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Statement from CFO Tom Gallagher On: Federal Legislation to Create a National Catastrophe Fund

11/17/2005

CONTACT: 
Tami Torres
(850) 413-2842

TALLAHASSEE – Last week, Florida's Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher advocated several federal and state solutions for avoiding an insurance market meltdown, including the creation of a National Catastrophe Fund.  Today, Florida congressional members Ginny Brown-Waite and Clay Shaw introduced legislation to create such a fund.
 
 "I applaud Congresswoman Ginny Brown-Waite and Congressman Clay Shaw for initiating legislation that I believe will provide greater support for American families devastated by disasters," said Gallagher, who advocated the creation of a national fund following Hurricane Andrew in 1992. "This year alone, our nation has suffered 43 federally declared disasters in 32 states including hurricanes in Florida, tornadoes in the Midwest and earthquakes in California.  A national catastrophe fund is a sensible solution that Congress needs to pass."
 
 The federal legislation encourages states to establish catastrophic funds to prepare for natural disasters.  States' catastrophic funds would then be backed up by a federal fund named the Consumer Hurricane and Earthquake Protection Fund.  The fund, administered by the U.S. Department of Treasury, would share the cost of catastrophic losses after states' catastrophe funds had been exhausted.
 
As a statewide elected officer of the Florida Cabinet, Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher oversees the Department of Financial Services, a multi-division state agency responsible for management of state funds and unclaimed property, assisting consumers who request information and help related to financial services, and investigating financial fraud. Gallagher also serves as the State Fire Marshal.