Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: Wednesday, Dec. 12

Dec 12, 2007

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Crist: State won’t bail out fund

Florida’s former comptroller, Bob Milligan, was named Tuesday interim chief of the board that invests state funds.

Despite pleas from cities, counties and school districts, Gov. Charlie Crist and leaders of the Florida Legislature said Tuesday they have no plans to use state money to help bail out local governments hampered by the near-collapse of a state-run investment fund.

 

State wants fund audit

Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink asked auditors Monday to get to the bottom of problems that put billions of taxpayer dollars into risky investments and led to a run on the state’s Local Government Investment Pool.

 

Senate GOP picks Atwater as president-designate

Senate Republicans formally and unanimously elected Sen. Jeff Atwater as the chamber’s president-designate if the GOP maintains its majority after the 2008 election. Republicans now have a 26-14 advantage.

 

Rubio talks of offering bigger property tax reductions

Speaker Marco Rubio doesn’t think the property tax plan passed in a special legislative session gives enough savings to Florida residents.

 

Rubio supports Huckabee

Up-and-coming Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee defended his flip-flop on the Cuba embargo Monday as he cinched an endorsement from one of the most prominent Cuban-American politicians in Florida.

 

Anti-slots groups emerge in Miami-Dade

Slot-machine opponents have started pulling out the ”M” word — morality — as they warm up for a fight against Miami-Dade County’s Jan. 29 referendum on allowing Las Vegas-style games at the county’s dog and horse tracks and jai-alai frontons.

 

Lawmakers, Tribe Can Deal, Lawyer Says

Florida lawmakers have the power to negotiate a new gaming compact with the Seminole Indian Tribe directly, the Senate’s legal counsel said Tuesday, adding another twist to the state’s ongoing legal feud over gambling.

 

Agency: Limit new home health care in Miami to stop fraud

Fraud at fly-by-night home health agencies is so rampant in Miami-Dade County that the state should consider putting a limit on how many new people can get into that field and increase fines for fraud, a state agency said Wednesday.

 

State lawmakers OK $3M for AirTran command center

Without a word of debate, Florida lawmakers on Tuesday agreed to spend $3 million to help AirTran Holdings Inc. build a new command center at Orlando International Airport.

 

Experts: Global warming not making ‘canes more powerful

Many noted atmospheric experts and environmentalists believe that as the globe continues to warm, hurricanes will become increasingly more powerful.
But a couple of scientists are throwing cold water on that concept.

 

Captive Coalition Drafting Comments For 12/27 IRS Deadline

A coalition including two major captive associations is under the gun with a mission to convince the IRS that a proposed regulation would do more harm than good to the captive industry.

 

House Dems Under Pressure To Okay Senate Terror Bill

House Democrats today came under renewed pressure—from the White House and House Republicans—to accept the Senate version of legislation extending the federal backstop on terrorism risk insurance.

 

Mortgage Fraud Seen In Subprime Meltdown Mix

The extent of insurers’ exposure to professional liability claims from the subprime mortgage crisis remains uncertain—and one factor that’s fueled the collapse of that market is mortgage fraud, an expert has advised actuaries.

 

Lawmakers ask court to reverse liability claims ruling

In an unusual move, four legislators have asked the Texas Supreme Court to reverse a recent decision that, critics say, gives refineries and other industrial plants a new shield against liability claims from contract workers injured on the job.

 

Nurses’ Ad Takes Cheney To Heart, Sort Of

 ‘If he were anyone else, he’d probably be dead by now.’ So begins a health care union’s newspaper advertisement which ran in Iowa Monday, pointedly referring to Vice President Dick Cheney as a beneficiary of government-sponsored health care unavailable to most other Americans.