Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: Wednesday, May 13

May 13, 2009

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State Farm, Florida agree to stay out of court until June

State Farm and Florida insurance regulators have called a cease-fire on going to court as they continue negotiating over how the giant insurer can conduct an orderly withdrawal from Florida’s property insurance market.


THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA: Sink calls for revamping of SBA

The Cabinet met this morning, and on the agenda was Florida State Board of Administration director Ash Williams’ response to a letter from Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink regarding 10 proposals to “strengthen safeguards over Florida investments.” Sink made 10 recommendations to the SBA in March 2008 after the scandal involving the Local Government Investment Pool. That was before Williams came on board, but Sink now wants to know what happened to her suggestions.


    Ex-Miami-Dade fire-rescue chief to lead Florida’s emergency office

    Florida opened the nation’s largest hurricane conference, being held this week in Fort Lauderdale, without someone formally in charge of emergency response if one hits; on Tuesday, three weeks before hurricane season officially opens, former Miami-Dade Fire-Rescue division chief Ruben Almaguer got that big job as Gov. Charlie Crist named him director of the Division of Emergency Management.


    Hurricane conference convenes in Fort Lauderdale

    Ruben Almaguer, the new director of Florida’s Division of Emergency Management, is introducing himself to emergency response coordinators from across the state Wednesday at the Governor’s Hurricane Conference in Fort Lauderdale.


    Forecasting Hurricane Intensity Still a Puzzle

    People living in hurricane danger zones could have a long wait — as much as 10 years — for improved forecasts of rapid intensity changes in a hurricane, the top U.S. hurricane forecaster said Tuesday in an interview at the Florida Governor’s Hurricane Conference in Fort Lauderdale.


    Senate Confirms Floridian Craig Fugate to Head FEMA

    The Senate confirmed Craig Fugate, President Barack Obama’s pick to head FEMA on Tuesday after Sen. David Vitter, R-La., agreed to stop blocking the vote amid bipartisan criticism that the agency was left vulnerable with a hurricane season just a few weeks away.


    Editorial: Seeking shelter against the wind

    No choice but to increase windstorm-insurance rates, again

    It’s the moment South Florida homeowners dread. The annual windstorm-insurance bill arrives and — cue the creepy sound track from Psycho — you open it to find another huge increase staring you in the face. You ask: How much more of this can I take?


    Agriculture Commisioner: Florida Wildfire Activity Increasing

    Exceedingly dry conditions in Central and South Florida are responsible for increased wildfire activity and are expected to intensify in the coming days and weeks, Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles H. Bronson said Tuesday.


    Brown & Brown Enters Into Agreement to Acquire Assets of Irving Weber Associates

    Ken Masters, Regional Executive Vice President of Daytona Beach-based insurance broker Brown & Brown, and Adam Weber, President of Irving Weber Associates, on Tuesday announced that two Brown & Brown subsidiaries and Irving Weber have entered into an agreement for the subsidiaries of Brown & Brown to acquire substantially all of the assets of Irving Weber in a deal expected to close in late May.


    Florida Broker USG Insurance Announces New Miscellaneous E&O Program

    Tampa, Florida-based national broker USG Insurance Services announced an in-house binding authority program for Miscellaneous Errors & Omissions products, with coverage offered on a claims made basis.


    THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA: Crist ‘Still Studying’ Workers’ Comp Bill

    Gov. Charlie Crist said Wednesday that he’s “still studying” a bill that would restore a limit on what plaintiffs lawyers can be paid in workers compensation cases.


    Water managers OK Big Sugar buyout for Everglades restoration

    Calling the downsized deal more realistic and affordable, regional water managers Wednesday afternoon signed off on Gov. Charlie Crist’s bid to buy a massive swath of farmland for Everglades restoration.


    Orlando to cut 10 percent of employees, more than 100 emergency workers

    Orlando government will cut its workforce by more than 10 percent — some 342 positions, including more than 100 cops and firefighters — unless an unexpected tax windfall comes through in the coming weeks.


    Three looking to be next Florida governor

    If you don’t know the names of Florida’s attorney general, chief financial officer or agriculture commissioner, rest assured: you’ll start hearing them — a lot — very soon.


    Gov. Charlie Crist’s record will be put to the test

    Next year, Florida voters will decide whether they still like Gov. Charlie Crist enough to send him to the Senate.

    Gov. Charlie Crist whispered his way into the race for U.S. Senate Tuesday with unadorned announcement, revealing the trickiness of carrying out his current job in Florida while chasing a new one in Washington.


    Commentary: Kendrick Meek vs. Charlie Crist in Senate race

    It’ll be Kendrick Meek vs. Charlie Crist. How do I know this?


    Fla. senator blasts Bud Nocera’s $500,000 Visit Florida severance

    State Sen. Mike Fasano said Tuesday he’s had it with the taxpayer-supported agency that promotes tourism in Florida.


    Obama administration rejects federal wind insurance for hurricanes

    The Obama administration has quietly told Congress that it “strongly opposes” federal wind insurance legislation – surprising a Mississippi lawmaker who lost his home to Hurricane Katrina and who’s spent more than two years fighting for wind coverage.


    Bill Banning ‘Step-Down’ Clauses in Auto Policies Advances in Louisiana

    Louisiana House Bill 208, which would force insurers to provide the maximum policy limits for automobile liability insurance coverage to anyone driving the insured’s vehicle, has been approved by the House Committee on Insurance, according to the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI).


    Lloyd’s Market Resilient Amid Financial Turmoil, According to Guy Carpenter Briefing

    A new briefing on the Lloyd’s insurance market published by Guy Carpenter & Company, LLC, the leading global risk and reinsurance specialist, finds that Lloyd’s competitive position strengthened in 2008, in the face of the worldwide financial downturn.


    Perfect storm for romance? Some docs say Hurricane Ike behind mini baby boom in Houston area

    It’s taking a while for one consequence of Hurricane Ike to become clear – nine months, to be exact.


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