Monthly Archives: July 2011

Fighting Fire with Money

Los Angeles Times

It’s about time that residents of wilderness-adjacent areas in California pay a fee for the cost of fighting wildfires. They’ve been subsidized by all residents for too long.

If people whose homes border wilderness areas paid the real expenses for their way of life, the bill would be daunting. Maintaining a local fire crew capable of defending those homes against catastrophic wildfire is more than municipalities can manage. So taxpayers throughout the state have been picking up most of the tab by paying for Cal Fire, the state firefighting force that has primary responsibility for responding to blazes in wildfire-prone areas and brings in big, expensive equipment such
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California Surplus Lines Bill signed Into Law

By Andrea Wells  Insurance Journal

California passed legislation this week that will allow the state to implement provisions in a new federal surplus lines insurance law.

The federal Nonadmitted and Reinsurance Reform Act of 2010 (NRRA), which becomes effective on July 21, 2011, requires states to make changes in their laws involving surplus lines taxes.

Assembly Bill 315 was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown last Friday. The new law is the California Department of Insurance’s proposal to implement the NRRA, and was supported in large part by the surplus lines industry.

Under AB 315, only the “insured’s home state” may tax surplus lines premium and regulate surplus lines transactions. Surplus line brokers in California
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SF To Shutter Courtrooms; Lay Off 200 Workers

KTVU

SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco Superior Court announced Monday that it’s laying off more than 40 percent of its staff and shuttering 25 courtrooms because of budget cuts.

Presiding Judge Katherine Feinstein said the actions were necessary to close a $13.75 million budget deficit caused by state budget cuts. She said the cuts mean it will take many more hours to pay a traffic ticket in person, up to 18 months to finalize a divorce and five years for a lawsuit to go to trial.

“The civil justice system in San Francisco is collapsing,” Feinstein said.

Some 200 of the court’s 480 workers will be let go by Sept. 30, including 11
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State Farm Claims Data: Grandparents Safer Drivers than Mom and Dad

By Lindsey Tanner  Property Casualty 360

HICAGO (AP) — Kids may be safest in cars when grandma or grandpa are driving instead of mom or dad, according to study results that even made the researchers do a double-take.

“We were surprised to discover that the injury rate was considerably lower in crashes where grandparents were the drivers,” said Dr. Fred Henretig, an emergency medicine specialist at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the study’s lead author.

Previous evidence indicates that car crashes are more common in older drivers, mostly those beyond age 65. The study looked at injuries rather than who had more crashes, and found that children’s risk for injury was 50 percent
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