Florida Senate - 2012                             CS for SB 1658
       By the Committee on Budget Subcommittee on Health and Human
       Services Appropriations; and Senators Storms and Latvala
       603-03168-12                                          20121658c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to underserved communities; amending
    3         s. 402.82, F.S.; restricting the use of an electronic
    4         benefit transfer card to prohibit accessing cash from
    5         outside the state and purchasing certain products;
    6         expanding the list of items that may not be purchased
    7         with the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance
    8         Program funds; prohibiting the use of benefits in
    9         restaurants; directing the Department of Children and
   10         Family Services to promote the benefits of healthy and
   11         nutritious eating habits; requiring the department to
   12         seek federal authorization or waiver when necessary;
   13         amending s. 414.095, F.S.; revising the method of
   14         payment of temporary cash assistance to include an
   15         electronic benefit transfer card; prohibiting a cash
   16         assistance recipient from accessing cash benefits
   17         through an electronic benefit transfer card from an
   18         automatic teller machine located in certain locations;
   19         creating the Healthy Foods Retail Act; providing
   20         legislative findings; providing definitions; directing
   21         the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to
   22         establish a financing program to help fund projects
   23         that increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables in
   24         underserved communities; authorizing the department to
   25         contract with other organizations to administer the
   26         program; specifying how the funding is to be used;
   27         providing who is eligible for funding; providing
   28         criteria for project funding and evaluation; requiring
   29         an annual report to the Legislature; authorizing
   30         available funds to be used to leverage other funding;
   31         authorizing the department to adopt rules; providing
   32         an effective date.
   34  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   36         Section 1. Section 402.82, Florida Statutes, is amended to
   37  read:
   38         402.82 Electronic benefit transfer program; federal
   39  Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.—
   40         (1) The Department of Children and Family Services shall
   41  establish an electronic benefit transfer program for the
   42  dissemination of food assistance benefits and temporary cash
   43  assistance payments, including refugee cash assistance payments,
   44  asylum applicant payments, and child support disregard payments.
   45  Except to the extent prohibited by federal law, the electronic
   46  benefit transfer system designed and implemented pursuant to
   47  this chapter shall prevent a recipient from using the electronic
   48  benefit transfer card to access cash benefits outside this
   49  state, to purchase alcohol or tobacco products, or to access
   50  automatic teller machines located in gambling establishments and
   51  adult entertainment establishments. This section does not
   52  prohibit the use of an electronic benefit transfer card to
   53  access federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
   54  benefits in any manner authorized by federal law.
   55         (2) If the Federal Government does not enact legislation or
   56  regulations providing for dissemination of supplemental security
   57  income by electronic benefit transfer, the state may include
   58  supplemental security income in the electronic benefit transfer
   59  program.
   60         (3)(2) The department shall, in accordance with applicable
   61  federal laws and regulations, develop minimum program
   62  requirements and other policy initiatives for the electronic
   63  benefit transfer program.
   64         (4)(3) The department shall enter into public-private
   65  contracts for all provisions of electronic transfer of public
   66  assistance benefits.
   67         (5) The department shall, in accordance with applicable
   68  federal laws and regulations:
   69         (a) Add to the list of items that may not be purchased with
   70  federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program funds
   71  nonstaple, unhealthy foods. Such prohibited items include, but
   72  are not limited to, foods containing trans fats; sweetened
   73  beverages, including sodas; sweets, such as jello, candy, ice
   74  cream, pudding, popsicles, muffins, sweet rolls, cakes,
   75  cupcakes, pies, cobblers, pastries, and doughnuts; and salty
   76  snack foods, such as corn-based salty snacks, pretzels, party
   77  mix, popcorn, and potato chips.
   78         (b) Prohibit the use of benefits at restaurants, including
   79  fast-food restaurants.
   80         (c) Use culturally sensitive campaigns to promote the
   81  modifications made pursuant to this section as well as the
   82  benefits of healthy and nutritious eating habits.
   83         (6) For purposes of implementing this section, the
   84  department may collaborate with any public or nongovernmental
   85  organization that promotes the health and well-being of all
   86  residents of this state. The department shall seek all necessary
   87  federal approvals to implement this section, which may include a
   88  waiver of federal law from the United States Department of
   89  Agriculture.
   90         Section 2. Paragraph (a) of subsection (13) of section
   91  414.095, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
   92         414.095 Determining eligibility for temporary cash
   93  assistance.—
   95  Temporary cash assistance may be paid as follows:
   96         (a) Direct payment through state warrant, electronic
   97  transfer of temporary cash assistance, electronic benefit
   98  transfer card, or voucher. A cash assistance recipient may not
   99  access cash benefits through an electronic benefit transfer card
  100  from automated teller machines in this state located in:
  101         1. An adult entertainment establishment as defined in s.
  102  847.001.
  103         2. A pari-mutuel facility as defined in s. 550.002.
  104         3. A gaming facility authorized under a tribal-state gaming
  105  compact under part II of chapter 285.
  106         4. A commercial bingo facility that operates outside the
  107  provisions of s. 849.0931.
  108         5. A store or establishment in which the principal business
  109  is the sale of firearms.
  110         6. A retail establishment licensed to sell malt, vinous, or
  111  spirituous liquors under the Beverage Law.
  112         Section 3. Healthy Foods Retail Act.—
  113         (1) This section may be cited as the “Healthy Foods Retail
  114  Act.”
  115         (2) The Legislature finds that:
  116         (a) When fresh fruits and vegetables and other healthy
  117  foods are not easily available or affordable, people,
  118  particularly low-income families, children, and the elderly,
  119  face serious barriers to eating a healthful diet. National
  120  research indicates that residents of low-income, minority, and
  121  rural communities are most often affected by inadequate access
  122  to supermarkets and other retailers selling healthy food, as
  123  well as by high rates of obesity.
  124         (b) Obesity, which results from poor diet and physical
  125  inactivity, is the fastest growing cause of disease and death in
  126  the United States, putting growing numbers of adults and
  127  children at risk for developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes,
  128  hypertension, certain cancers, and other health problems.
  129         (c) Increasing access to retail food outlets that sell
  130  fresh fruits, vegetables, and other healthy food is an important
  131  strategy for fighting the obesity epidemic and improving health.
  132  Studies have shown that people who have better access to
  133  supermarkets and fresh produce tend to have healthier diets and
  134  lower levels of obesity.
  135         (d) Developing quality retail food outlets also creates
  136  jobs, expands markets for farmers, and supports economic
  137  vitality in underserved communities.
  138         (e) The program established pursuant to this section is
  139  intended to provide a dedicated source of financing for food
  140  retailers operating in underserved communities in this state, in
  141  both urban and rural areas; to increase access to affordable
  142  healthy food in order to improve diets and health; to promote
  143  the sale and consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables,
  144  particularly those that are locally grown; and to support
  145  expanded economic opportunities in low-income and rural
  146  communities.
  147         (3) As used in this section, the term:
  148         (a) “Department” means the Department of Agriculture and
  149  Consumer Services.
  150         (b) “Funding” means grants, loans, or a combination of
  151  grants and loans.
  152         (c) “Healthy food retailers” means for-profit or not-for
  153  profit retailers that sell high-quality fresh fruits and
  154  vegetables at competitive prices, including, but not limited to,
  155  supermarkets, grocery stores, and farmers’ markets.
  156         (d) “Program” means a public-private partnership
  157  established under this section and administered by the
  158  department to provide a dedicated source of financing for food
  159  retailers that provide increased access to fresh fruits and
  160  vegetables and other affordable healthy food for state
  161  residents.
  162         (e) “Underserved community” means a geographic area that
  163  has limited access to healthy food retailers and is located in a
  164  lower income or high-poverty area, or an area that is otherwise
  165  found to have serious limitations on access to healthy food.
  166         (4) To the extent funds are available, the department, in
  167  cooperation with public and private sector partners, shall
  168  establish a financing program that provides funding to healthy
  169  food retailers that provide increased access to fresh fruits and
  170  vegetables and other affordable healthy food in underserved
  171  communities.
  172         (a) The department may contract with one or more qualified
  173  nonprofit organizations or community development financial
  174  institutions to administer the program, raise matching funds,
  175  provide for marketing the program statewide, evaluate
  176  applicants, make award decisions, underwrite loans, and monitor
  177  compliance and impact. The department and its partners shall
  178  coordinate with complementary nutrition assistance and education
  179  programs.
  180         (b) The program shall provide funding on a competitive,
  181  one-time basis as appropriate for eligible projects.
  182         (c) The program may provide funding for projects such as:
  183         1. New construction of supermarkets and grocery stores.
  184         2. Store renovations, store expansion, and infrastructure
  185  upgrades that improve the availability and quality of fresh
  186  produce.
  187         3. Farmers’ markets and public markets, food cooperatives,
  188  mobile markets and delivery projects, and distribution projects
  189  that enable food retailers in underserved communities to
  190  regularly obtain fresh produce.
  191         4. Other projects that create or improve access to healthy
  192  food retailers and meet the intent of this section as determined
  193  by the department.
  194         (d) Funding made available for projects may be used for the
  195  following purposes:
  196         1. Site acquisition and preparation.
  197         2. Construction costs.
  198         3. Equipment and furnishings.
  199         4. Workforce training.
  200         5. Security.
  201         6. Predevelopment costs such as market studies and
  202  appraisals.
  203         7. Working capital for first-time inventory and startup
  204  costs.
  206  A restaurant is not eligible for funding under this section.
  207         (e) An applicant for funding may be a for-profit or not
  208  for-profit entity, including, but not limited to, a sole
  209  proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company,
  210  corporation, cooperative, nonprofit organization, nonprofit
  211  community development entity, university, or governmental
  212  entity.
  213         (f) In order to be considered for funding, an applicant
  214  must meet the following criteria:
  215         1. The project for which the applicant seeks funding must
  216  benefit an underserved community.
  217         2. The applicant must demonstrate a meaningful commitment
  218  to sell fresh fruits and vegetables, according to a measurable
  219  standard established by the department.
  220         3. Generally, the applicant must accept vouchers issued by
  221  the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and be
  222  able to serve clients of the Special Supplemental Nutrition
  223  Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). For categories
  224  of program applicants that are not eligible to accept vouchers
  225  issued under the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance
  226  Program or to serve WIC clients, the department shall establish
  227  an alternative standard for demonstrating a meaningful
  228  commitment to making healthy food affordable to low-income
  229  households.
  230         (g) In order to determine the amount of funding to award,
  231  the department shall evaluate project applicants on the
  232  following criteria:
  233         1. Demonstrated capacity to successfully implement the
  234  project, including the applicant’s relevant experience, and the
  235  likelihood that the project will be economically self
  236  sustaining.
  237         2. The ability of the applicant to repay debt.
  238         3. The degree to which the project requires an investment
  239  of public funding to move forward, create impact, or be
  240  competitive, and the level of need in the area to be served. The
  241  department may also take into account additional factors, such
  242  as proximity to public transit lines, which will improve or
  243  preserve retail access for low-income residents.
  244         4. The degree to which the project will promote sales of
  245  fresh produce, particularly locally grown fruits and vegetables.
  246         5. The degree to which the project will have a positive
  247  economic impact on the underserved community, including creating
  248  or retaining jobs for local residents.
  249         6. Other criteria that the department determines to be
  250  consistent with the purposes of this section.
  251         (h) The department shall establish program benchmarks and
  252  reporting processes to make certain that the program benefits
  253  both rural and urban communities. The department shall also
  254  establish monitoring and accountability mechanisms for projects
  255  receiving funding, such as tracking fruit and vegetable sales
  256  data.
  257         (i) The department shall prepare and submit an annual
  258  report to the Legislature, including outcome data, on any
  259  projects funded.
  260         (5) To the extent practicable, funds described in this
  261  section may be used to leverage other funding, including, but
  262  not limited to, the new markets tax credit program, federal and
  263  foundation grants, incentives available to federally designated
  264  empowerment zones or renewal communities, operator equity, and
  265  funding from private sector financial institutions under the
  266  federal Community Reinvestment Act of 1977.
  267         (6) The department may adopt rules as necessary to
  268  administer this section.
  269         Section 4. This act shall take effect July 1, 2012.