Jimmy Patronis: Florida Has Earned More than $40 Million in Interest From CARES Funds

State Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis said this week the Treasury Division has garnered more than $40 million due to interest on funds sent by the federal government to help during the coronavirus pandemic.

Patronis said on Tuesday that the state’s general fund has earned $41.25 million from the interest on funds from the CARES Act, the $2.3 trillion coronavirus package that the White House and Congress agreed to at the end of March.

“The Chief Financial Officer has a statutory duty to fully invest or deposit state funds to realize maximum earnings and benefits,” the CFO’s office noted.

“When Treasury received the nearly $5.9 billion in CARES Act funding, our team went to work in investing these dollars to generate more capital for priorities like health care, schools and roads. Through these strategic investments, we’ve generated more than $41 million that can be used for any purpose the governor and Legislature deem necessary. That’s a huge sum of cash that can positively impact our communities. With the coronavirus affecting state finances, every dollar counts, and I want to thank the Trump administration for giving states the opportunity to keep the generated interest,” Patronis said on Tuesday.

Noting that Patronis received those federal monies in April, the CFO’s office noted that he took steps to invest them.

“The CFO invested these funds into the Treasury Investment Pool where the interest can be used to help offset any reductions in general revenue due to the pandemic’s effect on the economy. The Florida Treasury uses pooled investments for all funds not immediately needed for state of Florida business. All funds invested within the State Treasury Pool are apportioned interest on a monthly basis based on their invested balance in the Total Pool. The investments are allocated among eight Treasury investment portfolios/programs. The Treasury’s principal investment management objectives include providing liquidity, preserving principal and providing incremental income,” the CFO’s office noted.

After eight years in the Florida House and serving on the state Public Service Commission (PSC), Patronis was named to his current post in the summer of 2017 by then Gov. Rick Scott after Jeff Atwater resigned the position to take a job at Florida Atlantic University (FAU). Back in November 2018, Patronis beat former state Sen. Jeremy Ring to win a term in his own right.

 

Reach Kevin Derby at kevin.derby@floridadaily.com.

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