New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 10, 1987, New Braunfels, Texas
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Senate insurance hearings begin
AUSTIN (AP) — Senators seeking an answer for rising liability insurance rates are considering a proposal to create a state insurance exchange that would operate similar to Lloyd’s of London.
The exchange, which would help finance liability insurance coverage in the state, was one of 37 bills presented the Senate Economic Development Committee on Monday.
“It's an idea we have been toying with for about three years,” Lyndon Olson, chairman of the State Board of Insurance.
I .ast week the committee heard testimony on six measures for proposed changes in civil justice procedures covering personal injury trials, which some say have brought on the insurance crisis.
One of the insurance measures, by Sen. Grant Jones, D-Temple, would create the Texas Insurance Exchange.
Another bill by Jones would allow life insurance companies to write reinsurance protection for liability insurance.
Still another, by Sen. Ted Lyon, D-Rockwall, would allow Texas banks to reinsure policies written by liability insurance firms.
Olson told the committee there has been a “very severe capacity for reinsurance” for the past two years.
“The problem, or one of the major problems, is in the area of reinsurance because reinsurers were predatory competitive as were the property and casualty insurers,” Olson said.
“You have to be extremely
careful of who you let write reinsurance,” he said.
Olson said New York, Illinois and Florida have insurance exchanges with varying degrees of success.
“The reinsurance exchange is an effort, not a panacea, not an overnight answer,” Olson said.
“Essentially the exchange is similar to syndicates with Lloyd’s of london. It would be an exchange that would provide syndicates for the assumption of reinsurance and in some instances write direct insurance," he said.
“It is an effort not to export our capital to necessarily foreign insurers,” Olson said.
Other proposals by Jones would allow non-profit associations to to form underwriting groups to
obtain liability insurance.
Sen. Kent Caperson, D-Bryan, offered a bill that would create the Texas Professional Liability Insurance Underwriting Association, to obtain group coverage for professional groups.
Caperton also offered a bill creating the office of insurance counsel to represent consumers before the State Board of Insurance.
Lyon had a bill that would create the Texas I-ocal Government Excess Liability Insurance Pool to reinsure liability insurance for cities and counties.
Sen. O.H. “Ike” Harris, chairman of the Senate committee, has said all measures on tort reform and insurance will go to subcommittees for further study.
Open container bill heads to House
Takeover surge lives after early breather
AUSTIN (AP) — The Senate has approved a bill to make it a minor crime to drink while driving, a measure favored by four out of every five Texans, according to bill sponsor Bill Sarpalius.
Although no one opposed Sarpalius’ bill, which was sent to the House on voice vote Monday, several senators questioned certain provisions.
Sarpalius, D-Amarillo, said tougher DWI laws enacted by the legislature in recent years have been credited with saving over 1.000 lives. But, he added, “The state of Texas will never get serious about drunk driving until we make it against the law to drink and drive, and that’s what this bill does.”
" It’s very simple. It only applies to the driver. An officer must observe an
individual consuming alcohol while that motor vehicle is moving,” Sarpalius said.
The bill would make it a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $200, for a person to consume alcohol while driving.
Sarpalius said passengers in the front or back seat could drink while the vehicle was moving. “There’s a time and a place to consume alcohol — behind the steering wheel driving down the road is not the time and place to do it,” Sarpalius said.
“I’m convinced that this bill will save lives in this state,” he said.
Sen. Bob Glasgow, D-Stephenville. said he was voting for the bill but he told Sarpalius he was punishing 95 percent of the people to get at 5 percent who have alcohol-related offenses.
“There’s less than 5 percent of the people you’re trying to solve a problem with. At the same time, what we’re doing is making it illegal for 95 percent of the people of Texas to do something which is legal and they don’t abuse,” Glasgow said. “You’re taking that right away from the good honest folks that don’t abuse it.”
Sarpalius said a similar bill had passed the Senate twice before but died in the House.
“We feel like we’ll have the speaker’s support ... and that ans changes in that bill will put it in jeopardy," Sarpalius said In other action Monday, the Senate approved and sent to the House bills that would:
— Allow cities to charge up to $10 to
dismiss a traffic violation after a person completes a defensive driving course.
Require a juvenile court to determine that there is “probable cause" that a child committed an alleged offense prior to transferring the case to a district court The Senate refused to debate a bill that would substitute a dental hygienist for a public member on the Suite Board of Dental Examiners The vote was 16-14. eight short of the total needl'd ti* consider the measure
NEW YORK (AP) - Takeovers are back.
Rebounding from an early year breather, merger-and-acquisition activity sizzled anew Monday with the announcement of seven major takeover proposals with a combined value of $5.4 billion.
Chrysler Corp. agreed to buy American Motors Corp., US Air Group • Inc. agreed to acquire Piedmont Aviation Inc., Allegheny International Inc. agreed to a buyout by the investment firm First Boston Corp. and New York developer Donald Trump agreed to purchase control of Resorts International Inc.
In addition, Caesars World Inc. received a takeover bid from money manager Martin T. Sosnoff. Supermarkets General Corp d~eu an unsolicited offer from Dart Group Corp. and Harper & Row Publishers Inc. got a buyout proposal from Theodore Cross, who founded and later sold a New Jersey book publishing company.
These proposals follow an investor group’s offer Friday to buy Taft Broadcasting Inc. for $1.35 billion, and the announcement by pnvateh held MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings Inc. of a possible bid to buy the twi> thirds of Revlon Group Inc it docs not already own for $720 million The burst of new offers appeared coincidental, and involved mosth friendly deals that seemed designed mostly for strategic reasons Chrysler, for example, sees AMI providing the additional production and distribution capacity it sought USAir wants Piedmont to help build
the major route system now seen as necessary to survive in the airline industry.
Even so, the surge brought to mind the frenetic deal-making of late 1986, when the end of the old tax law triggered an explosion of takeover attempts before the new law took effect Jan. I.
Suitors and their targets rushed to complete deals because the old tax law made many mergers less costly. And the capital gains from takeover-related stock trading by corporate raiders and other investors generally were taxed at a lower rate.
Many merger specialists correctly predicted a sharp drop in the pace of takeovers for at least the first few weeks of 1987. and noted that activity often slows early in the year as companies re-evaluate their holdings and goals
After 868 transactions worth a combined $42 6 billion closed in December, only 382 deals valued at $4.5 billion were completed in January, according to Mergers k Acquisitions magazine In February. 148 deals were closed Those deals were valued at $2 1 billion, an amount Die magazine said is likely to tie revised higher once more data are available
Takeovers were expected to dry up this year for several reasons Executives and investment bankers needed bine to study the new tax code, the roaring stock market made many companies too expensive for would-be acquirers, and business simply needed time t*» digest the
acquisitions in late 1986
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IO New Br.unf.ls, Texas Tuesday, March 10,1987
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