Statement from Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater Regarding House Economic Affairs Committees’ Passage of Workers’ Compensation Fraud Bill
TALLAHASSEE – Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater today released the following statement regarding the House Economic Affairs Committee’s passage of a bill that aims to curb workers’ compensation fraud.
House Bill 1277, sponsored by Rep. Daniel Davis (R-Jacksonville), is based on recommendations from a work group convened in August 2011 by CFO Atwater to review the practices of certain bad actors in the check cashing services industry that aid in workers’ compensation premium fraud. The work group released its report in November. Sen. John Thrasher (R-Jacksonville) is sponsoring SB 1586, the Senate companion.
“As a result of bringing all stakeholders to the table last fall, we were able to recommend policy solutions to the Legislature that protect the responsible players in the marketplace while ensuring those who are diverting more than a billion dollars from Florida’s economy are caught and held accountable.
“Rep. Davis was the first to recognize that this complex workers’ comp fraud scheme was putting pressure on rates and crippling the business community, and I commend him for his passion and leadership in this issue, along with Chair Hukill and Sen. Thrasher.”
Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, a statewide elected official and officer of the Florida Cabinet, oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Atwater’s priorities include fighting financial fraud, abuse and waste in government, reducing government spending and regulatory burdens that chase away capital, and ensuring transparency and accountability in spending.