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BP claims czar agrees to appear before House committee

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011 by Dara Kam

BP claims czar Ken Feinberg will appear before the House Economic Affairs Committee on Feb. 18, his office confirmed to committee chairwoman Dorothy Hukill.

Hukill, R-Port Orange, and other lawmakers want Feinberg to explain why tens of thousands of Florida business owners, most of them in the Panhandle, are having so much trouble having their claims paid after the massive oil spill last spring created an economic catastrophe in the region.

Feinberg, in charge of the $20 billion Gulf Coast Claims Facility, has been the target of attack by numerous lawyer, lawmakers, Florida residents, and, most recently, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, who’s demanding a White House investigation into Feinberg’s process.

Among the complaints: applicants are paid a fraction of what they believe they should receive, with no explanation; individuals are unable to speak with anyone directly about the details of their claims or where they are in the process; a seemingly willy-nilly approach to payment of claims that are nearly identical.

Feinberg insists he’s doing the best he can with the more than half million claims he’s received, and he continues to promise to improve his system.

The public can comment on Feinberg’s draft protocols, released last week, for handling interim and final payments by e-mailing:

The methodology for determining eligibility and payment can be viewed here.

First committee week offers fundraising grab bag

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010 by Dara Kam

Fresh from the elections last month, a brand-new crop of lawmakers and their more experienced colleagues swarmed the Capitol this week for their first round of committee meetings, some popcorn and, for some, a little campaign swag.

As usual, committee weeks offer an opportunity for candidates – however recently elected to their current posts – to raise money for future campaigns.

Rep. Dorothy Hukill, reelected to her final two-years in the House last month, is holding a fundraiser for her 2012 state Senate run at the Governor’s Club tomorrow evening. Hukill, a Port Orange lawyer, is chairwoman of the Economic Affairs Committee, where she’ll likely be taking up much of the House’s pro-business proposals.

Later today, the GOP-dominated legislature will head to a local movie theater for a viewing of “Waiting for Superman,” a documentary that sings the praises of charter schools.

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