FLORIDA CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER ALEX SINK'S WEEKLY NEWSLETTER
Volume 5, Number 23, June 6,
To protect our homes and families during hurricane season, it is just
as essential to have a financial plan as it is to have a safety plan.
Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink is encouraging the use of the
Homeowners’ Financial Tool Kit, which helps Floridians make critical
financial decisions during hurricane season.
The Homeowners’ Financial Tool Kit is available at CFO Sink’s Web site,
www.MyFloridaCFO.com, under the
“Hurricane Season 2008” button. In the financial tool kit, Floridians can
find hurricane preparedness tips, emergency contact resources and essential
information for residents needing to file a claim. Floridians also can ask
to have a Homeowners’ Financial Tool Kit mailed to them by calling the
Consumer Services helpline, 1-877-MY-FL-CFO.
In addition to the toolkit, CFO Sink’s Web site contains information on how
to file an insurance claim, answers to the most-frequently-asked insurance
questions, and disaster preparedness guides in both English and Spanish.
Floridians can also find links to other hurricane-related resources,
including the Florida Division of Emergency Management, National Flood
Insurance Program, Federal Emergency Management Agency, American Red Cross,
My Safe Florida Home program and more.
CFO SINK CONGRATULATES STATE
EMPLOYEES FOR SAVING FLORIDIANS' TAX DOLLARS
This year celebrates the 20th anniversary of the
Prudential-Davis Productivity Awards. The awards are
presented annually to state employees who exceed performance
expectations in ways that improve core state functions and
save money for Florida taxpayers and businesses. Chief
Financial Officer Sink spoke at the awards ceremony Tuesday
night, thanking the winners for their dedication to the people
of our state and for going beyond the call of duty to
increase public service productivity and promote innovative
In the Department of Financial Services, 158 state employees
received recognition for their outstanding achievements,
including eight cash awards, 11 plaque awards, and seven
certificates of commendation.
Teams within the Department of Financial Services charged
with safeguarding citizens’ financial interests were
responsible for ending a string of abusive annuity sales to
elderly citizens, protecting seniors from unscrupulous
insurance agents, increasing productivity in combating
insurance fraud, improving safety of the insurance
marketplace, and advising state employees of the benefits of
deferred compensation. Other awards ranged from saving
taxpayer money through increased efficiency, putting
arsonists behind bars, and making payroll improvements.
Idea of the Week
Idea: Save gas, support your community
You can save
money and support local businesses by eating, shopping and entertaining
locally! Save some gas, time and money by remembering what makes your
community and neighborhood great. Try walking or taking a bike to lunch or
dinner at a local eatery. By the end of the summer you will have shed some
weight, saved some cash, and helped your local economy.
CFO SINK RETURNS SIX FIGURE CHECK TO
Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink returned a check
for nearly $160,000 in unclaimed property to a Gainesville real
estate developer along with a reminder about the importance of
regularly checking Florida’s unclaimed property Web site,
As CFO, Sink oversees the state’s Bureau of Unclaimed
Property, which holds nearly eight million unclaimed property
accounts valued at $1.5 billion.
“With millions of accounts, the chances are good we are
holding your cash or the cash of someone you know,” said CFO Sink.
“We do our best to find and notify owners, but I encourage all
Floridians to visit our Web site to see if we are holding your cash
G.W. Robinson, owner of G.W. Robinson Builders, Inc., in
Gainesville, was contacted by CFO Sink’s bureau in March of this
year regarding $159,403.19 in unclaimed cash, mostly from dormant
securities that had been turned over to the state.
“I am so grateful to CFO Alex Sink and her staff for
reuniting me with my unclaimed funds, said G.W. Robinson. “I hope
Floridians will take note of my story, and check to see if the state
of Florida is holding lost treasure for their friends and family
Florida is considered one of the nation’s most effective and
efficient unclaimed property programs, returning nearly $172 million
last fiscal year to Floridians on more than 254,000 approved claims.
Currently there are 82,582 unclaimed property accounts for a total
of $9.2 million in Alachua County, 7,963 accounts for $782,531 in
Bradford County, 55,960 accounts for $6.9 million in Marion County,
1,698 accounts totaling $156,242 million in Union County, 6,275
accounts totaling $1.1 million in Gilchrist County, and 10,883
accounts totaling $1.1 million in Levy County. Unclaimed Property
can be claimed free of charge, at any time, by visiting
www.fltreasurehunt.org, or by calling 1-88-VALUABLE.
Until claimed, unclaimed property is deposited into the
State School Trust Fund, and allocated by the Legislature for
education. More than $1.5 billion has benefited Florida public
schools since the program’s inception in 1961.
CFO SINK STRESSES HONESTY AND INTEGRITY AT
ETHICS FORUM IN PALM BEACH COUNTY
Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink was the keynote speaker at
an Ethics Forum hosted by the nonprofit group Leadership
Palm Beach County in West Palm Beach. About 100 people
listened as CFO Sink spoke about the importance of
leadership and ethics.
recalled that her first experience with ethics began at
seven, when she tried to blame her four-year-old sister for
carving the alphabet on a wooden table. This
experience taught her early on about the importance of
ethical behavior; which she has carried throughout her
career. She gave several examples of how her
Department of Financial Services (DFS) operates in an open
and honest way.
CFO Sink spoke to the assembled local leaders about the
importance of establishing solid checks and balances.
She also discussed the DFS Office of Fiscal Integrity, which
investigates the fraudulent use of tax dollars.
DISASTER AND STORM INFORMATION AND PLANNING
When it comes to hurricanes and tropical storms, Floridians have learned first
hand that it pays to be prepared. To assist you with your preparations, Chief
Financial Officer Alex Sink wants you to have information that can help you
lessen the impact of a major storm or hurricane.
Hurricanes can cause severe damage. Before a hurricane hits, you should take
steps to protect your property and lessen damages from hurricanes. CFO Sink's
Department of Financial Services has a
Natural Disaster guide to help you prepare for disasters. You can also visit
the state’s official emergency response Web site to learn more about how to
create a plan for your family or business.
When a tropical storm or hurricane is projected to hit our state, we activate a
special consumer helpline for Floridians to seek assistance on insurance
matters. The number is 1-800-22-STORM, or 1-800-227-8676. Hearing-impaired
residents may use a TDD to call 1-800-640-0886.
If you have a problem with a claim, you can file a
request for assistance online with the Florida Department of Financial
Services and, you can look up licensing information on
insurance agents and
Long-term, mitigation is the best way to reduce the potential threat of damage
from a hurricane or tropical storm. For more information on what steps to take
to harden your home, please visit
My Safe Florida Home. By
mitigating your home, you may also be entitled to discounts on your insurance
premiums. For more information on these discounts,
CFO SPEAKS WITH FLASHPOINT ON
'WHO'S MINDING THE BOOKS" IN FLORIDA
Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink sat down with Local 6 TV reporter
Lauren Rowe to discuss "who is minding the books." Sink's
interview aired on the weekly current affairs show, "Flashpoint."
CITIZENS CLAIMS HANDLING TASK FORCE MEETS ON MONDAY
Task Force on
Claims Handling and
Resolution will have a conference call meeting on Monday, June 9,
2008, at 2:00 pm. The focus of the meeting will be to review and
approve the final report. Both documents are posted on the Task
Force’s website. The Web site is:
Conference Call Information
Monday, June 9, 2008
Time: 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Dial-In Number: (888) 808-6959 Conference Code: 4132880
Consumer Services Helpline