House passes sweeping reforms to Department of Financial Services

firefighters (Large)

A bill making sweeping changes to the Department of Financial Services is heading to the Senate Thursday after passing the House floor 114 to 1.

In addition to rewriting a variety of regulations, HB 651, from Monticello Republican Rep. Halsey Beshears, also establishes or alters numerous DFS programs, reports LobbyTools.

Among the changes, the bill seeks to create a new grant program for volunteer fire departments as well as modifying firefighter licensure programs. Employees of state universities, special district, and water management districts would be able to participate in the Florida deferred compensation program.

Before passage, Beshears removed one requirement, a provision that would have allowed for the sale of commercial property insurance policies directly in surplus-lines markets without offering those policies in a more regulated “admitted carrier market.”

According to LobbyTools, the sole “no” vote came from Melbourne Beach Republican Rep. John Tobia.

Phil Ammann

Phil Ammann is a Tampa Bay-area journalist, editor and writer. With more than three decades of writing, editing, reporting and management experience, Phil produced content for both print and online, in addition to founding several specialty websites, including His broad range includes covering news, local government, entertainment reviews, marketing and an advice column. Phil has served as editor and production manager for Extensive Enterprises Media since 2013 and lives in Tampa with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul. He can be reached on Twitter @PhilAmmann or at [email protected]


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