Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill Thursday that bolsters services provided by the Department of Financial Services.
The bill (HB 1209) increases the department’s ability to support firefighters, protect sexual harassment victims, and protect Floridians from fraud.
Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis applauded the Governor for signing the legislation.
“The signing of our agency bill is a big win for our state and allows DFS to better serve all Floridians,” Patronis said. “This legislation enhances the services provided by DFS by strengthening our fraud fighting efforts to combat rising insurance rates, further supports Florida’s firefighters in their battle against cancer, and better protects victims of sexual harassment against acts of retaliation.”
Under the bill, the DFS risk management program can provide cancer coverage to state agency firefighters. It also designates the Division of Public Assistance Fraud as a criminal justice agency and makes impersonation of a DFS officer illegal.
Republican Sen. Danny Burgess and Rep. Elizabeth Fetterhoff sponsored the legislation.
“I was honored to sponsor the DFS Agency bill and support the department’s mission to fight fraud and protect consumers,” Burgess said. “Thank you to CFO Patronis, my colleagues in the Senate and House and to Governor DeSantis for helping us get this good bill across the finish line.”
Not least, the measure increases DFS’ ability to combat unlicensed activity within the funeral industry and fortifies sexual harassment protections related to victims’ personal information.
“I applaud Governor DeSantis for singing House Bill 1209 today,” Fetterhoff said. “Fighting fraud, advocating for Florida’s firefighters, and protecting consumers is an important mission and I was honored to have the opportunity to sponsor this good bill. I thoroughly enjoyed working closely with CFO Patronis and my colleagues in the legislature to ensure this critical legislation was passed.”
Among other responsibilities, DFS aims to educate Florida’s insurance and financial consumers. The department also combats fraud and manages the state’s finances and economic growth.