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Ben Diamond urges Governor, Cabinet to address state agency oversight

The Cabinet has not met in more than two months.

Rep. Ben Diamond sent a letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday urging him to call a Cabinet meeting to address oversight for state agencies and funds.

Diamond listed a dozen agencies and 30-plus public funds that he thinks the Governor, Attorney General Ashley Moody, Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis and Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried should address.

The Cabinet has not met in more than two months.

“As you know, Florida’s Constitution provides for divided executive authority in our state government through our Cabinet system,” Diamond wrote.

“Florida’s independently elected Cabinet officers are fiduciaries that oversee the work of a dozen state agencies. The public oversight of these agencies is critical — particularly during an emergency of this magnitude.”

The St. Petersburg Democrat particularly emphasized the oversight needs for the Florida Retirement System, the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund, and funds invested for local government entities.

Diamond recognized that DeSantis and Cabinet members “are all working hard as part of the state’s response to this crisis” but said “there should be public discussion of this response.”

Specifically, Diamond said the four statewide elected leaders should discuss efforts to ensure law enforcement have personal protective equipment; verify that the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs is providing any available assistance to veterans suffering from the virus; ensure that financial and insurance regulators are protecting and assisting Floridians; and consider recommendations from the Division of Bond Finance on how state debt should be managed at this time.

“In short, the work of the Florida Cabinet must continue so these and other important issues can be addressed in a transparent and public manner.”

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