Dear Fellow Floridian:
You have entrusted us, your elected representatives, to watch over
the money you send to your government. This week, we furthered our
commitment to do just that with the unanimous passage out of committee
of Senate Bill 1626, sponsored by Sen. Don Gaetz, and House Bill 1409,
sponsored by Rep. Ben Albritton, regarding state contracting reforms.
Strict contracting standards are a reflection of how seriously we take
the responsibility to watch over your dollars. These proposed reforms
are expected to improve our state’s bottom line because nearly $51
billion−or approximately 57 percent of the state budget−are spent on
contracts and agreements for goods and services.
I applaud Sen. Gaetz and Rep. Albritton for their leadership and commend the
committee members for supporting these important measures to protect Florida
taxpayer dollars. We must ensure the state’s contracting process reflects the
highest ethical and fiscal standards; is clear, consistent and measurable; and
is conducted in the most efficient manner possible in delivering goods and
services to our fellow Floridians.
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida
Florida Cabinet on the Road to Tampa
On Thursday, the Florida Cabinet took the meeting on the road from
Tallahassee to Tampa for the opening of the Florida State Fair. The fair has
a rich tradition dating back to 1904, when it started on the grounds of the
old Tampa Bay Hotel,
the University of Tampa. Except for a few years during World War II, the
fair has been held every year, becoming a great Florida tradition. Be sure
to visit the Tampa area to experience the Florida State Fair's midway,
entertainment, food, animals and exhibits through Monday, Feb. 20.
With more than 1,000 jobs and $142.6 million in sales annually, the fair is
the perfect setting for the Florida Cabinet to discuss and bring attention to
the issues that have a financial impact on the state. Holding a Cabinet meeting
outside of Tallahassee is a change of pace and a great opportunity to hear
citizens' feedback and concerns on issues in Tallahassee.
Florida's Economy at your Fingertips
Read the quarterly newsletter for the inside track on Florida's
financial health. To provide you up-to-date information on Florida’s
economy, we have a
companion Web site featuring the freshest data and easy access to
our published editions.
Recognizing Law Enforcement Officers
This week, CFO Atwater had the opportunity to be a part of
Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Law Enforcement Officer of the Year
Awards, an important occasion when law enforcement professionals
are recognized for their outstanding performance, integrity and
selfless dedication to duty. The 2011 Law Enforcement Officer of
the Year was Polk County Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Braswell who
earned this distinction for his dedication to protecting the
lives of all Floridians.
of the nominees was Detective Neil Zierden from the Division of
State Fire Marshal, Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations.
Detective Zierden investigated 72 fires and arrested 12
individuals for arson this past year. He is truly an outstanding
member of the State Fire Marshal team.
Left to right: State Fire Marshal Bureau Chief
Joe Steadman of Fire and Arson Investigations, Detective Neil
Zierden, CFO & State Fire Marshal Jeff Atwater and Deputy CFO