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Statement by CFO Sink on the Governor’s Recommended Budget for 2008-2009 Fiscal Year

1/31/2008

CONTACT:  Tara Klimek or Brannon Jordan
(850) 413-2842  
 
TALLAHASSEE – Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink issued the following statement in response to Gov. Charlie Crist’s budget recommendations for the 2008-2009 Fiscal Year:
 
“I applaud the Governor for his dedication to recommending a budget for the upcoming Fiscal Year that includes increased funding for essential services, such as education, health care and public safety.  As the Chair of the Healthy Kids Corporation, I am particularly encouraged that the Governor recommended a $60.6 million increase for Florida’s KidCare program that will allow more than 46,000 children access to affordable health care.  I am also pleased to see his continued commitment to environmental programs and an invigorated effort to advance a clean energy economy.
 
“While I understand the current challenge to find resources in this year’s budget, I am concerned about the recommendation to sweep $129.5 million from the Workers’ Compensation Administration Trust Fund.  Through efficient management and reform of the Workers’ Compensation system, our state has been able to reduce Workers’ Compensation Administrative Trust Fund assessments from 2.75 percent to 0.25 percent, which is a 91 percent reduction over an eight-year period.  A trust fund sweep of this magnitude will require the state to raise Workers’ Compensation assessments—taxes—on Florida businesses as early as January 2009.  I look forward to working with the Governor and the Legislature to prevent assessment increases on Florida’s business owners, many of whom are struggling to balance their own budgets.”
 
As a statewide elected officer of the Florida Cabinet, Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink  oversees the Department of Financial Services, a multi-division state agency responsible for management of state funds and unclaimed property, assisting consumers who request information and help related to financial services, and investigating financial fraud. CFO Sink also serves as the State Fire Marshal.