Press Releases

Flor⁠i⁠da CFO Jeff A⁠t⁠wa⁠t⁠er Keyno⁠t⁠es Thr⁠i⁠f⁠t⁠ Week Celebra⁠t⁠⁠i⁠on; H⁠i⁠ghl⁠i⁠gh⁠t⁠s Flor⁠i⁠da’s Econom⁠i⁠c Success S⁠t⁠ory

By: The James Madison Institute / 2015


Contact: Valerie Wickboldt (850) 386-3131

View our photo album

Florida CFO Jeff Atwater Keynotes Thrift Week Celebration; Highlights Florida’s Economic Success Story

~ State-issued proclamation presented to The James Madison Institute to recognize the importance of thrift

and fiscal responsibility from the halls of the Capitol to the homes of Floridians ~

TALLAHASSEE– Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater was the keynote at a Thrift Week celebration on Wednesday, Jan. 21 where dozens gathered at The James Madison Institute (JMI) to hear how Florida sets an example for the nation in fiscal responsibility. CFO Atwater also presented a state-issued proclamation signed by Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet to JMI to recognize Thrift Week.

“Being thrift-minded doesn’t just mean pinching pennies – it’s often about finding a way to increase quality without increasing spending, being innovative and focusing on getting more out of less,” said Dr. Bob McClure, JMI president and CEO. “In comparison to other states in our nation, Florida understands this.”

As part of his introduction, Dr. McClure played a clip of the CFO onYour World with Neil Cavutoto highlight the New York vs. Florida sparring that took place after the Empire State ran a “START-UP NY” ad campaign to lure new businesses to the state.

“As CFO Atwater was quick to point out New York may say its business climate is top-notch, but facts are people are fleeing their state to come to ours — and not just retirees,” McClure continued. “According to the five-year American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census 78 percent of the people who migrated from New York to Florida between 2007 and 2011 were under age 60. Additionally, Florida spends roughly 60 billion less than New York and we now have more people living in our state – doing more with less.”

In his address, CFO Atwater illustrated many of these points during a presentation on the numbers behind Florida’s success, which can be viewed onThe Florida Channel.

“Fiscal discipline attracts capital. Even though the numbers are important, this story is not so much about the numbers. This is a story about a belief in the human spirit and an understanding that every policy has a consequence,” said CFO Atwater. “I want you to see the numbers across time and note the results of public policymaking. Whatever you are a part of, you didn’t achieve success by accident. Public policy is no different. Public policy has a value proposition.”

The CFO stated in his remarks that Florida needs to continue its efforts to foster an environment that attracts the greatest minds, the most entrepreneurial individuals to help Florida thrive and prosper. His priority is to focus on making certain that money stays in the pocket of Floridians because he believes it is the best way, and most enduring way, to ensure a vital economy in the Sunshine State.

Guests were also given a copy of “How to Deliver a Bigger ‘Bang-for-Buck’ in Education“ from theJMI Journalto illustrate howFlorida leads the nation in delivering a higher quality K-12 education for less cost. The article shows Florida had the lowest increases in per-pupil spending of all 50 states; yet, Florida ranked among the highest in student learning gains.

Thrift Week kicks off nationally on Jan. 17, Benjamin Franklin’s birthday. JMI has honored this celebration in a variety of ways in past years. The organization continues to promote the “Thrift Ethic: Earn all you can. Save all you can. Give all you can.” throughout the year through our classroom curriculum “All About the Benjamins,” which has been used by more than 350,000 students across the state.

For more information on JMI,

# # #

Trusted Solutions for a Better Florida:Founded in 1987, The James Madison Institute (JMI) is one of Florida’s oldest and largest nonpartisan, nonprofit research and educational organizations. JMI is dedicated to advancing economic freedom, limited government, federalism, traditional values, the rule of law, and individual liberty coupled with individual responsibility. All JMI publications are available online For additional information please contact Valerie Wickboldt Twitter: @JmsMadisonInst –