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Legal Review Confirms CFO Sink Pension Fund Oversight Reform Can Be Done with Legislative Change

11/30/2009

CONTACT: Kyra Jennings or Kevin Cate, 850-413-2842

TALLAHASSEE – Florida CFO Alex Sink today released an analysis from former Florida Supreme Court Justice Major Harding affirming that CFO Sink’s proposal to strengthen the oversight of the state’s $110 billion pension fund can be accomplished solely by a legislative change.  When CFO Sink proposed expanding the Board of Trustees in September, it was questioned whether amending Florida’s constitution would be necessary, and Justice Harding’s legal analysis clearly states that it would not.

CFO Sink sent a letter to the Governor and Attorney General with Justice Harding’s analysis that “the Legislature has the power to redefine the composition of the authority supervising the Pension Fund.”  CFO Sink has called for an expanded board to include one or more members with extensive relative investment experience and one or more members who is a beneficiary or participant in the Florida Retirement System.

“Nearly one million Floridians depend on the state pension fund for a secure retirement, and I have long advocated that oversight of these investments should include more than just three elected officials with no required financial experience,” said CFO Sink.  “This independent legal analysis confirms that expanding the Board of Trustees can be done by a legislative change, and it’s time for the Governor and Attorney General to join me in pushing for this meaningful reform.”

CFO Sink’s letter and Justice Harding’s analysis is attached.  She also copied the members of the Investment Advisory Council, who she will speak to about her reforms at their meeting this Thursday, December 3.

As a statewide elected officer of the Florida Cabinet, CFO Alex Sink oversees the Department of Financial Services.  A successful businesswoman with nearly three decades of experience in the private sector, Sink is serving her first term as Florida's CFO.  As CFO, Sink's priorities include using her business experience to cut wasteful government spending, cracking down on financial and insurance fraud and reforming the state government's contracting practices.