Volume 3 Number 36
September 4, 2006

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Labor Day is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers as a national tribute to those who have built the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

Labor Day offers us the opportunity to recognize and reflect on the generations of men and women who for more than two centuries have worked to build our country economically and spiritually into this land of bounty and opportunity.

In the tradition of economic and political democracy, it is fitting that the nation pay tribute on Labor Day to the force behind so much of the nation's strength, freedom and leadership — the American worker.

Florida should be proud of the hard work of its residents!






Florida Department of Financial Services logo

Program has pumped more than $1.6 billion into public schools

Tom Gallagher, Florida’s chief financial officer, announced that an unclaimed property auction held in Tampa drew more than 300 people and earned nearly $500,000 that will go into the state’s public school trust fund. Combined with the proceeds of an auction held in Jacksonville in July, more than $1 million will be added to the school coffers, which is a record amount from auction proceeds.

“This program is a win-win for everyone,” said Gallagher, who oversees the Department of Financial Services and the Bureau of Unclaimed Property. “We set another new record last fiscal year by returning more than $100 million worth of cash and property to the rightful owners, but in the meantime, Florida’s school children benefit by use of the funds for education.”

A 2-carat ladies wedding ring set took the top bid of $13,000 among the 32,000 items that were auctioned Saturday at the Sheraton Tampa Riverwalk Hotel. Other items auctioned included rare coins, currency, signed baseball cards, watches and silver place settings.




Workers’ Compensation Rates May Decrease by Another 13 Percent, Saving Employers Over $400 Million

Tom Gallagher, Florida’s Chief Financial Officer, urged Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty to help save Florida employers more than $400 million by approving a statewide rate decrease of 13 percent on workers’ compensation rates. If approved, this year’s decrease would be the fourth consecutive rate decrease in workers’ compensation rates since 2003, for a cumulative drop of nearly 46 percent.

“Lowering rates and cutting costs will help Florida’s small-businesses create new jobs and grow our economy,” said Gallagher, who oversees the Florida Department of Financial Services and the divisions of Insurance Fraud and Workers' Compensation.

“We have aggressively fought to combat workers’ compensation fraud, and doubled the number of annual fraud arrests,” Gallagher said. “Our compliance efforts have also added over $52 million in evaded premium to our state’s workers' compensation system and ensured that nearly 21,000 employees have coverage.”







MYTH: Homes built in Florida before 1992 were built to withstand a Category 3 hurricane.

FACT: Hurricane Andrew in 1992 highlighted the vulnerability of Florida’s building standards. The Florida Building Code Commission was established in the late 1990s in response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Andrew. This mandated a single, statewide building code that featured tougher standards to ensure that structures would withstand major hurricane-level winds. Miami-Dade County building codes adopted as a result are the toughest in the state, and among the toughest in the nation.

MYTH: Taping windows with masking tape is an effective way to prevent shattered glass and damage to a home during a hurricane.

FACT: Impact-resistant glass and shutters are specifically designed to meet a combination of impact and continuous pressure from the wind. Windows are a critical barrier to protect your home from wind, wind-borne debris and water. If your windows are breached, this can exert pressure on your roof and walls, causing the collapse of the home. Much of the damage that occurred from Hurricane Andrew resulted from failure of windows and doors. These failures frequently lead to interior wall failure and sometimes roof failures. (NOAA)  CONTINUED