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My Florida C F O

Dear Fellow Floridians:

One of my many responsibilities as Florida’s Chief Financial Officer is being Florida’s State Fire Marshal, and yesterday I was honored to represent our state at the National Association of State Fire Marshals Conference, which Florida hosted. Our state is a national leader in fire and arson investigations, as well as fire training, prevention and education, and I am always proud to tout our accomplishments and share our knowledge with other states.

Pictured: Florida Rep.  Ed Hooper, Florida Division of State Fire Marshal Director Julius Halas and CFO Jeff Atwater

Pictured: Florida Rep. Ed Hooper, Florida Division of State Fire Marshal Director Julius Halas and CFO Jeff Atwater

As your State Fire Marshal, I am committed to reducing the number of arson-related incidents in Florida and holding those who commit arson accountable for their harmful actions. Since I became CFO and State Fire Marshal in 2011, our Bureau of Fire and Arson has received nearly 13,000 requests for investigative assistance from fire departments, law enforcement agencies, federal and state agencies, individuals and insurance companies, which have led to nearly 1,600 arrests, including nearly 1,100 for arson.

Meanwhile, the turnaround time in our Forensic Fire Explosives and Analysis Laboratory is five days, which is lower than the national average of 56 days. This expediency allows us to more quickly and effectively determine if a crime has been committed and who is responsible.

Furthermore, we have enhanced the volunteer firefighter training program. We are also the first state to adopt curricula for a Fire Code Administrator program and we have partnered with several Florida public colleges to form a Fire Service Higher Education Consortium.

Firefighters risk their lives every time they respond to a call, and I am eternally grateful for the sacrifices they make to protect our communities. For more information about our Division of State Fire Marshal or to report a suspected arson, please visit

Jeff Atwater
Jeff Atwater
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida

News of Interest

Gainesville Sun: Florida's consumer confidence highest since 2007

Associated Press: Florida exports up 10.4 percent in May

South Florida Sun-Sentinel: Women lead top construction projects

Miami Herald: Miami’s port tunnel to open in August

South Florida Business Journal: Growth outlook positive for Florida’s middle-market companies

CFO Jeff Atwater Invites Floridians to 2014 Unclaimed Property Auction

Preview August 8; Auction August 9 at Orlando Hotel

Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater today invited Floridians to the 2014 Florida Unclaimed Property Auction. The auction of more than 60,000 items valued in excess of $1 million will be held Saturday, August 9, at the Double Tree Airport Hotel in Orlando. A preview of items will be held on Friday, August 8.

The unclaimed property auction features items from safe deposit boxes that have gone unclaimed for years despite efforts to return them to their owners. These items include jewelry, watches and rare coins. Proceeds from the auction are deposited into the state’s education fund where they work to support Florida’s public school system. Should a property owner discover that he or she owned an item that was auctioned, however, the proceeds from the sale can be claimed any time at no cost.

Featured auction items include four $1,000 bills, a men’s 18k gold and diamond Rolex-brand watch, a 6.36-carat platinum and diamond cocktail ring and several classic baseball cards featuring baseball greats such as Jackie Robinson, Satchel Paige and Willie Mays.

Since 2011, Florida’s Bureau of Unclaimed Property has returned more than $775 million in unclaimed property to Floridians. This record-breaking effort is due to extensive proactive outreach efforts aimed at reconnecting lost valuables with their rightful owner.

To search for or claim unclaimed property, visit, or call 1-88-VALUABLE or 850-413-5555.

2014 Unclaimed Property Auction Preview

  • Date: Friday, August 8, 2014
  • Time: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Location: Double Tree by Hilton Hotel Orlando Airport
  • Address: 5555 Hazeltine National Dr., Orlando, Florida 32812

2014 Unclaimed Property Auction

  • Date: Saturday, August 9, 2014
  • Time: 10:00 a.m.
  • Location: Double Tree by Hilton Hotel Orlando Airport
  • Address: 5555 Hazeltine National Dr., Orlando, Florida 32812

Florida Economic Briefs

Consumer confidence in Florida increased by two points in July
Consumer sentiment among Floridians hit a post-recession high of 84 in July due to a four point increase in expectations of U.S. economic conditions over the next year and increasing expectations of U.S. economic conditions over the next five years. This growth is indicative of a far more optimistic consumer than in prior years.
Source: Bureau of Economic and Business Research

Florida’s median sale price for single family homes increased by 5.2 percent
In June, Florida’s median sale price for single family homes was $185,000, a 5.2 percent increase from the June 2013 median of $175,900. Additionally, there was a 14.6 percent increase in closed sales from June 2013 (20,235) to June 2014 (23,181).
Source: Florida Realtors

Florida's Bottom Line on SportsFlorida's Bottom Line

Each year, Florida is host to more than 1,800 professional sports events as well as thousands of other sporting games and tournaments statewide, including amateur and college sports, golf, fishing and hunting, boating and yachting, and motorsports. The innovation spurred by this, and the drive to create the world’s leading sports systems, are responsible for the development of new tools and technologies that better connect us, improve our quality of life, and allow us to explore and experience sports in more exciting, enriching ways. Inside the Spring edition of Florida’s Bottom Line, you’ll find expert commentary on the innovation and advancement happening within the world of sports right here in Florida.