FLORIDA CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER ALEX SINK'S WEEKLY
Volume 4, Number 45, November 9, 2007
This week, CFO Sink traveled to the United Kingdom as a guest of the British
government at the invitation of Consul General Keith Allan of Miami. Both
England and Scotland are world leaders in studying and preparing for the
risks and opportunities presented by climate change.
“In a relatively short amount of time there has been tremendous progress
in Florida, which is showing the world that action to tackle climate change
is happening in the United States,” said Consul General Allan.
While overseas, CFO Sink also met with reinsurance executives to discuss her
plan to reform Florida’s Hurricane Catastrophe Fund and expand the role of
private reinsurance in Florida. Additionally, CFO Sink met with economic
organizations in England and Scotland and the London office of Enterprise
Florida to explore trade and investment opportunities between Florida and
the United Kingdom.
You can see pictures from CFO Sink’s trip to
the United Kingdom here.
REP. FITZGERALD DELIVERS $5,000 CHECK
FROM THE MY SAFE FLORIDA HOME PROGRAM TO SARASOTA RESIDENT
On behalf of Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink and the My Safe
Florida Home (MSFH) program, Representative Keith Fitzgerald (D-Sarasota)
personally delivered a matching grant reimbursement for $5,000 to a Sarasota
homeowner who hardened her home through the state’s MSFH program. At the
event today, Rep. Fitzgerald discussed the financial and safety incentives
available through the MSFH program and encouraged more homeowners in the
area to sign up for the program’s free wind inspections.
“Mitigation is the best way to protect your home. It will reduce the state’s
exposure to hurricane damage and it can result in savings on your wind
insurance premium,” said CFO Sink, who oversees the Department of Financial
Services. “I encourage more Floridians to follow Howard Houle’s lead and
sign up for free wind inspections through the My Safe Florida Home program.”
Howard Houle, a 57-year-old resident of Sarasota, received a grant
reimbursement Monday after hardening his homes opening protections. After
having his home inspected by a MSFH inspector, Houle received a report
indicating that hardening all of his home’s window and door openings would
help strengthen his home to hurricanes. Based on information from his
inspection report, Houle made $15,700 worth of improvements on his home.
"The My Safe Florida Home Program is an important incentive for homeowners
to protect their homes from hurricane damage," said Representative
Fitzgerald. "The program has not always worked smoothly in the past, but it
is important for people to know that the state has worked out many of the
initial problems. This important benefit is there for them if they qualify.
We all benefit when our neighbors harden their homes from storms because
doing so lowers insurance rates and adds to public safety."
To date, the program has reimbursed 79 homeowners in Sarasota County for a
total of $254,081.82. In Manatee County, the program has reimbursed 52
homeowners for a total cost of $167,587.53. Currently there are 383
homeowners in Sarasota County hardening their homes through the MSFH
program. In Manatee County, 313 homeowners are hardening their homes through
the MSFH program. These homeowners are being reimbursed for half the cost up
to $5,000 on a variety of home improvements, including hurricane shutters,
reinforced garage doors and bracing gable ends.
Any Floridian who lives in a single-family, site-built home is eligible for
a free wind inspection through the program. Floridians can apply on-line at
by calling the program toll-free at 1-866-513-6734. Homeowners who receive
free wind inspections through the MSFH program will get a detailed
inspection report, complete with additional eligibility information on
matching grants and estimated insurance premium discounts, if the homeowner
In order to be eligible for the program’s matching grant reimbursements of
up to $5,000, the Legislature requires that homeowners meet the following
requirements: have received a completed wind inspection after May 1, 2007;
live in a single-family, site-built home built before March 1, 2002; have a
valid homestead exemption; have an insured value of $300,000 or less; and be
located in the wind-borne debris region.
Additionally, while the free wind inspections will still cover seven
potential wind-resistance improvements, matching grants may only be applied
to opening protections, including windows, exterior doors and garage doors,
as well as the bracing of gable ends.
FINANCIAL LITERACY COUNCIL TO CONVENE
SIXTH MEETING IN MIAMI ON WEDNESDAY
In an ongoing effort to increase financial literacy and help Floridians make
better financial decisions, Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink
announced that the Financial Literacy Council will convene its sixth meeting
in Miami. The meeting will be held from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Wednesday,
November 14, 2007, at the United Way of Miami-Dade in the Ansin Building.
At Wednesday’s meeting, the council will discuss the content of the annual
report due to the Governor and Florida Legislature on January 1, 2008, as
well as hear presentations from the following groups; Acción USA Florida,
CompuCredit Corporation, Miami Saves, and the Human Services Coalition.
The sixth meeting of the Financial Literacy Council will be as follows:
November 14, 2007
TIME: 9:00 a.m.
– 2:00 p.m.
LOCATION: United Way of Miami-Dade
The Ansin Building
3250 SW 3rd Ave
Miami, FL 33129
The council, authorized in 2006 by House Bill 825, was created to study the
financial problems that affect consumers, particularly young persons,
seniors, working adults and small business owners, which arise from a lack
of basic knowledge of financial issues. The council will also develop
recommendations to aid the Department of Financial Services in developing
programs and resources aimed at increasing financial literacy among
The following are the Financial Literacy Council members: Paul Auslander,
CFP, President, American Financial Advisors; Liana Fernandez Fox, Ph.D.,
Professor, Hillsborough Community College; Richard George, President, Junior
Achievement of West Central Florida; Cassandra J. Grayson, Sr. Vice
President, Administration, Florida Credit Union League; Doug Heinlen, Member
of Florida Executive Council, American Association of Retired Persons;
Deidre Newton, President and CEO, Community Real Estate Services, Inc.;
Chair Obdulio Piedra, Miami-Dade Market President, Great Florida Bank; Dulce
M. Suarez-Resnick, Senior Account Manager, HBA Insurance Group.
For more information regarding the Financial Literacy Council please visit
CFO SINK AND
COMMISSIONER BRONSON TO HOST FINAL WORKSHOP “CONVERSATIONS ON CLIMATE
Third Conversation to Focus on the Financial Impacts of Climate Change
Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink and Commissioner of Agriculture
Charles Bronson will host the final in a series of “Conversations on Climate
Change,” on November 13, 2007, at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday’s workshop, set to
begin after the Florida Cabinet meeting, is titled Climate Change: The
CFO Sink and Commissioner Bronson have partnered to host a series of four
climate change workshops, each featuring new topics and national experts in
areas such as: the science of rising sea levels, renewable energy sources,
carbon offset and pricing, the impact of climate change on the insurance and
financial industries, and more. The sessions will also give elected
officials, business leaders and Floridians the opportunity to understand how
these challenges and potential solutions present opportunities for the
growth of new industries in our state.
Guest speakers at the workshop will include:
Mindy Lubber, President of Ceres
Lewis Milford, President of Clean Energy States Alliance
Dr. Robert Muir-Wood, Chief Research Officer of Risk Management
By logging onto
www.floridaclimatechange.com, Floridians can learn about climate change,
review the meeting dates and agendas for the conversations, watch a Web cast
of Wednesday’s workshop, and read about initiatives in other states.
STATE FIRE MARSHAL’S OFFICE ANNOUNCES
13TH ANNUAL GREAT FLORIDA FIRE SCHOOL
Firefighters from throughout Florida converged this week in the Central
Florida community of Avon Park to receive the latest training on
firefighting and investigative techniques to help them prepare for potential
disaster, whether manmade or natural.
Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, who also serves as State Fire Marshal and
oversees the Florida State Fire College, said the 13th Annual Great Florida
Fire School will help Florida’s firefighters access ongoing training they
need to better protect their communities and themselves. The classes began
on Wednesday, November 7, 2007, and continue through Sunday, November 11,
2007. Most events will be held at the South Florida Community College, just
south of downtown Avon Park.
“We are committed to ensuring Florida’s emergency responders have access to
the best and most up-to-date training and information to accomplish their
work successfully and safely,” said CFO Sink.
Classes were offered in rural water supply, water rescue and survival,
Extreme Extrication, and a Saturday/Sunday round robin event involving
flashover, structural collapse, and confined space rescue. Special vehicles
will be brought in from the Florida State Fire College, Naples Fire
Department, and Indian River Community College for the round robin. For a
complete list of activities and classes, log on to
The Great Florida Fire School began 13 years ago and has been an annual
event. It has traveled through a number of locations in the state and this
is the fourth year that it will be held in Avon Park. This year’s fire
school is a cooperative effort of the Department of Financial Services, the
State Fire Marshal’s Office, the Florida State Fire College, The Florida
State Firefighter’s Association, The South Florida Community College, the
local area Fire Chief’s Associations, the Florida Division of Forestry, the
Convention & Visitors Bureau of Highlands County, Avon Park Chamber of
Commerce and the Highlands County Board of County Commissioners.
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