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2010 Florida Statutes

Chapter 288
COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT AND CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS
CHAPTER 288
CHAPTER 288
COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT AND CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS
GENERAL PROVISIONS
(ss. 288.001-288.1258)
DIVISION OF BOND FINANCE
(ss. 288.13-288.33)
FOREIGN TRADE ZONES
(ss. 288.35-288.386)
SMALL AND MINORITY BUSINESS
(ss. 288.7001-288.714)
EXPORT FINANCE
(ss. 288.770-288.778)
INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS
(ss. 288.809-288.855)
ENTERPRISE FLORIDA, INC.
(ss. 288.901-288.9415)
TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT
(ss. 288.95155-288.9552)
CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT
(ss. 288.9602-288.9618)
CAPITAL FORMATION
(ss. 288.9621-288.9626)
DEFENSE CONVERSION AND TRANSITION
(ss. 288.972-288.985)
CERTIFIED CAPITAL COMPANY ACT
(s. 288.99)
NEW MARKETS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM ACT
(ss. 288.991-288.9922)
GENERAL PROVISIONS
288.001 The Florida Small Business Development Center Network; purpose.
288.012 State of Florida foreign offices.
288.017 Cooperative advertising matching grants program.
288.018 Regional Rural Development Grants Program.
288.019 Rural considerations in grant review and evaluation processes.
288.021 Economic development liaison.
288.0251 International development outreach activities in Latin America and Caribbean Basin.
288.035 Economic development activities.
288.037 Department of State; agreement with county tax collector.
288.038 1Department of Labor and Employment Security; agreement with county tax collector.
288.041 Solar energy industry; legislative findings and policy; promotional activities.
288.0415 Solar energy; advancement; economic development strategy.
288.046 Quick-response training; legislative intent.
288.047 Quick-response training for economic development.
288.061 Economic development incentive application process.
288.063 Contracts for transportation projects.
288.065 Rural Community Development Revolving Loan Fund.
288.0655 Rural Infrastructure Fund.
288.0656 Rural Economic Development Initiative.
288.06561 Reduction or waiver of financial match requirements.
288.0657 Florida rural economic development strategy grants.
288.0658 Nature-based recreation; promotion and other assistance by Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
288.0659 Local Government Distressed Area Matching Grant Program.
288.075 Confidentiality of records.
288.095 Economic Development Trust Fund.
288.1045 Qualified defense contractor and space flight business tax refund program.
288.106 Tax refund program for qualified target industry businesses.
288.107 Brownfield redevelopment bonus refunds.
288.108 High-impact business.
288.1081 Economic Gardening Business Loan Pilot Program.
288.1082 Economic Gardening Technical Assistance Pilot Program.
288.1083 Manufacturing and Spaceport Investment Incentive Program.
288.1088 Quick Action Closing Fund.
288.1089 Innovation Incentive Program.
288.109 One-Stop Permitting System.
288.1092 One-Stop Permitting System Grant Program.
288.1093 Quick Permitting County Designation Program.
288.1095 Information concerning the One-Stop Permitting System.
288.1097 Qualified job training organizations; certification; duties.
288.1162 Professional sports franchises; duties.
288.11621 Spring training baseball franchises.
288.1166 Professional sports facility; designation as shelter site for the homeless; establishment of local programs.
288.1167 Sports franchise contract provisions for food and beverage concession and contract awards to minority business enterprises.
288.1168 Professional golf hall of fame facility.
288.1169 International Game Fish Association World Center facility.
288.1171 Motorsports entertainment complex; definitions; certification; duties.
288.1175 Agriculture education and promotion facility.
288.122 Tourism Promotional Trust Fund.
288.1221 Legislative intent.
288.1222 Definitions.
288.1223 Florida Commission on Tourism; creation; purpose; membership.
288.1224 Powers and duties.
288.1226 Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation; use of property; board of directors; duties; audit.
288.12265 Welcome centers.
288.1227 Annual report of the Florida Commission on Tourism; audits.
288.1229 Promotion and development of sports-related industries and amateur athletics; direct-support organization; powers and duties.
288.12295 Promotion and development of sports-related industries; direct-support organization; confidentiality of donor identities.
288.124 Convention grants program.
288.125 Definition of “entertainment industry”.
288.1251 Promotion and development of entertainment industry; Office of Film and Entertainment; creation; purpose; powers and duties.
288.1252 Florida Film and Entertainment Advisory Council; creation; purpose; membership; powers and duties.
288.1253 Travel and entertainment expenses.
288.1254 Entertainment industry financial incentive program.
288.1258 Entertainment industry qualified production companies; application procedure; categories; duties of the Department of Revenue; records and reports.
288.001 The Florida Small Business Development Center Network; purpose.The Florida Small Business Development Center Network is the principal business assistance organization for small businesses in the state.
History.s. 1, ch. 2008-149.
288.012 State of Florida foreign offices.The Legislature finds that the expansion of international trade and tourism is vital to the overall health and growth of the economy of this state. This expansion is hampered by the lack of technical and business assistance, financial assistance, and information services for businesses in this state. The Legislature finds that these businesses could be assisted by providing these services at State of Florida foreign offices. The Legislature further finds that the accessibility and provision of services at these offices can be enhanced through cooperative agreements or strategic alliances between state entities, local entities, foreign entities, and private businesses.
(1) The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development is authorized to:
(a) Establish and operate offices in foreign countries for the purpose of promoting the trade and economic development of the state, and promoting the gathering of trade data information and research on trade opportunities in specific countries.
(b) Enter into agreements with governmental and private sector entities to establish and operate offices in foreign countries containing provisions which may be in conflict with general laws of the state pertaining to the purchase of office space, employment of personnel, and contracts for services. When agreements pursuant to this section are made which set compensation in foreign currency, such agreements shall be subject to the requirements of s. 215.425, but the purchase of foreign currency by the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development to meet such obligations shall be subject only to s. 216.311.
(2) Each foreign office shall have in place an operational plan approved by the participating boards or other governing authority, a copy of which shall be provided to the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development. These operating plans shall be reviewed and updated each fiscal year and shall include, at a minimum, the following:
(a) Specific policies and procedures encompassing the entire scope of the operation and management of each office.
(b) A comprehensive, commercial strategic plan identifying marketing opportunities and industry sector priorities for the foreign country or area in which a foreign office is located.
(c) Provisions for access to information for Florida businesses through the Florida Trade Data Center. Each foreign office shall obtain and forward trade leads and inquiries to the center on a regular basis.
(d) Identification of new and emerging market opportunities for Florida businesses. Each foreign office shall provide the Florida Trade Data Center with a compilation of foreign buyers and importers in industry sector priority areas on an annual basis. In return, the Florida Trade Data Center shall make available to each foreign office, and to Enterprise Florida, Inc., the Florida Commission on Tourism, the Florida Ports Council, the Department of State, the Department of Citrus, and the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, trade industry, commodity, and opportunity information. This information shall be provided to such offices and entities either free of charge or on a fee basis with fees set only to recover the costs of providing the information.
(e) Provision of access for Florida businesses to the services of the Florida Trade Data Center, international trade assistance services provided by state and local entities, seaport and airport information, and other services identified by the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development.
(f) Qualitative and quantitative performance measures for each office, including, but not limited to, the number of businesses assisted, the number of trade leads and inquiries generated, the number of foreign buyers and importers contacted, and the amount and type of marketing conducted.
(3) By October 1 of each year, each foreign office shall submit to the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development a complete and detailed report on its activities and accomplishments during the preceding fiscal year. In a format provided by Enterprise Florida, Inc., the report must set forth information on:
(a) The number of Florida companies assisted.
(b) The number of inquiries received about investment opportunities in this state.
(c) The number of trade leads generated.
(d) The number of investment projects announced.
(e) The estimated U.S. dollar value of sales confirmations.
(f) The number of representation agreements.
(g) The number of company consultations.
(h) Barriers or other issues affecting the effective operation of the office.
(i) Changes in office operations which are planned for the current fiscal year.
(j) Marketing activities conducted.
(k) Strategic alliances formed with organizations in the country in which the office is located.
(l) Activities conducted with other Florida foreign offices.
(m) Any other information that the office believes would contribute to an understanding of its activities.
(4) The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development, in connection with the establishment, operation, and management of any of its offices located in a foreign country, is exempt from the provisions of ss. 255.21, 255.25, and 255.254 relating to leasing of buildings; ss. 283.33 and 283.35 relating to bids for printing; ss. 287.001-287.20 relating to purchasing and motor vehicles; and ss. 282.003-282.0056 and 282.702-282.7101 relating to communications, and from all statutory provisions relating to state employment.
(a) The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development may exercise such exemptions only upon prior approval of the Governor.
(b) If approval for an exemption under this section is granted as an integral part of a plan of operation for a specified foreign office, such action shall constitute continuing authority for the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development to exercise the exemption, but only in the context and upon the terms originally granted. Any modification of the approved plan of operation with respect to an exemption contained therein must be resubmitted to the Governor for his or her approval. An approval granted to exercise an exemption in any other context shall be restricted to the specific instance for which the exemption is to be exercised.
(c) As used in this subsection, the term “plan of operation” means the plan developed pursuant to subsection (2).
(d) Upon final action by the Governor with respect to a request to exercise the exemption authorized in this subsection, the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall report such action, along with the original request and any modifications thereto, to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives within 30 days.
(5) Where feasible and appropriate, and subject to s. 288.1224(9), foreign offices established and operated under this section may provide one-stop access to the economic development, trade, and tourism information, services, and programs of the state. Where feasible and appropriate, and subject to s. 288.1224(9), such offices may also be collocated with other foreign offices of the state.
(6) The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development is authorized to make and to enter into contracts with Enterprise Florida, Inc., and the Florida Commission on Tourism to carry out the provisions of this section. The authority, duties, and exemptions provided in this section apply to Enterprise Florida, Inc., and the Florida Commission on Tourism to the same degree and subject to the same conditions as applied to the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development. To the greatest extent possible, such contracts shall include provisions for cooperative agreements or strategic alliances between state entities, foreign entities, local entities, and private businesses to operate foreign offices.
History.s. 1, ch. 80-401; s. 1, ch. 82-115; ss. 3, 6, ch. 83-252; ss. 9, 10, ch. 88-201; ss. 1, 2, 3, ch. 89-150; s. 112, ch. 90-201; ss. 40, 44, ch. 90-335; s. 53, ch. 91-5; s. 9, ch. 92-277; s. 219, ch. 95-148; s. 30, ch. 96-320; s. 14, ch. 97-278; s. 80, ch. 99-251; s. 4, ch. 2000-208; s. 58, ch. 2001-61; s. 49, ch. 2010-5.
288.017 Cooperative advertising matching grants program.
(1) The Florida Commission on Tourism is authorized to establish a cooperative advertising matching grants program and, pursuant thereto, to make expenditures and enter into contracts with local governments and nonprofit corporations for the purpose of publicizing the tourism advantages of the state. The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development, based on recommendations from the Florida Commission on Tourism, shall have final approval of grants awarded through this program. The commission may contract with its direct-support organization to administer the program.
(2) The total annual allocation of funds for this grant program may not exceed $40,000. Each grant awarded under the program shall be limited to no more than $2,500 and shall be matched by nonstate dollars. All grants shall be restricted to local governments and nonprofit corporations serving and located in municipalities having a population of 50,000 persons or less or in counties with an unincorporated area having a population of 200,000 persons or less.
(3) The Florida Commission on Tourism shall conduct an annual competitive selection process for the award of grants under the program. In determining its recommendations for the grant awards, the commission shall consider the demonstrated need of the applicant for advertising assistance, the feasibility and projected benefit of the applicant’s proposal, the amount of nonstate funds that will be leveraged, and such other criteria as the commission deems appropriate. In evaluating grant applications, the office shall consider recommendations from the Florida Commission on Tourism. The office, however, has final approval authority for any grant under this section.
History.s. 1, ch. 91-218; s. 31, ch. 96-320.
288.018 Regional Rural Development Grants Program.
(1) The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall establish a matching grant program to provide funding to regionally based economic development organizations representing rural counties and communities for the purpose of building the professional capacity of their organizations. Such matching grants may also be used by an economic development organization to provide technical assistance to businesses within the rural counties and communities that it serves. The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development is authorized to approve, on an annual basis, grants to such regionally based economic development organizations. The maximum amount an organization may receive in any year will be $35,000, or $100,000 in a rural area of critical economic concern recommended by the Rural Economic Development Initiative and designated by the Governor, and must be matched each year by an equivalent amount of nonstate resources.
(2) In approving the participants, the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall consider the demonstrated need of the applicant for assistance and require the following:
(a) Documentation of official commitments of support from each of the units of local government represented by the regional organization.
(b) Demonstration that each unit of local government has made a financial or in-kind commitment to the regional organization.
(c) Demonstration that the private sector has made financial or in-kind commitments to the regional organization.
(d) Demonstration that the organization is in existence and actively involved in economic development activities serving the region.
(e) Demonstration of the manner in which the organization is or will coordinate its efforts with those of other local and state organizations.
(3) The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development may also contract for the development of an enterprise zone web portal or websites for each enterprise zone which will be used to market the program for job creation in disadvantaged urban and rural enterprise zones. Each enterprise zone web page should include downloadable links to state forms and information, as well as local message boards that help businesses and residents receive information concerning zone boundaries, job openings, zone programs, and neighborhood improvement activities.
(4) The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development may expend up to $750,000 each fiscal year from funds appropriated to the Rural Community Development Revolving Loan Fund for the purposes outlined in this section. The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development may contract with Enterprise Florida, Inc., for the administration of the purposes specified in this section. Funds released to Enterprise Florida, Inc., for this purpose shall be released quarterly and shall be calculated based on the applications in process.
History.s. 32, ch. 96-320; s. 94, ch. 99-251; s. 9, ch. 2001-201; s. 15, ch. 2010-147.
288.019 Rural considerations in grant review and evaluation processes.Notwithstanding any other law, and to the fullest extent possible, the member agencies and organizations of the Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI) as defined in s. 288.0656(6)(a) shall review all grant and loan application evaluation criteria to ensure the fullest access for rural counties as defined in s. 288.0656(2) to resources available throughout the state.
(1) Each REDI agency and organization shall review all evaluation and scoring procedures and develop modifications to those procedures which minimize the impact of a project within a rural area.
(2) Evaluation criteria and scoring procedures must provide for an appropriate ranking based on the proportionate impact that projects have on a rural area when compared with similar project impacts on an urban area.
(3) Evaluation criteria and scoring procedures must recognize the disparity of available fiscal resources for an equal level of financial support from an urban county and a rural county.
(a) The evaluation criteria should weight contribution in proportion to the amount of funding available at the local level.
(b) In-kind match should be allowed and applied as financial match when a county is experiencing financial distress through elevated unemployment at a rate in excess of the state’s average by 5 percentage points or because of the loss of its ad valorem base.
(4) For existing programs, the modified evaluation criteria and scoring procedure must be delivered to the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development for distribution to the REDI agencies and organizations. The REDI agencies and organizations shall review and make comments. Future rules, programs, evaluation criteria, and scoring processes must be brought before a REDI meeting for review, discussion, and recommendation to allow rural counties fuller access to the state’s resources.
History.s. 10, ch. 2001-201; s. 22, ch. 2009-51.
288.021 Economic development liaison.
(1) The heads of the Department of Transportation, the Department of Environmental Protection and an additional member appointed by the secretary of the department, the 1Department of Labor and Employment Security, the Department of Education, the Department of Community Affairs, the Department of Management Services, the Department of Revenue, the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, each water management district, and each Department of Transportation District office shall designate a high-level staff member from within such agency to serve as the economic development liaison for the agency. This person shall report to the agency head and have general knowledge both of the state’s permitting and other regulatory functions and of the state’s economic goals, policies, and programs. This person shall also be the primary point of contact for the agency with the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development on issues and projects important to the economic development of Florida, including its rural areas, to expedite project review, to ensure a prompt, effective response to problems arising with regard to permitting and regulatory functions, and to work closely with the other economic development liaisons to resolve interagency conflicts.
(2) Whenever it is necessary to change the designee, the head of each agency shall notify the Governor in writing of the person designated as the economic development liaison for such agency.
History.s. 14, ch. 92-277; s. 115, ch. 94-356; s. 33, ch. 96-320; s. 3, ch. 99-244; s. 85, ch. 99-245; s. 50, ch. 2010-5.
1Note.Section 69, ch. 2002-194, repealed s. 20.171, which created the Department of Labor and Employment Security.
288.0251 International development outreach activities in Latin America and Caribbean Basin.The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development may contract for the implementation of Florida’s international volunteer corps to provide short-term training and technical assistance activities in Latin America and the Caribbean Basin. The entity contracted under this section must require that such activities be conducted by qualified volunteers who are citizens of the state. The contracting agency must have a statewide focus and experience in coordinating international volunteer programs.
History.s. 9, ch. 86-139; s. 82, ch. 90-201; s. 25, ch. 91-5; s. 26, ch. 91-201; s. 5, ch. 91-429; ss. 15, 65, ch. 93-187; s. 34, ch. 96-320; s. 24, ch. 99-251; s. 6, ch. 2004-242.
Note.Former s. 229.6056.
288.035 Economic development activities.
(1) The Florida Public Service Commission may authorize public utilities to recover reasonable economic development expenses. For purposes of this section, recoverable “economic development expenses” are those expenses described in subsection (2) which are consistent with criteria to be established by rules adopted by the 1Department of Commerce as of June 30, 1996, or as those criteria are later modified by the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development.
(2) Such rules shall provide that authorized economic development expenses shall be limited to the following:
(a) Expenditures for operational assistance, including the participation in trade shows and prospecting missions with state and local entities.
(b) Expenditures for assisting the state and local governments in the design of strategic plans for economic development activities.
(c) Expenditures for marketing and research services, including assisting local governments in marketing specific sites for business and industry development or recruitment, and assisting local governments in responding to inquiries from business and industry concerning the development of specific sites.
(3) The Florida Public Service Commission shall adopt rules for the recovery of economic development expenses by public utilities, including the sharing of expenses by shareholders.
History.s. 1, ch. 94-136; s. 35, ch. 96-320.
1Note.Section 20.17, which created the Department of Commerce, was repealed effective December 31, 1996, by s. 3, ch. 96-320.
288.037 Department of State; agreement with county tax collector.In order to further the economic development goals of the state, and notwithstanding any law to the contrary, the Department of State may enter into an agreement with the county tax collector for the purpose of appointing the county tax collector as the department’s agent to accept applications for licenses or other similar registrations and applications for renewals of licenses or other similar registrations. The agreement must specify the time within which the tax collector must forward any applications and accompanying application fees to the department.
History.s. 55, ch. 97-278.
288.038 1Department of Labor and Employment Security; agreement with county tax collector.In order to further the economic development goals of the state, and notwithstanding any law to the contrary, the 1Department of Labor and Employment Security may enter into an agreement with the county tax collector for the purpose of appointing the county tax collector as the department’s agent to accept applications for licenses or other similar registrations and applications for renewals of licenses or other similar registrations. The agreement must specify the time within which the tax collector must forward any applications and accompanying application fees to the department.
History.s. 56, ch. 97-278.
1Note.Section 69, ch. 2002-194, repealed s. 20.171, which created the Department of Labor and Employment Security.
288.041 Solar energy industry; legislative findings and policy; promotional activities.
(1) It is hereby found and declared that:
(a) The solar energy industry in this state has been a leader in the nation in the manufacture, supply, and delivery of solar energy systems.
(b) The use of solar energy in this state has been demonstrated to save conventional energy sources.
(c) The solar energy industry offers the prospect for improved economic welfare of this state through creation of jobs, increased energy security, and enhancing the quality of the environment of this state.
(d) Through helping to provide for a clean environment and healthy economy, the solar energy industry contributes to the continued growth and development of the tourist industry of this state.
(2) It is the policy of this state to promote, stimulate, develop, and advance the growth of the solar energy industry in this state.
(3) By January 15 of each year, the Department of Environmental Protection shall report to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives on the impact of the solar energy industry on the economy of this state and shall make any recommendations on initiatives to further promote the solar energy industry as the department deems appropriate.
History.s. 2, ch. 93-249; s. 23, ch. 94-321; s. 36, ch. 96-320; s. 62, ch. 99-13; s. 10, ch. 2004-243; s. 1, ch. 2005-66.
288.0415 Solar energy; advancement; economic development strategy.The use of solar energy is a proven, effective means of reducing air pollution, while also creating new jobs, saving energy, lowering consumer utility bills, and stimulating economic development. As such, this state is committed to advancing the use of solar energy in the state. Towards this end, the state shall give priority to removing identified barriers to and providing incentives for increased solar energy development and use. In addition, the state shall capitalize on solar energy as an economic development strategy for job creation, market development, international trade, and other related means of stimulating and enhancing the economy of this state.
History.s. 22, ch. 94-321.
288.046 Quick-response training; legislative intent.The Legislature recognizes the importance of providing a skilled workforce for attracting new industries and retaining and expanding existing businesses and industries in this state. It is the intent of the Legislature that a program exist to meet the short-term, immediate, workforce-skill needs of such businesses and industries. It is further the intent of the Legislature that funds provided for the purposes of s. 288.047 be expended on businesses and industries that support the state’s economic development goals, particularly high value-added businesses or businesses that locate in and provide jobs in the state’s distressed urban and rural areas, and that instruction funded pursuant to s. 288.047 lead to permanent, quality employment opportunities.
History.s. 1, ch. 93-187; s. 77, ch. 2000-165.
288.047 Quick-response training for economic development.
(1) The Quick-Response Training Program is created to meet the workforce-skill needs of existing, new, and expanding industries. The program shall be administered by Workforce Florida, Inc., in conjunction with Enterprise Florida, Inc., and the Department of Education. Workforce Florida, Inc., shall adopt guidelines for the administration of this program. Workforce Florida, Inc., shall provide technical services and shall identify businesses that seek services through the program. Workforce Florida, Inc., may contract with Enterprise Florida, Inc., or administer this program directly, if it is determined that such an arrangement maximizes the amount of the Quick Response grant going to direct services.
(2) Workforce Florida, Inc., shall ensure that instruction funded pursuant to this section is not available through the local community college or school district and that the instruction promotes economic development by providing specialized training to new workers or retraining for current employees to meet changing skill requirements caused by new technology or new product lines and to prevent potential layoffs. Such funds may not be expended to provide training for instruction related to retail businesses or to reimburse businesses for trainee wages. Funds made available pursuant to this section may not be expended in connection with the relocation of a business from one community to another community in this state unless Workforce Florida, Inc., determines that without such relocation the business will move outside this state or determines that the business has a compelling economic rationale for the relocation which creates additional jobs.
(3) Requests for funding through the Quick-Response Training Program may be produced through inquiries from a specific business or industry, inquiries from a school district director of career education or community college occupational dean on behalf of a business or industry, or through official state or local economic development efforts. In allocating funds for the purposes of the program, Workforce Florida, Inc., shall establish criteria for approval of requests for funding and shall select the entity that provides the most efficient, cost-effective instruction meeting such criteria. Program funds may be allocated to any career center, community college, or state university. Program funds may be allocated to private postsecondary institutions only upon a review that includes, but is not limited to, accreditation and licensure documentation and prior approval by Workforce Florida, Inc. Instruction funded through the program must terminate when participants demonstrate competence at the level specified in the request; however, the grant term may not exceed 24 months. Costs and expenditures for the Quick-Response Training Program must be documented and separated from those incurred by the training provider.
(4) For the first 6 months of each fiscal year, Workforce Florida, Inc., shall set aside 30 percent of the amount appropriated for the Quick-Response Training Program by the Legislature to fund instructional programs for businesses located in an enterprise zone or brownfield area. Any unencumbered funds remaining undisbursed from this set-aside at the end of the 6-month period may be used to provide funding for any program qualifying for funding pursuant to this section.
(5) Prior to the allocation of funds for any request pursuant to this section, Workforce Florida, Inc., shall prepare a grant agreement between the business or industry requesting funds, the educational institution receiving funding through the program, and Workforce Florida, Inc. Such agreement must include, but is not limited to:
(a) An identification of the personnel necessary to conduct the instructional program, the qualifications of such personnel, and the respective responsibilities of the parties for paying costs associated with the employment of such personnel.
(b) An identification of the estimated length of the instructional program.
(c) An identification of all direct, training-related costs, including tuition and fees, curriculum development, books and classroom materials, and overhead or indirect costs, not to exceed 5 percent of the grant amount.
(d) An identification of special program requirements that are not addressed otherwise in the agreement.
(e) Permission to access information specific to the wages and performance of participants upon the completion of instruction for evaluation purposes. Information which, if released, would disclose the identity of the person to whom the information pertains or disclose the identity of the person’s employer is confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1). The agreement must specify that any evaluations published subsequent to the instruction may not identify the employer or any individual participant.
(6) For the purposes of this section, Workforce Florida, Inc., may accept grants of money, materials, services, or property of any kind from any agency, corporation, or individual.
(7) In providing instruction pursuant to this section, materials that relate to methods of manufacture or production, potential trade secrets, business transactions, or proprietary information received, produced, ascertained, or discovered by employees of the respective departments, district school boards, community college district boards of trustees, or other personnel employed for the purposes of this section is confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1). The state may seek copyright protection for all instructional materials and ancillary written documents developed wholly or partially with state funds as a result of instruction provided pursuant to this section, except for materials that are confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1).
(8) There is created a Quick-Response Training Program for participants in the welfare transition program. Workforce Florida, Inc., may award quick-response training grants and develop applicable guidelines for the training of participants in the welfare transition program. In addition to a local economic development organization, grants must be endorsed by the applicable regional workforce board.
(a) Training funded pursuant to this subsection may not exceed 12 months, and may be provided by the local community college, school district, regional workforce board, or the business employing the participant, including on-the-job training. Training will provide entry-level skills to new workers, including those employed in retail, who are participants in the welfare transition program.
(b) Participants trained pursuant to this subsection must be employed at a wage not less than $6 per hour.
(c) Funds made available pursuant to this subsection may be expended in connection with the relocation of a business from one community to another community if approved by Workforce Florida, Inc.
(9) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, eligible matching contributions received under the Quick-Response Training Program under this section may be counted toward the private sector support of Enterprise Florida, Inc., under s. 288.90151(5)(d).
(10) Workforce Florida, Inc., and Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall ensure maximum coordination and cooperation in administering this section, in such a manner that any division of responsibility between the two organizations which relates to marketing or administering the Quick-Response Training Program is not apparent to a business that inquires about or applies for funding under this section. The organizations shall provide such a business with a single point of contact for information and assistance.
History.s. 2, ch. 93-187; ss. 2, 71, ch. 94-136; s. 874, ch. 95-148; s. 3, ch. 95-345; s. 37, ch. 96-320; s. 134, ch. 96-406; s. 15, ch. 97-278; s. 34, ch. 97-307; s. 23, ch. 98-57; s. 78, ch. 2000-165; s. 3, ch. 2000-317; s. 22, ch. 2004-357.
288.061 Economic development incentive application process.
(1) Within 10 business days after receiving a submitted economic development incentive application, Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall review the application and inform the applicant business whether or not its application is complete. Within 10 business days after the application is deemed complete, Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall evaluate the application and recommend approval or disapproval of the application to the director of the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development. In recommending an applicant business for approval, Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall include in its evaluation a recommended grant award amount and a review of the applicant’s ability to meet specific program criteria.
(2) Within 10 calendar days after the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development receives the evaluation and recommendation from Enterprise Florida, Inc., the office shall notify Enterprise Florida, Inc., whether or not the application is reviewable. Within 22 calendar days after the office receives the recommendation from Enterprise Florida, Inc., the director of the office shall review the application and issue a letter of certification to the applicant that approves or disapproves an applicant business and includes a justification of that decision, unless the business requests an extension of that time. The final order shall specify the total amount of the award, the performance conditions that must be met to obtain the award, and the schedule for payment.
History.s. 9, ch. 2009-51.
288.063 Contracts for transportation projects.
(1) The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development is authorized to make, and based on a recommendation from Enterprise Florida, Inc., to approve, expenditures and enter into contracts for direct costs of transportation projects with the appropriate governmental body. The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall provide the Department of Transportation, the Department of Environmental Protection, and the Department of Community Affairs with an opportunity to formally review and comment on recommended transportation projects, although the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development has final approval authority for any project under this section.
(2) Any contract with a governmental body for construction of any transportation project executed by the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall:
(a) Specify and identify the transportation project to be constructed for a new or expanding business and the number of full-time permanent jobs that will result from the project.
(b) Require that the appropriate governmental body award the construction of the particular transportation project to the lowest and best bidder in accordance with applicable state and federal statutes or regulations unless the project can be constructed with existing local government employees within the contract period specified by the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development.
(c) Require that the appropriate governmental body provide the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development with quarterly progress reports. Each quarterly progress report shall contain a narrative description of the work completed according to the project schedule, a description of any change orders executed by the appropriate governmental body, a budget summary detailing planned expenditures versus actual expenditures, and identification of minority business enterprises used as contractors and subcontractors. Records of all progress payments made for work in connection with such transportation projects, and any change orders executed by the appropriate governmental body and payments made pursuant to such orders, shall be maintained by that governmental body in accordance with accepted governmental accounting principles and practices and shall be subject to financial audit as required by law. In addition, the appropriate governmental body, upon completion and acceptance of the transportation project, shall make certification to the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development that the project has been completed in compliance with the terms and conditions of the contractual agreements between the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development and the appropriate governmental body and meets minimum construction standards established in accordance with s. 336.045.
(d) Specify that the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall transfer funds upon receipt of a request for funds from the local government, on no more than a quarterly basis, consistent with project needs. A contract totaling less than $200,000 is exempt from this transfer requirement. The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall not transfer any funds unless construction has begun on the facility of the business on whose behalf the award was made. Local governments shall expend funds in a timely manner.
(e) Require that program funds be used only on those transportation projects that have been properly reviewed and approved in accordance with the criteria set forth in this section.
(f) Require that the governing board of the appropriate local governmental body agree by resolution to accept future maintenance and other attendant costs occurring after completion of the transportation project if the project is construction on a county or municipal system.
(3) With respect to any contract executed pursuant to this section, the term “transportation project” means a transportation facility as defined in s. 334.03(31) which is necessary in the judgment of the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development to facilitate the economic development and growth of the state. Except for applications received prior to July 1, 1996, such transportation projects shall be approved only as a consideration to attract new employment opportunities to the state or expand or retain employment in existing companies operating within the state, or to allow for the construction or expansion of a state or federal correctional facility in a county with a population of 75,000 or less that creates new employment opportunities or expands or retains employment in the county. The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall institute procedures to ensure that small and minority businesses have equal access to funding provided under this section. Funding for approved transportation projects may include any expenses, other than administrative costs and equipment purchases specified in the contract, necessary for new, or improvement to existing, transportation facilities. Funds made available pursuant to this section may not be expended in connection with the relocation of a business from one community to another community in this state unless the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development determines that without such relocation the business will move outside this state or determines that the business has a compelling economic rationale for the relocation which creates additional jobs. Subject to appropriation for projects under this section, any appropriation greater than $10 million shall be allocated to each of the districts of the Department of Transportation to ensure equitable geographical distribution. Such allocated funds that remain uncommitted by the third quarter of the fiscal year shall be reallocated among the districts based on pending project requests.
(4) The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development may adopt criteria by which transportation projects are to be reviewed and certified in accordance with s. 288.061. In approving transportation projects for funding, the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall consider factors including, but not limited to, the cost per job created or retained considering the amount of transportation funds requested; the average hourly rate of wages for jobs created; the reliance on the program as an inducement for the project’s location decision; the amount of capital investment to be made by the business; the demonstrated local commitment; the location of the project in an enterprise zone designated pursuant to s. 290.0055; the location of the project in a spaceport territory as defined in s. 331.304; the unemployment rate of the surrounding area; the poverty rate of the community; and the adoption of an economic element as part of its local comprehensive plan in accordance with s. 163.3177(7)(j). The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development may contact any agency it deems appropriate for additional input regarding the approval of projects.
(5) No project that has not been specified and identified by the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development in accordance with subsection (4) prior to the initiation of construction shall be eligible for funding.
(6) The Department of Transportation shall review the proposed projects to ensure proper coordination with transportation projects included in the adopted work program and may be the contracting agency when the project is on the State Highway System. In addition, upon request by the appropriate governmental body, the department may advise and assist it or plan and construct other such transportation projects for it.
(7) For the purpose of this section, Space Florida may serve as the local government or as the contracting agency for transportation projects within spaceport territory as defined by s. 331.304.
(8) Each local government receiving funds under this section shall submit to the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development a financial audit of the local entity conducted by an independent certified public accountant. The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall develop procedures to ensure that audits are received and reviewed in a timely manner and that deficiencies or questioned costs noted in the audit are resolved.
(9) The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall monitor on site each grant recipient, including, but not limited to, the construction of the business facility, to ensure compliance with contractual requirements.
(10) In addition to the other provisions of this section, projects that the Legislature deems necessary to facilitate the economic development and growth of the state may be designated and funded in the General Appropriations Act. Such transportation projects create new employment opportunities, expand transportation infrastructure, improve mobility, or increase transportation innovation. The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall enter into contracts with, and make expenditures to, the appropriate entities for the costs of transportation projects designated in the General Appropriations Act.
History.s. 7, ch. 80-209; s. 1, ch. 81-171; s. 3, ch. 84-294; s. 266, ch. 84-309; s. 2, ch. 85-180; s. 44, ch. 88-201; s. 2, ch. 89-352; s. 5, ch. 90-136; ss. 5, 6, ch. 90-192; s. 2, ch. 91-218; s. 19, ch. 91-262; s. 5, ch. 91-429; s. 16, ch. 93-187; s. 46, ch. 93-206; ss. 3, 72, ch. 94-136; s. 19, ch. 94-322; s. 116, ch. 94-356; s. 876, ch. 95-148; s. 41, ch. 96-320; s. 67, ch. 96-323; s. 16, ch. 97-278; s. 12, ch. 98-258; s. 13, ch. 99-256; s. 36, ch. 2000-152; s. 4, ch. 2002-183; ss. 54, 79, ch. 2002-402; s. 75, ch. 2003-399; s. 5, ch. 2004-6; s. 7, ch. 2004-242; s. 25, ch. 2005-2; s. 54, ch. 2006-60; s. 10, ch. 2009-51.
288.065 Rural Community Development Revolving Loan Fund.
(1) The Rural Community Development Revolving Loan Fund Program is established in the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development to facilitate the use of existing federal, state, and local financial resources by providing local governments with financial assistance to further promote the economic viability of rural communities. These funds may be used to finance initiatives directed toward maintaining or developing the economic base of rural communities, especially initiatives addressing employment opportunities for residents of these communities.
(2) The program shall provide for long-term loans, loan guarantees, and loan loss reserves to units of local governments, or economic development organizations substantially underwritten by a unit of local government, within counties with populations of 75,000 or fewer, or within any county with a population of 125,000 or fewer which is contiguous to a county with a population of 75,000 or fewer, based on the most recent official population estimate as determined under s. 186.901, including those residing in incorporated areas and those residing in unincorporated areas of the county, or to units of local government, or economic development organizations substantially underwritten by a unit of local government, within a rural area of critical economic concern. Requests for loans shall be made by application to the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development. Loans shall be made pursuant to agreements specifying the terms and conditions agreed to between the applicant and the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development. The loans shall be the legal obligations of the applicant. All repayments of principal and interest shall be returned to the loan fund and made available for loans to other applicants. However, in a rural area of critical economic concern designated by the Governor, and upon approval by the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development, repayments of principal and interest may be retained by the applicant if such repayments are dedicated and matched to fund regionally based economic development organizations representing the rural area of critical economic concern.
(3) The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall manage the fund, establishing loan practices that must include, but are not limited to, procedures for establishing loan interest rates, uses of funding, application procedures, and application review procedures. The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall have final approval authority for any loan under this section.
(4) Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 216.301, funds appropriated for this purpose shall not be subject to reversion.
History.s. 42, ch. 96-320; s. 18, ch. 97-278; s. 95, ch. 99-251; s. 11, ch. 2001-201; s. 11, ch. 2009-51.
288.0655 Rural Infrastructure Fund.
(1) There is created within the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development the Rural Infrastructure Fund to facilitate the planning, preparing, and financing of infrastructure projects in rural communities which will encourage job creation, capital investment, and the strengthening and diversification of rural economies by promoting tourism, trade, and economic development.
(2)(a) Funds appropriated by the Legislature shall be distributed by the office through grant programs that maximize the use of federal, local, and private resources, including, but not limited to, those available under the Small Cities Community Development Block Grant Program.
(b) To facilitate access of rural communities and rural areas of critical economic concern as defined by the Rural Economic Development Initiative to infrastructure funding programs of the Federal Government, such as those offered by the United States Department of Agriculture and the United States Department of Commerce, and state programs, including those offered by Rural Economic Development Initiative agencies, and to facilitate local government or private infrastructure funding efforts, the office may award grants for up to 30 percent of the total infrastructure project cost. If an application for funding is for a catalyst site, as defined in s. 288.0656, the office may award grants for up to 40 percent of the total infrastructure project cost. Eligible projects must be related to specific job-creation or job-retention opportunities. Eligible projects may also include improving any inadequate infrastructure that has resulted in regulatory action that prohibits economic or community growth or reducing the costs to community users of proposed infrastructure improvements that exceed such costs in comparable communities. Eligible uses of funds shall include improvements to public infrastructure for industrial or commercial sites and upgrades to or development of public tourism infrastructure. Authorized infrastructure may include the following public or public-private partnership facilities: storm water systems; telecommunications facilities; broadband facilities; roads or other remedies to transportation impediments; nature-based tourism facilities; or other physical requirements necessary to facilitate tourism, trade, and economic development activities in the community. Authorized infrastructure may also include publicly or privately owned self-powered nature-based tourism facilities, publicly owned telecommunications facilities, and broadband facilities, and additions to the distribution facilities of the existing natural gas utility as defined in s. 366.04(3)(c), the existing electric utility as defined in s. 366.02, or the existing water or wastewater utility as defined in s. 367.021(12), or any other existing water or wastewater facility, which owns a gas or electric distribution system or a water or wastewater system in this state where:
1. A contribution-in-aid of construction is required to serve public or public-private partnership facilities under the tariffs of any natural gas, electric, water, or wastewater utility as defined herein; and
2. Such utilities as defined herein are willing and able to provide such service.
(c) To facilitate timely response and induce the location or expansion of specific job creating opportunities, the office may award grants for infrastructure feasibility studies, design and engineering activities, or other infrastructure planning and preparation activities. Authorized grants shall be up to $50,000 for an employment project with a business committed to create at least 100 jobs, up to $150,000 for an employment project with a business committed to create at least 300 jobs, and up to $300,000 for a project in a rural area of critical economic concern. Grants awarded under this paragraph may be used in conjunction with grants awarded under paragraph (b), provided that the total amount of both grants does not exceed 30 percent of the total project cost. In evaluating applications under this paragraph, the office shall consider the extent to which the application seeks to minimize administrative and consultant expenses.
(d) By September 1, 1999, the office shall pursue execution of a memorandum of agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture under which state funds available through the Rural Infrastructure Fund may be advanced, in excess of the prescribed state share, for a project that has received from the department a preliminary determination of eligibility for federal financial support. State funds in excess of the prescribed state share which are advanced pursuant to this paragraph and the memorandum of agreement shall be reimbursed when funds are awarded under an application for federal funding.
(e) To enable local governments to access the resources available pursuant to s. 403.973(18), the office may award grants for surveys, feasibility studies, and other activities related to the identification and preclearance review of land which is suitable for preclearance review. Authorized grants under this paragraph shall not exceed $75,000 each, except in the case of a project in a rural area of critical economic concern, in which case the grant shall not exceed $300,000. Any funds awarded under this paragraph must be matched at a level of 50 percent with local funds, except that any funds awarded for a project in a rural area of critical economic concern must be matched at a level of 33 percent with local funds. If an application for funding is for a catalyst site, as defined in s. 288.0656, the requirement for local match may be waived pursuant to the process in s. 288.06561. In evaluating applications under this paragraph, the office shall consider the extent to which the application seeks to minimize administrative and consultant expenses.
(3) The office, in consultation with Enterprise Florida, Inc., VISIT Florida, the Department of Environmental Protection, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, as appropriate, shall review and certify applications pursuant to s. 288.061. The review shall include an evaluation of the economic benefit of the projects and their long-term viability. The office shall have final approval for any grant under this section.
(4) By September 1, 1999, the office shall, in consultation with the organizations listed in subsection (3), and other organizations, develop guidelines and criteria governing submission of applications for funding, review and evaluation of such applications, and approval of funding under this section. The office shall consider factors including, but not limited to, the project’s potential for enhanced job creation or increased capital investment, the demonstration of local public and private commitment, the location of the project in an enterprise zone, the location of the project in a community development corporation service area, the location of the project in a county designated under s. 212.097, the unemployment rate of the surrounding area, and the poverty rate of the community.
(5) Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 216.301, funds appropriated for the purposes of this section shall not be subject to reversion.
History.s. 96, ch. 99-251; s. 37, ch. 2000-152; s. 1, ch. 2002-392; s. 5, ch. 2006-55; s. 54, ch. 2008-4; s. 12, ch. 2009-51.
288.0656 Rural Economic Development Initiative.
(1)(a) Recognizing that rural communities and regions continue to face extraordinary challenges in their efforts to significantly improve their economies, specifically in terms of personal income, job creation, average wages, and strong tax bases, it is the intent of the Legislature to encourage and facilitate the location and expansion of major economic development projects of significant scale in such rural communities.
(b) The Rural Economic Development Initiative, known as “REDI,” is created within the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development, and the participation of state and regional agencies in this initiative is authorized.
(2) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Catalyst project” means a business locating or expanding in a rural area of critical economic concern to serve as an economic generator of regional significance for the growth of a regional target industry cluster. The project must provide capital investment on a scale significant enough to affect the entire region and result in the development of high-wage and high-skill jobs.
(b) “Catalyst site” means a parcel or parcels of land within a rural area of critical economic concern that has been prioritized as a geographic site for economic development through partnerships with state, regional, and local organizations. The site must be reviewed by REDI and approved by the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development for the purposes of locating a catalyst project.
(c) “Economic distress” means conditions affecting the fiscal and economic viability of a rural community, including such factors as low per capita income, low per capita taxable values, high unemployment, high underemployment, low weekly earned wages compared to the state average, low housing values compared to the state average, high percentages of the population receiving public assistance, high poverty levels compared to the state average, and a lack of year-round stable employment opportunities.
(d) “Rural area of critical economic concern” means a rural community, or a region composed of rural communities, designated by the Governor, that has been adversely affected by an extraordinary economic event, severe or chronic distress, or a natural disaster or that presents a unique economic development opportunity of regional impact.
(e) “Rural community” means:
1. A county with a population of 75,000 or fewer.
2. A county with a population of 125,000 or fewer which is contiguous to a county with a population of 75,000 or fewer.
3. A municipality within a county described in subparagraph 1. or subparagraph 2.
4. An unincorporated federal enterprise community or an incorporated rural city with a population of 25,000 or fewer and an employment base focused on traditional agricultural or resource-based industries, located in a county not defined as rural, which has at least three or more of the economic distress factors identified in paragraph (c) and verified by the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development.

For purposes of this paragraph, population shall be determined in accordance with the most recent official estimate pursuant to s. 186.901.

(3) REDI shall be responsible for coordinating and focusing the efforts and resources of state and regional agencies on the problems which affect the fiscal, economic, and community viability of Florida’s economically distressed rural communities, working with local governments, community-based organizations, and private organizations that have an interest in the growth and development of these communities to find ways to balance environmental and growth management issues with local needs.
(4) REDI shall review and evaluate the impact of statutes and rules on rural communities and shall work to minimize any adverse impact and undertake outreach and capacity-building efforts.
(5) REDI shall facilitate better access to state resources by promoting direct access and referrals to appropriate state and regional agencies and statewide organizations. REDI may undertake outreach, capacity-building, and other advocacy efforts to improve conditions in rural communities. These activities may include sponsorship of conferences and achievement awards.
(6)(a) By August 1 of each year, the head of each of the following agencies and organizations shall designate a deputy secretary or higher-level staff person from within the agency or organization to serve as the REDI representative for the agency or organization:
1. The Department of Community Affairs.
2. The Department of Transportation.
3. The Department of Environmental Protection.
4. The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
5. The Department of State.
6. The Department of Health.
7. The Department of Children and Family Services.
8. The Department of Corrections.
9. The Agency for Workforce Innovation.
10. The Department of Education.
11. The Department of Juvenile Justice.
12. The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
13. Each water management district.
14. Enterprise Florida, Inc.
15. Workforce Florida, Inc.
16. The Florida Commission on Tourism or VISIT Florida.
17. The Florida Regional Planning Council Association.
18. The Agency for Health Care Administration.
19. The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS).

An alternate for each designee shall also be chosen, and the names of the designees and alternates shall be sent to the director of the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development.

(b) Each REDI representative must have comprehensive knowledge of his or her agency’s functions, both regulatory and service in nature, and of the state’s economic goals, policies, and programs. This person shall be the primary point of contact for his or her agency with REDI on issues and projects relating to economically distressed rural communities and with regard to expediting project review, shall ensure a prompt effective response to problems arising with regard to rural issues, and shall work closely with the other REDI representatives in the identification of opportunities for preferential awards of program funds and allowances and waiver of program requirements when necessary to encourage and facilitate long-term private capital investment and job creation.
(c) The REDI representatives shall work with REDI in the review and evaluation of statutes and rules for adverse impact on rural communities and the development of alternative proposals to mitigate that impact.
(d) Each REDI representative shall be responsible for ensuring that each district office or facility of his or her agency is informed about the Rural Economic Development Initiative and for providing assistance throughout the agency in the implementation of REDI activities.
(7)(a) REDI may recommend to the Governor up to three rural areas of critical economic concern. The Governor may by executive order designate up to three rural areas of critical economic concern which will establish these areas as priority assignments for REDI as well as to allow the Governor, acting through REDI, to waive criteria, requirements, or similar provisions of any economic development incentive. Such incentives shall include, but not be limited to: the Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund Program under s. 288.106, the Quick Response Training Program under s. 288.047, the Quick Response Training Program for participants in the welfare transition program under s. 288.047(8), transportation projects under s. 288.063, the brownfield redevelopment bonus refund under s. 288.107, and the rural job tax credit program under ss. 212.098 and 220.1895.
(b) Designation as a rural area of critical economic concern under this subsection shall be contingent upon the execution of a memorandum of agreement among the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development; the governing body of the county; and the governing bodies of any municipalities to be included within a rural area of critical economic concern. Such agreement shall specify the terms and conditions of the designation, including, but not limited to, the duties and responsibilities of the county and any participating municipalities to take actions designed to facilitate the retention and expansion of existing businesses in the area, as well as the recruitment of new businesses to the area.
(c) Each rural area of critical economic concern may designate catalyst projects, provided that each catalyst project is specifically recommended by REDI, identified as a catalyst project by Enterprise Florida, Inc., and confirmed as a catalyst project by the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development. All state agencies and departments shall use all available tools and resources to the extent permissible by law to promote the creation and development of each catalyst project and the development of catalyst sites.
(8) REDI shall submit a report to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives each year on or before September 1 on all REDI activities for the prior fiscal year. This report shall include a status report on all projects currently being coordinated through REDI, the number of preferential awards and allowances made pursuant to this section, the dollar amount of such awards, and the names of the recipients. The report shall also include a description of all waivers of program requirements granted. The report shall also include information as to the economic impact of the projects coordinated by REDI, and recommendations based on the review and evaluation of statutes and rules having an adverse impact on rural communities, and proposals to mitigate such adverse impacts.
History.s. 97, ch. 99-251; s. 79, ch. 2000-165; s. 12, ch. 2001-201; s. 13, ch. 2009-51; s. 51, ch. 2010-5.
288.06561 Reduction or waiver of financial match requirements.Notwithstanding any other law, the member agencies and organizations of the Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI), as defined in s. 288.0656(6)(a), shall review the financial match requirements for projects in rural areas as defined in s. 288.0656(2).
(1) Each agency and organization shall develop a proposal to waive or reduce the match requirement for rural areas.
(2) Agencies and organizations shall ensure that all proposals are submitted to the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development for review by the REDI agencies.
(3) These proposals shall be delivered to the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development for distribution to the REDI agencies and organizations. A meeting of REDI agencies and organizations must be called within 30 days after receipt of such proposals for REDI comment and recommendations on each proposal.
(4) Waivers and reductions must be requested by the county or community, and such county or community must have three or more of the factors identified in s. 288.0656(2)(c).
(5) Any other funds available to the project may be used for financial match of federal programs when there is fiscal hardship, and the match requirements may not be waived or reduced.
(6) When match requirements are not reduced or eliminated, donations of land, though usually not recognized as an in-kind match, may be permitted.
(7) To the fullest extent possible, agencies and organizations shall expedite the rule adoption and amendment process if necessary to incorporate the reduction in match by rural areas in fiscal distress.
(8) REDI shall include in its annual report an evaluation on the status of changes to rules, number of awards made with waivers, and recommendations for future changes.
History.s. 5, ch. 2001-201; s. 14, ch. 2009-51.
288.0657 Florida rural economic development strategy grants.
(1) As used in this section, the term “rural community” means:
(a) A county with a population of 75,000 or fewer.
(b) A county with a population of 125,000 or fewer which is contiguous to a county with a population of 75,000 or fewer.
(c) A municipality within a county described in paragraph (a) or paragraph (b).

For purposes of this subsection, population shall be determined in accordance with the most recent official estimate pursuant to s. 186.901.

(2) The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development may accept and administer moneys appropriated to the office for providing grants to assist rural communities to develop and implement strategic economic development plans.
(3) A rural community, an economic development organization in a rural area, or a regional organization representing at least one rural community or such economic development organizations may apply for such grants.
(4) Enterprise Florida, Inc., and VISIT Florida, shall establish criteria for reviewing grant applications. These criteria shall include, but are not limited to, the degree of participation and commitment by the local community and the application’s consistency with local comprehensive plans or the application’s proposal to ensure such consistency. The International Trade and Economic Development Board of Enterprise Florida, Inc., and VISIT Florida, shall review each application for a grant and shall submit annually to the office for approval a list of all applications that are recommended by the board and VISIT Florida, arranged in order of priority. The office may approve grants only to the extent that funds are appropriated for such grants by the Legislature.
History.s. 98, ch. 99-251; s. 15, ch. 2009-51.
288.0658 Nature-based recreation; promotion and other assistance by Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is directed to assist the Florida Commission on Tourism; the Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation, doing business as VISIT Florida; convention and visitor bureaus; tourist development councils; economic development organizations; and local governments through the provision of marketing advice, technical expertise, promotional support, and product development related to nature-based recreation and sustainable use of natural resources. In carrying out this responsibility, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shall focus its efforts on fostering nature-based recreation in rural communities and regions encompassing rural communities. As used in this section, the term “nature-based recreation” means leisure activities related to the state’s lands, waters, and fish and wildlife resources, including, but not limited to, wildlife viewing, fishing, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, camping, hunting, backpacking, and nature photography.
History.s. 100, ch. 99-251.
288.0659 Local Government Distressed Area Matching Grant Program.
(1) The Local Government Distressed Area Matching Grant Program is created within the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development. The purpose of the program is to stimulate investment in the state’s economy by providing grants to match demonstrated business assistance by local governments to attract and retain businesses in this state.
(2) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Local government” means a county or municipality.
(b) “Office” means the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development.
(c) “Qualified business assistance” means economic incentives provided by a local government for the purpose of attracting or retaining a specific business, including, but not limited to, suspensions, waivers, or reductions of impact fees or permit fees; direct incentive payments; expenditures for onsite or offsite improvements directly benefiting a specific business; or construction or renovation of buildings for a specific business.
(3) The office may accept and administer moneys appropriated to the office for providing grants to match expenditures by local governments to attract or retain businesses in this state.
(4) A local government may apply for grants to match qualified business assistance made by the local government for the purpose of attracting or retaining a specific business. A local government may apply for no more than one grant per targeted business. A local government may only have one application pending with the office. Additional applications may be filed after a previous application has been approved or denied.
(5) To qualify for a grant, the business being targeted by a local government must create at least 15 full-time jobs, must be new to this state, must be expanding its operations in this state, or would otherwise leave the state absent state and local assistance, and the local government applying for the grant must expedite its permitting processes for the target business by accelerating the normal review and approval timelines. In addition to these requirements, the office shall review the grant requests using the following evaluation criteria, with priority given in descending order:
(a) The presence and degree of pervasive poverty, unemployment, and general distress as determined pursuant to s. 290.0058 in the area where the business will locate, with priority given to locations with greater degrees of poverty, unemployment, and general distress.
(b) The extent of reliance on the local government expenditure as an inducement for the business’s location decision, with priority given to higher levels of local government expenditure.
(c) The number of new full-time jobs created, with priority given to higher numbers of jobs created.
(d) The average hourly wage for jobs created, with priority given to higher average wages.
(e) The amount of capital investment to be made by the business, with priority given to higher amounts of capital investment.
(6) In evaluating grant requests, the office shall take into consideration the need for grant assistance as it relates to the local government’s general fund balance as well as local incentive programs that are already in existence.
(7) Funds made available pursuant to this section may not be expended in connection with the relocation of a business from one community to another community in this state unless the office determines that without such relocation the business will move outside this state or determines that the business has a compelling economic rationale for the relocation which creates additional jobs. Funds made available pursuant to this section may not be used by the receiving local government to supplant matching commitments required of the local government pursuant to other state or federal incentive programs.
(8) Within 30 days after the office receives an application for a grant, the office shall approve a preliminary grant allocation or disapprove the application. The preliminary grant allocation shall be based on estimates of qualified business assistance submitted by the local government and shall equal 50 percent of the amount of the estimated qualified business assistance or $50,000, whichever is less. The preliminary grant allocation shall be executed by contract with the local government. The contract shall set forth the terms and conditions, including the timeframes within which the final grant award will be disbursed. The final grant award may not exceed the preliminary grant allocation. The office may approve preliminary grant allocations only to the extent that funds are appropriated for such grants by the Legislature.
(a) Preliminary grant allocations that are revoked or voluntarily surrendered shall be immediately available for reallocation.
(b) Recipients of preliminary grant allocations shall promptly report to the office the date on which the local government’s permitting and approval process is completed and the date on which all qualified business assistance is completed.
(9) The office shall make a final grant award to a local government within 30 days after receiving information from the local government sufficient to demonstrate actual qualified business assistance. An awarded grant amount shall equal 50 percent of the amount of the qualified business assistance or $50,000, whichever is less, and may not exceed the preliminary grant allocation. The amount by which a preliminary grant allocation exceeds a final grant award shall be immediately available for reallocation.
(10) Up to 2 percent of the funds appropriated annually 1by the Legislature for the program may be used by the office for direct administrative costs associated with implementing this section.
History.s. 16, ch. 2010-147.
1Note.The word “by” was substituted for the word “be” by the editors.
288.075 Confidentiality of records.
(1) DEFINITIONS.As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Economic development agency” means:
1. The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development;
2. Any industrial development authority created in accordance with part III of chapter 159 or by special law;
3. Space Florida created in part II of chapter 331;
4. The public economic development agency of a county or municipality or, if the county or municipality does not have a public economic development agency, the county or municipal officers or employees assigned the duty to promote the general business interests or industrial interests of that county or municipality or the responsibilities related thereto;
5. Any research and development authority created in accordance with part V of chapter 159; or
6. Any private agency, person, partnership, corporation, or business entity when authorized by the state, a municipality, or a county to promote the general business interests or industrial interests of the state or that municipality or county.
(b) “Proprietary confidential business information” means information that is owned or controlled by the corporation, partnership, or person requesting confidentiality under this section; that is intended to be and is treated by the corporation, partnership, or person as private in that the disclosure of the information would cause harm to the business operations of the corporation, partnership, or person; that has not been disclosed unless disclosed pursuant to a statutory provision, an order of a court or administrative body, or a private agreement providing that the information may be released to the public; and that is information concerning:
1. Business plans.
2. Internal auditing controls and reports of internal auditors.
3. Reports of external auditors for privately held companies.
(c) “Trade secret” has the same meaning as in s. 688.002.
(2) PLANS, INTENTIONS, AND INTERESTS.
(a) Upon written request from a private corporation, partnership, or person, information held by an economic development agency concerning plans, intentions, or interests of such private corporation, partnership, or person to locate, relocate, or expand any of its business activities in this state is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution for 12 months after the date an economic development agency receives a request for confidentiality or until the information is otherwise disclosed, whichever occurs first.
(b) An economic development agency may extend the period of confidentiality specified in paragraph (a) for up to an additional 12 months upon written request from the private corporation, partnership, or person who originally requested confidentiality under this section and upon a finding by the economic development agency that such private corporation, partnership, or person is still actively considering locating, relocating, or expanding its business activities in this state. Such a request for an extension in the period of confidentiality must be received prior to the expiration of any confidentiality originally provided under this section.
(c) A public officer or employee may not enter into a binding agreement with any corporation, partnership, or person who has requested confidentiality of information under this subsection until 90 days after the information is made public unless:
1. The public officer or employee is acting in an official capacity;
2. The agreement does not accrue to the personal benefit of such public officer or employee; and
3. In the professional judgment of the officer or employee, the agreement is necessary to effectuate an economic development project.
(3) TRADE SECRETS.Trade secrets held by an economic development agency are confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.
(4) PROPRIETARY CONFIDENTIAL BUSINESS INFORMATION.Proprietary confidential business information held by an economic development agency is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution, until such information is otherwise publicly available or is no longer treated by the proprietor as proprietary confidential business information.
(5) IDENTIFICATION, ACCOUNT, AND REGISTRATION NUMBERS.A federal employer identification number, unemployment compensation account number, or Florida sales tax registration number held by an economic development agency is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.
(6) ECONOMIC INCENTIVE PROGRAMS.
(a) The following information held by an economic development agency pursuant to the administration of an economic incentive program for qualified businesses is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution for a period not to exceed the duration of the incentive agreement, including an agreement authorizing a tax refund or tax credit, or upon termination of the incentive agreement:
1. The percentage of the business’s sales occurring outside this state and, for businesses applying under s. 288.1045, the percentage of the business’s gross receipts derived from Department of Defense contracts during the 5 years immediately preceding the date the business’s application is submitted.
2. The anticipated wages for the project jobs that the business plans to create, as reported on the application for certification.
3. The average wage actually paid by the business for those jobs created by the project or an employee’s personal identifying information which is held as evidence of the achievement or nonachievement of the wage requirements of the tax refund, tax credit, or incentive agreement programs or of the job creation requirements of such programs.
4. The amount of:
a. Taxes on sales, use, and other transactions paid pursuant to chapter 212;
b. Corporate income taxes paid pursuant to chapter 220;
c. Intangible personal property taxes paid pursuant to chapter 199;
d. Emergency excise taxes paid pursuant to chapter 221;
e. Insurance premium taxes paid pursuant to chapter 624;
f. Excise taxes paid on documents pursuant to chapter 201;
g. Ad valorem taxes paid, as defined in s. 220.03(1); or
h. State communications services taxes paid pursuant to chapter 202.
(b)1. An economic development agency may release:
a. Names of qualified businesses.
b. The total number of jobs each business expects to create.
c. The total number of jobs created by each business.
d. The amount of tax refunds, tax credits, or incentives awarded to and claimed by each business.
2. For a business applying for certification under s. 288.1045 which is based on obtaining a new Department of Defense contract, the total number of jobs expected and the amount of tax refunds claimed may not be released until the new Department of Defense contract is awarded.
(c) An economic development agency may publish statistics in the aggregate and classified so as to prevent the identification of a single qualified applicant.
(7) PENALTIES.Any person who is an employee of an economic development agency who violates the provisions of this section commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(8) LEGISLATIVE REVIEW OF EXEMPTIONS.This section is subject to the Open Government Sunset Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand repealed on October 2, 2012, unless reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.
History.s. 1, ch. 77-75; s. 1, ch. 79-395; s. 3, ch. 83-47; s. 1, ch. 86-152; s. 1, ch. 86-180; s. 1, ch. 86-218; s. 1, ch. 89-217; s. 104, ch. 90-360; s. 245, ch. 91-224; s. 220, ch. 95-148; s. 1, ch. 95-378; s. 1, ch. 96-353; s. 135, ch. 96-406; s. 14, ch. 99-256; s. 1, ch. 2001-161; s. 5, ch. 2002-183; s. 27, ch. 2003-286; s. 55, ch. 2006-60; s. 1, ch. 2006-157; s. 1, ch. 2007-203.
288.095 Economic Development Trust Fund.
(1) The Economic Development Trust Fund is created within the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development. Moneys deposited into the fund must be used only to support the authorized activities and operations of the office.
(2) There is created, within the Economic Development Trust Fund, the Economic Development Incentives Account. The Economic Development Incentives Account consists of moneys appropriated to the account for purposes of the tax incentives programs authorized under ss. 288.1045 and 288.106, and local financial support provided under ss. 288.1045 and 288.106. Moneys in the Economic Development Incentives Account shall be subject to the provisions of s. 216.301(1)(a).
(3)(a) The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development may approve applications for certification pursuant to ss. 288.1045(3) and 288.106. However, the total state share of tax refund payments scheduled in all active certifications for fiscal year 2001-2002 may not exceed $30 million. The total for each subsequent fiscal year may not exceed $35 million.
(b) The total amount of tax refund claims approved for payment by the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development based on actual project performance may not exceed the amount appropriated to the Economic Development Incentives Account for such purposes for the fiscal year. Claims for tax refunds under ss. 288.1045 and 288.106 shall be paid in the order the claims are approved by the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development. In the event the Legislature does not appropriate an amount sufficient to satisfy the tax refunds under ss. 288.1045 and 288.106 in a fiscal year, the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall pay the tax refunds from the appropriation for the following fiscal year. By March 1 of each year, the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall notify the legislative appropriations committees of the Senate and House of Representatives of any anticipated shortfall in the amount of funds needed to satisfy claims for tax refunds from the appropriation for the current fiscal year.
(c) By December 31 of each year, Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall submit a complete and detailed report to the Governor, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the director of the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development of all applications received, recommendations made to the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development, final decisions issued, tax refund agreements executed, and tax refunds paid or other payments made under all programs funded out of the Economic Development Incentives Account, including analyses of benefits and costs, types of projects supported, and employment and investment created. Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall also include a separate analysis of the impact of such tax refunds on state enterprise zones designated pursuant to s. 290.0065, rural communities, brownfield areas, and distressed urban communities. The report must also discuss the efforts made by the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development to amend tax refund agreements to require tax refund claims to be submitted by January 31 for the net new full-time equivalent jobs in this state as of December 31 of the preceding calendar year. The report must also list the name and tax refund amount for each business that has received a tax refund under s. 288.1045 or s. 288.106 during the preceding fiscal year. The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall assist Enterprise Florida, Inc., in the collection of data related to business performance and incentive payments.
(d) Moneys in the Economic Development Incentives Account may be used only to pay tax refunds and other payments authorized under s. 288.1045, s. 288.106, or s. 288.107.
(e) The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development may adopt rules necessary to carry out the provisions of this subsection, including rules providing for the use of moneys in the Economic Development Incentives Account and for the administration of the Economic Development Incentives Account.
History.s. 5, ch. 92-111; ss. 4, 7, ch. 93-414; ss. 15, 75, ch. 94-136; s. 43, ch. 96-320; s. 10, ch. 97-277; s. 12, ch. 97-278; s. 25, ch. 99-251; s. 41, ch. 2001-201; s. 2, ch. 2002-392; s. 2, ch. 2005-66; s. 1, ch. 2005-276.
288.1045 Qualified defense contractor and space flight business tax refund program.
(1) DEFINITIONS.As used in this section:
(a) “Applicant” means any business entity that holds a valid Department of Defense contract or space flight business contract, any business entity that is a subcontractor under a valid Department of Defense contract or space flight business contract, or any business entity that holds a valid contract for the reuse of a defense-related facility, including all members of an affiliated group of corporations as defined in s. 220.03(1)(b).
(b) “Average wage in the area” means the average of all wages and salaries in the state, the county, or in the standard metropolitan area in which the business unit is located.
(c) “Business unit” means an employing unit, as defined in s. 443.036, that is registered with the Agency for Workforce Innovation for unemployment compensation purposes or means a subcategory or division of an employing unit that is accepted by the Agency for Workforce Innovation as a reporting unit.
(d) “Consolidation of a Department of Defense contract” means the consolidation of one or more of an applicant’s facilities under one or more Department of Defense contracts, from outside this state or from inside and outside this state, into one or more of the applicant’s facilities inside this state.
(e) “Consolidation of a space flight business contract” means the consolidation of one or more of an applicant’s facilities under one or more space flight business contracts, from outside this state or from inside and outside this state, into one or more of the applicant’s facilities inside this state.
(f) “Contract for reuse of a defense-related facility” means a contract with a duration of 2 or more years for the use of a facility for manufacturing, assembling, fabricating, research, development, or design of tangible personal property, but excluding any contract to provide goods, improvements to real or tangible property, or services directly to or for any particular military base or installation in this state. Such facility must be located within a port, as defined in s. 313.21, and have been occupied by a business entity that held a valid Department of Defense contract or occupied by any branch of the Armed Forces of the United States, within 1 year of any contract being executed for the reuse of such facility. A contract for reuse of a defense-related facility may not include any contract for reuse of such facility for any Department of Defense contract for manufacturing, assembling, fabricating, research, development, or design.
(g) “Department of Defense contract” means a competitively bid Department of Defense contract or subcontract or a competitively bid federal agency contract or subcontract issued on behalf of the Department of Defense for manufacturing, assembling, fabricating, research, development, or design with a duration of 2 or more years, but excluding any contract or subcontract to provide goods, improvements to real or tangible property, or services directly to or for any particular military base or installation in this state. The term includes contracts or subcontracts for products or services for military use or homeland security which contracts or subcontracts are approved by the United States Department of Defense, the United States Department of State, or the United States Department of Homeland Security.
(h) “Director” means the director of the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development.
(i) “Fiscal year” means the fiscal year of the state.
(j) “Jobs” means full-time equivalent positions, including, but not limited to, positions obtained from a temporary employment agency or employee leasing company or through a union agreement or coemployment under a professional employer organization agreement, that result directly from a project in this state. This number does not include temporary construction jobs involved with the construction of facilities for the project.
(k) “Local financial support” means funding from local sources, public or private, which is paid to the Economic Development Trust Fund and which is equal to 20 percent of the annual tax refund for a qualified applicant. Local financial support may include excess payments made to a utility company under a designated program to allow decreases in service by the utility company under conditions, regardless of when application is made. A qualified applicant may not provide, directly or indirectly, more than 5 percent of such funding in any fiscal year. The sources of such funding may not include, directly or indirectly, state funds appropriated from the General Revenue Fund or any state trust fund, excluding tax revenues shared with local governments pursuant to law.
(l) “Local financial support exemption option” means the option to exercise an exemption from the local financial support requirement available to any applicant whose project is located in a county designated by the Rural Economic Development Initiative, if the county commissioners of the county in which the project will be located adopt a resolution requesting that the applicant’s project be exempt from the local financial support requirement. Any applicant that exercises this option is not eligible for more than 80 percent of the total tax refunds allowed such applicant under this section.
(m) “New Department of Defense contract” means a Department of Defense contract entered into after the date application for certification as a qualified applicant is made and after January 1, 1994.
(n) “New space flight business contract” means a space flight business contract entered into after an application for certification as a qualified applicant is made after July 1, 2008.
(o) “Nondefense production jobs” means employment exclusively for activities that, directly or indirectly, are unrelated to the Department of Defense.
(p) “Office” means the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development.
(q) “Project” means any business undertaking in this state under a new Department of Defense contract, consolidation of a Department of Defense contract, new space flight business contract, consolidation of a space flight business contract, or conversion of defense production jobs over to nondefense production jobs or reuse of defense-related facilities.
(r) “Qualified applicant” means an applicant that has been approved by the director to be eligible for tax refunds pursuant to this section.
(s) “Space flight business” means the manufacturing, processing, or assembly of space flight technology products, space flight facilities, space flight propulsion systems, or space vehicles, satellites, or stations of any kind possessing the capability for space flight, as defined by s. 212.02(23), or components thereof, and includes, in supporting space flight, vehicle launch activities, flight operations, ground control or ground support, and all administrative activities directly related to such activities. The term does not include products that are designed or manufactured for general commercial aviation or other uses even if those products may also serve an incidental use in space flight applications.
(t) “Space flight business contract” means a competitively bid federal agency contract, federal agency subcontract, an awarded commercial contract, or an awarded commercial subcontract for space flight business with a duration of 2 or more years.
(u) “Taxable year” means the same as in s. 220.03(1)(y).
(2) GRANTING OF A TAX REFUND; ELIGIBLE AMOUNTS.
(a) There shall be allowed, from the Economic Development Trust Fund, a refund to a qualified applicant for the amount of eligible taxes certified by the director which were paid by such qualified applicant. The total amount of refunds for all fiscal years for each qualified applicant shall be determined pursuant to subsection (3). The annual amount of a refund to a qualified applicant shall be determined pursuant to subsection (5).
(b) Upon approval by the director, a qualified applicant shall be allowed tax refund payments equal to $3,000 times the number of jobs specified in the tax refund agreement under subparagraph (4)(a)1. or equal to $6,000 times the number of jobs if the project is located in a rural county or an enterprise zone. Further, a qualified applicant shall be allowed additional tax refund payments equal to $1,000 times the number of jobs specified in the tax refund agreement under subparagraph (4)(a)1. if such jobs pay an annual average wage of at least 150 percent of the average private sector wage in the area or equal to $2,000 times the number of jobs if such jobs pay an annual average wage of at least 200 percent of the average private sector wage in the area. A qualified applicant may not receive refunds of more than 25 percent of the total tax refunds provided in the tax refund agreement pursuant to subparagraph (4)(a)1. in any fiscal year, provided that no qualified applicant may receive more than $2.5 million in tax refunds pursuant to this section in any fiscal year.
(c) A qualified applicant may not receive more than $5 million in tax refunds pursuant to this section in all fiscal years.
(d) Contingent upon an annual appropriation by the Legislature, the director may approve not more in tax refunds than the amount appropriated to the Economic Development Trust Fund for tax refunds, for a fiscal year pursuant to subsection (5) and s. 288.095.
(e) For the first 6 months of each fiscal year, the director shall set aside 30 percent of the amount appropriated for refunds pursuant to this section by the Legislature to provide tax refunds only to qualified applicants who employ 500 or fewer full-time employees in this state. Any unencumbered funds remaining undisbursed from this set-aside at the end of the 6-month period may be used to provide tax refunds for any qualified applicants pursuant to this section.
(f) After entering into a tax refund agreement pursuant to subsection (4), a qualified applicant may:
1. Receive refunds from the account for corporate income taxes due and paid pursuant to chapter 220 by that business beginning with the first taxable year of the business which begins after entering into the agreement.
2. Receive refunds from the account for the following taxes due and paid by that business after entering into the agreement:
a. Taxes on sales, use, and other transactions paid pursuant to chapter 212.
b. Intangible personal property taxes paid pursuant to chapter 199.
c. Emergency excise taxes paid pursuant to chapter 221.
d. Excise taxes paid on documents pursuant to chapter 201.
e. Ad valorem taxes paid, as defined in s. 220.03(1)(a) on June 1, 1996.
f. State communications services taxes administered under chapter 202. This provision does not apply to the gross receipts tax imposed under chapter 203 and administered under chapter 202 or the local communications services tax authorized under s. 202.19.

However, a qualified applicant may not receive a tax refund pursuant to this section for any amount of credit, refund, or exemption granted such contractor for any of such taxes. If a refund for such taxes is provided by the office, which taxes are subsequently adjusted by the application of any credit, refund, or exemption granted to the qualified applicant other than that provided in this section, the qualified applicant shall reimburse the Economic Development Trust Fund for the amount of such credit, refund, or exemption. A qualified applicant must notify and tender payment to the office within 20 days after receiving a credit, refund, or exemption, other than that provided in this section. The addition of communications services taxes administered under chapter 202 is remedial in nature and retroactive to October 1, 2001. The office may make supplemental tax refund payments to allow for tax refunds for communications services taxes paid by an eligible qualified defense contractor after October 1, 2001.

(g) Any qualified applicant who fraudulently claims this refund is liable for repayment of the refund to the Economic Development Trust Fund plus a mandatory penalty of 200 percent of the tax refund which shall be deposited into the General Revenue Fund. Any qualified applicant who fraudulently claims this refund commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(h) Funds made available pursuant to this section may not be expended in connection with the relocation of a business from one community to another community in this state unless the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development determines that without such relocation the business will move outside this state or determines that the business has a compelling economic rationale for the relocation which creates additional jobs.
(3) APPLICATION PROCESS; REQUIREMENTS; AGENCY DETERMINATION.
(a) To apply for certification as a qualified applicant pursuant to this section, an applicant must file an application with the office which satisfies the requirements of paragraphs (b) and (e), paragraphs (c) and (e), paragraphs (d) and (e), or paragraphs (e) and (j). An applicant may not apply for certification pursuant to this section after a proposal has been submitted for a new Department of Defense contract, after the applicant has made the decision to consolidate an existing Department of Defense contract in this state for which such applicant is seeking certification, after a proposal has been submitted for a new space flight business contract in this state, after the applicant has made the decision to consolidate an existing space flight business contract in this state for which such applicant is seeking certification, or after the applicant has made the decision to convert defense production jobs to nondefense production jobs for which such applicant is seeking certification.
(b) Applications for certification based on the consolidation of a Department of Defense contract or a new Department of Defense contract must be submitted to the office as prescribed by the office and must include, but are not limited to, the following information:
1. The applicant’s federal employer identification number, the applicant’s Florida sales tax registration number, and a signature of an officer of the applicant.
2. The permanent location of the manufacturing, assembling, fabricating, research, development, or design facility in this state at which the project is or is to be located.
3. The Department of Defense contract numbers of the contract to be consolidated, the new Department of Defense contract number, or the “RFP” number of a proposed Department of Defense contract.
4. The date the contract was executed or is expected to be executed, and the date the contract is due to expire or is expected to expire.
5. The commencement date for project operations under the contract in this state.
6. The number of net new full-time equivalent Florida jobs included in the project as of December 31 of each year and the average wage of such jobs.
7. The total number of full-time equivalent employees employed by the applicant in this state.
8. The percentage of the applicant’s gross receipts derived from Department of Defense contracts during the 5 taxable years immediately preceding the date the application is submitted.
9. The number of full-time equivalent jobs in this state to be retained by the project.
10. A brief statement concerning the applicant’s need for tax refunds, and the proposed uses of such refunds by the applicant.
11. A resolution adopted by the governing board of the county or municipality in which the project will be located, which recommends the applicant be approved as a qualified applicant, and which indicates that the necessary commitments of local financial support for the applicant exist. Prior to the adoption of the resolution, the county commission may review the proposed public or private sources of such support and determine whether the proposed sources of local financial support can be provided or, for any applicant whose project is located in a county designated by the Rural Economic Development Initiative, a resolution adopted by the county commissioners of such county requesting that the applicant’s project be exempt from the local financial support requirement.
12. Any additional information requested by the office.
(c) Applications for certification based on the conversion of defense production jobs to nondefense production jobs must be submitted to the office as prescribed by the office and must include, but are not limited to, the following information:
1. The applicant’s federal employer identification number, the applicant’s Florida sales tax registration number, and a signature of an officer of the applicant.
2. The permanent location of the manufacturing, assembling, fabricating, research, development, or design facility in this state at which the project is or is to be located.
3. The Department of Defense contract numbers of the contract under which the defense production jobs will be converted to nondefense production jobs.
4. The date the contract was executed, and the date the contract is due to expire or is expected to expire, or was canceled.
5. The commencement date for the nondefense production operations in this state.
6. The number of net new full-time equivalent Florida jobs included in the nondefense production project as of December 31 of each year and the average wage of such jobs.
7. The total number of full-time equivalent employees employed by the applicant in this state.
8. The percentage of the applicant’s gross receipts derived from Department of Defense contracts during the 5 taxable years immediately preceding the date the application is submitted.
9. The number of full-time equivalent jobs in this state to be retained by the project.
10. A brief statement concerning the applicant’s need for tax refunds, and the proposed uses of such refunds by the applicant.
11. A resolution adopted by the governing board of the county or municipality in which the project will be located, which recommends the applicant be approved as a qualified applicant, and which indicates that the necessary commitments of local financial support for the applicant exist. Prior to the adoption of the resolution, the county commission may review the proposed public or private sources of such support and determine whether the proposed sources of local financial support can be provided or, for any applicant whose project is located in a county designated by the Rural Economic Development Initiative, a resolution adopted by the county commissioners of such county requesting that the applicant’s project be exempt from the local financial support requirement.
12. Any additional information requested by the office.
(d) Applications for certification based on a contract for reuse of a defense-related facility must be submitted to the office as prescribed by the office and must include, but are not limited to, the following information:
1. The applicant’s Florida sales tax registration number and a signature of an officer of the applicant.
2. The permanent location of the manufacturing, assembling, fabricating, research, development, or design facility in this state at which the project is or is to be located.
3. The business entity holding a valid Department of Defense contract or branch of the Armed Forces of the United States that previously occupied the facility, and the date such entity last occupied the facility.
4. A copy of the contract to reuse the facility, or such alternative proof as may be prescribed by the office that the applicant is seeking to contract for the reuse of such facility.
5. The date the contract to reuse the facility was executed or is expected to be executed, and the date the contract is due to expire or is expected to expire.
6. The commencement date for project operations under the contract in this state.
7. The number of net new full-time equivalent Florida jobs included in the project as of December 31 of each year and the average wage of such jobs.
8. The total number of full-time equivalent employees employed by the applicant in this state.
9. The number of full-time equivalent jobs in this state to be retained by the project.
10. A brief statement concerning the applicant’s need for tax refunds, and the proposed uses of such refunds by the applicant.
11. A resolution adopted by the governing board of the county or municipality in which the project will be located, which recommends the applicant be approved as a qualified applicant, and which indicates that the necessary commitments of local financial support for the applicant exist. Prior to the adoption of the resolution, the county commission may review the proposed public or private sources of such support and determine whether the proposed sources of local financial support can be provided or, for any applicant whose project is located in a county designated by the Rural Economic Development Initiative, a resolution adopted by the county commissioners of such county requesting that the applicant’s project be exempt from the local financial support requirement.
12. Any additional information requested by the office.
(e) To qualify for review by the office, the application of an applicant must, at a minimum, establish the following to the satisfaction of the office:
1. The jobs proposed to be provided under the application, pursuant to subparagraph (b)6., subparagraph (c)6., or subparagraph (j)6., must pay an estimated annual average wage equaling at least 115 percent of the average wage in the area where the project is to be located.
2. The consolidation of a Department of Defense contract must result in a net increase of at least 25 percent in the number of jobs at the applicant’s facilities in this state or the addition of at least 80 jobs at the applicant’s facilities in this state.
3. The conversion of defense production jobs to nondefense production jobs must result in net increases in nondefense employment at the applicant’s facilities in this state.
4. The Department of Defense contract or the space flight business contract cannot allow the business to include the costs of relocation or retooling in its base as allowable costs under a cost-plus, or similar, contract.
5. A business unit of the applicant must have derived not less than 60 percent of its gross receipts in this state from Department of Defense contracts or space flight business contracts over the applicant’s last fiscal year, and must have derived not less than an average of 60 percent of its gross receipts in this state from Department of Defense contracts or space flight business contracts over the 5 years preceding the date an application is submitted pursuant to this section. This subparagraph does not apply to any application for certification based on a contract for reuse of a defense-related facility.
6. The reuse of a defense-related facility must result in the creation of at least 100 jobs at such facility.
7. A new space flight business contract or the consolidation of a space flight business contract must result in net increases in space flight business employment at the applicant’s facilities in this state.
(f) Each application meeting the requirements of paragraphs (b) and (e), paragraphs (c) and (e), paragraphs (d) and (e), or paragraphs (e) and (j) must be submitted to the office for a determination of eligibility. The office shall review and evaluate each application based on, but not limited to, the following criteria:
1. Expected contributions to the state strategic economic development plan adopted by Enterprise Florida, Inc., taking into account the extent to which the project contributes to the state’s high-technology base, and the long-term impact of the project and the applicant on the state’s economy.
2. The economic benefit of the jobs created or retained by the project in this state, taking into account the cost and average wage of each job created or retained, and the potential risk to existing jobs.
3. The amount of capital investment to be made by the applicant in this state.
4. The local commitment and support for the project and applicant.
5. The impact of the project on the local community, taking into account the unemployment rate for the county where the project will be located.
6. The dependence of the local community on the defense industry or space flight business.
7. The impact of any tax refunds granted pursuant to this section on the viability of the project and the probability that the project will occur in this state if such tax refunds are granted to the applicant, taking into account the expected long-term commitment of the applicant to economic growth and employment in this state.
8. The length of the project, or the expected long-term commitment to this state resulting from the project.
(g) Applications shall be reviewed and certified pursuant to s. 288.061. If appropriate, the director shall enter into a written agreement with the qualified applicant pursuant to subsection (4).
(h) The director may not certify any applicant as a qualified applicant when the value of tax refunds to be included in that letter of certification exceeds the available amount of authority to certify new businesses as determined in s. 288.095(3). A letter of certification that approves an application must specify the maximum amount of a tax refund that is to be available to the contractor for each fiscal year and the total amount of tax refunds for all fiscal years.
(i) This section does not create a presumption that an applicant should receive any tax refunds under this section.
(j) Applications for certification based upon a new space flight business contract or the consolidation of a space flight business contract must be submitted to the office as prescribed by the office and must include, but are not limited to, the following information:
1. The applicant’s federal employer identification number, the applicant’s Florida sales tax registration number, and a signature of an officer of the applicant.
2. The permanent location of the space flight business facility in this state where the project is or will be located.
3. The new space flight business contract number, the space flight business contract numbers of the contract to be consolidated, or the request-for-proposal number of a proposed space flight business contract.
4. The date the contract was executed and the date the contract is due to expire, is expected to expire, or was canceled.
5. The commencement date for project operations under the contract in this state.
6. The number of net new full-time equivalent Florida jobs included in the project as of December 31 of each year and the average wage of such jobs.
7. The total number of full-time equivalent employees employed by the applicant in this state.
8. The percentage of the applicant’s gross receipts derived from space flight business contracts during the 5 taxable years immediately preceding the date the application is submitted.
9. The number of full-time equivalent jobs in this state to be retained by the project.
10. A brief statement concerning the applicant’s need for tax refunds and the proposed uses of such refunds by the applicant.
11. A resolution adopted by the governing board of the county or municipality in which the project will be located which recommends the applicant be approved as a qualified applicant and indicates that the necessary commitments of local financial support for the applicant exist. Prior to the adoption of the resolution, the county commission may review the proposed public or private sources of such support and determine whether the proposed sources of local financial support can be provided or, for any applicant whose project is located in a county designated by the Rural Economic Development Initiative, a resolution adopted by the county commissioners of such county requesting that the applicant’s project be exempt from the local financial support requirement.
12. Any additional information requested by the office.
(4) QUALIFIED APPLICANT TAX REFUND AGREEMENT.
(a) A qualified applicant shall enter into a written agreement with the office containing, but not limited to, the following:
1. The total number of full-time equivalent jobs in this state that are or will be dedicated to the qualified applicant’s project, the average wage of such jobs, the definitions that will apply for measuring the achievement of these terms during the pendency of the agreement, and a time schedule or plan for when such jobs will be in place and active in this state.
2. The maximum amount of a refund that the qualified applicant is eligible to receive for each fiscal year, based on the job creation or retention and maintenance schedule specified in subparagraph 1.
3. An agreement with the office allowing the office to review and verify the financial and personnel records of the qualified applicant to ascertain whether the qualified applicant is complying with the requirements of this section.
4. The date by which, in each fiscal year, the qualified applicant may file a claim pursuant to subsection (5) to be considered to receive a tax refund in the following fiscal year.
5. That local financial support shall be annually available and will be paid to the Economic Development Trust Fund.
(b) Compliance with the terms and conditions of the agreement is a condition precedent for receipt of tax refunds each year. The failure to comply with the terms and conditions of the agreement shall result in the loss of eligibility for receipt of all tax refunds previously authorized pursuant to this section, and the revocation of the certification as a qualified applicant by the director, unless the qualified applicant is eligible to receive and elects to accept a prorated refund under paragraph (5)(g) or the office grants the qualified applicant an economic-stimulus exemption.
1. A qualified applicant may submit, in writing, a request to the office for an economic-stimulus exemption. The request must provide quantitative evidence demonstrating how negative economic conditions in the qualified applicant’s industry, the effects of the impact of a named hurricane or tropical storm, or specific acts of terrorism affecting the qualified applicant have prevented the qualified applicant from complying with the terms and conditions of its tax refund agreement.
2. Upon receipt of a request under subparagraph 1., the director shall have 45 days to notify the requesting qualified applicant, in writing, if its exemption has been granted or denied. In determining if an exemption should be granted, the director shall consider the extent to which negative economic conditions in the requesting qualified applicant’s industry, the effects of the impact of a named hurricane or tropical storm, or specific acts of terrorism affecting the qualified applicant have prevented the qualified applicant from complying with the terms and conditions of its tax refund agreement.
3. As a condition for receiving a prorated refund under paragraph (5)(g) or an economic-stimulus exemption under this paragraph, a qualified applicant must agree to renegotiate its tax refund agreement with the office to, at a minimum, ensure that the terms of the agreement comply with current law and office procedures governing application for and award of tax refunds. Upon approving the award of a prorated refund or granting an economic-stimulus exemption, the office shall renegotiate the tax refund agreement with the qualified applicant as required by this subparagraph. When amending the agreement of a qualified applicant receiving an economic-stimulus exemption, the office may extend the duration of the agreement for a period not to exceed 2 years.
4. A qualified applicant may submit a request for an economic-stimulus exemption to the office in lieu of any tax refund claim scheduled to be submitted after January 1, 2005, but before July 1, 2006.
5. A qualified applicant that receives an economic-stimulus exemption may not receive a tax refund for the period covered by the exemption.
(c) The agreement shall be signed by the director and the authorized officer of the qualified applicant.
(d) The agreement must contain the following legend, clearly printed on its face in bold type of not less than 10 points:

“This agreement is neither a general obligation of the State of Florida, nor is it backed by the full faith and credit of the State of Florida. Payment of tax refunds are conditioned on and subject to specific annual appropriations by the Florida Legislature of funds sufficient to pay amounts authorized in s. 288.1045, Florida Statutes.”

(5) ANNUAL CLAIM FOR REFUND.
(a) To be eligible to claim any scheduled tax refund, qualified applicants who have entered into a written agreement with the office pursuant to subsection (4) and who have entered into a valid new Department of Defense contract, entered into a valid new space flight business contract, commenced the consolidation of a space flight business contract, commenced the consolidation of a Department of Defense contract, commenced the conversion of defense production jobs to nondefense production jobs, or entered into a valid contract for reuse of a defense-related facility must apply by January 31 of each fiscal year to the office for tax refunds scheduled to be paid from the appropriation for the fiscal year that begins on July 1 following the January 31 claims-submission date. The office may, upon written request, grant a 30-day extension of the filing date. The application must include a notarized signature of an officer of the applicant.
(b) The claim for refund by the qualified applicant must include a copy of all receipts pertaining to the payment of taxes for which a refund is sought, and data related to achieving each performance item contained in the tax refund agreement pursuant to subsection (4). The amount requested as a tax refund may not exceed the amount for the relevant fiscal year in the written agreement entered pursuant to subsection (4).
(c) A tax refund may not be approved for any qualified applicant unless local financial support has been paid to the Economic Development Trust Fund for that refund. If the local financial support is less than 20 percent of the approved tax refund, the tax refund shall be reduced. The tax refund paid may not exceed 5 times the local financial support received. Funding from local sources includes tax abatement under s. 196.1995 or the appraised market value of municipal or county land, including any improvements or structures, conveyed or provided at a discount through a sale or lease to that applicant. The amount of any tax refund for an applicant approved under this section shall be reduced by the amount of any such tax abatement granted or the value of the land granted, including the value of any improvements or structures; and the limitations in subsection (2) shall be reduced by the amount of any such tax abatement or the value of the land granted, including any improvements or structures. A report listing all sources of the local financial support shall be provided to the office when such support is paid to the Economic Development Trust Fund.
(d) The director, with assistance from the office, the Department of Revenue, and the Agency for Workforce Innovation, shall, by June 30 following the scheduled date for submitting the tax refund claim, specify by written order the approval or disapproval of the tax refund claim and, if approved, the amount of the tax refund that is authorized to be paid to the qualified applicant for the annual tax refund. The office may grant an extension of this date upon the request of the qualified applicant for the purpose of filing additional information in support of the claim.
(e) The total amount of tax refunds approved by the director under this section in any fiscal year may not exceed the amount authorized under s. 288.095(3).
(f) Upon approval of the tax refund pursuant to paragraphs (c) and (d), the Chief Financial Officer shall issue a warrant for the amount included in the written order. In the event of any appeal of the written order, the Chief Financial Officer may not issue a warrant for a refund to the qualified applicant until the conclusion of all appeals of the written order.
(g) A prorated tax refund, less a 5 percent penalty, shall be approved for a qualified applicant provided all other applicable requirements have been satisfied and the applicant proves to the satisfaction of the director that it has achieved at least 80 percent of its projected employment and that the average wage paid by the qualified applicant is at least 90 percent of the average wage specified in the tax refund agreement, but in no case less than 115 percent of the average private sector wage in the area available at the time of certification. The prorated tax refund shall be calculated by multiplying the tax refund amount for which the qualified applicant would have been eligible, if all applicable requirements had been satisfied, by the percentage of the average employment specified in the tax refund agreement which was achieved, and by the percentage of the average wages specified in the tax refund agreement which was achieved.
(h) This section does not create a presumption that a tax refund claim will be approved and paid.
(6) ADMINISTRATION.
(a) The office may adopt rules pursuant to chapter 120 for the administration of this section.
(b) The office may verify information provided in any claim submitted for tax credits under this section with regard to employment and wage levels or the payment of the taxes with the appropriate agency or authority including the Department of Revenue, the Agency for Workforce Innovation, or any local government or authority.
(c) To facilitate the process of monitoring and auditing applications made under this program, the office may provide a list of qualified applicants to the Department of Revenue, to the Agency for Workforce Innovation, or to any local government or authority. The office may request the assistance of said entities with respect to monitoring jobs, wages, and the payment of the taxes listed in subsection (2).
(d) Funds specifically appropriated for the tax refund program under this section may not be used for any purpose other than the payment of tax refunds authorized by this section.
(7) Notwithstanding paragraphs (4)(a) and (5)(c), the office may approve a waiver of the local financial support requirement for a business located in any of the following counties in which businesses received emergency loans administered by the office in response to the named hurricanes of 2004: Bay, Brevard, Charlotte, DeSoto, Escambia, Flagler, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Indian River, Lake, Lee, Martin, Okaloosa, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Polk, Putnam, Santa Rosa, Seminole, St. Lucie, Volusia, and Walton. A waiver may be granted only if the office determines that the local financial support cannot be provided or that doing so would effect a demonstrable hardship on the unit of local government providing the local financial support. If the office grants a waiver of the local financial support requirement, the state shall pay 100 percent of the refund due to an eligible business. The waiver shall apply for tax refund applications made for fiscal years 2004-2005, 2005-2006, and 2006-2007.
(8) EXPIRATION.An applicant may not be certified as qualified under this section after June 30, 2014. A tax refund agreement existing on that date shall continue in effect in accordance with its terms.
History.s. 1, ch. 96-348; s. 10, ch. 97-79; s. 30, ch. 97-99; s. 17, ch. 97-278; s. 85, ch. 99-251; s. 1, ch. 2002-225; s. 3, ch. 2002-392; s. 340, ch. 2003-261; s. 2, ch. 2003-270; s. 21, ch. 2004-5; s. 60, ch. 2004-269; s. 2, ch. 2005-276; s. 37, ch. 2007-5; s. 1, ch. 2008-89; s. 16, ch. 2009-51; s. 17, ch. 2010-147.
288.106 Tax refund program for qualified target industry businesses.
(1) LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS AND DECLARATIONS.The Legislature finds that retaining and expanding existing businesses in the state, encouraging the creation of new businesses in the state, attracting new businesses from outside the state, and generally providing conditions favorable for the growth of target industries creates high-quality, high-wage employment opportunities for residents of the state and strengthens the state’s economic foundation. The Legislature also finds that incentives narrowly focused in application and scope tend to be more effective in achieving the state’s economic development goals. The Legislature further finds that higher-wage jobs reduce the state’s share of hidden costs, such as public assistance and subsidized health care associated with low-wage jobs. Therefore, the Legislature declares that it is the policy of the state to encourage the growth of higher-wage jobs and a diverse economic base by providing state tax refunds to qualified target industry businesses that originate or expand in the state or that relocate to the state.
(2) DEFINITIONS.As used in this section:
(a) “Account” means the Economic Development Incentives Account within the Economic Development Trust Fund established under s. 288.095.
(b) “Authorized local economic development agency” means a public or private entity, including an entity defined in s. 288.075, authorized by a county or municipality to promote the general business or industrial interests of that county or municipality.
(c) “Average private sector wage in the area” means the statewide private sector average wage or the average of all private sector wages and salaries in the county or in the standard metropolitan area in which the business is located.
(d) “Business” means an employing unit, as defined in s. 443.036, that is registered for unemployment compensation purposes with the state agency providing unemployment tax collection services under contract with the Agency for Workforce Innovation through an interagency agreement pursuant to s. 443.1316, or a subcategory or division of an employing unit that is accepted by the state agency providing unemployment tax collection services as a reporting unit.
(e) “Corporate headquarters business” means an international, national, or regional headquarters office of a multinational or multistate business enterprise or national trade association, whether separate from or connected with other facilities used by such business.
(f) “Director” means the Director of the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development.
(g) “Enterprise zone” means an area designated as an enterprise zone pursuant to s. 290.0065.
(h) “Expansion of an existing business” means the expansion of an existing Florida business by or through additions to real and personal property, resulting in a net increase in employment of not less than 10 percent at such business.
(i) “Fiscal year” means the fiscal year of the state.
(j) “Jobs” means full-time equivalent positions, including, but not limited to, positions obtained from a temporary employment agency or employee leasing company or through a union agreement or coemployment under a professional employer organization agreement, that result directly from a project in this state. The term does not include temporary construction jobs involved with the construction of facilities for the project or any jobs previously included in any application for tax refunds under s. 288.1045 or this section.
(k) “Local financial support” means funding from local sources, public or private, that is paid to the Economic Development Trust Fund and that is equal to 20 percent of the annual tax refund for a qualified target industry business. A qualified target industry business may not provide, directly or indirectly, more than 5 percent of such funding in any fiscal year. The sources of such funding may not include, directly or indirectly, state funds appropriated from the General Revenue Fund or any state trust fund, excluding tax revenues shared with local governments pursuant to law.
(l) “Local financial support exemption option” means the option to exercise an exemption from the local financial support requirement available to any applicant whose project is located in a brownfield area, a rural city, or a rural community. Any applicant that exercises this option is not eligible for more than 80 percent of the total tax refunds allowed such applicant under this section.
(m) “New business” means a business that applies for a tax refund under this section before beginning operations in this state and that is a legal entity separate from any other commercial or industrial operations owned by the same business.
(n) “Office” means the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development.
(o) “Project” means the creation of a new business or expansion of an existing business.
(p) “Qualified target industry business” means a target industry business approved by the office to be eligible for tax refunds under this section.
(q) “Return on investment” means the gain in state revenues as a percentage of the state’s investment. The state’s investment includes state grants, tax exemptions, tax refunds, tax credits, and other state incentives.
(r) “Rural city” means a city having a population of 10,000 or fewer, or a city having a population of greater than 10,000 but fewer than 20,000 that has been determined by the office to have economic characteristics such as, but not limited to, a significant percentage of residents on public assistance, a significant percentage of residents with income below the poverty level, or a significant percentage of the city’s employment base in agriculture-related industries.
(s) “Rural community” means:
1. A county having a population of 75,000 or fewer.
2. A county having a population of 125,000 or fewer that is contiguous to a county having a population of 75,000 or fewer.
3. A municipality within a county described in subparagraph 1. or subparagraph 2.

For purposes of this paragraph, population shall be determined in accordance with the most recent official estimate pursuant to s. 186.901.

(t) “Target industry business” means a corporate headquarters business or any business that is engaged in one of the target industries identified pursuant to the following criteria developed by the office in consultation with Enterprise Florida, Inc.:
1. Future growth.Industry forecasts should indicate strong expectation for future growth in both employment and output, according to the most recent available data. Special consideration should be given to businesses that export goods to, or provide services in, international markets and businesses that replace domestic and international imports of goods or services.
2. Stability.The industry should not be subject to periodic layoffs, whether due to seasonality or sensitivity to volatile economic variables such as weather. The industry should also be relatively resistant to recession, so that the demand for products of this industry is not typically subject to decline during an economic downturn.
3. High wage.The industry should pay relatively high wages compared to statewide or area averages.
4. Market and resource independent.The location of industry businesses should not be dependent on Florida markets or resources as indicated by industry analysis, except for businesses in the renewable energy industry.
5. Industrial base diversification and strengthening.The industry should contribute toward expanding or diversifying the state’s or area’s economic base, as indicated by analysis of employment and output shares compared to national and regional trends. Special consideration should be given to industries that strengthen regional economies by adding value to basic products or building regional industrial clusters as indicated by industry analysis. Special consideration should also be given to the development of strong industrial clusters that include defense and homeland security businesses.
6. Economic benefits.The industry is expected to have strong positive impacts on or benefits to the state or regional economies.

The term does not include any business engaged in retail industry activities; any electrical utility company; any phosphate or other solid minerals severance, mining, or processing operation; any oil or gas exploration or production operation; or any business subject to regulation by the Division of Hotels and Restaurants of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Any business within NAICS code 5611 or 5614, office administrative services and business support services, respectively, may be considered a target industry business only after the local governing body and Enterprise Florida, Inc., make a determination that the community where the business may locate has conditions affecting the fiscal and economic viability of the local community or area, including but not limited to, factors such as low per capita income, high unemployment, high underemployment, and a lack of year-round stable employment opportunities, and such conditions may be improved by the location of such a business to the community. By January 1 of every 3rd year, beginning January 1, 2011, the office, in consultation with Enterprise Florida, Inc., economic development organizations, the State University System, local governments, employee and employer organizations, market analysts, and economists, shall review and, as appropriate, revise the list of such target industries and submit the list to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

(u) “Taxable year” means taxable year as defined in s. 220.03(1)(y).
(3) TAX REFUND; ELIGIBLE AMOUNTS.
(a) There shall be allowed, from the account, a refund to a qualified target industry business for the amount of eligible taxes certified by the office that were paid by the business. The total amount of refunds for all fiscal years for each qualified target industry business must be determined pursuant to subsection (4). The annual amount of a refund to a qualified target industry business must be determined pursuant to subsection (6).
(b)1. Upon approval by the office, a qualified target industry business shall be allowed tax refund payments equal to $3,000 multiplied by the number of jobs specified in the tax refund agreement under subparagraph (5)(a)1., or equal to $6,000 multiplied by the number of jobs if the project is located in a rural community or an enterprise zone.
2. A qualified target industry business shall be allowed additional tax refund payments equal to $1,000 multiplied by the number of jobs specified in the tax refund agreement under subparagraph (5)(a)1. if such jobs pay an annual average wage of at least 150 percent of the average private sector wage in the area, or equal to $2,000 multiplied by the number of jobs if such jobs pay an annual average wage of at least 200 percent of the average private sector wage in the area.
3. A qualified target industry business shall be allowed tax refund payments in addition to the other payments authorized in this paragraph equal to $1,000 multiplied by the number of jobs specified in the tax refund agreement under 1subparagraph (5)(a)1. if the local financial support is equal to that of the state’s incentive award under subparagraph 1.
4. In addition to the other tax refund payments authorized in this paragraph, a qualified target industry business shall be allowed a tax refund payment equal to $2,000 multiplied by the number of jobs specified in the tax refund agreement under 1subparagraph (5)(a)1. if the business:
a. Falls within one of the high-impact sectors designated under s. 288.108; or
b. Increases exports of its goods through a seaport or airport in the state by at least 10 percent in value or tonnage in each of the years that the business receives a tax refund under this section. For purposes of this sub-subparagraph, seaports in the state are limited to the ports of Jacksonville, Tampa, Port Everglades, Miami, Port Canaveral, Ft. Pierce, Palm Beach, Port Manatee, Port St. Joe, Panama City, St. Petersburg, Pensacola, Fernandina, and Key West.
(c) A qualified target industry business may not receive refund payments of more than 25 percent of the total tax refunds specified in the tax refund agreement under subparagraph (5)(a)1. in any fiscal year. Further, a qualified target industry business may not receive more than $1.5 million in refunds under this section in any single fiscal year, or more than $2.5 million in any single fiscal year if the project is located in an enterprise zone. A qualified target industry business may not receive more than $5 million in refund payments under this section in all fiscal years, or more than $7.5 million if the project is located in an enterprise zone.
(d) After entering into a tax refund agreement under subsection (5), a qualified target industry business may:
1. Receive refunds from the account for the following taxes due and paid by that business beginning with the first taxable year of the business that begins after entering into the agreement:
a. Corporate income taxes under chapter 220.
b. Insurance premium tax under s. 624.509.
2. Receive refunds from the account for the following taxes due and paid by that business after entering into the agreement:
a. Taxes on sales, use, and other transactions under chapter 212.
b. Intangible personal property taxes under chapter 199.
c. Emergency excise taxes under chapter 221.
d. Excise taxes on documents under chapter 201.
e. Ad valorem taxes paid, as defined in s. 220.03(1).
f. State communications services taxes administered under chapter 202. This provision does not apply to the gross receipts tax imposed under chapter 203 and administered under chapter 202 or the local communications services tax authorized under s. 202.19.
(e) However, a qualified target industry business may not receive a refund under this section for any amount of credit, refund, or exemption previously granted to that business for any of the taxes listed in paragraph (d). If a refund for such taxes is provided by the office, which taxes are subsequently adjusted by the application of any credit, refund, or exemption granted to the qualified target industry business other than as provided in this section, the business shall reimburse the account for the amount of that credit, refund, or exemption. A qualified target industry business shall notify and tender payment to the office within 20 days after receiving any credit, refund, or exemption other than one provided in this section.
(f) Refunds made available under this section may not be expended in connection with the relocation of a business from one community to another community in the state unless the office determines that, without such relocation, the business will move outside the state or determines that the business has a compelling economic rationale for relocation and that the relocation will create additional jobs.
(g) A qualified target industry business that fraudulently claims a refund under this section:
1. Is liable for repayment of the amount of the refund to the account, plus a mandatory penalty in the amount of 200 percent of the tax refund which shall be deposited into the General Revenue Fund.
2. Commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(4) APPLICATION AND APPROVAL PROCESS.
(a) To apply for certification as a qualified target industry business under this section, the business must file an application with the office before the business decides to locate in this state or before the business decides to expand its existing operations in this state. The application must include, but need not be limited to, the following information:
1. The applicant’s federal employer identification number and, if applicable, state sales tax registration number.
2. The proposed permanent location of the applicant’s facility in this state at which the project is to be located.
3. A description of the type of business activity or product covered by the project, including a minimum of a five-digit NAICS code for all activities included in the project. As used in this paragraph, “NAICS” means those classifications contained in the North American Industry Classification System, as published in 2007 by the Office of Management and Budget, Executive Office of the President, and updated periodically.
4. The proposed number of net new full-time equivalent Florida jobs at the qualified target industry business as of December 31 of each year included in the project and the average wage of those jobs. If more than one type of business activity or product is included in the project, the number of jobs and average wage for those jobs must be separately stated for each type of business activity or product.
5. The total number of full-time equivalent employees employed by the applicant in this state, if applicable.
6. The anticipated commencement date of the project.
7. A brief statement explaining the role that the estimated tax refunds to be requested will play in the decision of the applicant to locate or expand in this state.
8. An estimate of the proportion of the sales resulting from the project that will be made outside this state.
9. An estimate of the proportion of the cost of the machinery and equipment, and any other resources necessary in the development of its product or service, to be used by the business in its Florida operations which will be purchased outside this state.
10. A resolution adopted by the governing board of the county or municipality in which the project will be located, which resolution recommends that the project be approved as a qualified target industry business and specifies that the commitments of local financial support necessary for the target industry business exist. Before the passage of such resolution, the office may also accept an official letter from an authorized local economic development agency that endorses the proposed target industry project and pledges that sources of local financial support for such project exist. For the purposes of making pledges of local financial support under this subparagraph, the authorized local economic development agency shall be officially designated by the passage of a one-time resolution by the local governing board.
11. Any additional information requested by the office.
(b) To qualify for review by the office, the application of a target industry business must, at a minimum, establish the following to the satisfaction of the office:
1.a. The jobs proposed to be created under the application, pursuant to subparagraph (a)4., must pay an estimated annual average wage equaling at least 115 percent of the average private sector wage in the area where the business is to be located or the statewide private sector average wage. The governing board of the county where the qualified target industry business is to be located shall notify the office and Enterprise Florida, Inc., which calculation of the average private sector wage in the area must be used as the basis for the business’s wage commitment. In determining the average annual wage, the office shall include only new proposed jobs, and wages for existing jobs shall be excluded from this calculation.
b. The office may waive the average wage requirement at the request of the local governing body recommending the project and Enterprise Florida, Inc. The office may waive the wage requirement for a project located in a brownfield area designated under s. 376.80, in a rural city, in a rural community, in an enterprise zone, or for a manufacturing project at any location in the state if the jobs proposed to be created pay an estimated annual average wage equaling at least 100 percent of the average private sector wage in the area where the business is to be located, only if the merits of the individual project or the specific circumstances in the community in relationship to the project warrant such action. If the local governing body and Enterprise Florida, Inc., make such a recommendation, it must be transmitted in writing, and the specific justification for the waiver recommendation must be explained. If the office elects to waive the wage requirement, the waiver must be stated in writing, and the reasons for granting the waiver must be explained.
2. The target industry business’s project must result in the creation of at least 10 jobs at the project and, in the case of an expansion of an existing business, must result in a net increase in employment of at least 10 percent at the business. At the request of the local governing body recommending the project and Enterprise Florida, Inc., the office may waive this requirement for a business in a rural community or enterprise zone if the merits of the individual project or the specific circumstances in the community in relationship to the project warrant such action. If the local governing body and Enterprise Florida, Inc., make such a request, the request must be transmitted in writing, and the specific justification for the request must be explained. If the office elects to grant the request, the grant must be stated in writing, and the reason for granting the request must be explained.
3. The business activity or product for the applicant’s project must be within an industry identified by the office as a target industry business that contributes to the economic growth of the state and the area in which the business is located, that produces a higher standard of living for residents of this state in the new global economy, or that can be shown to make an equivalent contribution to the area’s and state’s economic progress.
(c) Each application meeting the requirements of paragraph (b) must be submitted to the office for determination of eligibility. The office shall review and evaluate each application based on, but not limited to, the following criteria:
1. Expected contributions to the state’s economy, consistent with the state strategic economic development plan adopted by Enterprise Florida, Inc.
2. The return on investment of the proposed award of tax refunds under this section and the return on investment for state incentives proposed for the project. The Office of Economic and Demographic Research shall review and evaluate the methodology and model used to calculate the return on investment and report its findings by September 1 of every 3rd year, beginning September 1, 2010, to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
3. The amount of capital investment to be made by the applicant in this state.
4. The local financial commitment and support for the project.
5. The effect of the project on the unemployment rate in the county where the project will be located.
6. The effect of the award on the viability of the project and the probability that the project would be undertaken in this state if such tax refunds are granted to the applicant.
7. The expected long-term commitment of the applicant to economic growth and employment in this state resulting from the project.
8. A review of the business’s past activities in this state or other states, including whether such business has been subjected to criminal or civil fines and penalties. This subparagraph does not require the disclosure of confidential information.
(d) Applications shall be reviewed and certified pursuant to s. 288.061. The office shall include in its review projections of the tax refunds the business would be eligible to receive in each fiscal year based on the creation and maintenance of the net new Florida jobs specified in subparagraph (a)4. as of December 31 of the preceding state fiscal year. If appropriate, the office shall enter into a written agreement with the qualified target industry business pursuant to subsection (5).
(e) The office may not certify any target industry business as a qualified target industry business if the value of tax refunds to be included in that letter of certification exceeds the available amount of authority to certify new businesses as determined in s. 288.095(3). However, if the commitments of local financial support represent less than 20 percent of the eligible tax refund payments, or to otherwise preserve the viability and fiscal integrity of the program, the office may certify a qualified target industry business to receive tax refund payments of less than the allowable amounts specified in paragraph (3)(b). A letter of certification that approves an application must specify the maximum amount of tax refund that will be available to the qualified industry business in each fiscal year and the total amount of tax refunds that will be available to the business for all fiscal years.
(f) This section does not create a presumption that an applicant will receive any tax refunds under this section. However, the office may issue nonbinding opinion letters, upon the request of prospective applicants, as to the applicants’ eligibility and the potential amount of refunds.
(5) TAX REFUND AGREEMENT.
(a) Each qualified target industry business must enter into a written agreement with the office that specifies, at a minimum:
1. The total number of full-time equivalent jobs in this state that will be dedicated to the project, the average wage of those jobs, the definitions that will apply for measuring the achievement of these terms during the pendency of the agreement, and a time schedule or plan for when such jobs will be in place and active in this state.
2. The maximum amount of tax refunds that the qualified target industry business is eligible to receive on the project and the maximum amount of a tax refund that the qualified target industry business is eligible to receive for each fiscal year, based on the job creation and maintenance schedule specified in subparagraph 1.
3. That the office may review and verify the financial and personnel records of the qualified target industry business to ascertain whether that business is in compliance with this section.
4. The date by which, in each fiscal year, the qualified target industry business may file a claim under subsection (6) to be considered to receive a tax refund in the following fiscal year.
5. That local financial support will be annually available and will be paid to the account. The office may not enter into a written agreement with a qualified target industry business if the local financial support resolution is not passed by the local governing body within 90 days after the office has issued the letter of certification under subsection (4).
6. That the office may conduct a review of the business to evaluate whether the business is continuing to contribute to the area’s or state’s economy.
7. That in the event the business does not complete the agreement, the business will provide the office with the reasons the business was unable to complete the agreement.
(b) Compliance with the terms and conditions of the agreement is a condition precedent for the receipt of a tax refund each year. The failure to comply with the terms and conditions of the tax refund agreement results in the loss of eligibility for receipt of all tax refunds previously authorized under this section and the revocation by the office of the certification of the business entity as a qualified target industry business, unless the business is eligible to receive and elects to accept a prorated refund under paragraph (6)(e) or the office grants the business an economic recovery extension.
1. A qualified target industry business may submit a request to the office for an economic recovery extension. The request must provide quantitative evidence demonstrating how negative economic conditions in the business’s industry, the effects of a named hurricane or tropical storm, or specific acts of terrorism affecting the qualified target industry business have prevented the business from complying with the terms and conditions of its tax refund agreement.
2. Upon receipt of a request under subparagraph 1., the office has 45 days to notify the requesting business, in writing, whether its extension has been granted or denied. In determining whether an extension should be granted, the office shall consider the extent to which negative economic conditions in the requesting business’s industry have occurred in the state or the effects of a named hurricane or tropical storm or specific acts of terrorism affecting the qualified target industry business have prevented the business from complying with the terms and conditions of its tax refund agreement. The office shall consider current employment statistics for this state by industry, including whether the business’s industry had substantial job loss during the prior year, when determining whether an extension shall be granted.
3. As a condition for receiving a prorated refund under paragraph (6)(e) or an economic recovery extension under this paragraph, a qualified target industry business must agree to renegotiate its tax refund agreement with the office to, at a minimum, ensure that the terms of the agreement comply with current law and office procedures governing application for and award of tax refunds. Upon approving the award of a prorated refund or granting an economic recovery extension, the office shall renegotiate the tax refund agreement with the business as required by this subparagraph. When amending the agreement of a business receiving an economic recovery extension, the office may extend the duration of the agreement for a period not to exceed 2 years.
4. A qualified target industry business may submit a request for an economic recovery extension to the office in lieu of any tax refund claim scheduled to be submitted after January 1, 2009, but before July 1, 2012.
5. A qualified target industry business that receives an economic recovery extension may not receive a tax refund for the period covered by the extension.
(c) The agreement must be signed by the director and by an authorized officer of the qualified target industry business within 120 days after the issuance of the letter of certification under subsection (4), but not before passage and receipt of the resolution of local financial support. The office may grant an extension of this period at the written request of the qualified target industry business.
(d) The agreement must contain the following legend, clearly printed on its face in bold type of not less than 10 points in size: “This agreement is not a general obligation of the State of Florida, nor is it backed by the full faith and credit of the State of Florida. Payment of tax refunds is conditioned on and subject to specific annual appropriations by the Florida Legislature sufficient to pay amounts authorized in section 288.106, Florida Statutes.”
(6) ANNUAL CLAIM FOR REFUND.
(a) To be eligible to claim any scheduled tax refund, a qualified target industry business that has entered into a tax refund agreement with the office under subsection (5) must apply by January 31 of each fiscal year to the office for the tax refund scheduled to be paid from the appropriation for the fiscal year that begins on July 1 following the January 31 claims-submission date. The office may, upon written request, grant a 30-day extension of the filing date.
(b) The claim for refund by the qualified target industry business must include a copy of all receipts pertaining to the payment of taxes for which the refund is sought and data related to achievement of each performance item specified in the tax refund agreement. The amount requested as a tax refund may not exceed the amount specified for the relevant fiscal year in that agreement.
(c) The office may waive the requirement for proof of taxes paid in future years for a qualified target industry business that provides the office with proof that, in a single year, the business has paid an amount of state taxes from the categories in paragraph (3)(d) that is at least equal to the total amount of tax refunds that the business may receive through successful completion of its tax refund agreement.
(d) A tax refund may not be approved for a qualified target industry business unless the required local financial support has been paid into the account for that refund. If the local financial support provided is less than 20 percent of the approved tax refund, the tax refund must be reduced. In no event may the tax refund exceed an amount that is equal to 5 times the amount of the local financial support received. Further, funding from local sources includes any tax abatement granted to that business under s. 196.1995 or the appraised market value of municipal or county land conveyed or provided at a discount to that business. The amount of any tax refund for such business approved under this section must be reduced by the amount of any such tax abatement granted or the value of the land granted, and the limitations in subsection (3) and paragraph (4)(e) must be reduced by the amount of any such tax abatement or the value of the land granted. A report listing all sources of the local financial support shall be provided to the office when such support is paid to the account.
(e) A prorated tax refund, less a 5-percent penalty, shall be approved for a qualified target industry business if all other applicable requirements have been satisfied and the business proves to the satisfaction of the office that:
1. It has achieved at least 80 percent of its projected employment; and
2. The average wage paid by the business is at least 90 percent of the average wage specified in the tax refund agreement, but in no case less than 115 percent of the average private sector wage in the area available at the time of certification, or 150 percent or 200 percent of the average private sector wage if the business requested the additional per-job tax refund authorized in paragraph (3)(b) for wages above those levels. The prorated tax refund shall be calculated by multiplying the tax refund amount for which the qualified target industry business would have been eligible, if all applicable requirements had been satisfied, by the percentage of the average employment specified in the tax refund agreement which was achieved, and by the percentage of the average wages specified in the tax refund agreement which was achieved.
(f) The office, with such assistance as may be required from the Department of Revenue or the Agency for Workforce Innovation, shall, by June 30 following the scheduled date for submission of the tax refund claim, specify by written order the approval or disapproval of the tax refund claim and, if approved, the amount of the tax refund that is authorized to be paid to the qualified target industry business for the annual tax refund. The office may grant an extension of this date on the request of the qualified target industry business for the purpose of filing additional information in support of the claim.
(g) The total amount of tax refund claims approved by the office under this section in any fiscal year must not exceed the amount authorized under s. 288.095(3).
(h) This section does not create a presumption that a tax refund claim will be approved and paid.
(i) Upon approval of the tax refund under paragraphs (d), (e), and (f), the Chief Financial Officer shall issue a warrant for the amount specified in the written order. If the written order is appealed, the Chief Financial Officer may not issue a warrant for a refund to the qualified target industry business until the conclusion of all appeals of that order.
(7) ADMINISTRATION.
(a) The office may verify information provided in any claim submitted for tax credits under this section with regard to employment and wage levels or the payment of the taxes to the appropriate agency or authority, including the Department of Revenue, the Agency for Workforce Innovation, or any local government or authority.
(b) To facilitate the process of monitoring and auditing applications made under this section, the office may provide a list of qualified target industry businesses to the Department of Revenue, to the Agency for Workforce Innovation, or to any local government or authority. The office may request the assistance of those entities with respect to monitoring jobs, wages, and the payment of the taxes listed in subsection (3).
(c) Funds specifically appropriated for tax refunds for qualified target industry businesses under this section may not be used by the office for any purpose other than the payment of tax refunds authorized by this section.
(d) Beginning with tax refund agreements signed after July 1, 2010, the office shall attempt to ascertain the causes for any business’s failure to complete its agreement and shall report its findings and recommendations to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The report shall be submitted by December 1 of each year beginning in 2011.
(8) EXPIRATION.An applicant may not be certified as qualified under this section after June 30, 2020. A tax refund agreement existing on that date shall continue in effect in accordance with its terms.
History.s. 76, ch. 94-136; s. 44, ch. 96-320; s. 31, ch. 97-99; s. 19, ch. 97-278; s. 7, ch. 98-75; s. 26, ch. 99-251; s. 38, ch. 2000-210; s. 59, ch. 2001-61; s. 11, ch. 2002-294; s. 4, ch. 2002-392; s. 8, ch. 2003-36; s. 341, ch. 2003-261; s. 3, ch. 2003-270; s. 61, ch. 2004-269; s. 3, ch. 2005-276; s. 38, ch. 2007-5; s. 17, ch. 2009-51; s. 1, ch. 2010-136; s. 18, ch. 2010-147.
1Note.Substituted by the editors for a reference to subparagraph (4)(a)1. to conform to the redesignation of subsections in the amendment to s. 288.106 by s. 1, ch. 2010-136.
288.107 Brownfield redevelopment bonus refunds.
(1) DEFINITIONS.As used in this section:
(a) “Account” means the Economic Development Incentives Account as authorized in s. 288.095.
(b) “Brownfield sites” means sites that are generally abandoned, idled, or underused industrial and commercial properties where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by actual or perceived environmental contamination.
(c) “Brownfield area” means a contiguous area of one or more brownfield sites, some of which may not be contaminated, and which has been designated by a local government by resolution. Such areas may include all or portions of community redevelopment areas, enterprise zones, empowerment zones, other such designated economically deprived communities and areas, and Environmental-Protection-Agency-designated brownfield pilot projects.
(d) “Director” means the director of the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development.
(e) “Eligible business” means:
1. A qualified target industry business as defined in s. 288.106(2); or
2. A business that can demonstrate a fixed capital investment of at least $2 million in mixed-use business activities, including multiunit housing, commercial, retail, and industrial in brownfield areas, or at least $500,000 in brownfield areas that do not require site cleanup, and that provides benefits to its employees.
(f) “Jobs” means full-time equivalent positions, including, but not limited to, positions obtained from a temporary employment agency or employee leasing company or through a union agreement or coemployment under a professional employer organization agreement, that result directly from a project in this state. The term does not include temporary construction jobs involved with the construction of facilities for the project and which are not associated with the implementation of the site rehabilitation as provided in s. 376.80.
(g) “Office” means the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development.
(h) “Project” means the creation of a new business or the expansion of an existing business as defined in s. 288.106.
(2) BROWNFIELD REDEVELOPMENT BONUS REFUND.Bonus refunds shall be approved by the office as specified in the final order and allowed from the account as follows:
(a) A bonus refund of $2,500 shall be allowed to any qualified target industry business as defined in s. 288.106 for each new Florida job created in a brownfield area that is claimed on the qualified target industry business’s annual refund claim authorized in s. 288.106(6).
(b) A bonus refund of up to $2,500 shall be allowed to any other eligible business as defined in subparagraph (1)(e)2. for each new Florida job created in a brownfield area that is claimed under an annual claim procedure similar to the annual refund claim authorized in s. 288.106(6). The amount of the refund shall be equal to 20 percent of the average annual wage for the jobs created.
(3) CRITERIA.The minimum criteria for participation in the brownfield redevelopment bonus refund are:
(a) The creation of at least 10 new full-time permanent jobs. Such jobs shall not include construction or site rehabilitation jobs associated with the implementation of a brownfield site agreement as described in s. 376.80(5).
(b) The completion of a fixed capital investment of at least $2 million in mixed-use business activities, including multiunit housing, commercial, retail, and industrial in brownfield areas, or at least $500,000 in brownfield areas that do not require site cleanup, by an eligible business applying for a refund under paragraph (2)(b) which provides benefits to its employees.
(c) That the designation as a brownfield will diversify and strengthen the economy of the area surrounding the site.
(d) That the designation as a brownfield will promote capital investment in the area beyond that contemplated for the rehabilitation of the site.
(e) A resolution adopted by the governing board of the county or municipality in which the project will be located that recommends that certain types of businesses be approved.
(4) PAYMENT OF BROWNFIELD REDEVELOPMENT BONUS REFUNDS.
(a) To be eligible to receive a bonus refund for new Florida jobs created in a brownfield area, a business must have been certified as a qualified target industry business under s. 288.106 or eligible business as defined in paragraph (1)(e) and must have indicated on the qualified target industry business tax refund application form submitted in accordance with s. 288.106(4) or other similar agreement for other eligible business as defined in paragraph (1)(e) that the project for which the application is submitted is or will be located in a brownfield area and that the business is applying for certification as a qualified brownfield business under this section, and must have signed a qualified target industry business tax refund agreement with the office that indicates that the business has been certified as a qualified target industry business located in a brownfield area and specifies the schedule of brownfield redevelopment bonus refunds that the business may be eligible to receive in each fiscal year.
(b) To be considered to receive an eligible brownfield redevelopment bonus refund payment, the business meeting the requirements of paragraph (a) must submit a claim once each fiscal year on a claim form approved by the office which indicates the location of the brownfield, the address of the business facility’s brownfield location, the name of the brownfield in which it is located, the number of jobs created, and the average wage of the jobs created by the business within the brownfield as defined in s. 288.106 or other eligible business as defined in paragraph (1)(e) and the administrative rules and policies for that section.
(c) The bonus refunds shall be available on the same schedule as the qualified target industry tax refund payments scheduled in the qualified target industry tax refund agreement authorized in s. 288.106 or other similar agreement for other eligible businesses as defined in paragraph (1)(e).
(d) After entering into a tax refund agreement as provided in s. 288.106 or other similar agreement for other eligible businesses as defined in paragraph (1)(e), an eligible business may receive brownfield redevelopment bonus refunds from the account pursuant to s. 288.106(3)(d).
(e) An eligible business that fraudulently claims a refund under this section:
1. Is liable for repayment of the amount of the refund to the account, plus a mandatory penalty in the amount of 200 percent of the tax refund, which shall be deposited into the General Revenue Fund.
2. Commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(f) Applications shall be reviewed and certified pursuant to s. 288.061. The office shall review all applications submitted under s. 288.106 or other similar application forms for other eligible businesses as defined in paragraph (1)(e) which indicate that the proposed project will be located in a brownfield and determine, with the assistance of the Department of Environmental Protection, that the project location is within a brownfield as provided in this act.
(g) The office shall approve all claims for a brownfield redevelopment bonus refund payment that are found to meet the requirements of paragraphs (b) and (d).
(h) The director, with such assistance as may be required from the office and the Department of Environmental Protection, shall specify by written final order the amount of the brownfield redevelopment bonus refund that is authorized for the qualified target industry business for the fiscal year within 30 days after the date that the claim for the annual tax refund is received by the office.
(i) The total amount of the bonus refunds approved by the director under this section in any fiscal year must not exceed the total amount appropriated to the Economic Development Incentives Account for this purpose for the fiscal year. In the event that the Legislature does not appropriate an amount sufficient to satisfy projections by the office for brownfield redevelopment bonus refunds under this section in a fiscal year, the office shall, not later than July 15 of such year, determine the proportion of each brownfield redevelopment bonus refund claim which shall be paid by dividing the amount appropriated for tax refunds for the fiscal year by the projected total of brownfield redevelopment bonus refund claims for the fiscal year. The amount of each claim for a brownfield redevelopment bonus tax refund shall be multiplied by the resulting quotient. If, after the payment of all such refund claims, funds remain in the Economic Development Incentives Account for brownfield redevelopment tax refunds, the office shall recalculate the proportion for each refund claim and adjust the amount of each claim accordingly.
(j) Upon approval of the brownfield redevelopment bonus refund, payment shall be made for the amount specified in the final order. If the final order is appealed, payment may not be made for a refund to the qualified target industry business until the conclusion of all appeals of that order.
(5) ADMINISTRATION.
(a) The office may verify information provided in any claim submitted for tax credits under this section with regard to employment and wage levels or the payment of the taxes to the appropriate agency or authority, including the Department of Revenue, the Agency for Workforce Innovation, or any local government or authority.
(b) To facilitate the process of monitoring and auditing applications made under this program, the office may provide a list of qualified target industry businesses to the Department of Revenue, to the Agency for Workforce Innovation, to the Department of Environmental Protection, or to any local government authority. The office may request the assistance of those entities with respect to monitoring the payment of the taxes listed in s. 288.106(3).
History.s. 11, ch. 97-277; s. 8, ch. 98-75; s. 40, ch. 2000-210; s. 4, ch. 2000-317; s. 12, ch. 2002-294; s. 9, ch. 2003-36; s. 18, ch. 2009-51; s. 4, ch. 2010-136; s. 19, ch. 2010-147.
288.108 High-impact business.
(1) LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS AND DECLARATIONS.The Legislature finds that attracting, retaining, and providing favorable conditions for the growth of certain high-impact facilities provides widespread economic benefits to Florida citizens through high-quality employment opportunities in the facility and in related facilities attracted to Florida, through the increased tax base provided by the high-impact facility and its related sector businesses, through an enhanced entrepreneurial climate in the state and the resulting business and employment opportunities, and through the stimulation and enhancement of the state’s universities and community colleges. It is the policy of this state to stimulate growth of these business sectors and the state economy by enhancing Florida’s competitive position and encouraging the location of such major high-impact facilities in the state.
(2) DEFINITIONS.As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Eligible high-impact business” means a business in one of the high-impact sectors identified by Enterprise Florida, Inc., and certified by the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development as provided in subsection (5), which is making a cumulative investment in the state of at least $50 million and creating at least 50 new full-time equivalent jobs in the state or a research and development facility making a cumulative investment of at least $25 million and creating at least 25 new full-time equivalent jobs. Such investment and employment must be achieved in a period not to exceed 3 years after the date the business is certified as a qualified high-impact business.
(b) “Qualified high-impact business” means a business in one of the high-impact sectors that has been certified by the office as a qualified high-impact business to receive a high-impact sector performance grant.
(c) “Office” means the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development.
(d) “Director” means the director of the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development.
(e) “Cumulative investment” means the total investment in buildings and equipment made by a qualified high-impact business since the beginning of construction of such facility.
(f) “Fiscal year” means the fiscal year of the state.
(g) “Jobs” means full-time equivalent positions, including, but not limited to, positions obtained from a temporary employment agency or employee leasing company or through a union agreement or coemployment under a professional employer organization agreement, that result directly from a project in this state. The term does not include temporary construction jobs involved in the construction of the project facility.
(h) “Commencement of operations” means that the qualified high-impact business has begun to actively operate the principal function for which the facility was constructed as determined by the office and specified in the qualified high-impact business agreement.
(i) “Research and development” means basic and applied research in science or engineering, as well as the design, development, and testing of prototypes or processes of new or improved products. Research and development does not mean market research, routine consumer product testing, sales research, research in the social sciences or psychology, nontechnological activities or technical services.
(3) HIGH-IMPACT SECTOR PERFORMANCE GRANTS; ELIGIBLE AMOUNTS.
(a) Upon commencement of operations, a qualified high-impact business is eligible to receive a high-impact business performance grant in the amount as determined by the office under subsection (5), consistent with eligible amounts as provided in paragraph (b), and specified in the qualified high-impact business agreement. The precise conditions that are considered commencement of operations must be specified in the qualified high-impact business agreement.
(b) The office may, in consultation with Enterprise Florida, Inc., negotiate qualified high-impact business performance grant awards for any single qualified high-impact business. In negotiating such awards, the office shall consider the following guidelines in conjunction with other relevant applicant impact and cost information and analysis as required in subsection (5). A qualified high-impact business making a cumulative investment of $50 million and creating 50 jobs may be eligible for a total qualified high-impact business performance grant of $500,000 to $1 million. A qualified high-impact business making a cumulative investment of $100 million and creating 100 jobs may be eligible for a total qualified high-impact business performance grant of $1 million to $2 million. A qualified high-impact business making a cumulative investment of $800 million and creating 800 jobs may be eligible for a qualified high-impact business performance grant of $10 million to $12 million. A qualified high-impact business engaged in research and development making a cumulative investment of $25 million and creating 25 jobs may be eligible for a total qualified high-impact business performance grant of $700,000 to $1 million. A qualified high-impact business engaged in research and development making a cumulative investment of $75 million, and creating 75 jobs may be eligible for a total qualified high-impact business performance grant of $2 million to $3 million. A qualified high-impact business engaged in research and development making a cumulative investment of $150 million, and creating 150 jobs may be eligible for a qualified high-impact business performance grant of $3.5 million to $4.5 million.
(c) Fifty percent of the performance grant awarded under subsection (5) must be paid to the qualified high-impact business upon certification by the business that operations have commenced.
(d) The balance of the performance grant award shall be paid to the qualified high-impact business upon the business’s certification that full operations have commenced and that the full investment and employment goals specified in the qualified high-impact business agreement have been met and verified by the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development. The verification must occur not later than 60 days after the qualified high-impact business has provided the certification specified in this paragraph.
(e) The office may, upon a showing of reasonable cause for delay and significant progress toward the achievement of the investment and employment goals specified in the qualified high-impact business agreement, extend the date for commencement of operations, not to exceed an additional 2 years beyond the limit specified in paragraph (2)(a), but in no case may any high-impact sector performance grant payment be made to the business until the scheduled goals have been achieved.
(4) OFFICE OF TOURISM, TRADE, AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY TO APPROVE QUALIFIED HIGH-IMPACT BUSINESS PERFORMANCE GRANTS.
(a) The total amount of active performance grants scheduled for payment by the office in any single fiscal year may not exceed the lesser of $30 million or the amount appropriated by the Legislature for that fiscal year for qualified high-impact business performance grants. If the scheduled grant payments are not made in the year for which they were scheduled in the qualified high-impact business agreement and are rescheduled as authorized in paragraph (3)(e), they are, for purposes of this paragraph, deemed to have been paid in the year in which they were originally scheduled in the qualified high-impact business agreement.
(b) If the Legislature does not appropriate an amount sufficient to satisfy the qualified high-impact business performance grant payments scheduled for any fiscal year, the office shall, not later than July 15 of that year, determine the proportion of each grant payment which may be paid by dividing the amount appropriated for qualified high-impact business performance grant payments for the fiscal year by the total performance grant payments scheduled in all performance grant agreements for the fiscal year. The amount of each grant scheduled for payment in that fiscal year must be multiplied by the resulting quotient. All businesses affected by this calculation must be notified by August 1 of each fiscal year. If, after the payment of all the refund claims, funds remain in the appropriation for payment of qualified high-impact business performance grants, the office shall recalculate the proportion for each performance grant payment and adjust the amount of each claim accordingly.
(5) APPLICATIONS; CERTIFICATION PROCESS; GRANT AGREEMENT.
(a) Any eligible business, as defined in subsection (2), shall apply to Enterprise Florida, Inc., for consideration as a qualified high-impact business before the business has made a decision to locate or expand a facility in this state. The application, developed by the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development, in consultation with Enterprise Florida, Inc., must include, but is not limited to, the following information:
1. A complete description of the type of facility, business operations, and product or service associated with the project.
2. The number of full-time equivalent jobs that will be created by the project and the average annual wage of those jobs.
3. The cumulative amount of investment to be dedicated to this project within 3 years.
4. A statement concerning any special impacts the facility is expected to stimulate in the sector, the state, or regional economy and in state universities and community colleges.
5. A statement concerning the role the grant will play in the decision of the applicant business to locate or expand in this state.
6. Any additional information requested by Enterprise Florida, Inc., and the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development.
(b) Applications shall be reviewed and certified pursuant to s. 288.061.
(c) The director and the qualified high-impact business shall enter into a performance grant agreement setting forth the conditions for payment of the qualified high-impact business performance grant. The agreement shall include the total amount of the qualified high-impact business facility performance grant award, the performance conditions that must be met to obtain the award, including the employment, average salary, investment, the methodology for determining if the conditions have been met, and the schedule of performance grant payments.
(6) SELECTION AND DESIGNATION OF HIGH-IMPACT SECTORS.
(a) Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall, by January 1, of every third year, beginning January 1, 2011, initiate the process of reviewing and, if appropriate, selecting a new high-impact sector for designation or recommending the deactivation of a designated high-impact sector. The process of reviewing designated high-impact sectors or recommending the deactivation of a designated high-impact sector shall be in consultation with the office, economic development organizations, the State University System, local governments, employee and employer organizations, market analysts, and economists.
(b) The office has authority, only after recommendation from Enterprise Florida, Inc., to designate a high-impact sector or to deauthorize a designated high-impact sector.
(c) To begin the process of selecting and designating a new high-impact sector, Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall undertake a thorough study of the proposed sector. This study must consider the definition of the sector, including the types of facilities which characterize the sector that might qualify for a high-impact performance grant and whether a powerful incentive like the high-impact performance grant is needed to induce major facilities in the sector to locate or grow in this state; the benefits that major facilities in the sector have or could have on the state’s economy and the relative significance of those benefits; the needs of the sector and major sector facilities, including natural, public, and human resources and benefits and costs with regard to these resources; the sector’s current and future markets; the current fiscal and potential fiscal impacts of the sector, to both the state and its communities; any geographic opportunities or limitations with regard to the sector, including areas of the state most likely to benefit from the sector and areas unlikely to benefit from the sector; the state’s advantages or disadvantages with regard to the sector; and the long-term expectations for the industry on a global level and in the state. If Enterprise Florida, Inc., finds favorable conditions for the designation of the sector as a high-impact sector, it shall include in the study recommendations for a complete and comprehensive sector strategy, including appropriate marketing and workforce strategies for the entire sector and any recommendations that Enterprise Florida, Inc., may have for statutory or policy changes needed to improve the state’s business climate and to attract and grow Florida businesses, particularly small businesses, in the proposed sector. The study shall reflect the finding of the sector-business network specified in paragraph (d).
(d) In conjunction with the study required in paragraph (c), Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall develop and consult with a network of sector businesses. While this network may include non-Florida businesses, it must include any businesses currently within the state. If the number of Florida businesses in the sector is large, a representative cross-section of Florida sector businesses may form the core of this network.
(e) The study and its findings and recommendations and the recommendations gathered from the sector-business network must be discussed and considered during the meeting required in s. 14.2015(2)(e).
(f) If after consideration of the completed study required in paragraph (c) and the input derived from consultation with the sector-business network in paragraph (d) and the quarterly meeting as required in paragraph (e), the board of directors of Enterprise Florida, Inc., finds that the sector will have exceptionally large and widespread benefits to the state and its citizens, relative to any public costs; that the sector is characterized by the types of facilities that require exceptionally large investments and provide employment opportunities to a relatively large number of workers in high-quality, high-income jobs that might qualify for a high-impact performance grant; and that given the competition for such businesses it may be necessary for the state to be able to offer a large inducement, such as a high-impact performance grant, to attract such a business to the state or to encourage businesses to continue to grow in the state, the board of directors of Enterprise Florida, Inc., may recommend that the office consider the designation of the sector as a high-impact business sector.
(g) Upon receiving a recommendation from the board of directors of Enterprise Florida, Inc., together with the study required in paragraph (c) and a summary of the findings and recommendations of the sector-business network required in paragraph (d), including a list of all meetings of the sector network and participants in those meetings and the findings and recommendations from the quarterly meeting as required in paragraph (e), the office shall after a thorough evaluation of the study and accompanying materials report its findings and either concur in the recommendation of Enterprise Florida, Inc., and designate the sector as a high-impact business sector or notify Enterprise Florida, Inc., that it does not concur and deny the board’s request for designation or return the recommendation and study to Enterprise Florida, Inc., for further evaluation. In any case, the director’s decision must be in writing and justify the reasons for the decision.
(h) If the office designates the sector as a high-impact sector, it shall, within 30 days, notify the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives of its decision and provide a complete report on its decision, including copies of the material provided by Enterprise Florida, Inc., and the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development’s evaluation and comment on any statutory or policy changes recommended by Enterprise Florida, Inc.
(i) For the purposes of this subsection, a high-impact sector consists of the silicon technology sector that Enterprise Florida, Inc., has found to be focused around the type of high-impact businesses for which the incentive created in this subsection is required and will create the kinds of sector and economy wide benefits that justify the use of state resources to encourage these investments and require substantial inducements to compete with the incentive packages offered by other states and nations.
(7) RULEMAKING.The office may adopt rules necessary to carry out the provisions of this section.
History.s. 13, ch. 97-278; s. 65, ch. 99-13; s. 11, ch. 99-251; s. 6, ch. 2002-392; s. 10, ch. 2003-36; s. 19, ch. 2009-51; s. 20, ch. 2010-147.
288.1081 Economic Gardening Business Loan Pilot Program.
(1) There is created within the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development the Economic Gardening Business Loan Pilot Program. The purpose of the pilot program is to stimulate investment in Florida’s economy by providing loans to expanding businesses in the state. As used in this section, the term “office” means the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development.
(2) The Legislature finds that it is vital to the overall health and growth of the state’s economy to promote favorable conditions for expanding Florida businesses that demonstrate the ability to grow. The Legislature further finds that, due to the current extraordinary economic challenges confronting the state, there exists a public purpose in expending state resources to stimulate investment in Florida’s economy. It is therefore the intent of the Legislature that resources be provided for the pilot program.
(3)(a) To be eligible for a loan under the pilot program, an applicant must be a business eligible for assistance under the Economic Gardening Technical Assistance Pilot Program as provided in s. 288.1082(4)(a).
(b) A loan applicant must submit a written application to the loan administrator in the format prescribed by the loan administrator. The application must include:
1. The applicant’s federal employer identification number, unemployment account number, and sales or other tax registration number.
2. The street address of the applicant’s principal place of business in this state.
3. A description of the type of economic activity, product, or research and development undertaken by the applicant, including the six-digit North American Industry Classification System code for each type of economic activity conducted by the applicant.
4. The applicant’s annual revenue, number of employees, number of full-time equivalent employees, and other information necessary to verify the applicant’s eligibility for the pilot program under s. 288.1082(4)(a).
5. The projected investment in the business, if any, which the applicant proposes in conjunction with the loan.
6. The total investment in the business from all sources, if any, which the applicant proposes in conjunction with the loan.
7. The number of net new full-time equivalent jobs that, as a result of the loan, the applicant proposes to create in this state as of December 31 of each year and the average annual wage of the proposed jobs.
8. The total number of full-time equivalent employees the applicant currently employs in this state.
9. The date that the applicant anticipates it needs the loan.
10. A detailed explanation of why the loan is needed to assist the applicant in expanding jobs in the state.
11. A statement that all of the applicant’s available corporate assets are pledged as collateral for the amount of the loan.
12. A statement that the applicant, upon receiving the loan, agrees not to seek additional long-term debt without prior approval of the loan administrator.
13. A statement that the loan is a joint obligation of the business and of each person who owns at least 20 percent of the business.
14. Any additional information requested by the office or the loan administrator.
(c) The loan administrator, after verifying the accuracy of a submitted application, shall award the loan to the applicant if the administrator determines that the applicant, as compared to other applicants submitting applications, is in the best position to use the loan to continue making a successful long-term business commitment to the state. The loan administrator also shall consider the following factors:
1. Whether the applicant has applied for or received incentives from local governments;
2. Whether the applicant has applied for or received waivers of taxes, impact fees, or other fees or charges by local governments; and
3. What other sources of investments or financing for the project that is the subject of the loan application will be available to the applicant.
(d) A borrower awarded a loan under this section and the loan administrator must enter into a loan agreement that provides for the borrower’s repayment of the loan.
(4) The following terms apply to a loan received under the pilot program:
(a) The maximum amount of the loan is $250,000.
(b) The proceeds of the loan may be used for working capital purchases, employee training, or salaries for newly created jobs in the state.
(c) The security interest for the loan’s collateral covering all of the borrower’s available corporate assets to cover the amount of the loan must be perfected by recording a lien under the Uniform Commercial Code.
(d) The period of the loan is 4 years.
(e) The interest rate of the loan is 2 percent. However, if the borrower does not create the projected number of jobs within the terms of the loan agreement, the interest rate shall be increased for the remaining period of the loan to the prime rate published in the Wall Street Journal, as of the date specified in the loan agreement, plus 4 percentage points. The loan agreement may provide flexibility in meeting the projected number of jobs for delays due to governmental regulatory issues, including, but not limited to, permitting.
(f) For the first 12 months of the loan, payment is due for interest only, payable during the twelfth month. Thereafter, payment for interest and principal is due each month until the loan is paid in full. Interest and principal payments are based on the unpaid balance of the total loan amount.
(5)(a) The office may designate one or more qualified entities to serve as loan administrators for the pilot program. A loan administrator must:
1. Be a Florida corporation not for profit incorporated under chapter 617 which has its principal place of business in the state.
2. Have 5 years of verifiable experience of lending to businesses in this state.
3. Submit an application to the office on forms prescribed by the office. The application must include the loan administrator’s business plan for its proposed lending activities under the pilot program, including, but not limited to, a description of its outreach efforts, underwriting, credit policies and procedures, credit decision processes, monitoring policies and procedures, and collection practices; the membership of its board of directors; and samples of its currently used loan documentation. The application must also include a detailed description and supporting documentation of the nature of the loan administrator’s partnerships with local or regional economic and business development organizations.
(b) The office, upon selecting a loan administrator, shall enter into a grant agreement with the administrator to issue the available loans to eligible applicants. The grant agreement must specify the aggregate amount of the loans authorized for award by the loan administrator. The term of the grant agreement must be at least 4 years, except that the office may terminate the agreement earlier if the loan administrator fails to meet minimum performance standards set by the office. The grant agreement may be amended by mutual consent of both parties.
(c) The office shall disburse from the Economic Development Trust Fund to the loan administrator the appropriations provided for the pilot program. Disbursements to the loan administrator must not exceed the aggregate amount of the loans authorized in the grant agreement. The office may not disburse more than 50 percent of the aggregate amount of the loans authorized in the grant agreement until the office verifies the borrowers’ use of the loan proceeds and the loan administrator’s successful credit decisionmaking policies.
(d) A loan administrator is entitled to receive a loan origination fee, payable at closing, of 1 percent of each loan issued by the loan administrator and a servicing fee of 0.625 percent per annum of the loan’s outstanding principal balance, payable monthly. During the first 12 months of the loan, the servicing fee shall be paid from the disbursement from the Economic Development Trust Fund, and thereafter the loan administrator shall collect the servicing fee from the payments made by the borrower, charging the fee against repayments of principal.
(e) A loan administrator, after collecting the servicing fee in accordance with paragraph (d), shall remit the borrower’s collected interest, principal payments, and charges for late payments to the office on a quarterly basis. If the borrower defaults on the loan, the loan administrator shall initiate collection efforts to seek repayment of the loan. The loan administrator, upon collecting payments for a defaulted loan, shall remit the payments to the office but, to the extent authorized in the grant agreement, may deduct the costs of the administrator’s collection efforts. The office shall deposit all funds received under this paragraph in the General Revenue Fund.
(f) A loan administrator shall submit quarterly reports to the office which include the information required in the grant agreement. A quarterly report must include, at a minimum, the number of full-time equivalent jobs created as a result of the loans, the amount of wages paid to employees in the newly created jobs, and the locations and types of economic activity undertaken by the borrowers.
(6) All notes, mortgages, security agreements, letters of credit, or other instruments that are given to secure the repayment of loans issued in connection with the financing of any loan under the program, without regard to the status of any party thereto as a private party, are exempt from taxation by the state and its political subdivisions. The exemption granted in this subsection does not apply to any tax imposed by chapter 220 on interest, income, or profits on debt obligations owned by corporations.
(7) The office shall adopt rules under ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to administer this section. To the extent necessary to expedite implementation of the pilot program, the office may adopt initial emergency rules for the pilot program in accordance with s. 120.54(4).
(8) On June 30 and December 31 of each year, beginning in 2009, the office shall submit a report to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives which describes in detail the use of the loan funds. The report must include, at a minimum, the number of businesses receiving loans, the number of full-time equivalent jobs created as a result of the loans, the amount of wages paid to employees in the newly created jobs, the locations and types of economic activity undertaken by the borrowers, the amounts of loan repayments made to date, and the default rate of borrowers.
(9) Unexpended balances of appropriations provided for the pilot program shall not revert to the fund from which the appropriation was made at the end of a fiscal year but shall be retained in the Economic Development Trust Fund and be carried forward for expenditure for the pilot program during the following fiscal year. A loan administrator may not award a new loan or enter into a loan agreement after June 30, 2011. Balances of appropriations provided for the pilot program which remain unexpended as of July 1, 2011, shall revert to the General Revenue Fund.
(10) This section is repealed July 1, 2016, unless reviewed and reenacted by the Legislature before that date.
History.s. 1, ch. 2009-13; s. 52, ch. 2010-5.
288.1082 Economic Gardening Technical Assistance Pilot Program.
(1) There is created within the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development the Economic Gardening Technical Assistance Pilot Program. The purpose of the pilot program is to stimulate investment in Florida’s economy by providing technical assistance for expanding businesses in the state. As used in this section, the term “office” means the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development.
(2) The office shall contract with one or more entities to administer the pilot program under this section. The office shall award each contract in accordance with the competitive bidding requirements in s. 287.057 to an entity that demonstrates the ability to implement the pilot program on a statewide basis, has an outreach plan, and has the ability to provide counseling services, access to technology and information, marketing services and advice, business management support, and other similar services. In selecting these entities, the office also must consider whether the entities will qualify for matching funds to provide the technical assistance.
(3) A contracted entity administering the pilot program shall provide technical assistance for eligible businesses which includes, but is not limited to:
(a) Access to free or affordable information services and consulting services, including information on markets, customers, and competitors, such as business databases, geographic information systems, and search engine marketing.
(b) Development of business connections, including interaction and exchange among business owners and resource providers, such as trade associations, think tanks, academic institutions, business roundtables, peer-to-peer learning sessions, and mentoring programs.
(4)(a) To be eligible for assistance under the pilot program, a business must be a for-profit, privately held, investment-grade business that employs at least 10 persons but not more than 50 persons, has maintained its principal place of business in the state for at least the previous 2 years, generates at least $1 million but not more than $25 million in annual revenue, qualifies for the tax refund program for qualified target industry businesses under s. 288.106, and, during 3 of the previous 5 years, has increased both its number of full-time equivalent employees in this state and its gross revenues.
(b) A contracted entity administering the pilot program, in selecting the eligible businesses to receive assistance, shall choose businesses in more than one industry cluster and, to the maximum extent practicable, shall choose businesses that are geographically distributed throughout Florida or are in partnership with businesses that are geographically distributed throughout Florida.
(5)(a) A business receiving assistance under the pilot program must enter into an agreement with the contracted entity administering the program to establish the business’s commitment to participation in the pilot program. The agreement must require, at a minimum, that the business:
1. Attend a minimum number of meetings between the business and the contracted entity administering the pilot program.
2. Report job creation data in the manner prescribed by the contracted entity administering the pilot program.
3. Provide financial data in the manner prescribed by the contracted entity administering the program.
(b) The office or the contracted entity administering the pilot program may prescribe in the agreement additional reporting requirements that are necessary to track the progress of the business and monitor the business’s implementation of the assistance. The contracted entity shall report the information to the office on a quarterly basis.
(6) A contracted entity administering the pilot program is authorized to promote the general business interests or industrial interests of the state.
(7) The office shall review the progress of a contracted entity administering the pilot program at least once each 6 months and shall determine whether the contracted entity is meeting its contractual obligations for administering the pilot program. The office may terminate and rebid a contract if the contracted entity does not meet its contractual obligations.
(8) On December 31 of each year, beginning in 2009, the office shall submit a report to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives which describes in detail the progress of the pilot program. The report must include, at a minimum, the number of businesses receiving assistance, the number of full-time equivalent jobs created as a result of the assistance, if any, the amount of wages paid to employees in the newly created jobs, and the locations and types of economic activity undertaken by the businesses.
(9) The office may adopt rules under ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to administer this section.
History.s. 2, ch. 2009-13.
288.1083 Manufacturing and Spaceport Investment Incentive Program.
(1) The Manufacturing and Spaceport Investment Incentive Program is created within the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development. The purpose of the program is to encourage capital investment and job creation in manufacturing and spaceport activities in this state.
(2) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Base year purchases” means the total cost of eligible equipment purchased and placed into service in this state by an eligible entity in its tax year that began in 2008.
(b) “Department” means the Department of Revenue.
(c) “Eligible entity” means an entity that manufactures, processes, compounds, or produces items for sale of tangible personal property or engages in spaceport activities. The term also includes an entity that engages in phosphate or other solid minerals severance, mining, or processing operations. The term does not include electric utility companies, communications companies, oil or gas exploration or production operations, publishing firms that do not export at least 50 percent of their finished product out of the state, any firm subject to regulation by the Division of Hotels and Restaurants of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, or any firm that does not manufacture, process, compound, or produce for sale items of tangible personal property or that does not use such machinery and equipment in spaceport activities.
(d) “Eligible equipment” means tangible personal property or other property that has a depreciable life of 3 years or more and that is used as an integral part in the manufacturing, processing, compounding, or production of tangible personal property for sale or is exclusively used in spaceport activities, and that is located and placed into service in this state. A building and its structural components are not eligible equipment unless the building or structural component is so closely related to the industrial machinery and equipment that it houses or supports that the building or structural component can be expected to be replaced when the machinery and equipment are replaced. Heating and air-conditioning systems are not eligible equipment unless the sole justification for their installation is to meet the requirements of the production process, even though the system may provide incidental comfort to employees or serve, to an insubstantial degree, nonproduction activities. The term includes parts and accessories only to the extent that the exemption of such parts and accessories is consistent with the provisions of this paragraph.
(e) “Eligible equipment purchases” means the cost of eligible equipment purchased and placed into service in this state in a given state fiscal year by an eligible entity in excess of the entity’s base year purchases.
(f) “Office” means the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development.
(g) “Refund” means a payment to an eligible entity for the amount of state sales and use tax actually paid on eligible equipment purchases.
(3) Beginning July 1, 2010, and ending June 30, 2011, and beginning July 1, 2011, and ending June 30, 2012, sales and use tax paid in this state on eligible equipment purchases may qualify for a refund as provided in this section. The total amount of refunds that may be allocated by the office to all applicants during the period beginning July 1, 2010, and ending June 30, 2011, is $19 million. The total amount of tax refunds that may be allocated to all applicants during the period beginning July 1, 2011, and ending June 30, 2012, is $24 million. An applicant may not be allocated more than $50,000 in refunds under this section for a single year. Preliminary refund allocations that are revoked or voluntarily surrendered shall be immediately available for reallocation.
(4) To receive a refund, a business entity must first apply to the office for a tax refund allocation. The entity shall provide such information in the application as reasonably required by the office. Further, the business entity shall provide such information as is required by the office to establish the cost incurred and actual sales and use tax paid to purchase eligible equipment located and placed into service in this state during its taxable year that began in 2008.
(a) Within 30 days after the office receives an application for a refund, the office shall approve or disapprove the application.
(b) Refund allocations made during the 2010-2011 fiscal year shall be awarded in the same order in which applications are received. Eligible entities may apply to the office beginning July 1, 2010, for refunds attributable to eligible equipment purchases made during the 2010-2011 fiscal year. For the 2010-2011 fiscal year, the office shall allocate the maximum amount of $50,000 per entity until the entire $19 million available for refund in state fiscal year 2010-2011 has been allocated. If the total amount available for allocation during the 2010-2011 fiscal year is allocated, the office shall continue taking applications. Each applicant shall be informed of its place in the queue and whether the applicant received an allocation of the eligible funds.
(c) Refund allocations made during the 2011-2012 fiscal year shall first be given to any applicants remaining in the queue from the prior fiscal year. The office shall allocate the maximum amount of $50,000 per entity, first to those applicants that remained in the queue from 2010-2011 for eligible purchases in 2010-2011, then to applicants for 2011-2012 in the order applications are received for eligible purchases in 2011-2012. The office shall allocate the maximum amount of $50,000 per entity until the entire $24 million available to be allocated for refund in the 2011-2012 fiscal year is allocated. If the total amount available for refund in 2011-2012 has been allocated, the office shall continue to accept applications from eligible entities in the 2011-2012 fiscal year for refunds attributable to eligible equipment purchases made during the 2011-2012 fiscal year. Refund allocations made during the 2011-2012 fiscal year shall be awarded in the same order in which applications are received. Upon submitting an application, each applicant shall be informed of its place in the queue and whether the applicant has received an allocation of the eligible funds.
(5) Upon completion of eligible equipment purchases, a business entity that received a refund allocation from the office must apply to the office for certification of a refund. For eligible equipment purchases made during the 2010-2011 fiscal year, the application for certification must be made no later than September 1, 2011. For eligible equipment purchases made during the 2011-2012 fiscal year, the application for certification must be made no later than September 1, 2012. The application shall provide such documentation as is reasonably required by the office to calculate the refund amount, including documentation necessary to confirm the cost of eligible equipment purchases supporting the claim of the sales and use tax paid thereon. Further, the business entity shall provide such documentation as required by the office to establish the entity’s base year purchases. If, upon reviewing the application, the office determines that eligible equipment purchases did not occur, that the amount of tax claimed to have been paid or remitted on the eligible equipment purchases is not supported by the documentation provided, or that the information provided to the office was otherwise inaccurate, the amount of the refund allocation not substantiated shall not be certified. Otherwise, the office shall determine and certify the amount of the refund to the eligible entity and to the department within 30 days after the office receives the application for certification.
(6) Upon certification of a refund for an eligible entity, the entity shall apply to the department within 30 days for payment of the certified amount as a refund on a form prescribed by the department. The department may request documentation in support of the application and adopt emergency rules to administer the refund application process.
(7) For each of the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 fiscal years, if the amount certified is less than the amount allocated, additional applicants shall be eligible to receive refund allocations in the order that applications are received for that year.
(8) An entity may receive refunds in each of the 2 years but only to the extent that the entity has eligible equipment purchases in each year. In no event may refunds for eligible equipment purchases made during 2010-11 result in more than $50,000 of refunds per entity.
(9) The office shall adopt emergency rules governing applications for, issuance of, and procedures for allocation and certification and may establish guidelines as to the requisites for demonstrating base year purchases and eligible equipment purchases.
(10) This section is repealed July 1, 2013.
History.s. 21, ch. 2010-147.
288.1088 Quick Action Closing Fund.
(1)(a) The Legislature finds that attracting, retaining, and providing favorable conditions for the growth of certain high-impact business facilities, privately developed critical rural infrastructure, or key facilities in economically distressed urban or rural communities which provide widespread economic benefits to the public through high-quality employment opportunities in such facilities or in related facilities attracted to the state, through the increased tax base provided by the high-impact facility and related businesses, through an enhanced entrepreneurial climate in the state and the resulting business and employment opportunities, and through the stimulation and enhancement of the state’s universities and community colleges. In the global economy, there exists serious and fierce international competition for these facilities, and in most instances, when all available resources for economic development have been used, the state continues to encounter severe competitive disadvantages in vying for these business facilities. Florida’s rural areas must provide a competitive environment for business in the information age. This often requires an incentive to make it feasible for private investors to provide infrastructure in those areas.
(b) The Legislature finds that the conclusion of the space shuttle program and the gap in civil human space flight will result in significant job losses that will negatively impact families, companies, the state and regional economies, and the capability level of this state’s aerospace workforce. Thus, the Legislature also finds that this loss of jobs is a matter of state interest and great public importance. The Legislature further finds that it is in the state’s interest for provisions to be made in incentive programs for economic development to maximize the state’s ability to mitigate these impacts and to develop a more diverse aerospace economy.
(c) The Legislature therefore declares that sufficient resources shall be available to respond to extraordinary economic opportunities and to compete effectively for these high-impact business facilities, critical private infrastructure in rural areas, and key businesses in economically distressed urban or rural communities, and that up to 20 percent of these resources may be used for projects to retain or create high-technology jobs that are directly associated with developing a more diverse aerospace economy in this state.
(2) There is created within the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development the Quick Action Closing Fund. Projects eligible for receipt of funds from the Quick Action Closing Fund shall:
(a) Be in an industry as referenced in s. 288.106.
(b) Have a positive payback ratio of at least 5 to 1.
(c) Be an inducement to the project’s location or expansion in the state.
(d) Pay an average annual wage of at least 125 percent of the areawide or statewide private sector average wage.
(e) Be supported by the local community in which the project is to be located.
(3)(a) Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall review applications pursuant to s. 288.061 and determine the eligibility of each project consistent with the criteria in subsection (2). Enterprise Florida, Inc., in consultation with the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development, may waive these criteria:
1. Based on extraordinary circumstances;
2. In order to mitigate the impact of the conclusion of the space shuttle program; or
3. In rural areas of critical economic concern if the project would significantly benefit the local or regional economy.
(b) Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall evaluate individual proposals for high-impact business facilities and forward recommendations regarding the use of moneys in the fund for such facilities to the director of the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development. Such evaluation and recommendation must include, but need not be limited to:
1. A description of the type of facility or infrastructure, its operations, and the associated product or service associated with the facility.
2. The number of full-time-equivalent jobs that will be created by the facility and the total estimated average annual wages of those jobs or, in the case of privately developed rural infrastructure, the types of business activities and jobs stimulated by the investment.
3. The cumulative amount of investment to be dedicated to the facility within a specified period.
4. A statement of any special impacts the facility is expected to stimulate in a particular business sector in the state or regional economy or in the state’s universities and community colleges.
5. A statement of the role the incentive is expected to play in the decision of the applicant business to locate or expand in this state or for the private investor to provide critical rural infrastructure.
6. A report evaluating the quality and value of the company submitting a proposal. The report must include:
a. A financial analysis of the company, including an evaluation of the company’s short-term liquidity ratio as measured by its assets to liability, the company’s profitability ratio, and the company’s long-term solvency as measured by its debt-to-equity ratio;
b. The historical market performance of the company;
c. A review of any independent evaluations of the company;
d. A review of the latest audit of the company’s financial statement and the related auditor’s management letter; and
e. A review of any other types of audits that are related to the internal and management controls of the company.
(c) Within 22 calendar days after receiving the evaluation and recommendation from Enterprise Florida, Inc., the director of the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall recommend to the Governor approval or disapproval of a project for receipt of funds from the Quick Action Closing Fund. In recommending a project, the director shall include proposed performance conditions that the project must meet to obtain incentive funds. The Governor shall provide the evaluation of projects recommended for approval to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives and consult with the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives before giving final approval for a project. At least 14 days before releasing funds for a project, the Executive Office of the Governor shall recommend approval of the project and the release of funds by delivering notice of such action pursuant to the legislative consultation and review requirements set forth in s. 216.177. The recommendation must include proposed performance conditions that the project must meet in order to obtain funds. If the chair or vice chair of the Legislative Budget Commission or the President of the Senate or the Speaker of the House of Representatives timely advises the Executive Office of the Governor, in writing, that such action or proposed action exceeds the delegated authority of the Executive Office of the Governor or is contrary to legislative policy or intent, the Executive Office of the Governor shall void the release of funds and instruct the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development to immediately change such action or proposed action until the Legislative Budget Commission or the Legislature addresses the issue. Notwithstanding such requirement, any project exceeding $2,000,000 must be approved by the Legislative Budget Commission prior to the funds being released.
(d) Upon the approval of the Governor, the director of the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development and the business shall enter into a contract that sets forth the conditions for payment of moneys from the fund. The contract must include the total amount of funds awarded; the performance conditions that must be met to obtain the award, including, but not limited to, net new employment in the state, average salary, and total capital investment; demonstrate a baseline of current service and a measure of enhanced capability; the methodology for validating performance; the schedule of payments from the fund; and sanctions for failure to meet performance conditions. The contract must provide that payment of moneys from the fund is contingent upon sufficient appropriation of funds by the Legislature.
(e) Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall validate contractor performance. Such validation shall be reported within 6 months after completion of the contract to the Governor, President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
(4)(a) A Quick Action Closing Fund business that, pursuant to its contract, submits reports to the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development on or after January 1, 2010, but no later than June 30, 2011, on the status of the business’s compliance with the performance conditions of its contract may submit a written request to the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development for renegotiation of the contract. The request must provide quantitative evidence demonstrating how the business has materially complied with the terms of the contract or how negative economic conditions in the business’s industry have prevented the business from complying with the terms and conditions of the contract. The request must also include proposed adjusted performance conditions.
(b) Within 45 days after receiving a Quick Action Closing Fund business’s request to renegotiate its contract, the director of the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development must provide written notice to the business of whether the request for renegotiation is granted or denied. In making such a determination, the director shall consider the extent to which the business materially complied with the terms of the contract, the extent to which negative economic conditions in the business’s industry occurred in the state, the proposed adjusted performance conditions, and the business’s efforts to comply with the contract.
(c) Under no circumstances is the director of the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development required or obligated to grant a business’s request to renegotiate its agreement.
(d) Upon granting a business’s request to renegotiate, the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development, together with Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall determine the economic impact of the adjusted performance conditions and notify the business of any waiver of specified performance conditions and any adjusted award amount associated with the proposed adjusted performance conditions. The Quick Action Closing Fund business must renegotiate its contract with the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development in accordance with any waiver granted or for the adjusted amount and agree to return the difference between the original Quick Action Closing Fund award and the adjusted award without interest or penalties. When renegotiating a contract with a Quick Action Closing Fund business, the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development may extend the duration of the contract for a period not to exceed 2 years. The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall notify the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives upon completion of any contract renegotiation. Any funds returned pursuant to this paragraph shall be reappropriated to the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development for the Quick Action Closing Fund.
(e) This subsection expires June 30, 2011.
(5) Funds appropriated by the Legislature for purposes of implementing this section shall be placed in reserve and may only be released pursuant to the legislative consultation and review requirements set forth in this section.
History.s. 105, ch. 99-251; s. 13, ch. 2001-201; s. 4, ch. 2003-270; s. 7, ch. 2003-420; s. 2, ch. 2006-55; s. 20, ch. 2009-51; s. 22, ch. 2010-147; s. 2, ch. 2010-226.
288.1089 Innovation Incentive Program.
(1) The Innovation Incentive Program is created within the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development to ensure that sufficient resources are available to allow the state to respond expeditiously to extraordinary economic opportunities and to compete effectively for high-value research and development, innovation business, and alternative and renewal energy projects.
(2) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Alternative and renewable energy” means electrical, mechanical, or thermal energy produced from a method that uses one or more of the following fuels or energy sources: ethanol, cellulosic ethanol, biobutanol, biodiesel, biomass, biogas, hydrogen fuel cells, ocean energy, hydrogen, solar, hydro, wind, or geothermal.
(b) “Average private sector wage” means the statewide average wage in the private sector or the average of all private sector wages in the county or in the standard metropolitan area in which the project is located as determined by the Agency for Workforce Innovation.
(c) “Brownfield area” means an area designated as a brownfield area pursuant to s. 376.80.
(d) “Commission” means the Florida Energy and Climate Commission.
(e) “Cumulative investment” means cumulative capital investment and all eligible capital costs, as defined in s. 220.191.
(f) “Director” means the director of the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development.
(g) “Enterprise zone” means an area designated as an enterprise zone pursuant to s. 290.0065.
(h) “Fiscal year” means the state fiscal year.
(i) “Industry wage” means the average annual wage paid to employees in a particular industry, as designated by the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), and compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the United States Department of Labor.
(j) “Innovation business” means a business expanding or locating in this state that is likely to serve as a catalyst for the growth of an existing or emerging technology cluster or will significantly impact the regional economy in which it is to expand or locate.
(k) “Jobs” means full-time equivalent positions, including, but not limited to, positions obtained from a temporary employment agency or employee leasing company or through a union agreement or coemployment under a professional employer organization agreement, that result directly from a project in this state. The term does not include temporary construction jobs.
(l) “Naming opportunities” means charitable donations from any person or entity in consideration for the right to have all or a portion of the facility named for or in the memory of any person, living or dead, or for any entity.
(m) “Net royalty revenues” means all royalty revenues less the cost of obtaining, maintaining, and enforcing related patent and intellectual property rights, both foreign and domestic.
(n) “Match” means funding from local sources, public or private, which will be paid to the applicant and which is equal to 100 percent of an award. Eligible match funding may include any tax abatement granted to the applicant under s. 196.1995 or the appraised market value of land, buildings, infrastructure, or equipment conveyed or provided at a discount to the applicant. Complete documentation of a match payment or other conveyance must be presented to and verified by the office prior to transfer of state funds to an applicant. An applicant may not provide, directly or indirectly, more than 5 percent of match funding in any fiscal year. The sources of such funding may not include, directly or indirectly, state funds appropriated from the General Revenue Fund or any state trust fund, excluding tax revenues shared with local governments pursuant to law.
(o) “Office” means the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development.
(p) “Project” means the location to or expansion in this state by an innovation business, a research and development applicant, or an alternative and renewable energy applicant approved for an award pursuant to this section.
(q) “Research and development” means basic and applied research in the sciences or engineering, as well as the design, development, and testing of prototypes or processes of new or improved products. Research and development does not include market research, routine consumer product testing, sales research, research in the social sciences or psychology, nontechnological activities, or technical services.
(r) “Research and development facility” means a facility that is predominately engaged in research and development activities. For purposes of this paragraph, the term “predominantly” means at least 51 percent of the time.
(s) “Rural area” means a rural city or rural community as defined in s. 288.106.
(3) To be eligible for consideration for an innovation incentive award, an innovation business, a research and development entity, or an alternative and renewable energy company must submit a written application to Enterprise Florida, Inc., before making a decision to locate new operations in this state or expand an existing operation in this state. The application must include, but not be limited to:
(a) The applicant’s federal employer identification number, unemployment account number, and state sales tax registration number. If such numbers are not available at the time of application, they must be submitted to the office in writing prior to the disbursement of any payments under this section.
(b) The location in this state at which the project is located or is to be located.
(c) A description of the type of business activity, product, or research and development undertaken by the applicant, including six-digit North American Industry Classification System codes for all activities included in the project.
(d) The applicant’s projected investment in the project.
(e) The total investment, from all sources, in the project.
(f) The number of net new full-time equivalent jobs in this state the applicant anticipates having created as of December 31 of each year in the project and the average annual wage of such jobs.
(g) The total number of full-time equivalent employees currently employed by the applicant in this state, if applicable.
(h) The anticipated commencement date of the project.
(i) A detailed explanation of why the innovation incentive is needed to induce the applicant to expand or locate in the state and whether an award would cause the applicant to locate or expand in this state.
(j) If applicable, an estimate of the proportion of the revenues resulting from the project that will be generated outside this state.
(4) To qualify for review by the office, the applicant must, at a minimum, establish the following to the satisfaction of Enterprise Florida, Inc., and the office:
(a) The jobs created by the project must pay an estimated annual average wage equaling at least 130 percent of the average private sector wage. The office may waive this average wage requirement at the request of Enterprise Florida, Inc., for a project located in a rural area, a brownfield area, or an enterprise zone, when the merits of the individual project or the specific circumstances in the community in relationship to the project warrant such action. A recommendation for waiver by Enterprise Florida, Inc., must include a specific justification for the waiver and be transmitted to the office in writing. If the director elects to waive the wage requirement, the waiver must be stated in writing and the reasons for granting the waiver must be explained.
(b) A research and development project must:
1. Serve as a catalyst for an emerging or evolving technology cluster.
2. Demonstrate a plan for significant higher education collaboration.
3. Provide the state, at a minimum, a break-even return on investment within a 20-year period.
4. Be provided with a one-to-one match from the local community. The match requirement may be reduced or waived in rural areas of critical economic concern or reduced in rural areas, brownfield areas, and enterprise zones.
(c) An innovation business project in this state, other than a research and development project, must:
1.a. Result in the creation of at least 1,000 direct, new jobs at the business; or
b. Result in the creation of at least 500 direct, new jobs if the project is located in a rural area, a brownfield area, or an enterprise zone.
2. Have an activity or product that is within an industry that is designated as a target industry business under s. 288.106 or a designated sector under s. 288.108.
3.a. Have a cumulative investment of at least $500 million within a 5-year period; or
b. Have a cumulative investment that exceeds $250 million within a 10-year period if the project is located in a rural area, brownfield area, or an enterprise zone.
4. Be provided with a one-to-one match from the local community. The match requirement may be reduced or waived in rural areas of critical economic concern or reduced in rural areas, brownfield areas, and enterprise zones.
(d) For an alternative and renewable energy project in this state, the project must:
1. Demonstrate a plan for significant collaboration with an institution of higher education;
2. Provide the state, at a minimum, a break-even return on investment within a 20-year period;
3. Include matching funds provided by the applicant or other available sources. The match requirement may be reduced or waived in rural areas of critical economic concern or reduced in rural areas, brownfield areas, and enterprise zones;
4. Be located in this state; and
5. Provide at least 35 direct, new jobs that pay an estimated annual average wage that equals at least 130 percent of the average private sector wage.
(5) Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall evaluate proposals for all three categories of innovation incentive awards and transmit recommendations for awards to the office. Before making its recommendations on alternative and renewable energy projects, Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall solicit comments and recommendations from the Florida Energy and Climate Commission. For each project, the evaluation and recommendation to the office must include, but need not be limited to:
(a) A description of the project, its required facilities, and the associated product, service, or research and development associated with the project.
(b) The percentage of match provided for the project.
(c) The number of full-time equivalent jobs that will be created by the project, the total estimated average annual wages of such jobs, and the types of business activities and jobs likely to be stimulated by the project.
(d) The cumulative investment to be dedicated to the project within 5 years and the total investment expected in the project if more than 5 years.
(e) The projected economic and fiscal impacts on the local and state economies relative to investment.
(f) A statement of any special impacts the project is expected to stimulate in a particular business sector in the state or regional economy or in the state’s universities and community colleges.
(g) A statement of any anticipated or proposed relationships with state universities.
(h) A statement of the role the incentive is expected to play in the decision of the applicant to locate or expand in this state.
(i) A recommendation and explanation of the amount of the award needed to cause the applicant to expand or locate in this state.
(j) A discussion of the efforts and commitments made by the local community in which the project is to be located to induce the applicant’s location or expansion, taking into consideration local resources and abilities.
(k) A recommendation for specific performance criteria the applicant would be expected to achieve in order to receive payments from the fund and penalties or sanctions for failure to meet or maintain performance conditions.
(l) Additional evaluative criteria for a research and development facility project, including:
1. A description of the extent to which the project has the potential to serve as catalyst for an emerging or evolving cluster.
2. A description of the extent to which the project has or could have a long-term collaborative research and development relationship with one or more universities or community colleges in this state.
3. A description of the existing or projected impact of the project on established clusters or targeted industry sectors.
4. A description of the project’s contribution to the diversity and resiliency of the innovation economy of this state.
5. A description of the project’s impact on special needs communities, including, but not limited to, rural areas, distressed urban areas, and enterprise zones.
(m) Additional evaluative criteria for alternative and renewable energy proposals, including:
1. The availability of matching funds or other in-kind contributions applied to the total project from an applicant. The commission shall give greater preference to projects that provide such matching funds or other in-kind contributions.
2. The degree to which the project stimulates in-state capital investment and economic development in metropolitan and rural areas, including the creation of jobs and the future development of a commercial market for renewable energy technologies.
3. The extent to which the proposed project has been demonstrated to be technically feasible based on pilot project demonstrations, laboratory testing, scientific modeling, or engineering or chemical theory that supports the proposal.
4. The degree to which the project incorporates an innovative new technology or an innovative application of an existing technology.
5. The degree to which a project generates thermal, mechanical, or electrical energy by means of a renewable energy resource that has substantial long-term production potential.
6. The degree to which a project demonstrates efficient use of energy and material resources.
7. The degree to which the project fosters overall understanding and appreciation of renewable energy technologies.
8. The ability to administer a complete project.
9. Project duration and timeline for expenditures.
10. The geographic area in which the project is to be conducted in relation to other projects.
11. The degree of public visibility and interaction.
(6) In consultation with Enterprise Florida, Inc., the office may negotiate the proposed amount of an award for any applicant meeting the requirements of this section. In negotiating such award, the office shall consider the amount of the incentive needed to cause the applicant to locate or expand in this state in conjunction with other relevant applicant impact and cost information and analysis as described in this section. Particular emphasis shall be given to the potential for the project to stimulate additional private investment and high-quality employment opportunities in the area.
(7) Upon receipt of the evaluation and recommendation from Enterprise Florida, Inc., the director shall recommend to the Governor the approval or disapproval of an award. In recommending approval of an award, the director shall include proposed performance conditions that the applicant must meet in order to obtain incentive funds and any other conditions that must be met before the receipt of any incentive funds. The Governor shall consult with the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives before giving approval for an award. Upon review and approval of an award by the Legislative Budget Commission, the Executive Office of the Governor shall release the funds.
(8)(a) After the conditions set forth in subsection (7) have been met, the director shall issue a letter certifying the applicant as qualified for an award. The office and the award recipient shall enter into an agreement that sets forth the conditions for payment of the incentive funds. The agreement must include, at a minimum:
1. The total amount of funds awarded.
2. The performance conditions that must be met in order to obtain the award or portions of the award, including, but not limited to, net new employment in the state, average wage, and total cumulative investment.
3. Demonstration of a baseline of current service and a measure of enhanced capability.
4. The methodology for validating performance.
5. The schedule of payments.
6. Sanctions for failure to meet performance conditions, including any clawback provisions.
(b) Additionally, agreements signed on or after July 1, 2009, must include the following provisions:
1. Notwithstanding subsection (4), a requirement that the jobs created by the recipient of the incentive funds pay an annual average wage at least equal to the relevant industry’s annual average wage or at least 130 percent of the average private sector wage, whichever is greater.
2. A reinvestment requirement. Each recipient of an award shall reinvest up to 15 percent of net royalty revenues, including revenues from spin-off companies and the revenues from the sale of stock it receives from the licensing or transfer of inventions, methods, processes, and other patentable discoveries conceived or reduced to practice using its facilities in Florida or its Florida-based employees, in whole or in part, and to which the recipient of the grant becomes entitled during the 20 years following the effective date of its agreement with the office. Each recipient of an award also shall reinvest up to 15 percent of the gross revenues it receives from naming opportunities associated with any facility it builds in this state. Reinvestment payments shall commence no later than 6 months after the recipient of the grant has received the final disbursement under the contract and shall continue until the maximum reinvestment, as specified in the contract, has been paid. Reinvestment payments shall be remitted to the office for deposit in the Biomedical Research Trust Fund for companies specializing in biomedicine or life sciences, or in the Economic Development Trust Fund for companies specializing in fields other than biomedicine or the life sciences. If these trust funds no longer exist at the time of the reinvestment, the state’s share of reinvestment shall be deposited in their successor trust funds as determined by law. Each recipient of an award shall annually submit a schedule of the shares of stock held by it as payment of the royalty required by this paragraph and report on any trades or activity concerning such stock. Each recipient’s reinvestment obligations survive the expiration or termination of its agreement with the state.
3. Requirements for the establishment of internship programs or other learning opportunities for educators and secondary, postsecondary, graduate, and doctoral students.
4. A requirement that the recipient submit quarterly reports and annual reports related to activities and performance to the office, according to standardized reporting periods.
5. A requirement for an annual accounting to the office of the expenditure of funds disbursed under this section.
6. A process for amending the agreement.
(9) Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall assist the office in validating the performance of an innovation business, a research and development facility, or an alternative and renewable energy business that has received an award. At the conclusion of the innovation incentive award agreement, or its earlier termination, Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall, within 90 days, submit a report to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives detailing whether the recipient of the innovation incentive grant achieved its specified outcomes.
(10) Each recipient of an award shall comply with business ethics standards developed by Enterprise Florida, Inc., which are based on appropriate best industry practices. The standards shall address ethical duties of business enterprises, fiduciary responsibilities of management, and compliance with the laws of this state.
(11)(a) Beginning January 5, 2010, and every year thereafter, the office shall submit to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives a report summarizing the activities and accomplishments of the recipients of grants from the Innovation Incentive Program during the previous 12 months and an evaluation by the office of whether the recipients are catalysts for additional direct and indirect economic development in Florida.
(b) Beginning March 1, 2010, and every third year thereafter, the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability, in consultation with the Auditor General’s Office, shall release a report evaluating the Innovation Incentive Program’s progress toward creating clusters of high-wage, high-skilled, complementary industries that serve as catalysts for economic growth specifically in the regions in which they are located, and generally for the state as a whole. Such report should include critical analyses of quarterly and annual reports, annual audits, and other documents prepared by the Innovation Incentive Program awardees; relevant economic development reports prepared by the office, Enterprise Florida, Inc., and local or regional economic development organizations; interviews with the parties involved; and any other relevant data. Such report should also include legislative recommendations, if necessary, on how to improve the Innovation Incentive Program so that the program reaches its anticipated potential as a catalyst for direct and indirect economic development in this state.
(12) The office may seek the assistance of the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability, the Legislature’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research, and other entities for the purpose of developing performance measures or techniques to quantify the synergistic economic development impacts that awardees of grants are having within their communities.
History.s. 3, ch. 2006-55; s. 27, ch. 2008-227; s. 25, ch. 2009-21; s. 1, ch. 2009-51; s. 5, ch. 2010-136; s. 23, ch. 2010-147.
288.109 One-Stop Permitting System.
(1) By January 1, 2001, the 1State Technology Office must establish and implement an Internet site for the One-Stop Permitting System. The One-Stop Permitting System Internet site shall provide individuals and businesses with information concerning development permits; guidance on what development permits are needed for particular projects; permit requirements; and who may be contacted for more information concerning a particular development permit for a specific location. The office shall design and construct the Internet site and may competitively procure and contract for services to develop the site. In designing and constructing the Internet site, the office must solicit input from potential users of the site.
(2) The office shall develop the One-Stop Permitting System Internet site to allow an applicant to complete and submit application forms for development permits to agencies and counties. The Internet site must be capable of allowing an applicant to submit payment for permit fees and must provide payment options. After initially establishing the Internet site, the office shall implement, in the most timely manner possible, the capabilities described in this subsection. The office shall also develop a protocol for adding to the One-Stop Permitting System additional state agencies and counties that agree to participate. The office may competitively procure and contract for services to develop such capabilities.
(3) As used in this section, the term “development permit” includes any state, regional, or local permits or approvals necessary for the physical location or expansion of a business, including, but not limited to:
(a) Wetland or environmental resource permits.
(b) Surface water management permits.
(c) Stormwater permits.
(d) Site plan approvals.
(e) Zoning approvals and comprehensive plan amendments.
(f) Building permits.
(g) Transportation concurrency approvals.
(h) Consumptive water-use permits.
(i) Wastewater permits.
(4) The One-Stop Permitting System must initially provide access to the following state agencies, water management districts and counties, with other agencies and counties that agree to participate:
(a) The Department of Environmental Protection.
(b) The Department of Community Affairs.
(c) The Department of Management Services.
(d) The Department of Transportation, including district offices.
(e) The Northwest Florida Water Management District.
(f) The St. Johns River Water Management District.
(g) The Southwest Florida Water Management District.
(h) The Suwannee River Water Management District.
(i) The South Florida Water Management District.
(j) Selected counties that agree to participate.
(5) By January 1, 2001, the following state agencies, and the programs within such agencies which require the issuance of licenses, permits, and approvals to businesses, must also be integrated into the One-Stop Permitting System:
(a) The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
(b) The Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
(c) The Department of Health.
(d) The Department of Financial Services.
(e) The Office of Insurance Regulation of the Financial Services Commission.
(f) The Department of Labor.
(g) The Department of Revenue.
(h) The Department of State.
(i) The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
(j) Other state agencies.
(6) The office may add counties and municipalities to the One-Stop Permitting System as such local governments agree to participate and develop the technical capability of joining the system.
(7) To the extent feasible, state agencies are directed to develop and implement online permitting systems.
(8) Section 120.60(1) shall apply to any development permit or license filed under the One-Stop Permitting System, except the 90-day time period for approving or denying a completed application shall be 60 days. In the case of permits issued by the water management districts, each completed application that does not require governing board approval must be approved or denied within 60 days after receipt. However, completed permit applications which must be considered by a water management district governing board shall be approved or denied at the next regularly scheduled meeting after the 60-day period has expired. The 60-day period for approving or denying a complete application does not apply in the case of a development permit application evaluated under a federally delegated or approved permitting program. However, the reviewing agency shall make a good faith effort to act on such permit applications within 60 days.
(9) Each agency shall maintain a record of the time required for that agency to process each application that is filed using the One-Stop Permitting System and submit a report to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives by January 1 of each year which compiles such information.
(10) A state agency or water management district is authorized to reduce a development permit fee by 25 percent for applicants who submit a complete application over the Internet when the applicant is not required to submit additional information to the agency or water management district.
History.s. 4, ch. 99-244; s. 8, ch. 2000-197; s. 6, ch. 2001-278; s. 51, ch. 2002-20; s. 23, ch. 2003-1; s. 342, ch. 2003-261.
1Note.Section 18, ch. 2007-105, deleted material from s. 282.102 relating to creation of the State Technology Office, and s. 2, ch. 2007-105, removed the reference to the office from the list of divisions and programs under the Department of Management Services in s. 20.22. Section 17, ch. 2009-80, redesignated s. 282.102 as s. 282.702.
1288.1092 One-Stop Permitting System Grant Program.There is created within the 2State Technology Office the One-Stop Permitting System Grant Program. The purpose of the grant program is to encourage counties to coordinate and integrate the development of the county’s permitting process with the One-Stop Permitting System. The office shall review grant applications and, subject to available funds, if a county is certified as a Quick Permitting County under s. 288.1093, shall award a grant of up to $50,000 to provide for such integration. The office must review a grant application for consistency with the purpose of the One-Stop Permitting System to provide access to development permit information and application forms. Grants shall be issued on a first-come, first-served basis to qualified Quick Permitting Counties. The grant moneys may be used to purchase software, hardware, or consulting services necessary for the county to create an interface with the One-Stop Permitting System. Grant moneys may not be used to pay administrative costs. The grant application must specify what items or services the county intends to purchase using the grant moneys, the amount of each of the items or services to be purchased, and how the items or services are necessary for the county to create an interface with the One-Stop Permitting System.
History.s. 5, ch. 99-244; s. 7, ch. 2001-278.
1Note.Section 14, ch. 2007-105, provides that “[u]nless otherwise specified in this act, the Department of Management Services, established in s. 20.22, Florida Statutes, shall assume the duties and responsibilities of the State Technology Office as set forth in [s. 288.1092], Florida Statutes.”
2Note.Section 18, ch. 2007-105, deleted material from s. 282.102 relating to creation of the State Technology Office, and s. 2, ch. 2007-105, removed the reference to the office from the list of divisions and programs under the Department of Management Services in s. 20.22. Section 17, ch. 2009-80, redesignated s. 282.102 as s. 282.702.
1288.1093 Quick Permitting County Designation Program.
(1) There is established within the 2State Technology Office the Quick Permitting County Designation Program. To be designated as a Quick Permitting County, the chair of the board of county commissioners of the applying county must certify to the office that the county meets the criteria specified in subsection (3).
(2) As used in this section, the term “development permitting” includes permits and approvals necessary for the physical location of a business, including, but not limited to:
(a) Wetland or environmental resource permits.
(b) Surface water management permits.
(c) Stormwater permits.
(d) Site plan approvals.
(e) Zoning and comprehensive plan amendments.
(f) Building permits.
(g) Transportation concurrency approvals.
(h) Wastewater permits.
(3) In order to qualify for a Quick Permitting County designation, a county must certify to the office that the county has implemented the following best management practices:
(a) The establishment of a single point of contact for a business seeking assistance in obtaining a permit;
(b) The selection of high-priority projects for accelerated permit review;
(c) The use of documented preapplication meetings following standard procedures;
(d) The maintenance of an inventory of sites suitable for high-priority projects;
(e) The development of a list of consultants who conduct business in the county;
(f) The evaluation and elimination of duplicative approval and permitting requirements within the county;
(g) The commitment to participate, through the entry of an interlocal agreement for individual projects, in the expedited permit process set forth in s. 403.973;
(h) The development of a timetable for processing development permits and approvals; and
(i) The use of interagency coordination to facilitate permit processing.
History.s. 6, ch. 99-244; s. 8, ch. 2001-278.
1Note.Section 14, ch. 2007-105, provides that “[u]nless otherwise specified in this act, the Department of Management Services, established in s. 20.22, Florida Statutes, shall assume the duties and responsibilities of the State Technology Office as set forth in [s. 288.1093], Florida Statutes.”
2Note.Section 18, ch. 2007-105, deleted material from s. 282.102 relating to creation of the State Technology Office, and s. 2, ch. 2007-105, removed the reference to the office from the list of divisions and programs under the Department of Management Services in s. 20.22. Section 17, ch. 2009-80, redesignated s. 282.102 as s. 282.702.
288.1095 Information concerning the One-Stop Permitting System.The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall develop literature that explains the One-Stop Permitting System and identifies those counties that have been designated as Quick Permitting Counties. The literature must be updated at least once each year. To the maximum extent feasible, state agencies and Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall distribute such literature and inform the public of the One-Stop Permitting System and the Quick Permitting Counties. In addition, Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall provide this information to prospective, new, expanding, and relocating businesses seeking to conduct business in this state, municipalities, counties, economic-development organizations, and chambers of commerce.
History.s. 7, ch. 99-244.
288.1097 Qualified job training organizations; certification; duties.
(1) As used in this section, the term “qualified job training organization” means an organization that satisfies all of the following:
(a) Is accredited by the Commission for Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities.
(b) Collects Florida state sales tax.
(c) Operates statewide and has more than 100 locations within the state.
(d) Is exempt from income taxation under s. 501(c)(3) or (4) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.
(e) Specializes in the retail sale of donated items.
(f) Provides job training and employment services to individuals who have workplace disadvantages and disabilities.
(g) Uses a majority of its revenues for job training and placement programs that create jobs and foster economic development.
(2) To be eligible for funding, an organization must be certified by the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development as meeting the criteria in subsection (1). After certification, the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development may release funds to the qualified job training organization pursuant to a contract with the organization. The contract must include the performance conditions that must be met in order to obtain the award or portions of the award, including, but not limited to, net new employment in the state, the methodology for validating performance, the schedule of payments, and sanctions for failure to meet the performance requirements including any provisions for repayment of awards. The contract must also require that salaries paid to officers and employees of the qualified job training organization comply with s. 4958 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.
(3) A qualified job training organization that is certified must use the proceeds provided solely to encourage and provide economic development through capital construction, improvements, or the purchase of equipment that will result in expanded employment opportunities. Proceeds provided under this section for a qualified job training organization must result, within a 10-year period, in:
(a) The creation of at least 5,000 direct, new jobs.
(b) A minimum of 23,000 new clients served.
(c) The production of a minimum of $24 million in new sales tax revenues from increased sales.
(d) A minimum of $42 million in new salaries.
(e) A minimum of $6 million for job placement services.
(4) The failure to use the proceeds as required constitutes grounds for revoking certification.
History.s. 4, ch. 2006-55.
288.1162 Professional sports franchises; duties.
(1) The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall serve as the state agency for screening applicants for state funding under s. 212.20 and for certifying an applicant as a facility for a new or retained professional sports franchise.
(2) The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall develop rules for the receipt and processing of applications for funding under s. 212.20.
(3) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “New professional sports franchise” means a professional sports franchise that was not based in this state before April 1, 1987.
(b) “Retained professional sports franchise” means a professional sports franchise that has had a league-authorized location in this state on or before December 31, 1976, and has continuously remained at that location, and has never been located at a facility that has been previously certified under any provision of this section.
(4) Before certifying an applicant as a facility for a new or retained professional sports franchise, the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development must determine that:
(a) A “unit of local government” as defined in s. 218.369 is responsible for the construction, management, or operation of the professional sports franchise facility or holds title to the property on which the professional sports franchise facility is located.
(b) The applicant has a verified copy of a signed agreement with a new professional sports franchise for the use of the facility for a term of at least 10 years, or in the case of a retained professional sports franchise, an agreement for use of the facility for a term of at least 20 years.
(c) The applicant has a verified copy of the approval from the governing authority of the league in which the new professional sports franchise exists authorizing the location of the professional sports franchise in this state after April 1, 1987, or in the case of a retained professional sports franchise, verified evidence that it has had a league-authorized location in this state on or before December 31, 1976. As used in this section, the term “league” means the National League or the American League of Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, the National Football League, or the National Hockey League.
(d) The applicant has projections, verified by the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development, which demonstrate that the new or retained professional sports franchise will attract a paid attendance of more than 300,000 annually.
(e) The applicant has an independent analysis or study, verified by the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development, which demonstrates that the amount of the revenues generated by the taxes imposed under chapter 212 with respect to the use and operation of the professional sports franchise facility will equal or exceed $2 million annually.
(f) The municipality in which the facility for a new or retained professional sports franchise is located, or the county if the facility for a new or retained professional sports franchise is located in an unincorporated area, has certified by resolution after a public hearing that the application serves a public purpose.
(g) The applicant has demonstrated that it has provided, is capable of providing, or has financial or other commitments to provide more than one-half of the costs incurred or related to the improvement and development of the facility.
(h) An applicant previously certified under any provision of this section who has received funding under such certification is not eligible for an additional certification.
(5) An applicant certified as a facility for a new or retained professional sports franchise may use funds provided under s. 212.20 only for the public purpose of paying for the acquisition, construction, reconstruction, or renovation of a facility for a new or retained professional sports franchise to pay or pledge for the payment of debt service on, or to fund debt service reserve funds, arbitrage rebate obligations, or other amounts payable with respect to, bonds issued for the acquisition, construction, reconstruction, or renovation of such facility or for the reimbursement of such costs or the refinancing of bonds issued for such purposes.
(6)(a) The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall notify the Department of Revenue of any facility certified as a facility for a new or retained professional sports franchise. The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall certify no more than eight facilities as facilities for a new professional sports franchise or as facilities for a retained professional sports franchise, including in the total any facilities certified by the former Department of Commerce before July 1, 1996. The office may make no more than one certification for any facility.
(b) The eighth certification of an applicant under this section as a facility for a new or retained professional sports franchise shall be for a franchise that is a member of the National Basketball Association, has been located within the state since 1987, and has not been previously certified. This paragraph is repealed July 1, 2010.
(7) The Auditor General may conduct audits as provided in s. 11.45 to verify that the distributions under this section are expended as required in this section. If the Auditor General determines that the distributions under this section are not expended as required by this section, the Auditor General shall notify the Department of Revenue, which may pursue recovery of the funds under the laws and rules governing the assessment of taxes.
(8) An applicant is not qualified for certification under this section if the franchise formed the basis for a previous certification, unless the previous certification was withdrawn by the facility or invalidated by the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development or the former Department of Commerce before any funds were distributed under s. 212.20. This subsection does not disqualify an applicant if the previous certification occurred between May 23, 1993, and May 25, 1993; however, any funds to be distributed under s. 212.20 for the second certification shall be offset by the amount distributed to the previous certified facility. Distribution of funds for the second certification shall not be made until all amounts payable for the first certification are distributed.
History.s. 2, ch. 88-226; s. 3, ch. 89-217; s. 49, ch. 89-356; s. 3, ch. 91-274; s. 35, ch. 94-338; s. 2, ch. 95-304; s. 45, ch. 96-320; s. 32, ch. 97-99; s. 2, ch. 2000-186; s. 2, ch. 2006-262; s. 4, ch. 2010-140; s. 35, ch. 2010-147.
288.11621 Spring training baseball franchises.
(1) DEFINITIONS.As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Agreement” means a certified, signed lease between an applicant that applies for certification on or after July 1, 2010, and the spring training franchise for the use of a facility.
(b) “Applicant” means a unit of local government as defined in s. 218.369, including local governments located in the same county that have partnered with a certified applicant before the effective date of this section or with an applicant for a new certification, for purposes of sharing in the responsibilities of a facility.
(c) “Certified applicant” means a facility for a spring training franchise that was certified before July 1, 2010, under s. 288.1162(5), Florida Statutes 2009, or a unit of local government that is certified under this section.
(d) “Facility” means a spring training stadium, playing fields, and appurtenances intended to support spring training activities.
(e) “Local funds” and “local matching funds” mean funds provided by a county, municipality, or other local government.
(f) “Office” means the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development.
(2) CERTIFICATION PROCESS.
(a) Before certifying an applicant to receive state funding for a facility for a spring training franchise, the office must verify that:
1. The applicant is responsible for the acquisition, construction, management, or operation of the facility for a spring training franchise or holds title to the property on which the facility for a spring training franchise is located.
2. The applicant has a certified copy of a signed agreement with a spring training franchise for the use of the facility for a term of at least 20 years. The agreement also must require the franchise to reimburse the state for state funds expended by an applicant under this section if the franchise relocates before the agreement expires. The agreement may be contingent on an award of funds under this section and other conditions precedent.
3. The applicant has made a financial commitment to provide 50 percent or more of the funds required by an agreement for the acquisition, construction, or renovation of the facility for a spring training franchise. The commitment may be contingent upon an award of funds under this section and other conditions precedent.
4. The applicant demonstrates that the facility for a spring training franchise will attract a paid attendance of at least 50,000 annually to the spring training games.
5. The facility for a spring training franchise is located in a county that levies a tourist development tax under s. 125.0104.
(b) The office shall competitively evaluate applications for state funding of a facility for a spring training franchise. The total number of certifications may not exceed 10 at any time. The evaluation criteria must include, with priority given in descending order to, the following items:
1. The anticipated effect on the economy of the local community where the spring training facility is to be built, including projections on paid attendance, local and state tax collections generated by spring training games, and direct and indirect job creation resulting from the spring training activities. Priority shall be given to applicants who can demonstrate the largest projected economic impact.
2. The amount of the local matching funds committed to a facility relative to the amount of state funding sought, with priority given to applicants that commit the largest amount of local matching funds relative to the amount of state funding sought.
3. The potential for the facility to serve multiple uses.
4. The intended use of the funds by the applicant, with priority given to the funds being used to acquire a facility, construct a new facility, or renovate an existing facility.
5. The length of time that a spring training franchise has been under an agreement to conduct spring training activities within an applicant’s geographic location or jurisdiction, with priority given to applicants having agreements with the same franchise for the longest period of time.
6. The length of time that an applicant’s facility has been used by one or more spring training franchises, with priority given to applicants whose facilities have been in continuous use as facilities for spring training the longest.
7. The term remaining on a lease between an applicant and a spring training franchise for a facility, with priority given to applicants having the shortest lease terms remaining.
8. The length of time that a spring training franchise agrees to use an applicant’s facility if an application is granted under this section, with priority given to applicants having agreements for the longest future use.
9. The net increase of total active recreation space owned by the applicant after an acquisition of land for the facility, with priority given to applicants having the largest percentage increase of total active recreation space that will be available for public use.
10. The location of the facility in a brownfield, an enterprise zone, a community redevelopment area, or other area of targeted development or revitalization included in an urban infill redevelopment plan, with priority given to applicants having facilities located in these areas.
(c) Each applicant certified on or after July 1, 2010, shall enter into an agreement with the office that:
1. Specifies the amount of the state incentive funding to be distributed.
2. States the criteria that the certified applicant must meet in order to remain certified.
3. States that the certified applicant is subject to decertification if the certified applicant fails to comply with this section or the agreement.
4. States that the office may recover state incentive funds if the certified applicant is decertified.
5. Specifies information that the certified applicant must report to the office.
6. Includes any provision deemed prudent by the office.
(3) USE OF FUNDS.
(a) A certified applicant may use funds provided under s. 212.20(6)(d)6.b. only to:
1. Serve the public purpose of acquiring, constructing, reconstructing, or renovating a facility for a spring training franchise.
2. Pay or pledge for the payment of debt service on, or to fund debt service reserve funds, arbitrage rebate obligations, or other amounts payable with respect thereto, bonds issued for the acquisition, construction, reconstruction, or renovation of such facility, or for the reimbursement of such costs or the refinancing of bonds issued for such purposes.
3. Assist in the relocation of a spring training franchise from one unit of local government to another only if the governing board of the current host local government by a majority vote agrees to relocation.
(b) State funds awarded to a certified applicant for a facility for a spring training franchise may not be used to subsidize facilities that are privately owned, maintained, and used only by a spring training franchise.
(c) The Department of Revenue may not distribute funds to an applicant certified on or after July 1, 2010, until it receives notice from the office that the certified applicant has encumbered funds under subparagraph (a)2.
(d)1. All certified applicants must place unexpended state funds received pursuant to s. 212.20(6)(d)6.b. in a trust fund or separate account for use only as authorized in this section.
2. A certified applicant may request that the Department of Revenue suspend further distributions of state funds made available under s. 212.20(6)(d)6.b. for 12 months after expiration of an existing agreement with a spring training franchise to provide the certified applicant with an opportunity to enter into a new agreement with a spring training franchise, at which time the distributions shall resume.
3. The expenditure of state funds distributed to an applicant certified before July 1, 2010, must begin within 48 months after the initial receipt of the state funds. In addition, the construction of, or capital improvements to, a spring training facility must be completed within 24 months after the project’s commencement.
(4) ANNUAL REPORTS.On or before September 1 of each year, a certified applicant shall submit to the office a report that includes, but is not limited to:
(a) A copy of its most recent annual audit.
(b) A detailed report on all local and state funds expended to date on the project being financed under this section.
(c) A copy of the contract between the certified local governmental entity and the spring training team.
(d) A cost-benefit analysis of the team’s impact on the community.
(e) Evidence that the certified applicant continues to meet the criteria in effect when the applicant was certified.
(5) DECERTIFICATION.
(a) The office shall decertify a certified applicant upon the request of the certified applicant.
(b) The office shall decertify a certified applicant if the certified applicant does not:
1. Have a valid agreement with a spring training franchise; or
2. Satisfy its commitment to provide local matching funds to the facility.

However, decertification proceedings against a local government certified before July 1, 2010, shall be delayed until 12 months after the expiration of the local government’s existing agreement with a spring training franchise, and without a new agreement being signed, if the certified local government can demonstrate to the office that it is in active negotiations with a major league spring training franchise, other than the franchise that was the basis for the original certification.

(c) A certified applicant has 60 days after it receives a notice of intent to decertify from the office to petition the office’s director for review of the decertification. Within 45 days after receipt of the request for review, the director must notify a certified applicant of the outcome of the review.
(d) The office shall notify the Department of Revenue that a certified applicant is decertified within 10 days after the order of decertification becomes final. The Department of Revenue shall immediately stop the payment of any funds under this section that were not encumbered by the certified applicant under subparagraph (3)(a)2.
(e) The office shall order a decertified applicant to repay all of the unencumbered state funds that the local government received under this section and any interest that accrued on those funds. The repayment must be made within 60 days after the decertification order becomes final. These funds shall be deposited into the General Revenue Fund.
(f) A local government as defined in s. 218.369 may not be decertified if it has paid or pledged for the payment of debt service on, or to fund debt service reserve funds, arbitrage rebate obligations, or other amounts payable with respect thereto, bonds issued for the acquisition, construction, reconstruction, or renovation of the facility for which the local government was certified, or for the reimbursement of such costs or the refinancing of bonds issued for the acquisition, construction, reconstruction, or renovation of the facility for which the local government was certified, or for the reimbursement of such costs or the refinancing of bonds issued for such purpose. This subsection does not preclude or restrict the ability of a certified local government to refinance, refund, or defease such bonds.
(6) ADDITIONAL CERTIFICATIONS.If the office decertifies a unit of local government, the office may accept applications for an additional certification. A unit of local government may not be certified for more than one spring training franchise at any time.
(7) STRATEGIC PLANNING.
(a) The office shall request assistance from the Florida Sports Foundation and the Florida Grapefruit League Association to develop a comprehensive strategic plan to:
1. Finance spring training facilities.
2. Monitor and oversee the use of state funds awarded to applicants.
3. Identify the financial impact that spring training has on the state and ways in which to maintain or improve that impact.
4. Identify opportunities to develop public-private partnerships to engage in marketing activities and advertise spring training baseball.
5. Identify efforts made by other states to maintain or develop partnerships with baseball spring training teams.
6. Develop recommendations for the Legislature to sustain or improve this state’s spring training tradition.
(b) The office shall submit a copy of the strategic plan to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives by December 31, 2010.
(8) RULEMAKING.The office shall adopt rules to implement the certification, decertification, and decertification review processes required by this section.
(9) AUDITS.The Auditor General may conduct audits as provided in s. 11.45 to verify that the distributions under this section are expended as required in this section. If the Auditor General determines that the distributions under this section are not expended as required by this section, the Auditor General shall notify the Department of Revenue, which may pursue recovery of the funds under the laws and rules governing the assessment of taxes.
History.s. 5, ch. 2010-140; s. 36, ch. 2010-147
288.1166 Professional sports facility; designation as shelter site for the homeless; establishment of local programs.Any professional sports facility constructed with financial assistance from the State of Florida shall be designated as a shelter site for the homeless in accordance with the criteria of locally existing homeless shelter programs, except when the facility is otherwise contractually obligated for a specific event or activity. Should a local program not be in existence in the facility’s area, such program shall be established in accordance with normally accepted criteria as defined by the county or its designee.
History.s. 8, ch. 88-226.
288.1167 Sports franchise contract provisions for food and beverage concession and contract awards to minority business enterprises.Any applicant who receives funding pursuant to the provisions of s. 212.20 must demonstrate that:
(1) Funds and facilities with respect to food and beverage and related concessions shall be awarded to minority business enterprises as defined in s. 288.703 on the same terms and conditions as the general food and beverage concessionaire and in accordance with the minority business enterprise procurement goals set forth in s. 287.09451;
(2) At least 15 percent of a company contracted to manage a professional sports franchise facility or a spring training franchise facility is owned by minority business enterprises or by a minority person as those terms are defined in s. 288.703; or
(3) At least 15 percent of all operational service contracts with a professional sports franchise facility or a spring training franchise facility are awarded to minority business enterprises or to a minority person as those terms are defined in s. 288.703.
History.s. 10, ch. 88-226; s. 13, ch. 91-162; s. 4, ch. 91-274; s. 20, ch. 94-322; s. 61, ch. 2001-61.
288.1168 Professional golf hall of fame facility.
(1) The 1Department of Commerce shall serve as the state agency for screening applicants for state funding pursuant to s. 212.20 and for certifying one applicant as the professional golf hall of fame facility in the state.
(2) Prior to certifying the professional golf hall of fame facility, the 1Department of Commerce must determine that:
(a) The professional golf hall of fame facility is the only professional golf hall of fame in the United States recognized by the PGA Tour, Inc.
(b) The applicant is a unit of local government as defined in s. 218.369 or a private sector group that has contracted to construct or operate the professional golf hall of fame facility on land owned by a unit of local government.
(c) The municipality in which the professional golf hall of fame facility is located, or the county if the facility is located in an unincorporated area, has certified by resolution after a public hearing that the application serves a public purpose.
(d) There are existing projections that the professional golf hall of fame facility will attract a paid attendance of more than 300,000 annually.
(e) There is an independent analysis or study, using methodology approved by the 1department, which demonstrates that the amount of the revenues generated by the taxes imposed under chapter 212 with respect to the use and operation of the professional golf hall of fame facility will equal or exceed $2 million annually.
(f) The applicant has submitted an agreement to provide $2 million annually in national and international media promotion of the professional golf hall of fame facility, Florida, and Florida tourism, through the PGA Tour, Inc., or its affiliates, at the then-current commercial rate, during the period of time that the facility receives funds pursuant to s. 212.20. The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development and the PGA Tour, Inc., or its affiliates, must agree annually on a reasonable percentage of advertising specifically allocated for generic Florida advertising. The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall have final approval of all generic advertising. Failure on the part of the PGA Tour, Inc., or its affiliates to annually provide the advertising as provided in this paragraph or subsection (6) shall result in the termination of funding as provided in s. 212.20.
(g) Documentation exists that demonstrates that the applicant has provided, is capable of providing, or has financial or other commitments to provide more than one-half of the costs incurred or related to the improvement and development of the facility.
(h) The application is signed by an official senior executive of the applicant and is notarized according to Florida law providing for penalties for falsification.
(3) The applicant may use funds provided pursuant to s. 212.20 for the public purpose of paying for the construction, reconstruction, renovation, or operation of the professional golf hall of fame facility, or to pay or pledge for payment of debt service on, or to fund debt service reserve funds, arbitrage rebate obligations, or other amounts payable with respect to, bonds issued for the construction, reconstruction, or renovation of the facility or for the reimbursement of such costs or the refinancing of bonds issued for such purpose.
(4) Upon determining that an applicant is or is not certifiable, the Secretary of 1Commerce shall notify the applicant of his or her status by means of an official letter. If certifiable, the 2secretary shall notify the executive director of the Department of Revenue and the applicant of such certification by means of an official letter granting certification. From the date of such certification, the applicant shall have 5 years to open the professional golf hall of fame facility to the public and notify the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development of such opening. The Department of Revenue shall not begin distributing funds until 30 days following notice by the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development that the professional golf hall of fame facility is open to the public.
(5) The Department of Revenue may audit as provided in s. 213.34 to verify that the distributions under this section have been expended as required by this section.
(6) The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development must recertify every 10 years that the facility is open, continues to be the only professional golf hall of fame in the United States recognized by the PGA Tour, Inc., and is meeting the minimum projections for attendance or sales tax revenue as required at the time of original certification. If the facility is not certified as meeting the minimum projections, the PGA Tour, Inc., shall increase its required advertising contribution of $2 million annually to $2.5 million annually in lieu of reduction of any funds as provided by s. 212.20. The additional $500,000 must be allocated in its entirety for the use and promotion of generic Florida advertising as determined by the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development. If the facility is not open to the public or is no longer in use as the only professional golf hall of fame in the United States recognized by the PGA Tour, Inc., the entire $2.5 million for advertising must be used for generic Florida advertising as determined by the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development.
History.s. 2, ch. 93-233; s. 221, ch. 95-148; s. 34, ch. 95-196; s. 5, ch. 95-420; s. 4, ch. 96-221; s. 46, ch. 96-320; s. 137, ch. 96-406; s. 33, ch. 97-99.
1Note.Section 20.17, which created the Department of Commerce, was repealed effective December 31, 1996, by s. 3, ch. 96-320.
2Note.Secretary of Commerce. Section 20.17, which created the Department of Commerce, was repealed effective December 31, 1996, by s. 3, ch. 96-320.
288.1169 International Game Fish Association World Center facility.
(1) The 1Department of Commerce shall serve as the state agency approving applicants for funding pursuant to s. 212.20 and for certifying the applicant as the International Game Fish Association World Center facility. For purposes of this section, “facility” means the International Game Fish Association World Center, and “project” means the International Game Fish Association World Center and new colocated improvements by private sector concerns who have made cash or in-kind contributions to the facility of $1 million or more.
(2) Prior to certifying this facility, the 1department must determine that:
(a) The International Game Fish Association World Center is the only fishing museum, Hall of Fame, and international administrative headquarters in the United States recognized by the International Game Fish Association, and that one or more private sector concerns have committed to donate to the International Game Fish Association land upon which the International Game Fish Association World Center will operate.
(b) International Game Fish Association is a not-for-profit Florida corporation that has contracted to construct and operate the facility.
(c) The municipality in which the facility is located, or the county if the facility is located in an unincorporated area, has certified by resolution after a public hearing that the facility serves a public purpose.
(d) There are existing projections that the International Game Fish Association World Center facility and the colocated facilities of private sector concerns will attract an attendance of more than 1.8 million annually.
(e) There is an independent analysis or study, using methodology approved by the 1department, which demonstrates that the amount of the revenues generated by the taxes imposed under chapter 212 with respect to the use and operation of the project will exceed $1 million annually.
(f) There are existing projections that the project will attract more than 300,000 persons annually who are not residents of the state.
(g) The applicant has submitted an agreement to provide $500,000 annually in national and international media promotion of the facility, at the then-current commercial rates, during the period of time that the facility receives funds pursuant to s. 212.20. Failure on the part of the applicant to annually provide the advertising as provided in this paragraph shall result in the termination of the funding as provided in s. 212.20. The applicant can discharge its obligation under this paragraph by contracting with other persons, including private sector concerns who participate in the project.
(h) Documentation exists that demonstrates that the applicant has provided, and is capable of providing, or has financial or other commitments to provide, more than one-half of the cost incurred or related to the improvements and the development of the facility.
(i) The application is signed by senior officials of the International Game Fish Association and is notarized according to Florida law providing for penalties for falsification.
(3) The applicant may use funds provided pursuant to s. 212.20 for the purpose of paying for the construction, reconstruction, renovation, promotion, or operation of the facility, or to pay or pledge for payment of debt service on, or to fund debt service reserve funds, arbitrage rebate obligations, or other amounts payable with respect to, bonds issued for the construction, reconstruction, or renovation of the facility or for the reimbursement of such costs or by refinancing of bonds issued for such purposes.
(4) Upon determining that an applicant is or is not certifiable, the 1Department of Commerce shall notify the applicant of its status by means of an official letter. If certifiable, the 1Department of Commerce shall notify the executive director of the Department of Revenue and the applicant of such certification by means of an official letter granting certification. From the date of such certification, the applicant shall have 5 years to open the facility to the public and notify the 1Department of Commerce of such opening. The Department of Revenue shall not begin distributing funds until 30 days following notice by the 1Department of Commerce that the facility is open to the public.
(5) The Department of Revenue may audit as provided in s. 213.34 to verify that the contributions pursuant to this section have been expended as required by this section.
(6) The 1Department of Commerce must recertify every 10 years that the facility is open, that the International Game Fish Association World Center continues to be the only international administrative headquarters, fishing museum, and Hall of Fame in the United States recognized by the International Game Fish Association, and that the project is meeting the minimum projections for attendance or sales tax revenues as required at the time of original certification. If the facility is not recertified during this 10-year review as meeting the minimum projections, then funding shall be abated until certification criteria are met. If the project fails to generate $1 million of annual revenues pursuant to paragraph (2)(e), the distribution of revenues pursuant to s. 212.20(6)(d)6.d. shall be reduced to an amount equal to $83,333 multiplied by a fraction, the numerator of which is the actual revenues generated and the denominator of which is $1 million. Such reduction remains in effect until revenues generated by the project in a 12-month period equal or exceed $1 million.
History.s. 2, ch. 96-415; s. 66, ch. 99-13; s. 12, ch. 2000-173; s. 4, ch. 2000-206; s. 30, ch. 2000-355; s. 62, ch. 2001-61; s. 32, ch. 2001-140; s. 9, ch. 2009-68; s. 53, ch. 2010-5.
1Note.Section 20.17, which created the Department of Commerce, was repealed effective December 31, 1996, by s. 3, ch. 96-320.
288.1171 Motorsports entertainment complex; definitions; certification; duties.
(1) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Applicant” means the owner of a motorsports entertainment complex.
(b) “Motorsports entertainment complex” means a closed-course racing facility.
(c) “Motorsports event” means a motorsports race that has been sanctioned by a sanctioning body.
(d) “Office” means the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development of the Executive Office of the Governor.
(e) “Owner” means a unit of local government which owns a motorsports entertainment complex or owns the land on which the motorsports entertainment complex is located.
(f) “Sanctioning body” means the American Motorcycle Association (AMA), Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART), Grand American Road Racing Association (Grand Am), Indy Racing League (IRL), National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR), National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), Professional Sportscar Racing (PSR), Sports Car Club of America (SCCA), United States Auto Club (USAC), or any successor organization, or any other nationally recognized governing body of motorsports which establishes an annual schedule of motorsports events and grants rights to conduct such events, has established and administers rules and regulations governing all participants involved in such events and all persons conducting such events, and requires certain liability assurances, including insurance.
(g) “Unit of local government” has the meaning ascribed in s. 218.369.
(2) The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall serve as the state agency for screening applicants for local option funding under s. 218.64(3) and for certifying an applicant as a motorsports entertainment complex. The office shall develop and adopt rules for the receipt and processing of applications for funding under s. 218.64(3). The office shall make a determination regarding any application filed by an applicant not later than 120 days after the application is filed.
(3) Before certifying an applicant as a motorsports entertainment complex, the office must determine that:
(a) A unit of local government holds title to the land on which the motorsports entertainment complex is located or holds title to the motorsports entertainment complex.
(b) The municipality in which the motorsports entertainment complex is located, or the county if the motorsports entertainment complex is located in an unincorporated area, has certified by resolution after a public hearing that the application serves a public purpose.
(4) Upon determining that an applicant meets the requirements of subsection (3), the office shall notify the applicant and the executive director of the Department of Revenue of such certification by means of an official letter granting certification. If the applicant fails to meet the certification requirements of subsection (3), the office shall notify the applicant not later than 10 days following such determination.
(5) A motorsports entertainment complex that has been previously certified under this section and has received funding under such certification is ineligible for any additional certification.
(6) An applicant certified as a motorsports entertainment complex may use funds provided pursuant to s. 218.64(3) only for the following public purposes:
(a) Paying for the construction, reconstruction, expansion, or renovation of a motorsports entertainment complex.
(b) Paying debt service reserve funds, arbitrage rebate obligations, or other amounts payable with respect to bonds issued for the construction, reconstruction, expansion, or renovation of the motorsports entertainment complex or for the reimbursement of such costs or the refinancing of bonds issued for such purposes.
(c) Paying for construction, reconstruction, expansion, or renovation of transportation or other infrastructure improvements related to, necessary for, or appurtenant to the motorsports entertainment complex, including, without limitation, paying debt service reserve funds, arbitrage rebate obligations, or other amounts payable with respect to bonds issued for the construction, reconstruction, expansion, or renovation of such transportation or other infrastructure improvements, and for the reimbursement of such costs or the refinancing of bonds issued for such purposes.
(d) Paying for programs of advertising and promotion of or related to the motorsports entertainment complex or the municipality in which the motorsports entertainment complex is located, or the county if the motorsports entertainment complex is located in an unincorporated area, if such programs of advertising and promotion are designed to increase paid attendance at the motorsports entertainment complex or increase tourism in or promote the economic development of the community in which the motorsports entertainment complex is located.
(7) The Department of Revenue may audit, as provided in s. 213.34, to verify that the distributions pursuant to this section have been expended as required in this section. Such information is subject to the confidentiality requirements of chapter 213. If the Department of Revenue determines that the distributions pursuant to certification under this section have not been expended as required by this section, it may pursue recovery of such funds pursuant to the laws and rules governing the assessment of taxes.
History.s. 5, ch. 2006-262.
288.1175 Agriculture education and promotion facility.
(1) The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall serve as the state agency for screening applicants for state funding pursuant to this section and for certifying an applicant as a qualified agriculture education and promotion facility as defined in subsection (3).
(2) The department shall develop rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 for the receipt and processing of applications for funding of projects pursuant to this section.
(3) As used in this section, the term “agriculture education and promotion facility” means an exhibition hall, arena, civic center, exposition center, or other capital project or facility which can be used for exhibitions, demonstrations, trade shows, classrooms, civic events, and other purposes that promote agriculture, horticulture, livestock, equestrian, and other resources of the state and educate the residents as to these resources.
(4) The department shall certify a facility as an agriculture education and promotion facility if the department determines that:
(a) The applicant is a unit of local government as defined in s. 218.369, or a fair association as defined in s. 616.001(9), which is responsible for the planning, design, permitting, construction, renovation, management, and operation of the agriculture education and promotion facility or holds title to the property on which such facility is to be developed and located.
(b) The applicant has projections, verified by the department, which demonstrate that the agriculture education and promotion facility will serve more than 25,000 visitors annually.
(c) The municipality in which the facility is located, or the county if the facility is located in an unincorporated area, has certified by resolution after a public hearing that the proposed agriculture education and promotion facility serves a public purpose.
(d) The applicant has demonstrated that it has provided, is capable of providing, or has financial or other commitments to provide more than 40 percent of the costs incurred or related to the planning, design, permitting, construction, or renovation of the facility. The applicant may include the value of the land and any improvements thereon in determining its contribution to the development of the facility.
(5) The department shall competitively evaluate applications for funding of an agriculture education and promotion facility. If the number of applicants exceeds three, the department shall rank the applications based upon criteria developed by the department, with priority given in descending order to the following items:
(a) The intended use of the funds by the applicant, with priority given to the construction of a new facility.
(b) The amount of local match, with priority given to the largest percentage of local match proposed.
(c) The location of the facility in a brownfield site as defined in s. 376.79(3), a rural enterprise zone as defined in s. 290.004(6), an agriculturally depressed area as defined in s. 570.242(1), a redevelopment area established pursuant to s. 373.461(5)(g), or a county that has lost its agricultural land to environmental restoration projects.
(d) The net increase, as a result of the facility, of total available exhibition, arena, or civic center space within the jurisdictional limits of the local government in which the facility is to be located, with priority given to the largest percentage increase of total exhibition, arena, or civic center space.
(e) The historic record of the applicant in promoting agriculture and educating the public about agriculture, including, without limitation, awards, premiums, scholarships, auctions, and other such activities.
(f) The highest projection on paid attendance attracted by the agriculture education and promotion facility and the proposed economic impact on the local community.
(g) The location of the facility with respect to an Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) facility, with priority given to facilities closer in proximity to an IFAS facility.
(6) Funds may not be expended to develop or subsidize privately owned facilities, except for facilities owned by fair associations as defined in s. 616.001(9).
(7) An applicant may use funds provided pursuant to this section only for the public purpose of paying for the planning, design, permitting, construction, or renovation of an agriculture education and promotion facility or to pay or pledge for the payment of debt service on, or to fund debt service reserve funds, arbitrage rebate obligations, or other amounts payable with respect to, bonds issued for the planning, design, permitting, construction, or renovation of such facility or for the reimbursement of such costs or the refinancing of bonds issued for such purposes.
(8) Applications must be submitted by October 1 of each year. The department may not recommend funding for less than the requested amount to any applicant certified as an agriculture education and promotion facility; however, funding of certified applicants shall be subject to the amount provided by the Legislature in the General Appropriations Act for this program.
History.s. 1, ch. 2002-301; s. 27, ch. 2005-287.
288.122 Tourism Promotional Trust Fund.There is created within the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development of the Executive Office of the Governor the Tourism Promotional Trust Fund. Moneys deposited in the Tourism Promotional Trust Fund shall only be used to support the authorized activities and operations of the Florida Commission on Tourism, and to support tourism promotion and marketing activities, services, functions, and programs administered by the Florida Commission on Tourism through a contract with the commission’s direct-support organization created under s. 288.1226.
History.s. 1, ch. 80-234; s. 12, ch. 88-201; s. 8, ch. 91-218; s. 23, ch. 95-430; s. 48, ch. 96-320.
Note.Former s. 288.342.
288.1221 Legislative intent.
(1) It is the intent of the Legislature to establish a public-private partnership to provide policy direction to and technical expertise in the promotion and marketing of the state’s tourism attributes. The Legislature further intends to authorize this partnership to recommend the tenets of an industry standard 4-year marketing plan for an annual marketing plan for tourism promotion and recommend a comparable organizational structure to carry out such a plan. The Legislature intends to have such a plan funded by that portion of the rental car surcharge annually dedicated to the Tourism Promotional Trust Fund, pursuant to s. 212.0606, and by the tourism industry.
(2) Further, it is the intent of the Legislature to mobilize all the available resources of Florida’s vital tourism industry in a state-sponsored public-private partnership to promote and enhance Florida tourism. The state’s consistent, clearly articulated, and long-standing policy has been to promote collective action by state and local government authorities and the various representatives of the tourist industry to upgrade the image of Florida as a quality destination and to assure, to the maximum extent possible, that the benefits of such collective action are extended equitably throughout the state. To carry out the implementation of this policy, the Legislature finds that it is in the public interest to maintain the Florida Commission on Tourism under the aegis of the Executive Office of the Governor to focus and provide state supervision of ongoing collective action to promote Florida tourism. The Legislature further finds that it is in the public interest for activities in promotion and support of Florida tourism to be carried out by a private sector, direct-support organization created expressly for such purpose as the Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation. By creating this public-private partnership, it is the intent of the Legislature to coordinate existing private and public-funded tourism promotional activities in a cost-effective manner to avoid waste and duplication in these activities while achieving the maximum public benefit from all expenditures that directly and indirectly support Florida tourism.
History.s. 1, ch. 92-299; s. 49, ch. 96-320; s. 40, ch. 97-100; s. 14, ch. 99-251.
288.1222 Definitions.For the purposes of ss. 288.017, 288.122-288.1226, and 288.124, the term:
(1) “Tourism promotion” means any marketing efforts exercised to attract domestic and international visitors from outside the state to destinations in Florida and to stimulate Florida resident tourism to areas within the state.
(2) “Tourist” means any person who participates in trade or recreation activities outside the county of his or her permanent residence or who rents or leases transient living quarters or accommodations as described in s. 125.0104(3)(a).
(3) “Commission” means the Florida Commission on Tourism.
(4) “County destination marketing organization” means a public or private agency that is funded by local option tourist development tax revenues under s. 125.0104, or local option convention development tax revenues under s. 212.0305, and is officially designated by a county commission to market and promote the area for tourism or convention business or, in any county which has not levied such taxes, a public or private agency that is officially designated by the county commission to market and promote the area for tourism or convention business.
(5) “Direct-support organization” means the Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation.
History.s. 2, ch. 92-299; s. 50, ch. 96-320; s. 15, ch. 99-251; s. 5, ch. 2003-5.
288.1223 Florida Commission on Tourism; creation; purpose; membership.
(1) There is created within the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development the Florida Commission on Tourism. The purpose of the commission is to oversee this state’s efforts to increase the positive impact of tourism, including increased employment for state citizens, to all sectors of the economy through effective marketing activities; to continually upgrade the image of Florida as a quality destination; to promote tourism objectives with all geographic, socioeconomic, and community sectors considered equitably; and to judge its efforts by the same standards of accountability and integrity as those used by successful, respected private sector businesses.
(2)(a) The commission shall consist of 17 general tourism-industry-related members appointed by the Governor, subject to confirmation by the Senate, and 15 additional tourism-industry-related members, appointed by the Governor, including 3 representatives from the statewide rental car industry, 5 representatives from tourist-related statewide associations, including those that represent hotels, campgrounds, county destination marketing organizations, restaurants, and attractions, 2 representatives from county destination marketing organizations, 1 representative from the cruise industry, 1 representative from an automobile and travel services membership organization that has at least 2.8 million members in Florida, 1 representative from the airline industry, 1 representative from the youth travel industry, and 1 representative from the space tourism industry, who will each serve for a term of 2 years, the Governor, and 2 additional ex officio members, who will serve for a term of 2 years, including a member of the Senate appointed by the President of the Senate and a member of the House of Representatives appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
(b) When making the 17 general tourism-industry-related appointments to the commission, the Governor shall appoint persons who are residents of the state, recognized tourism leaders, including, but not limited to, representatives of tourist development councils, convention and visitor bureaus, and associations, and chairs of the board, presidents, chief executive officers, chief operating officers, or persons of comparable executive level or influence of leading or otherwise important tourism industries. Consideration shall be given to appointing members who represent those tourist-related lodging, retail, attraction, and transportation industries which contribute significantly to the promotion of Florida as a tourist destination from their private budgets and publicly through their voluntary tourism promotion investment contributions. Minority persons, as defined in s. 288.703, shall be included in the appointments to the commission and to any advisory committee appointed by the commission, so that the commission and advisory committees are broadly representative of the population of Florida. In addition, members shall be appointed in such a manner as to equitably represent all geographic areas of the state, with no fewer than two and no more than four members from any of the following regions:
1. Region 1, composed of Bay, Calhoun, Escambia, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Wakulla, Walton, and Washington Counties.
2. Region 2, composed of Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Clay, Columbia, Dixie, Duval, Flagler, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Lafayette, Levy, Madison, Marion, Nassau, Putnam, St. Johns, Suwannee, Taylor, and Union Counties.
3. Region 3, composed of Brevard, Indian River, Lake, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, St. Lucie, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia Counties.
4. Region 4, composed of Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, and Sarasota Counties.
5. Region 5, composed of Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, and Lee Counties.
6. Region 6, composed of Broward, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, and Palm Beach Counties.

No more than one member may be an employee of any one company, organization, council, or bureau.

(c) Initially, of the 17 general tourism-industry-related members, the Governor shall appoint 7 members for terms of 4 years, 5 members for terms of 2 years, and 5 members for terms of 1 year. Thereafter, after receiving recommendations from the Florida Commission on Tourism, the Governor shall appoint all members for terms of 4 years. Any vacancy shall be filled for the unexpired portion of the term by a person possessing the proper qualifications and shall reflect the proper balance of representation described in paragraph (b).
(d) General tourism-industry-related members shall be limited to two 4-year full consecutive terms. This limitation applies to terms begun after June 30, 1996.
(e) The commission shall meet at least quarterly. A majority of the members shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of conducting business.
(f) The Governor shall serve as chair of the commission. The commission shall annually elect one of its tourism-industry-related members as vice chair, who shall preside in the absence of the chair.
(g) The commission may appoint advisory committees, representing each of the six regions named in this section, and any other advisory committees the commission deems appropriate, which may include members from outside the commission to study special problems or issues and advise the commission on those subjects. The commission may also establish an executive committee comprised of nine members recommended by the vice chair and appointed by the chair. The operating procedures of such committees shall be established by the commission.
(h) The members of the commission shall serve without compensation but will be entitled to per diem and travel expenses pursuant to s. 112.061 while in the performance of their duties.
(i) Each member of the commission who is not otherwise required to file financial disclosure pursuant to s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution or s. 112.3144 shall file disclosure of financial interests pursuant to s. 112.3145.
History.s. 3, ch. 92-299; s. 223, ch. 95-148; s. 51, ch. 96-320; s. 16, ch. 99-251; s. 43, ch. 2000-158; s. 5, ch. 2000-208; s. 1, ch. 2004-274; s. 1, ch. 2005-113; s. 55, ch. 2008-4.
288.1224 Powers and duties.The commission:
(1) Notwithstanding the provisions of part I of chapter 287, upon the approval of the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development, shall contract with a direct-support organization incorporated as a private, not-for-profit corporation, as defined in s. 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, to execute the tourism marketing and promotion services, functions, and programs for this state including, but not limited to, the activities prescribed by the 4-year marketing plan. The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall review such contract in an expedient manner and shall timely make any recommendations so as to allow for the date of the contract to be met. The commission shall serve as contract administrator.
(2) Shall advise the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development and the direct-support organization regarding the domestic and international tourism promotion programs for this state.
(3) Shall be responsible for the prudent use of all public and private funds and shall ensure that the use of such funds is in accordance with all applicable laws, bylaws, and contractual requirements.
(4)(a) Shall recommend the tenets of a 4-year marketing plan to sustain tourism growth, which plan shall be annual in construction and ongoing in nature. Any annual revisions of such a plan shall carry forward the concepts of the remaining 3-year portion of that plan and consider a continuum portion to preserve the 4-year timeframe of the plan.
(b) The plan shall include an emergency response component and research designs.
(c) The plan shall include provisions for the direct-support organization to reach the targeted one-to-one match of private to public contributions within a period of 4 calendar years after the implementation date of the plan. For the purposes of calculating the required one-to-one match, matching private funds shall be divided into four categories. The first category is direct cash contributions, which include, but are not limited to, cash derived from strategic alliances, contributions of stocks and bonds, and partnership contributions. The second category is fees for services, which include, but are not limited to, event participation, research, and brochure placement and transparencies. The third category is cooperative advertising, which is the value based on cost of contributed productions, air time, and print space. The fourth category is in-kind contributions, which include, but are not limited to, the value of strategic alliance services contributed, the value of loaned employees, discounted service fees, items contributed for use in promotions, and radio or television air time or print space for promotions. The value of air time or print space shall be calculated by taking the actual time or space and multiplying by the nonnegotiated unit price for that specific time or space which is known as the media equivalency value. In order to avoid duplication in determining media equivalency value, only the value of the promotion itself shall be included; the value of the items contributed for the promotion shall not be included. Documentation for the components of the four categories of private match shall be kept on file for inspection as determined necessary.
(d) The plan shall include recommendations regarding specific performance standards and measurable outcomes for the commission and its direct-support organization. The commission, in consultation with the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability, shall develop a plan for monitoring its operations to ensure that performance data are maintained and supported by records of the organization.
(5) Shall develop an operational structure to carry out the marketing plan recommended by the commission pursuant to this section.
(6) May appear on its own behalf before boards, commissions, departments, or other agencies of municipal, county, state, or federal government.
(7) In the performance of its duties, may undertake or commission marketing research and advertising research studies.
(a) The identity of any person who responds to a marketing or advertising research project conducted pursuant to this subsection, and trade secrets, as defined by s. 812.081, obtained pursuant to such research, are confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.
(b) Any person who violates the provisions of this subsection commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(8) Shall develop a budget, in conjunction with the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development, and in keeping with the commission’s 4-year marketing plan, for the operation and activities of the commission and for the provision of tourism promotion programs, services, and functions through a contract with a direct-support organization created for such purposes. The budget shall be submitted to the Governor.
(9) Is authorized to establish and operate tourism offices in foreign countries in the execution of its responsibilities for promoting the development of tourism. To facilitate the performance of these responsibilities, the commission is authorized to contract with the commission’s direct-support organization to establish and administer such offices. Where feasible, appropriate, and recommended by the 4-year marketing plan, the commission may collocate the programs of foreign tourism offices in cooperation with any foreign office operated by any agency of this state.
(a) The commission, or its direct-support organization, may enter into agreements necessary to establish and operate an office in a foreign country containing provisions which may be in conflict with general laws of the state pertaining to the purchase of office space, employment of personnel, and contracts for services. When agreements pursuant to this section are made which set compensation in foreign currency, such agreements shall be subject to the requirements of s. 215.425, but the purchase of foreign currency by the commission, or its direct-support organization, to meet such obligations shall be subject only to s. 216.311.
(b) The Florida Commission on Tourism, or its direct-support organization, in connection with the establishment, operation, and management of any of its tourism offices located in a foreign country, is exempt from the provisions of ss. 255.21, 255.25, and 255.254 relating to leasing of buildings; ss. 283.33 and 283.35 relating to bids for printing; ss. 287.001-287.20 relating to purchasing and motor vehicles; and ss. 282.003-282.0056 and 282.702-282.7101 relating to communications, and from all statutory provisions relating to state employment, if the laws, administrative code, or business practices or customs of the foreign country, or political or administrative subdivision thereof, in which such office is located are in conflict with these provisions.
(10) Shall receive staff support from the Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation and shall not employ any additional staff. The president and chief executive officer of the Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation shall serve without compensation as the executive director of the commission. As executive director, he or she shall have the authority to conduct any official business of the commission, as authorized by the commission.
(11) Shall incorporate nature-based tourism and heritage tourism components into its comprehensive tourism marketing plan for the state, including, but not limited to:
(a) Promoting travel experiences that combine visits to commercial destinations in the state with visits to nature-based or heritage-based sites in the state;
(b) Promoting travel experiences that combine visits to multiple nature-based or heritage-based sites within a region or within two or more regions in the state;
(c) Assisting local and regional tourism organizations in incorporating nature-based tourism and heritage tourism components into local marketing plans and in establishing cooperative local or regional advisory committees on nature-based tourism and heritage tourism;
(d) Working with local and regional tourism organizations to identify nature-based tourism and heritage tourism sites, including identifying private sector businesses engaged in activities supporting or related to nature-based tourism and heritage tourism; and
(e) Providing guidance to local and regional economic development organizations on the identification, enhancement, and promotion of nature-based tourism and heritage tourism assets as a component of the overall job-creating efforts of such organizations.

The marketing plan shall include specific provisions for directing tourism promotion resources toward promotion and development of nature-based tourism and heritage tourism. The marketing plan shall also include provisions specifically addressing promotion and development of nature-based tourism and heritage tourism in rural communities in the state.

(12) Shall advise and cooperate with Space Florida regarding space tourism marketing, when appropriate and beneficial.
History.s. 4, ch. 92-299; s. 2, ch. 95-368; s. 52, ch. 96-320; s. 139, ch. 96-406; s. 4, ch. 96-418; s. 28, ch. 99-247; s. 17, ch. 99-251; s. 6, ch. 2000-159; s. 6, ch. 2000-208; s. 26, ch. 2005-2; s. 2, ch. 2005-113; s. 63, ch. 2006-60; s. 54, ch. 2010-5.
288.1226 Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation; use of property; board of directors; duties; audit.
(1) DEFINITIONS.For the purposes of this section, the term “corporation” means the Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation.
(2) ESTABLISHMENT.The Florida Commission on Tourism shall establish, no later than July 31, 1996, the Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation as a direct-support organization:
(a) Which is a corporation not for profit, as defined in s. 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, that is incorporated under the provisions of chapter 617 and approved by the Department of State.
(b) Which is organized and operated exclusively to request, receive, hold, invest, and administer property and to manage and make expenditures for the operation of the activities, services, functions, and programs of this state which relate to the statewide, national, and international promotion and marketing of tourism.
(c) Which the Florida Commission on Tourism and the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development, after review, have certified whether it is operating in a manner consistent with the policies and goals of the commission and its long-range marketing plan.
(d) Which shall not be considered an agency for the purposes of chapters 120, 216, and 287; ss. 255.21, 255.25, and 255.254, relating to leasing of buildings; ss. 283.33 and 283.35, relating to bids for printing; s. 215.31; and parts I, II, and IV-VIII of chapter 112.
(e) Which shall be subject to the provisions of chapter 119, relating to public meetings, and those provisions of chapter 286 relating to public meetings and records.
(3) USE OF PROPERTY.The commission:
(a) Is authorized to permit the use of property and facilities of the commission by the corporation, subject to the provisions of this section.
(b) Shall prescribe conditions with which the corporation must comply in order to use property and facilities of the commission. Such conditions shall provide for budget and audit review and for oversight by the commission.
(c) Shall not permit the use of property and facilities of the commission if the corporation does not provide equal employment opportunities to all persons, regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or religion.
(4) BOARD OF DIRECTORS.The board of directors of the corporation shall be composed of 31 tourism-industry-related members, appointed by the Florida Commission on Tourism from its own membership. The vice chair of the commission shall serve as chair of the corporation’s board of directors.
(5) POWERS AND DUTIES.The corporation, in the performance of its duties:
(a) May make and enter into contracts and assume such other functions as are necessary to carry out the provisions of the Florida Commission on Tourism’s 4-year marketing plan and the corporation’s contract with the commission which are not inconsistent with this or any other provision of law.
(b) May develop a program to provide incentives and to attract and recognize those entities which make significant financial and promotional contributions towards the expanded tourism promotion activities of the corporation.
(c) May commission and adopt, in cooperation with the commission, an official tourism logo to be used in all promotional materials directly produced by the corporation. The corporation may establish a cooperative marketing program with other public and private entities which allows the use of this logo in tourism promotion campaigns which meet the standards of the commission and the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development for which the corporation may charge a reasonable fee.
(d) May sue and be sued and appear and defend in all actions and proceedings in its corporate name to the same extent as a natural person.
(e) May adopt, use, and alter a common corporate seal. However, such seal must always contain the words “corporation not for profit.”
(f) Shall elect or appoint such officers and agents as its affairs shall require and allow them reasonable compensation.
(g) Shall hire and establish salaries and personnel and employee benefit programs for such permanent and temporary employees as are necessary to carry out the provisions of the Florida Commission on Tourism’s 4-year marketing plan and the corporation’s contract with the commission which are not inconsistent with this or any other provision of law.
(h) Shall provide staff support to the Florida Commission on Tourism. The president and chief executive officer of the Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation shall serve without compensation as the executive director of the commission.
(i) May adopt, change, amend, and repeal bylaws, not inconsistent with law or its articles of incorporation, for the administration of the provisions of the Florida Commission on Tourism’s 4-year marketing plan and the corporation’s contract with the commission.
(j) May conduct its affairs, carry on its operations, and have offices and exercise the powers granted by this act in any state, territory, district, or possession of the United States or any foreign country. Where feasible, appropriate, and recommended by the 4-year marketing plan developed by the Florida Commission on Tourism, the corporation may collocate the programs of foreign tourism offices in cooperation with any foreign office operated by any agency of this state.
(k) May appear on its own behalf before boards, commissions, departments, or other agencies of municipal, county, state, or federal government.
(l) May request or accept any grant, payment, or gift, of funds or property made by this state or by the United States or any department or agency thereof or by any individual, firm, corporation, municipality, county, or organization for any or all of the purposes of the Florida Commission on Tourism’s 4-year marketing plan and the corporation’s contract with the commission that are not inconsistent with this or any other provision of law. Such funds shall be deposited in a bank account established by the corporation’s board of directors. The corporation may expend such funds in accordance with the terms and conditions of any such grant, payment, or gift, in the pursuit of its administration or in support of the programs it administers. The corporation shall separately account for the public funds and the private funds deposited into the corporation’s bank account.
(m) Shall establish a plan for participation in the corporation which will provide additional funding for the administration and duties of the corporation.
(n) In the performance of its duties, may undertake, or contract for, marketing projects and advertising research projects.
(o) In addition to any indemnification available under chapter 617, the corporation may indemnify, and purchase and maintain insurance on behalf of, directors, officers, and employees of the corporation against any personal liability or accountability by reason of actions taken while acting within the scope of their authority.
(6) ANNUAL AUDIT.The corporation shall provide for an annual financial audit in accordance with s. 215.981. The annual audit report shall be submitted to the Auditor General; the Office of Policy Analysis and Government Accountability; and the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development for review. The Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability; the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development; and the Auditor General have the authority to require and receive from the corporation or from its independent auditor any detail or supplemental data relative to the operation of the corporation. The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall annually certify whether the corporation is operating in a manner and achieving the objectives that are consistent with the policies and goals of the commission and its long-range marketing plan. The identity of a donor or prospective donor to the corporation who desires to remain anonymous and all information identifying such donor or prospective donor are confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. Such anonymity shall be maintained in the auditor’s report.
(7) The corporation shall provide a quarterly report to the commission which shall:
(a) Measure the current vitality of the visitor industry of this state as compared to the vitality of such industry for the year to date and for comparable quarters of past years. Indicators of vitality shall be determined by the commission and shall include, but not be limited to, estimated visitor count and party size, length of stay, average expenditure per party, and visitor origin and destination.
(b) Provide detailed, unaudited financial statements of sources and uses of public and private funds.
(c) Measure progress towards annual goals and objectives set forth in the commission’s 4-year marketing plan.
(d) Review all pertinent research findings.
(e) Provide other measures of accountability as requested by the commission.
(8) The identity of any person who responds to a marketing project or advertising research project conducted by the corporation in the performance of its duties on behalf of the commission, or trade secrets as defined by s. 812.081 obtained pursuant to such activities, are exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.
History.s. 7, ch. 92-299; s. 6, ch. 94-136; s. 877, ch. 95-148; s. 1, ch. 95-369; s. 1, ch. 96-297; s. 53, ch. 96-320; s. 140, ch. 96-406; s. 41, ch. 97-100; s. 18, ch. 99-251; s. 1, ch. 2001-69; s. 91, ch. 2001-266; s. 2, ch. 2004-274.
288.12265 Welcome centers.
(1) Responsibility for the welcome centers is assigned to the Florida Commission on Tourism which shall contract with the commission’s direct-support organization to employ all welcome center staff.
(2) The Florida Commission on Tourism, through its direct-support organization, shall administer and operate the welcome centers. Pursuant to a contract with the Department of Transportation, the commission shall be responsible for routine repair, replacement, or improvement and the day-to-day management of interior areas occupied by the welcome centers. All other repairs, replacements, or improvements to the welcome centers shall be the responsibility of the Department of Transportation.
History.s. 4, ch. 96-320; s. 19, ch. 99-251; s. 27, ch. 2005-2.
Note.Former s. 335.166.
288.1227 Annual report of the Florida Commission on Tourism; audits.
(1) Prior to December 1 of each year, the Florida Commission on Tourism shall submit to the Governor; the director of the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development; the President of the Senate; the Speaker of the House of Representatives; the Senate Minority Leader; and the House Minority Leader a complete and detailed report setting forth for itself and its direct-support organization:
(a) Its operations and accomplishments during the fiscal year.
(b) Its business and operational plan and its tourism-marketing plan, including recommendations on methods for implementing and funding the tourism-marketing plan.
(c) The assets and liabilities of the direct-support organization at the end of its most recent fiscal year.
(d) A copy of the annual financial and compliance audit conducted under s. 288.1226(6).
(2) The Auditor General may, pursuant to his or her own authority or at the direction of the Legislative Auditing Committee, conduct an audit of the commission or its direct-support organization.
History.s. 54, ch. 96-320.
288.1229 Promotion and development of sports-related industries and amateur athletics; direct-support organization; powers and duties.
(1) The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development may authorize a direct-support organization to assist the office in:
(a) The promotion and development of the sports industry and related industries for the purpose of improving the economic presence of these industries in Florida.
(b) The promotion of amateur athletic participation for the citizens of Florida and the promotion of Florida as a host for national and international amateur athletic competitions for the purpose of encouraging and increasing the direct and ancillary economic benefits of amateur athletic events and competitions.
(c) The retention of professional sports franchises, including the spring training operations of Major League Baseball.
(2) To be authorized as a direct-support organization, an organization must:
(a) Be incorporated as a corporation not for profit pursuant to chapter 617.
(b) Be governed by a board of directors, which must consist of up to 15 members appointed by the Governor and up to 15 members appointed by the existing board of directors. In making appointments, the board must consider a potential member’s background in community service and sports activism in, and financial support of, the sports industry, professional sports, or organized amateur athletics. Members must be residents of the state and highly knowledgeable about or active in professional or organized amateur sports. The board must contain representatives of all geographical regions of the state and must represent ethnic and gender diversity. The terms of office of the members shall be 4 years. No member may serve more than two consecutive terms. The Governor may remove any member for cause and shall fill all vacancies that occur.
(c) Have as its purpose, as stated in its articles of incorporation, to receive, hold, invest, and administer property; to raise funds and receive gifts; and to promote and develop the sports industry and related industries for the purpose of increasing the economic presence of these industries in Florida.
(d) Have a prior determination by the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development that the organization will benefit the office and act in the best interests of the state as a direct-support organization to the office.
(3) The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall contract with the organization and shall include in the contract that:
(a) The office may review the organization’s articles of incorporation.
(b) The organization shall submit an annual budget proposal to the office, on a form provided by the office, in accordance with office procedures for filing budget proposals based upon the recommendation of the office.
(c) Any funds that the organization holds in trust will revert to the state upon the expiration or cancellation of the contract.
(d) The organization is subject to an annual financial and performance review by the office to determine whether the organization is complying with the terms of the contract and whether it is acting in a manner consistent with the goals of the office and in the best interests of the state.
(e) The fiscal year of the organization will begin July 1 of each year and end June 30 of the next ensuing year.
(4) The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development may allow the organization to use the property, facilities, personnel, and services of the office if the organization provides equal employment opportunities to all persons regardless of race, color, religion, sex, age, or national origin, subject to the approval of the director of the office.
(5) The organization shall provide for an annual financial audit in accordance with s. 215.981.
(6) The organization is not granted any taxing power.
(7) In exercising the power provided in this section, the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development may authorize and contract with the direct-support organization existing on June 30, 1996, and authorized by the former Florida Department of Commerce to promote sports-related industries. An appointed member of the board of directors of such direct-support organization as of June 30, 1996, may serve the remainder of his or her unexpired term.
(8) To promote amateur sports and physical fitness, the direct-support organization shall:
(a) Develop, foster, and coordinate services and programs for amateur sports for the people of Florida.
(b) Sponsor amateur sports workshops, clinics, conferences, and other similar activities.
(c) Give recognition to outstanding developments and achievements in, and contributions to, amateur sports.
(d) Encourage, support, and assist local governments and communities in the development of or hosting of local amateur athletic events and competitions.
(e) Promote Florida as a host for national and international amateur athletic competitions.
(f) Develop a statewide program of amateur athletic competition to be known as the “Sunshine State Games.”
(g) Continue the successful amateur sports programs previously conducted by the Florida Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Amateur Sports created under former s. 14.22.
(h) Encourage and continue the use of volunteers in its amateur sports programs to the maximum extent possible.
(i) Develop, foster, and coordinate services and programs designed to encourage the participation of Florida’s youth in Olympic sports activities and competitions.
(j) Foster and coordinate services and programs designed to contribute to the physical fitness of the citizens of Florida.
(9)(a) The Sunshine State Games shall be patterned after the Summer Olympics with variations as necessitated by availability of facilities, equipment, and expertise. The games shall be designed to encourage the participation of athletes representing a broad range of age groups, skill levels, and Florida communities. Participants shall be residents of this state. Regional competitions shall be held throughout the state, and the top qualifiers in each sport shall proceed to the final competitions to be held at a site in the state with the necessary facilities and equipment for conducting the competitions.
(b) The Executive Office of the Governor is authorized to permit the use of property, facilities, and personal services of or at any State University System facility or institution by the direct-support organization operating the Sunshine State Games. For the purposes of this paragraph, personal services includes full-time or part-time personnel as well as payroll processing.
History.s. 56, ch. 96-320; s. 7, ch. 99-251; s. 63, ch. 2001-61; s. 92, ch. 2001-266; s. 66, ch. 2010-102; s. 6, ch. 2010-140; s. 37, ch. 2010-147.
288.12295 Promotion and development of sports-related industries; direct-support organization; confidentiality of donor identities.The identity of a donor or prospective donor to the direct-support organization authorized under s. 288.1229 who desires to remain anonymous and all information identifying such donor or prospective donor are confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. Such anonymity shall be maintained in audit reports.
History.s. 2, ch. 96-326; s. 1, ch. 2001-150.
288.124 Convention grants program.The Commission on Tourism is authorized to establish a convention grants program and, pursuant thereto, to recommend to the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development expenditures and contracts with local governments and nonprofit corporations or organizations for the purpose of attracting national conferences and conventions to Florida. Preference shall be given to local governments and nonprofit corporations or organizations seeking to attract minority conventions to Florida. Minority conventions are events that primarily involve minority persons, as defined in s. 288.703, who are residents or nonresidents of the state. The commission shall establish guidelines governing the award of grants and the administration of this program. The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development has final approval authority for any grants under this section. The total annual allocation of funds for this program shall not exceed $40,000.
History.s. 5, ch. 91-218; s. 57, ch. 96-320.
288.125 Definition of “entertainment industry”.For the purposes of ss. 288.1251-288.1258, the term “entertainment industry” means those persons or entities engaged in the operation of motion picture or television studios or recording studios; those persons or entities engaged in the preproduction, production, or postproduction of motion pictures, made-for-television movies, television programming, digital media projects, commercial advertising, music videos, or sound recordings; and those persons or entities providing products or services directly related to the preproduction, production, or postproduction of motion pictures, made-for-television movies, television programming, digital media projects, commercial advertising, music videos, or sound recordings, including, but not limited to, the broadcast industry.
History.s. 2, ch. 99-251; s. 38, ch. 2000-152; s. 1, ch. 2003-81; s. 1, ch. 2005-233; s. 24, ch. 2010-147.
288.1251 Promotion and development of entertainment industry; Office of Film and Entertainment; creation; purpose; powers and duties.
(1) CREATION.
(a) There is hereby created within the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development the Office of Film and Entertainment for the purpose of developing, marketing, promoting, and providing services to the state’s entertainment industry.
(b) The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall conduct a national search for a qualified person to fill the position of Commissioner of Film and Entertainment when the position is vacant. The Executive Director of the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development has the responsibility to hire the commissioner. Qualifications for the commissioner include, but are not limited to, the following:
1. A working knowledge of the equipment, personnel, financial, and day-to-day production operations of the industries to be served by the Office of Film and Entertainment;
2. Marketing and promotion experience related to the film and entertainment industries to be served;
3. Experience working with a variety of individuals representing large and small entertainment-related businesses, industry associations, local community entertainment industry liaisons, and labor organizations; and
4. Experience working with a variety of state and local governmental agencies.
(2) POWERS AND DUTIES.
(a) The Office of Film and Entertainment, in performance of its duties, shall:
1. In consultation with the Florida Film and Entertainment Advisory Council, update the strategic plan every 5 years to guide the activities of the Office of Film and Entertainment in the areas of entertainment industry development, marketing, promotion, liaison services, field office administration, and information. The plan shall:
a. Be annual in construction and ongoing in nature.
b. Include recommendations relating to the organizational structure of the office.
c. Include an annual budget projection for the office for each year of the plan.
d. Include an operational model for the office to use in implementing programs for rural and urban areas designed to:
(I) Develop and promote the state’s entertainment industry.
(II) Have the office serve as a liaison between the entertainment industry and other state and local governmental agencies, local film commissions, and labor organizations.
(III) Gather statistical information related to the state’s entertainment industry.
(IV) Provide information and service to businesses, communities, organizations, and individuals engaged in entertainment industry activities.
(V) Administer field offices outside the state and coordinate with regional offices maintained by counties and regions of the state, as described in sub-sub-subparagraph (II), as necessary.
e. Include performance standards and measurable outcomes for the programs to be implemented by the office.
f. Include an assessment of, and make recommendations on, the feasibility of creating an alternative public-private partnership for the purpose of contracting with such a partnership for the administration of the state’s entertainment industry promotion, development, marketing, and service programs.
2. Develop, market, and facilitate a working relationship between state agencies and local governments in cooperation with local film commission offices for out-of-state and indigenous entertainment industry production entities.
3. Implement a structured methodology prescribed for coordinating activities of local offices with each other and the commissioner’s office.
4. Represent the state’s indigenous entertainment industry to key decisionmakers within the national and international entertainment industry, and to state and local officials.
5. Prepare an inventory and analysis of the state’s entertainment industry, including, but not limited to, information on crew, related businesses, support services, job creation, talent, and economic impact and coordinate with local offices to develop an information tool for common use.
6. Identify, solicit, and recruit entertainment production opportunities for the state.
7. Assist rural communities and other small communities in the state in developing the expertise and capacity necessary for such communities to develop, market, promote, and provide services to the state’s entertainment industry.
(b) The Office of Film and Entertainment, in the performance of its duties, may:
1. Conduct or contract for specific promotion and marketing functions, including, but not limited to, production of a statewide directory, production and maintenance of an Internet website, establishment and maintenance of a toll-free number, organization of trade show participation, and appropriate cooperative marketing opportunities.
2. Conduct its affairs, carry on its operations, establish offices, and exercise the powers granted by this act in any state, territory, district, or possession of the United States.
3. Carry out any program of information, special events, or publicity designed to attract entertainment industry to Florida.
4. Develop relationships and leverage resources with other public and private organizations or groups in their efforts to publicize to the entertainment industry in this state, other states, and other countries the depth of Florida’s entertainment industry talent, crew, production companies, production equipment resources, related businesses, and support services, including the establishment of and expenditure for a program of cooperative advertising with these public and private organizations and groups in accordance with the provisions of chapter 120.
5. Provide and arrange for reasonable and necessary promotional items and services for such persons as the office deems proper in connection with the performance of the promotional and other duties of the office.
6. Prepare an annual economic impact analysis on entertainment industry-related activities in the state.
7. Request or accept any grant, payment, or gift of funds or property made by this state, the United States, or any department or agency thereof, or by any individual, firm, corporation, municipality, county, or organization, for any or all of the purposes of the Office of Film and Entertainment’s 5-year strategic plan or those permitted activities enumerated in this paragraph. Such funds shall be deposited in the Grants and Donations Trust Fund of the Executive Office of the Governor for use by the Office of Film and Entertainment in carrying out its responsibilities and duties as delineated in law. The office may expend such funds in accordance with the terms and conditions of any such grant, payment, or gift in the pursuit of its administration or in support of fulfilling its duties and responsibilities. The office shall separately account for the public funds and the private funds deposited into the trust fund.
History.s. 3, ch. 99-251; s. 5, ch. 2001-106; s. 25, ch. 2010-147.
288.1252 Florida Film and Entertainment Advisory Council; creation; purpose; membership; powers and duties.
(1) CREATION.There is hereby created within the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development of the Executive Office of the Governor, for administrative purposes only, the Florida Film and Entertainment Advisory Council.
(2) PURPOSE.The purpose of the council shall be to serve as an advisory body to the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development and to the Office of Film and Entertainment to provide these offices with industry insight and expertise related to developing, marketing, promoting, and providing service to the state’s entertainment industry.
(3) MEMBERSHIP.
(a) The council shall consist of 17 members, 7 to be appointed by the Governor, 5 to be appointed by the President of the Senate, and 5 to be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
(b) When making appointments to the council, the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall appoint persons who are residents of the state and who are highly knowledgeable of, active in, and recognized leaders in Florida’s motion picture, television, video, sound recording, or other entertainment industries. These persons shall include, but not be limited to, representatives of local film commissions, representatives of entertainment associations, a representative of the broadcast industry, representatives of labor organizations in the entertainment industry, and board chairs, presidents, chief executive officers, chief operating officers, or persons of comparable executive position or stature of leading or otherwise important entertainment industry businesses and offices. Council members shall be appointed in such a manner as to equitably represent the broadest spectrum of the entertainment industry and geographic areas of the state.
(c) Council members shall serve for 4-year terms.
(d) Subsequent appointments shall be made by the official who appointed the council member whose expired term is to be filled.
(e) A representative of Enterprise Florida, Inc., a representative of Workforce Florida, Inc., and a representative of VISIT Florida shall serve as ex officio, nonvoting members of the council, and shall be in addition to the 17 appointed members of the council.
(f) Absence from three consecutive meetings shall result in automatic removal from the council.
(g) A vacancy on the council shall be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term by the official who appointed the vacating member.
(h) No more than one member of the council may be an employee of any one company, organization, or association.
(i) Any member shall be eligible for reappointment but may not serve more than two consecutive terms.
(4) MEETINGS; ORGANIZATION.
(a) The council shall meet no less frequently than once each quarter of the calendar year, but may meet more often as set by the council.
(b) The council shall annually elect from its appointed membership one member to serve as chair of the council and one member to serve as vice chair. The Office of Film and Entertainment shall provide staff assistance to the council, which shall include, but not be limited to, keeping records of the proceedings of the council, and serving as custodian of all books, documents, and papers filed with the council.
(c) A majority of the members of the council shall constitute a quorum.
(d) Members of the council shall serve without compensation, but shall be entitled to reimbursement for per diem and travel expenses in accordance with s. 112.061 while in performance of their duties.
(5) POWERS AND DUTIES.The Florida Film and Entertainment Advisory Council shall have all the powers necessary or convenient to carry out and effectuate the purposes and provisions of this act, including, but not limited to, the power to:
(a) Adopt bylaws for the governance of its affairs and the conduct of its business.
(b) Advise and consult with the Office of Film and Entertainment on the content, development, and implementation of the 5-year strategic plan to guide the activities of the office.
(c) Review the Commissioner of Film and Entertainment’s administration of the programs related to the strategic plan, and advise the commissioner on the programs and any changes that might be made to better meet the strategic plan.
(d) Consider and study the needs of the entertainment industry for the purpose of advising the commissioner and the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development.
(e) Identify and make recommendations on state agency and local government actions that may have an impact on the entertainment industry or that may appear to industry representatives as an official state or local action affecting production in the state.
(f) Consider all matters submitted to it by the commissioner and the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development.
(g) Advise and consult with the commissioner and the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development, at their request or upon its own initiative, regarding the promulgation, administration, and enforcement of all laws and rules relating to the entertainment industry.
(h) Suggest policies and practices for the conduct of business by the Office of Film and Entertainment or by the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development that will improve internal operations affecting the entertainment industry and will enhance the economic development initiatives of the state for the industry.
(i) Appear on its own behalf before boards, commissions, departments, or other agencies of municipal, county, or state government, or the Federal Government.
History.s. 4, ch. 99-251; s. 6, ch. 2001-106; s. 26, ch. 2010-147.
288.1253 Travel and entertainment expenses.
(1) As used in this section, the term “travel expenses” means the actual, necessary, and reasonable costs of transportation, meals, lodging, and incidental expenses normally incurred by an employee of the Office of Film and Entertainment, which costs are defined and prescribed by rules adopted by the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development, subject to approval by the Chief Financial Officer.
(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 112.061, the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall adopt rules by which it may make expenditures by reimbursement to: the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, security staff of the Governor or Lieutenant Governor, the Commissioner of Film and Entertainment, or staff of the Office of Film and Entertainment for travel expenses or entertainment expenses incurred by such individuals solely and exclusively in connection with the performance of the statutory duties of the Office of Film and Entertainment. The rules are subject to approval by the Chief Financial Officer before adoption. The rules shall require the submission of paid receipts, or other proof of expenditure prescribed by the Chief Financial Officer, with any claim for reimbursement.
(3) The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall prepare an annual report of the expenditures of the Office of Film and Entertainment and provide such report to the Legislature no later than December 30 of each year for the expenditures of the previous fiscal year. The report shall consist of a summary of all travel, entertainment, and incidental expenses incurred within the United States and all travel, entertainment, and incidental expenses incurred outside the United States, as well as a summary of all successful projects that developed from such travel.
(4) The Office of Film and Entertainment and its employees and representatives, when authorized, may accept and use complimentary travel, accommodations, meeting space, meals, equipment, transportation, and any other goods or services necessary for or beneficial to the performance of the office’s duties and purposes, so long as such acceptance or use is not in conflict with part III of chapter 112. The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall, by rule, develop internal controls to ensure that such goods or services accepted or used pursuant to this subsection are limited to those that will assist solely and exclusively in the furtherance of the office’s goals and are in compliance with part III of chapter 112.
(5) Any claim submitted under this section is not required to be sworn to before a notary public or other officer authorized to administer oaths, but any claim authorized or required to be made under any provision of this section shall contain a statement that the expenses were actually incurred as necessary travel or entertainment expenses in the performance of official duties of the Office of Film and Entertainment and shall be verified by written declaration that it is true and correct as to every material matter. Any person who willfully makes and subscribes to any claim which he or she does not believe to be true and correct as to every material matter or who willfully aids or assists in, procures, or counsels or advises with respect to, the preparation or presentation of a claim pursuant to this section that is fraudulent or false as to any material matter, whether such falsity or fraud is with the knowledge or consent of the person authorized or required to present the claim, commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. Whoever receives a reimbursement by means of a false claim is civilly liable, in the amount of the overpayment, for the reimbursement of the public fund from which the claim was paid.
History.s. 5, ch. 99-251; s. 7, ch. 2001-106; s. 343, ch. 2003-261; s. 27, ch. 2010-147.
288.1254 Entertainment industry financial incentive program.
(1) DEFINITIONS.As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Certified production” means a qualified production that has tax credits allocated to it by the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development based on the production’s estimated qualified expenditures, up to the production’s maximum certified amount of tax credits, by the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development. The term does not include a production if its first day of principal photography or project start date in this state occurs before the production is certified by the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development, unless the production spans more than 1 fiscal year, was a certified production on its first day of principal photography or project start date in this state, and submits an application for continuing the same production for the subsequent fiscal year.
(b) “Digital media project” means a production of interactive entertainment that is produced for distribution in commercial or educational markets. The term includes a video game or production intended for Internet or wireless distribution. The term does not include a production deemed by the Office of Film and Entertainment to contain obscene content as defined in s. 847.001(10).
(c) “High-impact television series” means a production created to run multiple production seasons and having an estimated order of at least seven episodes per season and qualified expenditures of at least $625,000 per episode.
(d) “Off-season certified production” means a feature film, independent film, or television series or pilot which films 75 percent or more of its principal photography days from June 1 through November 30.
(e) “Principal photography” means the filming of major or significant components of the qualified production which involve lead actors.
(f) “Production” means a theatrical or direct-to-video motion picture; a made-for-television motion picture; visual effects or digital animation sequences produced in conjunction with a motion picture; a commercial; a music video; an industrial or educational film; an infomercial; a documentary film; a television pilot program; a presentation for a television pilot program; a television series, including, but not limited to, a drama, a reality show, a comedy, a soap opera, a telenovela, a game show, an awards show, or a miniseries production; or a digital media project by the entertainment industry. One season of a television series is considered one production. The term does not include a weather or market program; a sporting event; a sports show; a gala; a production that solicits funds; a home shopping program; a political program; a political documentary; political advertising; a gambling-related project or production; a concert production; or a local, regional, or Internet-distributed-only news show, current-events show, pornographic production, or current-affairs show. A production may be produced on or by film, tape, or otherwise by means of a motion picture camera; electronic camera or device; tape device; computer; any combination of the foregoing; or any other means, method, or device.
(g) “Production expenditures” means the costs of tangible and intangible property used for, and services performed primarily and customarily in, production, including preproduction and postproduction, but excluding costs for development, marketing, and distribution. The term includes, but is not limited to:
1. Wages, salaries, or other compensation paid to legal residents of this state, including amounts paid through payroll service companies, for technical and production crews, directors, producers, and performers.
2. Net expenditures for sound stages, backlots, production editing, digital effects, sound recordings, sets, and set construction.
3. Net expenditures for rental equipment, including, but not limited to, cameras and grip or electrical equipment.
4. Up to $300,000 of the costs of newly purchased computer software and hardware unique to the project, including servers, data processing, and visualization technologies, which are located in and used exclusively in the state for the production of digital media.
5. Expenditures for meals, travel, and accommodations. For purposes of this paragraph, the term “net expenditures” means the actual amount of money a qualified production spent for equipment or other tangible personal property, after subtracting any consideration received for reselling or transferring the item after the qualified production ends, if applicable.
(h) “Qualified expenditures” means production expenditures incurred in this state by a qualified production for:
1. Goods purchased or leased from, or services, including, but not limited to, insurance costs and bonding, payroll services, and legal fees, which are provided by, a vendor or supplier in this state that is registered with the Department of State or the Department of Revenue, has a physical location in this state, and employs one or more legal residents of this state. When services are provided by the vendor or supplier include personal services or labor, only personal services or labor provided by residents of this state, evidenced by the required documentation of residency in this state, qualify.
2. Payments to legal residents of this state in the form of salary, wages, or other compensation up to a maximum of $400,000 per resident unless otherwise specified in subsection (4). A completed declaration of residency in this state must accompany the documentation submitted to the office for reimbursement.

For a qualified production involving an event, such as an awards show, the term does not include expenditures solely associated with the event itself and not directly required by the production. The term does not include expenditures incurred before certification, with the exception of those incurred for a commercial, a music video, or the pickup of additional episodes of a high-impact television series within a single season. Under no circumstances may the qualified production include in the calculation for qualified expenditures the original purchase price for equipment or other tangible property that is later sold or transferred by the qualified production for consideration. In such cases, the qualified expenditure is the net of the original purchase price minus the consideration received upon sale or transfer.

(i) “Qualified production” means a production in this state meeting the requirements of this section. The term does not include a production:
1. In which, for the first 2 years of the incentive program, less than 50 percent, and thereafter, less than 60 percent, of the positions that make up its production cast and below-the-line production crew, or, in the case of digital media projects, less than 75 percent of such positions, are filled by legal residents of this state, whose residency is demonstrated by a valid Florida driver’s license or other state-issued identification confirming residency, or students enrolled full-time in a film-and-entertainment-related course of study at an institution of higher education in this state; or
2. That is deemed by the Office of Film and Entertainment to contain obscene content as defined in s. 847.001(10).
(j) “Qualified production company” means a corporation, limited liability company, partnership, or other legal entity engaged in one or more productions in this state.
(2) CREATION AND PURPOSE OF PROGRAM.The entertainment industry financial incentive program is created within the Office of Film and Entertainment. The purpose of this program is to encourage the use of this state as a site for filming, for the digital production of films, and to develop and sustain the workforce and infrastructure for film, digital media, and entertainment production.
(3) APPLICATION PROCEDURE; APPROVAL PROCESS.
(a) Program application.A qualified production company producing a qualified production in this state may submit a program application to the Office of Film and Entertainment for the purpose of determining qualification for an award of tax credits authorized by this section no earlier than 180 days before the first day of principal photography or project start date in this state. The applicant shall provide the Office of Film and Entertainment with information required to determine whether the production is a qualified production and to determine the qualified expenditures and other information necessary for the office to determine eligibility for the tax credit.
(b) Required documentation.The Office of Film and Entertainment shall develop an application form for qualifying an applicant as a qualified production. The form must include, but need not be limited to, production-related information concerning employment of residents in this state, a detailed budget of planned qualified expenditures, and the applicant’s signed affirmation that the information on the form has been verified and is correct. The Office of Film and Entertainment and local film commissions shall distribute the form.
(c) Application process.The Office of Film and Entertainment shall establish a process by which an application is accepted and reviewed and by which tax credit eligibility and award amount are determined. The Office of Film and Entertainment may request assistance from a duly appointed local film commission in determining compliance with this section.
(d) Certification.The Office of Film and Entertainment shall review the application within 15 business days after receipt. Upon its determination that the application contains all the information required by this subsection and meets the criteria set out in this section, the Office of Film and Entertainment shall qualify the applicant and recommend to the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development that the applicant be certified for the maximum tax credit award amount. Within 5 business days after receipt of the recommendation, the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall reject the recommendation or certify the maximum recommended tax credit award, if any, to the applicant and to the executive director of the Department of Revenue.
(e) Grounds for denial.The Office of Film and Entertainment shall deny an application if it determines that the application is not complete or the production or application does not meet the requirements of this section.
(f) Verification of actual qualified expenditures.
1. The Office of Film and Entertainment shall develop a process to verify the actual qualified expenditures of a certified production. The process must require:
a. A certified production to submit, in a timely manner after production ends in this state and after making all of its qualified expenditures in this state, data substantiating each qualified expenditure, including documentation on the net expenditure on equipment and other tangible personal property by the qualified production, to an independent certified public accountant licensed in this state;
b. Such accountant to conduct a compliance audit, at the certified production’s expense, to substantiate each qualified expenditure and submit the results as a report, along with the required substantiating data, to the Office of Film and Entertainment; and
c. The Office of Film and Entertainment to review the accountant’s submittal and report to the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development the final verified amount of actual qualified expenditures made by the certified production.
2. The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall determine and approve the final tax credit award amount to each certified applicant based on the final verified amount of actual qualified expenditures and shall notify the executive director of the Department of Revenue in writing that the certified production has met the requirements of the incentive program and of the final amount of the tax credit award. The final tax credit award amount may not exceed the maximum tax credit award amount certified under paragraph (d).
(g) Promoting Florida.The Office of Film and Entertainment shall ensure that, as a condition of receiving a tax credit under this section, marketing materials promoting this state as a tourist destination or film and entertainment production destination are included, when appropriate, at no cost to the state, which must, at a minimum, include placement of a “Filmed in Florida” or “Produced in Florida” logo in the end credits. The placement of a “Filmed in Florida” or “Produced in Florida” logo on all packaging material and hard media is also required, unless such placement is prohibited by licensing or other contractual obligations. The size and placement of such logo shall be commensurate to other logos used. If no logos are used, the statement “Filmed in Florida using Florida’s Entertainment Industry Financial Incentive,” or a similar statement approved by the Office of Film and Entertainment, shall be used. The Office of Film and Entertainment shall provide a logo and supply it for the purposes specified in this paragraph. A 30-second “Visit Florida” promotional video must also be included on all optical disc formats of a film, unless such placement is prohibited by licensing or other contractual obligations. The 30-second promotional video shall be approved and provided by the Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation in consultation with the Commissioner of Film and Entertainment.
(4) TAX CREDIT ELIGIBILITY; TAX CREDIT AWARDS; QUEUES; ELECTION AND DISTRIBUTION; CARRYFORWARD; CONSOLIDATED RETURNS; PARTNERSHIP AND NONCORPORATE DISTRIBUTIONS; MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS.
(a) Priority for tax credit award.The priority of a qualified production for tax credit awards must be determined on a first-come, first-served basis within its appropriate queue. Each qualified production must be placed into the appropriate queue and is subject to the requirements of that queue.
(b) Tax credit eligibility.
1. General production queue.Ninety-four percent of tax credits authorized pursuant to subsection (6) in any state fiscal year must be dedicated to the general production queue. The general production queue consists of all qualified productions other than those eligible for the commercial and music video queue or the independent and emerging media production queue. A qualified production that demonstrates a minimum of $625,000 in qualified expenditures is eligible for tax credits equal to 20 percent of its actual qualified expenditures, up to a maximum of $8 million. A qualified production that incurs qualified expenditures during multiple state fiscal years may combine those expenditures to satisfy the $625,000 minimum threshold.
a. An off-season certified production that is a feature film, independent film, or television series or pilot is eligible for an additional 5-percent tax credit on actual qualified expenditures. An off-season certified production that does not complete 75 percent of principal photography due to a disruption caused by a hurricane or tropical storm may not be disqualified from eligibility for the additional 5-percent credit as a result of the disruption.
b. A qualified high-impact television series shall be allowed first position in this queue for tax credit awards not yet certified.
2. Commercial and music video queue.Three percent of tax credits authorized pursuant to subsection (6) in any state fiscal year must be dedicated to the commercial and music video queue. A qualified production company that produces national or regional commercials or music videos may be eligible for a tax credit award if it demonstrates a minimum of $100,000 in qualified expenditures per national or regional commercial or music video and exceeds a combined threshold of $500,000 after combining actual qualified expenditures from qualified commercials and music videos during a single state fiscal year. After a qualified production company that produces commercials, music videos, or both reaches the threshold of $500,000, it is eligible to apply for certification for a tax credit award. The maximum credit award shall be equal to 20 percent of its actual qualified expenditures up to a maximum of $500,000. If there is a surplus at the end of a fiscal year after the Office of Film and Entertainment certifies and determines the tax credits for all qualified commercial and video projects, such surplus tax credits shall be carried forward to the following fiscal year and be available to any eligible qualified productions under the general production queue.
3. Independent and emerging media production queue.Three percent of tax credits authorized pursuant to subsection (6) in any state fiscal year must be dedicated to the independent and emerging media production queue. This queue is intended to encourage Florida independent film and emerging media production. Any qualified production, excluding commercials, infomercials, or music videos, that demonstrates at least $100,000, but not more than $625,000, in total qualified expenditures is eligible for tax credits equal to 20 percent of its actual qualified expenditures. If a surplus exists at the end of a fiscal year after the Office of Film and Entertainment certifies and determines the tax credits for all qualified independent and emerging media production projects, such surplus tax credits shall be carried forward to the following fiscal year and be available to any eligible qualified productions under the general production queue.
4. Family-friendly productions.A certified theatrical or direct-to-video motion picture production or video game determined by the Commissioner of Film and Entertainment, with the advice of the Florida Film and Entertainment Advisory Council, to be family-friendly, based on the review of the script and the review of the final release version, is eligible for an additional tax credit equal to 5 percent of its actual qualified expenditures. Family-friendly productions are those that have cross-generational appeal; would be considered suitable for viewing by children age 5 or older; are appropriate in theme, content, and language for a broad family audience; embody a responsible resolution of issues; and do not exhibit or imply any act of smoking, sex, nudity, or vulgar or profane language.
(c) Withdrawal of tax credit eligibility.A qualified or certified production must continue on a reasonable schedule, which includes beginning principal photography or the production project in this state no more than 45 calendar days before or after the principal photography or project start date provided in the production’s program application. The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall withdraw the eligibility of a qualified or certified production that does not continue on a reasonable schedule.
(d) Election and distribution of tax credits.
1. A certified production company receiving a tax credit award under this section shall, at the time the credit is awarded by the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development after production is completed and all requirements to receive a credit award have been met, make an irrevocable election to apply the credit against taxes due under chapter 220, against state taxes collected or accrued under chapter 212, or against a stated combination of the two taxes. The election is binding upon any distributee, successor, transferee, or purchaser. The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall notify the Department of Revenue of any election made pursuant to this paragraph.
2. A qualified production company is eligible for tax credits against its sales and use tax liabilities and corporate income tax liabilities as provided in this section. However, tax credits awarded under this section may not be claimed against sales and use tax liabilities or corporate income tax liabilities for any tax period beginning before July 1, 2011, regardless of when the credits are applied for or awarded.
(e) Tax credit carryforward.If the certified production company cannot use the entire tax credit in the taxable year or reporting period in which the credit is awarded, any excess amount may be carried forward to a succeeding taxable year or reporting period. A tax credit applied against taxes imposed under chapter 212 may be carried forward for a maximum of 5 years after the date the credit is awarded. A tax credit applied against taxes imposed under chapter 220 may be carried forward for a maximum of 5 years after the date the credit is awarded, after which the credit expires and may not be used.
(f) Consolidated returns.A certified production company that files a Florida consolidated return as a member of an affiliated group under s. 220.131(1) may be allowed the credit on a consolidated return basis up to the amount of the tax imposed upon the consolidated group under chapter 220.
(g) Partnership and noncorporate distributions.A qualified production company that is not a corporation as defined in s. 220.03 may elect to distribute tax credits awarded under this section to its partners or members in proportion to their respective distributive income or loss in the taxable year in which the tax credits were awarded.
(h) Mergers or acquisitions.Tax credits available under this section to a certified production company may succeed to a surviving or acquiring entity subject to the same conditions and limitations as described in this section; however, they may not be transferred again by the surviving or acquiring entity.
(5) TRANSFER OF TAX CREDITS.
(a) Authorization.Upon application to the Office of Film and Entertainment and approval by the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development, a certified production company, or a partner or member that has received a distribution under paragraph (4)(g), may elect to transfer, in whole or in part, any unused credit amount granted under this section. An election to transfer any unused tax credit amount under chapter 212 or chapter 220 must be made no later than 5 years after the date the credit is awarded, after which period the credit expires and may not be used. The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall notify the Department of Revenue of the election and transfer.
(b) Number of transfers permitted.A certified production company that elects to apply a credit amount against taxes remitted under chapter 212 is permitted a one-time transfer of unused credits to one transferee. A certified production company that elects to apply a credit amount against taxes due under chapter 220 is permitted a one-time transfer of unused credits to no more than four transferees, and such transfers must occur in the same taxable year.
(c) Transferee rights and limitations.The transferee is subject to the same rights and limitations as the certified production company awarded the tax credit, except that the transferee may not sell or otherwise transfer the tax credit.
(6) RELINQUISHMENT OF TAX CREDITS.
(a) Beginning July 1, 2011, a certified production company, or any person who has acquired a tax credit from a certified production company pursuant to subsections (4) and (5), may elect to relinquish the tax credit to the Department of Revenue in exchange for 90 percent of the amount of the relinquished tax credit.
(b) The Department of Revenue may approve payments to persons relinquishing tax credits pursuant to this subsection.
(c) Subject to legislative appropriation, the Department of Revenue shall request the Chief Financial Officer to issue warrants to persons relinquishing tax credits. Payments under this subsection shall be made from the funds from which the proceeds from the taxes against which the tax credits could have been applied pursuant to the irrevocable election made by the certified production company under subsection (4) are deposited.
(7) ANNUAL ALLOCATION OF TAX CREDITS.
(a) The aggregate amount of the tax credits that may be certified pursuant to paragraph (3)(d) may not exceed:
1. For fiscal year 2010-2011, $53.5 million.
2. For fiscal year 2011-2012, $74.5 million.
3. For fiscal years 2012-2013, 2013-2014, and 2014-2015, $38 million per fiscal year.
(b) Any portion of the maximum amount of tax credits established per fiscal year in paragraph (a) that is not certified as of the end of a fiscal year shall be carried forward and made available for certification during the following 2 fiscal years in addition to the amounts available for certification under paragraph (a) for those fiscal years.
(c) Upon approval of the final tax credit award amount pursuant to subparagraph (3)(f)2., an amount equal to the difference between the maximum tax credit award amount previously certified under paragraph (3)(d) and the approved final tax credit award amount shall immediately be available for recertification during the current and following fiscal years in addition to the amounts available for certification under paragraph (a) for those fiscal years.
(d) If, during a fiscal year, the total amount of credits applied for, pursuant to paragraph (3)(a), exceeds the amount of credits available for certification in that fiscal year, such excess shall be treated as having been applied for on the first day of the next fiscal year in which credits remain available for certification.
(8) RULES, POLICIES, AND PROCEDURES.
(a) The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development may adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 and develop policies and procedures to implement and administer this section, including, but not limited to, rules specifying requirements for the application and approval process, records required for substantiation for tax credits, procedures for making the election in paragraph (4)(d), the manner and form of documentation required to claim tax credits awarded or transferred under this section, and marketing requirements for tax credit recipients.
(b) The Department of Revenue may adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to administer this section, including rules governing the examination and audit procedures required to administer this section and the manner and form of documentation required to claim tax credits awarded, transferred, or relinquished under this section.
(9) AUDIT AUTHORITY; REVOCATION AND FORFEITURE OF TAX CREDITS; FRAUDULENT CLAIMS.
(a) Audit authority.The Department of Revenue may conduct examinations and audits as provided in s. 213.34 to verify that tax credits under this section are received, transferred, and applied according to the requirements of this section. If the Department of Revenue determines that tax credits are not received, transferred, or applied as required by this section, it may, in addition to the remedies provided in this subsection, pursue recovery of such funds pursuant to the laws and rules governing the assessment of taxes.
(b) Revocation of tax credits.The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development may revoke or modify any written decision qualifying, certifying, or otherwise granting eligibility for tax credits under this section if it is discovered that the tax credit applicant submitted any false statement, representation, or certification in any application, record, report, plan, or other document filed in an attempt to receive tax credits under this section. The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall immediately notify the Department of Revenue of any revoked or modified orders affecting previously granted tax credits. Additionally, the applicant must notify the Department of Revenue of any change in its tax credit claimed.
(c) Forfeiture of tax credits.A determination by the Department of Revenue, as a result of an audit pursuant to paragraph (a) or from information received from the Office of Film and Entertainment, that an applicant received tax credits pursuant to this section to which the applicant was not entitled is grounds for forfeiture of previously claimed and received tax credits. The applicant is responsible for returning forfeited tax credits to the Department of Revenue, and such funds shall be paid into the General Revenue Fund of the state. Tax credits purchased in good faith are not subject to forfeiture unless the transferee submitted fraudulent information in the purchase or failed to meet the requirements in subsection (5).
(d) Fraudulent claims.Any applicant that submits fraudulent information under this section is liable for reimbursement of the reasonable costs and fees associated with the review, processing, investigation, and prosecution of the fraudulent claim. An applicant that obtains a credit payment under this section through a claim that is fraudulent is liable for reimbursement of the credit amount plus a penalty in an amount double the credit amount. The penalty is in addition to any criminal penalty to which the applicant is liable for the same acts. The applicant is also liable for costs and fees incurred by the state in investigating and prosecuting the fraudulent claim.
(10) ANNUAL REPORT.Each October 1, the Office of Film and Entertainment shall provide an annual report for the previous fiscal year to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives which outlines the return on investment and economic benefits to the state.
(11) REPEAL.This section is repealed July 1, 2015, except that:
(a) Tax credits certified under paragraph (3)(d) before July 1, 2015, may be awarded under paragraph (3)(f) on or after July 1, 2015, if the other requirements of this section are met.
(b) Tax credits carried forward under paragraph (4)(e) remain valid for the period specified.
(c) Subsections (5), (8) and (9) shall remain in effect until July 1, 2020.
History.s. 2, ch. 2003-81; s. 2, ch. 2005-233; s. 2, ch. 2007-125; s. 56, ch. 2008-4; s. 38, ch. 2009-82; s. 28, ch. 2010-147.
288.1258 Entertainment industry qualified production companies; application procedure; categories; duties of the Department of Revenue; records and reports.
(1) PRODUCTION COMPANIES AUTHORIZED TO APPLY.
(a) Any production company engaged in this state in the production of motion pictures, made-for-TV motion pictures, television series, commercial advertising, music videos, or sound recordings may submit an application to the Department of Revenue to be approved by the Office of Film and Entertainment as a qualified production company for the purpose of receiving a sales and use tax certificate of exemption from the Department of Revenue.
(b) For the purposes of this section, “qualified production company” means any production company that has submitted a properly completed application to the Department of Revenue and that is subsequently qualified by the Office of Film and Entertainment.
(2) APPLICATION PROCEDURE.
(a) The Department of Revenue will review all submitted applications for the required information. Within 10 working days after the receipt of a properly completed application, the Department of Revenue will forward the completed application to the Office of Film and Entertainment for approval.
(b)1. The Office of Film and Entertainment shall establish a process by which an entertainment industry production company may be approved by the office as a qualified production company and may receive a certificate of exemption from the Department of Revenue for the sales and use tax exemptions under ss. 212.031, 212.06, and 212.08.
2. Upon determination by the Office of Film and Entertainment that a production company meets the established approval criteria and qualifies for exemption, the Office of Film and Entertainment shall return the approved application or application renewal or extension to the Department of Revenue, which shall issue a certificate of exemption.
3. The Office of Film and Entertainment shall deny an application or application for renewal or extension from a production company if it determines that the production company does not meet the established approval criteria.
(c) The Office of Film and Entertainment shall develop, with the cooperation of the Department of Revenue and local government entertainment industry promotion agencies, a standardized application form for use in approving qualified production companies.
1. The application form shall include, but not be limited to, production-related information on employment, proposed budgets, planned purchases of items exempted from sales and use taxes under ss. 212.031, 212.06, and 212.08, a signed affirmation from the applicant that any items purchased for which the applicant is seeking a tax exemption are intended for use exclusively as an integral part of entertainment industry preproduction, production, or postproduction activities engaged in primarily in this state, and a signed affirmation from the Office of Film and Entertainment that the information on the application form has been verified and is correct. In lieu of information on projected employment, proposed budgets, or planned purchases of exempted items, a production company seeking a 1-year certificate of exemption may submit summary historical data on employment, production budgets, and purchases of exempted items related to production activities in this state. Any information gathered from production companies for the purposes of this section shall be considered confidential taxpayer information and shall be disclosed only as provided in s. 213.053.
2. The application form may be distributed to applicants by the Office of Film and Entertainment or local film commissions.
(d) All applications, renewals, and extensions for designation as a qualified production company shall be processed by the Office of Film and Entertainment.
(e) In the event that the Department of Revenue determines that a production company no longer qualifies for a certificate of exemption, or has used a certificate of exemption for purposes other than those authorized by this section and chapter 212, the Department of Revenue shall revoke the certificate of exemption of that production company, and any sales or use taxes exempted on items purchased or leased by the production company during the time such company did not qualify for a certificate of exemption or improperly used a certificate of exemption shall become immediately due to the Department of Revenue, along with interest and penalty as provided by s. 212.12. In addition to the other penalties imposed by law, any person who knowingly and willfully falsifies an application, or uses a certificate of exemption for purposes other than those authorized by this section and chapter 212, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in ss. 775.082, 775.083, and 775.084.
(3) CATEGORIES.
(a)1. A production company may be qualified for designation as a qualified production company for a period of 1 year if the company has operated a business in Florida at a permanent address for a period of 12 consecutive months. Such a qualified production company shall receive a single 1-year certificate of exemption from the Department of Revenue for the sales and use tax exemptions under ss. 212.031, 212.06, and 212.08, which certificate shall expire 1 year after issuance or upon the cessation of business operations in the state, at which time the certificate shall be surrendered to the Department of Revenue.
2. The Office of Film and Entertainment shall develop a method by which a qualified production company may annually renew a 1-year certificate of exemption for a period of up to 5 years without requiring the production company to resubmit a new application during that 5-year period.
3. Any qualified production company may submit a new application for a 1-year certificate of exemption upon the expiration of that company’s certificate of exemption.
(b)1. A production company may be qualified for designation as a qualified production company for a period of 90 days. Such production company shall receive a single 90-day certificate of exemption from the Department of Revenue for the sales and use tax exemptions under ss. 212.031, 212.06, and 212.08, which certificate shall expire 90 days after issuance, with extensions contingent upon approval of the Office of Film and Entertainment. The certificate shall be surrendered to the Department of Revenue upon its expiration.
2. Any production company may submit a new application for a 90-day certificate of exemption upon the expiration of that company’s certificate of exemption.
(4) DUTIES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE.
(a) The Department of Revenue shall review the initial application and notify the applicant of any omissions and request additional information if needed. An application shall be complete upon receipt of all requested information. The Department of Revenue shall forward all complete applications to the Office of Film and Entertainment within 10 working days.
(b) The Department of Revenue shall issue a numbered certificate of exemption to a qualified production company within 5 working days of the receipt of an approved application, application renewal, or application extension from the Office of Film and Entertainment.
(c) The Department of Revenue may promulgate such rules and shall prescribe and publish such forms as may be necessary to effectuate the purposes of this section or any of the sales tax exemptions which are reasonably related to the provisions of this section.
(d) The Department of Revenue is authorized to establish audit procedures in accordance with the provisions of ss. 212.12, 212.13, and 213.34 which relate to the sales tax exemption provisions of this section.
(5) RELATIONSHIP OF TAX EXEMPTIONS AND INCENTIVES TO INDUSTRY GROWTH; REPORT TO THE LEGISLATURE.The Office of Film and Entertainment shall keep annual records from the information provided on taxpayer applications for tax exemption certificates beginning January 1, 2001. These records shall reflect a ratio of the annual amount of sales and use tax exemptions under this section and incentives awarded pursuant to s. 288.1254 to the estimated amount of funds expended by certified productions, including productions that received incentives pursuant to s. 288.1254. These records also shall reflect a separate ratio of the annual amount of sales and use tax exemptions under this section, plus the incentives awarded pursuant to s. 288.1254 to the estimated amount of funds expended by certified productions. In addition, the office shall maintain data showing annual growth in Florida-based entertainment industry companies and entertainment industry employment and wages. The Office of Film and Entertainment shall report this information to the Legislature no later than December 1 of each year.
History.s. 1, ch. 2000-182; s. 8, ch. 2001-106; s. 29, ch. 2010-147.
DIVISION OF BOND FINANCE
288.13 Cooperation with other units, boards, agencies, and individuals.
288.14 Board of Trustees of Internal Improvement Trust Fund may cooperate.
288.15 Powers of Division of Bond Finance.
288.17 Revenue certificates.
288.18 Planning, promoting, and supervising state building projects.
288.23 Division authorized to acquire roads and bridges.
288.24 Division authorized to acquire ferries and toll ferries.
288.27 Lease or sale by division.
288.28 Department of Transportation authorized to lease or purchase certain roads and bridges.
288.281 Financing construction or acquisition of roads and bridges; additional method.
288.29 Ratifying prior transactions.
288.30 Cumulative provisions.
288.31 Armories; financing construction authorized.
288.33 School buildings; financing construction authorized.
288.13 Cooperation with other units, boards, agencies, and individuals.Express authority and power is hereby given any county, municipality, drainage district, road or bridge district, school district or any other political subdivision, board, or commission in the state to make and enter into, with the Division of Bond Finance of the State Board of Administration, contracts and leases, within the provisions and purposes of this chapter. The division is hereby expressly authorized to make agreements with and enter into any and all contracts with any political subdivisions of the state.
History.s. 3, ch. 15861, 1933; CGL 1936 Supp. 4151 (112); s. 2, ch. 22821, 1945; s. 11, ch. 29788, 1955; ss. 22, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 264, ch. 92-279; s. 55, ch. 92-326.
Note.Former s. 420.04.
288.14 Board of Trustees of Internal Improvement Trust Fund may cooperate.The Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund may convey and grant to the Division of Bond Finance of the State Board of Administration, and enter into agreements permitting the use and occupation by the division, with or without compensation, of land under its control and not in use for state purposes, including swamps, overflowed lands, bottoms of streams, lakes, rivers, bays, and other waters of the state, and the riparian rights thereto appertaining, as, in the judgment of said board, may be reasonably necessary in carrying out the provisions of this chapter.
History.s. 4, ch. 15861, 1933; CGL 1936 Supp. 4151(113); s. 11, ch. 29788, 1955; s. 2, ch. 61-119; ss. 22, 27, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 265, ch. 92-279; s. 55, ch. 92-326.
Note.Former s. 420.05.
288.15 Powers of Division of Bond Finance.There is hereby granted to and vested in the Division of Bond Finance of the State Board of Administration the power, right, franchise, and authority:
(1) To take, exclusively occupy, use, and possess rights-of-way for any projects, enterprises, or undertakings of the division, over and across state-owned lands not otherwise in use for state purposes.
(2)(a) The division is hereby authorized and empowered to exercise the power of eminent domain and may condemn for the use of the division any and all lands, easements, rights-of-way, riparian rights, property, and property rights of every description required in carrying out the objects and purposes of this chapter.
(b) The proceedings for condemnation hereunder may be instituted and conducted in the name of the division, and the procedure shall be the same as is prescribed by chapter 73.
(3) To own and to acquire by donation, purchase, or otherwise, real and personal property, tangible and intangible, and to lease, sell, alienate, and dispose of the same or any part or parts thereof in carrying out the objects and purposes of this chapter.
(4) To subscribe for, purchase, acquire, own, sell, or otherwise dispose of bonds and obligations of municipalities and political subdivisions of the state, needful or incident to carrying out the objects and purposes of this chapter, and exercise all the rights, powers, and privileges incident to ownership thereof.
(5) In order to carry out the objectives and purposes of this chapter, the division is authorized to acquire, own, construct, operate, maintain, improve, and extend public buildings, facilities, or works within the state which are of the character hereinafter specifically mentioned. All public buildings, facilities, and works which the division is authorized to own, construct, operate, and maintain must be such as can ultimately be owned and operated by an agency, department, board, bureau, or commission of the state. All or any such buildings, facilities, or works may be of a revenue-producing character in order that the cost of the same or some part of improvements or extensions thereto may be paid from receipts therefrom, including in Tallahassee only rentals, leases, and sales to both public and nonpublic agencies through the issue and sales or disposition of revenue bonds, notes, or certificates of the division. The buildings, facilities, and works which the division is hereby authorized to acquire, construct, operate, maintain, improve, and extend are:
(a) Toll bridges or tunnels, and toll roads wherever the same are connected with or form a part of the state system of public roads. The location and construction of same shall first be approved by the Department of Transportation.
(b) To accept as a gift or grant or to purchase or lease from the Federal Government any personal property or any real property, fixtures, or appurtenances thereto, located in the state, payment for which can be made from the revenues derived therefrom, which will be used in the development of the agriculture, forest and reforestation of the state or such property as will provide recreation for the public and citizens of the state.
(c) It is expressly declared that the Division of Bond Finance shall not be authorized:
1. Except as is provided in s. 288.13, to acquire, own, or construct any buildings, facilities, or works which are to be maintained and operated solely for municipal or local purpose; and
2. To so accept, purchase, or lease from the Federal Government any property or business ordinarily owned and operated by private business; provided, however, this provision does not prohibit or limit such purchase, acceptance of gift, or lease of surplus property to be used for noncompetitive government purposes.
(d) Public buildings, facilities, and additions or improvements to existing buildings and facilities for ultimate use in connection with any of the several state institutions, departments, bureaus, boards, or commissions; and, in furtherance of this paragraph, the Department of Management Services, the Board of Governors of the State University System, and the State Board of Education are authorized to cooperate with the Division of Bond Finance and to do and perform all acts and things necessary thereto. Any property acquired by the Division of Bond Finance under the provisions of this chapter may ultimately be conveyed to the state free and clear of all debt or other encumbrance.
(e) The Division of Bond Finance is hereby authorized to collect reasonable rentals, tolls, or charges for the use of public buildings, facilities, or works constructed, acquired, or owned by it and for the products and services of the same exclusively for the purpose of paying the expenses of improving, repairing, maintaining, and operating its facilities and properties and paying the principal and interest on its obligations. The division is authorized by reasonable regulations to prescribe for the use of buildings, facilities, works, or projects owned and operated by it, the amount of rentals, tolls, or charges and may make and enter into contracts with any municipality, district, county or other political subdivision, board, commission, agency, or department of the state for the use of such projects or sale of the products or services thereof; provided, that the receipts from any project shall not be expended on any other project except as provided in subsection (8).
(f) However, the provisions of this chapter shall not be construed to authorize the construction, acquisition, ownership, or operation by the division of any project other than the class of projects referred to in this subsection.
(6) To secure, assemble, study, map, plat, and chart any and all data which may pertain to the governance, rehabilitation, welfare, health, transportation, commerce, marketing, finance, business, population, land use, sanitation, waterways, mineral resources, parks, wildlife, public buildings and property, and the laws relating to social, economic, or conservational matters of the state, its political subdivisions, and its people for the purpose of advising and assisting, proposing, and recommending to state administrative officers, the state Legislature, and the people of the state plans for the future development, welfare, and governance of the state, in order that the state’s plan of development may be coordinated, its economic resources be conserved, and the welfare of its people be promoted.
(7) It is expressly provided:
(a) That nothing in this chapter shall be construed as vesting in the Division of Bond Finance the power, right, or privilege to engage in private enterprise or business for profit; and
(b) That nothing in this chapter shall authorize the purchase, condemnation, or other acquisition by the division of the properties or securities of privately owned utilities or any part of same.
(8) The division is hereby authorized and directed to proceed with the acquisition of land and buildings thereon now needed or to be needed for use in whole or in part by any agency, board, bureau, or commission of the state, such acquisition to be within the area defined by the Department of Management Services for the long-range development of the proposed Capitol Center; and
(a) To construct, acquire, own, and operate buildings and facilities thereon, such buildings and facilities to be financed by the revenue they yield, through the issuance of revenue certificates;
(b) To have specific authority in financing the acquisition, construction, and operation of such buildings and facilities, to utilize rentals to both public and nonpublic agencies as well as any regularly appropriated state or other public funds; however, no revenue from lands, buildings, or facilities now owned by the state may be pledged to finance the acquisition of land, buildings, or facilities pursuant to the provisions of this law, except revenue from land, buildings, or facilities purchased or acquired pursuant to the provisions of this law.
(9) Subsections (5) and (8) shall be liberally construed to effectuate the objectives and purposes thereof and the public policy of the state as hereby declared.
History.ss. 5, 6, ch. 15861, 1933; CGL 1936 Supp. 4151(114), (115); ss. 3, 4, ch. 20509, 1941; s. 3, ch. 22821, 1945; ss. 1, 2, 3, ch. 26851, 1951; s. 11, ch. 29788, 1955; s. 2, ch. 57-57; s. 2, ch. 65-173; s. 3, ch. 65-178; s. 2, ch. 65-255; s. 2, ch. 65-525; s. 18, ch. 69-216; ss. 22, 23, 25, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 84, ch. 71-355; s. 2, ch. 73-326; s. 2, ch. 75-70; s. 20, ch. 83-216; s. 58, ch. 85-349; s. 5, ch. 88-215; s. 266, ch. 92-279; s. 55, ch. 92-326; s. 92, ch. 98-279; s. 37, ch. 2007-217.
Note.Former s. 420.06.
288.17 Revenue certificates.The Division of Bond Finance of the State Board of Administration is authorized to issue interest-bearing revenue certificates for construction of all state buildings approved by the Legislature in its appropriation acts and requested by the Department of Management Services or by the Board of Governors of the State University System.
History.s. 1, ch. 29831, 1955; s. 1, ch. 65-512; s. 1, ch. 67-603; ss. 22, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 85, ch. 71-355; s. 267, ch. 92-279; s. 55, ch. 92-326; s. 38, ch. 2007-217.
288.18 Planning, promoting, and supervising state building projects.
(1) The Department of Management Services shall be responsible for promoting any state building project financed as provided by law in any community where a state building is needed.
(2) Whenever the Division of Bond Finance and the Board of Administration shall find a building project financially feasible, all state agencies, commissions, bureaus, or branch offices of any department occupying rented office space in the area, shall occupy space in the state buildings to the extent that space is available.
(3) Any state agency required to occupy space by the Department of Management Services may contract for such space and pledge such rentals as are provided and appropriated by the Legislature for the purpose of financing the retirement of revenue certificates for the lifetime of any issue.
History.s. 2, ch. 29831, 1955; ss. 22, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 83, ch. 71-377; s. 2, ch. 75-70; s. 59, ch. 85-349; s. 268, ch. 92-279; s. 55, ch. 92-326; s. 93, ch. 98-279.
288.23 Division authorized to acquire roads and bridges.
(1) The Division of Bond Finance of the State Board of Administration is authorized and empowered, upon the application of any county or counties evidenced by resolution of the board or boards of county commissioners thereof, to acquire by purchase, gift, or eminent domain and/or to construct within such county or counties so making application therefor, any road or bridge, including the acquisition of necessary rights-of-way therefor, connecting state highways within such county or counties; provided, however, in the event the said division shall determine, agree, or contract to build or construct any road or bridge under the provisions hereof then it shall so advise the Department of Transportation of such determination, agreement, or contract and shall give the Department of Transportation complete copies of all documents, agreements, resolutions, contracts, and instruments relating to such matter and shall request the Department of Transportation to do such construction work including the acquisition of necessary rights-of-way, planning, surveying, and actual construction of such project and shall also transfer to the credit of the Department of Transportation in the Treasury of the state the funds hereinafter provided for such projects and the Department of Transportation shall thereupon be authorized, empowered, and directed to proceed with such construction, including the acquisition of necessary rights-of-way, and to use the said funds for such work, and no other work, in the same manner that it is now authorized to use the funds otherwise provided by law for its use in construction of roads and bridges.
(2) The authority herein and hereby conferred to acquire rights-of-way shall be construed to extend to and include the acquisition of new rights-of-way separately to be used in the future for the construction of new roads and new bridges and for the acquisition of rights-of-way to be used in the future for widening or four-laning or extending, or otherwise improving, existing state roads and bridges. Provided, however, that no rights-of-way shall be acquired hereunder except for use in the construction of roads and bridges that have been prior to such acquisition legally designated as state roads and bridges, and provided further, that if any provision or any part of any provision of this amended section shall be held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect the validity of the remaining provisions of this amended section. The acquisition of rights-of-way as provided above separately and in advance of the construction of improvements on such rights-of-way, shall be and constitute a separate project or purpose under the provisions of this chapter or under the provisions of any other law or laws, and the Division of Bond Finance shall be fully authorized to issue its bonds, notes or certificates in the manner provided in this chapter to finance the cost of the acquisition of such rights-of-way separately and in advance of the construction of improvements on such rights-of-way.
History.s. 1, ch. 23758, 1947; s. 11, ch. 29788, 1955; s. 1, ch. 57-86; ss. 22, 23, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 269, ch. 92-279; s. 55, ch. 92-326.
Note.Former s. 420.12.
288.24 Division authorized to acquire ferries and toll ferries.
(1) The Division of Bond Finance of the State Board of Administration is authorized:
(a) To acquire, own, maintain, and operate ferries and toll ferries wherever the same are connected with or form a part of or are auxiliary to the state system of public roads.
(b) To fix and collect reasonable rentals, tolls, or charges for the use of any ferries operated by or under agreement with the said division.
(c) To enter into a contract or contracts with the Department of Transportation for the acquisition, maintenance, or operation of any such ferry or ferries.
(2) The acquisition, ownership, maintenance, and operation of said ferries and toll ferries shall be exercised in accordance with existing laws governing the powers of said division in connection with other buildings, facilities, additions, and improvements.
History.ss. 1, 2, 3, 4, ch. 25009, 1949; s. 11, ch. 29788, 1955; ss. 22, 23, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 60, ch. 79-164; s. 270, ch. 92-279; s. 55, ch. 92-326.
Note.Former s. 420.121.
288.27 Lease or sale by division.The Division of Bond Finance is authorized and empowered to lease or sell roads or bridges acquired or constructed pursuant to s. 288.23 to the Department of Transportation, upon such terms and conditions as will secure sufficient revenue for paying all cost incurred in connection with the acquisition or construction of such roads or bridges and which will represent the fair market value thereof for leasehold and for purchase purposes.
History.s. 3, ch. 23758, 1947; s. 11, ch. 29788, 1955; ss. 22, 23, 35, ch. 69-106.
Note.Former s. 420.14.
288.28 Department of Transportation authorized to lease or purchase certain roads and bridges.The Department of Transportation is hereby authorized and empowered to lease or purchase from the Division of Bond Finance of the State Board of Administration such roads or bridges as may have been acquired or constructed under the provisions of s. 288.23 and to pay either the rental or the purchase price from the surplus gasoline taxes which may, in the future, accrue to the credit of the county or counties in which the road or bridge is located, under the provisions of s. 9, Art. XII of the State Constitution.
History.s. 4, ch. 23758, 1947; s. 1, ch. 26768, 1951; s. 11, ch. 29788, 1955; ss. 22, 23, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 18, ch. 69-216; s. 271, ch. 92-279; s. 55, ch. 92-326.
Note.Former s. 420.15.
288.281 Financing construction or acquisition of roads and bridges; additional method.
(1) Upon request of any county, any road or bridge district, or any authority, evidenced by a resolution duly adopted by the governing body thereof, the Division of Bond Finance of the State Board of Administration is authorized and empowered to issue and sell interest-bearing bonds, notes, or certificates in its own name for and on behalf of said county, road or bridge district, or authority, for the purpose of financing the construction of roads or bridges within the county, district, or authority, or the acquisition of rights-of-way for such roads. The governing body of the county, district, or authority may request in said resolution that the division construct or acquire said project by and through its statutory agent, the Department of Transportation.
(2) Any county, road or bridge district, or authority making application to the Division of Bond Finance pursuant to this section may prescribe the terms, conditions, and limitations under which said bonds, notes, or certificates shall be issued and sold and the proceeds of the sale of said bonds, notes, and certificates shall be applied.
(3) Any bonds, notes, or certificates issued by the division pursuant to this section may be secured by and payable as to both principal and interest, in whole or in part, from the 20-percent surplus gasoline tax funds accruing under the provisions of s. 9, Art. XII of the State Constitution, tolls or other revenue derived from the operation of the project, or ad valorem taxes or any combination thereof that may be legally available to said county, road or bridge district, or authority. If authorized by the Department of Transportation bonds, notes, or certificates may be additionally secured by and payable as to both principal and interest from legally available 80-percent surplus gasoline tax funds accruing to the Department of Transportation under the provisions of s. 9, Art. XII of the State Constitution.
(4) This section is intended to be cumulative of other powers granted to the Division of Bond Finance, the Department of Transportation, the counties, districts, and authorities under other provisions of law and is not intended to repeal, abrogate, or modify any such provisions.
History.s. 1, ch. 61-433; ss. 22, 23, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 18, ch. 69-216; s. 272, ch. 92-279; s. 55, ch. 92-326.
288.29 Ratifying prior transactions.Any transaction heretofore consummated, or in the process of consummation, in whole or in part, concerning the acquisition, condemnation, financing, construction, lease, or sale of any such road or bridge within the intendment of ss. 288.23, 288.24, 288.27, 288.28, 288.29, 288.30, be and the same is hereby ratified, legalized and confirmed.
History.s. 5, ch. 23758, 1947; s. 11, ch. 29788, 1955.
Note.Former s. 420.16.
288.30 Cumulative provisions.Sections 288.23, 288.24, 288.27, 288.28, and 288.29 are intended to be cumulative of other powers granted to the Division of Bond Finance and the Department of Transportation under other provisions of law and are not intended to repeal, abrogate, or modify any such provisions.
History.s. 6, ch. 23758, 1947; s. 11, ch. 29788, 1955; ss. 22, 23, 35, ch. 69-106.
Note.Former s. 420.17.
288.31 Armories; financing construction authorized.
(1) The Division of Bond Finance of the State Board of Administration shall have the power to borrow money and incur obligations by way of bonds, notes, or revenue certificates and issue such obligations for the purpose of financing, either in whole or in part, the construction of armories in such counties and municipalities as designated by the State Armory Board. The authority hereby conferred shall empower the said division to issue such certificates or bonds for the financing of the share or portion of the cost to be borne by a county or municipality when required by the provisions of a grant of funds from the state or the Federal Government or any other source, or to authorize the borrowing and issuing of obligations for financing such an armory in its entirety. Bonds, notes, or certificates issued hereunder shall be issued in conformity to all the provisions of chapter 215, and the division shall be empowered to fix the rentals or charges to be collected for the purpose of the retirement or purchase of said obligations. The division and the county or municipality shall be empowered to enter into such lease, or leases, as may be necessary to ensure the providing of sufficient funds to retire such obligations and when the said obligations shall have been fully paid, the armory shall be conveyed to the state. Leases with the county or municipality under the terms of this section shall provide for the control of the building and its use to be vested in the military commander representing the Armory Board in accordance with the provisions of s. 250.40.
(2) For the purpose of determining the amount of the contribution of any county or municipality toward the requirement of matching state or federal funds, real estate provided or donated by such county or municipality may be considered as a portion of the contribution required to the amount of the fair appraised value of the same as determined by the Armory Board, and all lands, buildings and structures shall be conveyed to and become the property of the Division of Bond Finance when it acts under the provisions of this section, the same to be conveyed to the state when all obligations against same shall have been paid in full.
(3) Nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing the pledging, mortgaging or otherwise hypothecating the real estate and armory building, but the obligations issued hereunder shall pledge only the income from the armory building as covered in its rental by the county or municipality or from other sources.
(4) The purpose of this section is to provide a means for financing and supplying the funds necessary to be furnished by a county or municipality to meet and match funds made available by the state or federal government on a matching basis or to provide the total amount of the construction costs of armories.
(5) Counties and municipalities are hereby authorized and empowered to levy taxes not to exceed 1 mill to provide the funds necessary for the lease or leases herein provided and for the retirement of bonds or certificates of indebtedness issued by the division under the provisions of this section.
(6) Nothing in this section, however, shall be construed to repeal any provision of chapter 250, as amended in 1949.
History.s. 1, ch. 24200, 1947; ss. 1, 2, ch. 25125, 1949; (2), s. 10, ch. 26484, 1951; s. 11, ch. 29788, 1955; ss. 22, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 273, ch. 92-279; s. 55, ch. 92-326; s. 22, ch. 2004-5.
Note.Former s. 420.18.
288.33 School buildings; financing construction authorized.
(1) Upon the request of the school board of any district with the approval of the State Board of Education evidenced by a resolution duly adopted by the governing body of each of such boards, the Division of Bond Finance of the State Board of Administration is authorized and empowered to issue and sell interest-bearing revenue bonds, notes, or certificates in its own name for the purpose of constructing, within the county, school buildings or additions thereto for rent, lease, or purchase by the school board of the district. The Division of Bond Finance may, by contract, make the school board its agent for the acquisition or construction of such school buildings, classrooms, or facilities.
(2) Any school board, making application to the Division of Bond Finance pursuant to this section may prescribe the terms, conditions and limitations under which said bonds, notes, or certificates shall be issued and sold and the proceeds of the sale of said bonds, notes, and certificates shall be applied.
(3) Under no circumstances shall any bonds, notes or certificates issued under this section by the division be construed as an obligation of the state nor of its subdivisions nor shall the state or its subdivisions under any theory be bound therefor. They shall be solely and only the obligations of the division in its corporate and representative capacity and shall be secured only by such revenues as shall be pledged as security for the payment thereof.
(4) Any revenue bonds, notes or certificates issued by the Division of Bond Finance pursuant to this section may be secured by a lease-purchase agreement executed by the school board, which agreement may remain in effect until the bonds and all interest thereon and any refunding thereof have been paid in full. As security for the rentals agreed to be paid under the terms of the lease-purchase agreement, the school board may pledge and agree to pay as such rentals any moneys legally available for school purposes to such school board not prohibited by the Florida Constitution. Each school board requesting the construction of school buildings under this section shall annually request in its budget sufficient funds to meet the annual rentals agreed to be paid the Division of Bond Finance for lease or purchase of said buildings.
(5) As further security for the repayment of said revenue bonds, notes or certificates, the said school board is authorized to pledge as rentals any funds which may be appropriated by the Legislature for school purposes to said school board. The authority to pledge funds provided for in this subsection is expressly limited to any funds as, if, and when appropriated, in that the Legislature is under no obligation to make any future appropriation.
(6) Any school board requesting the Division of Bond Finance to construct school buildings pursuant to this section shall use said leased buildings for school purposes so long as a need exists therefor and until all of said revenue bonds, notes or certificates and the interest thereon, including any refundings thereof are paid in full; and thereupon title to said buildings shall vest in the school board.
(7) This section is intended to be cumulative to the other powers granted to the Division of Bond Finance and is not intended to repeal or abrogate any such other powers. In financing school buildings pursuant to this section the division may utilize all the powers granted under this chapter.
(8) No approval of any other state board, body, agency, or official other than as specified herein, shall be required for the issuance of such revenue bonds, notes or certificates as provided in this section except the approval of the State Board of Administration in the manner now provided by law.
History.s. 1, ch. 67-428; ss. 22, 28, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 69-300; s. 274, ch. 92-279; s. 55, ch. 92-326.
FOREIGN TRADE ZONES
288.35 Definitions.
288.36 Foreign trade zones; authority to establish, operate, and maintain.
288.37 Foreign trade zones; authority to select and describe locations and make rules.
288.38 Applicability of state laws and rules concerning citrus fruit and products.
288.386 Florida-Caribbean Basin Trade Initiative.
288.35 Definitions.The following terms, wherever used or referred to in this part, shall have the following meanings:
(1) “Corporation” means any corporation organized for the purpose of establishing, operating, and maintaining a foreign trade zone.
(2) “Government agency” means the state or any county or political subdivision thereof; any state agency; any consolidated government of a county, and some or all of the municipalities located within the county; any chartered municipality in the state; and any of the institutions of such consolidated governments, counties, or municipalities. Specifically included are airports, port authorities, industrial authorities, and Space Florida.
(3) “Act of Congress” means the Act of Congress approved June 18, 1934, entitled an Act to provide for the establishment, operation, and maintenance of foreign trade zones in ports of entry of the United States, to expedite and encourage foreign commerce, and for other purposes, as amended, and commonly known as the Foreign Trade Zones Act of 1934, 19 U.S.C. ss. 81a-81u.
(4) “Operational and promotional advancements” means any advance of state funds which are drawn from the State Treasury for the purpose of paying legal obligations of the state on a cash basis.
History.s. 1, ch. 76-42; s. 3, ch. 78-375; s. 15, ch. 99-256; s. 6, ch. 2002-183; s. 56, ch. 2006-60.
288.36 Foreign trade zones; authority to establish, operate, and maintain.Any corporation or government agency shall have the power to apply to the proper authorities of the United States for a grant of the privilege of establishing, operating, and maintaining foreign trade zones and foreign trade subzones under the provisions of the Act of Congress and, when the grant is issued, to accept the grant and to establish, operate, and maintain the foreign trade zones and foreign trade subzones and do all things necessary and proper to carry into effect the establishment, operation, and maintenance of such zones, all in accordance with the Act of Congress and other applicable laws and rules and regulations.
History.s. 2, ch. 76-42.
288.37 Foreign trade zones; authority to select and describe locations and make rules.Any corporation or government agency may select and describe the location of the foreign trade zones or foreign trade subzones for which an application is made under the provisions of the Act of Congress and make such rules and regulations concerning the establishment, operation, and maintenance of the foreign trade zones or foreign trade subzones as may be necessary to comply with the Act of Congress or as may be necessary to comply with the rules and regulations made in accordance with the Act of Congress.
History.s. 3, ch. 76-42.
288.38 Applicability of state laws and rules concerning citrus fruit and products.Any application for establishment of a foreign trade zone made pursuant hereto shall include a provision that all laws of this state and rules of the Florida Department of Citrus applicable to citrus fruit and processed citrus products shall equally apply within any foreign trade zone so established.
History.s. 4, ch. 76-42.
288.386 Florida-Caribbean Basin Trade Initiative.
(1) Contingent upon a specific appropriation, the Seaport Employment Training Grant Program (STEP) shall establish and administer the Florida-Caribbean Basin Trade Initiative for the purpose of assisting small and medium-sized businesses to become involved in international activities and helping them to identify markets with product demand, identify strategic alliances in those markets, and obtain the financing to effectuate trade opportunities in the Caribbean Basin. The initiative must focus assistance to businesses located in urban communities. The initiative shall offer export readiness, assistance and referral services, internships, seminars, workshops, conferences, and e-commerce plus mentoring and matchmaking services, but shall coordinate with and not duplicate those services provided by Enterprise Florida, Inc.
(2) To enhance initiative effectiveness and leverage resources, STEP shall coordinate initiative activities with Enterprise Florida, Inc., United States Export Assistance Centers, Florida Export Finance Corporation, Florida Trade Data Center, Small Business Development Centers, and any other organizations STEP deems appropriate. The coordination may encompass export assistance and referral services, export financing, job-training programs, educational programs, market research and development, market promotion, trade missions, e-commerce, and mentoring and matchmaking services relative to the expansion of trade between Florida and the Caribbean Basin. The initiative shall also form alliances with multilateral, international, and domestic funding programs from Florida, the United States, and the Caribbean Basin to coordinate systems and programs for fundamental assistance in facilitating trade and investment.
(3) STEP shall administer the Florida-Caribbean Basin Trade Initiative pursuant to a performance-based contract with the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development. The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall develop performance measures, standards, and sanctions for the initiative. Performance measures must include, but are not limited to, the number of businesses assisted; the number of urban businesses assisted; and the increase in value of exports to the Caribbean which is attributable to the initiative.
History.s. 6, ch. 2000-290.
SMALL AND MINORITY BUSINESS
288.7001 Small Business Regulatory Advisory Council.
288.7002 Small business advocate.
288.7011 Assistance to certified development corporation.
288.7015 Appointment of rules ombudsman; duties.
288.702 Short title.
288.703 Definitions.
288.7031 Application of certain definitions.
288.705 Statewide contracts register.
288.706 Florida Minority Business Loan Mobilization Program.
288.7065 Short title.
288.707 Florida Black Business Investment Board, Inc.; findings; creation; membership; organization; meetings; disclosure.
288.708 President; employees.
288.709 Powers of the Florida Black Business Investment Board, Inc.
288.7091 Duties of the Florida Black Business Investment Board, Inc.
288.7094 Black business investment corporations.
288.7102 Black Business Loan Program.
288.71025 Prohibited acts; penalties.
288.7103 Eligibility for loan, loan guarantee, or investment.
288.712 Guarantor funds.
288.714 Quarterly and annual reports.
288.7001 Small Business Regulatory Advisory Council.
(1) SHORT TITLE.This section may be cited as the “Small Business Regulatory Relief Act.”
(2) DEFINITIONS.As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Agency” means an agency as defined in s. 120.52.
(b) “Council” means the Small Business Regulatory Advisory Council.
(c) “Rule” means a rule as defined in s. 120.52.
(d) “Small business” means a small business as defined in s. 288.703.
(3) CREATION OF SMALL BUSINESS REGULATORY ADVISORY COUNCIL; MEMBERSHIP; POWERS AND DUTIES.
(a) The Small Business Regulatory Advisory Council is created. The council shall consist of nine members who are current or former small business owners, three appointed by the Governor, three appointed by the President of the Senate, and three appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The initial appointments to the council must be made within 60 days after the effective date of this act. The members shall be from different geographic regions of the state. Members shall serve 4-year terms; however, in order to establish staggered terms, for the initial appointments, each appointing official shall appoint one member to a 2-year term and two members to a 4-year term. A member shall not serve more than three consecutive terms. Members shall select the chairperson from among the members of the council. The council shall meet quarterly or upon the call of the chairperson. A majority of the members constitutes a quorum for the conduct of business. Members of the council shall serve without compensation. The appointing official may remove his or her appointee without cause at any time. A member whose term has expired shall continue to serve on the council until such time as a replacement is appointed. Vacancies shall be filled for the remainder of the term and by the original appointing official.
(b) The council is established, assigned to, and administratively housed within the Florida Small Business Development Center Network, which shall provide staff support to the council.
(c) The council may:
1. Provide agencies with recommendations regarding proposed rules or programs that may adversely affect small business;
2. Consider requests from small business owners to review rules or programs adopted by an agency;
3. Consider requests from small business owners to review small business owners’ private property rights related to rules or programs adopted or implemented by an agency; and
4. Review rules promulgated by an agency to determine whether a rule places an unnecessary burden on small business and make recommendations to the agency to mitigate the adverse effects.
(d) The council does not have authority to:
1. Initiate or intervene in any administrative or judicial proceeding; or
2. Issue subpoenas.
(e) The council shall prepare and submit a written annual report to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives that describes the activities and recommendations of the council.
(4) PERIODIC REVIEW OF RULES.
(a) In coordination with the sunset review schedule provided in s. 11.905, the council may review rules of agencies subject to sunset review to determine whether the rules should be continued without change or should be amended or repealed to reduce the impact of the rules on small businesses, subject to the requirement that the recommendations of the council must be feasible and consistent with the stated objectives of the rules.
(b) In reviewing agency rules to reduce the impact on small businesses, the council, in coordination with the agency, shall consider the following factors:
1. Continued need for the rule;
2. The nature of complaints or comments received from the public concerning the rule;
3. The complexity of the rule;
4. The extent to which the rule overlaps, duplicates, or conflicts with other federal, state, and local government rules; and
5. The length of time since the rule has been evaluated or the degree to which technology, economic conditions, or other factors have changed in the topical area affected by the rule.
(c) Within 6 months after the agency report is submitted to the Joint Legislative Sunset Committee pursuant to s. 11.907, the council shall provide a report to the Governor, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the Joint Legislative Sunset Committee that includes recommendations and evaluations of agency rules and programs regarding regulatory fairness for small businesses. A component of the report shall be a rating system, developed by the council, entitled “Small Business Friendliness and Development Scorecard.”
History.s. 2, ch. 2008-149.
288.7002 Small business advocate.
(1) DEFINITIONS.
(a) “Advocate” means the Florida Small Business Advocate, who is also the Director of the Office of Small Business Advocate.
(b) “Director” means the Director of the Office of Small Business Advocate.
(c) “Office” means the Office of Small Business Advocate.
(2) OFFICE OF SMALL BUSINESS ADVOCATE.The Office of Small Business Advocate is established, assigned to, and administratively housed within the Florida Small Business Development Center Network. The director shall be the Florida Small Business Advocate.
(3) DIRECTOR OF THE OFFICE OF SMALL BUSINESS ADVOCATE; APPOINTMENT; DUTIES.
(a) The advocate shall be selected by the director of the Florida Small Business Development Center Network and shall be an employee of or under contract with the Florida Small Business Development Center Network. Preferred qualifications for the advocate include at least 5 years’ experience in small business, extensive knowledge of the issues and challenges of importance to small business, and actual experience in small business advocacy and assistance.
(b) The duties and functions of the advocate shall include the following:
1. Act as staff for the Small Business Regulatory Advisory Council.
2. Serve as principal advocate in the state on behalf of small businesses, including, but not limited to, advisory participation in the consideration of all legislation and administrative rules that affect small businesses and advocacy on state policy and programs related to small businesses on disaster preparedness and recovery, including providing technical assistance.
3. Represent the views and interests of small businesses before agencies whose policies and activities may affect small businesses. Among other activities, the advocate may encourage standardized applications and information packages that would include all the information needed by each agency that a business has to deal with to prevent an applicant from having to fill out duplicative information on forms from various agencies.
4. Enlist the cooperation and assistance of public and private agencies, businesses, and other organizations in disseminating information about the programs and services provided by all levels of government that are of benefit to small businesses and information on how small businesses can participate in, or make use of, those programs and services.
5. Issue a report every 2 years evaluating the efforts of agencies that significantly regulate small businesses, to assist minority and other small business enterprises and to make recommendations that may be appropriate to assist the development and strengthening of minority and other small business enterprises.
6. Consult with experts and authorities in the fields of small business investment, venture capital investment, and commercial banking and other comparable financial institutions involved in the financing of business; with individuals with regulatory, legal, economic, or financial expertise, including members of the academic community; and with individuals who generally represent the public interest.
7. Seek the assistance and cooperation of all agencies and departments providing services to, or affecting, small business, to ensure coordination of state efforts.
8. Receive and respond to complaints from small businesses concerning the actions of agencies and the operative effects of state laws and regulations adversely affecting those businesses. The advocate shall establish an annual process for small businesses to nominate agency rules or programs for reform. The advocate shall publish those nominations online and update the status of agency action on the proposed reforms twice yearly.
9. Counsel small businesses on how to resolve questions and problems concerning the relationship of small business to state government.
10. Maintain, publicize, and distribute an annual list of persons serving as small business ombudsmen throughout state government.
11. Coordinate a statewide conference on small business with public and private organizations and entities impacting small business in the state.
12. Coordinate annual public meetings to share best practices for small business disaster preparedness. The meetings shall be held in consultation with regional and statewide small business organizations and shall take place in different locations throughout the state.
(4) REPORTS, DOCUMENTS, AND INFORMATION FURNISHED TO THE SMALL BUSINESS ADVOCATE; ANNUAL REPORTS.
(a) Each agency of the state shall furnish to the advocate the reports, documents, and information that are public records and that the director deems necessary to carry out his or her functions under this chapter.
(b) The advocate shall prepare and submit a written annual report to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives that describes the activities and recommendations of the office.
History.s. 3, ch. 2008-149.
288.7011 Assistance to certified development corporation.The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development is authorized to enter into contracts with a nonprofit, statewide development corporation certified pursuant to s. 503 of the Small Business Investment Act of 1958, as amended, to permit such corporation to locate and contract for administrative and technical staff assistance and support, including, without limitation, assistance to the development corporation in the packaging and servicing of loans for the purpose of stimulating and expanding the availability of private equity capital and long-term loans to small businesses. Such assistance and support will cease when the corporation has received state support in an amount the equivalent of $250,000 per year over a 5-year period beginning July 1, 1997. Any contract between the office and such corporation shall specify that the records of the corporation must be available for audit by the office and by the Auditor General.
History.s. 58, ch. 96-320; s. 20, ch. 97-278.
288.7015 Appointment of rules ombudsman; duties.The Governor shall appoint a rules ombudsman, as defined in s. 288.703, in the Executive Office of the Governor, for considering the impact of agency rules on the state’s citizens and businesses. In carrying out duties as provided by law, the ombudsman shall consult with Enterprise Florida, Inc., at which point the office may recommend to improve the regulatory environment of this state. The duties of the rules ombudsman are to:
(1) Carry out the responsibility provided in s. 120.54(2), with respect to small businesses.
(2) Review state agency rules that adversely or disproportionately impact businesses, particularly those relating to small and minority businesses.
(3) Make recommendations on any existing or proposed rules to alleviate unnecessary or disproportionate adverse effects to businesses.
(4) Each state agency shall cooperate fully with the rules ombudsman in identifying such rules. Further, each agency shall take the necessary steps to waive, modify, or otherwise minimize such adverse effects of any such rules. However, nothing in this section authorizes any state agency to waive, modify, provide exceptions to, or otherwise alter any rule that is:
(a) Expressly required to implement or enforce any statutory provision or the express legislative intent thereof;
(b) Designed to protect persons against discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, handicap, or marital status; or
(c) Likely to prevent a significant risk or danger to the public health, the public safety, or the environment of the state.
(5) The modification or waiver of any such rule pursuant to this section must be accomplished in accordance with the provisions of chapter 120.
History.s. 5, ch. 96-320; s. 67, ch. 2010-102.
288.702 Short title.This section and ss. 288.703-288.706 may be cited as the “Florida Small and Minority Business Assistance Act.”
History.s. 1, ch. 85-104; s. 2, ch. 2007-157.
288.703 Definitions.As used in this act, the following words and terms shall have the following meanings unless the content shall indicate another meaning or intent:
(1) “Small business” means an independently owned and operated business concern that employs 200 or fewer permanent full-time employees and that, together with its affiliates, has a net worth of not more than $5 million or any firm based in this state which has a Small Business Administration 8(a) certification. As applicable to sole proprietorships, the $5 million net worth requirement shall include both personal and business investments.
(2) “Minority business enterprise” means any small business concern as defined in subsection (1) which is organized to engage in commercial transactions, which is domiciled in Florida, and which is at least 51-percent-owned by minority persons who are members of an insular group that is of a particular racial, ethnic, or gender makeup or national origin, which has been subjected historically to disparate treatment due to identification in and with that group resulting in an underrepresentation of commercial enterprises under the group’s control, and whose management and daily operations are controlled by such persons. A minority business enterprise may primarily involve the practice of a profession. Ownership by a minority person does not include ownership which is the result of a transfer from a nonminority person to a minority person within a related immediate family group if the combined total net asset value of all members of such family group exceeds $1 million. For purposes of this subsection, the term “related immediate family group” means one or more children under 16 years of age and a parent of such children or the spouse of such parent residing in the same house or living unit.
(3) “Minority person” means a lawful, permanent resident of Florida who is:
(a) An African American, a person having origins in any of the black racial groups of the African Diaspora, regardless of cultural origin.
(b) A Hispanic American, a person of Spanish or Portuguese culture with origins in Spain, Portugal, Mexico, South America, Central America, or the Caribbean, regardless of race.
(c) An Asian American, a person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent, or the Pacific Islands, including the Hawaiian Islands prior to 1778.
(d) A Native American, a person who has origins in any of the Indian Tribes of North America prior to 1835, upon presentation of proper documentation thereof as established by rule of the Department of Management Services.
(e) An American woman.
(4) “Certified minority business enterprise” means a business which has been certified by the certifying organization or jurisdiction in accordance with s. 287.0943(1) and (2).
(5) “Department” means the Department of Management Services.
(6) “Ombudsman” means an office or individual whose responsibilities include coordinating with the Office of Supplier Diversity for the interests of and providing assistance to small and minority business enterprises in dealing with governmental agencies and in developing proposals for changes in state agency rules.
(7) “Financial institution” means any bank, trust company, insurance company, savings and loan association, credit union, federal lending agency, or foundation.
(8) “Secretary” means the secretary of the Department of Management Services.
History.s. 2, ch. 85-104; s. 14, ch. 91-162; s. 275, ch. 92-279; s. 55, ch. 92-326; s. 18, ch. 93-187; s. 22, ch. 94-322; s. 59, ch. 96-320; s. 2, ch. 98-295; s. 5, ch. 2000-286; s. 3, ch. 2007-157.
288.7031 Application of certain definitions.The definitions of “small business,” “minority business enterprise,” and “certified minority business enterprise” provided in s. 288.703 apply to the state and all political subdivisions of the state.
History.s. 3, ch. 98-295.
288.705 Statewide contracts register.All state agencies shall in a timely manner provide the Florida Small Business Development Center Procurement System with all formal solicitations for contractual services, supplies, and commodities. The Small Business Development Center shall coordinate with Minority Business Development Centers to compile and distribute this information to small and minority businesses requesting such service for the period of time necessary to familiarize the business with the market represented by state agencies. On or before February 1 of each year, the Small Business Development Center shall report to the Agency for Workforce Innovation on the use of the statewide contracts register. The report shall include, but not be limited to, information relating to:
(1) The total number of solicitations received from state agencies during the calendar year.
(2) The number of solicitations received from each state agency during the calendar year.
(3) The method of distributing solicitation information to businesses requesting such service.
(4) The total number of businesses using the service.
(5) The percentage of businesses using the service which are owned and controlled by minorities.
(6) The percentage of service-disabled veteran business enterprises using the service.
History.s. 4, ch. 85-104; s. 277, ch. 92-279; s. 55, ch. 92-326; s. 23, ch. 94-322; s. 60, ch. 96-320; s. 39, ch. 2007-217; s. 2, ch. 2008-155.
288.706 Florida Minority Business Loan Mobilization Program.
(1) The Legislature finds that it is in the interest of the public welfare to meaningfully assist minority business enterprises that are vital to the overall economy of this state. It is the intent of the Legislature to promote diversity in state contracting by eliminating barriers to minority business enterprises providing goods and services to this state. Finally, the Legislature recognizes the contribution of minority business enterprises to employment opportunities in this state.
(2) The Florida Minority Business Loan Mobilization Program is created to promote the development of minority business enterprises, as defined in s. 288.703(2), increase the ability of minority business enterprises to compete for state contracts, and sustain the economic growth of minority business enterprises in this state. The goal of the program is to assist minority business enterprises by facilitating working capital loans to minority business enterprises that are vendors on state agency contracts. The Department of Management Services shall administer the program.
(3) Notwithstanding ss. 215.422(14) and 216.181(16), and pursuant to s. 216.351, under the Florida Minority Business Loan Mobilization Program, a state agency may disburse up to 10 percent of the base contract award amount to assist a minority business enterprise vendor that is awarded a state agency contract for goods or services in obtaining working capital financing as provided in subsection (5).
(4) Notwithstanding ss. 215.422(14) and 216.181(16), and pursuant to s. 216.351, in lieu of applying for participation in the Florida Minority Business Loan Mobilization Program, a minority business enterprise vendor awarded a state agency contract for the performance of professional services may apply with that contracting state agency for up to 5 percent of the base contract award amount. The contracting state agency may award such advance in order to facilitate the performance of that contract.
(5) The following Florida Minority Business Loan Mobilization Program procedures apply to minority business enterprise vendors for contracts awarded by a state agency for construction or professional services or for the provision of goods or services:
(a) Upon receipt of an award of a prime contract or subcontract, a minority business enterprise vendor may seek to obtain working capital financing from a participating financial institution. The minority business enterprise vendor shall complete all the necessary requirements of the participating financial institution in order to obtain a working capital agreement. A minority business enterprise vendor shall only be entitled to participate in the program if a working capital agreement is established with a participating financial institution.
(b) The working capital agreement may provide for a line of credit that is no less than 125 percent and no more than 200 percent of the designated loan mobilization payment described in paragraph (c).
(c) The designated loan mobilization payment is that portion of the base contract award amount that is to be disbursed by the agency under this section. The actual amount of the designated loan mobilization payment shall be no less than $5,000 and no greater than $250,000. The amount of the designated loan mobilization payment shall be:
1. No less than 5 percent and no more than 10 percent of the base contract award amount between the minority business enterprise prime contract vendor and the contracting state agency; or
2. No less than 5 percent and no more than 10 percent of the base contract award amount between a minority business enterprise subcontract vendor and a minority business enterprise or nonminority business enterprise prime contract vendor.
(d) The designated loan mobilization payment shall be disbursed pursuant to the working capital agreement and this subsection and shall be made payable by the contracting state agency to the minority business enterprise prime contract vendor and the participating financial institution using the tax identification number of the minority business enterprise vendor that is the debtor under the working capital agreement.
(e) The following procedures shall apply when the minority business enterprise is the prime contract vendor to the contracting state agency:
1. Pursuant to s. 216.351, the provisions of ss. 215.422(14) and 216.181(16) do not apply to this paragraph.
2. For construction contracts, the designated loan mobilization payment shall be disbursed when:
a. The minority business enterprise prime contract vendor requests disbursement in the first application for payment.
b. The contracting state agency has issued a notice to proceed and has approved the first application for payment.
3. For contracts other than construction contracts, the designated loan mobilization payment shall be disbursed when:
a. The minority business enterprise prime contract vendor requests disbursement by letter delivered to the contracting state agency after the execution of the contract but prior to the commencement of work.
b. The contracting state agency has approved the minority business enterprise prime contract vendor’s letter of request.
4. The designated loan mobilization payment may be paid by the contracting state agency prior to the commencement of work. In order to ensure that the contract time provisions do not commence until the minority business enterprise prime contract vendor has adequate working capital, the contract documents may provide that the contract shall commence at such time as the contracting state agency releases the designated loan mobilization payment to the minority business enterprise prime contract vendor and participating financial institution pursuant to the working capital agreement.
(f) The following procedures shall apply when the minority business enterprise is the subcontract vendor:
1. For purposes of this paragraph, the term “minority business enterprise subcontract vendor” is limited to subcontractors and suppliers to prime contract vendors that contract with a state agency.
2. A designated loan mobilization payment for a minority business enterprise subcontract vendor shall be made:
a. Upon approval by the contracting state agency of a letter from the minority business enterprise subcontract vendor and prime contract vendor that requests the designated loan mobilization payment and that indicates that the prime contract vendor is on notice of the request.
b. Payable to the prime contract vendor and the participating financial institution, which shall pay these funds to the minority business enterprise subcontract vendor within 10 business days after the receipt of the funds from the state.
3. No prime contract vendor shall retain more than 5 percent of the amount earned by a minority business enterprise subcontract vendor participating in this program, except that if the prime contract vendor is also participating in this program, the amount the prime contract vendor retains shall be subject to the provisions governing prime contract vendors.
(6) All prime contract vendors shall be required to incorporate the designated loan mobilization payment procedures in subcontract agreements or purchase orders with minority business enterprise vendors participating in this program and to cooperate in the release of designated loan mobilization payments to achieve the objective of providing working capital for minority business enterprise subcontract vendors.
(7) The contracting state agency shall encourage prime contract vendors to make weekly or biweekly payments to minority business enterprise subcontract vendors participating in this program.
(8) The contracting state agency shall monitor compliance with this section. Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to limit the contracting state agency’s right to insist upon strict compliance with the requirements of the contract documents.
(9) The contracting state agency shall not be a party to a working capital agreement between a participating financial institution and a participating minority business enterprise vendor. The participating financial institution shall notify the contracting state agency head of vendor program applications received by such institution.
(10) The Department of Management Services may adopt rules to implement the provisions of this section.
(11) The Department of Management Services shall maintain a listing of financial institutions willing to participate in the Florida Minority Business Loan Mobilization Program. This list of financial institutions shall not be exclusive. A minority business enterprise vendor who has a working relationship with a financial institution is encouraged to request that the financial institution apply to participate as a financial institution for the program.
(12) The Department of Management Services shall collaborate with the Florida Black Business Investment Board, Inc., and the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development to assist in the development and enhancement of black business enterprises.
History.s. 1, ch. 2002-303; s. 1, ch. 2003-268; s. 4, ch. 2007-157.
288.7065 Short title.This section and ss. 288.707-288.714 may be cited as the “Florida Black Business Investment Act.”
History.s. 5, ch. 2007-157.
288.707 Florida Black Business Investment Board, Inc.; findings; creation; membership; organization; meetings; disclosure.
(1) The Legislature finds that the public interest of the state will be served by the creation of a not-for-profit corporation, the primary mission of which is to assist in the development and expansion of black business enterprises by:
(a) Advising the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development in its oversight of the Black Business Loan Program and assisting in the creation of a long-range strategic policy for the program.
(b) Evaluating the unmet need for capital by black business enterprises in the state.
(c) Creating partnerships between federal, state, and local governments, private enterprises, and national organizations to aid in the development and expansion of black business enterprises.
(d) Providing a network of information resources for black business enterprises and providing technical assistance through this network.
(2)(a) There is created a not-for-profit corporation to be known as the “Florida Black Business Investment Board, Inc.,” referred to in ss. 288.707-288.714 as the board, which shall be registered, incorporated, organized, and operated in compliance with chapter 617 and which must not be a unit or entity of state government. The Legislature determines, however, that public policy dictates that the board operate in the most open and accessible manner consistent with its public purpose. Therefore, the Legislature specifically declares that the board and its advisory committees or similar groups created by the board, including any subsidiaries, are subject to the provisions of chapter 119, relating to public records, and the provisions of chapter 286, relating to public meetings and records.
(b) The board shall contract with the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development to implement the provisions of ss. 288.707-288.714.
(3) The board shall be governed by a board of directors chosen as follows:
(a) Four members appointed by the Governor who shall serve terms of 4 years each, except that in making initial appointments, the Governor shall appoint three members to serve for terms of 2 years each and two members to serve for terms of 3 years each.
(b) One member appointed by the President of the Senate who shall serve a term of 2 years.
(c) One member appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives who shall serve a term of 2 years.
(d) The vice chair of Enterprise Florida, Inc., or his or her designee, who shall be an ex officio, nonvoting member.
(e) Two at-large members selected by the board of directors who are nationally known for their achievements in finance, small business development, or economic development.
(f) Four presidents of participating black business investment corporations who shall be appointed by the Executive Director of the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development upon the recommendation of the Florida Consortium of Black Business Investment Corporations, Inc., to serve for terms of 3 years each. Each shall be eligible for reappointment to one additional term of 3 years.
(4) Members of the board must have experience in business, including financial services, banking, or economic development. At least one of the Governor’s appointees must have experience in venture capitalism.
(5) Any person appointed to fill a vacancy on the board shall be appointed in a like manner and shall serve for only the remainder of the unexpired term. Any member shall be eligible for reappointment.
(6) The board shall elect a chair and vice chair from among its members for a term of 2 years. The chair may be removed by a two-thirds vote of the membership of the board.
(7) The board shall meet at least four times annually upon the call of the chair or vice chair or at the request of a majority of the membership. A majority of the total number of current members of the board shall constitute a quorum. The board may take official action by a majority vote of the members present at any meeting at which a quorum is present.
(8) Members of the board shall serve without compensation, but members, the president of the board, and other board employees may be reimbursed for all reasonable, necessary, and actual expenses as determined and approved by the board pursuant to s. 112.061.
(9) Each member of the board who is not otherwise required to disclose financial interests pursuant to s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution or s. 112.3144 shall file a statement of financial interests pursuant to s. 112.3145.
History.ss. 9, 32, ch. 85-104; s. 9, ch. 94-136; s. 28, ch. 94-322; s. 878, ch. 95-148; ss. 61, 64, ch. 96-320; s. 47, ch. 99-251; s. 1, ch. 2002-180; s. 6, ch. 2007-157; s. 1, ch. 2010-39.
288.708 President; employees.
(1) The president of the board, who may also be designated as secretary-treasurer, shall be appointed by the board and shall serve at the pleasure of the board. The board shall establish and adjust the compensation of the president. The president shall be the chief administrative and operational officer of the board and shall direct and supervise administrative affairs and the general management of the board. The board may delegate to its president those powers and responsibilities it deems appropriate, except for appointment of the president. The president:
(a) May contract with or employ legal and technical experts and such other employees, permanent and temporary, as shall be authorized by the board;
(b) Shall attend meetings of the board; and
(c) Shall cause copies to be made of all minutes and other records and documents of the board and shall certify that such copies are true copies. All persons dealing with the board may rely upon such certification.
(2) An employee of the board may not receive compensation for employment that exceeds the salary paid to the Governor, unless the board and the employee have executed a contract that prescribes specific and measurable performance outcomes for the employee, the satisfaction of which provides the basis for the award of incentive payments that increase the employee’s total compensation to a level above the salary paid to the Governor. The Department of Management Services shall establish a lease-agreement program under which an employee of the board, as of June 30, 2002, retains his or her status as a state employee until the employee voluntarily or involuntarily terminates his or her status with the board. Status as a state employee shall include the right to participate in the Florida Retirement System.
History.ss. 10, 32, ch. 85-104; s. 28, ch. 94-322; s. 32, ch. 2001-43; s. 2, ch. 2002-180; s. 7, ch. 2007-157.
288.709 Powers of the Florida Black Business Investment Board, Inc.The board shall have all the powers granted under chapter 617 and any powers necessary or convenient to carry out and effectuate the purposes and provisions of ss. 288.707-288.714, including, but not limited to, the power to:
(1) Adopt bylaws for the regulation of its affairs and the conduct of its business and adopt policies to implement the provisions of law conferring duties upon it. The bylaws shall provide that the board is subject to the requirements of s. 24, Art. I of the State Constitution and chapter 119 and s. 286.011.
(2) Enter into agreements or other transactions with any federal, state, or local agency or private entity.
(3) Invest any funds held in reserves or sinking funds, or any funds not required for immediate disbursement, in such investments as may be authorized for trust funds under s. 215.47; however, such investments will be made on behalf of the board by the Chief Financial Officer or by another trustee appointed for that purpose.
(4) Appear in its own behalf before boards, commissions, departments, or other agencies of municipal, county, state, or Federal Government.
(5) Apply for, accept, and disburse from any state or nonstate source grants, loans, or advances for, or in aid of, the purposes of ss. 288.707-288.714 and receive and accept contributions from any source of either money, property, labor, or other things of value to be held, used, and applied for said purposes.
(6) Provide and pay for advisory services and technical assistance as may be necessary or desirable to carry out the purposes of this act.
(7) Engage in special programs to enhance the development of black business enterprises as authorized by this act.
(8) In addition to any indemnification available under chapter 617, indemnify, and purchase and maintain insurance on behalf of, directors, officers, and employees of the board and its boards against any personal liability or accountability by reason of actions taken while acting within the scope of their authority.
(9) Provide in its bylaws that, upon the dissolution of the board, all of its assets acquired through the use of state funds, after payment of all legal debts and liabilities, revert to the state. However, an asset that is not acquired through the use of state funds, or the funding or resources necessary to acquire the asset, shall be returned to the donor who provided the asset.
History.ss. 11, 32, ch. 85-104; s. 80, ch. 87-224; s. 28, ch. 94-322; s. 65, ch. 96-320; s. 57, ch. 98-200; s. 48, ch. 99-251; s. 3, ch. 2002-180; s. 344, ch. 2003-261; s. 2, ch. 2003-268; s. 8, ch. 2007-157; s. 2, ch. 2010-39.
1288.7091 Duties of the Florida Black Business Investment Board, Inc.The board shall:
(1) Serve as an advisory board to the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development, through contract with the office, to assist the office with the implementation of ss. 288.707-288.714.
(2) Aid the development and expansion of black business enterprises by leveraging federal, state, local, and private funds to be held by the board for use according to the provisions of ss. 288.707-288.714.
(3) Serve as the clearinghouse for information and sources of technical assistance that will enhance the development and expansion of black business enterprises and facilitate the provision of technical assistance in communities in which such services are otherwise underserved.
(4) Aggressively market the Black Business Loan Program and related services to black business enterprises through all appropriate media outlets, including media targeting the African-American community.
(5) Collaborate with Enterprise Florida, Inc., or its affiliates to develop and expand black business enterprises.
(6) Collaborate with agencies of the federal, state, and local governments, private entities, nonprofit organizations, and national organizations to create a network of information and to identify available resources to enhance the development and expansion of black business enterprises.
(7) Develop strategies to increase financial institution investment in black business enterprises.
(8) Provide a 5-year projection of the need for capital by black business enterprises. The board may contract with an independent entity to prepare the projection once every 5 years.
(9) Annually provide for a financial audit, as defined in s. 11.45, of the board’s accounts and records by an independent certified public accountant. The audit shall include an explanation of all investments made by the board and an explanation of administrative costs. Within 6 months after the end of the fiscal year, the audit report shall be provided to the Governor, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the Auditor General.
History.s. 1, ch. 94-271; s. 62, ch. 96-320; s. 53, ch. 2000-371; s. 4, ch. 2002-180; s. 24, ch. 2003-1; s. 3, ch. 2003-268; s. 44, ch. 2005-152; s. 9, ch. 2007-157; s. 40, ch. 2007-217; s. 3, ch. 2010-39.
1Note.As amended and substantially reworded by s. 9, ch. 2007-157. Former subsection (7) was also amended by s. 40, ch. 2007-217, without reference to the substantial rewording of the section by s. 9, ch. 2007-157. As amended by s. 40, ch. 2007-217, only, subsection (7) reads:

(7) Develop memoranda of understanding with the Departments of Education, Transportation, Community Affairs, and Management Services, as well as with Workforce Florida, Inc., the Board of Governors of the State University System, and the State Board of Education, detailing efforts of common interest and collaborations to expand black business development.

288.7094 Black business investment corporations.
(1) The term “black business investment corporation” means a corporation that provides loans, loan guarantees, or investments to black business enterprises under s. 288.7102.
(2) A black business investment corporation that meets the requirements of s. 288.7102(4) is eligible to participate in the Black Business Loan Program and shall receive priority consideration by the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development for participation in the program.
History.s. 10, ch. 2007-157; s. 3, ch. 2008-140.
288.7102 Black Business Loan Program.
(1) The Black Business Loan Program is established in the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development. Under the program, the office shall annually certify eligible recipients and subsequently disburse funds appropriated by the Legislature, through such eligible recipients, to black business enterprises that cannot obtain capital through conventional lending institutions but that could otherwise compete successfully in the private sector.
(2) The office shall establish an application and annual certification process for entities seeking funds to participate in providing loans, loan guarantees, or investments in black business enterprises pursuant to the Florida Black Business Investment Act. The office shall process all applications and recertifications submitted by June 1 on or before July 31.
(3) If the Black Business Loan Program is appropriated any funding in a fiscal year, the office shall distribute an equal amount of the appropriation, calculated as the total annual appropriation divided by the total number of program recipients certified on or before July 31 of that fiscal year.
(4) To be eligible to receive funds and provide loans, loan guarantees, or investments under this section, a recipient must:
(a) Be a corporation registered in the state.
(b) For an existing recipient, annually submit to the office a financial audit performed by an independent certified public account for the most recently completed fiscal year, which audit does not reveal any material weaknesses or instances of material noncompliance.
(c) For a new recipient:
1. Demonstrate that its board of directors includes citizens of the state experienced in the development of black business enterprises.
2. Demonstrate that the recipient has a business plan that allows the recipient to operate in a manner consistent with ss. 288.707-288.714 and the rules of the office.
3. Demonstrate that the recipient has the technical skills to analyze and evaluate applications by black business enterprises for loans, loan guarantees, or investments.
4. Demonstrate that the recipient has established viable partnerships with public and private funding sources, economic development agencies, and workforce development and job referral networks.
5. Demonstrate that the recipient can provide a private match equal to 20 percent of the amount of funds provided by the office.
(d) For an existing or new recipient, agree to maintain the recipient’s books and records relating to funds received by the office according to generally accepted accounting principles and in accordance with the requirements of s. 215.97(7) and to make those books and records available to the office for inspection upon reasonable notice.
(5) Each eligible recipient must meet the provisions of ss. 288.707-288.714, the terms of the contract between the recipient and the office, and any other applicable state or federal laws. An entity may not receive funds under ss. 288.707-288.714 unless the entity meets annual certification requirements.
(6) Upon approval by the office and before release of the funds as provided in this section, the office shall issue a letter certifying the applicant as qualified for an award. The office and the applicant shall enter into an agreement that sets forth the conditions for award of the funds. The agreement must include the total amount of funds awarded; the performance conditions that must be met once the funding has been awarded, including, but not limited to, compliance with all of the requirements of this section for eligible recipients of funds under this section; and sanctions for failure to meet performance conditions, including any provisions to recover awards.
(7) The office, in consultation with the board, shall adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement this section.
(8) A black business investment corporation certified by the office as an eligible recipient under this section is authorized to use funds appropriated for the Black Business Loan Program in any of the following forms:
(a) Purchases of stock, preferred or common, voting or nonvoting; however, no more than 40 percent of the funds may be used for direct investments in black business enterprises;
(b) Loans or loan guarantees, with or without recourse, in either a subordinated or priority position; or
(c) Technical support to black business enterprises, not to exceed 9 percent of the funds received, and direct administrative costs, not to exceed 12 percent of the funds received.
(9) It is the intent of the Legislature that if any one type of investment mechanism authorized in subsection (8) is held to be invalid, all other valid mechanisms remain available.
(10) All loans, loan guarantees, and investments, and any income related thereto, shall be used to carry out the public purpose of ss. 288.707-288.714, which is to develop black business enterprises. This subsection does not preclude a reasonable profit for the participating black business investment corporation or for return of equity developed to the state and participating financial institutions upon any distribution of the assets or excess income of the investment corporation.
History.s. 11, ch. 2007-157; s. 2, ch. 2008-140; s. 4, ch. 2010-39.
288.71025 Prohibited acts; penalties.
(1) It is unlawful for any person to hold itself out as a black business investment corporation without being certified as eligible to participate in the Florida Black Business Loan Program.
(2) In addition to any other penalties or remedies provided under law, the office may bring a civil action in any court of competent jurisdiction against any person for a knowing or willful violation of this section. Upon an adverse adjudication, the court may impose a civil penalty of up to $500 and payment of court costs and reasonable attorney’s fees incurred by the plaintiff.
History.s. 12, ch. 2007-157; s. 5, ch. 2010-39.
288.7103 Eligibility for loan, loan guarantee, or investment.A black business enterprise is not eligible to receive a loan, loan guarantee, or investment from funds disbursed pursuant to s. 288.7102 unless the black business enterprise demonstrates that:
(1) The proposed loan, loan guarantee, or investment is economically sound and will assist the black business enterprise in entering the conventional lending market, increasing opportunities for employment, and strengthening the economy of the state.
(2) The black business enterprise will be able to compete successfully in the private sector if the black business enterprise obtains the requested financial assistance and has obtained or will obtain appropriate and credible technical or managerial support through an organization approved by the corporation.
History.s. 13, ch. 2007-157.
288.712 Guarantor funds.
(1) The board is authorized to establish, with or without public or private partners, guarantor funds to assist qualified black business enterprises in obtaining surety bonds and other credit instruments when required.
(2) The board may contract with a regulated surety company to conduct a surety bond program for black business enterprises.
(3) For purposes of this section, the board may utilize the Black Contractors Bond Trust Fund, consisting of moneys deposited or credited to the Black Contractors Bond Trust Fund pursuant to any appropriation made by law; any grants, gifts, and contributions received pursuant to ss. 288.707-288.714; all moneys recovered following defaults; all premiums charged and collected in accordance with this section and any interest earned; and any other moneys obtained by the board for this purpose. The fund shall be administered by the board in trust for the purposes of this section and shall at no time be part of general public funds under the following procedures:
(a) Any claims against the state arising from defaults shall be payable from the Black Contractors Bond Trust Fund. Nothing in this section grants or pledges to any obligee or other person any state moneys other than the moneys in the Black Contractors Bond Trust Fund.
(b) The board may guarantee bonds executed by sureties for black business enterprises under this section as principals on contracts with the state, any political subdivision or instrumentality, or any person as the obligee. The board, as guarantor, may exercise all the rights and powers of a company authorized by the Department of Financial Services to guarantee bonds under chapter 624, but otherwise is not subject to any laws related to a guaranty company under chapter 624 or to any rules of the department.
(c) The board shall adopt policies and procedures for the application for bond guarantees and for the review and approval of applications for bond guarantees submitted by sureties that execute bonds eligible for guarantees under this section.
(d) In accordance with the policies and procedures adopted pursuant to this section, the board may guarantee up to 90 percent of the loss incurred and paid by sureties on bonds guaranteed under this section.
(e) The policies and procedures of the board shall require the black business enterprise to pay a premium in advance for the bond to be established by the board. All premiums paid by the black business enterprise shall be paid into the Black Contractors Bond Trust Fund.
(f) The penal sum amounts of all outstanding bonds issued by the board shall not exceed the amount of moneys in the Black Contractors Bond Trust Fund.
(g) Any funds to the credit of the Black Contractors Bond Trust Fund in excess of the amount necessary to fund the appropriation authority for the fund shall be held as a loss reserve to pay claims arising from defaults on surety bonds guaranteed in accordance with this section.
(4) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit or restrict the board from entering into a joint venture or other contractual agreement with a private insurer or to invest in a private entity to handle all or part of a black contractors bonding program for black business enterprises. The board is authorized and encouraged to contract with a regulated surety company to conduct a surety bond program for black business enterprises. Moneys from the Black Contractors Bond Trust Fund may be used for these purposes. The board may approve one application per fiscal year from each surety company to support 1 fiscal year of that company’s activities under this section. A surety bond company that applies for a bond guarantee under this section, regardless of whether the guarantee is approved, is not restricted from also applying for individual bond guarantees under this section.
(5) The board shall do all of the following to implement the black contractors bonding program:
(a) Conduct outreach, marketing, and recruitment of black contractors.
(b) Provide business development services to black business enterprises in the developmental and transitional stages of the program, including financing and bonding assistance and management and technical assistance.
(c) Develop a mentor program to bring businesses into a working relationship with black contractors in a way that commercially benefits both entities and serves the purpose of the program.
(d) Establish a process by which black contractors may apply for contract assistance, financial and bonding assistance, management and technical assistance, and mentoring opportunities.
History.ss. 14, 32, ch. 85-104; s. 3, ch. 89-352; s. 105, ch. 90-360; s. 28, ch. 94-322; s. 1, ch. 95-386; s. 141, ch. 96-406; s. 7, ch. 2002-180; s. 345, ch. 2003-261; s. 14, ch. 2007-157; s. 6, ch. 2010-39.
288.714 Quarterly and annual reports.
(1) Each recipient of state funds under s. 288.7102 shall provide to the office a quarterly report within 15 days after the end of each calendar quarter that includes a detailed summary of the recipient’s performance of the duties imposed by s. 288.7102, including, but not limited to:
(a) The dollar amount of all loans or loan guarantees made to black business enterprises, the percentages of the loans guaranteed, and the names and identification of the types of businesses served.
(b) Loan performance information.
(c) The amount and nature of all other financial assistance provided to black business enterprises.
(d) The amount and nature of technical assistance provided to black business enterprises, including technical assistance services provided in areas in which such services are otherwise unavailable.
(e) A balance sheet for the recipient, including an explanation of all investments and administrative and operational expenses.
(f) A summary of all services provided to nonblack business enterprises, including the dollar value and nature of such services and the names and identification of the types of businesses served.
(g) Any other information as required by policies adopted by the office.
(2) The office must compile a summary of all quarterly reports and provide a copy of the summary to the board within 30 days after the end of each calendar quarter that includes a detailed summary of the recipient’s performance of the duties imposed by s. 288.7102.
(3) By August 31 of each year, the office shall provide to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives a detailed report of the performance of the Black Business Loan Program. The report must include a cumulative summary of quarterly report data required by subsection (1).
(4) By August 31 of each year, the board shall provide to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives a detailed report of the board’s performance, including:
(a) A description of the strategies implemented by the board to increase private investment in black business enterprises.
(b) A summary of the board’s performance of its duties under ss. 288.707-288.712.
(c) The most recent 5-year projection of the need for capital by black business enterprises.
(d) Recommendations for legislative or other changes to enhance the development and expansion of black business enterprises in the state.
(e) A projection of the program’s activities during the next 12 months.
History.s. 20, ch. 85-104; s. 4, ch. 89-352; s. 66, ch. 96-320; s. 8, ch. 2002-180; s. 5, ch. 2003-268; s. 15, ch. 2007-157; s. 7, ch. 2010-39.
EXPORT FINANCE
288.770 Short title.
288.771 Legislative findings and intent.
288.772 Definitions.
288.773 Florida Export Finance Corporation.
288.774 Powers and limitations.
288.775 Florida Export Finance Corporation Guarantee Account.
288.776 Board of directors; powers and duties.
288.777 President of the corporation.
288.7771 Annual report of Florida Export Finance Corporation.
288.778 Office of Financial Institutions and Securities Regulation.
288.770 Short title.Sections 288.771-288.778 may be cited as the “Florida Export Finance Corporation Act.”
History.s. 46, ch. 93-187; s. 68, ch. 99-13.
288.771 Legislative findings and intent.The Legislature finds that the expansion of international trade is vital to the overall health and growth of Florida’s economy; however, this expansion is severely slowed by the lack of financial and technical assistance for small and medium-sized Florida businesses. The Legislature further finds that these businesses could be assisted through the establishment of a Florida Export Finance Corporation designed to work with the United States Export-Import Bank, Small Business Administration, Foreign Credit Insurance Association, Overseas Private Investment Corporation, Private Export Funding Corporation, and other federal, state, and private agencies and institutions to provide Florida traders with information, technical assistance, and financial support. It is the intention of the Legislature to expand job opportunities for Florida’s workforce. Furthermore, it is the intention of the Legislature to avoid duplicating existing programs, and to coordinate, assist, augment, and improve the access to those programs by Florida-based small and medium-sized businesses and to promote Florida products and services in the international marketplace.
History.s. 47, ch. 93-187.
288.772 Definitions.For purposes of ss. 288.771-288.778:
(1) “Account” means the Florida Export Finance Corporation account in the Florida Intergovernmental Relations Foundation, Inc.
(2) “Board” means the board of directors of the Florida Export Finance Corporation.
(3) “Corporation” means the Florida Export Finance Corporation.
(4) “Domiciled in this state” means registered to do business in this state.
(5) “Financial institution” shall have the same meaning as that term is defined in s. 655.005(1)(h).
(6) “President” means the chief executive officer of the Florida Export Finance Corporation.
(7) “Small and medium-sized businesses” or “businesses” means businesses domiciled in this state which employ less than 250 people and have a net worth of less than $6 million.
History.s. 48, ch. 93-187; s. 68, ch. 96-320; s. 21, ch. 97-278.
288.773 Florida Export Finance Corporation.The Florida Export Finance Corporation is hereby created as a corporation not for profit, to be incorporated under the provisions of chapter 617 and approved by the Department of State. The corporation is organized on a nonstock basis. The purpose of the corporation is to expand employment and income opportunities for residents of this state through increased exports of goods and services, by providing businesses domiciled in this state information and technical assistance on export opportunities, exporting techniques, and financial assistance through guarantees and direct loan originations for sale in support of export transactions. The corporation shall have the power and authority to carry out the following functions:
(1) To coordinate the efforts of the corporation with programs and goals of the United States Export-Import Bank, the International Trade Administration of the United States Department of Commerce, the Foreign Credit Insurance Association, Enterprise Florida, Inc., and its boards, and other private and public programs and organizations, domestic and foreign, designed to provide export assistance and export-related financing.
(2) To establish a network of contacts among those domestic and foreign public and private organizations which provide information, technical assistance, and financial support of exporting.
(3) To assemble, publish, and disseminate information on export opportunities, techniques of exporting, sources of public and private export assistance, and sources of export-related financing.
(4) To organize, host, and participate in seminars and other forums designed to disseminate information and technical assistance on exporting and export-related financing.
(5) To insure, coinsure, lend, and guarantee loans, and to originate for sale direct export-related loans, extended to small and medium-sized businesses in this state pursuant to criteria, bylaws, rules, and policies adopted by the board.
History.s. 49, ch. 93-187; s. 69, ch. 96-320.
288.774 Powers and limitations.
(1) The corporation may charge fees to help defray the operating expenses of its programs. The amount of fees shall be determined by the board.
(2) The total of loans, guarantees, direct loan originations for sale and insured export transactions outstanding shall not be more than five times the balance of the account. The board may elect to require a higher reserve.
(3)(a) The board shall adopt rules on the terms and limits for loans, guarantees, and direct loan originations, but a loan guarantee or a direct loan origination shall not exceed 90 percent of the transaction contract.
(b) In providing assistance, the board shall be guided by the statewide economic development plan adopted pursuant to s. 288.905.
(c) The board shall explore the possibility of organizing Florida financial institutions and international bank syndicates for the purpose of offering nonrecourse postexport financing to Florida exporters.
(4) The board shall adopt rules to ensure that program participants graduate from the program to private financing and that no applicant receives more than $500,000 of assistance over any 5-year period. On a case-by-case basis, the board may exempt applicants from this limitation if the applicant demonstrates that he or she cannot secure financing from traditional lending sources. The term “applicant,” as used in this subsection, means any individual corporate officer or business owner regardless of whether the business name changes from application to application.
History.s. 50, ch. 93-187; s. 224, ch. 95-148; s. 70, ch. 96-320.
288.775 Florida Export Finance Corporation Guarantee Account.
(1) The board shall create the Florida Export Finance Corporation Guarantee Account for the purpose of receiving state, federal, and private financial resources, and the return from investments of those resources, and for the purposes of this part. The account shall be under the exclusive control of the board.
(2) Resources in the account shall be allocated for operating expenses of the corporation and for other purposes authorized in this part.
(3) Appropriations for the corporation shall be deposited into the account.
(a) The board of the corporation may deposit the resources of the account designated for the purposes of this section with state or federally chartered financial institutions in this state and may invest the remaining portion in permissible securities.
(b) At all times, the board shall attempt to maximize the returns on these funds.
(c) All funds received from the activity of the corporation shall be redeposited in the account to be used to support the purposes of this part.
(4) Any claims against the account shall be paid solely from the account. Under no circumstances shall the credit of the state be pledged other than funds appropriated by law to the account, nor shall the state be liable or obligated in any way for claims on the account or against the corporation.
History.s. 51, ch. 93-187; s. 71, ch. 96-320; s. 22, ch. 97-278.
288.776 Board of directors; powers and duties.
(1)(a) The corporation shall have a board of directors consisting of 15 members representing all geographic areas of the state. Minority and gender representation must be considered when making appointments to the board. The board membership must include:
1. A representative of the following businesses, all of which must be registered to do business in this state: a foreign bank, a state bank, a federal bank, an insurance company involved in covering trade financing risks, and a small or medium-sized exporter.
2. The following persons or their designee: the President of Enterprise Florida, Inc., the Chief Financial Officer, the Secretary of State, a senior official of the United States Department of Commerce, and the chair of the Florida Black Business Investment Board.
(b) Appointees who are not state or Federal Government officials shall serve for a term of 3 years and shall be eligible for reappointment. Nonstate and nonfederal official vacancies on the board shall be filled by the board within 30 days after the effective date of the vacancy.
(2) Board members shall serve without compensation but may be reimbursed for all necessary expenses in the performance of their duties, including attending board meetings and conducting board business.
(3) The board shall:
(a) Prior to the expenditure of funds from the export finance account, adopt bylaws, rules, and policies which are necessary to carry out the responsibilities under this part, particularly with respect to the implementation of the corporation’s programs to insure, coinsure, lend, provide loan guarantees, and make direct, guaranteed, or collateralized loans by the corporation to support export transactions. The corporation’s bylaws, rules, and policies shall be reviewed and approved by Enterprise Florida, Inc., prior to final adoption by the board.
(b) Hold regularly scheduled meetings, at least quarterly, in order to carry out the objectives and responsibilities of the board.
(c) Issue an annual report to Enterprise Florida, Inc., on the activities of the corporation, including an evaluation of activities and recommendations for change. The evaluation shall include the corporation’s impact on the following:
1. Participation of private banks and other private organizations and individuals in the corporation’s export financing programs.
2. Access of small and medium-sized businesses in this state to federal export financing programs.
3. Export volume of the small and medium-sized businesses in this state accessing the corporation’s programs.
4. Other economic and social benefits to international programs in this state.
(d) Adopt policies, including criteria, establishing which exporters and export transactions shall be eligible for insurance, coinsurance, loan guarantees, and direct, guaranteed, or collateralized loans which may be extended by the corporation. Pursuant to this subsection, the board shall adopt rules to include the following criteria:
1. Any individual signing any corporation loan application and loan or guarantee agreement shall have an equity in the business applying for financial assistance.
2. Each program shall exclusively support the export of goods and services by small and medium-sized businesses which are domiciled in this state. Priority shall be given to goods which have value added in this state.
3. Financial assistance shall only be extended when at least one of the following circumstances exists:
a. The assistance is required to secure the participation of small and medium-sized export businesses in federal, state, or private financing programs.
b. No conventional source of lender support is available for the business from public or private financing sources.

Personal financial records, trade secrets, or proprietary information of applicants shall be confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1).

(e) Adopt requirements to ensure the full repayment of loans and loan guarantees, plus accrued interest, full-recourse claims, and indemnities on direct loan originations sold by the corporation, and the solvency of any insurance and coinsurance program extended under this part.
(f) Approve any extension of insurance, coinsurance, loans, loan guarantees, or direct loan originations for sale, under this part.
(g) Consult with Enterprise Florida, Inc., and its boards, or any state or federal agency, to ensure that the respective loan guarantee or working capital loan origination programs are not duplicative and that each program makes full use of, to the extent practicable, the resources of the other.
(h) Work to secure a delegated line of authority from the United States Export-Import Bank or other appropriate federal or state agency or private sector entity in order to take advantage of this possible funding or guarantee source.
(i) Develop a streamlined application and review process, including a survey of businesses to obtain the statistics required in paragraph (c).
History.s. 52, ch. 93-187; s. 2, ch. 95-386; s. 72, ch. 96-320; s. 142, ch. 96-406; s. 23, ch. 97-278; s. 69, ch. 99-13; s. 346, ch. 2003-261.
288.777 President of the corporation.
(1) The board shall appoint a president. The president shall be knowledgeable about private and public export assistance and export financing programs.
(2) The president shall serve at the pleasure of the board and shall receive a salary and benefits as shall be fixed by the board.
(3) The president shall administer the programs of the corporation and perform such duties as shall be delegated by the board.
(4) The president may, upon approval of the board:
(a) Contract for services.
(b) Hold public hearings.
(c) Call upon and reimburse for services any state agency or department for assistance in carrying out the objectives of this part.
(d) Participate with government or private industry in programs for technical assistance, loans, technology transfer, or any other programs related to this part.
(e) Undertake or commission studies on methods to increase financial resources to expand the exports of goods and services by small and medium-sized businesses in this state.
(f) Hire staff and provide export finance training for them and other individuals involved in export finance assistance, including such training sessions as may be provided by the United States Export-Import Bank and other organizations.
(g) Exercise any other powers as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this part.
(5) The president shall provide staff to the board as requested.
(6) The president shall submit an annual budget to be approved by the board.
History.s. 53, ch. 93-187; s. 73, ch. 96-320; s. 24, ch. 97-278.
288.7771 Annual report of Florida Export Finance Corporation.The corporation shall annually prepare and submit to Enterprise Florida, Inc., for inclusion in its annual report required by s. 288.095 a complete and detailed report setting forth:
(1) The report required in s. 288.776(3).
(2) Its assets and liabilities at the end of its most recent fiscal year.
History.s. 54, ch. 93-187; s. 74, ch. 96-320; s. 25, ch. 97-278; s. 64, ch. 2001-61; s. 68, ch. 2010-102.
288.778 Office of Financial Institutions and Securities Regulation.The Office of Financial Regulation shall review the corporation’s activities once every 24 months to determine compliance with this part and other related laws and rules and to evaluate the corporation’s operations. The office shall prepare a report based on its review and evaluation with recommendation for any corrective action. The president shall submit to the office regular reports on the corporation’s activities. The content and frequency of such reports shall be determined by the office. The office shall charge a fee for conducting the review and evaluation and preparing the related report, which fee shall not be in excess of the examination fee paid by financial institutions chartered or licensed under the financial institutions code of this state.
History.s. 56, ch. 93-187; s. 19, ch. 99-155; s. 347, ch. 2003-261.
INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS
288.809 Florida Intergovernmental Relations Foundation; use of property; board of directors; audit.
288.816 Intergovernmental relations.
288.8175 Linkage institutes between postsecondary institutions in this state and foreign countries.
288.826 Florida International Trade and Promotion Trust Fund.
288.851 Short title.
288.852 Legislative purpose.
288.853 International sanctions against Castro government.
288.854 Support for a free and independent Cuba.
288.855 Export or sale for export to foreign countries in violation of federal law prohibited.
288.809 Florida Intergovernmental Relations Foundation; use of property; board of directors; audit.
(1) DEFINITIONS.For the purposes of this section, the term:
(a) “Florida Intergovernmental Relations Foundation” means a direct-support organization:
1. Which is a corporation not for profit that is incorporated under the provisions of chapter 617 and approved by the Department of State;
2. Which is organized and operated exclusively to solicit, receive, hold, invest, and administer property and, subject to the approval of the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development, to make expenditures to or for the promotion of intergovernmental relations programs; and
3. Which the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development, after review, has certified to be operating in a manner consistent with the policies and goals of the office.
(b) “Personal services” includes full-time or part-time personnel, as well as payroll processing.
(2) USE OF PROPERTY.The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development:
(a) Is authorized to permit the use of property, facilities, and personal services of the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development by the foundation, subject to the provisions of this section.
(b) Shall prescribe conditions with which the foundation must comply in order to use property, facilities, or personal services of the department. Such conditions shall provide for budget and audit review and for oversight by the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development.
(c) Shall not permit the use of property, facilities, or personal services of the foundation if the foundation does not provide equal employment opportunities to all persons, regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or religion.
(3) BOARD OF DIRECTORS.The board of directors of the foundation shall be composed of seven members appointed by the Governor, of whom no more than three shall be employees or elected officials of the state.
(4) ANNUAL AUDIT.The foundation shall provide for an annual financial audit in accordance with s. 215.981. The identity of a donor or prospective donor to the foundation who desires to remain anonymous and all information identifying such donor or prospective donor are confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. Such anonymity shall be maintained in the auditor’s report.
History.s. 67, ch. 90-201; s. 9, ch. 91-5; s. 26, ch. 91-201; s. 5, ch. 91-429; s. 11, ch. 92-299; s. 225, ch. 95-148; s. 2, ch. 95-369; s. 75, ch. 96-320; s. 143, ch. 96-406; s. 93, ch. 2001-266; s. 8, ch. 2004-242.
288.816 Intergovernmental relations.
(1) The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall be responsible for consular operations and the sister city and sister state program and shall serve as liaison with foreign, federal, and other state international organizations and with county and municipal governments in Florida.
(2) The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall be responsible for all consular relations between the state and all foreign governments doing business in Florida. The office shall monitor United States laws and directives to ensure that all federal treaties regarding foreign privileges and immunities are properly observed. The office shall promulgate rules which shall:
(a) Establish a viable system of registration for foreign government officials residing or having jurisdiction in the state. Emphasis shall be placed on maintaining active communication between the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development and the United States Department of State in order to be currently informed regarding foreign governmental personnel stationed in, or with official responsibilities for, Florida. Active dialogue shall also be maintained with foreign countries which historically have had dealings with Florida in order to keep them informed of the proper procedure for registering with the state.
(b) Maintain and systematically update a current and accurate list of all such foreign governmental officials, consuls, or consulates.
(c) Issue certificates to such foreign governmental officials after verification pursuant to proper investigations through United States Department of State sources and the appropriate foreign government.
(d) Verify entitlement to sales and use tax exemptions pursuant to United States Department of State guidelines and identification methods.
(e) Verify entitlement to issuance of special motor vehicle license plates by the Division of Motor Vehicles of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to honorary consuls or such other officials representing foreign governments who are not entitled to issuance of special Consul Corps license plates by the United States Government.
(f) Establish a system of communication to provide all state and local law enforcement agencies with information regarding proper procedures relating to the arrest or incarceration of a foreign citizen.
(g) Request the Department of Law Enforcement to provide transportation and protection services when necessary pursuant to s. 943.68.
(h) Coordinate, when necessary, special activities between foreign governments and Florida state and local governments. These may include Consular Corps Day, Consular Corps conferences, and various other social, cultural, or educational activities.
(i) Notify all newly arrived foreign governmental officials of the services offered by the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development.
(3) The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall operate the sister city and sister state program and establish such new programs as needed to further global understanding through the interchange of people, ideas, and culture between Florida and the world. To accomplish this purpose, the office shall have the power and authority to:
(a) Coordinate and carry out activities designed to encourage the state and its subdivisions to participate in sister city and sister state affiliations with foreign countries and their subdivisions. Such activities may include a State of Florida sister cities conference.
(b) Encourage cooperation with and disseminate information pertaining to the Sister Cities International Program and any other program whose object is to promote linkages with foreign countries and their subdivisions.
(c) Maximize any aid available from all levels of government, public and private agencies, and other entities to facilitate such activities.
(d) Establish a viable system of registration for sister city and sister state affiliations between the state and foreign countries and their subdivisions. Such system shall include a method to determine that sufficient ties are properly established as well as a method to supervise how these ties are maintained.
(e) Maintain a current and accurate listing of all such affiliations. Sister city affiliations shall not be discouraged between the state and any country specified in s. 620(f)(1) of the federal Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended, with whom the United States is currently conducting diplomatic relations unless a mandate from the United States Government expressly prohibits such affiliations.
(4) The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall serve as a contact for the state with the Florida Washington Office, the Florida Congressional Delegation, and United States Government agencies with respect to laws or policies which may affect the interests of the state in the area of international relations. All inquiries received regarding international economic trade development or reverse investment opportunities shall be referred to Enterprise Florida, Inc. In addition, the office shall serve as liaison with other states with respect to international programs of interest to Florida. The office shall also investigate and make suggestions regarding possible areas of joint action or regional cooperation with these states.
(5) The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall have the power and duty to encourage the relocation to Florida of consular offices and multilateral and international agencies and organizations.
(6) The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development, through membership on the board of directors of Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall help to contribute an international perspective to the state’s development efforts.
History.s. 74, ch. 90-201; s. 16, ch. 91-5; s. 26, ch. 91-201; s. 5, ch. 91-429; s. 77, ch. 96-320; s. 26, ch. 97-278; s. 2, ch. 2001-200; s. 23, ch. 2002-21; s. 9, ch. 2004-242.
288.8175 Linkage institutes between postsecondary institutions in this state and foreign countries.
(1) As used in this section, the term “department” means the Department of Education.
(2) There are created Florida linkage institutes. A primary purpose of these institutes is to assist in the development of stronger economic, cultural, educational, and social ties between this state and strategic foreign countries through the promotion of expanded public and private dialogue on cooperative research and technical assistance activities, increased bilateral commerce, student and faculty exchange, cultural exchange, and the enhancement of language training skills between the postsecondary institutions in this state and those of selected foreign countries. Each institute must ensure that minority students are afforded an equal opportunity to participate in the exchange programs.
(3) Each institute must be governed by an agreement between the Board of Governors of the State University System for a state university and the State Board of Education for a community college with the counterpart organization in a foreign country. Each institute must report to the department regarding its program activities, expenditures, and policies.
(4) Each institute must be co-administered in this state by a university-community college partnership, as designated in subsection (5), and must have a private sector and public sector advisory committee. The advisory committee must be representative of the international education and commercial interests of the state and may have members who are native to the foreign country partner. Six members must be appointed by the department. The department must appoint at least one member who is an international educator. The presidents, or their designees, of the participating university and community college must also serve on the advisory committee.
(5) The institutes are:
(a) Florida-Brazil Institute (University of Florida and Miami Dade College).
(b) Florida-Costa Rica Institute (Florida State University and Valencia Community College).
(c) Florida Caribbean Institute (Florida International University and Daytona State College).
(d) Florida-Canada Institute (University of Central Florida and Palm Beach State College).
(e) Florida-China Institute (University of West Florida, University of South Florida, and Brevard Community College).
(f) Florida-Japan Institute (University of South Florida, University of West Florida, and St. Petersburg College).
(g) Florida-France Institute (New College of the University of South Florida, Miami Dade College, and Florida State University).
(h) Florida-Israel Institute (Florida Atlantic University and Broward College).
(i) Florida-West Africa Institute (Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, University of North Florida, and Florida State College at Jacksonville).
(j) Florida-Eastern Europe Institute (University of Central Florida and Lake Sumter Community College).
(k) Florida-Mexico Institute (Florida International University and Polk State College).
(6) Each institute is allowed to exempt from s. 1009.21 up to 25 full-time equivalent students per year from the respective host countries to study in any of the state universities or community colleges in this state as resident students for tuition purposes. The institute directors shall develop criteria, to be approved by the Department of Education, for the selection of these students. Students must return home within 3 years after their tenure of graduate or undergraduate study for a length of time equal to their exemption period.
(7) Each state university and community college linkage institute partner may enter into an agreement for a student exchange program, that requires that the tuition and fees of a student who is enrolled in a state university or community college and who is participating in an exchange program be paid to the university or community college while the student is participating in the exchange program. The agreement may also require that the tuition and fees of a student who is enrolled in a postsecondary institution in a foreign country and who is participating in an exchange program be paid to the foreign institution of enrollment.
(8) A linkage institute may not be created or funded except upon the recommendation of the department and except by amendment to this section.
History.s. 23, ch. 87-329; s. 1, ch. 88-162; s. 78, ch. 90-201; s. 34, ch. 90-302; s. 21, ch. 91-5; s. 26, ch. 91-201; s. 5, ch. 91-429; s. 66, ch. 93-187; s. 78, ch. 96-320; s. 27, ch. 97-278; s. 36, ch. 2000-258; s. 947, ch. 2002-387; s. 10, ch. 2004-242; s. 41, ch. 2007-217; s. 57, ch. 2008-4; s. 26, ch. 2009-21; s. 9, ch. 2009-228; s. 1, ch. 2010-23; s. 69, ch. 2010-102.
Note.Former s. 240.137.
288.826 Florida International Trade and Promotion Trust Fund.There is hereby established in the State Treasury the Florida International Trade and Promotion Trust Fund. The moneys deposited into this trust fund shall be administered by the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development for the operation of Enterprise Florida, Inc., and its boards and for the operation of Florida foreign offices under s. 288.012.
History.s. 91, ch. 90-132; s. 114, ch. 90-201; s. 55, ch. 91-5; s. 26, ch. 91-201; s. 5, ch. 91-429; s. 16, ch. 92-299; s. 13, ch. 95-430; s. 79, ch. 96-320.
288.851 Short title.This act may be cited as the “Cuban Freedom Act.”
History.s. 1, ch. 96-188.
288.852 Legislative purpose.It is the purpose of this act to assist in strengthening international sanctions against the government of Fidel Castro and his regime in the Republic of Cuba, encouraging the holding of free and fair elections, providing a policy framework for the United States and Florida to support a transition government and a democratically elected government in Cuba, and protecting the rights of Floridians who own claims to confiscated property abroad.
History.s. 2, ch. 96-188.
288.853 International sanctions against Castro government.
(1) The Legislature hereby finds that:
(a) The acts of Fidel Castro and his government, including human rights violations, are a threat to international peace and to the peace of the State of Florida.
(b) The President should instruct the United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations to seek, in the Security Council, an international embargo against the Castro dictatorship, similar to consultations conducted with respect to Haiti.
(c) There should be a detrimental impact on United States assistance to any independent state of the former Soviet Union which resumes efforts to make operational the nuclear facility at Cienfuegos, Cuba.
(2) The Legislature hereby supports and reaffirms s. 1704(a) of the Cuban Democracy Act of 1992, which states that the President should encourage foreign countries to restrict trade and credit relations with Cuba, and urges the President to take immediate steps to apply sanctions described in s. 1704(b)(1) of such act against countries assisting Cuba.
(3) To the extent allowed by federal law, no loan, credit, or other financing may be extended knowingly by a citizen or legal resident of Florida, a state agency, or a financial institution located or doing business in Florida to any person for the purpose of financing transactions involving any confiscated property, as defined by s. 4 of the federal Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act of 1996, the claim to which is owned by a citizen or legal resident of Florida as of July 1, 1996, except for financing by the citizen or legal resident of Florida owning such claim for a transaction permitted under state and federal law. Any person who violates this subsection commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084 so long as the imposition of the state penalty does not in any way interfere with full federal prosecution and penalties.
(4) The Legislature hereby requests:
(a) Congress and the President to withhold payment to any international financial institution that approves a loan or other assistance to Cuba in an amount equal to the amount of the loan or assistance provided to Cuba.
(b) The President to instruct the United States Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States to oppose the readmission of Cuba to the Organization of American States until a democratically elected government exists in Cuba.
(c) Upon the termination of Fidel Castro’s government in Cuba to take steps during the period that a transition government is in power in Cuba to support the processing of Cuba’s application for membership in any international financial institution, to take effect after a democratically elected government is in power in Cuba.
(5)(a) It is illegal for any person, firm, or corporation to import into Florida any sugars, syrups, or molasses that are the product of a country that the President determines has imported sugar, syrup, or molasses from Cuba. The intent of this section is to prevent indirect subsidization of the Cuban sugar industry through countries that buy Cuban sugar for domestic consumption and sell their own sugar to the United States at inflated prices under the sugar quota allotment program. Any person who violates this subsection commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084 so long as the imposition of the state penalty does not in any way interfere with full federal prosecution and penalties.
(b) The requirements of paragraph (a) shall not apply if the country described in paragraph (a) certifies to the President that the country will not import sugar, syrup, or molasses that is the product of Cuba until free and fair elections are held in Cuba.
History.s. 3, ch. 96-188; s. 70, ch. 99-13; s. 70, ch. 2010-102.
288.854 Support for a free and independent Cuba.
(1) It is the policy of Florida to:
(a) Support the self-determination of the Cuban people.
(b) Facilitate a peaceful transition to representative democracy and a free market economy in Cuba.
(c) Be impartial toward any individual or entity in the selection by the Cuban people of their future government.
(2) Once the President has determined that a democratically elected government exists in Cuba, the Legislature of Florida supports the United States policy to:
(a) Restore diplomatic recognition and support the reintegration of Cuba into entities of the Inter-American System.
(b) Remove the economic embargo.
(c) Pursue a mutually beneficial trading relationship.
(3) Florida’s participation in the economic embargo on Cuba shall be terminated by Florida upon transmittal to Congress of a presidential determination that a democratically elected government is in power in Cuba.
(4) For the purposes of this act, the term:
(a) A “transition government in Cuba” means one which:
1. Is demonstrably in transition from communist totalitarian dictatorship to democracy.
2. Has released all political prisoners.
3. Has dissolved the present Department of State Security in the Cuban Ministry of the Interior.
4. Also “makes public commitments” to:
a. Establishing an independent judiciary.
b. Respecting internationally recognized human rights and basic freedoms.
c. Guaranteeing the rights of free speech and freedom of the press.
d. Permitting the reinstatement of citizenship to Cuban-born nationals returning to Cuba.
e. Organizing free and fair elections for a new government.
f. Assuring the right to private property.
g. Taking appropriate steps either to return to United States citizens property taken by the government of Cuba on or after January 1, 1959, or to provide equitable compensation to United States citizens for such property.
h. Having a currency that is fully convertible domestically and internationally.
i. Granting permits to privately owned telecommunications and media companies to operate in Cuba.
j. Allowing the establishment of an independent labor movement and of independent social, economic, and political associations.
5. Does not include Fidel Castro or Raul Castro.
6. Has given adequate assurances that it will allow the speedy and efficient distribution of assistance to the Cuban people.
7. Permits the deployment throughout Cuba of independent and unfettered international human rights monitors.
(b) A “democratic government in Cuba” means one which:
1. Is the product of free and fair elections in which opposition parties had sufficient time to organize and were permitted full access to media.
2. Is showing respect for basic civil liberties and human rights.
3. Has established an independent judiciary.
4. Is moving toward a market-oriented economic system based on the right to own and enjoy property.
5. Is committed to making constitutional changes that would ensure regular free and fair elections.
6. Has returned to United States citizens, and entities which are 50 percent or more beneficially owned by United States citizens, property taken by the government of Cuba from such citizens and entities on or after January 1, 1959, or provides full compensation in accordance with international law standards.
History.s. 4, ch. 96-188.
288.855 Export or sale for export to foreign countries in violation of federal law prohibited.No person, corporation, company, or other entity shall export or make a sale intended for export to a foreign country of any goods, products, or services in violation of any federal law. Except as prohibited by the preceding sentence, no person, corporation, company, or other entity, by contract or otherwise, shall prohibit, restrict, or restrain the exportation or a sale intended for exportation from the state to a foreign country of any goods, products, or services.
History.s. 5, ch. 96-188.
ENTERPRISE FLORIDA, INC.
288.901 Enterprise Florida, Inc.; creation; membership; organization; meetings; disclosure.
288.9015 Enterprise Florida, Inc.; purpose; duties.
288.90151 Return on investment from activities of Enterprise Florida, Inc.
288.903 Board of directors of Enterprise Florida, Inc.; president; employees.
288.904 Powers of the board of directors of Enterprise Florida, Inc.
288.905 Duties of the board of directors of Enterprise Florida, Inc.
288.906 Annual report of Enterprise Florida, Inc.; audits.
288.911 Creation and implementation of a marketing and image campaign.
288.9415 International Trade Grants.
288.901 Enterprise Florida, Inc.; creation; membership; organization; meetings; disclosure.
(1) There is created a not-for-profit corporation, to be known as “Enterprise Florida, Inc.,” which shall be registered, incorporated, organized, and operated in compliance with chapter 617, and which shall not be a unit or entity of state government. The Legislature determines, however, that public policy dictates that Enterprise Florida, Inc., operate in the most open and accessible manner consistent with its public purpose. To this end, the Legislature specifically declares that Enterprise Florida, Inc., and its boards and advisory committees or similar groups created by Enterprise Florida, Inc., are subject to the provisions of chapter 119, relating to public records and those provisions of chapter 286 relating to public meetings and records.
(2) Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall establish one or more corporate offices, at least one of which shall be located in Leon County. The Department of Management Services may establish a lease agreement program under which Enterprise Florida, Inc., may hire any individual who, as of June 30, 1996, is employed by the 1Department of Commerce or who, as of January 1, 1997, is employed by the Executive Office of the Governor and has responsibilities specifically in support of the Workforce Development Board established under 2s. 288.9620. Under such agreement, the employee shall retain his or her status as a state employee but shall work under the direct supervision of Enterprise Florida, Inc. Retention of state employee status shall include the right to participate in the Florida Retirement System. The Department of Management Services shall establish the terms and conditions of such lease agreements.
(3) Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall be governed by a board of directors. The board of directors shall consist of the following members:
(a) The Governor or the Governor’s designee.
(b) The Commissioner of Education or the commissioner’s designee.
(c) The Chief Financial Officer or his or her designee.
(d) A member of the Senate, who shall be appointed by the President of the Senate as an ex officio member of the board and serve at the pleasure of the President.
(e) A member of the House of Representatives, who shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives as an ex officio member of the board and serve at the pleasure of the Speaker.
(f) The chairperson of the board of directors of Workforce Florida, Inc.
(g) Twelve members from the private sector, six of whom shall be appointed by the Governor, three of whom shall be appointed by the President of the Senate, and three of whom shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives. All appointees are subject to Senate confirmation. In making such appointments, the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall ensure that the composition of the board is reflective of the diversity of Florida’s business community, and to the greatest degree possible shall include, but not be limited to, individuals representing large companies, small companies, minority companies, and individuals representing municipal, county, or regional economic development organizations. Of the 12 members from the private sector, 7 must have significant experience in international business, with expertise in the areas of transportation, finance, law, and manufacturing. The Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall also consider whether the current board members, together with potential appointees, reflect the racial, ethnic, and gender diversity, as well as the geographic distribution, of the population of the state.
(h) The Secretary of State or the secretary’s designee.
(4)(a) Vacancies on the board shall be filled by appointment by the Governor, the President of the Senate, or the Speaker of the House of Representatives, respectively, depending on who appointed the member whose vacancy is to be filled or whose term has expired.
(b) Members appointed by the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall be appointed for terms of 4 years. Any member is eligible for reappointment.
(5) A vacancy on the board of directors shall be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term.
(6) Appointive members may be removed by the Governor, the President of the Senate, or the Speaker of the House of Representatives, respectively, for cause. Absence from three consecutive meetings results in automatic removal.
(7) The Governor shall serve as chairperson of the board of directors. The board of directors shall biennially elect one of its members as vice chairperson. The president shall keep a record of the proceedings of the board of directors and is the custodian of all books, documents, and papers filed with the board of directors, the minutes of the board of directors, and the official seal of Enterprise Florida, Inc.
(8) The board of directors shall meet at least four times each year, upon the call of the chairperson, at the request of the vice chairperson, or at the request of a majority of the membership. A majority of the total number of current voting directors shall constitute a quorum. The board of directors may take official action by a majority vote of the members present at any meeting at which a quorum is present.
(9) Members of the board of directors shall serve without compensation, but members, the president, and staff may be reimbursed for all reasonable, necessary, and actual expenses, as determined by the board of directors of Enterprise Florida, Inc.
(10) Each member of the board of directors of Enterprise Florida, Inc., who is not otherwise required to file financial disclosure pursuant to s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution or s. 112.3144, shall file disclosure of financial interests pursuant to s. 112.3145.
(11) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (3), the board of directors may by resolution appoint at-large members to the board from the private sector, each of whom may serve a term of up to 3 years. At-large members shall have the powers and duties of other members of the board. An at-large member is eligible for reappointment but may not vote on his or her own reappointment. An at-large member shall be eligible to fill vacancies occurring among private sector appointees under subsection (3).
History.s. 2, ch. 92-277; s. 2, ch. 94-232; s. 881, ch. 95-148; s. 80, ch. 96-320; s. 28, ch. 97-278; s. 27, ch. 99-251; s. 80, ch. 2000-165; s. 348, ch. 2003-261; s. 4, ch. 2005-66.
1Note.Section 20.17, which created the Department of Commerce, was repealed effective December 31, 1996, by s. 3, ch. 96-320.
2Note.Transferred to s. 288.9952 by s. 53, ch. 99-251; further transferred to s. 445.004 by s. 4, ch. 2000-165.
288.9015 Enterprise Florida, Inc.; purpose; duties.
(1) Enterprise Florida, Inc., is the principal economic development organization for the state. It shall be the responsibility of Enterprise Florida, Inc., to provide leadership for business development in Florida by aggressively establishing a unified approach to Florida’s efforts of international trade and reverse investment; by aggressively marketing the state as a probusiness location for potential new investment; and by aggressively assisting in the retention and expansion of existing businesses and the creation of new businesses. In support of this effort, Enterprise Florida, Inc., may develop and implement specific programs or strategies that address the creation, expansion, and retention of Florida business; the development of import and export trade; and the recruitment of worldwide business.
(2) It shall be the responsibility of Enterprise Florida, Inc., to aggressively market Florida’s rural communities, distressed urban communities, brownfields, and enterprise zones as locations for potential new investment, to aggressively assist in the retention and expansion of existing businesses in these communities, and to aggressively assist these communities in the identification and development of new economic development opportunities for job creation, fully marketing state incentive programs such as the Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund Program under s. 288.106 and the Quick Action Closing Fund under s. 288.1088 in economically distressed areas.
(3) It shall be the responsibility of Enterprise Florida, Inc., to assess, on an ongoing basis, Florida’s economic development competitiveness as measured against other business locations, to identify and regularly reevaluate Florida’s economic development strengths and weaknesses, and to incorporate such information into the strategic planning process under s. 288.904.
(4) Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall incorporate the needs of small and minority businesses into the economic-development, international-trade and reverse-investment, and workforce-development responsibilities assigned to the organization by this section. Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall collaborate with the Florida Black Business Investment Board, Inc., and the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development for the delivery of services in fulfillment of the responsibilities of Enterprise Florida, Inc., relating to small and minority businesses.
(5) Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall not endorse any candidate for any elected public office, nor shall it contribute moneys to the campaign of any such candidate.
(6) As part of its business development and marketing responsibilities, Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall prepare a business guide and checklist that contains basic information on the federal, state, and local requirements for starting and operating a business in this state. The guide and checklist must describe how additional information can be obtained on any such requirements and shall include, to the extent feasible, the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of appropriate government agency representatives. The guide and checklist must also contain information useful to persons who may be starting a business for the first time, including, but not limited to, information on business structure, financing, and planning.
(7) Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall enter into an agreement with Space Florida to:
(a) Develop a plan to retain, expand, attract, and create aerospace industry entities, public or private, which result in the creation of high-value-added businesses and jobs in this state.
(b) Develop a plan to assist in the financing of aerospace businesses.
(8) Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall be responsible for responding to all inquiries related to Florida’s business requirements, economic incentives, and business development opportunities.
(9) Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall provide technical assistance to the Department of Environmental Protection in the creation of the Recycling Business Assistance Center pursuant to s. 403.7032(5). As the state’s primary organization devoted to statewide economic development, Enterprise Florida, Inc., is encouraged to cooperate with the Department of Environmental Protection to ensure that the Recycling Business Assistance Center is positioned to succeed in helping to enhance and expand existing markets for recyclable materials in this state, other states, and foreign countries.
History.s. 81, ch. 96-320; s. 29, ch. 97-278; s. 28, ch. 99-251; s. 14, ch. 2001-201; s. 10, ch. 2002-180; s. 5, ch. 2005-66; s. 64, ch. 2006-60; s. 6, ch. 2006-291; s. 11, ch. 2006-301; s. 16, ch. 2007-157; s. 58, ch. 2008-4; s. 24, ch. 2009-51; s. 1, ch. 2010-143.
288.90151 Return on investment from activities of Enterprise Florida, Inc.
(1) The public funds appropriated each year for the operation of Enterprise Florida, Inc., are invested in this public-private partnership to enhance international trade and economic development, to spur job-creating investments, and to create new employment opportunities for Floridians. This policy will be the Legislature’s priority consideration when reviewing the return-on-investment for Enterprise Florida, Inc.
(2) It is also the intent of the Legislature that Enterprise Florida, Inc., coordinate its operations with local economic-development organizations to maximize the state and local return-on-investment to create jobs for Floridians.
(3) It is further the intent of the Legislature to maximize private sector support in operating Enterprise Florida, Inc., as an endorsement of its value and as an enhancement of its efforts.
(4)(a) The state’s operating investment in Enterprise Florida, Inc., is the budget contracted by the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development to Enterprise Florida, Inc., less funding that is directed by the Legislature to be subcontracted to a specific recipient.
(b) The board of directors of Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall adopt for each upcoming fiscal year an operating budget for the organization that specifies the intended uses of the state’s operating investment and a plan for securing private sector support to Enterprise Florida, Inc. Each fiscal year private sector support to Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall equal no less than 100 percent of the state’s operating investment, including at least $1 million in cash as defined in paragraph (5)(a), and an additional $400,000 in cash as defined in paragraphs (5)(a), (b), and (c).
(5) Private sector support in operating Enterprise Florida, Inc., includes:
(a) Cash given directly to Enterprise Florida, Inc., for its operations, excluding contributions from grantees or companies having contracts with Enterprise Florida, Inc., which represent more than 5 percent of the value of all contracts with Enterprise Florida, Inc., exclusive of grants, or more than 5 percent of the company’s revenues. Cash in this category is not subject to restrictions on the use of appropriated funds;
(b) Cash jointly raised by Enterprise Florida, Inc., and a local economic development organization, a group of such organizations, or a statewide business organization that supports collaborative projects;
(c) Cash generated by fees charged for products or services of Enterprise Florida, Inc., and by sponsorship of events, missions, programs, and publications; and
(d) In-kind contributions directly to Enterprise Florida, Inc., including: business expenditures; business services provided; business support; or other business contributions that augment the operations, program, activities, or assets of Enterprise Florida, Inc., including, but not limited to: an individual’s time and expertise; sponsored publications; private sector staff services; payment for advertising placements; sponsorship of events; sponsored or joint research; discounts on leases or purchases; mission or program sponsorship; and copayments, stock, warrants, royalties, or other private resources dedicated to Enterprise Florida, Inc.
(6) Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall fully comply with the performance measures, standards, and sanctions in its contracts with the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development under s. 14.2015(2)(h) and (7). The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall ensure, to the maximum extent possible, that the contract performance measures are consistent with performance measures that the office is required to develop and track under performance-based program budgeting.
(7) As part of the annual report required under s. 288.906, Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall provide the Legislature with information quantifying the public’s return-on-investment as described in this section for fiscal year 1997-1998 and each subsequent fiscal year. The annual report shall also include the results of a customer-satisfaction survey of businesses served, as well as the lead economic development staff person of each organization that is a primary partner.
(8) Enterprise Florida, Inc., in consultation with the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability, shall hire an economic analysis firm to develop the methodology for establishing and reporting return-on-investment and in-kind contributions as described in this section and shall hire a firm experienced in survey research to develop, analyze, and report on the results of the customer-satisfaction survey. The Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability shall review and offer feedback on the methodology before it is implemented.
History.s. 114, ch. 96-320; s. 2, ch. 97-278; s. 29, ch. 99-251; s. 6, ch. 2005-66; s. 40, ch. 2007-5; s. 20, ch. 2007-157; s. 59, ch. 2008-4.
288.903 Board of directors of Enterprise Florida, Inc.; president; employees.
(1) The president of Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall be appointed by the board of directors and shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor. The board of directors shall establish and adjust the compensation of the president. The president is the chief administrative and operational officer of the board of directors and of Enterprise Florida, Inc., and shall direct and supervise the administrative affairs of the board of directors and any other boards of Enterprise Florida, Inc. The board of directors may delegate to its president those powers and responsibilities it deems appropriate, except for the appointment of a president.
(2) The board of directors may establish an executive committee consisting of the chairperson or a designee, the vice chairperson, and as many additional members of the board of directors as the board deems appropriate, except that such committee must have a minimum of five members. The executive committee shall have such authority as the board of directors delegates to it, except that the board may not delegate the authority to hire or fire the president or the authority to establish or adjust the compensation paid to the president.
(3) The board of directors of Enterprise Florida, Inc., and its officers shall be responsible for the prudent use of all public and private funds and shall ensure that the use of such funds is in accordance with all applicable laws, bylaws, or contractual requirements. No employee of Enterprise Florida, Inc., may receive compensation for employment which exceeds the salary paid to the Governor, unless the board of directors and the employee have executed a contract that prescribes specific, measurable performance outcomes for the employee, the satisfaction of which provides the basis for the award of incentive payments that increase the employee’s total compensation to a level above the salary paid to the Governor.
History.s. 4, ch. 92-277; s. 83, ch. 96-320; s. 30, ch. 97-278; s. 30, ch. 99-251.
288.904 Powers of the board of directors of Enterprise Florida, Inc.
(1) The board of directors of Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall have the power to:
(a) Secure funding for programs and activities of Enterprise Florida, Inc., and its boards from federal, state, local, and private sources and from fees charged for services and published materials and solicit, receive, hold, invest, and administer any grant, payment, or gift of funds or property and make expenditures consistent with the powers granted to it.
(b)1. Make and enter into contracts and other instruments necessary or convenient for the exercise of its powers and functions, except that any contract made with an organization represented on the board of directors which exceeds $100,000 must be approved by a two-thirds vote of the board members in attendance at a meeting where a quorum is present, and the board member representing such organization shall abstain from voting. No more than 65 percent of the dollar value of all contracts or other agreements entered into in any fiscal year, exclusive of grant programs, shall be made with an organization represented on the board of directors. This section does not apply to a contract awarded by another entity to an organization represented on the board of directors or to a contract in which Enterprise Florida, Inc., is the recipient of funds from an organization represented on the board of directors.
2. A contract that Enterprise Florida, Inc., executes with a person or organization under which such person or organization agrees to perform economic development services or similar business assistance services on behalf of Enterprise Florida, Inc., or on behalf of the state must include provisions requiring that such person or organization report on performance, account for proper use of funds provided under the contract, coordinate with other components of state and local economic development systems, and avoid duplication of existing state and local services and activities.
(c) Sue and be sued, and appear and defend in all actions and proceedings, in its corporate name to the same extent as a natural person.
(d) Adopt, use, and alter a common corporate seal for Enterprise Florida, Inc., and its boards. Notwithstanding any provisions of chapter 617 to the contrary, this seal is not required to contain the words “corporation not for profit.”
(e) Elect or appoint such officers and agents as its affairs require and allow them reasonable compensation.
(f) Adopt, amend, and repeal bylaws, not inconsistent with the powers granted to it or the articles of incorporation, for the administration of the affairs of Enterprise Florida, Inc., and the exercise of its corporate powers.
(g) Acquire, enjoy, use, and dispose of patents, copyrights, and trademarks and any licenses, royalties, and other rights or interests thereunder or therein.
(h) Do all acts and things necessary or convenient to carry out the powers granted to it.
(i) Use the state seal, notwithstanding the provisions of s. 15.03, when appropriate, to establish that Enterprise Florida, Inc., is the principal economic and trade development organization for the state, and for other standard corporate identity applications. Use of the state seal is not to replace use of a corporate seal as provided in this section.
(j) Carry forward any unexpended state appropriations into succeeding fiscal years.
(k) Procure insurance or require bond against any loss in connection with the property of Enterprise Florida, Inc., and its boards, in such amounts and from such insurers as is necessary or desirable.
(l) Create and dissolve advisory committees, working groups, task forces, or similar organizations, as necessary to carry out the mission of Enterprise Florida, Inc. Members of advisory committees, working groups, task forces, or similar organizations created by Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall serve without compensation, but may be reimbursed for reasonable, necessary, and actual expenses, as determined by the board of directors of Enterprise Florida, Inc.
(2) The powers granted to Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall be liberally construed in order that Enterprise Florida, Inc., may aggressively pursue its purpose of being the principal economic development organization for the state.
(3) Under no circumstances may the credit of the State of Florida be pledged on behalf of Enterprise Florida, Inc.
(4) In addition to any indemnification available under chapter 617, Enterprise Florida, Inc., may indemnify, and purchase and maintain insurance on behalf of, directors, officers, and employees of Enterprise Florida, Inc., and its boards against any personal liability or accountability by reason of actions taken while acting within the scope of their authority.
History.s. 5, ch. 92-277; s. 84, ch. 96-320; s. 31, ch. 97-278; s. 31, ch. 99-251; s. 81, ch. 2000-165; s. 7, ch. 2005-66; s. 71, ch. 2010-102.
288.905 Duties of the board of directors of Enterprise Florida, Inc.
(1) In the performance of its functions and duties, the board of directors may establish, implement, and manage policies, strategies, and programs for Enterprise Florida, Inc., and its boards. These policies, strategies, and programs shall promote business formation, expansion, recruitment, and retention through aggressive marketing and international development and export assistance, which together lead to more and better jobs with higher wages for all geographic regions and communities of the state, including rural areas and urban core areas, and for all residents, including minorities. In developing such policies, strategies, and programs, the board of directors shall solicit advice from and consider the recommendations of its boards, any advisory committees or similar groups created by Enterprise Florida, Inc., and local and regional partners.
(2) The board of directors shall, in conjunction with the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development, the Office of Urban Opportunities, and local and regional economic development partners, develop a strategic plan for economic development for the State of Florida. Such plan shall be submitted to the Governor, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Senate Minority Leader, and the House Minority Leader and shall be updated or modified before January 1 of each year. The plan must be approved by the board of directors prior to submission to the Governor and Legislature.
(3)(a) The strategic plan required under this section shall include, but is not limited to, strategies for the promotion of business formation, expansion, recruitment, and retention through aggressive marketing, international development, and export assistance, which lead to more and better jobs and higher wages for all geographic regions and disadvantaged communities and populations of the state, including rural areas, minority businesses, and urban core areas. Further, the strategic plan shall give consideration to the economic diversity of the state and its regions and their associated industrial clusters and develop realistic policies and programs to further their development.
(b)1. The strategic plan required under this section shall include specific provisions for the stimulation of economic development and job creation in rural areas and midsize cities and counties of the state.
2. Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall involve local governments, local and regional economic development organizations, and other local, state, and federal economic, international, and workforce development entities, both public and private, in developing and carrying out policies, strategies, and programs, seeking to partner and collaborate to produce enhanced public benefit at a lesser cost.
3. Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall involve rural, urban, small-business, and minority-business development agencies and organizations, both public and private, in developing and carrying out policies, strategies, and programs.
4. Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall develop a comprehensive marketing plan for redevelopment of brownfield areas designated pursuant to s. 376.80. The plan must include, but is not limited to, strategies to distribute information about current designated brownfield areas and the available economic incentives for redevelopment of brownfield areas. Such strategies are to be used in the promotion of business formation, expansion, recruitment, retention, and workforce development programs.
(c) The strategic plan required under this section shall include the promotion of the successful long-term economic development of the state with increased emphasis in market research and information to local economic development entities and generation of foreign investment in the state that creates jobs with above-average wages, internationalization of this state, with strong emphasis in reverse investment that creates high wage jobs for the state and its many regions, including programs that establish viable overseas markets, generate foreign investment, assist in meeting the financing requirements of export-ready firms, broaden opportunities for international joint venture relationships, use the resources of academic and other institutions, coordinate trade assistance and facilitation services, and facilitate availability of and access to education and training programs which will assure requisite skills and competencies necessary to compete successfully in the global marketplace.
(d) The strategic plan required under this section shall include the identification of business sectors that are of current or future importance to the state’s economy and to the state’s worldwide business image, and development of specific strategies to promote the development of such sectors.
(4)(a) The strategic plan shall also include recommendations regarding specific performance standards and measurable outcomes. Enterprise Florida, Inc., in consultation with the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development and the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability, shall establish performance-measure outcomes for Enterprise Florida, Inc., and its boards and advisory committees. Enterprise Florida, Inc., in consultation with the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development and the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability, shall develop a plan for monitoring its operations to ensure that performance data are maintained and supported by records of the organization. On a biennial basis, Enterprise Florida, Inc., in consultation with the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development and the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability, shall review the performance-measure outcomes for Enterprise Florida, Inc., and its boards, and make any appropriate modifications to them. In developing measurable objectives and performance outcomes, Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall consider the effect of its programs, activities, and services on its client population. Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall establish standards such as job growth among client firms, growth in the number and strength of businesses within targeted sectors, client satisfaction, including the satisfaction of its local and regional economic development partners, businesses retained and recruited statewide and within rural and urban core communities, employer wage growth, and increased export sales among client companies to use in evaluating performance toward accomplishing the mission of Enterprise Florida, Inc.
(b) The performance standards and measurable outcomes established and regularly reviewed by Enterprise Florida, Inc., under this subsection must also include benchmarks and goals to measure the impact of state economic development policies and programs. Such benchmarks and goals may include, but are not limited to:
1. Net annual job growth rate in this state compared to neighboring southern states and the United States as a whole.
2. Unemployment rate in this state compared to neighboring southern states and the United States as a whole.
3. Wage distribution based on the percentage of people working in this state who earned 15 percent below the state average, within 15 percent of the state average, and 15 percent or more above the state average.
4. Annual percentage of growth in the production of goods and services within Florida compared to neighboring southern states and the United States as a whole.
5. Changes in jobs in this state by major industry based on the percentage of growth or decline in the number of full-time or part-time jobs in this state.
6. Number of new business startups in this state.
7. Goods produced in this state that are exported to other countries.
8. Capital investment for commercial and industrial purposes, agricultural production and processing, and international trade.
(5) The board of directors shall coordinate and collaborate with local and regional economic development organizations, which shall be the state’s primary agents for the direct delivery of economic development and international development services.
(6) Any employee leased by Enterprise Florida, Inc., from the state, or any employee who derives his or her salary from funds appropriated by the Legislature, may not receive a pay raise or bonus in excess of a pay raise or bonus that is received by similarly situated state employees. However, this subsection does not prohibit the payment of a pay raise or bonus from funds received from sources other than the Florida Legislature.
History.s. 6, ch. 92-277; s. 85, ch. 96-320; s. 42, ch. 97-100; s. 32, ch. 97-278; s. 71, ch. 99-13; s. 32, ch. 99-251; s. 82, ch. 2000-165; s. 5, ch. 2000-317; s. 28, ch. 2005-2.
288.906 Annual report of Enterprise Florida, Inc.; audits.Prior to December 1 of each year, Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall submit to the Governor, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Senate Minority Leader, and the House Minority Leader a complete and detailed report including, but not limited to:
(1) A description of the operations and accomplishments of Enterprise Florida, Inc., and its boards and advisory committees or similar groups created by Enterprise Florida, Inc., and an identification of any major trends, initiatives, or developments affecting the performance of any program or activity.
(2) An evaluation of progress towards achieving organizational goals and specific performance outcomes, both short-term and long-term, established pursuant to s. 288.905.
(3) Methods for implementing and funding the operations of Enterprise Florida, Inc., and its boards.
(4) A description of the operations and accomplishments of Enterprise Florida, Inc., and its boards with respect to aggressively marketing Florida’s rural communities and distressed urban communities as locations for potential new investment and job creation, aggressively assisting in the creation, retention, and expansion of existing businesses and job growth in these communities, and aggressively assisting these communities in the identification and development of new economic development opportunities.
(5) A description and evaluation of the operations and accomplishments of Enterprise Florida, Inc., and its boards with respect to interaction with local and private economic development organizations, including an identification of any specific programs or activities which promoted the activities of such organizations and an identification of any specific programs or activities which promoted a comprehensive and coordinated approach to economic development in this state.
(6) An assessment of job creation that directly benefits participants in the welfare transition program.
(7) An annual compliance and financial audit of accounts and records by an independent certified public accountant at the end of its most recent fiscal year performed in accordance with rules adopted by the Auditor General.

The detailed report required by this subsection shall also include the information identified in subsections (1)-(7), if applicable, for any board established within the corporate structure of Enterprise Florida, Inc.

History.s. 7, ch. 92-277; s. 231, ch. 95-148; s. 3, ch. 95-369; s. 86, ch. 96-320; s. 145, ch. 96-406; s. 33, ch. 97-278; s. 33, ch. 99-251; s. 83, ch. 2000-165; s. 141, ch. 2001-266.
288.911 Creation and implementation of a marketing and image campaign.
(1) Enterprise Florida, Inc., in collaboration with the private sector, shall create a marketing campaign to help attract, develop, and retain information technology businesses in this state. The campaign must be coordinated with any existing economic development promotion efforts in this state, and shall be jointly funded from private and public resources.
(2) The message of the campaign shall be to increase national and international awareness of this state as a state ideally suited for the successful advancement of the information technology business sector. Marketing strategies shall include development of promotional materials, Internet and print advertising, public relations and media placement, trade show attendance at information technology events, and appropriate followup activities. Efforts to promote this state as a high-technology business leader must include identification and coordination of existing business technology resources, partnerships with economic development organizations and private sector businesses, continued retention and growth of businesses based in this state that produce high-technology products or use high-technology skills for manufacturing, and recruitment of new business in such area.
History.s. 34, ch. 2000-164.
288.9415 International Trade Grants.
(1) The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development in the Executive Office of the Governor may accept and administer moneys appropriated to the office for providing grants for promotion of international trade.
(2) A county, municipality, economic development council, Space Florida, or a not-for-profit association of businesses organized to assist in the promotion of international trade may apply for a grant of state funds for the promotion of international trade.
(3) Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall review each application for a grant to promote international trade and shall submit annually to the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development for approval lists of all recommended applications for the award of grants, arranged in order of priority. The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development may allocate grants only for projects that are approved or for which funds are appropriated by the Legislature. Projects approved and recommended by Enterprise Florida, Inc., which are not funded by the Legislature shall be retained on the project list for the following grant cycle only. All projects that are retained shall be required to submit such information as may be required by the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development as of the established deadline date of the latest grant cycle in order to adequately reflect the most current status of the project.
History.s. 36, ch. 97-278; s. 34, ch. 99-251; s. 16, ch. 99-256; s. 7, ch. 2002-183; s. 57, ch. 2006-60.
TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT
288.95155 Florida Small Business Technology Growth Program.
288.9519 Not-for-profit corporation.
288.9520 Public records exemption.
288.955 Scripps Florida Funding Corporation.
288.9551 Exemptions from public records and meetings requirements; Scripps Florida Funding Corporation.
288.9552 Florida Research Commercialization Matching Grant Program.
288.95155 Florida Small Business Technology Growth Program.
(1) The Florida Small Business Technology Growth Program is hereby established to provide financial assistance to businesses in this state having high job growth and emerging technology potential and fewer than 100 employees. The program shall be administered and managed by Enterprise Florida, Inc.
(2)(a) Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall establish a separate small business technology growth account in the Florida Technology Research Investment Fund for purposes of this section. Moneys in the account shall consist of appropriations by the Legislature, proceeds of any collateral used to secure such assistance, transfers, fees assessed for providing or processing such financial assistance, grants, interest earnings, and earnings on financial assistance.
(b) For the 2009-2010 fiscal year only, Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall advance up to $600,000 from the account to the Institute for Commercialization of Public Research for its operations. This paragraph expires July 1, 2010.
(3) Pursuant to s. 216.351, the amount of any moneys appropriated to the account which are unused at the end of the fiscal year shall not be subject to reversion under s. 216.301. All moneys in the account are continuously appropriated to the account and may be used for loan guarantees, letter of credit guarantees, cash reserves for loan and letter of credit guarantees, payments of claims pursuant to contracts for guarantees, subordinated loans, loans with warrants, royalty investments, equity investments, and operations of the program. Any claim against the program shall be paid solely from the account. Neither the credit nor the taxing power of the state shall be pledged to secure the account or moneys in the account, other than from moneys appropriated or assigned to the account, and the state shall not be liable or obligated in any way for any claims against the account or against Enterprise Florida, Inc.
(4) Awards of assistance from the program shall be finalized subject to the policies and procedures of Enterprise Florida, Inc. Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall leverage at least one dollar of matching investment for each dollar awarded from the program. Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall give the highest priority to moderate-risk and high-risk ventures that offer the greatest opportunity for compelling economic development impact. Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall establish for each award a risk-reward timetable that profiles the risks of the assistance, estimates the potential economic development impact, and establishes a timetable for reviewing the success or failure of the assistance. By December 31 of each year, Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall evaluate, on a portfolio basis, the results of all awards of assistance made from the program during the year.
(5) Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall prepare and include in its annual report required by s. 288.095 a report on the financial status of the program. The report must specify the assets and liabilities of the program within the current fiscal year and must include a portfolio update that lists all of the businesses assisted, the private dollars leveraged by each business assisted, and the growth in sales and in employment of each business assisted.
History.s. 1, ch. 98-59; s. 37, ch. 99-251; s. 11, ch. 2004-243; ss. 39, 40, ch. 2009-82; s. 72, ch. 2010-102.
288.9519 Not-for-profit corporation.
(1) It is the intent of the Legislature to promote the development of the state economy and to authorize the establishment of a not-for-profit organization that shall promote the competitiveness and profitability of high-technology business and industry through technology development projects of importance to specific manufacturing sectors in this state. This not-for-profit corporation shall work cooperatively with Enterprise Florida, Inc., and shall avoid duplicating the activities, programs, and functions of Enterprise Florida, Inc.
(2) In addition to all other powers and authority, not explicitly prohibited by statutes, this not-for-profit organization has the following powers and duties:
(a) To receive funds appropriated to the organization by the Legislature. Such funds may not duplicate funds appropriated to Enterprise Florida, Inc., but shall serve to further the advancement of the state economy, jointly and collaboratively with Enterprise Florida, Inc.
(b) To submit a legislative budget request through a state agency.
(c) To accept gifts, grants, donations, expenses, in-kind services, or other goods or services for carrying out its purposes, and to expend such funds or assets in any legal manner according to the terms and conditions of acceptance and without interference, control, or restraint by the state.
(d) To carry forward any unexpended state appropriations into succeeding fiscal years.
History.s. 12, ch. 93-187; s. 98, ch. 96-320; s. 38, ch. 99-251.
288.9520 Public records exemption.Materials that relate to methods of manufacture or production, potential trade secrets, potentially patentable material, actual trade secrets, business transactions, financial and proprietary information, and agreements or proposals to receive funding that are received, generated, ascertained, or discovered by Enterprise Florida, Inc., including its affiliates or subsidiaries and partnership participants, such as private enterprises, educational institutions, and other organizations, are confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution, except that a recipient of Enterprise Florida, Inc., research funds shall make available, upon request, the title and description of the research project, the name of the researcher, and the amount and source of funding provided for the project.
History.s. 17, ch. 89-381; s. 81, ch. 90-360; s. 13, ch. 93-187; s. 1, ch. 95-230; s. 99, ch. 96-320; s. 147, ch. 96-406; s. 39, ch. 99-251.
Note.Former s. 240.539(7).
1288.955 Scripps Florida Funding Corporation.
(1) DEFINITIONS.As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Contract” means the contract executed between the corporation and the grantee under this section.
(b) “Corporation” means the Scripps Florida Funding Corporation created under this section.
(c) “Grantee” means The Scripps Research Institute, a not-for-profit public benefit corporation, or a division, subsidiary, affiliate, or entity formed by The Scripps Research Institute to establish a state-of-the-art biomedical research institution and campus in this state. The grantee is neither an agency nor an entity acting on behalf of an agency for purposes of chapter 119 and s. 286.011.
(2) CREATION.
(a) There is created a not-for-profit corporation known as the Scripps Florida Funding Corporation, which shall be registered, incorporated, organized, and operated under chapter 617.
(b) The corporation is not a unit or entity of state government. However, the corporation is subject to the provisions of s. 24, Art. I of the State Constitution and chapter 119, relating to public meetings and records, and the provisions of chapter 286 relating to public meetings and records.
(c) The corporation must establish at least one corporate office in this state and appoint a registered agent.
(d) The corporation shall hire or contract for all staff necessary to the proper execution of its powers and duties within the funds appropriated to implement this section and shall require that all officers, directors, and employees of the corporation comply with the code of ethics for public officers and employees under part III of chapter 112. In no case may the corporation expend more than $300,000 in the first year and $200,000 per year thereafter for staffing and necessary administrative expenditures, including, but not limited to, travel and per diem and audit expenditures, using funds appropriated to implement this section.
(e) The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall provide administrative support to the corporation as requested by the corporation. In the event of the dissolution of the corporation, the office shall be the corporation’s successor in interest and shall assume all rights, duties, and obligations of the corporation under any contract to which the corporation is then a party and under law.
(3) PURPOSE.The corporation shall be organized to receive, hold, invest, administer, and disburse funds appropriated by the Legislature for the establishment and operation of a state-of-the-art biomedical research institution and campus in this state by The Scripps Research Institute. The corporation shall safeguard the state’s commitment of financial support by ensuring that, as a condition for the receipt of these funds, the grantee meets its contractual obligations. In this manner, the corporation shall facilitate and oversee the state goal and public purpose of providing financial support for the institution and campus in order to expand the amount and prominence of biomedical research conducted in this state, provide an inducement for high-technology businesses to locate in this state, create educational opportunities through access to and partnerships with the institution, and promote improved health care through the scientific outcomes of the institution.
(4) BOARD; MEMBERSHIP.The corporation shall be governed by a board of directors.
(a) The board of directors shall consist of nine voting members, of whom the Governor shall appoint three, the President of the Senate shall appoint three, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall appoint three. The director of the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development or the director’s designee shall serve as an ex-officio, nonvoting member of the board of directors.
(b) Each member of the board of directors shall serve for a term of 4 years, except that initially the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives each shall appoint one member for a term of 1 year, one member for a term of 2 years, and one member for a term of 4 years to achieve staggered terms among the members of the board. A member is not eligible for reappointment to the board, except, however, that a member appointed to an initial term of 1 year or 2 years may be reappointed for an additional term of 4 years, and a person appointed to fill a vacancy with 2 years or less remaining on the term may be reappointed for an additional term of 4 years. The Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall make their initial appointments to the board by November 15, 2003.
(c) The Governor, the President of the Senate, or the Speaker of the House of Representatives, respectively, shall fill a vacancy on the board of directors, according to who appointed the member whose vacancy is to be filled or whose term has expired. A vacancy that occurs before the scheduled expiration of the term of the member shall be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term.
(d) Each member of the board of directors who is not otherwise required to file financial disclosure under s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution or s. 112.3144 shall file disclosure of financial interests under s. 112.3145.
(e) A person may not be appointed to the board of directors if he or she has had any direct interest in any contract, franchise, privilege, or other benefit granted by The Scripps Research Institute or any of its affiliate organizations within 5 years before appointment. A person appointed to the board of directors must agree to refrain from having any direct interest in any contract, franchise, privilege, or other benefit granted by The Scripps Research Institute or any of its affiliate organizations during the term of his or her appointment and for 5 years after the termination of such appointment. It is a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.083 or s. 775.084, for a person to accept appointment to the board of directors in violation of this paragraph or to accept a direct interest in any contract, franchise, privilege, or other benefit granted by the institution or affiliate within 5 years after the termination of his or her service on the board.
(f) Each member of the board of directors shall serve without compensation, but shall receive travel and per diem expenses as provided in s. 112.061 while in the performance of his or her duties.
(g) Each member of the board of directors is accountable for the proper performance of the duties of office, and each member owes a fiduciary duty to the people of the state to ensure that funds provided in furtherance of this section are disbursed and used as prescribed by law and contract. The Governor, the President of the Senate, or the Speaker of the House of Representatives, according to which officer appointed the member, may remove a member for malfeasance, misfeasance, neglect of duty, incompetence, permanent inability to perform official duties, unexcused absence from three consecutive meetings of the board, arrest or indictment for a crime that is a felony or a misdemeanor involving theft or a crime of dishonesty, or pleading nolo contendere to, or being found guilty of, any crime.
(5) ORGANIZATION; MEETINGS.
(a)1. The board of directors shall annually elect a chairperson and a vice chairperson from among the board’s members. The members may, by a vote of five of the nine board members, remove a member from the position of chairperson or vice chairperson prior to the expiration of his or her term as chairperson or vice chairperson. His or her successor shall be elected to serve for the balance of the removed chairperson’s or vice chairperson’s term.
2. The chairperson is responsible to ensure that records are kept of the proceedings of the board of directors and is the custodian of all books, documents, and papers filed with the board; the minutes of meetings of the board; and the official seal of the corporation.
(b)1. The board of directors shall meet upon the call of the chairperson or at the request of a majority of the members, but no less than three times per calendar year.
2. A majority of the voting members of the board of directors constitutes a quorum. Except as otherwise provided in this section, the board may take official action by a majority vote of the members present at any meeting at which a quorum is present. Members may not vote by proxy.
3. A member of the board may participate in a meeting of the board by telephone or videoconference through which each member may hear every other member.
(6) POWERS AND DUTIES.The corporation is organized to receive, hold, invest, administer, and disburse funds appropriated by the Legislature in support of this section and to disburse any income generated from the investment of these funds consistent with the purpose and provisions of this section. In addition to the powers and duties prescribed in chapter 617 and the articles and bylaws adopted under that chapter, the corporation:
(a) May make and enter into contracts and assume any other functions that are necessary to carry out the provisions of this section.
(b) May enter into leases and contracts for the purchase of real property and hold notes, mortgages, guarantees, or security agreements to secure the performance of obligations of the grantee under the contract.
(c) May perform all acts and things necessary or convenient to carry out the powers expressly granted in this section and a contract entered into between the corporation and the grantee.
(d) May make expenditures, from funds provided by this state, including any necessary administrative expenditures consistent with its powers.
(e) May indemnify, and purchase and maintain insurance on behalf of, directors, officers, and employees of the corporation against any personal liability or accountability.
(f) Shall disburse funds pursuant to the provisions of this section and a contract entered into between the corporation and the grantee.
(g) Shall receive and review reports and financial documentation provided by the grantee to ensure compliance with the provisions of this section and provisions of the contract.
(h) Shall prepare an annual report as prescribed in subsection (14).
(7) INVESTMENT OF FUNDS.The corporation must enter into an agreement with the State Board of Administration under which funds received by the corporation from the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development which are not disbursed to the grantee shall be invested by the State Board of Administration on behalf of the corporation. Funds shall be invested in suitable instruments authorized under s. 215.47 and specified in investment guidelines established and agreed to by the State Board of Administration and the corporation.
(8) CONTRACT.
(a) By January 30, 2004, the corporation shall negotiate and execute a contract with the grantee for a term of 20 years. Such contract shall govern the disbursement and use of funds under this section. The board may, by a simple majority vote, authorize one 45-day extension of this deadline. The corporation may not execute the contract unless the contract is approved by the affirmative vote of at least seven of the nine members of the board of directors. At least 14 days before execution of the contract, The Scripps Research Institute must submit to the board, the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives an organizational plan, in a form and manner prescribed by the board, for the establishment of a state-of-the-art biomedical research institution and campus in this state, and the board must submit a copy of the proposed contract to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
(b) The contract, at a minimum, must contain provisions:
1. Specifying the procedures and schedules that govern the disbursement of funds under this section and specifying the conditions or deliverables that the grantee must satisfy before the release of each disbursement.
2. Requiring the grantee to submit to the corporation a business plan in a form and manner prescribed by the corporation.
3. Prohibiting The Scripps Research Institute or the grantee from establishing other biomedical science or research facilities in any state other than this state or California for a period of 12 years from the commencement of the contract. Nothing in this subparagraph shall prohibit the grantee from establishing or engaging in normal collaborative activities with other organizations.
4. Governing the ownership of or security interests in real property and personal property, including, but not limited to, research equipment, obtained through the financial support of state or local government, including a provision that in the event of a breach of the contract or in the event the grantee ceases operations in this state, such property purchased with state funds shall revert to the state and such property purchased with local funds shall revert to the local governing authority.
5. Requiring the grantee to be an equal opportunity employer.
6. Requiring the grantee to maintain a policy of awarding preference in employment to residents of this state, as defined by law, except for professional scientific staff positions requiring a doctoral degree, postdoctoral training positions, and graduate student positions.
7. Requiring the grantee to maintain a policy of making purchases from vendors in this state, to the extent it is cost-effective and scientifically sound.
8. Requiring the grantee to use the Internet-based job-listing system of the Agency for Workforce Innovation in advertising employment opportunities.
9. Requiring the grantee to establish accredited science degree programs.
10. Requiring the grantee to establish internship programs to create learning opportunities for educators and secondary, postsecondary, graduate, and doctoral students.
11. Requiring the grantee to submit data to the corporation on the activities and performance during each fiscal year and to provide to the corporation an annual accounting of the expenditure of funds disbursed under this section.
12. Establishing that the corporation shall review the activities of the grantee to assess the grantee’s financial and operational compliance with the provisions of the contract and with relevant provisions of law.
13. Authorizing the grantee, when feasible, to use information submitted by it to the Federal Government or to other organizations awarding research grants to the grantee to help meet reporting requirements imposed under this section or the contract, if the information satisfies the reporting standards of this section and the contract.
14. Requiring the grantee during the first 7 years of the contract to create 545 positions and to acquire associated research equipment for the grantee’s facility in this state, and pay for related maintenance of the equipment, in a total amount of not less than $45 million.
15. Requiring the grantee to progress in the creation of the total number of jobs prescribed in subparagraph 14. on the following schedule: At least 38 positions in the 1st year, 168 positions in the 2nd year, 280 positions in the 3rd year, 367 positions in the 4th year, 436 positions in the 5th year, 500 positions in the 6th year, and 545 positions in the 7th year. The board may allow the grantee to deviate downward from such employee levels by 25 percent in any year, to allow the grantee flexibility in achieving the objectives set forth in the business plan provided to the corporation; however, the grantee must have no fewer than 545 positions by the end of the 7th year.
16. Requiring the grantee to allow the corporation to retain an independent certified public accountant licensed in this state pursuant to chapter 473 to inspect the records of the grantee in order to audit the expenditure of funds disbursed to the grantee. The independent certified public accountant shall not disclose any confidential or proprietary scientific information of the grantee.
17. Requiring the grantee to purchase liability insurance and governing the coverage level of such insurance.
(c) An amendment to the contract is not effective unless it is approved by the affirmative vote of at least seven of the nine members of the board of directors.
(9) PERFORMANCE EXPECTATIONS.In addition to the provisions prescribed in subsection (8), the contract between the corporation and the grantee shall include a provision that the grantee, in cooperation with the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development, shall report to the corporation on performance expectations that reflect the aspirations of the Governor and the Legislature for the benefits accruing to this state as a result of the funds appropriated pursuant to this section. These shall include, but are not limited to, performance expectations addressing:
(a) The number and dollar value of research grants obtained from the Federal Government or sources other than this state.
(b) The percentage of total research dollars received by The Scripps Research Institute from sources other than this state which is used to conduct research activities by the grantee in this state.
(c) The number or value of patents obtained by the grantee.
(d) The number or value of licensing agreements executed by the grantee.
(e) The extent to which research conducted by the grantee results in commercial applications.
(f) The number of collaborative agreements reached and maintained with colleges and universities in this state and with research institutions in this state, including agreements that foster participation in research opportunities by public and private colleges and universities and research institutions in this state with significant minority populations, including historically black colleges and universities.
(g) The number of collaborative partnerships established and maintained with businesses in this state.
(h) The total amount of funding received by the grantee from sources other than the State of Florida.
(i) The number or value of spin-off businesses created in this state as a result of commercialization of the research of the grantee.
(j) The number or value of businesses recruited to this state by the grantee.
(k) The establishment and implementation of policies to promote supplier diversity using the guidelines developed by the Office of Supplier Diversity under s. 287.09451 and to comply with the ordinances, including any small business ordinances, enacted by the county and which are applicable to the biomedical research institution and campus located in this state.
(l) The designation by the grantee of a representative to coordinate with the Office of Supplier Diversity.
(m) The establishment and implementation of a program to conduct workforce recruitment activities at public and private colleges and universities and community colleges in this state which request the participation of the grantee.

The contract shall require the grantee to provide information to the corporation on the progress in meeting these performance expectations on an annual basis. It is the intent of the Legislature that, in fulfilling its obligation to work with Florida’s public and private colleges and universities, Scripps Florida work with such colleges and universities regardless of size.

(10) DISBURSEMENT CONDITIONS.In addition to the provisions prescribed in subsection (8), the contract between the corporation and the grantee shall include disbursement conditions that must be satisfied by the grantee as a condition for the continued disbursement of funds under this section. These disbursement conditions shall be negotiated between the corporation and the grantee and shall not be designed to impede the ability of the grantee to attain full operational status. The disbursement conditions may be appropriately varied as to timeframes, numbers, values, and percentages. The disbursement conditions shall include, but are not limited to, the following areas:
(a) Demonstrate creation of jobs and report on the average salaries paid.
(b) Beginning 18 months after the grantee’s occupancy of its permanent facility, the grantee shall annually obtain $100,000 of nonstate funding for each full-time equivalent tenured-track faculty member employed at the Florida facility.
(c) No later than 3 years after the grantee’s occupancy of its permanent facility, the grantee shall apply to the relevant accrediting agency for accreditation of its Florida graduate program.
(d) The grantee shall purchase equipment for its Florida facility as scheduled in its contract with the corporation.
(e) No later than 18 months after occupying its permanent facility, the grantee shall establish a program for qualified graduate students from Florida universities permitting them access to the facility for doctoral, thesis-related research.
(f) No later than 18 months after occupancy of the permanent facility, the grantee shall establish a summer internship for high school students.
(g) No later than 3 years after occupancy of the permanent facility, the grantee shall establish a research program for middle and high school teachers.
(h) No later than 18 months after occupancy of the permanent facility, the grantee shall establish a program for adjunct professors.
(i) No later than 6 months after commissioning its high throughput technology, the grantee shall establish a program to allow open access for qualified science projects.
(j) Beginning June 2004, the grantee shall commence collaborative efforts with Florida public and private colleges and universities, and shall continue cooperative collaboration through the term of the agreement.
(k) Beginning 18 months after the grantee occupies the permanent facility, the grantee shall establish an annual seminar series featuring a review of the science work done by the grantee and its collaborators at the Florida facility.
(l) Beginning June 2004, the grantee shall commence collaboration efforts with the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development by complying with reasonable requests for cooperation in economic development efforts in the biomed/biotech industry. No later than July 2004, the grantee shall designate a person who shall be charged with assisting in these collaborative efforts.
(11) DISBURSEMENTS.
(a) The corporation shall disburse funds to the grantee over a period of 7 calendar years starting in the calendar year beginning January 1, 2004, under the terms and conditions of the contract. The corporation shall complete disbursement of the total amount of funds payable to the grantee under the contract no later than December 31, 2010, unless the grantee fails to satisfy the terms and conditions of the contract. Any funds of the corporation that are not disbursed by December 31, 2010, shall be paid to the Biomedical Research Trust Fund of the Department of Health.
(b) The contract shall provide for a reduction or elimination of funding in any year if:
1. The grantee is no longer operating in this state;
2. The grantee has failed to commit in writing to maintain operations in the state for the succeeding year; or
3. The grantee commits a material default or breach of the contract, as defined and governed by the contract. Determination of material default or breach of contract shall require the affirmative vote of at least seven of the nine members of the board.
(c) Each disbursement by the corporation to the grantee under this section is conditioned upon the affirmative approval of at least five of the nine members of the board of directors and upon demonstration by the grantee that it has met the particular contractual deliverables that are the basis for that disbursement.
(12) USE OF FUNDS.
(a) Funds appropriated in furtherance of this section may not be disbursed or expended for activities that do not principally benefit or that are not directly related to the establishment or operation of the grantee in this state, except upon approval of the affirmative vote of at least seven of the nine members of the board of directors.
(b) No funds appropriated in furtherance of this section may be used for the purpose of lobbying any branch or agency of state government or any political subdivision of the state.
(c) The grantee must provide for separate accounts for any funds appropriated in furtherance of this section and separate books and records relating to The Scripps Research Institute’s Florida operation.
(13) REINVESTMENT.
(a) The grantee shall reinvest 15 percent of the net royalty revenues, including the revenues from the sale of stock, received by The Scripps Research Institute from the licensing or transfer of inventions, methods, processes, and other patentable discoveries conceived or reduced to practice using the grantee’s Florida facilities or Florida employees, in whole or in part, and to which the grantee becomes entitled during the 20 years following the effective date of the contract between the corporation and the grantee. For purposes of this paragraph, the term “net royalty revenues” means all royalty revenues less the cost of obtaining, maintaining, and enforcing related patent and intellectual property rights, both foreign and domestic. Reinvestment payments under this paragraph shall commence no later than 6 months after the grantee has received the final disbursement under the contract and shall continue until the maximum reinvestment has been paid.
(b) The grantee shall reinvest 15 percent of the gross revenues it receives from naming opportunities associated with any facility it builds in this state. For purposes of this section, the term “naming opportunities” includes charitable donations from any person or entity in consideration for the right to have all or a portion of the facility named for or in the memory of any person, living or dead, or for any entity. The obligation to make reinvestment payments under this section shall commence upon the execution of the contract between the corporation and the grantee.

All reinvestment payments made pursuant to this section shall be remitted to the state for deposit in the Biomedical Research Trust Fund or, if such fund has ceased to exist, in another trust fund that supports biomedical research, as determined by law. The maximum reinvestment required of the grantee pursuant to this subsection shall not exceed $200 million. At such time as the reinvestment payments equal $155 million or the contract expires, whichever is earlier, the board of the corporation shall determine whether the performance expectations and disbursement conditions have been met. If the board determines that the performance expectations and disbursement conditions have been met, the amount of $200 million shall be reduced to $155 million. The grantee shall annually submit a schedule of the shares of stock held by it as payment of the royalty referred to in paragraph (a) and report on any trades or activity concerning such stock. The grantee’s obligations under this subsection shall survive the expiration or termination of the contract between the corporation and the grantee.

(14) ANNUAL REPORT.By December 1 of each year, the corporation shall prepare a report of the activities and outcomes under this section for the preceding fiscal year. The report, at a minimum, must include:
(a) A description of the activities of the corporation in managing and enforcing the contract with the grantee.
(b) An accounting of the amount of funds disbursed during the preceding fiscal year to the grantee.
(c) An accounting of expenditures by the grantee during the fiscal year of funds disbursed under this section.
(d) Information on the number and salary level of jobs created by the grantee, including the number and salary level of jobs created for residents of this state.
(e) Information on the amount and nature of economic activity generated through the activities of the grantee.
(f) An assessment of factors affecting the progress toward achieving the projected biotech industry cluster associated with the grantee’s operations, as projected by economists on behalf of the Executive Office of the Governor.
(g) A compliance and financial audit of the accounts and records of the corporation at the end of the preceding fiscal year conducted by an independent certified public accountant in accordance with rules of the Auditor General.
(h) A description of the status of the performance expectations under subsection (9) and the disbursement conditions under subsection (10).

The corporation shall submit the report to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

(15) PROGRAM EVALUATION.
(a) Before January 1, 2007, the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability shall conduct a performance audit of the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development and the corporation relating to the provisions of this section. The audit shall assess the implementation and outcomes of activities under this section. At a minimum, the audit shall address:
1. Performance of the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development in disbursing funds appropriated under this section.
2. Performance of the corporation in managing and enforcing the contract with the grantee.
3. Compliance by the corporation with the provisions of this section and the provisions of the contract.
4. Economic activity generated through funds disbursed under the contract.
(b) Before January 1, 2010, the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability shall update the report required under this subsection. In addition to addressing the items prescribed in paragraph (a), the updated report shall include a recommendation on whether the Legislature should retain the statutory authority for the corporation.

A report of each audit’s findings and recommendations shall be submitted to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. In completing the performance audits required under this subsection, the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability shall maximize the use of reports submitted by the grantee to the Federal Government or to other organizations awarding research grants to the grantee.

(16) LIABILITY.
(a) The appropriation or disbursement of funds under this section does not constitute a debt, liability, or obligation of the State of Florida, any political subdivision thereof, or the corporation or a pledge of the faith and credit of the state or of any such political subdivision.
(b) The appropriation or disbursement of funds under this section does not subject the State of Florida, any political subdivision thereof, or the corporation to liability related to the research activities and research products of the grantee.
(17) FORCE MAJEURE.Notwithstanding any other provisions contained in this act, if the grantee is prevented from timely achieving any deadlines set forth in this act due to its inability to occupy its permanent Florida facility within 2 years after entering into the memorandum of agreement pursuant to s. 403.973, as a result of permitting delays and related administrative or judicial proceedings, acts of God, labor disturbances, or other similar events beyond the control of the grantee, the deadline shall be extended by the number of days by which the grantee was delayed in commencing its occupancy of its permanent Florida facility. In no event shall the extension be for more than 4 years. Upon the occurrence of a force majeure event, the Scripps Florida Funding Corporation shall continue to fund the grantee at a level that permits it to sustain its current level of operations until the force majeure event ceases and the grantee is able to resume the contract schedule governing disbursement.
History.ss. 1, 6, ch. 2003-420; s. 1, ch. 2009-236.
1Note.Section 4, ch. 2003-420, provides that “[n]otwithstanding any other provision of law, the county in which the projects that are part of or ancillary to the state-of-the-art biomedical research institution and campus to be established in this state by the grantee under section 288.955, Florida Statutes, are to be located shall have the exclusive right, which right may be assigned in whole or in part by the governing body of the county in its sole discretion, to provide water and wastewater services to such projects to the extent deemed necessary by the governing body of the county. The county may plan, acquire, construct, reconstruct, enlarge or extend, operate, and maintain water and wastewater systems and facilities within or without the boundaries of such projects for the provision of water and wastewater services.”
288.9551 Exemptions from public records and meetings requirements; Scripps Florida Funding Corporation.
(1) As used in this section, the term “grantee” has the same meaning ascribed in s. 288.955.
(2) The following information held by the Scripps Florida Funding Corporation under s. 288.955 is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution:
(a) Materials that relate to methods of manufacture or production, potential trade secrets, patentable material, actual trade secrets as defined in s. 688.002, or proprietary information received, generated, ascertained, or discovered by or through the grantee.
(b) Agreements and proposals to receive funding, including grant applications; however, those portions of such agreements and proposals to receive funding, including grant applications, that do not contain information made confidential and exempt by paragraph (a) of this subsection, shall not be confidential and exempt upon issuance of the report that is made after the conclusion of the project for which funding was provided. The exemption created in this paragraph specifically excludes any agreement by the Scripps Florida Funding Corporation to release funds to the grantee.
(c) Materials that relate to the recruitment of scientists and researchers.
(d) The identity of donors or potential donors to the grantee who wish to remain anonymous.
(e) Information received from a person from another state or nation or the Federal Government which is otherwise confidential or exempt pursuant to the laws of that state or nation or pursuant to federal law.
(f) Personal identifying information of individuals who participate in human trials or experiments.
(g) Medical or health records relating to participants in clinical trials.
(3)(a) That portion of a meeting of the board of directors of the Scripps Florida Funding Corporation at which information is presented or discussed that is confidential and exempt under subsection (2) is exempt from s. 286.011 and s. 24(b), Art. I of the State Constitution.
(b) Any records generated during any portion of an exempt meeting are confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.
(4) Public employees shall be permitted to inspect and copy information that is made confidential and exempt under this section exclusively for the performance of their public duties.
(5) Any person who willfully and knowingly violates the provisions of this section commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(6) This section is subject to the Open Government Sunset Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand repealed on October 2, 2014, unless reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.
History.s. 1, ch. 2003-419; s. 60, ch. 2008-4; s. 2, ch. 2009-236.
288.9552 Florida Research Commercialization Matching Grant Program.
(1) PURPOSE; GOALS AND OBJECTIVES; CREATION OF PROGRAM.
(a) The purpose of the Florida Research Commercialization Matching Grant Program is to increase the amount of federal funding to this state which will produce the kind of distinctive technologies that drive today’s knowledge-based economy. By leveraging federal, state, and private sector resources, the Legislature intends that the program accelerate the innovation process and more efficiently transform research results into products in the marketplace.
(b) The matching grant program is specifically intended to be a catalyst for small or startup companies that can take advantage of federal and state grant funding in order to accelerate their growth and market penetration by helping them to overcome the funding gap faced by many small companies that are based in this state. Specific goals and objectives of the program include:
1. Increasing the amount of federal research moneys received by small businesses in this state through Phase I and Phase II awards from the Small Business Innovation Research Program and the Small Business Technology Transfer Program of the Office of Technology of the United States Small Business Administration.
2. Accelerating the entry of new technology-based products into the marketplace.
3. Producing additional technology-based jobs for the state.
4. Providing leveraged resources to increase the effectiveness and success of applicants’ projects.
5. Speeding commercialization of promising technologies.
6. Encouraging the establishment and growth of high-quality, advanced technology firms in the state.
7. Accelerating the rate of investment and enhancing the state’s investment infrastructure.
(c) The Florida Research Commercialization Matching Grant Program is created for the purpose of accomplishing the goals and objectives specified in this section.
(2) ADMINISTRATION.The Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research shall develop programmatic policy, ensure statewide applicability of the matching grant program, establish criteria for grant awards, approve grant awards, and annually report on program progress and results.
(3) GENERAL ELIGIBILITY GUIDELINES.A qualified applicant for a Phase I or Phase II grant must:
(a) Be a business entity that is registered with the Secretary of State to operate in this state. The qualified applicant must also have its primary office and a majority of its employees domiciled in this state, and its principal research activities must be conducted in the state.
(b) Be a small company for which a state matching grant is necessary for project development and implementation.
(c) Use federal, local, and private resources to the maximum extent possible. Total project funding shall demonstrate that:
1. Private sector investments offset the total cost of the project.
2. Not more than 25 percent of the project’s total funding is provided by the state grant.
(d) Conduct the project funded by the matching grant program in this state.
(4) PHASE-SPECIFIC APPLICATION GUIDELINES.
(a) A successful applicant for a grant must meet the requirements of this section and be approved by the institute. An application for a grant must be made on an application form prescribed by the institute. An applicant shall provide all information that the institute finds necessary to make the determinations required by this section.
(b) All applications for a grant fund must include the following:
1. A fully elaborated technical research or business plan, whichever applies, that is appropriate for review by outside experts as provided in this section.
2. A detailed financial analysis that includes the commitment of resources by other entities that will be involved in the project.
3. A statement of the economic development potential of the project, such as:
a. A statement of the way in which grant support will lead to significantly increased funding from federal or private sources and from private sector research partners.
b. A projection of the jobs to be created.
c. The identity, qualifications, and obligations of the applicant.
d. Any other information that the institute considers appropriate.
(c)1. An application for a grant fund submitted by an academic researcher must be made through the office of the president of the researcher’s academic institution with the express endorsement of the institution’s president.
2. An application for a grant submitted by a private researcher must be made through the office of the highest ranking officer of the researcher’s institution with the express endorsement of the institution.
3. Any other application must be made through the office of the highest ranking officer of the entity submitting the application. In the case of an application for a grant that is submitted jointly by one or more researchers or entities, the application must be endorsed by each institution or entity.
(d) A Phase I state grant may not be awarded unless the applicant has received a federal Phase I award. An entity may receive no more than five Phase I state grants.
(e) A qualified applicant for a Phase II state grant must have received an invitation to submit an application for a federal Phase II award or must have received a federal Phase II award. If a federal Phase II award has already been issued, the end date of the federal award must be identified and justification must be provided as to how the state funds will enhance the existing federal award. A Phase II state grant may not be awarded unless the applicant has received a federal Phase II award.
(5) PHASE I PEER REVIEW GUIDELINES.In making a determination on a proposal intended to obtain Phase I federal funding, the institute shall be advised by a peer review panel and shall consider the following factors in evaluating the proposal:
(a) The scientific merit of the proposal.
(b) The predicted future success of federal funding for the proposal.
(c) The ability of the researcher to attract merit-based scientific funding of research.
(d) The extent to which the proposal evidences interdisciplinary or interinstitutional collaboration among two or more postsecondary educational institutions or private sector partners in this state, as well as cost sharing and partnership support from the business community.
(e) The peer review panel shall be chosen by and report to the institute. In determining the composition and duties of a peer review panel, the institute shall consider the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation peer review processes as models. The members of the panel must have extensive experience in federal research funding. A panel member may not have a relationship with any private entity or postsecondary educational institution in the state that would constitute a conflict of interest for the panel member. The members of a panel shall serve without compensation and are not entitled to per diem and travel expenses while in the performance of their duties.
(f) A grant for a Phase I award may not be approved by the institute unless the proposal has received a positive recommendation from a peer review panel described in this section.
(6) PHASE II REVIEW GUIDELINES.In making a determination on an application for a Phase II grant, the institute shall consult with experts as necessary to analyze the likelihood of success of the proposal and the relative merit of the proposal.
(7) PROGRAM ADMINISTRATOR; RESPONSIBILITIES.The Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research shall serve as program administrator. The institute may contract for the performance of a technology review and related functions with a third party. Not more than 5 percent of a legislative appropriation made for the purposes of implementing this program may be used for administering this program. The responsibilities of the institute as the program administrator include, but are not limited to:
(a) Coordinating and supporting the grant review, approval, and contracting activities.
(b) Administering the grant-selection process, including, but not limited to, issuing open-call requests for grant applications and receiving, reviewing, and processing grant applications, and awarding grants to selected qualified applicants.
(c) Entering into a contract with each grant recipient and serving as the grant contract manager.
(d) Reporting program progress and results.
(e) Establishing a mechanism by which information regarding grant projects may be made available to facilitate additional investment by individual investors, investment for early startup costs, or venture capital investment.
(8) APPLICATION REVIEW.An application for a matching grant award must be reviewed and approved or denied within 45 days after receipt.
(9) AWARDS.The matching grant program may make a one-time award of up to $50,000 per project for a Phase I grant to a qualified applicant and up to $250,000 per project for a Phase II grant to a qualified applicant. Grant funds shall be released upon completion of all contract requirements.
(10) REPORTING.Beginning December 1, 2011, and annually thereafter, the institute shall transmit a report relating to the grants awarded under the program to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives for the previous fiscal year.
(11) EXPIRATION.This section expires July 1, 2013, unless reviewed and reenacted by the Legislature prior to that date.
History.s. 30, ch. 2010-147.
CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT
288.9602 Findings and declarations of necessity.
288.9603 Definitions.
288.9604 Creation of the authority.
288.9605 Corporation powers.
288.9606 Issue of revenue bonds.
288.9607 Guaranty of bond issues.
288.9608 Creation and funding of the Energy, Technology, and Economic Development Guaranty Fund.
288.9609 Bonds as legal investments.
288.9610 Annual reports of Florida Development Finance Corporation.
288.9614 Authorized programs.
288.9618 Microenterprises.
288.9602 Findings and declarations of necessity.The Legislature finds and declares that:
(1) There is a need to enhance economic activity in the state by attracting manufacturing, development, redevelopment of brownfield areas, business enterprise management, and other activities conducive to economic promotion in order to provide a stronger, more balanced, and stable economy in the state.
(2) A significant portion of businesses located in the state or desiring to locate in the state encounter difficulty in obtaining financing on terms competitive with those available to businesses located in other states and nations or are unable to obtain such financing at all.
(3) The difficulty in obtaining such financing impairs the expansion of economic activity and the creation of jobs and income in communities throughout the state.
(4) The businesses most often affected by these financing difficulties are small businesses critical to the economic development of the state.
(5) The economic well-being of the people in, and the commercial and industrial resources of, the state would be enhanced by the provision of financing to businesses on terms competitive with those available in the most developed financial markets worldwide.
(6) In order to improve the prosperity and welfare of this state and its inhabitants, to improve and promote the financing of projects related to the economic development of this state, including redevelopment of brownfield areas, and to increase the purchasing power and opportunities for gainful employment of citizens of this state, it is necessary and in the public interest to facilitate the financing of such projects as provided for in this act and to do so without regard to the boundaries between counties, municipalities, special districts, and other local governmental bodies or agencies in order to more effectively and efficiently serve the interests of the greatest number of people in the widest area practicable.
(7) In order to promote and stimulate development and advance the business prosperity and economic welfare of this state and its inhabitants; to encourage and assist new business and industry in this state through loans, investments, or other business transactions; to rehabilitate and assist existing businesses; to stimulate and assist in the expansion of all kinds of for-profit and not-for-profit business activity; and to create maximum opportunities for employment, encouragement of thrift, and improvement of the standard of living of the citizens of Florida, it is necessary and in the public interest to facilitate the cooperation and action between organizations, public and private, in the promotion, development, and conduct of all kinds of for-profit and not-for-profit business activity in the state.
(8) In order to efficiently and effectively achieve the purposes of this act, it is necessary and in the public interest to create a special development finance authority to cooperate and act in conjunction with public agencies of this state and local governments of this state, through interlocal agreements pursuant to the Florida Interlocal Cooperation Act of 1969, in the promotion and advancement of projects related to economic development, including redevelopment of brownfield areas, throughout the state.
(9) The purposes to be achieved by the special development finance authority through such projects and such financings of business and industry in compliance with the criteria and the requirements of this act are predominantly the public purposes stated in this section, and such purposes implement the governmental purposes under the State Constitution of providing for the health, safety, and welfare of the people of the state.
History.ss. 26, 62, ch. 93-187; s. 1, ch. 93-402; s. 11, ch. 98-75; s. 2, ch. 2010-139.
288.9603 Definitions.
(1) “Act” means the Florida Development Finance Corporation Act of 1993, and all acts supplemental thereto and amendatory thereof.
(2) “Amortization payments” means periodic payments, such as monthly, semiannually, or annually, of interest on premiums, if any, and installments of principal of revenue bonds as required by an indenture of the corporation.
(3) “Applicant” means the individual, firm, or corporation, whether for profit or nonprofit, charged with developing the project under the terms of the indenture of the corporation.
(4) “Cash equivalents” shall include letters of credit issued by investment grade rated financial institutions or their subsidiaries; direct obligations of the government of the United States of America, or any agency thereof, or obligations unconditionally guaranteed by the United States of America; certificates of deposit issued by investment grade rated financial institutions or their subsidiaries; and investments in commercial paper which, at the time of acquisition by the corporation is accorded the highest rating by Standard & Poor’s Corporation, Moody’s Investors Services, Inc., or any other nationally recognized credit rating agency of similar standing, provided that in each such case such investments shall be convertible to cash as may be reasonably necessary for application of such moneys as and when the same are to be applied in accordance with the provisions of this act.
(5) “Corporation” means the Florida Development Finance Corporation.
(6) “Debt service” shall mean for any bonds issued by the corporation or for any bonds or other form of indebtedness for which a guaranty has been issued pursuant to ss. 288.9606, 288.9607, and 288.9608, for any period for which such determination is to be made, the aggregate amount of all interest charges due or which shall become due on or with respect to such bonds or indebtedness during the period for which such determination is being made, plus the aggregate amount of scheduled principal payments due or which shall become due on or with respect to such bonds or indebtedness during the period for which such determination is being made. Scheduled principal payments may include only principal payments that are scheduled as part of the terms of the original bond or indebtedness issue and that result in the reduction of the outstanding principal balance of the bonds or indebtedness.
(7) “Economic development specialist” means a resident of the state who is professionally employed in the discipline of economic development or industrial development.
(8) “Financial institution” means any banking corporation or trust company, savings and loan association, insurance company or related corporation, partnership, foundation, or other institution engaged primarily in lending or investing funds in this state.
(9) “Maximum debt service” shall mean, for any period of 6 months or 1 year, as the case may be, during the life of any bonds issued by the corporation and for which a guaranty has been issued pursuant to ss. 288.9606, 288.9607, and 288.9608 and for which such determination is being made, the maximum amount of the debt service which is due or will become due during such period of time on or with respect to such bonds. For the purposes of calculating the amount of the maximum debt service with respect to any bonds which bear interest at a variable rate, the corporation shall utilize a fixed rate which it in its reasonable discretion determines to be appropriate.
(10) “Partnership” means Enterprise Florida, Inc.
(11) “Guaranty agreement” means an agreement by and between the corporation and an applicant pursuant to the provisions of s. 288.9607.
(12) “Guaranty agreement fund” means the Energy, Technology, and Economic Development Guaranty Fund established by the corporation pursuant to s. 288.9608.
(13) “Interlocal agreement” means an agreement by and between the Florida Development Finance Corporation and a public agency of this state, pursuant to the provisions of s. 163.01.
(14) “Public agency” means a political subdivision, agency, or officer of this state or of any state of the United States, including, but not limited to, state, government, county, city, school district, single and multipurpose special district, single and multipurpose public authority, metropolitan or consolidated government, an independently elected county officer, any agency of the United States Government, and any similar entity of any other state of the United States.
History.ss. 27, 62, ch. 93-187; s. 1, ch. 93-402; s. 100, ch. 96-320; s. 40, ch. 99-251; s. 3, ch. 2010-139.
288.9604 Creation of the authority.
(1) There is created a public body corporate and politic known as the “Florida Development Finance Corporation.” The corporation shall be constituted as a public instrumentality, and the exercise by the corporation of the powers conferred by this act shall be deemed and held to be the performance of an essential public function. The corporation has the power to function within the corporate limits of any public agency with which it has entered into an interlocal agreement for any of the purposes of this act.
(2) The Governor, subject to confirmation by the Senate, shall appoint the board of directors of the corporation, who shall be five in number. The terms of office for the directors shall be for 4 years from the date of their appointment. A vacancy occurring during a term shall be filled for the unexpired term. A director shall be eligible for reappointment. At least three of the directors of the corporation shall be bankers who have been selected by the Governor from a list of bankers who were nominated by Enterprise Florida, Inc., and one of the directors shall be an economic development specialist. The chairperson of the Florida Black Business Investment Board shall be an ex officio member of the board of the corporation.
(3)(a) A director shall receive no compensation for his or her services, but is entitled to the necessary expenses, including travel expenses, incurred in the discharge of his or her duties. Each director shall hold office until his or her successor has been appointed.
(b) The powers of the corporation shall be exercised by the directors thereof. A majority of the directors constitutes a quorum for the purposes of conducting business and exercising the powers of the corporation and for all other purposes. Action may be taken by the corporation upon a vote of a majority of the directors present, unless in any case the bylaws require a larger number. Any person may be appointed as director if he or she resides, or is engaged in business, which means owning a business, practicing a profession, or performing a service for compensation or serving as an officer or director of a corporation or other business entity so engaged, within the state.
(c) The directors of the corporation shall annually elect one of their members as chair and one as vice chair. The corporation may employ a president, technical experts, and such other agents and employees, permanent and temporary, as it requires and determine their qualifications, duties, and compensation. For such legal services as it requires, the corporation may employ or retain its own counsel and legal staff.
(4) The board may remove a director for inefficiency, neglect of duty, or misconduct in office only after a hearing and only if he or she has been given a copy of the charges at least 10 days before such hearing and has had an opportunity to be heard in person or by counsel. The removal of a director shall create a vacancy on the board which shall be filled pursuant to 1subsection (4).
History.ss. 28, 62, ch. 93-187; s. 1, ch. 93-402; s. 11, ch. 94-136; s. 882, ch. 95-148; s. 101, ch. 96-320; s. 43, ch. 97-100; s. 41, ch. 99-251; s. 38, ch. 2002-1; s. 73, ch. 2010-102; s. 4, ch. 2010-139.
1Note.Procedure for filling vacancies is covered in subsection (2).
288.9605 Corporation powers.
(1) The powers of the corporation created by s. 288.9604 shall include all the powers necessary or convenient to carry out and effectuate the purposes and provisions of this act.
(2) The corporation is authorized and empowered to:
(a) Have perpetual succession as a body politic and corporate and adopt bylaws for the regulation of its affairs and the conduct of its business.
(b) Adopt an official seal and alter the same at its pleasure.
(c) Maintain an office at such place or places as it may designate.
(d) Sue and be sued in its own name and plead and be impleaded.
(e) Enter into interlocal agreements pursuant to s. 163.01(7) with public agencies of this state for the exercise of any power, privilege, or authority consistent with the purposes of this act.
(f) Issue, from time to time, revenue bonds, notes, or other evidence of indebtedness, including, but not limited to, taxable bonds and bonds the interest on which is exempt from federal income taxation, for the purpose of financing and refinancing any capital projects that promote economic development within the state, thereby benefiting the citizens of the state, and exercise all powers in connection with the authorization, issuance, and sale of bonds, subject to the provisions of s. 288.9606.
(g) Issue bond anticipation notes in connection with the authorization, issuance, and sale of such bonds, pursuant to the provisions of s. 288.9606.
(h) Make and execute contracts and other instruments necessary or convenient to the exercise of its powers under the act.
(i) Disseminate information about itself and its activities.
(j) Acquire, by purchase, lease, option, gift, grant, bequest, devise, or otherwise, real property, together with any improvements thereon, or personal property for its administrative purposes or in furtherance of the purposes of this act.
(k) Hold, improve, clear, or prepare for development any such property.
(l) Mortgage, pledge, hypothecate, or otherwise encumber or dispose of any real or personal property.
(m) Insure or provide for insurance of any real or personal property or operations of the corporation or any private enterprise against any risks or hazards, including the power to pay premiums on any such insurance.
(n) Establish and fund a guaranty fund in furtherance of the purposes of this act.
(o) Invest funds held in reserve or sinking funds or any such funds not required for immediate disbursement in property or securities in such manner as the board shall determine, subject to the authorizing resolution on any bonds issued, and to terms established in the investment agreement pursuant to ss. 288.9606, 288.9607, and 288.9608, and redeem such bonds as have been issued pursuant to s. 288.9606 at the redemption price established therein or purchase such bonds at less than redemption price, all such bonds so redeemed or purchased to be canceled.
(p) Borrow money and apply for and accept advances, loans, grants, contributions, and any other form of financial assistance from the Federal Government or the state, county, or other public agency or from any sources, public or private, for the purposes of this act and give such security as may be required and enter into and carry out contracts or agreements in connection therewith; and include in any contract for financial assistance with the Federal Government or the state, county, or other public agency for, or with respect to, any purposes under this act and related activities such conditions imposed pursuant to federal laws as the county or municipality or other public agency deems reasonable and appropriate which are not inconsistent with the provisions of this act.
(q) Make or have all surveys and plans necessary for the carrying out of the purposes of this act, contract with any person, public or private, in making and carrying out such plans, and adopt, approve, modify, and amend such plans.
(r) Develop, test, and report methods and techniques and carry out demonstrations and other activities for the promotion of any of the purposes of this act.
(s) Apply for, accept, and utilize grants from the Federal Government or the state, county, or other public agency available for any of the purposes of this act.
(t) Make expenditures necessary to carry out the purposes of this act.
(u) Exercise all or any part or combination of powers granted in this act.
(v) Enter into investment agreements with the Florida Black Business Investment Board concerning the issuance of bonds and other forms of indebtedness and capital for the purposes of ss. 288.707-288.714.
(w) Determine the situations and circumstances for participation in partnerships by agreement with local governments, financial institutions, and others associated with the redevelopment of brownfield areas pursuant to the Brownfields Redevelopment Act for a limited state guaranty of revenue bonds, loan guarantees, or loan loss reserves.
History.ss. 29, 62, ch. 93-187; s. 1, ch. 93-402; s. 12, ch. 94-136; s. 12, ch. 98-75; s. 73, ch. 99-13; s. 5, ch. 2010-139.
288.9606 Issue of revenue bonds.
(1) When authorized by a public agency pursuant to s. 163.01(7), the corporation has power in its corporate capacity, in its discretion, to issue revenue bonds or other evidences of indebtedness which a public agency has the power to issue, from time to time to finance the undertaking of any purpose of this act and ss. 288.707-288.714, including, without limiting the generality thereof, the payment of principal and interest upon any advances for surveys and plans or preliminary loans, and has the power to issue refunding bonds for the payment or retirement of bonds previously issued. Bonds issued pursuant to this section shall bear the name “Florida Development Finance Corporation Revenue Bonds.” The security for such bonds may be based upon such revenues as are legally available. In anticipation of the sale of such revenue bonds, the corporation may issue bond anticipation notes and may renew such notes from time to time, but the maximum maturity of any such note, including renewals thereof, may not exceed 5 years from the date of issuance of the original note. Such notes shall be paid from any revenues of the corporation available therefor and not otherwise pledged or from the proceeds of sale of the revenue bonds in anticipation of which they were issued. Any bond, note, or other form of indebtedness issued pursuant to this act shall mature no later than the end of the 30th fiscal year after the fiscal year in which the bond, note, or other form of indebtedness was issued.
(2) Bonds issued under this section do not constitute an indebtedness within the meaning of any constitutional or statutory debt limitation or restriction, and are not subject to the provisions of any other law or charter relating to the authorization, issuance, or sale of bonds. Bonds issued under the provisions of this act are declared to be for an essential public and governmental purpose. Bonds issued under this act, the interest on which is exempt from income taxes of the United States, together with interest thereon and income therefrom, are exempted from all taxes, except those taxes imposed by chapter 220, on interest, income, or profits on debt obligations owned by corporations.
(3) Bonds issued under this section shall be authorized by a public agency of this state pursuant to the terms of an interlocal agreement, unless such bonds are issued pursuant to subsection (7); may be issued in one or more series; and shall bear such date or dates, be payable upon demand or mature at such time or times, bear interest rate or rates, be in such denomination or denominations, be in such form either with or without coupon or registered, carry such conversion or registration privileges, have such rank or priority, be executed in such manner, be payable in such medium of payments at such place or places, be subject to such terms of redemption, with or without premium, be secured in such manner, and have such other characteristics as may be provided by the corporation. Bonds issued under this section may be sold in such manner, either at public or private sale, and for such price as the corporation may determine will effectuate the purpose of this act.
(4) In case a director whose signature appears on any bonds or coupons issued under this act ceases to be a director before the delivery of such bonds, such signature is, nevertheless, valid and sufficient for all purposes, the same as if such director had remained in office until such delivery.
(5) In any suit, action, or proceeding involving the validity or enforceability of any bond issued under this act, or the security therefor, any such bond reciting in substance that it has been issued by the corporation in connection with any purpose of the act shall be conclusively deemed to have been issued for such purpose, and such purpose shall be conclusively deemed to have been carried out in accordance with the act. The complaint in any action to validate such bonds shall be filed only in the Circuit Court for Leon County. The notice required to be published by s. 75.06 shall be published only in Leon County, and the complaint and order of the circuit court shall be served only on the State Attorney of the Second Judicial Circuit and on the state attorney of each circuit in each county where the public agencies which were initially a party to the interlocal agreement are located. Notice of such proceedings shall be published in the manner and the time required by s. 75.06, in Leon County and in each county where the public agencies which were initially a party to the interlocal agreement are located. Obligations of the corporation pursuant to a loan agreement as described in this subsection may be validated as provided in chapter 75. The validation of at least the first bonds approved by the corporation shall be appealed to the Florida Supreme Court.
(6) The proceeds of any bonds of the corporation may not be used, in any manner, to acquire any building or facility that will be, during the pendency of the financing, used by, occupied by, leased to, or paid for by any state, county, or municipal agency or entity.
(7) Notwithstanding any provision of this section, the corporation in its corporate capacity may, without authorization from a public agency under s. 163.01(7), issue revenue bonds or other evidence of indebtedness under this section to:
(a) Finance the undertaking of any project within the state that promotes renewable energy as defined in s. 366.91 or s. 377.803;
(b) Finance the undertaking of any project within the state that is a project contemplated or allowed under s. 406 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009; or
(c) If permitted by federal law, finance qualifying improvement projects within the state under s. 163.08.
History.ss. 30, 62, ch. 93-187; s. 1, ch. 93-402; s. 13, ch. 94-136; s. 102, ch. 96-320; s. 6, ch. 2010-139.
288.9607 Guaranty of bond issues.
(1) The corporation may approve or deny, by a majority vote of the membership of the directors, a guaranty of debt service payments for bonds or other indebtedness used to finance any capital project that promotes economic development in the state, including, but not limited to, those capital projects for which revenue bonds are issued under this act, if any such guaranty does not exceed 5 percent of the total aggregate principal amount of bonds or other indebtedness relating to any one capital project. The corporation may also use moneys deposited into the Energy, Technology, and Economic Development Guaranty Fund to satisfy requirements to obtain federal loan guarantees for capital projects authorized pursuant to this section.
(2) Any applicant requesting a guaranty of the corporation under this act must submit a guaranty application, in a form acceptable to the corporation, together with supporting documentation to the corporation as provided in this section.
(3) All applicants which have entered into a guaranty agreement with the corporation shall pay a guaranty premium on such terms and at such rates as the corporation shall determine before the issuance of the guaranty. The corporation may adopt such guaranty premium structures as it deems appropriate, including, without limitation, guaranty premiums which are payable one time upon the issuance of the guaranty or annual premiums payable upon the outstanding principal balance of bonds or other indebtedness that is guaranteed from time to time. The premium payment may be collected by the corporation from any lessee of the project involved, from the applicant, or from any other payee of any loan agreement involved.
(4) All applications for a guaranty must acknowledge that as a condition to the issuance of the guaranty, the corporation may require that the financing must be secured by a mortgage or security interest on the property acquired which will have such priority over other liens on such property as may be required by the corporation, and that the financing must be guaranteed by such person or persons with such ownership interest in the applicant as may be required by the corporation.
(5) Personal financial records, trade secrets, or proprietary information of applicants delivered to or obtained by the corporation shall be confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1).
(6) If the application for a guaranty is approved by the corporation, the corporation and the applicant shall enter into a guaranty agreement. In accordance with the provisions of the guaranty agreement, the corporation guarantees to use the funds on deposit in its Energy, Technology, and Economic Development Guaranty Fund to meet debt service payments on the bonds or indebtedness as they become due, in the event and to the extent that the applicant is unable to meet such payments, or to make similar payments to reimburse any person which has provided credit enhancement for the bonds and which has advanced funds to meet such debt service payments as they become due, if such guaranty of the corporation is limited to 5 percent of the total aggregate principal amount of bonds or other indebtedness relating to any one capital project. The corporation may also use moneys deposited in the Energy, Technology, and Economic Development Guaranty Fund to satisfy requirements to obtain federal loan guarantees for capital projects authorized under this section. If the applicant defaults on debt service payments, the corporation may use funds on deposit in the Energy, Technology, and Economic Development Guaranty Fund to pay insurance, maintenance, and other costs which may be required for the preservation of any capital project or other collateral security for any bond or indebtedness issued to finance a capital project for which debt service payments are guaranteed by the corporation in such manner as may be deemed necessary and advisable by the corporation.
(7) The guaranty is not a general obligation of the corporation or of the state, but is a special obligation, which constitutes the investment of a public trust fund. In no event shall the guaranty constitute an indebtedness of the corporation, the state, or any political subdivision thereof within the meaning of any constitutional or statutory limitation. Each guaranty agreement shall have plainly stated on the face thereof that it has been entered into under the provisions of this act and that it does not constitute an indebtedness of the corporation, the state, or any political subdivision thereof within any constitutional or statutory limitation, and that neither the full faith and credit of the state nor any of its revenues is pledged to meet any of the obligations of the corporation under such guaranty agreement. Each such agreement shall state that the obligation of the corporation under the guaranty shall be limited to the funds available in the Energy, Technology, and Economic Development Guaranty Fund as authorized by this section.
(8) In the event the corporation does not approve the application for a guaranty, the applicant shall be notified in writing of the corporation’s determination that the application not be approved.
(9) The membership of the corporation is authorized and directed to conduct such investigation as it may deem necessary for promulgation of regulations to govern the operation of the guaranty program authorized by this section. The regulations may include such other additional provisions, restrictions, and conditions as the corporation, after its investigation referred to in this subsection, shall determine to be proper to achieve the most effective utilization of the guaranty program. This may include, without limitation, a detailing of the remedies that must be exhausted by bondholders, a trustee acting on their behalf, or other credit provided before calling upon the corporation to perform under its guaranty agreement and the subrogation of other rights of the corporation with reference to the capital project and its operation or the financing in the event the corporation makes payment pursuant to the applicable guaranty agreement. The regulations promulgated by the corporation to govern the operation of the guaranty program may contain specific provisions with respect to the rights of the corporation to enter, take over, and manage all financed properties upon default. These regulations shall be submitted by the corporation to the Florida Energy and Climate Commission for approval.
(10) The guaranty program described in this section may be used by the corporation in conjunction with any federal guaranty programs described in s. 406 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. All policies, procedures, and regulations of the guaranty program adopted by the corporation, to the extent such guaranty program of the corporation is used in conjunction with a federal guaranty program described in s. 406 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, must be consistent with s. 406 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
History.ss. 31, 62, ch. 93-187; s. 1, ch. 93-402; s. 14, ch. 94-136; s. 3, ch. 95-386; s. 103, ch. 96-320; s. 148, ch. 96-406; s. 74, ch. 99-13; s. 70, ch. 99-385; s. 7, ch. 2010-139.
288.9608 Creation and funding of the Energy, Technology, and Economic Development Guaranty Fund.
(1) The corporation shall establish an account known as the Energy, Technology, and Economic Development Guaranty Fund. The corporation may deposit moneys or other cash equivalents into the fund and maintain a balance in the fund, from general revenue funds of the state as are authorized for that purpose or any other designated funding sources not inconsistent with state law.
(2) If the corporation determines that the moneys in the guaranty agreement fund are not sufficient to meet the obligations of the guaranty agreement fund, the corporation is authorized to use the necessary amount of any available moneys that it may have which are not needed for, then or in the foreseeable future, or committed to other authorized functions and purposes of the corporation. Any such moneys so used may be reimbursed out of the guaranty agreement fund if and when there are moneys therein available for the purpose.
(3) The determination of when additional moneys will be needed for the guaranty agreement fund, the amounts that will be needed, and the availability or unavailability of other moneys shall be made solely by the corporation in the exercise of its discretion.
History.ss. 32, 62, ch. 93-187; s. 1, ch. 93-402; s. 234, ch. 95-148; s. 104, ch. 96-320; s. 8, ch. 2010-139.
288.9609 Bonds as legal investments.All banks, trust companies, bankers, savings banks and institutions, building and loan associations, savings and loan associations, investment companies, and other persons carrying on a banking and investment business; all insurance companies, insurance associations, and other persons carrying on an insurance business; and all executors, administrators, curators, trustees, and other fiduciaries may legally invest any sinking funds, moneys, or other funds belonging to them or within their control in any bonds or other obligations issued by the corporation. Such bonds and obligations shall be authorized security for all public deposits. It is the purpose of this section to authorize all persons, political subdivisions, and officers, public and private, to use any funds owned or controlled by them for the purchase of any such bonds or other obligations. Nothing contained in this section with regard to legal investments shall be construed as relieving any person of any duty of exercising reasonable care in selecting securities.
History.ss. 33, 62, ch. 93-187; s. 1, ch. 93-402; s. 9, ch. 2010-139.
288.9610 Annual reports of Florida Development Finance Corporation.On or before 90 days after the close of the Florida Development Finance Corporation’s fiscal year, the corporation shall submit to the Governor, the Legislature, the Auditor General, and the governing body of each public entity with which it has entered into an interlocal agreement a complete and detailed report setting forth:
(1) The results of any audit conducted pursuant to s. 11.45.
(2) The activities, operations, and accomplishments of the Florida Development Finance Corporation, including the number of businesses assisted by the corporation.
(3) Its assets, liabilities, income, and operating expenses at the end of its most recent fiscal year, including a description of all of its outstanding revenue bonds.
History.ss. 34, 62, ch. 93-187; s. 1, ch. 93-402; s. 39, ch. 2002-1; s. 46, ch. 2004-305; s. 74, ch. 2010-102; s. 10, ch. 2010-139.
288.9614 Authorized programs.Enterprise Florida, Inc., may take any action that it deems necessary to achieve the purposes of this act in partnership with private enterprises, public agencies, and other organizations, including, but not limited to, efforts to address the long-term debt needs of small-sized and medium-sized firms, to address the needs of microenterprises, to expand availability of venture capital, and to increase international trade and export finance opportunities for firms critical to achieving the purposes of this act.
History.s. 38, ch. 93-187; s. 108, ch. 96-320; s. 41, ch. 97-278; s. 42, ch. 99-251.
288.9618 Microenterprises.
(1) Subject to specific appropriations in the General Appropriations Act, the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development may contract with some appropriate not-for-profit or governmental organization for any action that the office deems necessary to foster the development of microenterprises in the state. As used within this section, microenterprises are extremely small business enterprises which enable low and moderate income individuals to achieve self-sufficiency through self-employment. Microenterprise programs are those which provide at least one of the following: small amounts of capital, business training, and technical assistance. Where feasible, the office or organizations under contract with the office shall work in cooperation with other organizations active in the study and support of microenterprises. Such actions may include, but are not limited to:
(a) Maintaining a network of communication and coordination among existing microenterprise lending and assistance programs throughout the state.
(b) Providing information and technical help to community-based or regional organizations attempting to establish new microenterprise programs.
(c) Encouraging private sector investment in microenterprises and microenterprise lending programs.
(d) Fostering mentoring and networking relationships among microenterprises and other businesses and public bodies in order to give microenterprises access to management advice and business leads.
(e) Incorporating microenterprise components into the capital development programs and other business development programs operated by Enterprise Florida, Inc., and its affiliates.
(f) Providing organizational, financial, and marketing support for conferences, workshops, or similar events that focus on microenterprise development.
(g) Establishing a program and guidelines for the award of matching grants on a competitive basis to support the operational expenses of not-for-profit organizations and government agencies that are engaged in microenterprise lending and other microenterprise assistance activities.
(h) Coordinating with other organizations to ensure that participants in the Temporary Cash Assistance Program are given opportunities to create microenterprises.
(2) The office shall adopt guidelines for administering the program and shall establish criteria for the competitive evaluation of applications for funding. The office shall establish performance measures for this program prior to providing grant moneys to any entity and shall report such measures to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
History.s. 40, ch. 97-278; s. 43, ch. 99-251; s. 5, ch. 2010-209.
CAPITAL FORMATION
288.9621 Short title.
288.9622 Findings and intent.
288.9623 Definitions.
288.9624 Florida Opportunity Fund; creation; duties.
288.9625 Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research.
288.9626 Exemptions from public records and public meetings requirements; Florida Opportunity Fund and the Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research.
288.9621 Short title.Sections 288.9621-288.9625 may be cited as the “Florida Capital Formation Act.”
History.s. 1, ch. 2007-189.
288.9622 Findings and intent.
(1) The Legislature finds and declares that there is a need to increase the availability of seed capital and early stage venture equity capital for emerging companies in the state, including, without limitation, enterprises in life sciences, information technology, advanced manufacturing processes, aviation and aerospace, and homeland security and defense, as well as other strategic technologies.
(2) It is the intent of the Legislature that ss. 288.9621-288.9625 serve to mobilize private investment in a broad variety of venture capital partnerships in diversified industries and geographies; retain private sector investment criteria focused on rate of return; use the services of highly qualified managers in the venture capital industry regardless of location; facilitate the organization of the Florida Opportunity Fund as an investor in seed and early stage businesses, infrastructure projects, venture capital funds, and angel funds; and precipitate capital investment and extensions of credit to and in the Florida Opportunity Fund.
(3) It is the intent of the Legislature to mobilize venture equity capital for investment in such a manner as to result in a significant potential to create new businesses and jobs in this state that are based on high growth potential technologies, products, or services and that will further diversify the economy of this state.
(4) It is the intent of the Legislature that an institute be created to mentor, market, and attract capital to such commercialization ventures throughout the state.
History.s. 1, ch. 2007-189; s. 25, ch. 2009-51.
288.9623 Definitions.As used in ss. 288.9621-288.9625:
(1) “Board” means the board of directors of the Florida Opportunity Fund.
(2) “Fund” means the Florida Opportunity Fund.
History.s. 1, ch. 2007-189.
288.9624 Florida Opportunity Fund; creation; duties.
(1)(a) Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall facilitate the creation of the Florida Opportunity Fund, a private, not-for-profit corporation organized and operated under chapter 617. Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall be the fund’s sole shareholder or member. The fund is not a public corporation or instrumentality of the state. The fund shall manage its business affairs and conduct business consistent with its organizational documents and the purposes set forth in this section. Notwithstanding the powers granted under chapter 617, the corporation may not amend, modify, or repeal a bylaw or article of incorporation without the express written consent of Enterprise Florida, Inc.
(b) The vice chair of Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall select from among its sitting board of directors a five-person appointment committee. The appointment committee shall select five initial members of a board of directors for the fund.
(c) The persons elected to the initial board of directors by the appointment committee shall include persons who have expertise in the area of the selection and supervision of early stage investment managers or in the fiduciary management of investment funds and other areas of expertise as considered appropriate by the appointment committee.
(d) After election of the initial board of directors, vacancies on the board shall be filled by vote of the board of directors of Enterprise Florida, Inc., and board members shall serve terms as provided in the fund’s organizational documents.
(e) Members of the board are subject to any restrictions on conflicts of interest specified in the organizational documents and may not have an interest in any venture capital investment selected by the fund under ss. 288.9621-288.9624.
(f) Members of the board shall serve without compensation, but members, the president of the board, and other board employees may be reimbursed for all reasonable, necessary, and actual expenses as determined and approved by the board pursuant to s. 112.061.
(g) The fund shall have all powers granted under its organizational documents and shall indemnify members to the broadest extent permissible under the laws of this state.
(2) Upon organization, the board shall conduct a national solicitation for investment plan proposals from qualified venture capital investment managers for the raising and investing of capital by the Florida Opportunity Fund. Any proposed investment plan must address the applicant’s level of experience, quality of management, investment philosophy and process, provability of success in fundraising, prior investment fund results, and plan for achieving the purposes of ss. 288.9621-288.9624. The board shall select only venture capital investment managers having demonstrated expertise in the management of and investment in companies.
(3) The board is responsible for negotiating the terms of a contract with the Florida Opportunity Fund investment manager; executing the contract with the selected venture capital investment fund manager on behalf of the Florida Opportunity Fund; managing the business affairs of the Florida Opportunity Fund, such as accounting, audit, insurance, and related requirements; soliciting and negotiating the terms of, contracting for, and receiving investment capital and loan proceeds with the assistance of the investment manager; receiving investment returns; paying investors and debtors; and reinvesting the investment returns in the fund in order to provide additional venture capital investments designed to result in a significant potential to create new businesses and jobs in this state and further diversify the economy of this state.
(4) For the purpose of mobilizing investment in a broad variety of Florida-based, new technology companies and generating a return sufficient to continue reinvestment, the fund shall:
(a) Invest in seed and early stage venture capital funds that have experienced managers or management teams with demonstrated experience, expertise, and a successful history in the investment of venture capital funds, focusing on opportunities in this state. The fund also may make direct investments, including loans, in individual businesses and infrastructure projects. While not precluded from investing in venture capital funds that have investments outside this state, the fund must require a venture capital fund to show a record of successful investment in this state, to be based in this state, or to have an office in this state staffed with a full-time, professional venture investment executive in order to be eligible for investment.
(b) Negotiate for investment capital or loan proceeds from private, institutional, or banking sources.
(c) Negotiate any and all terms and conditions for its investments.
(d) Invest only in funds, businesses, and infrastructure projects that have raised capital from other sources so that the amount invested in such funds, businesses, or infrastructure projects is at least twice the amount invested by the fund. Direct investments must be made in Florida infrastructure projects or businesses that are Florida-based or have significant business activities in Florida and operate in technology sectors that are strategic to Florida, including, but not limited to, enterprises in life sciences, information technology, advanced manufacturing processes, aviation and aerospace, and homeland security and defense, as well as other strategic technologies.
(e) Form or operate other entities and accept additional funds from other public and private sources to further its purpose.

The Opportunity Fund may not use its original legislative appropriation of $29.5 million for direct investments, including loans, in businesses or infrastructure projects, or for any purpose not specified in chapter 2007-189, Laws of Florida.

(5) By December 1 of each year, the board shall issue an annual report concerning the activities conducted by the fund to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The annual report, at a minimum, must include:
(a) An accounting of the amount of investments disbursed by the fund and the progress of the fund, including the progress of business and infrastructure projects that have been provided direct investment by the fund.
(b) A description of the benefits to this state resulting from the fund, including the number of businesses created, associated industries started, the number of jobs created, and the growth of related research projects.
(c) Independently audited financial statements, including statements that show receipts and expenditures during the preceding fiscal year for personnel, administration, and operational costs of the fund.
History.s. 1, ch. 2007-189; s. 26, ch. 2009-51.
288.9625 Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research.There is established the Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research.
(1) The institute shall be a not-for-profit corporation registered, incorporated, and operated in accordance with chapter 617.
(2) The purpose of the institute is to assist in the commercialization of products developed by the research and development activities of universities and colleges, research institutes, and publicly supported organizations within the state. The institute shall operate to fulfill its purpose and in the best interests of the state. The institute:
(a) Shall be a corporation primarily acting as an instrumentality of the state pursuant to s. 768.28(2), for the purposes of sovereign immunity;
(b) Is not an agency within the meaning of s. 20.03(11);
(c) Is subject to the open records and meetings requirements of s. 24, Art. I of the State Constitution, chapter 119, and s. 286.011;
(d) Is not subject to the provisions of chapter 287;
(e) Shall be governed by the code of ethics for public officers and employees as set forth in part III of chapter 112;
(f) Is not authorized to create corporate subsidiaries;
(g) Shall support existing commercialization efforts at state universities; and
(h) Shall not supplant, replace, or direct existing technology transfer operations or other commercialization programs, including incubators and accelerators.
(3) The articles of incorporation of the institute must be approved in a written agreement with Enterprise Florida, Inc. The agreement and the articles of incorporation shall:
(a) Provide that the institute shall provide equal employment opportunities for all persons regardless of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, handicap, or marital status;
(b) Provide that the institute is subject to the public records and meeting requirements of s. 24, Art. I of the State Constitution;
(c) Provide that all officers, directors, and employees of the institute shall be governed by the code of ethics for public officers and employees as set forth in part III of chapter 112;
(d) Provide that members of the board of directors of the institute are responsible for the prudent use of all public and private funds and that they will ensure that the use of funds is in accordance with all applicable laws, bylaws, and contractual requirements; and
(e) Provide that the fiscal year of the institute is from July 1 to June 30.
(4) The affairs of the institute shall be managed by a board of directors who shall serve without compensation. Each director shall have only one vote. The chair of the board of directors shall be selected by a majority vote of the directors, a quorum being present. The board of directors shall consist of the following five members:
(a) The chair of Enterprise Florida, Inc., or the chair’s designee.
(b) The president of the university where the institute is located or the president’s designee unless multiple universities jointly sponsor the institute, in which case the presidents of the sponsoring universities shall agree upon a designee.
(c) Three directors appointed by the Governor to 3-year staggered terms, to which the directors may be reappointed.
(5) The board of directors shall provide a copy of the institute’s annual report to the Governor, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Enterprise Florida, Inc., and the president of the university at which the institute is located.
(6) Enterprise Florida, Inc., the president and the board of trustees of the university where the institute is located, the Auditor General, and the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability may require and receive from the institute or its independent auditor any detail or supplemental data relative to the operation of the institute.
(7)(a) To be eligible for assistance, the company or organization attempting to commercialize its product must be accepted by the institute before receiving the institute’s assistance.
(b) The institute shall receive recommendations from any publicly supported organization that a company that is commercializing the research, technology, or patents from a qualifying publicly supported organization should be accepted into the institute.
(c) The institute shall thereafter review the business plans and technology information of each such recommended company. If accepted, the institute shall mentor the company, develop marketing information on the company, and use its resources to attract capital investment into the company, as well as bring other resources to the company which may foster its effective management, growth, capitalization, technology protection, or marketing or business success.
(8) The institute shall:
(a) Maintain a centralized location to showcase companies and their technologies and products;
(b) Develop an efficient process to inventory and publicize companies and products that have been accepted by the institute for commercialization;
(c) Routinely communicate with private investors and venture capital organizations regarding the investment opportunities in its showcased companies;
(d) Facilitate meetings between prospective investors and eligible organizations in the institute;
(e) Hire full-time staff who understand relevant technologies needed to market companies to the angel investors and venture capital investment community; and
(f) Develop cooperative relationships with publicly supported organizations all of which work together to provide resources or special knowledge that is likely to be helpful to institute companies.
(g) Administer the Florida Research Commercialization Matching Grant Program created in s. 288.9552.
(9) The institute shall not develop or accrue any ownership, royalty, patent, or other such rights over or interest in companies or products in the institute and shall maintain the secrecy of proprietary information.
(10) The institute shall not charge for services rendered to state universities and affiliated organizations, community colleges, or state agencies.
(11) By December 1 of each year, the institute shall issue an annual report concerning its activities to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The report shall include the following:
(a) Information on any assistance and activities provided by the institute to assist publicly supported universities, colleges, research institutes, and other publicly supported organizations in the state.
(b) A description of the benefits to this state resulting from the institute, including the number of businesses created, associated industries started, the number of jobs created, and the growth of related projects.
(c) Independently audited financial statements, including statements that show receipts and expenditures during the preceding fiscal year for personnel, administration, and operational costs of the institute.
History.s. 1, ch. 2007-189; s. 31, ch. 2010-147.
288.9626 Exemptions from public records and public meetings requirements; Florida Opportunity Fund and the Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research.
(1) DEFINITIONS.As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Alternative investment” means an investment by the Florida Opportunity Fund in a private equity fund, venture capital fund, or angel fund or a direct investment in a portfolio company or investment through a distribution of securities to its partners or shareholders by an alternative investment vehicle.
(b) “Alternative investment vehicle” means the limited partnership, limited liability company, or similar legal structure through which the Florida Opportunity Fund may elect to invest in a portfolio company.
(c) “Florida Opportunity Fund” or “fund” means the Florida Opportunity Fund as defined in s. 288.9623.
(d) “Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research” or “institute” means the institute established by s. 288.9625.
(e) “Portfolio company” means a corporation or other issuer, any of whose securities are owned by an alternative investment vehicle or the Florida Opportunity Fund and any subsidiary of such corporation or other issuer.
(f) “Portfolio positions” means individual investments in portfolio companies that are made by the Florida Opportunity Fund, including information or specific investment terms associated with any portfolio company investment.
(g)1. “Proprietary confidential business information” means information that has been designated by the proprietor when provided to the Florida Opportunity Fund or the Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research as information that is owned or controlled by a proprietor; that is intended to be and is treated by the proprietor as private, the disclosure of which would harm the business operations of the proprietor and has not been intentionally disclosed by the proprietor unless pursuant to a private agreement that provides that the information will not be released to the public except as required by law or legal process, or pursuant to law or an order of a court or administrative body; and that concerns:
a. Trade secrets as defined in s. 688.002.
b. Information provided to the Florida Opportunity Fund or the Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research regarding a prospective investment in a private equity fund, venture capital fund, angel fund, or portfolio company that is proprietary to the provider of the information.
c. Financial statements and auditor reports of an alternative investment vehicle or portfolio company, unless publicly released by the alternative investment vehicle or portfolio company.
d. Meeting materials of an alternative investment vehicle or portfolio company relating to financial, operating, or marketing information of the alternative investment vehicle or portfolio company.
e. Information regarding the portfolio positions in which the alternative investment vehicles or Florida Opportunity Fund invest.
f. Capital call and distribution notices to investors or the Florida Opportunity Fund of an alternative investment vehicle.
g. Alternative investment agreements and related records.
h. Information concerning investors, other than the Florida Opportunity Fund, in an alternative investment vehicle or portfolio company.
2. “Proprietary confidential business information” does not include:
a. The name, address, and vintage year of an alternative investment vehicle or Florida Opportunity Fund and the identity of the principals involved in the management of the alternative investment vehicle or Florida Opportunity Fund.
b. The dollar amount of the commitment made by the Florida Opportunity Fund to each alternative investment vehicle since inception, if any.
c. The dollar amount and date of cash contributions made by the Florida Opportunity Fund to each alternative investment vehicle since inception, if any.
d. The dollar amount, on a fiscal-year-end basis, of cash or other fungible distributions received by the Florida Opportunity Fund from each alternative investment vehicle.
e. The dollar amount, on a fiscal-year-end basis, of cash or other fungible distributions received by the Florida Opportunity Fund plus the remaining value of alternative-vehicle assets that are attributable to the Florida Opportunity Fund’s investment in each alternative investment vehicle.
f. The net internal rate of return of each alternative investment vehicle since inception.
g. The investment multiple of each alternative investment vehicle since inception.
h. The dollar amount of the total management fees and costs paid on an annual fiscal-year-end basis by the Florida Opportunity Fund to each alternative investment vehicle.
i. The dollar amount of cash profit received by the Florida Opportunity Fund from each alternative investment vehicle on a fiscal-year-end basis.
(h) “Proprietor” means an alternative investment vehicle, a portfolio company in which the alternative investment vehicle or Florida Opportunity Fund is invested, or an outside consultant, including the respective authorized officers, employees, agents, or successors in interest, that controls or owns information.
(2) PUBLIC RECORDS EXEMPTION.
(a) The following records held by the Florida Opportunity Fund or the Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research are confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution:
1. Materials that relate to methods of manufacture or production, potential trade secrets, or patentable material received, generated, ascertained, or discovered during the course of research or through research projects conducted by universities and other publicly supported organizations in this state.
2. Information that would identify an investor or potential investor who desires to remain anonymous in projects reviewed by the fund or institute.
3. Any information received from a person from another state or nation or the Federal Government which is otherwise confidential or exempt pursuant to the laws of that state or nation or pursuant to federal law.
4. Proprietary confidential business information regarding alternative investments for 10 years after the termination of the alternative investment.
(b) At the time any record made confidential and exempt by this subsection, or portion thereof, is legally available or subject to public disclosure for any other reason, that record, or portion thereof, shall no longer be confidential and exempt and shall be made available for inspection and copying.
(3) PUBLIC MEETINGS EXEMPTION.
(a) That portion of a meeting of the board of directors of the Florida Opportunity Fund or the board of directors of the Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research at which information is discussed which is confidential and exempt under subsection (2) is exempt from s. 286.011 and s. 24(b), Art. I of the State Constitution.
(b) Any exempt portion of a meeting shall be recorded and transcribed. The boards of directors shall record the times of commencement and termination of the meeting, all discussion and proceedings, the names of all persons present at any time, and the names of all persons speaking. An exempt portion of any meeting may not be off the record.
(c) A transcript and minutes of exempt portions of meetings are confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.
(4) REQUEST TO INSPECT OR COPY A RECORD.
(a) Records made confidential and exempt by this section may be released, upon written request, to a governmental entity in the performance of its official duties and responsibilities.
(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (2)(a), a request to inspect or copy a public record that contains proprietary confidential business information shall be granted if the proprietor of the information fails, within a reasonable period of time after the request is received by the Florida Opportunity Fund or the Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research, to verify the following to the fund through a written declaration in the manner provided by s. 92.525:
1. That the requested record contains proprietary confidential business information and the specific location of such information within the record;
2. If the proprietary confidential business information is a trade secret, a verification that it is a trade secret as defined in s. 688.002;