Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: Wednesday, June 10

Jun 10, 2009

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Editorial: Spike deregulation

Crist should veto bill that allows big insurers to skip rate approval process

That’s our message to Gov. Charlie Crist, who last week signed into law a bill gutting growth management laws that require builders to pay their fair share for roads – forcing the costs on taxpayers down the line.


Citizens loses condo court case

For the second time in less than a year, a jury on Tuesday found that state-run Citizens Property Insurance Corp. should pay owners of a local condominium for damages sustained during Hurricane Frances in 2004.


Crist veto kills financial reprieve for condo owners, associations

Should a task force be created?

When Gov. Charlie Crist vetoed a sweeping condominium reform bill earlier this month, he said it was for safety reasons and to specifically make sure associations did not delay required fire sprinkler upgrades.


Citon Insurance Unveils Zero Select Wind Deductible Elimination Plan For Florida Residential and Commercial Properties

A former Floridian has created a wind deductible elimination plan for homeowners in the Sunshine State, providing them with an opportunity to avoid paying large liabilities in the face of a catastrophe. And, for every policy the company sells, it will make a donation to the Florida Disaster Recovery Fund.


Home insurers deny Chinese drywall claims

Like others with Chinese-made drywall in their homes, Joe and Brittany Baker sought relief from their homeowners insurance company.


Group asks Crist to veto sinkhole bill

A consumer watchdog group wants Gov. Charlie Crist to veto legislation that would allow property insurers to not renew sinkhole coverage in Pasco and Hernando counties, unless the consumer requests it.


Letter: Florida insurers win in sinkhole coverage change

Although I have a great deal of respect for Rep. John Legg and Sen. Mike Fasano, I have to take issue with their perception of savings for sinkhole coverage. The reduction in cost is because there is a reduction in coverage. If you buy less of anything, it is going to cost less.


Into the eye of the storm

With hurricane season beginning this month, the pilots at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are gearing up to dive into the eyes of these meteorological beasts.


Crist signs Fla. kidney transplant bill

Governor Charlie Crist today signed the Alonzo Mourning Access to Care Act which expands the availability of Medicare supplemental policies to Medicare beneficiaries with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).


Crist signs HB 1122, strongly opposed by Florida doctors

Call it the hassle factor. You visit an out-of-network doctor, your insurance company reimburses you instead of the doctor, and you have to manage the paperwork.


Twelve charged with defrauding Miami-Dade health plan

Grand theft charges have been filed against 12 people, 11 of whom are current or former employees. This resulted from an ongoing investigation of schemes to bilk hundreds of thousands of dollars from a self-insurance plan for Miami-Dade County employees.


Speech Pathologist Arrested for Defrauding Medicaid out of over $262,000

Attorney General Bill McCollum today announced that a Duval County man is in custody after he defrauded the Florida Medicaid Program out of more than $262,000.


Editorial: Late move, but smart move on KidCare

After years of failing to properly finance KidCare and making it as hard as possible for parents to enroll their children in the state’s subsidized health insurance program, state legislators finally did something right.


Pressure mounts to cut healthcare costs in South Florida

As the White House prepares its major reform action for healthcare, concerns mount that pressure to cut costs could harm patient care in South Florida and elsewhere.

With pressure mounting from the White House to cut back on soaring healthcare costs, an aide to Florida Sen. Bill Nelson said Tuesday that the senator is seriously concerned such reductions could damage patient care in places such as Miami, where costs are among the highest in the nation.


CFO Sink calls for greater efficiency, emphasis on transparency as SBA revises budget

CFO Sink Sends Letter to SBA Director after Initial Budget Proposal Withdrawn

Florida CFO Alex Sink on Tuesday sent a letter to State Board of Administration (SBA) Director Ash Williams, providing direction and recommendation as the SBA updates their initial FY 2009-2010 SBA Budget Proposal. 


Editorial: A keener eye on money

About a year and a half ago, local governments in Florida rushed to pull their money from the state’s investment fund after word leaked that the agency in charge had bought risky securities backed by subprime mortgages; the run on the agency’s fund for local governments cut its $27 billion balance in half and forced a temporary freeze on withdrawals.


Bronson endorses McCollum for governor

Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson endorsed fellow Republican Bill McCollum for governor today, but said he still believes competitive party primaries are good for the GOP.


Republican Senate President Jeff Atwater drives the state to get his CFO message out, 17 months before the election

Community banker. Democratic giant killer. Fundraiser extraordinaire. With a resume like that, it’s little wonder that Republican Senate President Jeff Atwater hasn’t yet drawn a Democratic opponent in the race for Florida chief financial officer.


Crist has overwhelming lead in Senate race; Democratic contest wide open

Well-known and popular, Gov. Charlie Crist would overwhelm his leading opponent for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination if the August 2010 primary were held today.


Longtime Florida politician retires from public service

Former Monroe County mayor and four-time state Representative Ken Sorensen said he has retired from politics.


Power shift might affect Florida water wars

The board that watches over water and wetlands policy for Central Florida is preparing to give up a big share of its authority and a measure of public comment on some of the most controversial issues under its jurisdiction.


Tourist-tax revenue headed for a record drop

Tourist-tax revenues will plummet 18 percent in 2009 and not fully recover for several years, Orange County budget officials said Tuesday, adding the drop will affect everything from tourism promotion to the $1.1 billion plan for downtown arts and sports venues.


Gulf drilling measure would put rigs 45 miles from Florida coast

The U.S. Senate energy committee has approved a measure to allow oil and gas drilling just 45 miles off Florida’s west coast, and even closer in the “Destin Dome” area of the Gulf of Mexico, off the Panhandle.


Geithner: Risk Managers Need Authority to Manage Compensation Practices

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner issued a statement on executive compensation today.


State Farm will begin writing new Mississippi  homeowners policies Monday in all counties except Hancock, Harrison and Jackson

As part of a request the state Insurance Commission approved Friday, the insurer also will raise rates for policyholders an average of 4 percent across the state. Rate adjustments will vary from nothing in nine counties to 29.1 percent in Pearl River, Stone and George counties, the three immediately north of the coastal counties.


Texas Special Session to Consider Insurance Department Now Likely

After the Texas Legislature adjourned without reuthorizing the Texas Department of Insurance, Gov. Rick Perry stated he was considering other options to facilitate the continuing operation of TDI besides a special legislative session.


Army Corps of Engineers orders thousands of trees cut down to protect levees

The Army Corps of Engineers is on a mission to chop down every tree in the country that grows within 15 feet of a levee – including oaks and sycamores in Louisiana, willows in Oklahoma and cottonwoods in California.


Louisiana Bill Would Pay Doctor Wrongly Accused of Killing Patients

A measure that would dole out nearly $457,000 in state funds to pay legal fees for a doctor who was accused of killing patients stranded at a New Orleans hospital after Hurricane Katrina is one step from final legislative passage.


Obama Plan Outlines Regulatory Scheme For Large Insurers

The Obama administration will propose putting large insurance companies under control of a federal financial system risk regulator and probably a U.S. insurance regulator as well, according to a draft document.


Five Agent Groups To Confer In D.C. On Health Care Reform

Five insurance trade groups from the property-casualty and life and health insurance businesses said they will meet next month in Washington to discuss health insurance reform concerns and lobby lawmakers.


Some Insurance Plans Are Bad For You

Many people who believe they have adequate health insurance actually have coverage so riddled with loopholes, limits, exclusions and gotchas that it won’t come close to meeting their expenses if they fall seriously ill, a Consumer Reports investigation has found.


CEO of Colorado Workers’ Comp Insurer: Private Would Be Better

The head of Colorado’s state-created workers’ compensation insurance company says the organization could do a better job if it were privatized.


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