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Department of Financial Services highlights achievements in 2021

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Florida Main Economic Officer (CFO) and State Fireplace Marshal Jimmy Patronis highlighted the 2021 accomplishments of the Office of Economical Providers (DFS).

CFO and Condition Hearth Marshal Jimmy Patronis mentioned, “I am very pleased of the gentlemen and girls of the Department who built the life of everyday Floridians better. This was a major calendar year for encouraging persons. The final several yrs have been complicated for a good deal of folks, but I will endlessly be proud of the males and ladies of the section who – despite all of the issues – came to get the job done every single working day to help people. From the State Fireplace Marshal’s Office who responded to storms and horrific disasters like Surfside, to our sworn regulation enforcement officials who are cracking down on the kind of insurance fraud that impacts all of our charges, our company has under no circumstances been stronger. We have acquired personnel who are fielding calls each individual day to maintain insurers accountable to policyholders, we have bought groups of specialists who are returning hundreds of millions of pounds in unclaimed house back to their rightful homeowners, and we’ve bought individuals that are taking care of billions of pounds to make certain we’re becoming fiscally accountable to the taxpayer. Calendar year-around-calendar year, there is an infinite sum of fantastic that our community servants offer for Florida communities, and I’ll keep singing their praises as we enter the New 12 months.”

Important Accomplishments of 2021 – “A Year of Helping People”

Fighting for Florida’s Very first Responders

The CFO labored with the Legislature to correctly double funding for Florida’s Cancer Decontamination Grant software from $250,000 to $500,000. The plan delivers essential funding for fire districts to get tools for getting rid of cancer-creating carcinogens from equipment firefighters use. The tools also serves as pandemic protections from viruses like COVID-19.

In the deal with of the Surfside tragedy, the CFO and Condition Fire Marshal deployed psychological wellness peer groups [] to guidance Florida’s City Search & Rescue (US&R) groups who fought to conserve lives at the apartment-collapse.

The CFO fought to prioritize initially responders [] the moment a COVID-19 vaccine was available, but opposed attempts of forcing vaccines [].

To aid more compact fireplace districts, the CFO worked with the Legislature to allow for volunteer firefighters who were being enrolled in fire college [] to proceed assistance in their communities. Prior to the law alter, they would have been barred from doing the job on their volunteer groups until eventually they experienced finished university.

Supporting Florida Tiny Organizations

As another person who expended the greater part of their career in the cafe field, CFO Patronis’ top rated priority for the duration of the 2021 Legislative Session was to go critical COVID liability protections [] for Florida’s organizations, and legislation was the very first invoice signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis through the 2021 session. This laws was critical to obtaining Florida corporations – that were being now doing the job on restricted margins mainly because of the pandemic – to reopen with no worry of dealing with frivolous litigation. To create grassroots help for protecting modest enterprises, the CFO hosted 6 ‘Rally at the Restaurant’ gatherings with legislators and vital stakeholders to emphasize the want for liability protections to help you save Florida careers and protect workforce.

On top of that, knowledge the important want for legal responsibility protections for frontline healthcare personnel, CFO Patronis also advocated for healthcare legal responsibility protections [] through his ‘Supporting our Healthcare Heroes’ campaign.

Florida organizations are also going through diminished workers’ payment insurance policy prices [] as the Business of Insurance policies Regulation authorized a 4.9{797b2db22838fb4c5c6528cb4bf0d5060811ff68c73c9b00453f5f3f4ad9306b} coverage amount decrease. The lessen applies to each new and renewal workers’ payment insurance policy insurance policies helpful in Florida as of January 1, 2022.

In reaction to the Colonial Pipeline shutdown in the Spring, the CFO, who also doubles as the State Hearth Marshal, issued a directive [] giving retail fuel stations with additional overall flexibility for attendants to support in raising efficiency at fueling stations and enhance staffing. This directive labored to enable alleviate extended traces at gasoline stations.

Combating Fraud and Preserving Florida Buyers

CFO Patronis continued his mission to fight fraud and safeguard Florida’s individuals from cons and financial abuse. The CFO’s fraud detectives created 886 arrests in fraud, arson, and misuse of state money, with a complete of extra than $11 million in courtroom purchased restitution.

In an energy to battle insurance fraud, CFO Patronis labored with the Florida Legislature to develop two new fraud combating squads [] only devoted to combating home owners and assets insurance fraud in Florida. The new squads are comprised of 13 whole staff, such as 10 sworn law enforcement detectives in Tampa and Orlando working with federal, state, and area companions to look into property coverage fraud statewide.

CFO Patronis also advocated for very important buyer defense laws [] this year with a monthly bill the Governor signed into regulation, which offered DFS with the authority to license altering firms [] that utilize general public and unbiased adjusters, offering the department with an vital resource to crack down on fraud that impacts consumers and insurance prices.

In addition, a CFO precedence bill was signed into legislation by the Governor that aids to combat the epidemic of unsolicited telemarketing phone phone calls [] that plague the phone traces of Floridians on a day by day foundation.

CFO Patronis pushed back again from the Biden Administration’s proposal to enable the IRS to spy on the bank accounts of every day Floridians, penning an op-ed [] and web hosting a roundtable [] on why Florida would not comply with this absurd federal government overreach. Mainly because of the grassroots effort and hard work inside of Florida and the nation, the IRS eventually dropped the proposal.

CFO Patronis introduced “Be Scam Smart [],” a purchaser safety initiative aimed at guarding seniors from fraud and ripoffs that have been specially susceptible since of the pandemic. To empower Florida’s seniors, the videos [] protect subject areas this kind of as scams, id theft, annuities and reverse mortgages.

Returning Hundreds of Tens of millions of Bucks in Home to Rightful Proprietors

In 2021, CFO Patronis’ Division of Unclaimed House returned much more than 500,000 accounts to Floridians valued at additional than $353 million, a calendar year record. Considering the fact that CFO Patronis took business office in July 2017, the Division has returned extra than $1.5 billion in Unclaimed Property.

This calendar year, CFO Patronis presented the initial at any time on the net [] Florida Unclaimed Residence Auction, which netted far more than $899,000, with roughly 59,000 products offered. As a aspect of his Getaway Income Hunt initiative, the CFO hosted a Tampa region Unclaimed Property Mobile phone Lender, which returned more than $300,000 for Tampa location people.

The Department’s Holocaust Victims Guidance System served claimants protected $14 million in a variety of fiscal instruments [] they have been entitled to. The application presents help to Florida Holocaust survivors searching for to recover proceeds from insurance policies issued to Holocaust victims and restitution for Nazi-confiscated bank accounts, artwork and property. Given that the program’s inception, the full monetary recoveries and aid recovered as a result of the Holocaust Victims Aid Program is far more than $77 million.

Defending Florida Tax Dollars

Florida’s AAA bond ranking was reaffirmed by all three top credit rating rating organizations Moody’s Investors Provider, Fitch Ratings [] and S&P International [].

Less than the CFO’s leadership, the Florida Division of Treasury [] gained additional than $553.6 million in interest all through the 2020-21 Fiscal 12 months, which started July 1, 2020 and ended June 30, 2021. Since CFO Patronis took place of work in 2017, the Division of Treasury has acquired extra than $2.4 billion in fascination.

CFO Patronis properly advocated for laws to install seller transparency steps [] in the state’s procurement process and battle the influence of foreign governments, like the Communist Party of China. The legislation was signed into regulation by the Governor.

Next their boycott of Israel, CFO Patronis supported the addition [] of Ben & Jerry’s and its parent business, Unilever, PLC, to the Scrutinized Firms Record for their brazen refusal to do organization in Israel. The CFO has long been a regular advocate for the help of Israel, Florida’s economic spouse and the United States’ only ally in the Middle East.

Recently, the CFO also took motion to restrict the state’s economic exposure to Communist China [] by becoming a member of Governor Ron DeSantis and Legal professional Typical Ashley Moody in voting to study in which investments have been created by the Point out Board of Administration (SBA) in Chinese-condition pursuits. The Trustees also voted to revoke proxy voting by fund managers that invest Florida’s retirement dollars into corporations concentrated on aspects other than excellent-returns. They also voted to reaffirm the SBA’s duty in supporting approach members.