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My Florida C F O
Weekly eNewsletter from Florida's Chief Financial Officer

Dear Fellow Floridian:

In this challenging economic climate, it is important for Florida's entrepreneurs and businesses to have economic data for the state and the nation at their fingertips. Following its initial debut in October, we are excited to release the second issue of Florida's Bottom Line next week. This publication tracks important changes in the economy, keeping Floridians updated with the most recent and unbiased data. The January issue features statistics on jobs and housing, as well as articles from experts across the state on venture capital, entrepreneurship in Florida, and the economic outlook for 2012.

We have also launched a new Web site for Florida’s Bottom Line, which you can navigate to find data that has been updated between quarterly releases of the publication. With a click of the mouse, you can get the most up-to-date numbers on consumer confidence, unemployment, foreclosures and more. We value your feedback and we hope to hear from you on what we can feature in future issues. I hope Florida's Bottom Line and the new Web site help you, your family, and your business navigate through the economy in the coming year.

Jeff Atwater
Jeff Atwater
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida

State Fire Marshal Atwater Announces the Arrest of Arsonist in Pensacola Clinic Fire

Florida Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jeff Atwater on Thursday announced the arrest of Bobby Joe Rogers of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, after a joint investigation involving the Division of State Fire Marshal’s Bureau of Fire and Arson State Fire MarshalInvestigations (BFAI) and other members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF). The investigation determined that Rogers set fire to a clinic, causing approximately $300,000 in damage.

“We are thankful that no one was injured during this incident and for the collaboration between all of the law enforcement agencies involved in this case,” said CFO Atwater, who also serves as State Fire Marshal. “I would like to also thank members of the Pensacola community for providing the critical information needed to promptly resolve this case.”

To report arson, call 1-877-No-Arson (1-877-662-7766). A reward of up to $5,000 may be paid for a tip that leads directly to an arrest and conviction.

News of Interest

CNN: Arrest made in Florida clinic fire

Associated Press: Report: Florida workers' comp market 'competitive'

Orlando Business Journal: It’s official: Online holiday sales hit record $37.2B

Sarasota Herald-Tribune: Most Florida schools earn top grades

Sun-Sentinel: Tourism: More visitors expected in South Florida in 2012

Jacksonville Business Journal: Local accounting firm ranked 8th best in the nation

Miami Herald: South Florida ‘Mompreneurs’ are turning interests into new businesses

Miami Herald: KSC Kreate agency serves nation’s biggest companies

Palm Beach Post: Power-generating wind turbines might rise near Belle Glade

ICYMI: Thank You for a Great Year

Combating Identity Theft by Protecting Your Personal Information

Recent news reports have highlighted an increasing trend of identity theft in Florida. In the first half of 2011, the Federal Trade Commission received more than 20,000 complaints from Floridians claiming their identities were stolen. Unclaimed Property

As Florida’s Chief Financial Officer, I was shocked to learn that current law allows for the release of social security numbers to certain groups whose business is to connect Floridians with their unclaimed property. Without careful and diligent protection, these social security numbers could end up in the wrong hands.

That’s why I am pursuing legislation during the 2012 Session to eliminate a loophole that provides unclaimed property locators access to personal, confidential information that must be protected. Florida, the state with the most identity theft complaints last year, is the only state in the nation that still provides unclaimed property locators with social security numbers.

For more information about how to protect yourself from identity theft, visit our Your Money Matter$ Web page at www.MyFloridaCFO.com.