CFO Jimmy Patronis Statement on Governor Ron DeSantis Approval of 2022-23 Freedom First Budget
Budget Funds CFO Priorities including $10 Million for Florida Urban Search & Rescue Teams.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis released the following statement upon the Governor’s signing of Florida’s 2022-23 Freedom First Budget. With the Governor’s signature, the Legislature provided historic funding in support of Florida’s Urban Search & Rescue Teams, resources to fight fraud and rising insurance rates, and funding to further support firefighters and law enforcement personnel.
CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “Governor DeSantis continues to take bold action and lead our great State forward. In the past few months, the Governor has stood strong against woke corporations, woke education, and woke politicians whose fiscal policies threaten to destroy our economy. Today, I applaud the Governor for vetoing more than $3 billion and showing the world that Florida will live within its means, keep taxes low, and meet future financial woes head on. The vetoed funds will help to prepare for challenging economic times. As gas and grocery store prices continue to soar to record highs and the threats of another economic recession looms over the horizon, the actions of the Governor will save taxpayers millions and ensure we are ready for whatever lies ahead.
“Special thanks to the Governor for approving a historic $10 million in funding support for our dedicated Urban Search & Rescue Teams. This will give them the training and resources needed to save more lives in times of disaster. This budget also includes vital funding to combat the fraud epidemic in our state and stop bad actors from taking advantage of Florida consumers. This is yet another tool in our toolbox to fight rising insurance rates. Despite the dysfunction in Washington, we must continue to work together to keep Florida free, open and keep our state’s economy moving forward.”
2022-23 Budget Highlights
$10 Million to Support Florida’s Urban Search & Rescue Teams
Following the tragic Champlain Towers South condo collapse in Surfside, CFO and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis made it his top priority to advocate for Florida’s Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Teams for funding and resources to support Florida’s eight dedicated task forces. The US&R teams work statewide for all communities during disasters. The funds include $3.9 million for eight US&R task forces and 40 Light Technical Rescue Teams. The funds will provide for specialized equipment, training and exercises. Additionally, $5.8 million will be invested in tractors, cargo trailers, trucks, forklifts, and utility vehicles to support life-saving US&R missions.
$984,000 to Combat Insurance Fraud with Data Analytics
CFO Patronis’ is committed to using innovative tools and analytics tool to fight fraud in our state and battle rising insurance rates. Securing access to a national claims database will improve the development of investigations and make identifying fraud more efficient.
$2.6 Million for Fraud Fighting Training & Fire Investigation Equipment
CFO Patronis is committed to supporting Florida’s fire investigators and sworn law enforcement personnel. This funding will replace aging and expired fire, arson and explosive investigation equipment including bomb suits and portable X-ray systems. The funding will also help facilitate training for law enforcement personnel in conducting highly specialized investigations dealing with financial crimes, insurance fraud, workers’ compensation fraud, arson and explosives.
$2 Million to Protect Firefighters from Cancer
CFO Patronis continues his fight to protect Florida firefighters from cancer by partnering with the University of Miami Sylvester Cancer Institute on research to better understand the causes of cancer in the fire service profession.
$1.9 Million to Improve Fire & Arson Investigations
The CFO’s Bureau of Fire, Arson, and Explosive Investigations is on the front line, protecting Floridians from the dangers of fire and arson related crimes. Positions will augment workloads and lower response times to reduce time local firefighters and police stay on the scene. The 12 new law enforcement detectives would be placed around the state to reduce response time.