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.
   20  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   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.