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CFO Jimmy Patronis to House Minority Leader: Floridians Need your Full Support on COVID-19 Liability Protections

3/24/2021

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, March 24, 2021
Contact: Office of Communications, Communications@MyFloridaCFO.com, 850.413.2842

CFO Jimmy Patronis to House Minority Leader: Floridians Need your Full Support on COVID-19 Liability Protections

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – In the run up to the COVID-19 liability protections Senate Bill 72 vote in the Florida House of Representatives on Thursday, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis this evening sent the following letter to House Minority Leader Bobby DuBose calling on House Democratic leadership to unify their support for protecting small businesses and health care heroes. If the legislation is passed without amendments, the bill will head to the Governor for signature. 

Full letter below:

Representative Bobby DuBose
Minority Leader, Florida House of Representatives
House Democratic Office
316 The Capitol
402 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399

Dear Leader DuBose:

Tomorrow, the Florida House will convene with an amazing opportunity to pass historic and meaningful liability protections and add Florida to the list of more than 20 other states that have enacted some sort of liability shields.

Therefore, I am respectfully asking that the members of the Democratic leadership support these vital liability protections in an effort to get all Democrat house members to support this bill. No doubt, this is the single most important piece of legislation that unifies families in the state. Seven of your members have already voted in support of this good bill and this vote presents us with an opportunity to unanimously support Florida’s businesses. I know that when I served with co-Leader Evan Jenne, we were elected to work on behalf of everyday Floridians – and we passed many important bills to ensure they got to the Governor for signature.

This is an incredible opportunity for legislators to step up and protect our businesses and frontline healthcare workers who have lost so much during these challenging times. I think you’ll agree this isn’t a Democratic or Republican issue, it’s a Florida issue – and we must show our business owners, job creators, and health care workers that we have their back.

For several months now, I have traveled the State of Florida hearing directly from business owners and health care workers on their struggles related to the COVID-19 pandemic. From Pensacola to Miami, I heard the same concerns voiced by our state’s job creators and frontline health care workers – the fear of operating with open ended liability related to COVID-19. I’m sure you’ve heard these worries from your constituents and that is why I’m writing you today and asking for your support to pass legislation this year and address this critical issue.

It’s no secret that COVID-19 has changed everything. As a former small business owner myself, I’ve spent most of my life in the restaurant industry, and I know how hard it is to make payroll on a good day, much less when hampered by the financial impacts of COVID-19. We must allow business owners who follow the proper health and safety guidelines to be protected from frivolous lawsuits and sue and settle tactics that will stifle our state’s recovery. No doubt, unless we take action to protect our small businesses, we’ll see big problems: businesses will close, insurance rates will continue to grow, and critical services will get squeezed.

My door is always open if you’d like to discuss this matter further and I thank you for your support and your service to Floridians.

Sincerely,
Jimmy Patronis
Chief Financial Officer

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About CFO Jimmy Patronis 
Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is a statewide elected official and a member of Florida’s Cabinet who oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Patronis works each day to fight insurance fraud, support Florida’s firefighters, and ensure the state’s finances are stable to support economic growth in the state. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and Twitter (@FLDFS).