Florida Senate - 2014 SB 1406 By Senator Abruzzo 25-01460-14 20141406__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to care for retired law enforcement 3 dogs; providing a short title; providing definitions; 4 creating the Care for Retired Law Enforcement Dogs 5 Program within the Department of Law Enforcement; 6 requiring the department to contract with a not-for 7 profit corporation meeting specified criteria to 8 administer the program; providing specific procedures 9 for disbursement of funds for the veterinary care of 10 eligible retired law enforcement dogs; limiting the 11 amount of annual funds available for an eligible 12 retired law enforcement dog; providing for the deposit 13 of program funds; providing for the reversion of funds 14 to the department under certain circumstances; 15 providing for the carryforward of unexpended 16 appropriations for use in the program up to certain 17 limits; providing an annual appropriation; providing 18 an effective date. 19 20 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 21 22 Section 1. (1) SHORT TITLE.—This section may be cited as 23 the “Care for Retired Law Enforcement Dogs Program Act.” 24 (2) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term: 25 (a) “Law enforcement agency” means a state or local public 26 agency that has primary responsibility for the prevention and 27 detection of crime or the enforcement of the penal, traffic, 28 highway, regulatory, game, immigration, postal, customs, or 29 controlled substance laws. 30 (b) “Retired law enforcement dog” means any dog that was in 31 the service of or employed by a law enforcement agency in this 32 state for the principal purpose of aiding in the detection of 33 criminal activity, enforcement of laws, or apprehension of 34 offenders but that no longer serves in the capacity of a law 35 enforcement dog. The retired law enforcement dog must have 36 received certification in obedience and apprehension work from a 37 certifying organization, such as the National Police Canine 38 Association. 39 (c) “Veterinarian” has the same meaning as provided in s. 40 474.202, Florida Statutes. 41 (d) “Veterinary care” means any veterinary medical service 42 described in s. 474.202(9) or s. 474.202(13), Florida Statutes, 43 and includes annual wellness examinations, vaccines, internal 44 and external parasite prevention treatments, testing and 45 treatment of illnesses and diseases, prescribing and dispensing 46 medications, emergency care and surgeries, care provided in 47 specialties of veterinary medicine such as veterinary oncology, 48 and euthanasia, when provided by a veterinarian. The term also 49 includes cremation. 50 (3) ESTABLISHMENT OF PROGRAM.— 51 (a) In recent years, law enforcement dogs have become an 52 integral part of many law enforcement efforts statewide, 53 including suspect apprehension through tracking and searching, 54 evidence location, drug and bomb detection, and search and 55 rescue operations. Law enforcement agencies agree that the use 56 of law enforcement dogs is an extremely cost-effective means for 57 crime control and that these dogs possess skills and abilities 58 that frequently exceed that of existing technology. 59 (b) Recognizing that the work of law enforcement dogs is 60 often dangerous and can cause these dogs to incur injuries at a 61 rate higher than the rate of injuries that occurs with 62 nonworking dogs, and recognizing the significant contributions 63 that law enforcement dogs provide to the residents of this 64 state, the Care for Retired Law Enforcement Dogs Program is 65 created within the Department of Law Enforcement to provide a 66 stable funding source to allow former handlers and adopters of 67 retired law enforcement dogs to provide them with veterinary 68 care. 69 (4) ADMINISTRATION.—The Department of Law Enforcement shall 70 contract with a not-for-profit corporation organized under 71 chapter 617, Florida Statutes, to administer and manage the Care 72 for Retired Law Enforcement Dogs Program. Notwithstanding the 73 competitive sealed bid procedures required under chapter 287, 74 Florida Statutes, the department shall enter into a contract 75 with a corporation that: 76 (a) Is dedicated to the protection or care of retired law 77 enforcement dogs. 78 (b) Holds tax-exempt status under s. 501(a) of the Internal 79 Revenue Code as an organization described in s. 501(c)(3) of the 80 code. 81 (c) Has held its tax-exempt status for at least 5 years. 82 (d) Agrees to be subject to review and audit at the 83 discretion of the Auditor General to ensure accurate accounting 84 and disbursement of state funds. 85 (e) Demonstrates the ability to effectively and efficiently 86 disseminate information and assist former handlers and adopters 87 of retired law enforcement dogs in understanding the provisions 88 of this section. 89 (f) Receives administrative fees, including salaries and 90 benefits, not to exceed 10 percent of appropriated funds. 91 (5) FUNDING.— 92 (a) The corporation shall be the disbursing authority for 93 funds appropriated by the Legislature to the Department of Law 94 Enforcement for the Care for Retired Law Enforcement Dogs 95 Program. These funds shall be disbursed upon receipt of a valid 96 invoice, submitted by the former handler or adopter of a retired 97 law enforcement dog, from a veterinarian in this state for 98 veterinary care provided to a retired law enforcement dog. 99 (b) Annual disbursements to any former handler or adopter 100 of a retired law enforcement dog are limited to $1,500 per 101 retired law enforcement dog. A former handler or adopter of a 102 retired law enforcement dog may not accumulate unused funds from 103 one year for use in a future year. 104 (c) A former handler or adopter of a retired law 105 enforcement dog who seeks reimbursement for veterinary services 106 may not receive reimbursement if funds for the Care for Retired 107 Law Enforcement Dogs Program are depleted in the year for which 108 the reimbursement is sought. 109 (d) Funds appropriated for the Care for Retired Law 110 Enforcement Dogs Program shall be held in the Operating Trust 111 Fund of the Department of Law Enforcement in a separate 112 depository account in the name of the corporation and subject to 113 the provisions of the contract with the department. The contract 114 must provide that any funds held in the separate depository 115 account in the name of the corporation must revert to the 116 department if the contract expires or is terminated. 117 Notwithstanding s. 216.301, Florida Statutes, and pursuant to s. 118 216.351, Florida Statutes, the Executive Office of the Governor 119 shall, on July 1 of each year, certify forward all unexpended 120 funds appropriated pursuant to this section. However, the fund 121 balance for the Care for Retired Law Enforcement Dogs Program 122 may not exceed $400,000. 123 Section 2. Beginning in the 2014-2015 fiscal year and each 124 year thereafter, the sum of $300,000 in recurring funds is 125 appropriated from the General Revenue Fund to the Department of 126 Law Enforcement for the purpose of implementing the Care for 127 Retired Law Enforcement Dogs Program as created by this act. 128 Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2014.