Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: Wednesday, June 24

Jun 24, 2009

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Florida Gov. Crist Vetoes ‘State Farm’ Insurance Rate Deregulation Bill

Siding with domestic insurers, consumer groups and the state insurance regulator, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist today vetoed a bill designed to keep State Farm from leaving and attract other large insurers to the state by deregulating their rates.


FPCA:  Ask Gov. Crist to veto bill that benefits a few large insurers

On June 15, the Florida Property Casualty Association, a trade group representing Florida-based property and casualty insurance companies that write approximately 40 percent of the state’s homeowners’ policies, sent a request to Gov. Charlie Crist to veto CS/CS.HB 1171.


Florida Department of Health:  Testing for mold might be a waste of money

Homeowners wanting to test their homes for mold should usually just turn to their nose and eyes, according to a new Florida Department of Health consumer advisory.


Boca Raton approves red-light cameras

A divided City Council approved red-light cameras for at least 10 intersections in Boca Raton, and agreed to install parking meters at the beach and Mizner Park.


Florida Peninsula Insurance receives “A” rating from Demotech

Florida Peninsula Insurance, a domestic property and casualty company writing multi-peril homeowners, condo and renters policies statewide, has been given an “A,” Exceptional rating by Demotech, an actuarial consulting and financial analysis firm, for its Financial Stability Rating.


Letters help Melbourne residents save on insurance

Ten months after Tropical Storm Fay swamped the Space Coast, some Melbourne residents have received urgent-looking letters from the city warning that they live in “repetitive loss areas.”


Miami authorities bust suspected Medicare fraud

It may be the center for Medicare fraud, but even Miami officials said Tuesday they were surprised by the breadth of a ring they say spanned five states, used 29 fake storefronts and attempted to steal $100 million from Medicare and Medicare Advantage.


Broward Jury Awards Paralyzed Hero Truck-Driver $14.6 Million

A Broward County jury, after a week long trial, today awarded a driver, paralyzed when his 18-Wheeler overturned, $14.6 million after two days of deliberations.


Florida voters may get last say on growth: ‘Hometown Democracy’ amendment wins slot on 2010 ballot

A proposed constitutional amendment that could bring more changes to growth management in the state than any other action in the past 30 years has officially made it onto next year’s general election ballot.


Crist signs bill that mandates court clerks to slash budgets

Gov. Charlie Crist approved a bill that will force court clerks statewide to cut millions of dollars from their budgets and layoff hundreds of workers.


Power over Fla. university presidents shifted

Gov. Charlie Crist has signed a new law that shifts the power to hire and fire state university presidents to each school’s board of trustees.


Editorial:  State’s $444 million mistake

Last week, Floridians learned that the state’s unemployment rate hit 10.2 percent in May, the highest rate since 1975, after the Arab oil embargo damaged the construction and travel industries. It’s double the unemployment rate of just a year ago.


Column:  ‘Economic gardening’ struggles to take root

Gov. Charlie Crist announced with much fanfare in January a test program to help create desperately needed jobs in Florida.


Ex-Speaker Sansom’s computer in hands of state investigators as legislative secrecy hampers probe

State investigators have seized former Florida House Speaker Ray Sansom’s legislative computer in their attempt to prove that the Destin Republican illegally hid money in the state budget to build a political benefactor an airplane hangar, Leon County State Attorney Willie Meggs said today.


Huckabee endorses Rubio for Fla. Senate seat

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is endorsing Marco Rubio for Senate.


Florida Prison system change sought

A call by Florida’s most powerful business lobby to halt prison construction and reform the criminal justice system is gaining surprising traction among policymakers in the wake of a deepening budget crisis and growing evidence that building new prison beds will not reduce crime.


Line forms to succeed Hillsborough elections chief

After Pam Iorio, a Democratic supervisor of elections, left office six years ago to run for Tampa mayor, Republican Gov. Jeb Bush appointed a successor, former GOP legislator Buddy Johnson.


U.S. House Democrats reach deal on climate change bill

Democrats in the House of Representatives on Tuesday said they had reached a deal on difficult agriculture issues in a climate change bill, clearing the way for a vote and probable passage in the chamber this week.


PCI:  Additional Consumer Protection Regulation Unnecessary

The property casualty insurance industry offers the strongest consumer protections of all financial services sectors and does not need additional consumer products regulation, according to today’s Congressional testimony of the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI).


Federal Annuity Bill Gets Companion

 A new Senate bill could provide a 50% tax exclusion on up to $40,000 in annual income from a non-qualified lifetime annuity.


HCC Insurance Holdings Forms HCC Public Risk Subsidiary

Houston-based HCC Insurance Holdings Inc. announced it has combined the operations of its Kenrick Corporation subsidiary with recently acquired Arrowhead Public Risk and Pinnacle Underwriting Partners, to operate as HCC Public Risk, which is expected to have gross written premium totaling $90 million for 2009.


All North Carolina Homeowners Could Pay If Insurers, Beach Plan Fall Short

Every insured homeowner in North Carolina could shoulder the cost of rebuilding if a massive hurricane hits under a deal taking shape in the Legislature.


AARP blasts Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s veto of new safeguards on annuity sales

The seniors group AARP sharply criticized Gov. Rick Perry on Tuesday for vetoing a bill backed by consumers and the insurance industry that would have established new safeguards for buying annuities.


Texas Approves 8 Companies to Self-Insure for Workers’ Comp

The Texas Department of Insurance Division of Workers’ Compensation (TDI-DWC) approved the renewal of the Certificates of Authority for eight companies to self-insure for workers’ compensation claims for a one-year period under the TDI-DWC Self-Insurance Regulation program.


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