My Florida CFO

Estimados Compañeros Floridanos:

It goes without saying that June 1 has a special meaning to Floridians: the start of the Atlantic Hurricane Season. Last fall, Florida’s 10-year hurricane-free streak was broken as Hurricane Hermine made landfall near the coast of St. Marks. About one month later, Hurricane Matthew made landfall over Haiti as a Hurricane Matthew pathCategory 4 hurricane, later embarking on a three-day journey up Florida’s east coast and into Georgia and the Carolinas, causing damage that exceeded $729 million and generated 112,000 insurance claims. In total, Floridians last year filed nearly 130,000 insurance claims totaling roughly $800 million in losses. The question now is: If a storm were to reach Florida’s shores next week, would you be prepared?

Last year’s hurricane season affected a large majority of our state, leaving many of us with wind-damaged property, flooded homes and one big headache. As some us learned, sandbags and boarded windows will only get you so far. In some ways, our destiny will be defined by Mother Nature, regardless of what may lay in her path. Experts are predicting that the United States should prepare for another active season with an estimated 11-14 named storms and four to seven hurricanes, with two to three of those storms growing to category 3 or higher. But remember, it only takes one.
Financial Preparedness Toolkit
With the start of the 2017 Hurricane Season quickly approaching, it is up to you to make sure your emergency preparedness efforts reach beyond bottled water and batteries and include being financially prepared for a hurricane event. I encourage all Floridians to start putting together an insurance and financial packet that you can easily take with you should you need to leave your home in a hurry. Be sure to include documentation associated with property and health insurance policies as well as financial account information and contact information for banks and insurance companies. Having these documents put together ahead of time allows you to have ready access to all of the information necessary to file an insurance claim during an emergency evacuation.

If you need a hand getting your insurance-related preparation underway—no problem. We’ve created a simple, easy-to-use financial preparedness toolkit to assist with this process. Our toolkit provides a single place to jot down and keep track of all of your insurance information. In the event that a storm directly affects you and your family, this toolkit can help you keep a list of adjuster contacts, emergency service contacts such as the Red Cross, FEMA and the Department’s consumer helpline, as well as a log of any calls you’ve made to insurance companies or agents about claims you may have to file.

Our toolkit can be downloaded in INGLÉS, ESPAÑOL y CREOLE and serves as an essential tool to supplement your preparation efforts. To learn more, please visit our website for additional tips and tools at http://www.myfloridacfo.com/division/Consumers/Storm/.

Take a minute and dust off your preparation materials and ensure you and your family will be financially prepared for this year’s hurricane season.

Atentamente,

Jeff
Jeff Atwater
Oficial Principal de Finanzas
Estado de la Florida



Los Esfuerzos en la Lucha Contra el Fraude del Oficial Principal de Finanzas Atwater Tuvieron Éxito en el Primer Trimestre de 2017

Insignia del DIFSCFO Jeff Atwater announced that fraud-fighting efforts led by the Department of Financial Services took 322 law-breaking fraudsters off the streets during the first quarter of 2017. Los esfuerzos antifraude del Departamento se centran en áreas de asistencia pública y fraude de seguros, incendios premeditados y robo o abuso de fondos estatales.

"Los fraudes de cualquier tipo elevan los costos para todos los residentes de la Florida", dijo el Oficial Principal de Finanzas Atwater. "Nuestros esfuerzos son más fuertes gracias a la sociedad que hemos formado con las agencias de policía locales y espero que estos resultados envíen una onda expansiva a otros posibles delincuentes para que piensen dos veces antes de cometer un delito".

Fraude de Seguros

La División de Servicios Forenses y de Investigación (DIFS) del Departamento supervisa los fraudes de seguros y las investigaciones sobre fraudes en la compensación legal por accidentes de trabajo; también supervisa los fraudes manejados por la Oficina de Integridad Fiscal, que se encarga de los desperdicios, los fraudes y el abuso de los fondos estatales.

Entre el 1 de enero y el 31 de marzo de 2017, estas unidades realizaron 260 arrestos y presentaron cerca de 300 casos ante los procuradores estatales en toda la Florida. Además, durante el mismo período, se realizaron exitosamente 230 procesos judiciales.

Un arresto notables fue el de una mujer del sur de la Florida que se pegó en la cabeza ella misma con una rociador roto para solicitar una compensación legal por accidentes de trabajo Las secuencias de video de vigilancia que obtuvieron los investigadores probaron que la mujer no había resultado herida por un objeto que había caído, como ella aseguraba.

Fraude en la Asistencia Pública

La División de Fraude en la Asistencia Pública del Departamento protege a los residentes de la Florida del fraude en la asistencia pública al luchar contra el uso indebido de los beneficios de la asistencia pública, tales como la asistencia temporal por comida y alojamiento.

Entre el 1 de enero y el 31 de marzo de 2017, la División remitió 535 caso a las 20 oficinas de los procuradores estatales de la Florida. Las investigaciones ahorraron $478,000 que debían pagarse a personas que se comprobó que usaban el programa de manera indebida y se devolvieron otros $4,016,051 como retribución de personas que fueron descubiertas usando de manera indebida fondos de programas estatales.

Además, el estado proporciona una programa que ayuda a las familias de la Florida a conseguir servicios de cuidados de niños a un bajo costos si lo necesitan. Como resultado de los esfuerzos de la División, los investigadores de fraudes en la asistencia pública consiguieron 66 nuevos lugares en servicios de cuidados de niños al quitar a familias no elegibles que obtuvieron acceso a este beneficio de manera fraudulenta.

Incendio Intencional

La Oficina de Investigaciones de Incendios Naturales y Premeditados de DIFS descarta posibles señales de juego sucio en los incendios. Muchas veces, los incendios intencionales se cometen para ocultar delitos mayores o para cobrar el dinero del seguro.

La Oficina respondió cerca de 900 llamadas de servicio durante el primer trimestre de 2017 y realizó 62 arrestos. Además, se presentaron 104 casos durante el mismo período.

Los esfuerzos del Departamento continúan, y se pide que los residentes de la Florida ayuden al denunciar conductas sospechosas de las autoridades. Para denunciar sospechas sobre fraude de seguros, llame al 1-800-378-0445. Para denunciar un incendio sospechoso, llame al 1-877-662-7766. Para denunciar el uso indebido de la asistencia pública, llame al 1-866-762-2237.

Florida's Bottom Line: Fighting for Florida’s Firefighters

Julius Halas guest-authored a column in our latest edition of Florida's Bottom Line that focuses on Florida's Firefighter Memorial Monument at the Florida State Capitol. Here is an excerpt:

Julius Halas, Director of the Florida Division of State Fire MarshalIn early 2013, CFO Atwater, who also serves as Florida’s State Fire Marshal, shared his vision of a fallen firefighter monument in Florida’s capital city. After months of planning, CFO Atwater and the Commissioner of Agriculture, Adam Putnam, sponsored a Cabinet resolution that authorized the creation of a monument to be built on the grounds of the State Capitol Building in Tallahassee. Today, the monument stands as testaments to the spirit and legacy of firefighters — past, present, and future.

On St. Patrick’s Day 2015, the Department hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony that opened the monument to the public. The monument honors fire service personnel who have made the ultimate sacrifice of losing their lives in the line of duty. The installation of a bronze firefighter statue in early 2018 will complete the monument.

Firefighter MemorialRead more from Chief Halas in the Spring edition of Florida's Bottom Line. A one-stop shop for the latest news and valuable insight on Florida's economy and financial health, Florida's Bottom Line is CFO Atwater's award-winning quarterly economic magazine and website.

Florida’s Bottom Line website reports the latest Florida financial news, with detailed charts showing the trends of Florida's economy and jobs over the past eight years, updated when new stats are released.

Informes Económicos de la Florida

Florida’s unemployment rate decreased to 4.5 percent in April
Florida’s unemployment rate was 4.5 percent in April, down 0.3 percentage points from March (4.8 percent) and down 0.5 percentage points from April of last year (5.0 percent). La tasa de desempleo de la Florida en la actualidad es más alta que la tasa de desempleo de los EE. UU., del 4.5 por ciento.
Fuente: Oficina de Estadísticas Laborales de EE. UU.

Miami ranked as the best metropolitan area of startup activity in U.S.
According to a recent report from the Kauffman Foundation, the Miami, FL MSA had the highest startup activity in the country. Miami overtook Austin, TX as the MSA with the highest startup activity in 2017.
Fuente: Kauffman Foundation