Jimmy Patronis calls for more transparency in lobbying Citizens Insurance

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Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis has told the state’s insurer of last resort that those who lobby Citizens Property Insurance Corp. should be required to disclose their efforts.

Patronis sent a letter to Citizens president and CEO Barry Gilway on Wednesday, with a copy to board chair Christopher Gardner.

“Transparency should be a key component to any organization,” Patronis wrote. “Currently, lobbyists are not statutorily required to disclose their efforts on behalf of clients and private interests they represent before Citizens … Florida’s state-backed insurer should be subject to the same rules as state agencies and organizations such as water management districts.”

Patronis, who is running for re-election this year, said it “should be crystal clear who is interested in influencing Citizens policy changes or securing contracts with the Corporation. The Citizens internal Code of Ethics should address lobbying activities.

“Considering the lack of a statutory requirement, I am requesting Citizens attend the next meeting of the Governor and Cabinet to discuss the Corporation’s plan of action and timeline to correct this shortcoming,” he added. “Citizens should examine its internal Code of Ethics and consider options such as publicly documenting entities that lobby Citizens. These options would be a proactive approach while awaiting the next legislative session to address this statutorily.

“A public entity that provides insurance to more than 444,000 policyholders in Florida, and the potential financial impact that Citizens has for all Floridians’ insurance policies, should ensure all lobbying activities are conducted in the sunshine.”

A request for comment has been sent to a Citizens spokesman.

Staff Reports



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