My Florida C F O

Dear Fellow Floridians:

As Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas last Friday night, Florida first responders were already gathering their gear and preparing to make the trek EOC visit by CFO Patronisto help a partner state in distress.

Video footage coming from Houston, Rockport and surrounding cities has shown flooding and destruction unlike we’ve ever seen before, but it’s also displayed the strength and resolve of Texas residents and an overwhelming response from the surrounding states that have rushed in to help.

Hurricane Harvey could easily have hit Florida's shores, and we could be watching news stories straight out of Tampa Bay or the Gulf Coast. Florida has been in Texas’ EOC visit by CFO Patronisshoes more times than we care to remember, and in years past, Texas and other Southern states have stepped in as Florida picked up the pieces. That’s why I’m proud to see the selfless dedication of the firefighters, Florida Fish & Wildlife officers, and relief volunteers who have dropped everything to head west in support of their fellow Americans.

Our State Fire Marshal team, as Florida’s lead over firefighting and urban search and rescue emergency operations, is working closely with the Division of Emergency Management and Texas officials to match the needs on the ground in Texas with the personnel, equipment and other assets that Florida is preparing to deploy.

Meanwhile, across Florida, residents are collecting donations and coordinating shipments of food, clothing, first aid kits and more. Floridians have proudly answered Texas’ call for help, and the generosity that’s been shown showcases the hospitality and compassion that are hallmarks of our great state.

Floridians understand Mother Nature’s full force more than most, and we know that recovery is based not in days or weeks, but in months and years. We’re prepared to stand by our neighbor state for the long haul — for as long as it takes.

I hope you’ll join me in doing what you can to help. If you’re looking for ways to get involved or to give back, Texas officials have shared that American Red Cross donations are a great way to donate. Using this link (https://www.redcross.org/donate/donation) you can select to send your donation to support those impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

We understand what they’re going through – let’s keep saying yes to their calls for help. They would do the same for our families.

Sincerely,

Jimmy Patronis
Jimmy Patronis
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida


News of Interest

WFTV 9 ABC: 2 Fla. housing markets are in top 10 for future buyers
A new report says two Florida housing markets are in the top 10 for where future homebuyers are likely to make purchases. The report released last week by real estate data firm Attom Data Solutions said that Tampa-St. Petersburg and the Jacksonville were two of the top 10 housing markets where future homebuyers are likely to move into during the third-quarter of this year.

Pensions & Investments: Florida Retirement System’s 13.8% return tops benchmark
Florida Retirement System, Tallahassee, returned a net 13.77% for the fiscal year ended June 30, 81 basis points above its primary benchmark, said John Kuczwanski, spokesman for Florida State Board of Administration, which oversees the money management of the $153.6 billion pension fund. Global equity was the best-performing asset class, with a net return of 19.6% for the fiscal year ended June 30, above its primary benchmark of 19.06%, followed by private equity, at 18.27%, below its 22.06% benchmark.

Tampa Bay Times: A national catastrophe
Few could have imagined the scope and scale of the suffering now under way in Texas, where the catastrophic winds, rain and flooding from Hurricane Harvey already have destroyed entire neighborhoods and pushed tens of thousands of people from their homes. The immediate task is for the federal government and the state to provide the resources to save as many lives and as much property as possible. But Florida and other states along the Gulf of Mexico should learn a lesson from these searing images. The nation needs to harden itself against the threat of rising seas and better manage the growth of coastal areas.

Tallahassee Democrat: This time, it’s Houston issuing a cry for help
A message from an Apollo mission on the way to the moon. A cry for help to NASA at Houston. This day, this cry is coming from a city flooded with more rain and water to come. It might be weeks or even months before some land is dry. The suffering is just beginning. People’s lives are at risk and an economy must be rebuilt. Jobs and payrolls are lost and a way of life is gone, hopefully for the time being. As a nation, as a city and as a community, we must answer the call. The resources of the federal government are there or coming. States and communities across America are on the move – going to Houston. First indications would indicate that state and local government have their acts together.




Orlando Unclaimed Property Auction Earns $1.186M

Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis recently announced that the second 2017 unclaimed property auction, hosted Saturday in Orlando, earned $1.186M. Nearly 60,000 individual items went up for auction, and every item sold. The highest individual grossing item was a pair of 17.6-carat diamond and platinum earrings with a starting reserve value of $19,000 that sold for $75,000. The pair features two 5.78-carat diamonds, flanked by a total of 112 diamonds.

Unclaimed property auctions feature items from safe deposit boxes that have gone unclaimed for years despite exhaustive efforts to return them to their owners. Proceeds from the auction are deposited into the state’s education fund where they work to support Florida’s public school system. However, if a property owner discovers that he or she owned an item that was auctioned, the proceeds from the sale can be claimed any time at no cost.

Tangible items from safe deposit boxes make up a small portion of Florida’s total unclaimed property program. Most accounts are intangible financial accounts, such as uncashed payroll checks, life insurance benefits, refunds or credit balances and cable or utility company deposits.

Roughly 1-in-5 Floridians has an unclaimed account in their name. During the 2016-17 fiscal year, more than $313 million was returned to Florida residents and businesses. More than $4 billion has been returned since the program’s inception in 1961. To search for or claim an account, visit www.FLTreasureHunt.gov, or call 1-88-VALUABLE or 850-413-5555.

Florida Economic Briefs

Florida consumer sentiment down slightly
A measure of Florida’s consumer sentiment decreased slightly in August, dropping 1.2 points from 97.7 to 96.5. The largest contributor to the decrease was consumers’ expectations about the national economy over the next 5 years.
Source: Bureau of Economic and Business Research

Building permits decrease
The number of building permits for new residential construction decreased in July as compared to June. There were 9,896 permits issued, representing a 20 percent decrease over the previous month.
Source: Census Bureau