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

Dear Fellow Floridian:

This week, I had the opportunity to meet and engage with community and business leaders in the Tampa Bay area. I started my trip to the region by kicking off the 2013 State Law Enforcement Bureau conference, which brought together state, local and federal agencies, including my Division of Public Assistance Fraud, to share ideas and foster stronger partnerships in the fight against public assistance fraud. Partnerships are key to combating this type of fraud that takes millions of dollars per year from Floridians who are truly in need of assistance.CCFO Atwater tours Tampa area.

I stopped by the Clearwater Marine Aquarium to learn more about the economic impact this aquarium has had after the movie “Dolphin Tale” and hear about their research and catch, rehab, and release efforts.

I began Wednesday with an engaging discussion on Florida’s economy with the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce at their public policy roundtable breakfast. We talked about how our fiscal discipline has positively impacted our finances, such as maintaining our AAA credit rating. I was also privileged to visit with the men and women serving our nation at MacDill Air Force Base. Hearing their stories firsthand was truly a humbling experience. Whether it is overseas, in the air or at home, these brave men and women selflessly serve our nation with tremendous commitment and patriotic pride. I finished Wednesday with a tour and meeting with directors and researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center. Their work and advances in the medical community make a huge difference in the lives of so many Florida families, and I am proud that this center calls Florida home.

As I travel, please let me know if there are places I should visit or community leaders I should meet in your area of the state. Visit www.facebook.com/jeffatwater or tweet me at @JeffAtwater and let me know where I should stop next.

Jeff Atwater
Jeff Atwater
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida

Economic Briefing: Housing Sentiment Index Highest Reading Since January 2006

The National Association of Home Builders sentiment index climbed to 57 in July, the highest since January 2006. The gauge has climbed 13 points in the latest two months, the biggest back-to-back gain in more than 20 years. This index measures builder perception of current single family home sales and is especially important as it gives a unique perspective into how the housing market and, consequently, the economy, are faring. As people become more confident in their home equity, consumer sentiment rises, stimulating the economy.

News of Interest

WFSU: Florida soon to be third-most-populous state

Orlando Sentinel: U.S. News ranks Florida Hospital No. 1 in the state

Florida Current: Homelessness drops 17.5 percent in Florida

Forbes: America's Most Generous Companies

Fox Business: 53 Percent of Americans Mull Starting Up

Fort Myers News-Press: Real estate trend: One-stop home shopping

South Florida Sun-Sentinel: Public-private projects could boost economy, add jobs

CNN: Treasure hunters discover gold coins worth $250K off Florida coast

Innovation Drives Florida's Economy

Florida has worked hard to create an environment for long-term growth and investment that allows businesses to better serve their communities and employ more of their neighbors. This culture of economic innovation has helped Florida Florida's Bottom Line: Innovative Florida to be recognized as the “Most Innovative State in the Nation” by Fast Company magazine this year.

Beginning with this edition on biotechnology, Florida’s Bottom Line is presenting a three-part series on Innovative Florida, highlighting the people and industries that are driving our future as a diversified economy. We are now recognized as one of the most attractive areas worldwide for the biotechnology industry, with more than 200 biotechnology companies calling Florida home.

The quarterly edition of Florida's Bottom Line is complemented by its often-updated website, www.MyFloridaCFO.com/FloridasBottomLine. When new economic data is released, it can be found here. Florida's consumer confidence, retail index, employment statistics and various other resources will keep you up-to-date.