My Florida C F O

Dear Fellow Floridians:

For the last ten years, Florida has largely been spared the damage and destruction of a major hurricane. We’ve been lucky and our reprieve has been well-deserved, but Floridians have been discussing the landfall possibilities of two storms this week: Hurricane Danny and now Tropical Storm Erika.

While Hurricane Danny is shifting off our radar, Tropical Storm Aerial photo of Hurricane KatrinaErika’s presence remains a concern for many of us across the state. The National Hurricane Center is forecasting Erika to become a hurricane and that it will cross over the Bahamas this weekend. While forecasts can change, and there’s no way to predict the future, Floridians would be well-served by taking this opportunity to shore up their finances and their disaster plans.

Whether you’re new to Florida or a lifetime resident, we have tools available to make sure your family is prepared for the next hurricane on the horizon. As Floridians we’ve come to realize that the threat of a storm is not an 'if' but a 'when.'

And especially this week, on the landfall anniversaries of both Hurricane Andrew and Hurricane Katrina, we are reminded of the sheer power and force of Mother Nature. The images of a ravaged South Florida and Gulf Coast are not easily forgotten, and we continue to feel their impacts even today.

I encourage each of you to browse the toolkits and resources available on our website, and once you feel your family is prepared, to lend a hand to a friend or neighbor who may need assistance. Please don’t’ forget that pets are family, too, and remember to include them in your family’s emergency operations plans.


Jeff Atwater
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida

Florida's Insurance Consumer Advocate Joins Twitter

Follow Sha'Ron James at @YourVoice4Fla

To better connect with Floridians about their insurance needs, concerns and commentary, and in an effort to reach a broader audience, Florida’s Insurance Consumer Advocate, Sha’Ron James, has joined Twitter. Consumers, insurance Sha'Ron James, Insurance Consumer Advocateprofessionals and members of the media alike are encouraged to follow the Insurance Consumer Advocate’s activities using the Twitter handle @YourVoice4Fla.

"I look forward to interacting with Floridians and learning more about what’s important to them," said Sha’Ron James. "I believe open, collaborative conversations help to inform common sense solutions, and it is my hope that by joining Twitter, Floridians gain another avenue to interact with me."

As Florida’s Insurance Consumer Advocate, Sha'Ron is committed to finding solutions to the insurance problems facing Floridians, calling attention to questionable insurance practices, and ensuring that the market responds to the needs of Florida’s diverse population. She serves as a strong, independent voice to represent policyholders when insurance decisions are being made.

To follow Sha’Ron on Twitter, click here:

How Technology is Shaping LogisticsFlorida Trucking Association

"Anyone who claims they actually know the extent to which technology has changed logistics is pulling your leg. Anyone who presumes to try to describe it in 2 or 3 pages is crazy! That’s not going to happen here. This is a wide-scan, inch-deep look at a revolution that is only beginning. What we know about the transformation in the way freight moves is a small slice of the reality of today and the promise of tomorrow." Transportation Graphic

Read more from Ken Armstrong, President & CEO of the Florida Trucking Association, the professional association for the state's trucking industry, in the summer issue of Florida's Bottom Line, CFO Atwater’s quarterly economic magazine. The summer issue focuses on Florida's international trade, one of the most important elements of Florida’s economy as it embodies the global success of businesses across the state.

In addition, Florida's Bottom Line website keeps you up-to-date on Florida's economy and finances in between quarterly editions. Past editions, special reports, infographics and news archives reflect the recent flow of Florida facts and economic attitudes.

Bill of BightsThis Week in American History

This week marks the celebration of two impactful moments in American history: the 19th amendment, which extended voting rights to women, was adopted into the United States Constitution; and Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his iconic and moving “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington.

Americans have long embodied and embraced Thomas Jefferson’s self evident truth that all men are created equal. As recent events around the world have made clear, there is no nation more profoundly rooted in individual rights and liberties than our United States of America. Let’s all take a moment to recall and thank those who gave their blood, sweat and tears to move our country forward, and those who continue to do so today.

Florida Economic Briefs

Florida unemployment rate down in July
Florida’s unemployment rate fell to 5.4 percent in July, down 0.2 percentage points from June (5.6 percent), and down 0.6 percentage points from the same time last year (6.0 percent). The national unemployment rate was 5.3 percent in July.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Florida housing market rises over the year
The median sale price of homes rose 8.1 percent over the year to $199,900 in July. This is the third highest month for the median sale price of homes since the recession ended. Additionally, there were 26,916 closed sales in July, a 21.8 percent increase from the same time last year.
Source: Florida Realtors