Legislators Raid Trust Fund
COUNCIL OF PRESIDENTS
Date: May 12, 2009
From: Council of Presidents of Chapter 493
To: All Licensees Under Florida § 493
SUBJECT: Letter to Governor Crist
The Council of Presidents is comprised of the presidents of the three associations representing the majority of licensees regulated pursuant to Ch . 493, F.S., the state law that regulates private investigators, private security and collateral recovery agents. The associations are the Florida Association of Private Investigators (FALI), the Florida Association of Security Companies (FASCO), and the Florida Association of Certified Asset Recovery Specialists (FLACARS). The licensees we represent exceed 150,000 in number.
We have decided to urgently contact you on behalf of our membership organizations and the members they represent to express our most profound concern with the legislative decision to sweep $6,000,000 from the Division of Licensing Trust Fund.
Governor, those funds were placed "in trust" by legislative mandate when the chapter was passed in the 1991 session. Our members have relied on that promise ever since. No GR has ever been used in the regulation of our industries. In fact, in 2007, the regulated industries initiated a fee increase for the Division of Licensing to ensure the agency had sufficient funds to properly regulate our professions.
Regrettably that has not been the case. As budgetary issues became the primary function of the last few legislative sessions, spending authority has been stagnant or reduced and the Division has been unable to maintain parity with an ever-increasing workload. Today, license applications have accumulated at the Division in staggering numbers. Applications are not reviewed for 6-8 months, in direct conflict with the statutory mandate that they be processed in 90 days; field investigators are not able to maintain their workloads resulting in unlicensed activity that places the citizens of Florida in jeopardy; jobs are being lost because qualified applicants cannot get their licenses authorizing them provide licensed services. Citizens private interests are at great risk.
You have the veto authority to address the legislature's unlawful and disrespectful action. We urge you to exercise that authority. In excess of 150,000 licensed, voting citizens will graciously remember your commitment to them. Attached please find our Statement Of Unity affixed with our signatures.
Statement of Unity
We, the undersigned duly elected presidents of the professional associations representing licensees governed under Chapter 493, Florida Statutes, specifically representing The Florida Association of Security Companies, The Florida Association of Licensed Investigators and Florida Alliance of Certified Asset Recovery Specialists, come together in an effort of creating a spirit of cooperation. We pledge our support for each other in order to better our respective industries by creating a single voice for all licensees for the purpose of influencing political, regulatory and business practices that affect us all.
As of this day, let it be known that we have agreed to form a "Council of Presidents" comprised of the presidents of these associations collectively representing Chapter 493 licensees. This Council will have meetings to seek input from its members regarding issues of common concern and to serve as a conduit of information to the association members and government alike.
We intend to influence and shape the future of our industries within the state of Florida by crafting new initiatives to the challenges we face and by generating new resolutions that will lead us into the future. We do this in an effort to enhance a greater protection of the public, to craft a more responsible image of our professions and to establish a coordinated and unified evolution of Chapter 493 and the professions we represent.
By affixing our signatures hereto, on behalf of the associations we represent, we agree to work for a common purpose and to abide by the majority vote of the Council.
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