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

Dear Fellow Floridian:

Just over a year ago, the voters of Florida afforded me the honor of serving as their Chief Financial Officer. Those of us fortunate enough to serve at this moment in history have the opportunity, as well as the obligation, to promote public policy that sustains a climate of fiscal integrity, defines the proper role of government in the lives of our fellow citizens, instills a culture of ethical policy development and, above all, upholds the Constitution.

As has been widely reported, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently announced a mandate as part of new rules required by the Affordable Health Care Act. After great public outcry, there was a shift in course and now insurance companies have been directed to provide services to employees of church-affiliated organizations. This shift in course has been called an accommodation, but we don’t elect leaders to accommodate the Constitution. We elect them to uphold it.

The financial consequences of our rights being deliberately encroached upon are dire. The tens of millions of people who are served nationally by religious-based charities that offer food, housing, social services and adoption support, might be left with few programs if these groups cease to offer services.

As Americans, it is our obligation to do all we can to stop any attempt to seize our constitutional rights. Allowing for federal power over religious organizations would give the federal government the ability to offer or withhold religious status. Americans deserve full protection of religious freedoms and must not stand for mandates that infringe on our constitutional rights.

Jeff Atwater
Jeff Atwater
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida

CFO Atwater oPresentation of check to Mrs. Stubbsn Good Morning America

This morning, CFO Atwater appeared on Good Morning America as he delivered an unclaimed property check to Cheryl Stubbs for nearly $80,000. View the segment below and be sure to visit www.myfloridacfo.com to check whether you have unclaimed property. To learn more about Good Morning America’s coverage of Florida Unclaimed Property program, please visit http://gma.yahoo.com/unclaimed-money/.

News of Interest

WINK News: Baseball business is booming in southwest Florida

Orlando Business Journal: Florida exports up 7.9 percent in November

Sun-Sentinel: Boca teen wins coveted national service award

Florida Today: Tax breaks try to woo company's 2,240 jobs to Titusville

Florida Trend: Barnie's reinvents itself as Barnie's Coffee Kitchen

Tampa Bay Times: $45 million petroleum expansion for Port of Tampa

Orlando Sentinel: Staffing firm ranks Orlando among best cities for IT hiring in 2012

Florida's Economic Stats on Call

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 website featuring the freshest data and easy access to our published editions.

Event Stages Auto Accidents as Scams

This week, Gov. Rick Scott and CFO Atwater observed a staged auto accidentInsurance Fraud badge demonstration in Tallahassee. The event showcased several types of staged auto accidents used in insurance fraud scams. Florida currently has three of the top five cities nationally for questionable medical claims associated with staged accidents: Tampa, Miami and Orlando. Organized scam artists recruit participants to stage accidents, fake injuries and bill insurance companies for treatments that never occurred. This year, legislative leaders are encouraged to let data drive the debate on reforms to Personal Injury Protection coverage in order to put the brakes on auto insurance fraud.CFO Atwater at stage accident scene.

With the hard work and dedication of investigators, state attorneys and state and local representatives, Florida can successfully fight fraud and work toward eliminating it.

Anyone with information about suspected insurance fraud is asked to call 1-800-378-0455. Individuals who provide tips can remain anonymous and are eligible for a reward of up to $25,000 for information that directly leads to an arrest and conviction in an insurance fraud scheme.