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My Florida CFO

Estimados Compañeros Floridanos:

Fostering Financial ProsperityAs your Chief Financial Officer, I make it a priority to provide you with the latest information on the multitude of responsibilities our department is tasked with overseeing for Floridians. Our Dollars and Sense newsletter focuses on a different issue of relevance on a weekly basis, but this week I wanted to share with you a department-wide overview of our accomplishments.

One of my first actions as Chief Financial Officer was to increase the transparency of state government, and I am proud to say that we are having tremendous success. Since 2011, we have launched the Transparency Florida website, developed the Florida Accountability Contract Tracking System (FACTS) to make state contracts available online and developed SOLARIS (State-Owned Lands and Records Information System), an online tracking system for state-owned lands and facilities, for public viewing. These are only a few examples of our successes, but they are each very important to holding government accountable to taxpayers like you.

I am also proud of our ongoing efforts to fight fraud. We have made more than 5,000 insurance fraud arrests since January 2011, an average of 3.8 arrests per day. Nearly 2,000 of these arrests were for PIP fraud, an average of 1.5 per day. Meanwhile, we have also been successful fighting against public assistance fraud, against state contractors fraudulently billing the state and against workers’ compensation fraud, among other types.

One of the ways our department interacts most closely with consumers is through our Division of Consumer Services. Since 2011, we have advocated on behalf of 70,000 seniors, helped return $87 million to insurance consumers and helped return nearly $800 million in unclaimed property.

Plans are already underway to build upon these successes, including furthering government transparency, increasing our efforts to prevent fraud and making the insurance industry more consumer-friendly. I hope you will read this special edition of Florida’s Bottom Line for more information on our transparent, fiscally-sound and consumer-oriented accomplishments.

Hacer clic aquí to read more.

Jeff Atwater
Jeff Atwater
Oficial Principal de Finanzas
Estado de la Florida

Noticias de Interés

South Florida Sun Sentinel: Gas prices for Labor Day will be lowest since 2010

Orlando Sentinel: Orlando leads urbanization trends

South Florida Business Journal: South Florida in Top 10 markets for high-tech wage growth

Jacksonville Business Journal: Workers comp rates could be trimmed in Florida

WUFT: State Buys Land For Florida Greenway

Tampa Bay Times: All states added jobs in past year, but Florida fared better than all but two

Declaración del Oficial Principal de Finanzas, Jeff Atwater, Sobre la Demanda para Eliminar el Programa de Becas de Crédito Impositivo de la Florida

Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater recently issued the following statement on the lawsuit to eliminate the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program:

"I am outraged by the lawsuit seeking to eliminate the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program (FTCSP). Desde 2002, este programa ha otorgado becas a estudiantes marginados y de bajos ingresos cuyas familias han querido que ingresen a mejores escuelas. El FTCSP se amplió en 2010 y 2012 con un gran respaldo bipartidista en ambas cámaras. Que las entidades que presentan esta demanda elijan usar los Tribunales para lo que no pudieron lograr a través del proceso legislativo es desalentador e hipócrita.

"Unfortunately, the investment of time and money in this action is a clear indication of exactly what the academic elites in Florida value. En lugar de celebrar y hacer un aporte al enorme récord de éxito que este programa ha logrado para miles de niños de la Florida, los demandantes centraron su atención en socavar las oportunidades de los niños y las familias más necesitados para proteger sus propios feudos profesionales. Es muy triste e inquietante que estas organizaciones estén mucho más interesadas en restringir las posibilidades para lograr el éxito solo para marcar una cuestión de orden meramente burocrática.

"During the 2013 – 2014 school year, nearly 60,000 students and their families were able to avail themselves of approximately $274 million in FTCSP scholarships. This is a 17 percent increase in participation over the prior year. Almost 70 percent of scholarship recipients were minorities, those most at risk from underperforming schools.

"It is as tragic as it is inexplicable that the full weight of the professional academic establishment in this state would target the most vulnerable of our children. ¿La cantidad de niños en desventaja elegibles para estos programas es una amenaza tan grande para esta clase arraigada que quiere alejar la atención de las necesidades urgentes del sistema que administran para aplastar las esperanzas y los sueños de aquellas personas más necesitadas?

"The plaintiffs do not demonstrate strength by attacking the weakest among us. Ese es un signo de fracaso intelectual y moral. Floridians deserve far better."

Informes Económicos de la Florida

Consumer demand rises in South Florida
During the last month, South Florida reported an increase in tourism, real estate sales, and construction. For small businesses, the process of obtaining a traditional loan continues to take longer than it did before the recession. As a result, many businesses are choosing to expand by utilizing internal cash flow, nontraditional banks, and private investors.
Fuente: Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Orlando leads the state in population growth
From 2000 to 2012, Orlando’s city center increased by 34.2 percent, followed by Tampa with an increase of 14.5 percent. According to the Florida Retail Report, these trends indicate a growth in retail that is a product of a recovering economy and tourism sector.
Fuente: Orlando Sentinel

Florida's Bottom Line - Small Business

Florida's Bottom Line - Verano de 2014Las pequeñas empresas son el eje central de la economía de la Florida, es por eso que estamos concentrados en cultivar un entorno donde puedan seguir desarrollándose. En la Florida hay 2.3 millones de pequeñas empresas, cifra que constituye casi el 99 por ciento de los empleadores de nuestro estado. Estas empresas son verdaderamente una parte vital de la economía de la Florida, ya que emplean a uno de cada tres trabajadores de la Florida y crean casi dos tercios de los empleos nuevos en el sector privado, en todo el estado.

Esta edición de Florida’s Bottom Line destaca por qué las pequeñas empresas de la Florida deben seguir creciendo, prosperando y permaneciendo en nuestro estado para que nuestra economía avance. En su interior, encontrará análisis detallados de expertos en pequeñas empresas, así como una amplia variedad de recursos útiles para sus pequeña empresa.

Read the small business edition of Florida's Bottom Line aquí.