My Florida C F O

Dear Fellow Floridians:

With so many veterans calling Florida home, it’s important to recognize the commitment and sacrifices made by our veterans to protect our nation and state, and I encourage you to make your appreciation of these men and women known to them as well. It’s no easy job to summon the courage to face war, yet so many have found it within themselves to do so every day for their families, communities, and us. I am proud to call many of these patriots my friends.

Vintage U.S. FlagIn his 1954 proclamation changing Armistice Day to Veterans Day, President Dwight D. Eisenhower said, “let us reconsecrate ourselves to the task of promoting an enduring peace so that [our veterans’] efforts shall not have been in vain.” It is because of these men and women that we have the freedoms we enjoy and hold so dearly. That is why we need to make sure our appreciation of these freedoms is known year-round and not just on one day.

Florida is home to 1.6 million veterans, which is 1.6 million opportunities to say "thank you." Our gratitude of veterans is hard-earned and well-deserved. Florida’s veterans have had unmistakable and lasting impacts on our state, even outside of their service. Through small businesses, volunteer programs, teaching, and countless other efforts, veterans contribute to the success and quality of life in our state. My hope is that each Florida veteran feels the unending gratitude we feel today and every day.


Jeff Atwater
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida

News of Interest

Orlando Business Journal: Florida leading indicator goes up in September

WUFT News: 175,000 in state plan at risk of surprise bills

Channel 8 WFLA: Sinkhole warning signs in Florida

Business Insurance: Florida orders 5.1 percent workers' comp rate decrease

CBS News: 3 scams to watch out for this holiday season

Florida Trend: Manufacturing tax exemption critical for economic growth

Jacksonville Business Journal: Good news: We're not one of the fattest states in America

Members of the Public Invited to Comment on the Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations’ Reaccreditation Process

The Division of State Fire Marshal, Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations is inviting public comment as the bureau proceeds through its reaccreditation process.Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations Badge Accreditation is a certification issued by an independent reviewing authority confirming that an organization has met specific requirements and prescribed standards of excellence. The Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations became accredited in February 2009 and was reaccredited in February 2012.

The Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation, Inc. (CFA) is the accrediting body for law enforcement agencies in the state of Florida. Accreditation requires consistency, transparency and accountability, which are confirmed through an on-site assessment. To ensure compliance with accreditation standards, assessors review written materials and interview agency members.

On December 8-10, 2015, three assessors will confirm the Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations’ compliance with nearly 260 CFA accreditation standards at its headquarters in Tallahassee. The assessment team is comprised of law enforcement practitioners from various law enforcement agencies across Florida. The team leader is Special Agent Tim Elder of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, along with assessors Lieutenant Keith Clark of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and Ms. Anne Bacom of the Deland Police Department.

As part of the on-site process, assessors will also visit the bureau’s field offices in Pensacola, Orlando, West Palm Beach and Fort Myers. This assessment team includes Lieutenant Jimmy Fannin of the Walton County Sheriff’s Office, Sergeant Aaron Grassi of the Clermont Police Department, Sergeant Bob Thomas of the Palm Beach County School District Police Department and Ms. Gloria Sepanik of the Punta Gorda Police Department.

To become reaccredited would reaffirm the Bureau’s continued commitment to professional excellence and would increase the Bureau’s ability to fulfill its mission of protecting the citizens of Florida, and their property, from arson and arson-related crimes.

Comments about the Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations’ compliance with the CFA standards can be sent to the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement. Letters may be submitted to: CFA, P.O. Box 1489, Tallahassee, Florida, 32302. Email correspondence may be forwarded to: For further information or for a copy of the CFA standards please contact Lieutenant Chris Welch, Accreditation Manager at (850) 413-3674.

Sunshine State's Success InfographicFlorida: A Beacon of Liberty and Prosperity

Chief Financial Officer Atwater last week released the fall edition of Florida's Bottom Line, his quarterly online economic magazine focused on providing the latest news and insightful analysis on Florida’s economic and financial health. This edition gathers expert opinions from across Florida’s diverse industry sectors to highlight encouraging growth in the state’s economy due to Florida’s efforts to foster a positive business climate. Leaders in higher education, manufacturing, technology, economic development and more have weighed in.

By reducing regulations, cutting taxes and paying down debt, Florida is creating the conditions for economic success. For instance, Florida ranks highest in private job growth among peer states, first in educational freedom, and has earned an "A" in fiscal transparency. Read more about the opportunities Florida has created through fiscal discipline and limited government at

Florida Economic Briefs

Florida ranks fifth for economic outlook
Florida is the fifth best state in the nation for its economic outlook among small business owners, according to a new study by The study drew on responses from more than 17,000 small business owners across the nation and asked about their economic outlook for the next three months.

Florida had the third largest increase in higher education enrollment over 10 years
From 2003 to 2013, Florida’s public undergraduate and graduate enrollment increased by 26 percent, according to a new report by the College Board. Florida’s increase in enrollment was the third highest in the nation after Georgia (28 percent) and Oregon (28 percent).
Source: College Board