(1) The Legislature finds it to be in the public interest to establish an oversight review process for special districts wherein each special district in the state may be reviewed by the appropriate oversight entity as provided in this part. The Legislature further finds and determines that such law fulfills an important state interest. It is the intent of the Legislature that the oversight review process shall contribute to informed decisionmaking. These decisions may involve the continuing existence or dissolution of a district, the appropriate future role and focus of a district, improvements in the functioning or delivery of services by a district, and the need for any transition, adjustment, or special implementation periods or provisions. Any final recommendations from the oversight review process which are adopted and implemented by the appropriate level of government may not be implemented in a manner that would impair the obligation of contracts.
(2) Special districts may be reviewed for general oversight purposes under this section as follows: (a) Each special district created by special act may be reviewed by the Legislature using the process provided in s. 189.0651. (b) Each special district created by local ordinance or resolution may be reviewed by the local general-purpose government that enacted the ordinance or resolution using the process provided in s. 189.0652.
(c) Each dependent special district not created by special act may be reviewed by the local general-purpose government upon which it is dependent.
(d) All special districts created or established by rule of the Governor and Cabinet may be reviewed as directed by the Governor and Cabinet.
(e) Except as provided in paragraphs (a)-(d), all other special districts may be reviewed as directed by the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
(3) All special districts, governmental entities, and state agencies shall cooperate with the Legislature and with any local general-purpose government seeking information or assistance with the oversight review process and with the preparation of an oversight review report.
(4) Those conducting the oversight review process shall, at a minimum, consider the listed criteria for evaluating the special district, but may also consider any additional factors relating to the district and its performance. If any of the listed criteria do not apply to the special district being reviewed, they need not be considered. The criteria to be considered by the reviewer include:
(a) The degree to which the service or services offered by the special district are essential or contribute to the well-being of the community.
(b) The extent of continuing need for the service or services currently provided by the special district.
(c) The extent of municipal annexation or incorporation activity occurring or likely to occur within the boundaries of the special district and its impact on the delivery of services by the special district.
(d) Whether there is a less costly alternative method of delivering the service or services that would adequately provide the district residents with the services provided by the district.
(e) Whether transfer of the responsibility for delivery of the service or services to an entity other than the special district being reviewed could be accomplished without jeopardizing the district’s existing contracts, bonds, or outstanding indebtedness.
(f) Whether the Auditor General has notified the Legislative Auditing Committee that the special district’s audit report, reviewed pursuant to s. 11.45(7), indicates that the district has met any of the conditions specified in s. 218.503(1) or that a deteriorating financial condition exists that may cause a condition described in s. 218.503(1) to occur if actions are not taken to address such condition.
(g) Whether the district is inactive according to the official list of special districts, and whether the district is meeting and discharging its responsibilities as required by its charter, as well as projected increases or decreases in district activity.
(h) Whether the special district has failed to comply with any of the reporting requirements in this chapter, including preparation of the public facilities report.
(i) Whether the special district has designated a registered office and agent as required by s. 189.014, and has complied with all open public records and meeting requirements.
(5) Any special district may at any time provide the Legislature and the local general-purpose government conducting the review or making decisions based upon the final oversight review report with written responses to any questions, concerns, preliminary reports, draft reports, or final reports relating to the district.
(6) This section does not apply to a deepwater port listed in s. 311.09(1) which is in compliance with a port master plan adopted pursuant to s. 163.3178(2)(k), or to an airport authority operating in compliance with an airport master plan approved by the Federal Aviation Administration, or to any special district organized to operate health systems and facilities licensed under chapter 395, chapter 400, or chapter 429.