Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: Wednesday, June 16

Jun 16, 2010


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Florida home inspectors face first licensing regulations July 1

Home inspectors will have to get a state license for the first time in Florida. Although the regulations go into effect July 1, there will be a one-year “grace period” to let people in the profession get the new license, said Jenn Meale, communications director for the state Department of Business and Professional Regulation.


Couple details drywall ordeal

A couple’s suit against Miami-based Banner Supply is the first jury trial in the country over defective drywall made in China

When Armin and Lisa Seifart bought a home in Coconut Grove in early 2008, it was a refuge — from a shaky economy, unsteady market and years of moving as Armin Seifart chased one promotion after another.


News Release:  Assurant Finalizes Comprehensive Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund-based Property Catastrophe Reinsurance Coverage

Assurant, Inc., a premier provider of specialized insurance and insurance-related products and services, today announced that it has finalized the structure of its 2010 property catastrophe reinsurance program.


Fort Lauderdale man awarded $6.6 million in lawsuit against cement company

A Fort Lauderdale man has been awarded $6.6 million in a lawsuit against a cement company after his legs were crushed in a work-related accident, his attorney said Wednesday.


White House, Fla. Reps:  Boot Fraudulent Execs from Medicare

Florida Congressmen Klein, Ros-Lehtinen introduce legislation

White House investigators hoping to rein in Medicare fraud are asking Congress for broad new authority to boot offending corporate executives from the insurance program. The change is designed to control Medicare claims fraud by punishing culpable owners, managers and other corporate higher-ups, and not just the convicted companies. Florida Reps. Ron Klein (D) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R) have introduced legislation to tweak the law to include any owner or executive overseeing the company at the time of the fraud leading to a conviction.


THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA:  Florida Panel Looks at Oil Leak Restitution Process

Florida officials on Tuesday began mapping out a comprehensive process to recoup state and local government losses from the BP oil spill, hoping to be able to do it without having to go to court.


New York Times:  Florida Retreats from Federal Stimulus Bond Market

They are supposed to help states and cities that are short of cash build roads, schools and bridges. But Build America Bonds, part of President Obama’s economic stimulus plan, are also building something else: controversy. Alarmed by uncertainty, Florida, which has sold more than $1.6 billion of Build America Bonds, has retreated from the market.


Medflies found in Boca Raton

Agriculture officials work to determine extent of outbreak

After more than a decade, the tiny terror is back.  More than two dozen Mediterranean fruit flies have been found in Palm Beach County, sending state and federal agricultural officials scrambling to determine the extent of the outbreak and crafting methods to curb it.


Florida’s pension fund not seriously threatened by BP stock investments

Florida’s pension fund, the fourth-largest in the nation, has seen the value of its BP investments plunge more than $67 million since the April 20 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig, but the paper loss is too small to seriously threaten the fund’s $112.4-billion bottom line, managers said Tuesday.


Blog:  Special session could bring veto overrides to Tallahassee

A special session of the Florida Legislature could hand Republicans an opportunity to override some of Gov. Charlie Crist’s vetoes, State Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine, said in an interview today.

Foreclosure cases swamp South Florida courts

Lori Rodriguez lost her insurance billing job two years ago and was in danger of losing her house – until a judge forced her lender to try to work out new loan terms in court-ordered mediation.


THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA: State Attorney Meggs wants trial set for Sansom

State Attorney Willie Meggs urged a Leon County judge on Wednesday to set a trial date for former House Speaker Ray Sansom and others facing felony theft charges for steering $6 million in taxpayer money to a Panhandle college for an airport project sought by a prominent Republican Party donor.


Survey to Quantify Florida’s ‘Green’ Jobs

The Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation is sending out a green jobs survey to measure future growth of green industries and jobs. Florida’s employment agency is surveying almost 60,000 businesses in the state to identify and quantify environmentally related, or “green,” jobs to establish a baseline for measuring future growth in the sector.


Dems flirt with backing Charlie Crist

The emergence of a politically unknown billionaire self-funder in the Florida Senate race is prompting top Democrats in the state to say publicly what some have been whispering for weeks: If Jeff Greene, who got rich betting on the collapse of the housing market, becomes their nominee, many in the party will have the cover they need to get behind Republican-turned-independent Gov. Charlie Crist. 


Blog: Petition to stop Bud Chiles launched

Pat Kemp, who chairs the Hillsborough County Democratic Party, has launched a petition urging Bud Chiles to drop out of the governor’s race. It’s called “Walk Away Bud Chiles.”


Blog:  Kottkamp – and Gelber – qualify for Attorney General

Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp, a former state representative and Fort Myers-based partner in the Morgan & Morgan trial-law firm, qualified today to run for the Republican nomination for attorney general.


Blog:  Former TV anchor challenging John Thrasher

We hear veteran Jacksonville area TV anchor Deborah Gianoulis has filed to challenge Sen. John Thrasher in the general election. It’s a heavily Republican district, but Gianoulis is well known in the district and was a prominent opponent of SB 6, the controversial merit pay bill pushed by Thrasher.


THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA:  Gainesville, Jax area Senate races shape up

An incumbent Republican senator drew a potentially tough challenger Tuesday as Florida Democrats look to reclaim a seat and dent the 26-14 Senate majority the GOP has held for the past eight years.


THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA: Florida prosecutors file suit over bar dues

Florida prosecutors on Tuesday asked the Florida Supreme Court to strike down a recently approved ban on using state money to pay for the Florida Bar dues of state employees who are lawyers.


Brevard’s public, private sectors team up on projects

A marine products company fixes a dock and gets a sign in the park recognizing its work. A developer seeks government financing to jumpstart a hotel project. And a city partners with nonprofit organizations to create a library


U.S. lawmakers gird for showdown on credit raters

U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday girded for a showdown over a measure that could upend the business model of credit rating agencies like Standard & Poor’s Corp. and Moody’s Corp. in the first real test of the congressional panel crafting a final Wall Street reform bill.


Louisiana Legislature Passes Bill Banning Chinese Drywall Cancellations

The Louisiana legislature has passed a bill that would prevent insurers from canceling or nonrenewing homeowners policies because of Chinese drywall claims.


Court Rules in Favor of Calif. State Compensation Workers 

About 7,900 employees of California’s State Compensation Insurance Fund are entitled to back pay after a state appeals court ruled in their favor over furloughs.


Blog:  Oxendine to win GOP nod for Georgia governor, city officials say

Many city officials polled by the Georgia Municipal Association predicted Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine would be the Republican nominee in the gubernatorial race. Most city officials said that former Gov. Roy Barnes would win the Democratic nomination for governor, the poll found.


Massachusetts tops car insurance affordability list

Massachusetts has the most affordable car insurance in the country, according to a website that offers comparative data on insurance plans.


Blog:  BP Insurer a Captive

BP has repeatedly promised to pay all “legitimate claims” for loss and damage as a result of the Gulf oil spill, now vying for the title fourth biggest oil spill in history at 2.3 million barrels of crude over the past two months. And that’s exactly as it should be. But how can the company pay off all the claims it faces?



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