Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: Wednesday, May 12

May 12, 2010



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Blog:  Regulator getting heat for Florida’s property insurance problems

Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty is taking a beating over the health of the state’s property insurance market, rising premiums in South Florida and other issues.


Crist weighs insurance reform veto

Opponents warn the property insurance bill will raise prices

After this year’s legislative session, Gov. Charlie Crist finds himself in a familiar position: Weighing a property-insurance bill that’s aimed at helping shore up the industry but that might also boost prices.


Insurance Commissioner Pushes Bill

Speaking before the Cabinet on Tuesday, Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty urged Gov. Charlie Crist to sign SB 2044, which among other things allows companies to raise rates to make up forinflation and reinsurance increases without having to go through lengthy filing procedures.


Florida Office of Insurance Regulation Defends Policies Before Cabinet

Responding to questions from state Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, Florida Office of Insurance Regulation Commissioner Kevin McCarty offered a presentation to the Cabinet on Tuesday on what his office has done about two financially unstable insurance companies.


Florida TaxWatch:  Make SB 2044 law before hurricane season begins

Recent Florida TaxWatch independent research from April 2010 shows that Florida’s insurance market is broken and needs to be reformed.


Florida Hurricane Funds Seeks $693 Million for Reopened 2005 Claims

The Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund is to begin selling $693 million in tax-exempt bonds to help repay insurers for new and reopened claims from 2005 storms.


Florida Insurers brace for start of hurricane season

Homeowners, state face the unknown

In less than three weeks, homeowners and insurance companies will be face-to-face with the dreaded time of year — hurricane season.


Cost of Plant City sinkhole repairs rises to $7 million

Sinkholes that opened after farmers pumped billions of gallons of water to protect crops during January’s record freezes have swallowed more than $7 million in taxpayer money and not all the bills have come in.


Check new storm surge evacuation map online

With the 2010 hurricane season approaching, Escambia County Emergency Management encourages residents to check their property on the updated storm surge evacuation zone map.


Tampa will host 2012 Republican National Convention

Third time’s the charm for Tampa, which will host the 2012 Republican National Convention.


Red-light camera backers blast AAA

Orlando and other proponents of red-light cameras are upset that the AAA Auto Club South is making a surprise, last-minute attempt to convince Gov. Charlie Crist to veto a bill that would allow the traffic-enforcement systems on state roads.


Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit against auto insurer now a federal case

Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit against his insurance company over a wreck involving his son has been transferred to federal court.


Florida Workers’ Comp Rates Will Decrease July 1, 2010

Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty today announced the National Council on Compensation Insurance made a filing with the Office of Insurance Regulation on May 7, 2010, which included a proposed 4.2% decrease in rates.


Island Insurance President Elected to Boca Raton-based NCCI Board of Directors

The National Council on Compensation Insurance Inc., the largest provider of workers compensation and employee injury data and statistics in the nation, has elected John Schapperle, president and chief operating officer of Island Insurance, to its board of directors.


Universal Health Care finds home in St. Petersburg’s South Core Garage

Universal Health Care Group Inc. firmly planted its headquarters flag in downtown St. Petersburg this week with the $9 million purchase of the bottom two floors of the South Core Garage.


Florida’s health exchange doesn’t fit new law.

When Republican lawmakers created the Florida Health Choices program in 2008, they billed it as a way to deregulate the health-care market for small businesses. 


Fugitive Accused in Medicare Scam Is Caught in Miami

Authorities said Jose Garcia, 55, who appeared in Miami federal court Tuesday, recruited doctors to take part in an elaborate HIV infusion drug scam that charged Medicare $11 million in false claims in 2003.


Losses get louder for West Palm Beach-based HearUSA

HearUSA said Insurance plans eliminating or limiting hearing care benefits contributed to its deeper losses and reduced revenues in the first quarter.


Crist confronts resistance on special session

Florida’s environmental leaders are hoping that the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico will lead to changes that they could hardly have dreamed of even a few weeks ago: a constitutional ban on oil drilling off the state’s coast and new laws requiring that more of the state’s energy be produced by solar and other renewable sources.


GOP scoffs at Crist call to put drilling ban on ballot

Gov. Charlie Crist said Tuesday Floridians should vote on banning offshore oil drilling but legislative leaders accused him of trying to slide into the U.S. Senate on the BP oil spill.


Officials: Spill to rival multiple hurricanes

Officials from the fishing and tourism industries around the Gulf of Mexico warned a Senate panel Tuesday that the growing oil spill could do more economic damage than multiple hurricanes.


Crist to register with no party affiliation

Gov. Charlie Crist says he’ll stop by the Pinellas County elections office on a Wednesday trip to his St. Petersburg hometown where he’ll register with no party affiliation.


Big donors face question: Demand refund from Crist?

Gov. Charlie Crist’s decision to run for the U.S. Senate as an independent has left a bunch of big-name contributors with a decision to make: Do they follow the angry dictate of furious Republican Party officials and demand their money back? Or not?


Column:  Rich guys shock pros, launch ads in Florida races

The bald guy has been all over TV lately. He’s the Pocket Fisherman of Florida politics.


Scandal’s ripples hit Florida governor’s race

Will controversy surrounding an anti-gay activist hurt McCollum?  A scandal involving one of the nation’s leading anti-gay activists is stirring up Florida’s race for governor.


Investors lost $29.5 million when South Florida company closed, documents say

Attorneys look for Global Bullion Exchange clients’ money

The South Florida company had a grand name – Global Bullion Exchange – and boasted it was a leader in the precious metals industry.


Fort Walton Beach-based Beach Community Bank on FDIC’s radar

Beach Community Bank has been added to a list of Florida banks under Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation consent orders.


Louisiana judge enters final judgments in drywall cases

U.S. District Court Judge Eldon E. Fallon, who is overseeing the massive combined Chinese drywall litigation in New Orleans, has formally entered final judgments against two drywall manufacturers.


Argo Launches Alteris for Managing Agents; Names Schenck President

Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd., an international underwriter of specialty insurance and reinsurance products, has formed Alteris, Inc., a services provider for managing general agencies.


Foreign Insurers Mislead Congress on Tax Loophole, Says Coalition for a Domestic Insurance Industry

Expert Debunks Report Circulated by Offshore Interests

A tax expert has challenged a report circulated by lobbyists for foreign insurers, saying it misleads Congress about a bill that will increase U.S. competitiveness and recover billions in U.S. tax revenue.


Senate climate bill emerges without key GOP support

The measure provides financial incentives for a range of energy producers, including regulatory risk insurance for 12 new nuclear plants and $54 billion in loan guarantees, incentives of $2 billion a year for coal technologies that can capture and store greenhouse gas emissions and $7 billion a year to improve the nation’s transportation infrastructure and efficiency.


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