Volume 1 Number 10
March 8, 2004

Commissioner Jeff Koons and Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher.

Palm Beach County Home


CFO offers inspiration and promises to push for more consumer financial protections during annual Tallahassee gathering.

Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher offered a hopeful vision of Florida’s future and promised to ensure seniors and financial consumers are better protected from fraud and abuse at a Tallahassee rally last week.  Gallagher spoke to more than 100 concerned citizens from Palm Beach County who made their annual trek to the state’s capital for the opening week of the legislative session. 

Gallagher applauded state leaders’ continued support of education accountability reforms as students geared up to take the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test.  Referring to one of the greatest successes of the reforms, Gallagher thanked teachers, students and parents for the phenomenal and continued increase in the number of fourth graders reading at grade level.

He also credited Florida’s job-friendly economic climate and low tax base with the state’s net increase of more than 114,000 jobs, when many other states are experiencing job losses.

Gallagher closed by reiterating his support for more consumer protections in the financial services industries, especially for Florida’s seniors.  He promoted a Financial Consumer’s Bill of Rights, aimed at providing consumers with fair and reasonable options when dealing with insurance situations and a bill to help prevent identity theft when an insurance company or financial institution improperly disposes of customer records.  

He also talked about legislation to require insurance companies and their agents to clearly document the suitability of annuities for seniors. Hundreds of seniors, who lost their life savings because annuities sold to them did not meet their financial needs and objectives, have contacted the Department of Financial Services for help.  Gallagher said immediate action is needed to protect our most vulnerable citizens, Florida’s 2.9 million seniors.

Gallagher also commended Palm Beach County Leaders for organizing a successful and productive legislative day.