Dear Fellow Floridian:
Since the day I took office last January, I’ve been fighting the
crooks and cheats who have been gaming the Florida auto insurance system
and advocating for reforms that will keep the fraud out. My Division of
Insurance Fraud has been hard at work, making 469 arrests since January
2011. These arrests represent what has become a lucrative form of
organized crime, stealing millions out of the pockets of Florida’s
consumers. But with all the success we’ve had, one fact remains—I can’t
arrest them fast enough. It has become abundantly clear that we must
address this problem legislatively.
As we approach the final days of the 2012 Legislative Session, it is time for
our legislative leaders to come together and agree on real solutions to our
state’s ever-growing PIP fraud problem. Absent reforms, we will continue to see
organized fraud rings and more Floridians who simply can’t afford their auto
insurance premiums. That is why it is critical that these reforms be motivated
by one simple mission: rate relief for Florida drivers. Consumers can’t take
these increases much longer, and any solution on the table should be judged by
that measure and that measure alone.
I have encouraged our legislative leaders to let the data drive the debate on
PIP, not special interests groups or the many players who benefit from the
current broken system. Along with Gov. Rick Scott, I am confident that this year
Florida’s legislature will pass legislation that takes the burden of auto
insurance fraud off of the backs of Floridians.
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida
Hiring Florida’s Heroes: Our Veterans
On Florida National Guard Day last month, Gov. Rick Scott launched a new
campaign, “Hiring Florida’s Heroes,” to help returning veterans find
sustainable employment. The Florida National Guard estimates that
approximately 17 percent of our state’s
veterans are seeking employment. I applaud Gov. Scott for his commitment to
Florida’s talented veterans. The governor’s campaign helps connect
interested employers with qualified veterans in need of employment.
Employers interested in hiring veterans are encouraged to call the Employ
Florida Marketplace hotline at (866) 352-2345 for more information.
Employers can also visit
www.employflorida.com/portals/veteran/ to post job listings and review
Last November, I had the privilege of participating in a roundtable
discussion with national and state leaders on military and veterans’ issues. I
remain committed to improving financial education for Florida’s more than 1.6
million veterans and 58,000 active-duty service members.
Consumer Protections Against ID Theft
Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater released the following
statement regarding the passage of Senate Bill 1208 out of the Senate
Rules Committee. House Bill 7111 passed out of the House State Affairs
Committee on Friday. The bills would close a public records loophole
that allows certain groups to obtain social security information from
CFO Atwater’s Bureau of Unclaimed Property.
“It defies logic that Florida, the state with the highest levels of
identity theft complaints in the nation, would continue to mandate that
a state agency release social security numbers for any purpose. There
are few roles more important to a public servant than that of protector.
As Florida’s CFO, it is my responsibility to do everything possible to
protect consumers’ personal information for their financial future.
“I applaud the members of the House State Affairs Committee and the
Senate Rules Committee for supporting the protection of the personal
information of our fellow Floridians. Florida is the only state in the
nation that currently releases social security numbers for unclaimed
property. I look forward to seeing this bill become law.”
Florida's Economic Inside Track
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