St. Petersburg Times Online: News of Florida
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather
  • Four Escambia commissioners are indicted
  • Democrats decry timing of Bush proposal
  • Bush gets emotional at drug summit
  • School code bill finally okayed
  • Bush enters dispute over regulating banks, insurance

  • From the state wire

  • Hurricane Jeanne appears on track to hit Florida's east coast
  • Rumor mill working overtime after Florida hurricanes
  • Developments associated with Hurricanes Ivan and Jeanne
  • Four killed in Panhandle plane crash were on Ivan charity mission
  • Hurricane Frances caused estimated $4.4 billion in insured damage
  • Disabled want more handicapped-accessible voting machines
  • USF forces administrators to resign over test score changes
  • Man's death at Universal Studios ruled accidental
  • State child welfare workers in Miami fail to do background checks
  • Hurricane Jeanne heads toward southeast U.S. coast
  • Hurricane Jeanne spurs more anxiety for storm-weary Floridians
  • Mistrial declared in case where teen was target of racial "joke"
  • Panhandle utility wants sewer plant moved to higher ground
  • State employee arrested on theft, bribery charges
  • Homestead house fire kills four children, one adult
  • Pierson leader tries to cut off relief to local fern cutters
  • Florida's high court rules Terri's law unconstitutional
  • Jacksonville students punished for putting stripper pole in dorm
  • FEMA handling nearly 600,000 applications for help
  • Man who killed wife, niece, self also killed mother in 1971
  • Producer sues city over lead ball fired by Miami police
  • Tourism suffers across Florida after pummeling by hurricanes
  • Key dates in the life of Terri Schiavo
  • An excerpt from the unanimous ruling in the Schiavo case
  • Four confirmed dead after small plane crash in Panhandle
  • Correction: Disney-Cruise Line story

    printer version

    Bush enters dispute over regulating banks, insurance

    By LUCY MORGAN, Times Tallahassee Bureau Chief

    © St. Petersburg Times
    published May 1, 2002

    TALLAHASSEE -- Gov. Jeb Bush on Tuesday stepped into a legislative battle over regulating the state's banking and insurance industries in an effort to reach a compromise that has eluded legislators for three years.

    The governor's move occurred as members of a Senate committee approved a bill intended as a compromise but described by Senate Majority Leader Jim King as "fragile as eggshells."

    King urged a crowd that jammed a meeting of the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee to "stay out of it, just take a deep breath, get an adult beverage and maybe when you come back we'll have it worked out."

    A spokeswoman for Bush said the governor's staff will take all of the proposals offered by lawmakers and work with Comptroller Bob Milligan and Insurance Commissioner Tom Gallagher and legislative leaders to create a bill acceptable to all sides.

    Gallagher and Milligan, both Republicans, have filed to run for the new post of chief financial officer, which replaces their current posts.

    The prolonged and bitter debate between the House and Senate has mirrored a dispute between Milligan and Gallagher over how the new combined agency should be governed.

    Milligan and the House want the elected official who seeks campaign contributions insulated from those who regulate banking and insurance. Gallagher and the Senate contend that the elected official should be in charge of the regulators to make him more responsive to voters.

    Gallagher, long considered the GOP favorite for the office, already has collected $1.4-million to run for the job, but Milligan is so upset over the Legislature's indecision that he has announced plans to oppose Gallagher in the GOP primary in September.

    That would be a nightmare for the state's Republicans, who had hoped to talk Milligan into running for Congress.

    The new Senate bill approved Tuesday would require the appointment of division directors to regulate insurance and banking, with those directors to be appointed by the governor in consultation with the chief financial officer. They would also have to be unanimously approved by other Cabinet members.

    The bill would also repeal a current law that restricts campaign contributions to the insurance commissioner and comptroller from insurance companies and banking officials to $100, allowing candidates for chief finance officer to collect up to the $500 limit from anyone.

    Bill sponsor Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Palm Harbor, said the bill is similar to one lawmakers approved on the last night of the regular session in March. That deal fell apart when the House added some last-minute amendments.

    Latvala refused to discuss what, if any concessions, he has been willing to make in talks with the House and the governor's staff.

    "It's a fluid conversation," Latvala said. "Our agreement was we weren't going to talk about it."

    Back to State news
    Back to Top

    © 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
    490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
    Special Links
    Lucy Morgan

    From the Times state desk