Record Savings for Floridians through Bond Refinance

Aug 16 • 323 Views • View Comments

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Dear Fellow Floridian:

As your CFO and a member of the Florida Cabinet, one of my responsibilities is to oversee the Division of Bond Finance. The division, lead by Director Ben Watkins, has been working diligently to search for every penny of savings by refunding outstanding state debt to take advantage of record low interest rates. Since January 2011, the Division has refinanced nearly $2.9 billion in outstanding debt, resulting in a debt savings of $536 million for Florida taxpayers. Refinancing outstanding debt to lower interest rates is possible because of the state’s high credit ratings and serves as another example of how fiscal discipline helps keep money in the pockets of hard-working Floridians.

At the Cabinet meeting last week, Director Watkins reported that the division sold more than $301 million in State Board of Education Public Education Capital Outlay (PECO) refunding bonds. The refinancing of these PECO bonds reduces our state debt liability. In other words, it reduces Florida’s future debt payments and saves us money long-term, just as you would refinance your home to receive a better mortgage rate. The state successfully lowered the interest rate on these bonds from 4.97 percent to 2.76 percent, which is expected to result in savings of approximately $85.1 million or 19.9 percent of the principle amount being refunded. This is the largest refunding savings in the past 20 years!

Although the important work of this Division remains mostly out of the spotlight, I commend Director Watkins and his team for their hard work on behalf of Florida’s taxpayers.

[Jeff Atwater] Jeff Atwater Chief Financial Officer State of Florida


‘The Golden Rules for Your Golden Years’

In March, CFO Jeff Atwater launched On Guard for Seniors to help educate Florida’s seniors about financial and insurance issues impacting our state’s fastest-growing [] population. This initiative was designed to give seniors the most up-to-date information about annuities, reverse mortgages, long-term care insurance and identity theft and explains key terms, outlines important questions to ask and provides educational videos of how some common insurance and financial products work.

As part of the On Guard for Seniors [] initiative, CFO Atwater will be holding free workshops across Florida, titled “The Golden Rules for Your Golden Years,” to help seniors and their caregivers better familiarize themselves with products, procedures and the scams that are directed at the senior demographic. The first workshop was held on Wednesday in the Villages with nearly 170 participating. Additional workshops will be held:

* Wednesday, August 22, at 9 a.m. Carrie Robinson Center, 2990 Edison Ave., Ft. Myers, Fla. 33916 * Thursday, August 23, at 9 a.m. Hilton Garden Inn, 8270 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, Fla. 34243 * Friday, August 24, at 9 a.m. Sunshine Senior Center, 330 5th Street N., St. Petersburg, Fla. 33701 * Tuesday, August 28, at 9 a.m. The Mae Volen Center, 1515 W. Palmetto Road, Boca Raton, Fla. 33486

For more information, visit, or contact the Division of Consumer Services at (850) 413-3089 or toll-free at 1-877-My-FL-CFO (693-5236).

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[In this Issue]

Volume 9, Number 33 August 17, 2012

Message from the CFO on Bond Refinance ‘The Golden Rules for Your Golden Years’ Legal Issues Faced by Small Business News of Interest Florida’s Bottom Line


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