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

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 CFO visits the Port of Miamistate 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 The Three Friendscare 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.

Jeff Atwater
Jeff Atwater
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."Thirteen stars on the U.S. flag

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 protecting it.

Unclaimed Property Auction Raises More Than $1 Million for Public Schools

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 Property Infographic Treasure Map

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.

News of Interest

Tampa Bay Times: Florida added 17,440 private sector jobs in May

Sun-Sentinel: Hurricane awareness expo to blow into Boynton Beach Mall

Tampa Bay Business Journal: Outlook brightens for small businesses, survey shows

Sun-Sentinel: STEM jobs more than engineering and computers, report says

Washington Post: US unemployment benefit applications fall to near a five-year low

Washington Post: America’s fastest growing small business cities

Fox News: American auto industry about to go on hiring spree

Florida Today: UF, FSU gain new status as top research schools

Florida's Bottom Line

Florida's Bottom LineTechnology 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.

The 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.