(1) DEFINITIONS.—For the purposes of this section, a “citizen support organization” means an organization which is:
(a) A Florida corporation not for profit incorporated under the provisions of chapter 617 and approved by the Department of State;
(b) Organized and operated to conduct programs and activities; raise funds; request and receive grants, gifts, and bequests of money; acquire, receive, hold, invest, and administer, in its own name, securities, funds, objects of value, or other property, real or personal; and make expenditures to or for the direct or indirect benefit of the Department of Environmental Protection or individual units of the department. The citizen support organization may not receive funds from the department by grant, gift, or contract unless specifically authorized by the Legislature;
(c) Determined by the appropriate division of the Department of Environmental Protection to be consistent with the goals of the department and in the best interests of the state; and
(d) Approved in writing by the department to operate for the direct or indirect benefit of the individual units of the department. Such approval shall be given in a letter of agreement from the department.
(2) USE OF PROPERTY.—
(a) The department may permit, without charge, appropriate use of fixed property and facilities of the department by a citizen support organization subject to the provisions of this section. Such use shall be directly in keeping with the approved purposes of the citizen support organization and may not be made at times or places that would unreasonably interfere with normal department operations.
(b) The department may prescribe by rule any condition with which a citizen support organization shall comply in order to use fixed property or facilities of the department.
(c) The department shall not permit the use of any fixed property or facilities by a citizen support organization which does not provide equal membership and employment opportunities to all persons regardless of race, color, religion, sex, age, or national origin.
(3) ANNUAL AUDIT.—Each citizen support organization shall provide for an annual financial audit in accordance with s. 215.981.
(4) PUBLIC RECORDS.—All records of the citizen support organization constitute public records for the purposes of chapter 119.
(a) The Legislature recognizes that many of the lands managed by the department need a variety of facilities to enhance the use and potential of such lands and that many of the department’s programs are of interest to, and could benefit from the support of, local citizen groups. Such facilities and programs include, but are not limited to, improved access, camping areas, picnicking shelters, management offices and facilities, environmental education facilities and programs, and cleanup and restoration projects. The need for such facilities and programs has exceeded the ability of the state to provide funding in a timely manner with available moneys. The Legislature finds it to be in the public interest to provide incentives for partnerships with private entities whose intent is the production of additional revenues to help enhance the use and potential of state property and environmental programs and projects funded by the department.
(b) The Legislature may annually appropriate funds, to be used as matching funds in conjunction with private donations, for capital improvement facilities development on state lands or the enhancement of department sponsored environmental programs or projects of local interest to citizen support organizations formed under this section. Citizen support organizations organized and operating for the benefit of the department may acquire private donations pursuant to this section, and matching state funds for approved projects or programs may be provided in accordance with this subsection. The department is authorized to properly recognize and honor a private donor by placing a plaque or other appropriate designation noting the contribution to project or program facilities or by naming project or program facilities after the person or organization that provided matching funds.
(6) REPEAL.—This section is repealed October 1, 2019, unless reviewed and saved from repeal by the Legislature.