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  • 03/26/2020 12:41 PM | Anonymous

    Click on the link below to read Federal and Florida State Action on COVID-19

    Florida State and Local Action on COVID-19 March 26 12pm.pdf

  • 03/24/2020 8:05 AM | Anonymous

    Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-80, directing all persons whose point of departure originates from outside the State of Florida in an area with substantial community spread, to include the New York Tri-State Area (Connecticut, New Jersey and New York), and entering the State of Florida through airports to isolate or quarantine for a period of 14 days from the time of entry into the State of Florida or the duration of the person's presence in the State of Florida, whichever is shorter.

    Click below to read full order

    EO 20-80.pdf

  • 03/23/2020 5:43 PM | Anonymous

      

    NYDFS: COVID-19 Preparedness Plans To Be Required From Regulated Entities

       

    By April 9, 2020, DFS requires that each regulated institution submit a response to DFS describing the institution’s plan of preparedness to manage the risk of disruption to its services and operations. Responses are to be submitted to the following designated email address: banking.covid19@dfs.ny.gov.

    As noted by Shirin Emami (Executive Deputy Superintendent – Banking), an institution’s preparedness plan “should be sufficiently flexible to effectively address a range of possible effects that could result from an outbreak of COVID-19, and reflect the institution’s size, complexity and activities.”

    Click here to read more.


    If you’d like further details, please contact the authors:

       

    David J. Butler

    Principal | New Jersey | New York

    dbutler@bressler.com

    Brian J. Ellis

    Counsel | New Jersey | New York

    bellis@bressler.com


  • 03/19/2020 2:18 PM | Anonymous

    March 17

    Governor DeSantis requests that schools remain closed through April 15th. All PreK-12 school testing canceled this year and no school grades.

    http://fldoe.org/em-response/index.stml

    Governor DeSantis orders all bars, nightclubs, breweries to close for 30 days. Restaurants restricted to no more than 50% capacity. Groups are limited to 10 people at restaurants, beaches, and patrons must distance themselves by at least 6 feet.

    https://www.flgov.com/wp-content/uploads/orders/2020/EO_20-68.pdf

    Gov. DeSantis calls for Florida universities to do online classes through rest of spring semester https://www.fox13news.com/news/gov-desantis-calls-for-florida-universities-to-do-online-classes-through-rest-of-spring-semester

    CMS Approves First State Request for 1135 Medicaid Waiver in Florida https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/press-releases/cms-approves-first-state-request-1135-medicaid-waiver-florida

    March 16

    Governor Ron DeSantis Thanks Legislature for Taking Swift Action to Make Nearly $28 Million in Federal Funds Available for COVID-19 Response

    https://www.flgov.com/2020/03/16/governor-ron-desantis-thanks-legislature-for-taking-swift-action-to-make-nearly-28-million-in-federal-funds-available-for-covid-19-response/

    Governor Ron DeSantis Activates Emergency Bridge Loan Program for Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19 https://www.flgov.com/2020/03/16/governor-ron-desantis-activates-emergency-bridge-loan-program-for-small-businesses-impacted-by-covid-19/

    Surgeon General Rivkees issues emergency order DOH 20-002 allowing health care professionals licensed in any U.S. state or territory to practice in Florida, including telehealth, for 30 days. http://www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/COVID-19/ssg-orders/_documents/filed-eo-doh-no.-20-002-medical-professionals-03.16.2020.pdf

    March 14

    Governor DeSantis announces a ban on visiting nursing homes for 30 days to slow coronavirus spread https://www.pnj.com/story/news/2020/03/14/coronavirus-florida-bans-visitors-all-nursing-homes-30-days/5052519002/

    March 13

    Governor DeSantis announces all Florida public schools to close for 2 weeks to limit coronavirus spread https://www.fox13news.com/news/all-florida-pubilc-schools-to-close-for-2-weeks-to-limit-coronavirus-spread

    March 12

    Governor Ron DeSantis Activates Emergency Business Damage Assessment Survey for Coronavirus (COVID-19) https://www.flgov.com/2020/03/12/governor-ron-desantis-activates-emergency-business-damage-assessment-survey-for-coronavirus-covid-19/

    Florida Office of Financial Regulation (OFR) Provides Guidance to Florida Securities Professionals Regarding COVID-19 https://flofr.com/sitePages/OFRNews.htm?p=ofr-provides-guidance-to-securities-professionals-regarding-covid-19

    Florida Office of Financial Regulation (OFR) Provides Guidance to Florida State-Chartered Financial Institutions Regarding COVID-19 https://flofr.com/sitePages/OFRNews.htm?p=ofr-provides-guidance-to-florida-state-chartered-financial-institutions-regarding-covid-19

    March 9

    Governor DeSantis issues Executive Order No. 20-52 which designates the Director of the Division of Emergency Management as the State Coordinating Officer for COVID-19

    https://www.flgov.com/wp-content/uploads/orders/2020/EO_20-52.pdf

    March 1

    Governor DeSantis issues Executive Order 20-51 which directs Surgeon General Rivkees to declare a public health emergency to better equip Florida with the resources needed to handle this public health threat https://www.flgov.com/wp-content/uploads/orders/2020/EO_20-51.pdf

    Local Action on COVID-19

    March 18

    City of Tampa to Launch Tampa Recovery Hotline for Social Recovery and Business Relief in the face of COVID-19 https://www.tampagov.net/news/city-tampa-launch-tampa-recovery-hotline-social-recovery-and-business-relief-face-covid-19

    March 17

    Miami-Dade County issues emergency orders closing all restaurant dining rooms (takeout and delivery only) and all bars, bowling alleys, movie theaters, gyms, fitness studios. Groups larger than 10 not allowed on beaches, parks, or county recreation facilities. Use of mopeds, scooters, bikes, motorized bikes not allowed on public roadways.

    https://www.miamidade.gov/information/library/coronavirus-emergency-order-03-20-food-service.pdf

    https://www.miamidade.gov/information/library/coronavirus-emergency-order-05-20-scooters.pdf

    https://www.miamidade.gov/information/library/coronavirus-emergency-order-04-20-parks.pdf

    Miami Beach issues emergency order closing all public beaches and parks, sidewalk cafes, and city parking lots and garages. Curfew is in effect from 12pm to 5am. All restaurants, bars, pubs, breweries are closed for dining room service (takeout and delivery only). All movie theaters, arcades, live performances, gyms, and fitness centers are closed. All other non-essential businesses shall close by 10pm https://www.miamibeachfl.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Scan_Granado-Rafael_14_09_03-17_03_2020-2.pdf

    Ft. Lauderdale announces all public gatherings more than 10 people are prohibited. All bars, pubs, night clubs shall close. All gyms and fitness studios shall close. All restaurants shall end dine-in customer service (takeout and delivery only). All beaches, city parks and recreational facilities are closed. All city commission meetings, public board meetings, sports leagues, and HOA meetings are postponed.

    https://www.fortlauderdale.gov/home/showdocument?id=45654

    Town of Palm Beach orders curfew from 9pm to 6am. All public beaches and recreation facilities are closed.  https://www.townofpalmbeach.com/AlertCenter.aspx?AID=COVID19-Notice-31720-1049

    March 16

    Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry orders bars, restaurants, movie theaters and churches to limit attendance to no more than 50 people as of 5 p.m. Monday. https://www.coj.net/departments/fire-and-rescue/emergency-preparedness/preparedenss/covid-19-information

    City of St. Pete orders prohibition on public assemblies of larger than 50 people. Restaurants, bars, theaters, stadiums, bowling allies, athletic fields, arenas, gyms, and fitness centers must operate at no more than 50% capacity beginning March 17th. http://www.stpete.org/emergency/docs/Order%202020-03%20Order%20for%20public%20assembalge.pdf

    City of Orlando announces all city-sponsored or hosted events with more than 10 people are canceled. https://www.orlando.gov/COVID-19

    South Florida cities—including Miami, Miami Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, Delray Beach, Hallandale—announce sweeping restrictions on bars/restaurants, curfews, canceled public events, and beach closures.

    https://www.sun-sentinel.com/coronavirus/fl-ne-curfew-in-delray-and-hallandale-20200317-ogn2ve2udrcd3m53jdrgwupz3e-story.html

    Tampa and St. Pete limit restaurants and bars to 50% capacity. Tampa bars and restaurants must close by 10pm; last call for alcohol in St. Pete is 9 p.m.

    https://www.tampabay.com/news/health/2020/03/16/tampa-warns-restaurants-bars-it-may-order-restricted-hours-or-closures/

    St. Pete joins other local governments in allowing city employees to work from home

    https://www.tampabay.com/news/st-petersburg/2020/03/16/st-pete-wont-let-most-city-office-staff-work-at-home-during-coronavirus/

    March 12

    Miami-Dade declares a local state of emergency https://www.miamidade.gov/information/library/coronavirus-state-of-emergency.pdf


  • 03/12/2020 4:48 PM | Anonymous

    Today, the Florida Legislature passed House Bill 813, which allows securities dealers and investment advisors to delay suspicious transactions or disbursements based on a reasonable belief of financial exploitation.  This bill was a multi-year, collaborative effort undertaken by the FSDA, Financial Services Institute, SIFMA and other industry organizations working alongside the Office of Financial Regulation and the Elder Section of the Florida Bar.  With the passage of HB 813, Florida now becomes the 30th state in the union to pass a state report and hold law.

    Representatives Lawrence McClure (R-Tampa), Representative Byron Donalds (R-Naples), Senator Doug Broxson (R-Pensacola) and others worked tirelessly to ensure final passage and are to be commended for their efforts.   Attorney General Ashley Moody and CFO Jimmy Patronis are also to be commended for their support of the Legislation.  We are optimistic Governor Ron DeSantis will sign the measure and will be working with other industry organizations to ensure the Governor has all relevant information on this very good and necessary legislation that will protect the hard earned assets of our seniors in Florida.

    Final Bill text can be found here:  HB 813<https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2020/813/BillText/c2/PDF>

  • 03/04/2020 12:54 PM | Anonymous

    On March 2, 2020, the Rules Committee of the Florida Senate considered the “Protection of Vulnerable Investors” bill. The Rules Committee voted to send the bill to the full Florida Senate for consideration. No Senator on the Rules Committee voted against the bill. The bill now has passed through three committees of the Florida Senate without a single no vote. In 2018 and 2019, a similar bill did not make it out of committee and was not considered by the full Florida Senate.

    As we previously reported, an identical bill sailed through the Florida House of Representatives without a single no vote in committee. When the bill reached the full Florida House for consideration, all 118 Representatives voted for the bill, and it passed unanimously.

    The vote by the Florida Senate on the bill likely will come within the next two weeks. We will update information relating to this important piece of legislation as it occurs. 

    If you’d like further details, please contact the author:

       

    Alex J. Sabo

    Principal | Florida

    asabo@bressler.com


  • 02/20/2020 4:11 PM | Anonymous

    Vulnerable Investor Legislation Moves Forward in Florida 

     

    For the third time in as many years, the Florida Legislature is considering adding a provision to Chapter 517 of the Florida Statutes, the Florida Securities and Investor Act, which is designed to protect vulnerable investors, including persons who are more than 65 years old. The provision, similar to hold and report laws adopted by many other states, applies to both distributions from and transactions in the account of a vulnerable investor.

    Today, as in 2018 and 2019, the Florida House of Representatives approved the legislation. Today’s vote, unlike prior years, was unanimous, with no Representative voting against the legislation. The proposed legislation previously had moved swiftly through two subcommittees and the Commerce Committee of the Florida House of Representatives, again without a single Representative voting against the legislation.

    The legislation currently is pending before the Rules Committee of the Florida Senate and must receive approval from that committee before it goes to the full Florida Senate for a vote.  Two committees of the Florida Senate already have reviewed the proposed legislation without a single Senator voting against the legislation.   

    Under the legislation, a securities dealer or investment adviser may place a hold of up to 15 business days on a transaction or distribution if it reasonably believes that financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult has occurred or been attempted, or is occurring or will be attempted.  The legislation allows the firm to extend the hold for up to 10 business days if the firm’s review continues to support the hold.   The identical bills pending in the Florida House of Representatives and Florida Senate require the firm, within three business days, to report the initial hold to the Florida Office of Financial Regulation (OFR), as well as all persons authorized to transact business in, and any designated trusted contact for, the vulnerable investor’s account.  The firm also must notify OFR of any extension of the original hold.   

    In 2018 and 2019, the Florida House of Representatives approved the vulnerable investor Legislation with less than a handful of Representatives voting against it.  Unfortunately, in 2018 and 2019, the legislation never made it to the floor of the Florida Senate for a vote.  Hopefully, this year will prove the old adage that “the third time is the charm,” and the Florida Senate will join the Florida House of Representatives in approving this significant and important legislation.

    BAR will update this report as new developments occur.


     

    If you’d like further details, please contact the author:

     

    Alex J. Sabo

    Principal | Florida

    asabo@bressler.com


  • 01/21/2020 11:45 AM | Anonymous

    New Jersey became the latest state to pass a law to better protect senior citizens from financial exploitation.

    Gov. Phil Murphy, D, signed the Safeguarding Against Financial Exploitation Act last week. Under the new law, a qualified individual who reasonably believes that financial exploitation of an eligible adult has occurred would be required to notify the Bureau of Securities as well as any applicable county adult protective services provider.

    A “qualified individual” is any agent, investment adviser representative or other person that serves in a supervisory, compliance, or legal capacity for a broker-dealer or investment advisor.

    “Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for senior citizens to be taken advantage of by people seeking to take their money, property, assets or identities,” said Assemblyman John McKeon, D-Essex, Morris, in a statement. “These crimes often go unreported and untracked. The good news is financial exploitation can be prevented with the right protections in place.”

    McKeon was a prime backer of the legislation. The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors’ New Jersey chapter also lobbied hard for the law.

    “A law such as this is one more tool the professional members of NAIFA-NJ will have to keep older adults safe," said NAIFA-NJ President Corrado Gugliotta.

    The law also allows a broker-dealer or investment advisor to delay disbursement from an eligible adult’s account if it may result in financial exploitation. In so doing, the broker-dealer or investment advisor would be immune from any administrative or civil liability.

    A study published by MetLife Mature Market Institute last year estimates the financial loss by victims of elder financial crimes and exploitation at more than $2.9 billion dollars annually.

    Since 2018, more than two dozen states have enacted legislation to protect senior citizens from fraud, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.


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