Dear Fellow Floridian:
Last week I had the pleasure of visiting the
Port of Tampa, which handles
more than 34 million tons of cargo in and out of the
state of Florida. I was
able to tour the port and hear about its positive impact on the local economy and our state. This week I hit the road to Miami and also had the experience of visiting another great port in Florida. The
Port of Miami is currently undergoing
two projects: a deep dredging project and
a tunnel project. Both have the
potential for increasing commerce in Miami-Dade and the state of Florida. Florida’s ports have a ripple effect on various job markets in our great state and will help bolster our economy.
I also have been given the honor to visit with a number of former Cuban political prisoners. This Saturday, I will hear about their experiences, struggles for democracy, imprisonment and exile in the United States. As a person with
a long-standing family connection to Cuba’s war for independence from Spain in 1896, I
care for its people, their struggles and sacrifices, and the realization of their natural yearning to breathe free. Cubans are a people proud of their heritage and the stories of these freedom fighters must be told.
More than 100 years ago, Cuba was successful in this struggle for independence. But tragically, the hard-won victory was later lost to another kind of tyranny. I am committed to joining liberty-loving people as an advocate for freedom, the sanctity of human rights and an open, democratic form of government. And, as these former political prisoners will testify, this struggle is far from over.
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida
Flag Day Commemorates the U.S. Flag
George Washington said, "We take the stars from heaven, the
red from our mother country, separating it by white stripes,
thus showing that we have separated from her, and the white
stripes shall go down to posterity, representing our liberty."
On June 14 of 1777, the Second Continental Congress signed a brief resolution
calling for the adoption of the United States flag with the original 13 stars.
Flag Day is a time for all Americans to celebrate and display our great flag and
proclaim what it truly represents: our freedom and our unity as a nation.
Let us honor and observe our flag every day and remember those who have died
Unclaimed Property Auction Raises More Than $1 Million for
Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater today announced the 2013
Unclaimed Property Auction held on Saturday in Tampa was the
second-highest-grossing auction in the 52-year history of Florida’s unclaimed
property program, drawing more than 300 attendees, including 220 bidders, and
raising $1.16 million for Florida’s public schools.
“I thank everyone who put the auction together and more importantly, to thank
the team at the Bureau of Unclaimed Property who work tirelessly every day to
reunite Floridians with their unclaimed dollars or property,” said CFO Atwater.
“I encourage everyone to frequently check our website to see if they have
unclaimed property. It is our goal to give back to Floridians what rightfully
belongs to them.”
CFO Atwater opened as guest auctioneer, selling several featured items such
as a 1776 Continental Note and one 1876 gold pocket watch. All of the auctioned
items were from abandoned safe deposit boxes at Florida financial institutions.
Unclaimed money, including the earnings from auctions, is deposited into the
state school fund, where, until claimed, it is used for public education. There
is no statute of limitations, and citizens have the right to claim their
property at any time at no cost.
In his first 28 months in office, CFO Atwater’s Bureau of Unclaimed Property
has seen record returns, reuniting more than 850,000 owners, heirs and
businesses with more than $520 million including a record-high $24.7 million in
June 2011 alone.
The next auction will be held August 23-24 at the Ft. Lauderdale Airport
Hilton. To look for or claim unclaimed property, visit
www.FLTreasureHunt.org, or call 1-88-VALUABLE or 850-413-5555.
Florida's Bottom Line
has revolutionized government accountability by enabling the public to have
unprecedented and easy access to government data.
This quarterly edition of Florida’s Bottom Line features information about
ongoing efforts to continue making government in Florida more open and ethical.
companion website has graphs and charts on Florida's economy and jobs,
economic news and resources, updated as new information is released. Florida’s
consumer confidence, a popular barometer of the state’s economy, is gauged
through a survey of roughly five-hundred Floridians each month. Consumer
confidence is determined by asking five standard questions about each
respondent’s financial situation and outlook for the economy.
A monthly survey of employers is taken by the government to determine total
nonagricultural payroll employment, which essentially measures how many jobs
exist. This survey, known as the Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey,
polls around 141,000 employers nationally.
Florida’s Bottom Line website will keep you aware of the changing
state of Florida's economy.