Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: Wednesday, March 10

Mar 10, 2010



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THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA:  Property Insurance Claims Bill Moving in Florida Senate

A bill that would let property insurance companies pay claims in installments to make sure homeowners are actually using the money for repairs and make other changes survived its first committee vote Wednesday after efforts to change the bill were unsuccessful.


Blog:  Bill allowing home insurance rate hikes advances

The Florida Senate’s Insurance committee passed a broad property insurance bill Wednesday that would essentially allow additional property insurance rate increases and reduce fraudulent claims and discounts that can drive up insurance costs.


Sink calls for report on Florida insurers

Florida Cabinet will hear from state insurance chief at its next meeting

Florida’s top financial official called Tuesday for a public accounting of property insurers following Herald-Tribune reports revealing millions of homeowners are insured by companies at financial risk.


Florida Cabinet approves changes in insurance-discount forms

Consumers now will have to use a longer, more thorough form to get discounts on property insurance for strengthening their homes against hurricane winds.


Letter:  Fight Legislation To Limit Public Adjusters In Insurance Claims

In February, 2009, my home caught on fire. It was devastating for my family. We had insurance. You get a false sense of security with insurance. If you think your insurance company is going to do right by you, think again. 


Barefoot Bay residents to start petition opposing Citizens Insurance limitations

Persistence seems to be paying off for a group of concerned homeowners seeking alternatives to using Citizens Insurance for their primary homeowner’s insurance.


Florida’s Homeowners Choice Reports Profitable Q4, Year 2009

Homeowners Choice Inc., a Florida-based homeowners’ insurer, reported a profitable fourth quarter and year 2009.


Editorial: When the big one hits

Federal consortium offers market solution

Soon, hurricane season will be upon us again. And once more Florida won’t be ready if a big one hits.


House committee OKs red light bill

The House Health Care Regulation Policy Committee voted unanimously today in favor of House Bill 325, sponsored by Rep. Ron Reagan (R-Bradenton). The bill would create the Mark Wandall Traffic Safety program, an initiative that would allow and set statewide standards for the use of traffic cameras throughout Florida.


Proposal puts restrictions on teen drivers in Florida

A proposed state law aims to reduce potentially deadly distractions to newly licensed drivers under 18 by barring any underage passenger for six months — except for siblings or unless accompanied by a licensed driver 21 or older.


Appeals court overturns Gadsden County ruling holding GEICO liable in rental car accident

The First District Court of Appeal rules that a driver was unauthorized and coverage not in effect.


Blog:  Crist Calls Rubio Out on Car Insurance

Governor Charlie Crist had tough words for his U.S. Senate opponent today. Crist is calling into question why the former House Speaker had the Republican Party pay for his car insurance when his minivan was damaged at a political event. He is also wondering if the IRS should be looking into the spending.


Blog:  Medicaid bill would make CFO the state’s top welfare cop

There’s no shortage of intrigue behind a legislative effort unveiled Tuesday to make Florida’s chief financial officer and attorney general bigger players in investigating Medicaid fraud.


Florida Medicaid Fraud Bill Has Overtones

Republicans are touting Medicaid fraud-fighting legislation that’s packed with political baggage.


Florida hospitals to compete with HMOs

Florida hospitals are gearing up to compete with health-maintenance organizations in a possible expansion of Medicaid managed care.


Boca Raton considers ban on pain clinics

The city is considering a new law regulating pain-management clinics that would essentially ban operations that freely dole out narcotic prescription medications.


U.S. May Aid Florida Budget

As state economists confirmed the $3.2 billion shortfall that Florida is facing next year, a bill advanced in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday that could shrink Florida’s budget gap by one-third.


Blog:  Florida Senate President Atwater says no secret proviso for budget

Senate President Jeff Atwater just released initial budget allocations to his chamber, stressing that he aims to make the budget process for the 2010-11 year will be even more “transparent” than last year.


Blog:  Senate to take up bill to break up state agency

The Department of Management Services could be broken up and placed under the control of the Governor and Cabinet under a far-reaching proposal that will be taken up on Wednesday.


Road to Nowhere: Money Available for Road-Building in Florida Is Dropping

Gov. Charlie Crist recently took a shovel of dirt and hurled it on the ground to celebrate the start a massive $1.8 billion project to add reversible toll lanes to Interstate 595.


List of ‘troubled’ Florida banks grows to 47, six in bay area

One of every four Florida banks is now considered troubled, with the number of severely troubled banks in the Tampa Bay area doubling in recent months.


Blog:  First member projects surface in Senate budget

The Legislature is staring at a $3.2 billion deficit, but that doesn’t mean lawmakers can’t scare up some money for member projects — especially in an election year when it’s important to take something home to the constituents.


Senate panel OKs update to Florida’s open government laws

Some smaller cities express misgivings.

A measure overhauling the state’s open government laws easily passed a Senate panel Tuesday at the same time that some lawmakers are considering exempting 911 calls from public disclosure.


House panel votes to block 911 tapes from going public

A House panel voted 8-5 to make 911 recordings off limits to the public.


Charles T. Canady Named Chief Justice-Elect of Florida

With his roots in Lakeland, Justice Charles T. Canady’s career has led him into public service in all three branches of state government and in the U.S. House of Representatives.


Insurers oppose debt guarantee of state catastrophe cover

Insurer and reinsurer groups reiterated their opposition Wednesday to a bill that would have the federal government guarantee debt issued by eligible state catastrophe insurance programs that cover homeowners insurance.


U.S. House Bill Would Allow Property Insurance Sales By RRGs 

Legislation will be introduced in the House allowing risk retention groups to sell commercial property insurance, according to an industry source.


Florida Lottery may take spin on video gaming

Florida lawmakers are getting a first look today at a video lottery machine designed to attract players.


Rubio leads Crist by 32 points in latest poll

Tiny sampling also shows Northeast Florida leaning heavily for the ex-House speaker.

Florida Republicans are leaning even more heavily in favor of former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio, who has taken a 32-percentage-point lead over Gov. Charlie Crist in the U.S. Senate race according to a poll released Tuesday.


Bills race through Legislature to revive once-outlawed ‘leadership funds’

Legislative leaders are swiftly carrying out one of their priorities by bringing back once-reviled “leadership funds,” unlimited soft-money accounts under direct control of a few influential lawmakers.


Column:  State must count on illegals–Florida needs their help in the census

Every politician in the state welcomes the 2010 Census because the new numbers could bring Florida more federal money and another seat in Congress.


New fingerprinting technology leads to more arrests, Florida Department of Law Enforcement reports

New fingerprint scanning technology has resulted in a jump in the number of fingerprint matches to old crimes, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement announced today.


New Hampshire Court Refuses to Reconsider $110 Million Medical Malpractice Ruling

The New Hampshire Supreme Court has refused to reconsider its ruling rejecting the state’s claim to $110 million surplus from a fund that underwrites medical malpractice insurance.


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