On Tuesday, Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis sent a letter to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. to thank him for his support in championing liability protections to head off COVID-19-related lawsuits. Patronis requested McConnell provide special consideration regarding America’s 1.3 million non-profit organizations, as they will face potential liabilities related to COVID-19.
The letter is below:
Dear Leader McConnell:
Thank you for your leadership and consideration for the financial position of states throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. I want to thank you for working to strike the right balance of providing help where needed while avoiding a federal bailout of states that have suffered from years of poor fiscal management. Since COVID-19 impacted our state and nation, I have held over 20 meetings with Chambers across Florida and have served on Governor Ron DeSantis’s Re-Open Florida Taskforce. It’s clear from the boots on the ground that if we hope to fully recover from this pandemic, we’ll need to provide legal protections to a whole host of organizations who continue to work to protect their employees and customers so our communities can get back to normal. As the state’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and a former small business owner, I am concerned about, and have been advocating for protections for private businesses, and I also believe we must have protections in place for our non-profit institutions.
That’s why today I am writing to voice my support for your work in championing liability protections to head off unreasonable COVID-19-related lawsuits that would effectively stall our nation’s economy and keep folks unemployed. While Congress deliberates the extent of liability protections, I ask that you provide special consideration regarding America’s 1.3 million non-profit organizations, as they will face potential liabilities related to COVID-19.
As you know, non-profit entities are critical when it comes to providing countless services and resources for communities. From raising money for cancer research, to helping families with medical bills, to spaying and neutering pets, and everything in between, we can’t allow our non-profits to fail under the weight of a monsoon of lawsuits. Non-profit organizations must raise money in order to provide services. For every event a non-profit holds, it must make a determination as to whether funds raised will justify the costs. The financial risks presented by unreasonable COVID-19 lawsuits may force many non-profits to forego fundraising events that would otherwise be used to provide services to the public. If our non-profits can’t operate, then taxpayers will have to pick up the slack for all manner of services otherwise provided through private non-profits. In short, the public good provided by private, non-profit entities is too significant to be placed in jeopardy by the threat of unreasonable COVID-19 lawsuits.
As Chief Financial Officer, I am willing and able to assist you and any other federal leader who need to hear from folks on how important it is to see these protections through. If you need further assistance or information, please don’t hesitate to reach out to my office.