Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: Wednesday, March 3

Mar 3, 2010



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Florida Insurance Consumer Advocate Forms Coalition to Fight for Florida Consumers

Florida Insurance Consumer Advocate Sean Shaw today announced the formation of the Florida Insurance Consumer Coalition, a group of insurance consumer organizations that will work together to weigh-in and advocate for issues impacting Florida’s insurance consumers.


Florida’s property insurance scam

If an insurance company sold you a homeowner’s policy knowing that, if disaster was to strike, it probably couldn’t pay your claim, you would call that “consumer fraud” – plain and simple.


Rental Car Firm Vicarious Liability Case Reaches Florida Supreme Court

An accident victim’s lawyer this week urged the Florida Supreme Court to rule that rental car companies can be held liable for damages in an accident they did not cause in the state, even though a new federal law is designed to shield the companies.


No money for beach restoration projects in Florida’s state budget

The real estate slump and other economic woes have led Gov. Charlie Crist to pledge no money for beach restoration projects, raising questions about Jacksonville’s renourishment planned for next year.


Orlando’s ASCnet Moving to Chicago 

Lisa Parry Becker, chair of the Applied Systems Client Network (ASCnet), the user group of Applied Systems’ insurance agency management software, announced today that the association will leave Orlando for the Chicago area by year-end 2010.


Florida doctors, patients, staff members feel pain of 21 percent Medicare cut

Doctors who treat Medicare patients said they continued appointments as usual Monday, despite a 21 percent cut in their reimbursement that went into effect because of a Congressional stalemate.


House may shrink Florida Department of Health

With one lawmaker describing it as a “dumping ground,” House leaders are targeting the Florida Department of Health as part of a push to save money and revamp the operations of state government.


American Medical Association Honors Florida Senator Don Gaetz With Top Government Service Award

Florida Senator Don Gaetz will be honored tonight with the American Medical Association’s government service award for a member of a state legislature. The award is being presented as part of the AMA’s National Advocacy Conference in Washington, D.C.


Crist signs bill delaying unemployment tax increase

A bill designed to help struggling Florida businesses has passed the state Legislature.


Florida Lawmakers Attack Federal Spending, Take Funds

As Florida spends an expected $17 billion in federal stimulus aid, legislative leaders are now backing a constitutional amendment to require Congress to curb its spending.


Gov. Charlie Crist defends record as Florida Legislature session begins

In a speech that at times seemed shaped as much by campaign politics as by his legislative agenda, Gov. Charlie Crist slammed “hollow ideological posturing” in his final State of the State address on the opening day of 2010 session.


Styles differ but Florida Senate, House leaders both preach fiscal restraint

Florida Senate President Jeff Atwater and House Speaker Larry Cretul opened the 2010 legislative session on a decidedly conservative note, calling for fiscal restraint in federal and state spending, shrinking government and an austere approach to budgeting.


Florida House Speaker Cretful announces effort to ‘supercharge’ state government

The Republican leadership of the Florida House called for elimination of union representation for most state office workers, merging of some agencies and cost changes in employee insurance today in a long-range effort to “supercharge” state government.


Jobs and ethics reforms on Florida Legislature’s daily list

As Florida legislators await budget details to be released later this week, they will hear several bills that relate to jobs and ethics reforms on their second day of session Wednesday.


Florida Senate Clears Public Service Commission Ethics Bill

The Senate cleared Tuesday afternoon a sweeping ethics reform bill for the Public Service Commission after beating back an amendment to reduce the amount of time members of the panel and their staffers would be banned from lobbying the legislative or executive branches of government.


Florida gambling deal shapes up

The framework of a gambling agreement with the Seminole Tribe is under way as both House negotiators and the tribe’s lawyers are working earnestly in time for lawmakers to start counting on the cash this session.


Florida House to discuss restricting release of 911 calls

Dubbed the “Tiger Woods Relief Act” by an opponent, a bill that would dramatically limit public access to 911 emergency calls is scheduled for debate in the state House.


Crist playing Sansom card against Rubio

Ray Sansom may have quit the Florida House last week to avoid an ethics trial, but the scandal has legs in the Republican U.S. Senate primary between Gov. Charlie Crist and Marco Rubio.


Port Everglades plans $2 billion, 20-year expansion

Broward County’s seaport is undertaking a $2 billion expansion to prepare for an expected increase in cargo, fuel and cruise passenger traffic over the next 20 years, a massive investment that will help rev up the economy and create jobs in the area, Port Everglades Director Phil Allen said.


Securities and Exchange Commission Charges Miami Couple in $135 Million Ponzi Scheme Targeting Cuban-American Community

The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged a prominent Miami-based business leader and his wife with fraud for conducting a $135 million Ponzi scheme with real estate investments from hundreds of elderly Cuban-American investors living in South Florida.


Florida expected to start adding residents again after population decline

It’s a small bounce, but Florida’s population should rebound this year from its first loss in more than half a century in a hopeful sign for the struggling state economy, new estimates from the University of Florida show.


Orlando Saving Big on E-Mail from Google

When the city of Orlando switched its 3,000 employees to Google e-mail from Microsoft Outlook in January, other governments were watching – most notably Los Angeles, which has since done the same with its 34,000 workers.


Florida Attorney General:  Standing up for our Second Amendment

For gun owners and Second Amendment advocates, the U.S. Supreme Court decision in District of Columbia v. Heller was a landmark case overturning an unconstitutional ban on firearm ownership.


National Flood Insurance Program extended

President Barack Obama has signed into law a measure that extends the National Flood Insurance Program through March 28.


Safeco to Offer Homeowners Insurance with Wind Coverage in Mississippi

State Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney says Safeco Insurance plans to offer homeowners insurance, including wind coverage, in south Mississippi.


Keep P&C Sector From Finance Reform Bill, Coalition Says 

A new insurers’ coalition has written the Senate Banking Committee asking that property and casualty carriers not be included in a measure regulating systemic risk in the financial services sector.


Missouri captive insurance market grows to $1 billion

The captive insurance market in Missouri has exploded in size in the past year, with annual premiums for these companies reaching more than $1 billion in 2009. That’s up from $123 million in 2008.


National Association of Insurance Commissioners Releases Select Market Share Data

Life/Fraternal, Property/Casualty Reports Now Posted Online

The 2009 market share data for life/fraternal and for property/casualty insurers include countrywide direct written premium for the top 25 groups and companies as reported on the State Page of the annual statement for insurers that report to the NAIC.


Ward Group Launches New Research Center for Property-Casualty

Ward Group, the leading provider of benchmarking and best practices services to the insurance industry and a major sponsor of primary research studies, is pleased to introduce a new research center for P&C insurance companies.


PCI Fights Accident Tax Across the Country

Concern is growing in California and other states regarding local governments charging accident response fees.


European Union watchdog shifts annuity rule issue to Commission

EU insurance watchdog CEIOPS has asked the European Commission for the final say on new capital adequacy rules for annuity providers, which British insurers say could force them to raise up to 50 billion pounds ($75 billion).


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