Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis announced his 2022 legislative agenda on Wednesday, which includes bolstering search and rescue task forces and protecting Florida businesses and consumers.
Speaking at the Florida Chamber Annual Meeting and Future of Florida Forum in Orlando, the CFO outlined his top priorities for the upcoming session. At the top of his to-do list, Patronis emphasized securing additional funding for Florida’s Urban Search & Rescue Task Forces. Notably, Patronis proclaimed 2022 the ‘Year of the US&R,’ following Herculean efforts undertaken by various task forces during the Champlain Towers Condo Collapse in Surfside. The CFO added that he will pursue $10 million in funding to support Florida’s eight US&R Task Forces through new vehicles and equipment, as well as training and sustainment programs.
Following his “Florida is for Winners” discussion, Patronis stressed the importance of providing these teams with cutting-edge resources and tools to save lives in times of disaster.
“I was proud to join the Florida Chamber today to outline my top priorities for the 2022 Legislative Session. Last session, I worked alongside the Chamber, legislators, and stakeholders statewide to pass vital COVID liability protections to protect Florida businesses and jobs. This year, I aim to support our Urban Search & Rescue Task Forces as they support us through disasters like the Surfside Condo Collapse. These heroes cannot go another year without additional funding for the resources and equipment to further protect our communities,” said Patronis.
The CFO also revisited an annual battle in the Sunshine State, highlighting the importance of relieving crippling tax burdens placed on Florida homeowners and businesses. In particular, Patronis pushed his Home Hardening Initiative proposal which seeks to provide vital tax exemption for retrofit improvements that benefits both homeowners and businesses. Patronis stated the innovative sales tax exemption will allow homeowners and businesses to harden structures against storms with retrofit improvements while keeping more money in their pockets from tax savings.
“Secondly, we’ll fight rising insurance premiums by giving tax breaks to homeowners who want to harden their homes against storms. It’s a win-win to protect your biggest investment and lower your insurance costs.,” he continued.
Lastly, Patronis promised to continue his mission of safeguarding Floridians from bad actors. The CFO said he aims to put an end to negative option billing, a controversial business practice that creates undue hurdles on consumers who use their credit card for a subscription service they may not know they signed up for, while simultaneously cracking down on telemarketing calls which open the door to fraud.
“Lastly, I’ll continue to fight fraud and protect consumers and businesses by limiting deceptive sales practices. Every year as your CFO, I’ve made it my mission to find innovative ways to fight fraud and protect consumers and this year will be no different,” Patronis added.
Patronis noted tackling these issues will enable Florida to continue to thrive in a post-pandemic world.
“I’m looking forward to working with the Florida Legislature on these important issues to ensure we keep moving our state forward. Florida is for winners because of one simple reason – the people that make this state great – our fellow Floridians. When you come to Florida, you can win in your own way because of common-sense policies that allow families and businesses to thrive and I intend to do everything I can to keep it that way,” the CFO concluded.
Today, I’m proud to announce 2022 as the ‘YEAR OF THE US&R’. This legislative session, it’s my top priority to support Florida’s dedicated Urban Search & Rescue Taskforces with $10 Million in funding for new equipment and training. #FlaPol pic.twitter.com/dw4Fq3nyXN
— Jimmy Patronis (@JimmyPatronis) October 27, 2021