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SB 1996— Department of Economic Opportunity

by Budget Committee

This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.

Prepared by: Budget Committee (BC)

Senate Bill 1996 provides for the following: 

  • Repeals the future expiration of an amendment to s. 163.3247(3), F.S., which amendment eliminated the travel and per diem reimbursement for members of the Century Commission.
  • Repeals the future expiration of an amendment to s. 201.15(1)(c)2., F.S., which amendment eliminated the distribution of documentary stamp tax revenues to the Century Commission.
  • Requires the Auditor General and the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability (OPPAGA) to jointly conduct an audit and review of the programs and operations of the Florida Housing Finance Corporation.  A work plan for such audit and review must be submitted to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives no later than July 1, 2012.  The audit and review shall encompass, at a minimum, a review of the corporation’s assets, liabilities, income, and operating expenses, the internal management, financial and operational controls employed, the programmatic decision-making processes used, the governance, direction and oversight provided by the Florida Housing Finance Corporation Board of Directors, and the performance outcomes of the programs administered by the Florida Housing Finance Corporation.  The audit and review shall also include formulation of recommendations to the Legislature for changes to the structure, governance and operational processes of the Florida Housing Finance Corporation.  Unless otherwise directed in writing jointly by the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, a written report on the audit and review shall be submitted to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives no later than December 1, 2012.  This section of the bill is effective upon becoming law.
  • Authorizes the Florida Housing Finance Corporation to utilize up to 10 percent of its annual allocation of low-income housing tax credits, allocation of nontaxable revenue bonds, and State Apartment Incentive Loan Program funds appropriated by the Legislature and available to allocate by request for proposals or other competitive solicitation funding for high-priority affordable housing projects, such as housing to support economic development and job creation initiatives, housing for veterans and their families, and other special needs populations in communities throughout the state as determined by the corporation on an annual basis.  
  • Authorizes the Florida Housing Finance Corporation’s State Apartment Incentive Loan Program (SAIL) to accept payment of deferred program interest at an interest rate that is consistent with rates currently authorized in law, provided the deferred interest is paid in not more than five equal annual installments.  This section also provides authority for additional SAIL funding to preserve existing projects having financing guaranteed under the Florida Affordable Housing Guarantee Program.  Projects shall be given priority for funding which meet specified criteria.  The maximum amount that may be funded is $2,500,000 per project, and authority for such funding expires on June 30, 2013.
  • Provides that a participant in an adult or youth work experience activity administered pursuant to ch. 445, Laws of Florida, shall be deemed an employee of the state for purposes of workers' compensation coverage.  
  • Directs the DEO to prepare draft legislation to conform the Florida Statutes to the provisions of this act, and to submit such draft legislation to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives on or before October 1, 2012.
  • Provides that if the governing body of an independent special district that provides water, wastewater, and sanitation services in a disproportionally affected county as defined in s. 288.106(8), determines that a new user or the expansion of an existing user of one or more of its utility systems will provide a significant benefit to the community in terms of increased job opportunities, economies of scale, or economic development in the area, the governing body may authorize a reduction of its rates, fees, or charges for that user for a specified period of time. A governing body that exercises this power must do so by resolution that states the anticipated economic benefit justifying the reduction as well as the period of time that the reduction remains in place.

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect, except as otherwise expressly provided in this act, on July 1, 2012.

Vote: Senate 38-0; House 106-11