Volume 5 Number 16
April 18, 2008
Dateline NBC aired an eye-opening
report last week on unscrupulous insurance agents taking advantage of seniors—an issue
that continues to affect Floridians. A growing number of Florida seniors are
persuaded to purchase life insurance or annuity products that are harmful or
On Monday, April 21, at
10:00 a.m. CFO Sink, AARP, and the University of South Florida will host the
first annual Florida Summit on Financial Security. Chief Financial
Officer Alex Sink will discuss her legislation to increase criminal penalties for using
deceptive and misleading life insurance and annuities sales practices
against seniors and the mentally disabled.
CFO Sink will be joined by AARP Florida State Director Lori
Parham, AARP Director of Issues Agenda and Financial Security Jean Setzfand,
a representative from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA),
and consumer services representatives from the Department of Financial
Services, who will assist audience members with specific questions.
All are invited to attend this free event in Tampa.
For more information on the Financial Security Summit, contact AARP at
SFM Division Director Les Hallman congratulates
fire service personnel from all over Florida.
CFO AND STATE FIRE MARSHAL ALEX SINK PRESENTS FIRE
Florida Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Alex
Sink this week recognized the Coral Springs Fire Academy and
honored 10 fire and rescue service personnel for exceptional
dedication to fire and rescue services during the past year.
CFO Sink presented each honoree with an individual
resolution signed by Governor Charlie Crist and members of
the Cabinet at Monday evening’s Fire Service Awards
ceremony. The honorees were also recognized jointly at
Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting in the Capitol.
“Every day, brave firefighters across the state risk their
lives to protect Florida’s families,” said CFO Sink. “Today,
we honor the men and women who went above and beyond the
call of duty and exemplify a deep commitment to their
In addition to honoring these individuals, the Florida
Cabinet designated April 13-19, 2008, as Florida Firefighter
Appreciation Week. During the week, Florida’s firefighters
and paramedics are recognized for efforts to raise funds for
the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Last year, Florida’s
firefighters raised a record amount-- nearly $2.6 million--
during their annual “Fill the Boot” campaign.
CFO Sink presented the following Fire
||Florida Firefighter of the Year-- Martha Scott,
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue
CFO SINK DISCUSSES TOP ISSUES ON FLORIDA
FACE TO FACE
Guests: Alex Sink, Florida's Chief
Financial Officer and
Kevin McCarty, Commissioner, Office of Insurance Regulation
Topics: Originally broadcast on
April 10, host Beth Switzer talks with CFO Sink about legislation to fight
annuity fraud among Florida's seniors. The CFO also discusses Florida's
Catastrophe Fund and Citizens Property Insurance Company. Commissioner
McCarty discusses recent court decisions including the suspension of
Allstate Insurance Company's certificate to write new policies in Florida.
VIEW FLORIDA FACE TO FACE - Click Here
CFO SINK SPEAKS TO FLORIDA TAX COLLECTORS
CFO Sink met with tax collectors from around the state when they visited the
Capitol earlier this week.
CFO & STATE FIRE MARSHAL SINK ANNOUNCES FREE TRAINING FOR
FLORIDA’S VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTERS
Florida Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Alex Sink
announced over 150 volunteer firefighters from across the state will
journey to the Florida State Fire College in Ocala for an intensive
five-day training. At the training, which begins today and ends
Sunday, firefighters will get the latest on firefighting and
investigative techniques dealing with potential threats from
agribusiness chemical accidents to bombs.
“The State Fire Marshal’s Office is proud to host free training
sessions for volunteer firefighters, who so courageously give of
their time to protect Floridians,” said CFO Sink. “There is no
better way to thank them for their service and reduce fire damage in
Florida, than to provide these volunteers with the training they
need to help protect themselves, their families and their
The 15th annual training week provides volunteer firefighters access
to high quality training. Participating firefighters will receive
four to 40 hours of training from 10 classes and are awarded
continuing education credits to help them build their careers.
Training subjects include: basic fire skills, special survival
techniques, bomb and drug lab awareness, and flammable liquid fires.
Saturday evening at dusk propane flames will light the sky, shooting
60 feet into the air so that participants can practice how to safely
mitigate potentially dangerous situations.
The Florida State Fire College is located at 11655 NW Gainesville
Road in Ocala.
MY SAFE FLORIDA HOME SIGNS UP OVER 1,100 HOMEOWNERS FOR
FREE WIND INSPECTIONS AT BRACE HURRICANE EXPO IN PENSACOLA
Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink announced today that the My Safe
Florida Home (MSFH) program received more than 1,100 applications for a free
wind inspection at the Be Ready Alliance Coordinating for Emergencies
(BRACE) Hurricane Expo held at the Pensacola Civic Center. Consumer
Outreach Coordinator Cliff Long joined with program representatives
Saturday to sign up homeowners for the MSFH program, in addition to
assisting attendees who had insurance questions.
More than 3,000 residents attended this year’s first annual BRACE
Hurricane Expo, matching the attendance at last year’s Pensacola MSFH Fair.
“Last year, Floridians were lucky to see a quiet hurricane season,” said CFO
Sink. “With the next hurricane season right around the corner, I am pleased
to see Pensacola residents are taking the necessary precautions to prepare
their homes and families.”
Approximately 63 percent of homeowners receiving free wind inspections have
learned they are already eligible for an average wind insurance savings of
$227—without making a single improvement. Floridians whose homes have
received free wind inspections from the MSFH program may also be eligible to
apply for matching tax-free grants of up to $5,000 to make improvements to
their homes. To date, the MSFH program has awarded more than 5,769
homeowners grants totaling more than $18.5 million, with an additional
15,000 homeowners currently working with the program to make improvements.
To learn more about the MSFH program, visit
STATEMENT BY CFO SINK ON HOUSE COUNCIL’S
PASSAGE OF CAT FUND PROPOSAL
Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink applauded members of the Florida
House Policy & Budget Council for unanimously passing House Bill 7021
sponsored by State Representative Ron Reagan (R-Sarasota/Bradenton), which
reduces the risk of hurricane assessments from the Florida Hurricane
Catastrophe Fund on Florida’s insurance consumers.
“Through fiscally responsible legislation, we can eliminate $5.5 billion in
hurricane assessments if our state gets hit by a bad storm,” said CFO Sink.
“Representative Reagan and his colleagues today have shown leadership in
passing this bipartisan proposal to reduce the risk of hurricane assessments
on Florida’s families and businesses.”
Companion Senate Bill 2156 by State Senator Bill Posey (R-Rockledge) was
unanimously passed last week by the Senate Committee on General Government
Appropriations and awaits a hearing on the Senate Floor.
Idea of the Week
Stay on top of your savings
A simple money saving idea
to ensure that you stay on top of your savings is to automatically deduct
even a small amount, $20 or $40, from your paycheck each month. By the end of
the year, you will have built up modest savings without much effort. The key
saving is to pay your debts and your savings first, and then
purchase what you need.
For more financial savings tips click here
CFO Sink admires the hybrid electric bucket
vehicle, powered by B-20 diesel produced from locally grown soybeans.
FLORIDA TRUCKERS DAY AT THE CAPITOL
The Governor and Cabinet of the State of
Florida declared April 16, 2008, as Truckers Day in the State of Florida.
Florida Departments of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, Agriculture and Consumer
Services and Transportation were commended for their demonstrated commitment
to economic prosperity and industry safety and to raising the awareness of
the importance of the trucking industry to all Floridians.
The industry features trucks
moving freight safely and efficiently to every community throughout Florida;
and commercial truck traffic is vital to our nation’s economic prosperity
and plays a significant role in mitigating adverse economic effects during a
national or regional emergency. Our economy depends on trucks to deliver 10
billion tons of virtually every commodity consumed, or nearly 70 percent of
CFO SINK VISITS WITH THE POLICE BENEVOLENT ASSOCIATION
CFO Sink had the opportunity to visit with
members of the Police Benevolent Association in Tallahassee this week.
CFO Alex Sink welcomes friends to the Capitol to discuss
state government topics of interest.
Members of the Largo
Mid-Pinellas Chamber of Commerce heard from CFO Sink during an informal
CFO Sink meets with
Leadership Clay during their visit to Tallahassee.
CFO SINK HONORS 2007 FLORIDA VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTER OF THE YEAR |
Every day throughout Florida and our nation, firefighters
demonstrate bravery, courage and dedication to the preservation of human
life and property. While off duty on Sunday, September 24, 2006, Volunteer
Firefighter Chad DeStories was at home in Apollo Beach, Florida, when he
received a call that five units had been dispatched to a reported structure
fire at a residence down the street from his home.
Racing down the street, DeStories discovered a home with heavy dark smoke
billowing from the open front door with three children visibly shaken in the
front yard; and the children informed DeStories that the babysitter was
still inside the home. Upon entering the smoke-filled structure, DeStories
heard a banging noise coming from the direction of the kitchen; and
discovering the babysitter pounding on the locked pantry door attempting to
locate a fire extinguisher, DeStories guided
the babysitter outside while flames engulfed the oven, cabinets and ceiling.
Once outside, a fire medic and resident of the neighborhood checked over the
children and babysitter while awaiting the arrival of the engine; and while
the medic attended to the children and the babysitter, DeStories used a
wrench from the engine to turn off the gas to the home, ensuring the safety
of all who were on scene.
The Governor and Cabinet of the State of Florida commended by resolution the bravery and
the outstanding accomplishments of Chad DeStories, and congratulated him for
being selected by the Florida State Firefighters Association as the 2007 Florida
Volunteer Firefighter of the Year.
FLORIDA FIREFIGHTERS RAISE MORE THAN $2.5 MILLION FOR
This is a special time of the
year when all firefighters are honored, not only for their courageous
dedication to their profession but also for their generous and caring
Hands are joined with the Muscular Dystrophy Association in expressing
appreciation for the volunteer work firefighters do to raise money for the
Iris Roberts, 10, is the MDA Goodwill Ambassador from Lake City who has been
the star of this project in Florida since she was four. Her mother, Kimi, runs
support to help Iris raise awareness for MDA to help fill the boot.
For the past 54 years, firefighters
throughout Florida and across the Nation have been partners with the
Muscular Dystrophy Association in the fight against neuromuscular diseases.
Last year, Florida firefighters raised more
than $2,657,483 in over 300 metropolitan and rural communities with their
“Fill the Boot” drive for MDA, again ranking #2 in the Nation and making
them MDA’s largest single source of funding in Florida.
Through the firefighters' financial support statewide and nationally, more
than $25 million were raised in 2007 to support MDA’s life saving
research, leading to the discovery of the first definitive treatment for a
muscular disorder, Pompe’s Disease.
Funds collected by Florida firefighters assist MDA in providing medical
services at local clinics, summer camps, research grants, support groups,
and public education seminars at no cost to Florida’s children and adults
served by the Association.