4 billion in U.S. bailout cash last week, The Hartford said yesterday it will not be selling its property-casualty, group benefits and life insurance businesses.


    Laws Take On Financial Scams Against Seniors

    States Increase the Penalties When Victims Are Elderly; Is Special Protection Needed?

    Fed up with purported financial advisers preying on unwitting older people, investigators from the Arkansas Securities Department last year staged an undercover sweep of one of the hucksters’ favorite showcases — free lunch seminars.


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