Arizona — Rideshare Compromise Bill
Prescott Republican Rep. Karen Fann worked hard to put together a compromise between the taxi industry and rideshare companies and got it passed in the Arizona House.
It’s now in the Senate and was passed by the Senate Financial Institutions Committee but experts on the topic think before it’ll pass the whole Senate some changes will have to be made.
The bill — supported by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey — requires drug testing by rideshare firm drivers, a no-tolerance policy for those testing positive, registering drivers and vehicles and requiring proper insurance.
Fann agrees the bill will need tweaking and that it was rushed through the House before it was finished because of budget issues and that one of the major debates will be insurance.
Source link: AZCentral.com
California — Diversity Task Force
California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones has set up the 2015-2016 Insurance Diversity Task Force. It is charged with ways to increase diversity in procurement and governing boards in the insurance industry and to make recommendations on which way to go to the commissioner and the insurance division.
The Diversity Task Force will also make recommendations on laws that need changed or modified.
These are the Task force members are:
• California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones
• Linda Akutagawa: President and CEO of leadership education for Asian Pacifics Inc. Akutagawa.
• Danielle Beavers: Economic equity program manager at The Greenlining Institute.
• Robin Billups: Director of business development at the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council.
• Janice Brown: Owner and founder of Brown Law Group.
• Pat Fong Kushida: President and CEO of the Sacramento Asian-Pacific Chamber of Commerce and president and CEO of the California Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce.
• Melinda Guzman: CEO of the Melinda Guzman Professional Corp.
• Craig Holden: Senior partner and chairman of the National Commercial Litigation Department for the law firm of Lewis, Brisbois, Bisgaard & Smith.
• Ramon Jones: Regional vice president of Nationwide Insurance.
• Michael Keeley: President and CEO of MGK Risk and Insurance Services.
• Mark Morales: Vice president of the U.S. Small Business Administration division of HomeStreet Bank and co-owner of Charles Jacobsen.
• Salvador Peinado, Jr.: Senior supplier and diversity and innovation advisor at CSAA Insurance Exchange.
• Cathy Schwamberger: Associate general counsel for State Farm.
• Melanie Shelby: Managing director at Gray, Greer, Shelby & Vaughn LLC.
• Randy Sinnott: Founding partner of Sinnott, Puebla, Campagne & Curet.
• Scott Syphax: President and CEO of The Nehemiah Cos.
California — Lyft Lawsuit
Hundreds of drivers for Lyft — the ridesharing firm — have filed a lawsuit saying the company cheated them out of $1,000 bonuses. The total dollar amount the drivers claim they were cheated out of is $5 million.
The suit is for breach of contract.
The plaintiffs claim Lyft tried to recruit new drivers by offering $1,000 bonuses to current drivers that referred new drivers and to new drivers applying to be drivers by February 25th.
Though the suit is filed in San Fransisco, the allegedly affected drivers are from Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle and Washington, D.C.
Source link: insurancejournal.com
Idaho — Fraud Sentence
Robert MacNeilage of Idaho Falls has been sentenced to two to eight years for insurance fraud. He told Progressive Insurance that his 2013 BMW and 2002 Ford pickup were damaged in accidents.
It turned out not to be true.
As part of the sentence he’ll do a treatment and education program at a minimum security prison. When that’s done the judge will determine whether or not he has to serve his entire sentence.
Montana — Former Miss Montana Sentenced
Former Miss Montana USA Christin Didier was found guilty in March of 2013 of conspiracy to defraud her insurance company and of mail fraud.
Didier will pay $213,000 in restitution and will serve five-years on probation.
She claimed to live in a mansion-like five-bedroom home with a pool at a cost of $15,000 a month while repairs were being made to her historic mansion were being made. That turned out to be a lie. She lived in a small cabin while collecting close to $123,000 in living expenses.
Source link: InsuranceJournal.com
Washington — The Legislature Bill Deadline Passes
This from PIA Washington Lobbyist Mel Sorensen.
Now more than half over, the 2015 Legislative Session passed a key deadline this week, and the result is that dozens of bills will receive no further consideration this year. Pursuant to the cut-off resolution approved by the House and Senate at the beginning of the 2015 Legislative Session, bills not passed in the house of origin by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 11 will receive no further consideration this year. Dozens of bills failed to meet Wednesday’s deadline.
With the passing of the cross-over cutoff, legislative committees will begin hearings once again. House committees will begin to consider measures passed by the Senate and Senate committees will begin to consider measures passed by the House. Under the cut-off resolution, committees have until Wednesday, April 1 to approve measures. Budget bills, and measures necessary to implement the budget, are exempt from the cut-off timelines.
In addition to committee work, members of the House and Senate will be focused on budget issues this week, as the updated state revenue forecast was released on Wednesday, March 11. Indications suggest that Washington’s economy has been strongly adding new jobs. The forecast indicates that revenue collections were $16.7 million higher than the February forecast. The remainder of the 2015 Legislative Session will be focused on how budget writers reach a spending deal for the 2015-’17 biennium. Revenue projections indicate that the state will have nearly $3 billion in additional revenue for the next biennium just based on the growth of the economy—an 8.6% increase in revenue as compared with the current revenue for the current biennium. The question is whether this increase will be sufficient to meet the increases in education funding necessary due to last year’s decision by the State Supreme Court in the McCleary case. House Democrats have indicated that they will release a budget plan on Monday, March 23.
The House Business & Financial Services Committee voted in support of a “Do Pass” recommendation for ESB 5471, sending the measure to the House Rules Committee. Prior to passage, the committee adopted an amendment to restore some language that was inadvertently omitted by the Code Reviser’s Office when the amendment for the bill was being prepared for the Senate floor. The amendment was not controversial, and all stakeholders checked off on restoring the language. Approval of the bill came on Wednesday, March 18, just one day after the bill was considered at hearing on Tuesday, March 17. ESB 5471 has already been passed by the Senate on a sweeping vote of 48-1. The Senate was able to bring the measure to a vote on the Senate floor after PCI and other insurers finalized agreement on key amendments to the model e-commerce legislation with the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America and the Office of the Insurance Commissioner.
The measure is closely modeled after the Federal Uniform Electronic Transaction Act, and would specifically authorize insurers to conduct business with policyholders over the internet, subject to the consent of each policyholder. The proposal also includes a section that would allow an insurer to post generic policy forms and endorsements on a publicly-available website in lieu of mailing paper documents to policyholders, subject to the consent of each policyholder.
A companion bill in the House—HB 1329—was approved by the House Business and Financial Services Committee, but the measure killed in the House Rules Committee after the Senate took action to approve ESB 5471. It is not uncommon for a companion bill to be held after the same measure has been passed by the other House. With time running short before Wednesday’s crossover cutoff, House leaders simply decided to focus on the Senate-passed bill now that it has been referred to the House Business & Financial Services Committee. HB 1329 was left behind at Wednesday’s cutoff, allowing limited House floor time to be devoted to other measures.
When the bills were considered at hearings earlier this session, PCI and the American Council of Life Insurers, together with Progressive Insurance testified in support of the bill. Also testifying in support of the bills were the Office of the Insurance Commissioner and the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of Washington.