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The Lemieux Report

www.thelemieuxreport.com

5/5/08…overview …full text…get the emil…sign up on link…you know the drill…

Topic 1…

What’s in-What’s out…

60 day ..2008 Legislature over…with a fast paces last 48 hours…$66.2 billion state budget

covered in previous posts…amd Lemieux reports…or www.tampabay.com

Bottom line…

faced with the most challenging budget year in anyone’s memory …lawmakers forced to make tough choices….pro-business …keeping taxes low…providing economic incentives…providing as much as posiible for education and health care….

Topic 2….

Healthcare reform…

The Cover Florida Plan leverages competition in the existing market by challenging private insurance companies to create and bid on robust innovative health insurance plans to cost $150 per month or less….

Florida Health Choices Corp. an opportunity for businesses with less than 50 employees to choose from a variety of plans and services…

The Certificate of Need (CON) process is a state regulatory process to expand services …to prevent duplicating services within a geographic area….has become more of a hindrence than a help….

Newly passed process for certain hospitals …primarily associated with emergency and there after charity care.

Bottom line….

The Cover Fl. Plan and CON reform are both advanced by Gov. Crist to reform health care industry in Fl. by developing a market- based business climate with increased competition resulting in expanded access to care.

Topic 3…

Energy Legislation…

Ground breaking energy leg. passed in both houses…makes Fl. a leader in addressing climate change. Public service Comm. will develop a portfolio standard to move businesses towards more renewable forms of energy…ethanol must comprise 10% Fl. fuel supply within next 2 years…with more focus on wind/solar…

Bottom line…

New energy legislation provides a strategy for business to minimize negative environmental impacts by setting flexible and manageable benchmarks.

NOTE: Look for big discussions on ethanol…corn based…to backtrack its use…Obama is addressing it presently..in the news… look for the others to join him….

Topic 4….Insurance Reform…

Homeowners Bill of Rights passed…hard line against ins. co… doubling max. fines for insurers violating state laws…extending the 2010 provision that allows regulators to block rate hikes…bar insurers from using arbitrators if they disagree and requires insurers to use risk models that are approved by the state when calculating rates…

Bottom line….

Changes made last year to expand CAT fund and allow Citizens to compete have led to a decrease of more than 15% statewide…more companies entered Fl. ins. market …expanding choice for Fl. homeowners….Citizens is still short on reserves,,,,

Topic 5….

Transportation Holdup…

Highly debated proposal to divert freight traffic from Orlando Metra area towards Polk County in favor of commuter rail…failed to pass Fl. Senate…last week…

Bottom line….

While rumors that a special session will be set to deal with this issue are off base….look for CSX proposal to appear again next year…

Things To Watch…

Upcoming 2008 Serve to Preserve…Fl. summit on Global Climate Change…conference 6/25-26 in Miami…

Voter I. D. Law…

U.S. Supreme Court upholds lower court ruling on Indiana’s voter I.D. Law…requiring voters to show government issued card prior to casting ballot…Fl. I.D. requirements…more lax…following this decision Fl. could step up our requirements…

New Protections Condo Owners…

Gov. Crist signed legislation …includes 30 days notice to owner before filing lien/ meeting records more assessable…

full text online…last weeks LeMeiux report…

Flight time…

Look for flights to take longer…to save the airlines big bucks by the minute…

example….Jet Blue…saves $13.6 million by adding on 2 minutes of flight time!

Follow -up School Grade Formula…

legislation passed plan to change way FCAT is utilized…..

For detailed info…go LeMieux…online…..

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