Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: Tuesday, September 30

Sep 30, 2008

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Florida Gov. Appoints 3 to Citizens Review Task Force

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist appointed three new members to state-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corp. Mission Review Task Force.

Leon County Judge Orders MD Medicare Choice into Receivership for Purposes of Liquidation

A Leon County Circuit Court judge late Monday ordered Tampa-based MD Medicare Choice (MDMC), a Medicare Advantage plan with more than 16,000 members in 23 Florida counties, placed into receivership for the purpose of liquidation. The Department of Financial Services (DFS) was named receiver, effective at 11:59 p.m. tonight, and will work closely with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and Humana, which will provide replacement coverage effective Wednesday, October 1.

CFO Sink Creates ‘Safeguard Our Seniors’ Task Force

Sink assembles diverse group to tackle solutions for protecting senior investors

Standing beside Mr. David Greene, an 81-year-old retired Army Master Sergeant and victim of annuity fraud, Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink today announced that she has created the “Safeguard our Seniors” (SOS) Task Force to review and recommend solutions to better protect Florida seniors against financial fraud, with an immediate focus on annuity fraud. The task force includes senior advocacy, legal, investigative, consumer, regulatory and industry representatives.

Florida-based United Insurance and FMG Acquisition Merge

Farmington Conn.-based FMG Acquisition Corp.’s stockholders approved a merger with United Insurance Holdings L.C., a Florida based homeowners underwriter and selected small business insurer.

Florida House members help sink bailout

Call it the Sunshine State revolt.

House members from across Florida rallied to help defeat the $700-billion Wall Street bailout bill on Monday, with most Republicans and one Democrat opposing the measure despite warnings of economic ruin.

Rep. Putnam Talks About Failed Bailout Vote

Below is the of Congressman Adam Putnam’s remarks on the house floor this morning in support of the financial bailout plan.

Attorney General Announces New Laws Taking Effect October 1

McCollum championed bills to strengthen public and consumer safety

Attorney General Bill McCollum today announced that several laws which greatly enhance public safety and consumer protection for Floridians, and which he personally championed during the Spring Legislative Session, will take effect tomorrow.

New Florida law raises the stakes for speeding offenses

Lead-footed motorists might be headed straight to the poorhouse when a new state law takes effect Wednesday.

In Davie, car accidents could be extra costly

At-fault drivers face $840 fee

Accident response fees are so controversial that five states — Georgia, Indiana, Missouri, Pennsylvania and Tennessee — have passed laws to ban them.

Florida gets $1.5M in Walgreens settlement

Florida has recovered more than $1.5 million as part of a state and federal settlement with Walgreen Co.

Benitez brothers — wanted on Medicare fraud charges — detained in Cuba

Two brothers, who escaped to Cuba amid charges of defrauding Medicare of millions of dollars, were reportedly being held in a Cuban prison.

Cuban authorities are detaining three Miami-Dade brothers who fled to Cuba earlier this year when they were charged with defrauding $119 million from Medicare, U.S. officials familiar with the case confirmed Monday.

Governor Crist Names George Sheldon Secretary of Department of Children and Families

Governor Charlie Crist today named George Sheldon as Secretary of the Department of Children and Families to succeed Bob Butterworth, whose resignation was effective August 15, 2008. Sheldon previously served as the department’s Assistant Secretary for Operations under Bob Butterworth.

Thousands of Floridians Become Victims of ID Theft

Florida resident Stephen Carlisle was not alarmed by the letter he received from Bank of New York Mellon Shareowners Services, notifying him that a data breach had exposed sensitive information from thousands of customers.

Complaint says District 19 Senate candidate Belinda Ortiz broke lobbying rules

Orange County Republican Senate candidate Belinda Ortiz is facing a complaint that she failed to register as a lobbyist in Tallahassee while working to promote the hotel industry.

Governor Crist Welcomes Federal Neighborhood Stabilization Funds as a Boost to Florida’s Economy, Communities

Governor Charlie Crist today announced $541 million in federal funds coming to Florida will be a welcome boost to Florida’s economy and to Florida communities hardest hit by the national housing crisis. These targeted funds will be used within local communities to purchase foreclosed homes at a discount and to rehabilitate or redevelop them in order to respond to rising foreclosures and falling home values.

OK from Congress paves way for Tamiami Trail bridge

A Congressional amendment means work could begin soon on Glades restoration efforts along the Tamiami Trail. Not everyone’s happy.

Offered as Exhibit No. 1 of Everglades restoration ineptitude, infighting and never-ending delay: the overhaul of the Tamiami Trail, approved by Congress 19 years ago and still unfinished.

Gov. and Florida Cabinet to discuss new road deal

Gov. Charlie Crist and the Florida Cabinet are set to discuss a controversial deal to spend millions for a new road in Central Florida.

Climate experts, biologists in Orlando to ponder climate change’s effect on Florida wildlife

Enormous pythons gorge on rare wading birds along the Wekiva River. Violent storms destroy the aging pines that red-cockaded woodpeckers depend on for nesting. The shock of warming waters and intense sunlight kills coral along the Florida Keys.

More water released from Lake Okeechobee

Another round of dumping Lake Okeechobee water into the sea continues today as the Army Corps of Engineers tries to ease the strain on the lake’s dike.

TEXAS: Allstate assessed top figure

The state’s second-largest home insurer will pay the most in the state windstorm association’s initial round of assessments.

Cooperation Memo Signed By N.Y., Bermuda Regulators

The insurance regulators of New York and Bermuda announced today they had signed an agreement allowing for cooperation between their organizations. Both said the need for the pact had been underscored by the financial turmoil at American International Group.

GEORGIA: Fund trauma care with extra fees on insurance?

Industry, consumer advocates oppose commissioner’s idea

Georgia Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine on Monday said he is considering the addition of fees on car and other forms of insurance to support trauma care services for car accident victims and others.

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