C F O Patronis'  Weekly Rundown newsletter
DFS Homepage | Past Issues | PDF Volume 15 | Number 10 | March 14, 2018

Dear Fellow Floridians:

I’ve seen first-hand how working together can lead to good policy changes for our state. During the 2018 Legislative Session, my office worked hand in hand with Floridians and legislative leaders to make changes to Florida laws so that they work better for our communities.

After hearing from our first responder community that PTSD was a challenge they face, together we fought hard so that they can now have access to mental health benefits. When the Equifax data breach impacted millions, together we made it easier for Floridians to protect themselves from fraud. My mission is to make Florida an even better place to live, work, and raise a family. Together with our legislative bill sponsors we passed meaningful policy changes to do just that.

Thank you for the constant feedback both via email and on social media. I am listening and will continue to listen.

Sincerely,

Jimmy
Jimmy Patronis
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida

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News of Interest

News4JAX: Law expanding PTSD benefits for first responders awaits governor's signature

News Service of Florida: Workers’ comp, health care bills go to Rick Scott

Orlando Sentinel: Pulse first responders hail passage of bill extending benefits for PTSD

WINK News: Florida House passes bill for first responder PTSD benefits

WMFE/NPR : Workers’ comp benefits for Florida first responders to include PTSD, Governor Says

Palm Beach Post: Point of view: AOB lawsuit-for-profit scheme can’t be ignored

Bradenton Herald: Six months after Irma: Gearing up for another big storm, praying it doesn’t come


Unanimous Support for First Responders, Consumers, and Florida's Military Community

Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis on Monday praised the Florida legislature for the unanimous support of his 2018 legislative priorities including fighting for first responders, protecting consumers from fraud, making Florida a more military friendly state, and streamlining and modernizing government.

CFO and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis stated, "After hearing from our first responder community, we fought hard so that they can now have access to mental health benefits. When the Equifax data breach impacted millions, we made it easier for Floridians to protect themselves from fraud. My mission is to make Florida an even better place to live, work, and raise a family. Laws on the books should work for our residents, not against them."

Key reforms advocated by CFO Patronis included the following:

Fighting for Our First Responders
Senate Bill 376: CFO Patronis’ top priority was to increase access to mental health benefits for Florida’s first responders. This legislation allows first responders to file a workers’ compensation claim for a mental injury without an accompanying physical injury.

Protecting Florida Consumers from Fraud
House Bill 953: CFO Patronis fought to make it easier for Floridians to protect themselves from fraud. This legislation eliminates the fee that credit reporting agencies were allowed to charge for Floridians to freeze their credit.

Making Florida More Military Friendly
House Bill 29: CFO Patronis worked to make it easier for members of the U.S. Armed Forces, their spouses and honorably discharged veterans to take charge of their economic futures by removing certain licensing and training fees for the Division of Funeral, Cemetery and Consumer Services, the Division of Insurance Agent and Agency Services, and the Division of State Fire Marshal.

Streamlining Government
House Bill 1073: CFO Patronis worked to modernize the Department of Financial Services (DFS) and better protect Florida consumers. This legislation includes streamlining the appointment process for non-resident adjustors and providing a pathway for better communication between local governments and DFS. Additionally, the bill reduces regulatory costs for licensees.

Returning Every Cent of Unclaimed Property
House Bill 1361: CFO Patronis’ mission is to return unclaimed property back to its rightful owners, but it can be difficult if account information submitted is incomplete. This legislation includes uniform standards for account information provided to CFO Patronis’ Division of Unclaimed Property from local Clerks of Court.


Florida Economic Briefs

Small Business Optimism Up Again
The National Federation of Independent Businesses reports its February Index of Small Business Optimism increased .7 points to a total of 107.6. This is the second highest level in its 45-year history. Some of the components driving the rising score were lower anticipated taxes, greater anticipated capital expenditures, and higher retail sales expectations.
Source: The National Federation of Independent Businesses

U.S. Consumer Price Index Up Modestly
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the Consumer Price Index increased .2 percent in February creating a 2.2 percent annualized rate. Some of the components driving the increase include shelter, apparel, and motor vehicle insurance costs.
Source: The Bureau of Labor Statistics

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