FINANCIAL LITERACY IS THE KEY TO MAKING INFORMED FINANCIAL DECISIONS
Regardless of individual or family income and education level, many consumers worry about making the wrong financial decisions. And because financial issues can be complex and confusing, many consumers delay or avoid important money issues. Or worse, they become victims of financial fraud.
February 1-7 is National Consumer Protection Week and this year’s theme is financial literacy. In concert with this national event, the Governor and Cabinet approved a resolution promoting financial education in Florida. I want to extend a special thanks to the Florida Council on Economic Education for partnering with the Department of Financial Services to teach financial literacy to young people in Florida’s public schools.
The Department is also partnering with the departments of Children & Families (DCF) and Elder Affairs (DOEA), the Office of the Attorney General, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to develop a training kit to help employees of financial institutions, state attorneys, and Adult Protective Service (APS) administrators identify financial fraud and prevent financial exploitation of the elderly.
Young people and families work hard to build their financial security, and many seniors spend years carefully planning and saving their hard-earned money for retirement. By partnering with other agencies and financial institutions to train key staff, our goal is to equip our young people, working adults and seniors with the tools and resources to make informed financial decisions.
If you get the opportunity, take a few moments to take our online financial quiz!
GALLAGHER SUPPORTS PRESERVING INTERNATIONAL TREASURE
By a motion of Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher and a unanimous vote of the Governor and Cabinet, Florida’s first theme park was preserved.
Cypress Gardens, known for its botanical gardens and floral topiaries, water ski shows and the Cypress Garden Southern belles received the final piece of a preservation puzzle with the purchase of a conservation easement by the Governor and Cabinet, sitting as the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund.
The $11 million dollar easement, coupled with $2.5 million from Polk County and $7 million from the owner of Wild Adventures secured the purchase of Cypress Gardens. In the absence of this public-private acquisition, the gardens would have become a residential commercial development.
Cypress Gardens, situated on Lake Eloise in Polk County, was opened in 1936 by Dick Pope, Sr. When the park closed in April 2003, it employed 350 people.
The state’s portion of the funding to purchase the conservation easement is part of the 10-year, $3 billion Florida Forever program.
Prior to taking a vote, Gallagher had the opportunity to tour Cypress Gardens with Senators J.D. Alexander and Paula Dockery and Representatives Dennis Ross and Baxter Troutman.
GALLAGHER PURSUES OPTIONS FOR UNINSURED
Committed to finding ways to offset rising health insurance premiums and put an end to predatory rating practices, especially for individuals and small businesses, Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher has determinedly pursued remedies through both the Legislature and his department.
“So many hardworking individuals and small businesses are facing double-digit increases in their premiums and are struggling to obtain, and even maintain, health insurance,” said Gallagher. “I am particularly concerned that small employers will be forced to stop offering health insurance to their employees, leaving workers and their families with little or no options for coverage." CONTINUED
ISENHOUR ARRESTED FOR GRAND THEFT
State Attorney Brad King and Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher today announced the arrest of James Kirk Isenhour, Chairman and Director of the Silver Archer Foundation, for unlawful use of scholarship contributions. The arrest stems from an investigation by the Department of Financial Service’s Office of Fiscal Integrity in cooperation with the Ocala State Attorney’s Office.
Isenhour, 56, has been charged with Grand Theft in the first degree and booked into the Marion County Jail. The charge is based on evidence that Isenhour, through Silver Archer Foundation, unlawfully used Corporate Tax Credit (CTC) donations through willful misrepresentation and theft of state resources. Silver Archer Foundation was formerly a registered state Scholarship Funding Organization. CONTINUED