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Gallagher’s Initiative to Create Financial Literacy Council Wins Award for Excellence


CONTACT: Tami Torres 
(850) 413-2842
TALLAHASSEE – An organization that works to promote financial literacy among youth in Florida has awarded the Department of Financial Services its President's Florida Jump$tart for Personal Financial Literacy Excellence Award.  The award recognizes the department's "Your Money, Your Life" outreach program and Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher's successful effort this year to win legislative approval to create a Financial Literacy Council.
"The lives of all Floridians are better when our families and businesses are financially strong," said Gallagher, who also oversees the Department of Financial Services.  "I appreciate the Florida Jump$tart Coalition for recognizing this department's efforts, and I applaud them as well for their hard work to help young people have a brighter economic future." 
"We truly appreciate and value the partnership Florida Jump$tart has with the Department of Financial Services and for CFO Gallagher's support of financial literacy efforts," said Rosanna Jacobsen, president of Florida Jump$tart.  Florida Jump$tart is a non-profit organization composed of individuals, for-profit and non-profit organizations, government agencies, and community- and faith-based groups to promote personal financial literacy, with emphasis on kindergarten through young adults. 
"Your Money, Your Life" is a statewide public education initiative Gallagher launched in 2004 in cooperation with the financial services industry and consumer groups.  Building on its success, Gallagher earlier this year pushed for and got approval from the Legislature to create a Financial Literacy Council.  The Council, scheduled to be named in early 2007, will serve as a resource for consumers and small businesses on financial issues.  Gallagher said he proposed creating the council after a Mason-Dixon poll showed too many Floridians are in a precarious financial condition, with one-third of surveyed Floridians having more debt than savings and nearly half not saving enough to retire.
The Council will be composed of nine members, headed by the state's chief financial officer, and is tasked with studying the financial problems that affect consumers, particularly small businesses, young people and seniors.  It will also be charged with creating a central, comprehensive state resource for the public to provide financial information on savings, loans, investment products, managing debt and planning for college expenses and retirement.
"The Financial Literacy Council will serve as central resource and clearinghouse for families and small businesses to obtain the information and resources they need to make informed financial decisions," Gallagher said.