Gov, CFO Butting Heads On Insurance Chief

Apr 26, 2016

Credit Florida Channel

Florida’s insurance commissioner is on his way out the door, but the Cabinet has again faltered in its efforts to name a successor.  They’re holding a follow-up meeting Friday.

Florida Governor Rick Scott is adamant the cabinet find a permanent replacement for outgoing insurance commissioner Kevin McCarty—seemingly rejecting McCarty’s offer to stay on until a successor is appointed.  Scott’s problem is no one seems to like his choice for the post.  

“I move to appoint Jeffery Bragg as commissioner of the officer of insurance regulation at a salary of 150,000 dollars.  Is there a second?” Scott asked at Tuesday’s meeting.

What followed felt like an excruciatingly long silence, as cabinet officers shuffled papers and tried not to make eye contact with the governor.

“So it doesn’t look like there’ll be a second,” Scott eventually said, “so let’s go forward—where we go from here.”

What’s next is a previously unscheduled Cabinet meeting this Friday, with at least two more candidates nominated by Scott at Tuesday’s hearing.  

Between property, health and auto insurance, the commissioner can have a major impact on consumers’ wallets.  So state law mandates at least five years of experience in the last decade.  But more important for Scott, he and the CFO have to agree on a nominee.  To this point CFO Jeff Atwater has backed other candidates.