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Consumer Protection Coalition launches ad on Assignment of Benefits claims

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The Consumer Protection Coalition launched a radio and television ad campaign Monday to warn homeowners of how Assignment of Benefits abuse could cause insurance rates to skyrocket in Florida. Assignment of Benefits, or AOB, is a system where homeowners can sign over their insurance policy to a contractor or lawyer in exchange for a quick repair. Often, AOB claims are costlier and many end up in court in order to get insurers to pay up. The coalition includes several insurance…

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Joe Negron adds to committees’ strength during Dorothy Hukill’s recovery

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While Sen. Dorothy Hukill recovers from cervical cancer, Senate President Joe Negron has named additional members to committees on which she serves. In a memo dated Tuesday, Negron said Sen. Anitere Flores will help out in the Education Committee, which Hukill leads. “Sen. Hukill will remain the chair of the Committee on Education,” Negron aide Katie Betta said. “Under the Senate rules, the chair designates a senator on the committee to serve in her absence on a week by week basis.” Appropriations chairman Jack Latvala takes a seat on the budget Subcommittee on the Environment and Natural Resources.…

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Wall Street Journal op-ed highlights assignment of benefits abuse

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An op-ed in The Wall Street Journal Tuesday called out the assignment of benefits (AOB) system in Florida, saying the abuse of AOB by trial lawyers will get Florida taxpayers “whacked with Category 5 bills.” “Florida homeowners already face risks from hurricanes, hail storms and other natural phenomena,” the article states. “Do they need to face the unnatural disaster known as plaintiff’s attorneys too?” AOB is a system where homeowners can sign over the rights to their insurance policy after a…

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Latest on the legislative staffing merry-go-round

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With a tip of the hat to LobbyTools, here are the latest movements – both on and off – of the legislative merry-go-round. On: House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee has brought on budget analyst Bryan Mielke, formerly a legislative assistant for Sebring Republican Rep. Cary Pigman. On: Brandon Miller is replacing Mielke as Pigman’s legislative assistant. On: Daniel Brackett is a new attorney for the House Careers & Competition Subcommittee. On: Angelique Rinaldi is the new legislative assistant for Port Orange…

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Dorothy Hukill extends legislative absence as she fights cancer

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State Sen. Dorothy Hukill will be absent from the upcoming committee week as she continues her battle against cervical cancer, a Senate spokeswoman said Thursday. “We expect her to return within a few weeks,” Katie Betta told FloridaPolitics.com. “Until then, she will remain engaged in the legislative process by working remotely as she continues her treatment and recovery.” The Port Orange Republican disclosed her condition last November in a letter to Senate President Joe Negron. “I am fortunate that it (is) in the early stages and…

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Facebook again hires Sebastian Aleksander for 2017 session

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Social networking platform Facebook has again hired Sebastian Aleksander for the 2017 Legislative Session, lobbyist registration records reviewed Tuesday. This makes the third year in a row that Aleksander will have represented the social media behemoth, based in Menlo Park, California. Among other major websites, he also represents Yahoo! Inc., records show. Facebook’s last significant interest in Florida legislation was a “digital assets” bill backed by state Sen. Dorothy Hukill, a Port Orange Republican. It was aimed at ensuring that a person could designate control…

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Dorothy Hukill undergoing treatment for cancer

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State Sen. Dorothy Hukill says she has been diagnosed with cervical cancer and is undergoing treatment. Hukill, a Port Orange Republican, disclosed her condition Monday in a letter to Senate President-designate Joe Negron, asking to be excused from Tuesday’s Organization Session. “I am fortunate that it (is) in the early stages and my medical team advises that my prognosis for full recovery is good,” she wrote. According to the American Cancer Society, “if detected early, cervical cancer is one of the most…

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