Dear Fellow Floridians:
In my role as Chief Financial Officer, I am responsible for safeguarding
Florida’s companies and their employees by enforcing our state’s Workers’
Compensation insurance, required for the majority of Florida’s employers,
protects workers who have on-the-job accidents by providing medical treatment
for injuries and salary compensation for missed work. The law also protects
businesses from being sued for these incidents that occur on the job.
In an effort to further protect our businesses and employees from burdensome
regulations, I am working with the Florida Legislature to update Florida’s
Workers’ Compensation requirements. We are championing legislation that will
more appropriately penalize employers who do not have coverage while helping
them get back to work faster once they have obtained the required coverage and
come into compliance with Florida law.
Currently under Florida law, a stop-work order (SWO) is issued when an
employer does not have Workers’ Compensation coverage. A SWO requires the
company to shut down until the employer comes into compliance. Unfortunately, it
can take weeks for the employer to collect all of the required business records
necessary to receive their penalty amount, which stalls their business from
reopening even after it has obtained coverage.
Our proposed legislation will allow a company that pays a $1,000 down payment
toward their penalty and obtains Workers’ Compensation coverage to reopen.
Additionally, the legislation creates a lesser penalty for first-time offenders
and updates the SWO process by streamlining the administrative compliance
process, further allowing companies to reopen faster once their compliance
issues have been resolved.
When a business is closed, it isn’t making money and its employees aren’t
getting paid. The common sense measures proposed in Senate Bill 444 and House
Bill 271 will encourage Florida’s employers to comply with the law and better
protect employees from enduring costs associated with on-the-job injuries.
Florida is a national leader in the area of Workers’ Compensation compliance,
and we are a model for other states establishing their compliance processes.
This legislation will continue our leadership and our efforts to strike the
right balance between business growth and development and regulatory oversight.
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida
Accused of Defrauding More Than 270 Floridians, Weston Man Is Under Arrest
Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater announced the arrest of David Glincher,
47, of Weston, on charges of theft, white collar crime and fraud for allegedly
filing car insurance claims on behalf of consumers who were either unaware of
the filings or never received claim payouts. The Department of Financial
Services’ Division of
Insurance Fraud worked alongside the Broward County State Attorney to reveal an
elaborate scheme targeting more than 270 victims.
"I am proud of our investigators’ work to stop this fraudster from taking
advantage of any more Floridians," said CFO Atwater. "Insurance fraud drives up
costs for all Floridians, and we will not allow it to continue."
Glincher allegedly sent letters to victims of traffic accidents and
encouraged them to file claims through his company, Auto Loss Claims
Consultants, LLC (ALCC). Regardless of whether the victim completed the claim
form or discarded it, claims were still filed and funds were paid to ALCC by
various insurance companies without the knowledge of the victims.
The magnitude of this crime allowed Glincher to be charged with Aggravate
White Collar Crime – a seldom used first-degree felony. A review of bank
records, along with victim interviews, determined the total theft to be nearly
$300,000. Glincher was booked into the Broward County Jail and bond was set at
$29,500. If convicted, he faces up to 30 years in prison.
Florida Economic Briefs
Florida consumer confidence rises to post-recession high; signals
continued economic growth
Consumer confidence among Floridians rose three points in March to bring the
index to a level of 81, tying the mark set in May and June of last year.
Perception of personal finances now compared to a year ago rose 10 points to 73,
the highest it has been since August 2007. Furthermore, expectations of U.S.
economic conditions rose five points to 84.
Source: Bureau of Economic and Business Research
Florida existing single family home prices increase in February; inventory of
homes also rises
The median sale price of existing single family homes totaled $165,000, rising
1.5 percent over the month and 10 percent over the year. Meanwhile, months
supply of inventory, an estimate of the number of months it will take to deplete
the current inventory of homes, continued its upward trend to 5.7.
Source: Florida Realtors
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Florida’s Bottom Line. Inside, you’ll find expert insight on
Florida’s economy, finances, workforce and housing market in the year ahead.