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Sunburn — The morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics — 12.7.22

 Good Wednesday morning.

AARP Florida has selected longtime volunteer Ken Thomas as its next state president.

Thomas previously served as the organization’s state president in 2014 before being selected to become the first AARP Regional Volunteer Director for the newly constituted Mega Region, of which Florida is a member. In his new role, Thomas will be leading the efforts of the AARP Florida Executive Council, which helps drive AARP work in the Sunshine State.

Congrats to Ken Thomas, who received a big boost at AARP.

As the top volunteer position in the AARP Florida state office, the state president works in partnership with the state director and other staff and volunteers to lead AARP’s advocacy and programmatic work in the state.

Faith Based Events

“On behalf of 2.8 million members across Florida, we are delighted to welcome back Ken Thomas as our state president and a leading voice for Floridians 50-plus. Ken’s experience and commitment to improving the lives of all Floridians will be important to our state. He has an incredibly strong track record of leadership and service, and I’m confident he will excel once again in this role,” said AARP Florida state director Jeff Johnson.

“We give heartfelt thanks to Donna Ginn for her service and commitment as AARP Florida’s state president over the last six years. Donna has been an exceptional partner in our work during some very difficult times for volunteers and staff alike. We look forward to continuing to work with Donna in other capacities as she continues to volunteer for AARP.”

Thomas was awarded AARP Florida’s Andrus Award for Community Service in 2020. He committed more than three decades of service to the Federal Aviation Administration and the U.S. Air Force, turning his attention to community volunteerism after his retirement.


The Florida Chamber of Commerce’s 2022 Insurance Summit continues today with discussions centered on the state’s litigation climate.

After a recap of the 2022 elections, Florida Justice Reform Institute President William Large will moderate a panel on “fixing Florida’s legal climate.” FJRI and other tort reform groups have pinned the blame for rising rates on boatloads of frivolous lawsuits filed against insurers.

Participating in the panel are Joseph Tessitore, a partner at Roper PA; Kansas Gooden, a shareholder at Boyd & Jenerette PA and Michele Morales, a partner at Cole Scott & Kissane.

Litigation is the keyword for Day Two of the Florida Chamber 2022 Insurance Summit.

The next segment, titled “The Incentive to Sue,” will feature American Consumer Institute President and CEO Steve Pociask and James Madison Institute senior fellow Christian Camara, with Personal Insurance Federation of Florida VP Scott Matiyow serving as moderator.

And in a preview of what’s to come during next week’s Special Session on insurance, state Reps. Tommy Gregory, Tom Fabricio and Bob Rommel, as well as Sen. Linda Stewart, will take part in a panel titled “Advocacy in Action: A Discussion with Florida’s Legislative Leadership.”

A full agenda is available on the Florida Chamber’s website.

More from the Summit:

Jimmy Patronis wants to eliminate AOBs ‘once and for all’” via Drew Wilson of Florida Politics — Chief Financial Officer Patronis has put the assignment of benefits agreements in the crosshairs. The CFO, whose department houses the Office of Insurance Regulation, said the Legislature has the appetite to tackle reinsurance solutions and bad-faith lawsuit reform. But most importantly, he said, “we need to eliminate AOBs once and for all.” Lawmakers in 2019 passed an AOB reform package that placed added requirements on contractors that offer such agreements and allowed insurers to offer policies with limited AOB rights — or no AOB rights at all. Still, the bill fell short of the total elimination that insurers wanted, and that Patronis vocally supported Tuesday. “These folks continue to go door to door, and they solicit,” Patronis said of contractors. He added, “I think AOBs are probably the worst thing that I’ve seen that can be done to a human individual after disaster.”

Citizens Property Insurance exec ‘optimistic’ upcoming Special Session will deliver lawsuit changes” via Christine Jordan Sexton of Florida Politics — Top officials at Citizens Property Insurance, which is supposed to be the carrier of last resort for homeowners in Florida, are spelling out steps they want to see taken in the upcoming Special Session or in the near future to help the company bolster its finances. Those steps could include making it harder for customers to keep coverage with Citizens. The company is also about to embark on a plan to redirect legal disputes over some claims to the Division of Administrative Hearings (DOAH) instead of having them go through circuit courts. Citizens, with 1.11 million overall policies, has been exploding in size amid turmoil within Florida’s property insurance market.

Insurance summit: A blueprint for resilient communities” via Drew Wilson of Florida Politics — Policymakers have crafted programs in recent years to encourage storm hardening and resiliency, and there’s a community in Southwest Florida that recently showed how that kind of preparation can pay off during extreme weather events. Kitson & Partners CEO Sydney Kitson spoke to attendees at the Florida Chamber’s 2022 Insurance Summit about one resilient community in Florida that recently passed a big test, Hurricane Ian. Kitson’s company led the development of Babcock Ranch in Charlotte County. The planned community is home to about 20,000 residential units and 6 million square feet of commercial space.

State regulators place United Property and Casualty under administrative supervision” via Gray Rohrer of Florida Politics — United Property and Casualty Insurance Company was placed into administrative supervision by state regulators Monday. The consent order from the Office of Insurance Regulation states the St. Petersburg company had seen at least $35 million in losses each of the last five years. United also posted a $169.8 million underwriting loss in its third quarter report to the office while posting a surplus of $56.9 million for the 142,785 policies it had in force as of Nov. 1. That surplus was a drop of more than 66% since the start of the year, or $112.4 million.


Meenan PA is hiring Susanne Murphy as an Insurance Regulatory Consultant.

Murphy has more than 30 years of experience in insurance regulation, both in Florida and South Carolina. She most recently served as Deputy Commissioner of Property and Casualty for the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, following a ten-year tenure at Citizens Property Insurance Corporation.

Suzanne Murphy brings her extensive knowledge of insurance to Meenan PA.

Murphy began her career in insurance regulation at the South Carolina Department of Insurance, where she served as general counsel and Deputy Commissioner, before being tapped as the first female Chief Insurance Commissioner in South Carolina. She is a member of the South Carolina Bar.

In 2018, Moore was a recipient of the National Association of Insurance Commissioner’s Robert Dineen Award for Outstanding Service and Contribution to the State Regulation of Insurance. She has extensive experience in all aspects of property insurance regulation, including licensing, form and rate filings, financial solvency and market conduct.

“Susanne is well known throughout the insurance industry, both here in Florida and nationally. We are excited about the opportunity to bring her in-depth understanding of insurance regulation and Citizens Property Insurance Corporation to our team,” said Tim Meenan, managing partner of Meenan PA.

Meenan PA is one of the top law firms in the state specializing in insurance and stands for clients working in several areas of the sprawling industry. In addition to insurance regulatory clients in the property and casualty, life, and health insurance arenas, the firm aids clients in the state procurement, energy, health care, financial services, and medical marijuana industries.


Breaking overnight: Georgia Democrat Raphael Warnock wins runoff, re-elected to Senate” via Cameron McWhirter of The Wall Street Journal — Warnock won re-election in a Georgia runoff contest Tuesday, defeating GOP challenger Herschel Walker, who had been backed by Donald Trump. With 92% of the vote counted, Warnock had 50.4% to 49.6% for Walker. The contest is closely watched by both parties. Tuesday’s result will offer more clues to Georgia’s political direction after a series of hard-fought contests for Governor, Senator and President in recent election cycles. Warnock’s victory means that Democrats will control the Senate 51-49 starting in January, slightly increasing their hold on the chamber.


Just one tweet:


‘Avatar 2’ premieres — 9; Military Bowl with UCF Knights against Duke — 21; Cheez-It Bowl with FSU against Oklahoma — 22; final Broadway performance of ‘The Music Man’ with Hugh Jackman — 25; last day to ride Splash Mountain before remodeling — 46; The James Madison Institute’s Annual Dinner — 49; Bruce Springsteen launches 2023 tour in Tampa — 56; ‘Ant Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’ premieres — 72; final performance of ‘Phantom of the Opera’ on Broadway — 73; city of Tampa Municipal Election early voting begins — 82; ‘The Mandalorian’ returns — 84; Tampa Municipal Election — 90; 2023 Legislative Session convenes — 90; World Baseball Classic finals begin in Miami — 94; ‘John Wick: Chapter 4′ premieres — 107; Taylor Swift ‘Eras’ Tour in Tampa — 127; American Association of Political Consultants Pollies ’23 conference begins — 142; 2023 Session Sine Die — 149; ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ premieres — 149; ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ premieres — 177; Christopher Nolan’s ‘Oppenheimer’ premieres — 226; ‘‘Captain Marvel 2′ premieres — 233; Dune: Part Two’ premieres — 331; ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ Part 2 premieres — 478; ‘Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes’ premieres — 534; Opening Ceremony of the 2024 Olympic Games — 597; ‘Thunderbolts’ premieres — 597; ‘Blade’ reboot premieres — 639; ‘Deadpool 3’ premieres — 702; ‘Fantastic Four’ reboot premieres — 800; ‘Avengers: The Kang Dynasty’ premieres — 877. ‘Avengers: Secret Wars’ premieres — 1,066.

Sunburn is authored and assembled by Peter Schorsch, Phil Ammann, Daniel Dean, Renzo Downey, Jacob Ogles, and Drew Wilson.

The post Sunburn — The morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics — 12.7.22 appeared first on Florida Politics – Campaigns & Elections. Lobbying & Government..

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