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CFO and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis: Building a Better, Stronger Florida in 2019

12/30/2019

For Immediate Release: Monday, December 30, 2019
Contact: Katie Strickland, 850.413.2842, katie.strickland@myfloridacfo.com
Devin Galetta, 850.413.2842, devin.galetta@myfloridacfo.com
 
 
CFO and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis: Building a Better, Stronger Florida in 2019
 
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis highlights 2019 accomplishments including securing vital cancer benefits for Florida’s firefighters, Hurricane Michael insurance claims assistance, record Unclaimed Property recoveries, and implementation of important post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) benefits for Florida’s first responders.
 
CFO and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis said, “Since day one, it has been my top priority to fight for first responders and everyone who calls the great state of Florida home. This year was no different. Florida firefighters now have access to vital cancer benefits they so greatly deserve and homeowners can take back control of their insurance benefits from the bad actors who prey on them.
 
“In 2020, I look forward to continuing to tackle our state’s fraud epidemic, safeguarding Floridians from identity theft, and strengthening our economy and workforce. These priorities not only protect Floridians, but they also protect the economic future of the Sunshine State. Together, we’re working every day to build a better, stronger Florida.”
Key accomplishments of CFO Patronis in 2019 include the following:
 
Protected Florida’s Firefighters from Cancer
CFO Patronis’ top legislative priority in 2019 was to ensure benefits for Florida’s firefighters who battle cancer. With the increased rates of cancer-related deaths for firefighters, the unanimous passage of this bill is a monumental victory for these heroes across the state. In addition, CFO Patronis partnered with the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation for nearly $50,000 in grant funding for the Division of State Fire Marshal to support  firefighters decontamination and continue CFO’s commitment to a culture of cancer prevention for Florida's firefighters within Florida’s fire service community.
 
Assisted Hurricane Michael Victims with Nearly $36 Million in Recoveries
CFO Patronis’ Division of Consumer Services recovered more than $31.5 million on behalf of Hurricane Michael Victims through the CFO’s Insurance Consumer Helpline. The CFO also hosted seven Hurricane Michael Insurance Villages in the Florida Panhandle assisting with more than $4.1 million in insurance claims payments for storm victims.
 
Solidified PTSD Benefits for First Responders
Having championed legislation in 2018 relating to PTSD Benefits for First Responders, CFO Patronis worked with numerous stakeholders through the rulemaking process in 2019 and was successful in seeking legislative ratification of the rules implementing these important benefits, including vital PTSD education requirements for Florida’s first responders.
 
Tackled Florida’s Rampant AOB Abuse
CFO Patronis fought for Florida consumers by encouraging lawmakers to bring everyone to the table and address Assignment of Benefits (AOB) abuse in our state. These new laws protect homeowners from being taken advantage of during vulnerable times and require savings to be passed along to Floridians who have coverage through Citizens Property Insurance Corporation.
 
Established Florida’s Innovative Blockchain Technology Task Force
CFO Patronis supported the establishment of the Florida Blockchain Task Force within the Department of Financial Services to study how to grow this industry in Florida. The task force has heard from blockchain proponents who continue to say this technology will be as transformational as the internet. If this is true, CFO Patronis wants to ensure our state is ready. With the establishment of this task force, Florida takes an important first step toward the future.
 
Returned Record-Breaking $323 Million in Unclaimed Property to Floridians
CFO Patronis’ Division of Unclaimed Property returned more than 585,000 accounts to Floridians valued at more than $323 million in 2019. Since CFO Patronis took office in July 2017, the Division also broke the previously held record set in the program’s 58-year history and returned more than $803.9 million.
 
Defended Florida’s Jewish Community from Anti-Semitism
CFO Patronis worked to further strengthen and solidify Florida’s steadfast relationship with its Jewish communities and Israel as well as condemn anti-Semitism in any form. He has made it clear—hate has no place in our society. At a Cabinet meeting this year, CFO Patronis sponsored a resolution that recognized Jerusalem as the eternal and undivided capital of Israel, and while on the Israel trade mission, the CFO gifted the resolution to U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman to be displayed in Jerusalem. CFO Patronis also made a commitment for the second year in a row for the Florida Treasury to invest an additional $10 million in Israel Bonds for 2019.
 
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About CFO Jimmy Patronis 

Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is a statewide elected official and a member of Florida’s Cabinet who oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Patronis works each day to fight insurance fraud, support Florida’s firefighters, and ensure the state’s finances are stable to support economic growth in the state. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and Twitter (@FLDFS).