Volume 4 Number 47
November 23, 2007

Fellow Floridian:

As we gather with friends and family this Thanksgiving holiday, we have much to be thankful for this year. This traditional day in America is an opportunity for us give thanks for all of the benefits of this land of plenty.

President John F. Kennedy once said: “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”  Truly, the joys of living in our beautiful state and in a free and generous nation are endless, and so are the opportunities to express them.

Let us give thanks to those who have served and who currently serve in our armed forces so that we may enjoy our many blessings and opportunities. Let us also take time to thank those around us for all that they do – whether it is teaching our children, providing medical care to the sick, volunteering at a homeless shelter, or driving goods from coast to coast. It takes all of us to make and keep our great country strong.

Best wishes for a safe and happy holiday.


 

 

CFO ALEX SINK ANNOUNCES RICHARD ROBLETO AS NEW HEALTHY KIDS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, who also serves as the chair of the Healthy Kids Board, announced the Board has appointed Richard Robleto as the new Executive Director of the Florida Healthy Kids Corporation.

“This is an exciting day for the Healthy Kids program,” said CFO Sink, who oversees the Department of Financial Services. “Under Rich’s proven leadership, I am confident that more of Florida’s children will receive the affordable health care they deserve.”

Before his appointment, Robleto served as Executive Vice President of the Florida Association of Health Plans (FAHP). Robleto also worked for the Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) and the former Department of Insurance for eight years, where he served as the Deputy Commissioner of Life and Health Insurance and the Bureau Chief of Life and Health Product Review. While at the OIR, Robleto received national recognition as outstanding regulator of the year. Before moving to Florida, Robleto spent 26 years at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Delaware, serving as Vice President of the Corporation and General Manager of its Life Insurance subsidiary and Vice President.  CONTINUED
 

 

 

 

 

CFO SINK REPORTS SUBPRIME RISK TO STATE TREASURY IS MINIMAL
Sink ordered an analysis of subprime risk in Treasury funds earlier this month

Two weeks after calling for an in-depth analysis on how the collapse of the subprime mortgage market might affect Florida’s Treasury investments, Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink reported that the Treasury maintains a diversified bond portfolio with minimal subprime exposure.

CFO Sink called for the Treasury’s investment analysis after meeting with senior executives from Wall Street investment firms and witnessing rating agencies down-grading several mortgage-backed securities previously rated as high as AAA.

“As the manager of the state Treasury with $24 billion in investments, I want to ensure we are safeguarding the taxpayers’ money,” said CFO Sink, who oversees of the Department of Financial Services. “During the past two weeks, we’ve examined every subprime-related investment and concluded the risk to the state’s Treasury investments is minimal.”  CONTINUED
 
  CFO SINK: AROUND THE STATE

Greater Largo Library Foundation President and long-time friend Lynn Pippenger, where the Largo Chamber forum was held.
 

Largo library volunteer Jean Mowbray greets the CFO.

Tasting new  products at the Publix plant.

Former Rep. Allan Bense and CFO Sink in discussion at Enterprise Florida roundtable in Cape Canaveral.
   

Addressing the Largo/Mid-Pinellas Chamber forum,
CFO Sink urges fiscal caution in 2008.

   

CFO Sink talks to the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce, with Maureen Shaw, at left, past president of the chamber.

   
A visit and tour of the Publix Dairy Plant in Lakeland.

FLORIDA CHANNEL DISCUSSION FEATURES CFO

Public television stations across the state will air Beth Switzer's Florida Face to Face interview with guest CFO Alex Sink about a variety of issues of interest to Floridians. Please check the following schedule for the station and time in your area.



 

 

17,497 MORE CHILDREN INSURED
State agency-backed campaign boosts KidCare enrollment
during the month of October

The ongoing community campaign to reach families with uninsured children is working to boost enrollment in Florida KidCare. During the month of October, 17,497 more children were covered. Florida KidCare currently serves nearly 1.4 million children, of which 1.1 million are Medicaid customers and more than 255,000 are enrolled in MediKids, Children’s Medical Services or Healthy Kids. Children enrolled in these programs receive regular doctor visits, dental check-ups and immunizations at little to no cost.

“The significant increase in enrollment shows that a sustained statewide outreach effort is important and necessary to get more kids insured through KidCare,” said Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, who chairs the Healthy Kids board. “This is a vital program, and we are going to continue our grassroots approach to promoting KidCare and helping families enroll in the program. Our goal is to get as many uninsured children into the program as possible.”  CONTINUED
 


 
 
 
 
 
 

RETIRED FIREFIGHTERS TOUR FLORIDA STATE FIRE COLLEGE CAMPUS

Twenty-two retired firefighters and EMS workers from The Villages, Florida came to the Fire College by bus on November 15, 2007, to tour the campus and look at some of the new technology. The visit started in the auditorium for a welcome by Chief Dave Casey. His slide presentation of “do you remember when” was quite a hit.



Everyone got a good laugh when Chief Casey asked if they remembered following their officer into a fire and being able to see where he was by his lit cigarette. Of course in the standards of today, inside the fire the officer would be wearing full gear including self contained breathing apparatus and fewer firefighters are smoking these days. They took a tour of the outside facilities including the Haz Mat field, Urban Search and Rescue, and vehicle extrication just before a luncheon in the fire station.  CONTINUED


 

 

IRS Web site link

YOU CAN HELP STOP EMAIL SCAMS

Have you been solicited by email asking you to give your money to a charity that sounds like it will help a noble cause? You should verify before you buy into the idea that you are helping some good cause with your donation. Here's why - The latest fraud was reported by the IRS, warning taxpayers to be on the lookout for a new e-mail scam that appears to be a solicitation from the IRS and the U.S. government for charitable contributions to victims of the recent Southern California wildfires.

The scam e-mail urges recipients to click on a link, which then opens what appears to be the IRS Web site but which is, in fact, a fake. An item on the phony Web site urges donations and includes a link that opens a donation form which requests your personal and financial information. Be aware that the IRS does not send e-mails soliciting charitable donations! As a rule, the IRS does not send unsolicited e-mails or ask for personal and financial information via e-mail. The IRS never asks people for the PIN numbers, passwords or similar secret access information for their credit card, bank or other financial accounts. CONTINUED
 

DON'T BECOME  A VICTIM OF CHARITY FRAUD

It is getting to be that time of year again. This is the season of giving, and many people are considering making charitable donations. Nobody wants to waste their money by donating to a scam. Here are some tips to remember.

Beware of “look-alike charities” which may have a very similar name as a large established charity. Be careful so you are not fooled into thinking that you have donated to a legitimate charity instead of to a bogus charity that is not legitimate.

There is a free resource in Florida that provides excellent information designed to help guide you in making your decision. If you wish to make a contribution, be a smart financial consumer by getting the facts. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DOAC) provides detailed financial information about the charitable organization’s use of donated money. CONTINUED