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

Dear Fellow Floridians:

This week, I spoke at the Forum Club of the Palm Beaches luncheon where I was able to speak about our nation's spending addiction, its impact on Florida and where we go from here. We have come to a crossroads in our nation where the path that our leaders choose to take will determine economic stability and success or destruction. CFO and Forum Club attendeesOur families are struggling because of the culture of spending that has become commonplace in Washington. As a result, we have a bloated budget and have increased the national debt to unprecedented levels. What we can do now is practice fiscally responsible governance and balance our budget, as every working family is required to do.

There is no mystery to the choices before us. We can continue to move down the path of increasing state involvement in our personal and professional lives or we can reacquaint ourselves with the heritage that has so blessed America. We can embrace the lessons of our founding fathers, the struggles to define our country, the invention and innovation that has ignited countless imaginations and the vision of personal sacrifice. We can rediscover the power of individuals working together in communities where shared hopes and dreams are defined by the people, not the state.

We have a Constitution that has provided solid guidance on the role of government, and whose efficacy has been demonstrated through a rich and widely respected past. Our obligation to the future must include honoring the past that has served us so well.

Jeff Atwater
Jeff Atwater
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida

Miami Chamber of CommerceWeek in Review

This week, I was honored to meet with community leaders and organizations in Miami-Dade County that are helping create the conditions for success in Florida’s most populous county. The Beacon Council, the Miami and Hispanic Chambers of Commerce and the Downtown Development Authority were all able to provide valuable information on how they are working together with the communities of Miami-Dade County to attract new business and ensure economic success.

In Miami and across the state, the construction industry and builders were some of the hardest hit by the economic downturn. I had the chance to sit down with leaders in the commercial construction industry and the South Florida Builders Association to discuss how we can help these industries prosper once again. CFO Atwater answers staged accident questions.One way we can help these industries is by working hard to root out the fraud in workers’ compensation which cripples these industries and cheats honest and fair entrepreneurs.

Diversifying Florida’s economy is key to our long-term economic success. One example is Watermark Medical, a privately held medical products company servicing the sleep-disordered breathing market. I met with these entrepreneurs this week who are focused on bettering the lives of our fellow Floridians and helping our economy in turn. Another such company is 3c Interactive, a mobile software and services company that helps businesses communicate with consumers on their mobile devices. Companies such as these are helping lead Florida down an economic path filled with innovation and diversity.

CFO Atwater speaks at Forum ClubNews of Interest

Associated Press: Citizens insurance agrees to lower sinkhole rate hike

Palm Beach Post: Florida's chief financial officer urges legislators to reform tax code, balance budget

Photo: Bruce R. Bennett/Palm Beach Post

Associated Press: Florida honors 9/11 anniversary with ceremonies

Wall Street Journal: America Grieves, Reflects

Sun Sentinel: Rater: 16 South Florida hospitals among nation's best

Associated Press: World markets gain despite European debt fears

St. Petersburg Times: Florida Supreme Court hears arguments in public adjuster case

Palm Beach Post: Delray Beach woman charged with allegedly stealing identity

Commemorating the ConstitutionThe Constitution

Thomas Jefferson said, “The Constitution of most of our states and of the United States assert that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed and that they are entitled to freedom of person, freedom of religion, freedom of property, and freedom of press.”

On Saturday, we commemorate the formation and signing of our Constitution by thirty-nine courageous patriots who dared to create a nation where sovereignty lays with people. We must always remember the principles and values that guided our founding fathers in order to preserve the freedoms of our great nation.

Celebrating Our Hispanic HeritageNational Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage month began this week and continues through October 15th. Join us in paying tribute to the many generations of Hispanic Americans who have positively influenced and enriched our nation and society.  Florida Hispanic Heritage MonthWe recognize the accomplishments and contributions of this important group of fellow Floridians. Twelve of Florida’s state parks showcase Hispanic heritage by preserving historic explorations and settlements throughout the state of Florida.