State’s self-insurance fund projected to run low again next year
Amy Baker (File photo by Colin Hackley)


State government’s self-insurance fund faces a $14 million shortfall during the 2019-2020 fiscal year, driven in part by the cost of repairing Hurricane Irma’s damage to state property and medical inflation.

Florida’s Revenue Estimating Conference, comprising top state economists, arrived at the figure Monday.

”The Legislature’s going to have to address that,” said Amy Baker, who runs the Office of Economic and Demographic Research and chairs the estimating conference.

It would be the second deficit in a row for the Risk Management Trust Fund. The Legislature plugged a $20 million hole during its last session.

Baker blamed the cost of litigating and settling civil rights class actions against the state, medical expenses including rising pharmaceutical prices, and lingering Irma repairs.

”The trust fund kind of gets hit with all the same kind of things the other agencies do,” she said.

One area where the state lagged was workers’ compensation, where indemnity and medical expenses combined ran at $119.6 million during the last fiscal year, which ended June 30. That was $2.4 million higher than originally estimated.

”All of that is in the medical,” Baker said. “Medical was actually $3.3 million higher, but workers’ comp indemnity was $900,000 lower.”

The trend exists governmentwide — “drugs in particular,” she said.

”We’re seeing it in Medicaid. We’re hearing about it in kid care. We hear about it in Corrections. It’s pervasive.”

Michael Moline

Michael Moline is a former assistant managing editor of The National Law Journal and managing editor of the San Francisco Daily Journal. Previously, he reported on politics and the courts in Tallahassee for United Press International. He is a graduate of Florida State University, where he served as editor of the Florida Flambeau. His family’s roots in Jackson County date back many generations.


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