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Senate passes reforms for Department of Financial Services

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

An amended version of a bill reforming several laws and policies at the Department of Financial Services passed the Senate unanimously. LobbyTools reports that HB 651 is now headed back to the House.

The bill, in part, creates a new grant program for volunteer fire departments and specifies that employees of state universities, special districts and water management districts can participate in the state’s deferred compensation program.

Amendments added by Sen. Alan Hays and Sen. Jeff Brandes are the reason the bill will be returned to the House. LobbyTools notes that Hays’ amendment seeks to push back to 2019 a repeal of the statute exempting medical malpractice insurance premiums from emergency assessments. That exemption was set to expire at the end of May. Brandes’ amendments made some minor tweaks to surplus lines and travel insurance regulation.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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