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.
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 communities.”
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 www.MyFloridaSafeHome.com.
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.
Money-Smart Idea of the Week
Idea: 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 http://www.myfloridamoney.com/FLSaves.htm
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
all freight transported annually by weight and nearly 85 percent of all
freight transported annually by value. Travel by large trucks increased by
150% from 1998 to 2004, while the rate of large truck crash fatalities
declined by 60%, based on miles driven and is near all-time recorded lows.
The trucking industry in Florida has been represented by the Florida
Trucking Association (FTA) since 1934 and FTA’s Road Team, composed of
professional drivers of member companies, conducts and presents safe driving
classes to driver education students, civic groups and other public entities
across Florida through its “Share the Road Safely with Big Trucks” program.
Florida law enforcement officers inspected 84,160 trucks in 2006, and weighed 14.5 million trucks at Florida’s 25 fixed weigh stations and out of every 1,000 trucks inspected, only 3 were found in violation of weight restrictions.
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 MDA
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 MDA.
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.