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

Dear Fellow Floridian:

You have entrusted us, your elected representatives, to watch over the money you send to your government. This week, we furthered our commitment to do just that with the unanimous passage out of committee of Senate Bill 1626, sponsored by Sen. Don Gaetz, and House Bill 1409, sponsored by Rep. Ben Albritton, regarding state contracting reforms. Strict contracting standards are a reflection of how seriously we take the responsibility to watch over your dollars. These proposed reforms are expected to improve our state’s bottom line because nearly $51 billion−or approximately 57 percent of the state budget−are spent on contracts and agreements for goods and services.

I applaud Sen. Gaetz and Rep. Albritton for their leadership and commend the committee members for supporting these important measures to protect Florida taxpayer dollars. We must ensure the state’s contracting process reflects the highest ethical and fiscal standards; is clear, consistent and measurable; and is conducted in the most efficient manner possible in delivering goods and services to our fellow Floridians.

Jeff Atwater
Jeff Atwater
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida

Florida Cabinet on the Road to Tampa

On Thursday, the Florida Cabinet took the meeting on the road from Tallahassee to Tampa for the opening of the Florida State Fair. The fair has a rich tradition dating back to 1904, when it started on the grounds of the old Tampa Bay Hotel, CFO Atwater at the State Fairnow the University of Tampa. Except for a few years during World War II, the fair has been held every year, becoming a great Florida tradition. Be sure to visit the Tampa area to experience the Florida State Fair's midway, entertainment, food, animals and exhibits through Monday, Feb. 20.

With more than 1,000 jobs and $142.6 million in sales annually, the fair is the perfect setting for the Florida Cabinet to discuss and bring attention to the issues that have a financial impact on the state. Holding a Cabinet meeting outside of Tallahassee is a change of pace and a great opportunity to hear citizens' feedback and concerns on issues in Tallahassee.

News of Interest

Miami Herald: Marco Rubio pushes back at Obama contraception rules

Washington Post: For business schools, entrepreneurship bridges across campus

Orlando Sentinel: Apps drive Central Florida businesses, schools

Florida Times-Union: Business incubators: Partners needed for new startups

The Florida Current: State contracting revamp wins broad support

Orlando Business Journal: Consumer credit rose more than $19B in December

Florida's Economy at your Fingertips

Read the quarterly newsletter for the inside track on Florida's financial health. To provide you up-to-date information on Florida’s economy, we have a companion Web site featuring the freshest data and easy access to our published editions.

Recognizing Law Enforcement Officers

This week, CFO Atwater had the opportunity to be a part of Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Awards, an important occasion when law enforcement professionals are recognized for their outstanding performance, integrity and selfless dedication to duty. The 2011 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year was Polk County Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Braswell who earned this distinction for his dedication to protecting the lives of all Floridians. State Fire Marshal Detective Zierden and CFO Atwater

State Fire Marshal badgeOne of the nominees was Detective Neil Zierden from the Division of State Fire Marshal, Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations. Detective Zierden investigated 72 fires and arrested 12 individuals for arson this past year. He is truly an outstanding member of the State Fire Marshal team.

Left to right: State Fire Marshal Bureau Chief Joe Steadman of Fire and Arson Investigations, Detective Neil Zierden, CFO & State Fire Marshal Jeff Atwater and Deputy CFO Tom Kirwin.