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

Dear Fellow Floridian:CFO Atwater and his mom

President Ronald Reagan said, “From our mothers, we first learn about values and caring and the difference between right and wrong.” Each of us has a mother, grandmother or someone who is like a mother in our lives who guides and shapes our character. My mother instilled those very important character-building qualities in me, just as my wife, Carole, does with our four children. A mother’s strength lifts us up when we feel as if we can go no further, and her love inspires us to achieve the seemingly impossible. She encourages us to aim high, take the right path and exemplify what it means to be a good citizen. CFO Atwater and his family

On Sunday, we celebrate generations of tenacious mothers who have guided our great nation to what it is today. The history of this holiday speaks volumes about how integral mothers have been in the shaping of our nation. Having witnessed the destruction of the Civil War, writer and activist Julia Ward Howe called upon the mothers of both the North and South to protest further bloodshed between their sons. In her Mother’s Day Proclamation of 1870, she called for an international Mother’s Day celebrating peace and motherhood. It wasn’t until President Woodrow Wilson’s proclamation in 1914 that the second Sunday in May was officially designated as Mother’s Day.

Although we dedicate one day to the admiration and celebration of mothers, let us remember to show them our appreciation and love every day. To all the mothers who fill our lives with joy and who make this world a better place, I wish you a blessed day.

Jeff Atwater
Jeff Atwater
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida

Cabinet on the Road to the Florida Keys

This week the Florida Cabinet took its meeting on the road to the Florida Keys to meet with citizens who may not get the chance to travel to Tallahassee. Stanley Switlik Elementary School in Marathon opened up its doors for the event on Tuesday and had Cabinet members visit different classrooms to speak with students and teachers. CFO Atwater also met with concerned Release of a rehabilitated turtle into the wildresidents of the Florida Keys regarding insurance costs and thoughts on what can be done to better serve their needs in their unique geography. The CFO firmly believes listening to those living and working in the different regions of this diverse state helps provide better service and protection to its citizens.

Another exciting part of the trip was the visit to the turtle hospital and release of a juvenile green sea turtle fondly named “S.A.S” by the turtle’s rescuer in honor of his daughters Samantha and Sabrina, who were present for the turtle’s release. It was also inspiring and educational to see the incredible work of dedicated scientists' rehabilitative efforts to save these amazing creatures.

News of Interest

ABC 7: Leaders trying to bring high-paying jobs to Lee

Miami Herald: Conference focuses on ways women can move ahead in business

Palm Beach Post: Negron, Atwater join Scott for ceremonial signing of PIP bill in WPB

Orlando Business Journal: NFIB finds more small businesses reporting profits

Miami Herald: Florida’s new Space Coast prepares to launch

Sunshine State News: Dean Cannon, Chris Dorworth top Florida Chamber's Advocates Awards

Arson Awareness Week: Youth Fire Setting

Florida Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jeff Atwater recognized May 6-12, 2012, as Arson Awareness Week. The theme of the week is Prevent Youth Fire Setting. Between 2005 and 2009, fires started by children accounted for an average of 56,300 fires, the loss of 110 civilian lives, 880 civilian injuries and $286 million in direct property damage per year in the United States.State Fire Marshal Badge

“Arson is a serious crime that puts lives at risk.” CFO Atwater said. “It is truly tragic when a juvenile chooses to commit arson or any other crime, forever changing his or her life’s course. Raising awareness through initiatives like this helps prevent these crimes, helps juveniles understand the dangers of fire and stay on the path to becoming upstanding and productive citizens.”

In 2011, the State Fire Marshal’s Office made 316 arson-related arrests. Of those cases, 77 were criminal arson cases involving juveniles which resulted in 126 juvenile arrests.

Arson Awareness Week is part of a nationwide initiative by the United States Fire Administration (USFA) partnering with the International Association of Arson Investigators; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, FirearmsDirector Halas during Arson Awareness Week and Explosives (ATF); USAonWatch; National Association of State Fire Marshals; National Volunteer Fire Council and the Insurance Committee for Arson Control. The purpose is to educate the public on the important role of community arson awareness and how it can and does play an important role in preventing this dangerous crime. Shown: State Fire Marshal Division Dir. Julius Halas

For more information about Arson Awareness Week 2012, visit the USFA website at

A Roadmap for your Financial Future

The spring issue of Florida’s Bottom Line focuses on how Florida can attract much-needed investors to support Florida’s entrepreneurs, who can effectively grow health care, technology and manufacturing in our state's burgeoning economy. Our companion website provides the most up-to-date financial and economic statistics for Florida, serving as a roadmap for your financial future.

Visit Florida's Bottom Line website at