This committee met for the first time under the leadership of Chair James Grant (R - Hillsborough, Pinellas) and Co-Chair Gwyn Clarke-Reed (D -Broward).  Chairman Grant stated that the committee will determine first if the claims bill process is broken, and then what is needed to make the process better and “less political.”  The committee heard a staff presentation on the history of sovereign immunity beginning with the common law of England where “the King can do no wrong” to the current state of the law in Florida and other states.   The staff presented the rationale both in support of sovereign immunity (protection of the treasury, discretion of officials, and separation of powers) and in critique (subordinates burden to the public, government should be responsible, etc.). 

The Office of the Chief Financial Official also gave a brief presentation on its Division of Risk Management and the trust fund into which state agencies pay premiums.  The presentation also included statistics on the most frequent types of claims (failure to maintain systems, slips and falls) and the most costly (vehicle collisions).