My Florida C F O

Dear Fellow Floridians:

So much has been said about this upcoming election: it’s been called historical, unprecedented, unpredictable; some have even said reprehensible. But one thing is for certain: Election Day is fast approaching and every single vote will make a difference in this year’s outcome.
A year ago, few could have predicted the candidates, the commentary, or the national conversation that we’re engaged in today. Fast forward, and our candidates are set. They’ve debated and they’ve traveled the country. From California to Maine to Florida, they’ve made their pitch to the American public.

Regardless of whether you identify as Republican, Democrat, Independent or otherwise, I hope that you have remained engaged and informed. Whether or not you believe in our candidates, I hope you continue to believe in our country and the values upon which it was founded. Your right to vote is sacred, and it should never be taken lightly.

Research the candidates and the amendments. Talk with your friends and family, turn to trusted sources for information. And most importantly, stay above the fray and recognize that our United States must move forward.

As I travel around Florida, I’ve heard from many of you who have honestly stated a hesitance to participate this year. You’ve said, "what does it even matter?" and "why bother when I dislike both of my options?" With its 29 electoral votes, many have stated that neither candidate can win without Florida. History has proven this to be true, and I fully expect Florida to play a large role in the outcome of this election. We are a large state, a diverse state, and our votes matter.

Early voting started this week, and I look forward to hearing about record turnouts. Whether you choose to vote by mail, early, or in-person on Election Day, show up to your polling location. Let your voice, your opinion, your preference be heard.

If you don’t know where to vote, the Florida Department of State can help. Their website can help you identify an early voting location no matter where you live in the state. It contains a wealth of knowledge, so check it out today if you have questions about the upcoming election.


Jeff Atwater
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida

Florida's Bottom Line: Financial Infrastructure

Chris Oakley, VP of Federal Reserve Bank of Atlantaa's Jacksonville BranchChris Oakley guest authored a column in our latest edition that focuses on financial infrastructure. Here is an excerpt:

When we think of our economic infrastructure, we tend to think of roads, bridges, railways, pipelines, and airports—our physical infrastructure that helps with the safe and efficient movement of goods that are essential to an orderly functioning of the U.S. economy. It is important to remember, however, that a safe and efficient payments system infrastructure is equally important for economic stability and growth. A modern, safe, and efficient payments system is a necessary part of a well-functioning economy.

The United States has a long history of payments system innovation, with much being driven by technological advancements. In 2004, the Federal Reserve implemented a strategy to address the shift in business and consumer preference away from paper check to electronic payments processing.

Read more from Chris Oakley in Florida's Bottom Line, CFO Atwater's award-winning quarterly economic magazine, focused on providing you with the latest news and insightful analysis on Florida's economic and financial health.

Operation S.A.F.E., Be Scam Smart Workshops

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater invites you to participate in Operation S.A.F.E., Be Scam Smart, a free workshop for seniors, their families, and caregivers.

The Florida Department of Financial Services launched Operation S.A.F.E. (Stop Adult Financial Exploitation) as part of CFO Atwater’s On Guard for Seniors initiative. Be Scam Smart workshops help inform, empower, and protect Florida’s seniors from financial scams and fraud. If you want to make sure your savings are protected, register for this workshop and get a better understanding of how scam artists and scams work.

Operation S.A.F.E.Be Scam Smart by learning more about:

  • How to Spot Fraudulent Behavior
  • Common Scams that Target Seniors
  • How to Fight Identity Theft

From seniors who attended Be Scam Smart workshops:

“Savored every moment of this workshop. The information was needed and vital for seniors’ and consumers’ financial survival.” - West Palm Beach

“Presentations were great & well timed. Excellent information we all need to know.” - Pensacola

“Every senior in the city and state should attend the Be Scam Smart Workshop.” - Jacksonville

“Thank you for alerting us to the scam we as seniors are exposed to.” - Brandon

Find out more about us in the About Us section or Register for an upcoming event, including the following workshop:

  • Thursday, October 27 - Royal Palm Beach
    10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
    Village of Royal Palm Beach Cultural Center
    151 Civic Center Way, Royal Palm Beach, FL 33411
    Register | Directions | Flyer

Florida Economic Briefs

Florida’s unemployment rate unchanged in September
Florida’s unemployment rate was 4.7 percent in September, unchanged from August (4.7 percent) and down 0.4 percentage points from September of last year (5.1 percent). The U.S. unemployment rate was 5.0 percent in September.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Florida’s housing market continues strong growth in September
In September, the median sales price of homes rose 11.3 percent over the year, to $222,500. Additionally, more than 22,700 homes were sold in Florida, down 0.5 percent from this time last year.
Source: Florida Realtors