Dear Fellow Floridian:
As Florida’s CFO, I have the privilege of serving as the State Fire
Marshal. As your State Fire Marshal, I am proud to present the annual
Fire Service Awards, recognizing the heroes who respond to all types of emergencies. This week, we honored 12 fire service professionals for
exceptional dedication to their field. All firefighters know that any
call could be their last, yet they rush to the aid of their friends,
neighbors and communities. Although we recognized a special few this week, I
commend every single firefighter and emergency responder for what they do on a daily basis to protect the lives of Floridians they may never know.
the ringing of the bell ceremony, we paid tribute to those firefighters
who received their "last call" and their commitment to protect their
fellow Floridians at any cost. This week, I hope you will remember the
sacrifices and selfless dedication of our fallen fire service
professionals. Remember those who may be running into a burning building
or forest to help while others are running to safety. And above all,
remember to thank these brave men and women for all they do to protect
our families and communities.
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida
Small Business More Confident in February
Last month, Florida small businesses' confidence in economic recovery rose
once again, a sign that the economy is showing moderate progress. The National
Federation of Independent Business measures small business owners’ confidence
level based on key economic indicators.
levels increased from 93.9 to 94.3 for February, its sixth consecutive monthly
gain. February’s confidence levels are the second highest since the beginning of
the recession in December 2007. As small-business confidence grows, so will job
creation and long-term prosperity for Florida.
to read Florida’s Bottom Line.
Saving through Bond Refinancing
The Division of Bond Finance, which CFO Atwater oversees as a member of the
Florida Cabinet, is working diligently to search for every penny of savings by
refunding outstanding state debt to take advantage of record low interest rates.
Calendar year to date, they have lowered interest rates on outstanding bonds to
a savings of $105,025,679 gross debt service, all of which will be passed
through in savings to Floridians.
Consumer Services Assists Floridians
The Department of Financial Services’ Division of
Services assists Florida’s consumers in making informed insurance and
financial decisions. The dedicated and experienced staff is continuously
trained about any changes that occur in the 26 different categories of
insurance. Consumer assistance and protection are their mission.
Since January 2011, the talented staff at the division has helped 24,167
people and recovered more than $24 million. The Division of Consumer Services'
staff is standing by to help you with any insurance or financial questions you
may have. To contact a specialist, please call 1-800-640-0886 between the hours
of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. They are eager to help Florida’s
consumers and look forward to putting more money back in your pockets in 2012.