FORT MYERS, Fla-- As 2016 comes to a close, Florida's Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater looks ahead to 2017. CFO Atwater said his office plans to continue fighting insurance fraud in the new year after arresting 1,100 people for fraud in 2016.
"Because we want the money to stay in the hands of Floridians," said CFO Atwater.
But cracking down on criminals isn't the only focus for the state, the goal is to continue creating jobs.
“We’ve now put over 1.2 million people back to work in Florida, and we’ve lowered our unemployment rate to 4.5%. This is a really good thing. It’s probably going to hold there because more Floridians believe this is the place they can get back to work," said CFO Atwater.
CFO Atwater believes Florida will continue to see population growth similar to 2016 when more than 367,000 people moved to the state.
Something else that's growing from this year to the next, money going back to Floridians through the Unclaimed Property Treasure Chest.
"They don't even know that a bank account that they thought they closed didn't, maybe their parents had a life insurance policy that they didn't even know about," said CFO Atwater.
CFO Atwater said 1 out of 5 adults in Florida has money that's unclaimed and with an easy check on the computer you can find out if you are one of them.
But whether it's cashing in on unclaimed property or creating a new life in the state, CFO Atwater said 2017 is the year to do it.
"Just know the people in Tallahassee believe in the people of Florida and we are not going to do anything to get in their way to create a stronger Florida for them and their family," said CFO Atwater.
For more information on the state's financial plan in 2017: CLICK HERE
For more information on Unclaimed Property: CLICK HERE