Florida Senate - 2014 SB 860
By the Committee on Military and Veterans Affairs, Space, and
1 A bill to be entitled
2 An act relating to military and veterans affairs;
3 amending s. 250.10, F.S.; revising requirements for
4 the Educational Dollars for Duty program developed by
5 the Adjutant General; requiring an Educational Dollars
6 for Duty program applicant to authorize the release of
7 certain information to the Department of Military
8 Affairs; prohibiting the program from paying repeat
9 course fees; authorizing certain online courses to be
10 offered through the program; requiring participating
11 institutions to provide specified information to the
12 Department of Military Affairs; authorizing the
13 department to reimburse certain costs and fees;
14 requiring the Adjutant General to adopt rules relating
15 to specified components of the program; amending s.
16 250.35, F.S.; updating references with respect to
17 courts-martial; creating s. 265.0031, F.S.; providing
18 legislative intent; establishing the Florida Veterans’
19 Walk of Honor and the Florida Veterans’ Memorial
20 Garden; providing administration and funding, without
21 appropriation of state funds, by the Department of
22 Veterans’ Affairs; requiring the Department of
23 Management Services to set aside an area for the
24 construction of the Walk of Honor and the Memorial
25 Garden; requiring specified donations to be deposited
26 in the account of the direct-support organization
27 within the Department of Veterans’ Affairs;
28 authorizing the organization to use the donations for
29 specified purposes; amending s. 288.0001, F.S.;
30 requiring the Office of the Economic and Demographic
31 Research and the Office of Program Policy Analysis and
32 Government Accountability to provide an analysis of
33 the Veterans Employment and Training Services Program
34 by specified dates; amending s. 295.065, F.S.;
35 revising legislative intent relating to the hiring
36 practices of veterans; amending s. 295.07, F.S.;
37 revising eligibility for preference in appointment and
38 retention by public employers; amending s. 295.08,
39 F.S.; revising point values added to earned ratings of
40 a person eligible to receive preference in appointment
41 to and retention in certain positions by public
42 employers; amending s. 295.085, F.S.; revising
43 preference in appointment, employment, and retention
44 in positions for which numerically based selection
45 processes are not used; conforming cross-references
46 and provisions to changes made by the act; creating s.
47 295.20, F.S.; creating Florida Is for Veterans, Inc.,
48 as a nonprofit corporation within the Department of
49 Veterans’ Affairs; specifying the purpose and duties
50 of the corporation; providing for the governance of
51 the corporation by a board of directors; specifying
52 the membership and composition of the board; providing
53 for the appointment of board members and designating
54 terms; providing that members of the board are subject
55 to the Code of Ethics of Public Officers and
56 Employees; providing a penalty for certain violations
57 by board members; authorizing reimbursement for per
58 diem and travel expenses of board members; providing
59 that an appointed member of the board may be removed
60 for cause; authorizing the board to exercise certain
61 powers; providing that the corporation is subject to
62 the state’s public records and meetings laws;
63 providing for administrative and staff support for the
64 nonprofit corporation; authorizing each state agency
65 to provide necessary assistance to the nonprofit
66 corporation; authorizing the Department of Veterans’
67 Affairs to allow the nonprofit corporation’s use of
68 property, facilities, and personal services; providing
69 exceptions; requiring the nonprofit corporation to
70 submit an annual report to the Governor and the
71 Legislature; prescribing report requirements;
72 requiring the Office of Program Policy Analysis and
73 Government Accountability to conduct a performance
74 audit by a specified date; prescribing audit
75 requirements; requiring that the audit findings be
76 submitted to the Legislature; creating s. 295.21,
77 F.S.; providing legislative findings and intent;
78 creating the Veterans Employment and Training Services
79 Program within the Department of Veterans’ Affairs;
80 providing for administration of the program by Florida
81 is For Veterans, Inc.; specifying duties of the
82 program; requiring Enterprise Florida, Inc., to
83 provide information regarding Florida Is for Veterans,
84 Inc., to prospective businesses; requiring Enterprise
85 Florida, Inc., to collaborate with Florida Is for
86 Veterans, Inc., regarding employment needs; requiring
87 Florida Is for Veterans, Inc., to submit a report to
88 the Governor and the Legislature by a specified date;
89 prescribing report requirements; amending s. 296.06,
90 F.S.; revising residency requirements for eligibility
91 for admittance to the Veterans’ Domiciliary Home of
92 Florida; amending s. 296.36, F.S.; revising residency
93 requirements for eligibility for admittance to the
94 Veterans’ Nursing Home of Florida; amending s.
95 455.213, F.S.; authorizing the person who is the
96 spouse of a military veteran at the time of the
97 veteran’s discharge to apply to the Department of
98 Business and Professional Regulation for certain
99 licenses without paying initial fees; increasing the
100 time period during which a military veteran or his or
101 her spouse at the time of discharge may qualify for a
102 fee waiver; amending ss. 456.013 and 468.304, F.S.;
103 authorizing the Department of Health to waive certain
104 fees for the person who is the spouse of a military
105 veteran at the time of the veteran’s discharge;
106 increasing the time period during which a military
107 veteran or his or her spouse at the time of discharge
108 may qualify for a fee waiver; amending s. 499.012,
109 F.S.; revising permit application requirements under
110 the Florida Drug and Cosmetic Act for natural persons
111 with certain managerial experience in the United
112 States Armed Forces; reenacting s. 1002.36(4)(f),
113 F.S., relating to the board of trustees of the Florida
114 School for the Deaf and the Blind, to incorporate the
115 amendments made to s. 295.07, F.S., in a reference
116 thereto; providing an effective date.
118 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
120 Section 1. Subsections (7) and (8) of section 250.10,
121 Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
122 250.10 Appointment and duties of the Adjutant General.—
123 (7) The Adjutant General shall develop an education
124 assistance program for members in good standing of the Florida
125 National Guard who enroll in an authorized course of study at a
126 public or nonpublic postsecondary institution or technical
127 center in this state
of higher learning in the state which has
128 been accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the United
129 States Department of Education or licensed by the Commission for
130 Independent Education. Education assistance also may be used for
131 training to obtain industry certifications approved by the
132 Department of Education pursuant to s. 1008.44 and continuing
133 education to maintain license certifications. The education
134 assistance This program shall be known as the Educational
135 Dollars for Duty program (EDD).
136 (a) The program shall establish set forth application
137 requirements, including, but not limited to, requirements that
138 the applicant:
139 1. Be 17 years of age or older.
140 2. Be presently domiciled in the state.
141 3. Be an active drilling member and in good standing in the
142 Florida National Guard at the beginning of and throughout the
143 entire academic term for which benefits are received.
144 4. Maintain continuous satisfactory participation in the
145 Florida National Guard for any school term for which exemption
146 benefits are received.
147 5. Upon enrollment in the program, complete a memorandum of
148 agreement to comply with the rules of the program and serve in
149 the Florida National Guard for the period specified in the
150 member’s enlistment or reenlistment contract.
151 6. Authorize the release of information as provided in
152 subparagraph (d)7. by the postsecondary institution or technical
153 center to the Education Service Office within the Department of
154 Military Affairs, subject to applicable federal and state law.
155 (b) The program shall define those members of the Florida
156 National Guard who are ineligible to participate in the program
157 and those courses of study which are not authorized for the
159 1. Ineligible members include, but are not limited to, any
160 member, commissioned officer, warrant officer, or enlisted
161 person who has obtained a master’s degree using the program.
162 2. Inactive members of the Florida National Guard and
163 members of the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) are not eligible
164 to participate in the program.
165 3. Courses not authorized include noncredit courses,
166 courses that do not meet degree requirements, courses that do
167 not meet requirements for completion of career training, or
168 other courses as determined by program definitions.
169 4. 3. The program may not pay repeat course fees
170 developmental education courses are authorized for the program.
171 (c) The program may include, but is not limited to:
172 1. Courses at a public or nonpublic secondary institution
173 or technical center in the state which has been accredited by an
174 accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of
175 Education or licensed by the Commission for Independent
177 2. Training to obtain industry certifications, limited to
178 certifications approved by the Department of Education under s.
180 3. Continuing education to maintain a license or
182 4. Licensing and industry certification examination fees.
183 5. Online courses approved by the Adjutant General for the
184 program, pursuant to rules adopted pursuant to paragraph (d).
185 Courses offered as part of a preeminent state research
186 university institute for online learning, as designated in s.
187 1001.7065, are expressly authorized for the program.
188 6. Participation in the Complete Florida Degree Program
189 under s. 1006.735.
190 7. Developmental educational courses, notwithstanding
191 subparagraph (b)3.
192 (d) (c) The Adjutant General shall adopt rules for the
193 overall policy, guidance, administration, implementation, and
194 proper use of the program. Such rules must include, but need not
195 be limited to: ,
196 1. Guidelines for certification by the Adjutant General of
197 a guard member’s eligibility and , procedures for notification to
198 a postsecondary an institution or technical center of a guard
199 member’s termination of eligibility.
200 2. Guidelines for approving courses of study that are
201 authorized for the program, including online courses, industry
202 certification training, and continuing education to maintain
203 license certifications.
204 3. Guidelines for approving the use of program funds for
205 licensing and industry certification examination fees.
206 4. Guidelines for recommending certain members participate
207 in the Complete Florida Degree Program established pursuant to
208 s. 1006.735.
209 5. Procedures to facilitate the award of academic college
210 credit at public postsecondary educational institutions for
211 college-level training and education acquired in the military
212 pursuant to s. 1004.096. , and
213 6. Procedures for restitution when a guard member fails to
214 comply with the penalties described in this section.
215 7. Procedures that require an institution that receives
216 funding from the program provide information regarding course
217 enrollment, course withdrawal, course cancellation, course
218 completion, course failure, and grade verification of enrolled
219 members to the Education Service Office within the Department of
220 Military Affairs.
221 8. Guidelines for the payment of tuition and fees not to
222 exceed the highest in-state tuition rate charged by a public
223 postsecondary institution in this state.
224 (8) Subject to appropriations, the Department of Military
225 Affairs may pay the full cost of tuition and fees for required
226 courses for current members of the Florida National Guard.
227 Members are eligible to use the program upon enlistment in the
228 Florida National Guard. If a member is enrolled in a nonpublic
229 postsecondary education institution or a nonpublic vocational
230 technical program, the Department of Military Affairs shall pay
231 an amount equal to the amount that would be required to pay for
232 the average program fees may not exceed the rate of the highest
233 in-state tuition and fees at a public postsecondary education
234 institution or public vocational-technical program.
235 (a) The Department of Military Affairs may reimburse a
236 member for student book costs and fees indexed to tuition in
237 accordance with limits set each fiscal year. Reimbursement shall
238 be based on funding availability and is subject to the Adjutant
239 General’s discretion, including, but not limited to, authority
240 to reimburse book costs regardless of the source of tuition
241 funding A member may participate in the program if he or she
242 maintains satisfactory participation in, and is an active
243 drilling member of, the Florida National Guard. Inactive members
244 of the Florida National Guard and members of the Individual
245 Ready Reserve (IRR) are not eligible to participate in the
247 (b) Penalties for noncompliance with program requirements
248 include, but are not limited to, the following:
249 1. If a member of the Florida National Guard receives
250 payment of tuition and fees for an any academic term and fails
251 to maintain satisfactory participation in the Florida National
252 Guard during that academic term, the member shall reimburse the
253 Department of Military Affairs all tuition charges and student
254 fees for the academic term for which the member received
256 2. If a member of the Florida National Guard leaves the
257 Florida National Guard during the period specified in the
258 member’s enlistment or reenlistment contract, the member shall
259 reimburse the Department of Military Affairs all tuition charges
260 and student fees for which the member received payments,
261 regardless of whether the obligation to reimburse the department
262 was incurred before, on, or after July 1, 2009, unless the
263 Adjutant General finds that there are justifiable extenuating
265 3. If the service of a member of the Florida National Guard
266 is terminated or the member is placed on scholastic probation
267 while receiving payments, the member shall reimburse the
268 Department of Military Affairs all tuition charges and student
269 fees for the academic term for which the member received
271 4. If a member defaults on any reimbursement made under
272 this paragraph, the department may charge the member the maximum
273 interest rate authorized by law.
274 Section 2. Subsections (1) and (2) of section 250.35,
275 Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
276 250.35 Courts-martial.—
277 (1) The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), 10 U.S.C.
278 ss. 801 et seq., and the Manual for Courts-Martial (2012 2008
279 Edition) are adopted for use by the Florida National Guard,
280 except as otherwise provided by this chapter.
281 (2) Courts-martial may try any member of the Florida
282 National Guard for any crime or offense made punishable by the
283 Uniform Code of Military Justice (2012 2008 Edition), except
284 that a commissioned officer, warrant officer, or cadet may not
285 be tried by summary courts-martial.
286 Section 3. Section 265.0031, Florida Statutes, is created
287 to read:
288 265.0031 Florida Veterans’ Walk of Honor and Memorial
290 (1) It is the intent of the Legislature to recognize and
291 honor those military veterans who, through their works and lives
292 during or after service, have made a significant contribution to
293 this state.
294 (2) There is established the Florida Veterans’ Walk of
296 (a) The Department of Veterans’ Affairs shall administer
297 the Florida Veterans’ Walk of Honor and fund it through the
298 department’s direct-support organization, established under s.
299 292.055, without appropriation of state funds.
300 (b) The Department of Management Services shall set aside
301 an area of the courtyard in front of the Capitol Building
302 necessary for the construction of the Florida Veterans’ Walk of
303 Honor and shall consult with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs
304 and the department’s direct-support organization regarding the
305 design and theme of the area.
306 (c) Donations made toward the Florida Veterans’ Walk of
307 Honor shall be deposited in a bank account established by the
308 department’s direct-support organization.
309 (3) There is established the Florida Veterans’ Memorial
311 (a) The Department of Veterans’ Affairs shall administer
312 the Florida Veterans’ Memorial Garden and fund it through the
313 department’s direct-support organization, established under s.
314 292.055, without appropriation of state funds.
315 (b) The Department of Management Services shall set aside
316 an area of the grounds of the Capitol Complex, as defined in s.
317 281.01, for the construction of the Florida Veterans’ Memorial
318 Garden and shall consult with the Department of Veterans’
319 Affairs and the department’s direct-support organization
320 regarding the design and theme of the area.
321 (c) The department’s direct-support organization may use
322 donations made toward the Florida Veterans’ Walk of Honor to
323 construct the Florida Veterans’ Memorial Garden.
324 Section 4. Paragraph (d) is added to subsection (2) of
325 section 288.0001, Florida Statutes, to read:
326 288.0001 Economic Development Programs Evaluation.—The
327 Office of Economic and Demographic Research and the Office of
328 Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability (OPPAGA)
329 shall develop and present to the Governor, the President of the
330 Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the
331 chairs of the legislative appropriations committees the Economic
332 Development Programs Evaluation.
333 (2) The Office of Economic and Demographic Research and
334 OPPAGA shall provide a detailed analysis of economic development
335 programs as provided in the following schedule:
336 (d) By January 1, 2019, and every 3 years thereafter, an
337 analysis of the grant and entrepreneur initiative programs
338 established under s. 295.21(3)(d) and (e).
339 Section 5. Section 295.065, Florida Statutes, is amended to
341 295.065 Legislative intent.—It is the intent of the
342 Legislature to provide preference and priority in the hiring
343 practices of this state as set forth in this chapter. In All
344 written job announcements and audio and video advertisements
345 used by employing agencies of the state and its political
346 subdivisions must include a notice stating , there shall be a
347 notation that certain servicemembers, veterans, and spouses and
348 family members of veterans receive preference and priority in
349 employment by the state and are encouraged to apply for the
350 positions being filled.
351 Section 6. Section 295.07, Florida Statutes, is amended to
353 295.07 Preference in appointment and retention.—
354 (1) The state and its political subdivisions in the state
355 shall give preference in appointment and retention in positions
356 of employment to:
357 (a) Those disabled veterans:
358 1. Who have served on active duty in any branch of the
359 Armed Forces of the United States, have received an honorable
360 discharge been separated therefrom under honorable conditions,
361 and have established the present existence of a service
362 connected disability that which is compensable under public laws
363 administered by the United States U.S. Department of Veterans
364 Veterans’ Affairs; , or
365 2. Who are receiving compensation, disability retirement
366 benefits, or pension by reason of public laws administered by
367 the United States U.S. Department of Veterans Veterans’ Affairs
368 and the Department of Defense.
369 (b) The spouse of a any person who has a total disability,
370 permanent in nature, resulting from a service-connected
371 disability and who, because of this disability, cannot qualify
372 for employment, and the spouse of a any person missing in
373 action, captured in line of duty by a hostile force, or forcibly
374 detained or interned in line of duty by a foreign government or
376 (c) A wartime veteran of any war as defined in s. 1.01(14).
377 The veteran must have served at least 1 day during a wartime
378 period to be eligible for veterans’ preference. Active duty for
379 training may shall not be allowed for eligibility under this
381 (d) The unremarried widow or widower of a veteran who died
382 of a service-connected disability.
383 (e) The mother, father, legal guardian, or unremarried
384 widow or widower of a member of the United States Armed Forces
385 who died in the line of duty under combat-related conditions, as
386 verified by the United States Department of Defense.
387 (f) A veteran as defined in s. 1.01(14). Active duty for
388 training may not be allowed for eligibility under this
390 (g) A current member of any reserve component of the United
391 States Armed Forces or the Florida National Guard.
392 (2) The Department of Veterans’ Affairs shall adopt rules
393 to ensure that veterans are given special consideration in the
394 employing agency’s selection and retention processes. The rules
395 must include the award of point values as articulated in s.
396 295.08, if applicable, or, where point values are not relevant,
397 must include procedures to ensure that veterans are given
398 special consideration at each step of the employment selection
399 process, unless the sponsoring governmental entity is a party to
400 a collective bargaining agreement, in which case the collective
401 bargaining agreement must comply within 90 days following
402 ratification of a successor collective bargaining agreement or
403 extension of any existing collective bargaining agreement.
404 (3) Preference in employment and retention may be given
405 only to eligible persons who are described in subsection (1) and
406 who are residents of this state.
407 (4) The following positions are exempt from this section:
408 (a) Those positions that are exempt from the state Career
409 Service System under s. 110.205(2); however, all positions under
410 the University Support Personnel System of the State University
411 System as well as all Career Service System positions under the
412 Florida College System and the School for the Deaf and the
413 Blind, or the equivalent of such positions at state
414 universities, Florida College System institutions, or the School
415 for the Deaf and the Blind, are included.
416 (b) Positions in political subdivisions of the state which
417 are filled by officers elected by popular vote or persons
418 appointed to fill vacancies in such offices and the personal
419 secretary of each such officer, members of boards and
420 commissions, persons employed on a temporary basis without
421 benefits, heads of departments, positions that require licensure
422 as a physician, licensure as an osteopathic physician, licensure
423 as a chiropractic physician, and positions that require that the
424 employee be a member of The Florida Bar.
425 Section 7. Section 295.08, Florida Statutes, is amended to
427 295.08 Positions for which a numerically based selection
428 process is used.—For positions for which an examination is used
429 to determine the qualifications for entrance into employment
430 with the state or political subdivisions in the state, 15 points
431 shall be added to the earned ratings of a person included under
432 s. 295.07(1)(a) and (b), 10 points shall be added to the earned
433 ratings of a any person included under s. 295.07(1)(c), (d), or
434 (e) s. 295.07(1)(a) or (b), and 5 points shall be added to the
435 earned ratings rating of a any person included under s.
436 295.07(1)(f) or (g) s. 295.07(1)(c) and (d), if the person has
437 obtained a qualifying score on the examination for the position.
438 The names of persons eligible for preference shall be entered on
439 an appropriate register or list in accordance with their
440 respective augmented ratings. However, except for classes of
441 positions with Federal Government designations of professional
442 or technician, the names of all persons qualified to receive a
443 15-point 10-point preference whose service-connected
444 disabilities have been rated by the United States Department of
445 Veterans Affairs or its predecessor or the Department of Defense
446 to be 30 percent or more shall be placed at the top of the
447 appropriate register or employment list, in accordance with
448 their respective augmented ratings. The respective augmented
449 rating is the examination score or evaluated score in addition
450 to the applicable veteran’s preference points.
451 Section 8. Section 295.085, Florida Statutes, is amended to
453 295.085 Positions for which a numerically based selection
454 process is not used.—In all positions in which the appointment
455 or employment of persons is not subject to a written
456 examination, with the exception of positions that are exempt
457 under s. 295.07(4), first preference in appointment, employment,
458 and retention shall be given by the state and political
459 subdivisions in the state to persons included under s.
460 295.07(1)(a) and (b), and second preference shall be given to
461 persons included under s. 295.07(1)(c)-(g), s. 295.07(1)(c) and
462 (d) who possess the minimum qualifications necessary to
463 discharge the duties of the position involved.
464 Section 9. Section 295.20, Florida Statutes, is created to
466 295.20 Florida Is For Veterans, Inc.—
467 (1) CREATION.—There is created within the Department of
468 Veterans’ Affairs a nonprofit corporation, to be known as
469 Florida Is For Veterans, Inc., which shall be registered,
470 incorporated, organized, and operated in compliance with chapter
471 617, and which is not a unit or entity of state government. As
472 used in this section and s. 295.21, unless the context indicates
473 otherwise, the term “corporation” means Florida Is For Veterans,
474 Inc. The corporation is a separate budget entity and is not
475 subject to the control, supervision, or direction of the
476 department in areas, including, but not limited to, personnel,
477 purchasing, transactions involving real or personal property, or
478 budgetary matters.
479 (2) PURPOSE.—The purpose of the corporation is to promote
480 Florida as a veteran-friendly state that seeks to equip veterans
481 for employment opportunities and that promotes the hiring of
482 veterans by the business community. The corporation should
483 encourage retired and recently separated military personnel to
484 keep or make Florida their permanent residence. The corporation
485 shall promote the value of military skill sets to Florida
486 businesses, assist in tailoring the training of veterans to
487 match the needs of the employment marketplace, and enhance the
488 entrepreneurial skills of veterans.
489 (3) DUTIES.—The corporation shall:
490 (a) Contract with one or more entities in accordance with
491 competitive bidding requirements in s. 287.057. Such entity must
492 have experience conducting market research on the veteran
493 demographic and the tools to reach a target market on a
494 nationwide basis. The corporation shall contract with such
495 entity specifically to:
496 1. Conduct research to identify the target market and the
497 educational and employment needs of those in the target market.
498 2. Develop and conduct a marketing campaign to encourage
499 retired and recently separated military personnel to remain in
500 Florida or to make Florida their permanent residence.
501 3. Develop a process for the dissemination of information
502 to the target market and targeting that information to the
503 interests and needs of veterans of all ages, and which
504 facilitates veterans’ knowledge of and access to benefits.
505 (b) Promote and enhance the value of military skill sets to
507 (c) Implement the Veterans Employment and Training Services
508 Program established by s. 295.21.
509 (d) Responsibly and prudently manage all funds received,
510 and ensure that the use of such funds is in accordance with all
511 applicable laws, bylaws, or contractual requirements.
512 (e) Administer the programs created in this section and s.
514 (4) GOVERNANCE.—
515 (a) The corporation shall be governed by a 9-member board
516 of directors. The Governor, the President of the Senate, and the
517 Speaker of the House of Representatives shall each appoint three
518 members to the board. In making appointments, the Governor, the
519 President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of
520 Representatives must consider representation by active or
521 retired military personnel and their spouses representing a
522 range of ages and persons with expertise in business, education,
523 marketing, and information management.
524 (b) The board of directors shall annually elect a
525 chairperson from among the board’s members.
526 (c) Each member of the board of directors shall be
527 appointed for a term of 4 years, except that, to achieve
528 staggered terms, the initial appointees of the Governor shall be
529 appointed to terms of 2 years. A member is ineligible for
530 reappointment to the board except that any member appointed to a
531 term of 2 years or less may be reappointed for an additional
532 term of 4 years. The initial appointments to the board must be
533 made by November 15, 2014. Vacancies on the board of directors
534 shall be filled by the officer who originally appointed the
535 member. A vacancy that occurs before the scheduled expiration of
536 the term of the member shall be filled for the remainder of the
537 unexpired term.
538 (d) The Legislature finds that it is in the public interest
539 for the members of the board of directors to be subject to the
540 requirements of ss. 112.313, 112.3135, and 112.3143,
541 notwithstanding the fact that they are not public officers or
542 employees. For purposes of those sections, board members shall
543 be considered to be public officers or employees. In addition to
544 the postemployment restrictions of s. 112.313(9), a person
545 appointed to the board of directors may not have direct interest
546 in a contract, franchise, privilege, project, program, or other
547 benefit arising from an award by the corporation during the
548 appointment term and for 2 years after the termination of such
549 appointment. It is a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable
550 as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, for a person to accept
551 appointment to the board of directors in violation of this
552 subsection or to accept a direct interest in any contract,
553 franchise, privilege, project, program, or other benefit granted
554 by the corporation to an awardee within 2 years after the
555 termination of his or her service on the board. Further, each
556 member of the board of directors who is not otherwise required
557 to file financial disclosure under s. 8, Art. II of the State
558 Constitution or s. 112.3144 shall file a statement of financial
559 interests under s. 112.3145.
560 (e) Each member of the board of directors shall serve
561 without compensation, but shall receive reimbursement for travel
562 and per diem expenses as provided in s. 112.061 while performing
563 his or her duties.
564 (f) Each member of the board of directors is accountable
565 for the proper performance of the duties of office and owes a
566 fiduciary duty to the people of this state to ensure that awards
567 provided are disbursed and used as prescribed by law and
568 contract. An appointed member of the board of directors may be
569 removed by the officer who appointed the member for malfeasance,
570 misfeasance, neglect of duty, incompetence, permanent inability
571 to perform official duties, unexcused absence from three
572 consecutive board meetings, arrest, or indictment for a crime
573 that is a felony or a misdemeanor involving theft or a crime of
574 dishonesty, or pleading nolo contendere to or being found guilty
575 of any crime.
576 (g) A majority of the members of the board of directors
577 constitutes a quorum. Council meetings may be held via
578 teleconference or other electronic means.
579 (5) POWERS.—In addition to the powers and duties prescribed
580 in chapter 617 and the articles and bylaws adopted thereunder,
581 the board of directors may:
582 (a) Make and enter into contracts and other instruments
583 necessary or convenient for the exercise of its powers and
584 functions. However, notwithstanding s. 617.0302, the corporation
585 may not issue bonds.
586 (b) Make expenditures, including any necessary
587 administrative expenditure.
588 (c) Adopt, amend, and repeal bylaws, consistent with the
589 powers granted to it under this section or the articles of
590 incorporation, for the administration of the activities of the
591 corporation, and the exercise of its corporate powers.
592 (d) Accept funding for its programs and activities from
593 federal, state, local, and private sources.
594 (e) Adopt and register a fictitious name for use in its
595 marketing activities.
596 (f) Provide for the reversion of moneys and property held
597 by the corporation to the state if the corporation ceases to
600 The credit of the State of Florida may not be pledged on behalf
601 of the corporation.
602 (6) APPLICABILITY OF PUBLIC RECORDS AND MEETINGS LAWS.—The
603 corporation is subject to the provisions of chapters 119 and 286
604 relating to public records and meetings, respectively.
605 (7) STAFFING AND ASSISTANCE.—
606 (a) The corporation is authorized to hire or contract for
607 all staff necessary for the proper execution of its powers and
608 duties. All employees of the corporation shall comply with the
609 Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees under part III
610 of chapter 112. Corporation staff must agree to refrain from
611 having any direct interest in any contract, franchise,
612 privilege, project, program, or other benefit arising from an
613 award by the corporation during the term of their appointment
614 and for 2 years after the termination of such appointment.
615 (b) All agencies of the state are authorized and directed
616 to provide such technical assistance as the corporation may
617 require to identify programs within each agency which provide
618 assistance or benefits to veterans who are located in this state
619 or who are considering relocation to this state.
620 (c) The Department of Veterans’ Affairs may authorize the
621 corporation’s use of the department’s property, facilities, and
622 personal services, subject to this section. The department may
623 prescribe by contract any condition with which the corporation
624 must comply in order to use the department’s property,
625 facilities, or personal services.
626 (d) The department may not authorize the use of its
627 property, facilities, or personal services if the corporation
628 does not provide equal employment opportunities to all persons
629 regardless of race, color, religion, sex, age, or national
631 (8) REPORTS.—The corporation shall submit an annual
632 progress report and work plan by each December 1 to the
633 Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the
634 House of Representatives. The report must include:
635 (a) Status and summary of findings regarding the target
636 market, veteran benefits, and any identified gaps in services.
637 (b) Status of the marketing campaign, delivery systems of
638 the marketing campaign, and outreach to the target market.
639 (c) Status of the Veterans Employment and Training Services
640 Program administered under s. 295.21.
641 (d) Proposed revisions or additions to performance
642 measurements for the programs administered by the corporation.
643 (e) Identification of contracts that the corporation has
644 entered into to carry out its duties.
645 (f) An annual compliance and financial audit of accounts
646 and records for the previous fiscal year prepared by an
647 independent certified public accountant in accordance with rules
648 adopted by the Auditor General.
649 Section 10. By February 1, 2018, the Office of Program
650 Policy Analysis and Government Accountability shall conduct a
651 performance audit of Florida Is For Veterans, Inc. The audit
652 shall assess the implementation and outcomes of activities under
653 ss. 295.20 and 295.21, Florida Statutes, and evaluate the
654 corporation’s accomplishments and progress toward making Florida
655 a veteran-friendly state. The audit must provide recommendations
656 for any necessary improvements. The report of the audit’s
657 findings shall be submitted to the President of the Senate and
658 the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
659 Section 11. Section 295.21, Florida Statutes, is created to
661 295.21 Veterans Employment and Training Services Program.—
662 (1) LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS AND INTENT.—The Legislature finds
663 that this state has a compelling interest in ensuring that each
664 veteran who is a resident of this state finds employment that
665 meets his or her professional goals and receives the training or
666 education necessary to meet those goals. The Legislature also
667 finds that connecting dedicated, well-trained veterans with
668 businesses that need a dedicated, well-trained workforce is of
669 paramount importance. The Legislature recognizes that veterans
670 may not currently have the skills to meet the workforce needs of
671 Florida employers and may require assistance in obtaining
672 additional workforce training or in transitioning their skills
673 to meet the demands of the marketplace. It is the intent of the
674 Legislature that the Veterans Employment and Training Services
675 Program coordinate and meet the needs of veterans and the
676 business community to enhance the economy of this state.
677 (2) CREATION.—The Veterans Employment and Training Services
678 Program is created within the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to
679 assist in linking veterans in search of employment with
680 businesses seeking to hire dedicated, well-trained workers. The
681 purpose of the program is to meet the workforce demands of
682 Florida businesses by facilitating access to training and
683 education in high-demand fields for veterans.
684 (3) ADMINISTRATION.—Florida Is For Veterans, Inc., shall
685 administer the Veterans Employment and Training Services Program
686 and perform all of the following functions:
687 (a) Conduct marketing and recruiting efforts directed at
688 veterans who reside in or who have an interest in relocating to
689 this state and who are seeking employment. Marketing must
690 include information related to how a veteran’s military
691 experience can be valuable to a business. Such efforts may
692 include attending veteran job fairs and events, hosting events
693 for veterans or the business community, and using digital and
694 social media and direct mail campaigns. The corporation shall
695 also include such marketing as part of its main marketing
697 (b) Assist veterans who reside in or relocate to this state
698 and who are seeking employment. The corporation shall offer
699 skills assessments to veterans and assist them in establishing
700 employment goals and applying for and achieving gainful
702 1. Assessment may include skill match information, skill
703 gap analysis, resume creation, translation of military skills
704 into civilian workforce skills, and translation of military
705 achievements and experience to generally understood civilian
706 workforce skills.
707 2. Assistance may include providing the veteran with
708 information on current workforce demand by industry or
709 geographic region, creating employment goals, and aiding or
710 teaching general knowledge related to completing applications.
711 The corporation may provide information related to industry
712 certifications approved by the Department of Education under s.
713 1008.44 as well as information related to earning academic
714 college credit at public postsecondary educational institutions
715 for college-level training and education acquired in the
716 military under s. 1004.096.
717 3. The corporation shall encourage veterans to register
718 with the state’s job bank system and may refer veterans to local
719 one-stop career centers for further services. The corporation
720 shall provide each veteran with information about state
721 workforce programs and shall consolidate information about all
722 available resources on one website that, if possible, includes a
723 hyperlink to each resource’s website and contact information, if
724 available. If appropriate, a veteran shall be encouraged to
725 participate in the Complete Florida Degree Program established
726 under s. 1006.735.
727 4. Assessment and assistance may be in person or by
728 electronic means, as determined by the corporation to be most
729 efficient and best meet the needs of veterans.
730 (c) Assist Florida businesses in recruiting and hiring
731 veterans. The corporation shall provide services to Florida
732 businesses to meet their hiring needs by connecting businesses
733 with suitable veteran applicants for employment. Suitable
734 applicants include veterans who have appropriate job skills or
735 may need additional training to meet a business’s specific
736 needs. The corporation shall also provide information about the
737 state and federal benefits of hiring veterans.
738 (d) Create a grant program to provide funding to assist
739 veterans in meeting the workforce-skill needs of businesses
740 seeking to hire veterans, establish criteria for approval of
741 requests for funding, and maximize the use of funding for this
742 program. Grant funds may be used only in the absence of
743 available veteran-specific federally funded programs. Grants may
744 fund specialized training specific to a particular business.
745 1. Grant funds may be allocated to any training provider
746 selected by the business, including a career center, a Florida
747 College System institution, a state university, or an in-house
748 training provider of the business. If grant funds are used to
749 provide a technical certificate, a licensure, or a degree, funds
750 may be allocated only upon a review that includes, but is not
751 limited to, accreditation and licensure documentation.
752 Instruction funded through the program must terminate when
753 participants demonstrate competence at the level specified in
754 the request; however, the grant term may not exceed 48 months.
755 Preference shall be given to target industry businesses, as
756 defined in s. 288.106, and to businesses in the defense supply,
757 cloud virtualization, or commercial aviation manufacturing
759 2. Costs and expenditures for the grant program must be
760 documented and separated from those incurred by the training
761 provider. Costs and expenditures shall be limited to $8,000 per
762 veteran trainee. Eligible costs and expenditures include:
763 a. Tuition and fees;
764 b. Curriculum development;
765 c. Books and classroom materials;
766 d. Rental fees for facilities at public colleges and
767 universities, including virtual training labs; and
768 e. Overhead or indirect costs not to exceed 5 percent of
769 the grant amount.
770 3. Before funds are allocated for a request pursuant to
771 this section, the corporation shall prepare a grant agreement
772 between the business requesting funds, the educational
773 institution or training provider receiving funding through the
774 program, and the corporation. Such agreement must include, but
775 need not be limited to:
776 a. Identification of the personnel necessary to conduct the
777 instructional program, the qualifications of such personnel, and
778 the respective responsibilities of the parties for paying costs
779 associated with the employment of such personnel.
780 b. Identification of the match provided by the business,
781 including cash and in-kind contributions, equal to at least 50
782 percent of the total grant amount.
783 c. Identification of the estimated duration of the
784 instructional program.
785 d. Identification of all direct, training-related costs.
786 e. Identification of special program requirements that are
787 not otherwise addressed in the agreement.
788 f. Permission to access aggregate information specific to
789 the wages and performance of participants upon the completion of
790 instruction for evaluation purposes. The agreement must specify
791 that any evaluation published subsequent to the instruction may
792 not identify the employer or any individual participant.
793 4. A business may receive a grant under the Quick-Response
794 Training Program created under s. 288.047 and a grant under this
795 section for the same veteran trainee. If a business receives
796 funds under both programs, one grant agreement may be entered
797 into with Workforce Florida, Inc., as the grant administrator.
798 (e) Contract with one or more entities to administer an
799 entrepreneur initiative program for veterans in this state which
800 connects Florida’s business leaders with veterans seeking to
801 become entrepreneurs.
802 1. The corporation shall award each contract in accordance
803 with the competitive bidding requirements in s. 287.057 to one
804 or more public or private universities that:
805 a. Demonstrate the ability to implement the program and the
806 commitment of university resources, including financial
807 resources, to such programs;
808 b. Have a military and veteran resource center;
809 c. Have a regional small business development center in the
810 Florida Small Business Development Center Network; and
811 d. As determined by the corporation, have been nationally
812 recognized for commitment to the military and veterans.
813 2. Each contract must include performance metrics,
814 including a focus on employment and business creation. Each
815 university must coordinate with any entrepreneurship center
816 located at the university. The university may also work with an
817 entity offering related programs to refer veterans or to provide
818 services. The entrepreneur initiative program may include
819 activities and assistance such as peer-to-peer learning
820 sessions, mentoring, technical assistance, business roundtables,
821 networking opportunities, support of student organizations,
822 speaker series, or other tools within a virtual environment.
823 (4) DUTIES OF ENTERPRISE FLORIDA, INC.—Enterprise Florida,
824 Inc., shall provide information about the corporation and its
825 services to prospective, new, expanding, and relocating
826 businesses seeking to conduct business in this state. Enterprise
827 Florida, Inc., shall, to the greatest extent possible,
828 collaborate with the corporation to meet the employment needs,
829 including meeting job creation requirements, of any business
830 receiving assistance or services from Enterprise Florida, Inc.
831 Section 12. By February 2, 2015, Florida Is For Veterans,
832 Inc., shall submit a report to the Governor, the President of
833 the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives
834 identifying existing gaps in veteran resources and recommending
835 best practices that may be employed in assisting veterans and
836 improvements to current or new resources and programs.
837 Section 13. Paragraph (b) of subsection (2) of section
838 296.06, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
839 296.06 State policy; eligibility requirements.—
840 (2) To be eligible for residency in the home, a veteran
842 (b) Have been a resident of the state for 1 year
843 immediately preceding application and Be a resident of the state
844 at the time of application.
845 Section 14. Paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of section
846 296.36, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
847 296.36 Eligibility and priority of admittance.—
848 (1) To be eligible for admittance to the home, the person
849 must be a veteran as provided in s. 1.01(14) or have eligible
850 peacetime service as defined in s. 296.02 and must:
851 (b) Be Have been a resident of the state for 1 year
852 immediately preceding, and at the time of application for ,
853 admission to the home.
854 Section 15. Subsection (12) of section 455.213, Florida
855 Statutes, is amended to read:
856 455.213 General licensing provisions.—
857 (12) The department shall waive the initial licensing fee,
858 the initial application fee, and the initial unlicensed activity
859 fee for a military veteran or his or her spouse at the time of
860 discharge, if he or she who applies to the department for a
861 license, in a format prescribed by the department, within 60 24
862 months after the veteran is discharged discharge from any branch
863 of the United States Armed Forces. To qualify for this waiver,
864 the veteran must have been honorably discharged.
865 Section 16. Subsection (13) of section 456.013, Florida
866 Statutes, is amended to read:
867 456.013 Department; general licensing provisions.—
868 (13) The department shall waive the initial licensing fee,
869 the initial application fee, and the initial unlicensed activity
870 fee for a military veteran or his or her spouse at the time of
871 discharge, if he or she who applies to the department for an
872 initial license within 60 24 months after the veteran is being
873 honorably discharged from any branch of the United States Armed
874 Forces. The applicant must apply for the fee waiver using a form
875 prescribed by the department and must submit supporting
876 documentation as required by the department.
877 Section 17. Subsection (1) of section 468.304, Florida
878 Statutes, is amended to read:
879 468.304 Certification.—The department shall certify any
880 applicant who meets the following criteria:
881 (1) Pays to the department a nonrefundable fee that may not
882 exceed $100, plus the actual per-applicant cost to the
883 department for purchasing the examination from a national
884 organization. The department shall waive the initial application
885 fee for a military veteran or his or her spouse at the time of
886 discharge, if he or she who applies to the department for an
887 initial certification within 60 24 months after the veteran is
888 being honorably discharged from any branch of the United States
889 Armed Forces. The applicant must apply for the fee waiver using
890 a form prescribed by the department and must submit supporting
891 documentation as required by the department. This waiver does
892 not include the fee for purchasing the examination from a
893 national organization.
895 The department may not certify any applicant who has committed
896 an offense that would constitute a violation of any of the
897 provisions of s. 468.3101 or applicable rules if the applicant
898 had been certified by the department at the time of the offense.
899 An application for a limited computed tomography certificate may
900 not be accepted. A person holding a valid computed tomography
901 certificate as of October 1, 1984, is subject to s. 468.309.
902 Section 18. Paragraph (b) of subsection (16) of section
903 499.012, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
904 499.012 Permit application requirements.—
906 (b) To be certified as a designated representative, a
907 natural person must:
908 1. Submit an application on a form furnished by the
909 department and pay the appropriate fees;
910 2. Be at least 18 years of age;
911 3. Have at least not less than 2 years of verifiable full
913 a. Work experience in a pharmacy licensed in this state or
914 another state, where the person’s responsibilities included, but
915 were not limited to, recordkeeping for prescription drugs; , or
916 have not less than 2 years of verifiable full-time
917 b. Managerial experience with a prescription drug wholesale
918 distributor licensed in this state or in another state; or
919 c. Managerial experience with the United States Armed
920 Forces, where the person’s responsibilities included, but were
921 not limited to, recordkeeping, warehousing, distribution, or
922 other logistics services pertaining to prescription drugs;
923 4. Receive a passing score of at least 75 percent on an
924 examination given by the department regarding federal laws
925 governing distribution of prescription drugs and this part and
926 the rules adopted by the department governing the wholesale
927 distribution of prescription drugs. This requirement shall be
928 effective 1 year after the results of the initial examination
929 are mailed to the persons that took the examination. The
930 department shall offer such examinations at least four times
931 each calendar year; and
932 5. Provide the department with a personal information
933 statement and fingerprints pursuant to subsection (9).
934 Section 19. For the purpose of incorporating the amendment
935 made by this act to section 295.07, Florida Statutes, in a
936 reference thereto, paragraph (f) of subsection (4) of section
937 1002.36, Florida Statutes, is reenacted to read:
938 1002.36 Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind.—
939 (4) BOARD OF TRUSTEES.—
940 (f) The board of trustees shall:
941 1. Prepare and submit legislative budget requests for
942 operations and fixed capital outlay, in accordance with chapter
943 216 and ss. 1011.56 and 1013.60, to the Department of Education
944 for review and approval. The department must analyze the amount
945 requested for fixed capital outlay to determine if the request
946 is consistent with the school’s campus master plan, educational
947 plant survey, and facilities master plan. Projections of
948 facility space needs may exceed the norm space and occupant
949 design criteria established in the State Requirements for
950 Educational Facilities.
951 2. Approve and administer an annual operating budget in
952 accordance with ss. 1011.56 and 1011.57.
953 3. Require all funds received other than gifts, donations,
954 bequests, funds raised by or belonging to student clubs or
955 student organizations, and funds held for specific students or
956 in accounts for individual students to be deposited in the State
957 Treasury and expended as authorized in the General
958 Appropriations Act.
959 4. Require all purchases to be in accordance with the
960 provisions of chapter 287 except for purchases made with funds
961 received as gifts, donations, or bequests; funds raised by or
962 belonging to student clubs or student organizations; or funds
963 held for specific students or in accounts for individual
965 5. Administer and maintain personnel programs for all
966 employees of the board of trustees and the Florida School for
967 the Deaf and the Blind who shall be state employees, including
968 the personnel classification and pay plan established in
969 accordance with ss. 110.205(2)(d) and 216.251(2)(a)2. for
970 academic and academic administrative personnel, the provisions
971 of chapter 110, and the provisions of law that grant authority
972 to the Department of Management Services over such programs for
973 state employees.
974 6. Give preference in appointment and retention in
975 positions of employment as provided within s. 295.07(1).
976 7. Ensure that the Florida School for the Deaf and the
977 Blind complies with s. 1013.351 concerning the coordination of
978 planning between the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind
979 and local governing bodies.
980 8. Ensure that the Florida School for the Deaf and the
981 Blind complies with s. 112.061 concerning per diem and travel
982 expenses of public officers, employees, and authorized persons
983 with respect to all funds other than funds received as gifts,
984 donations, or bequests; funds raised by or belonging to student
985 clubs or student organizations; or funds held for specific
986 students or in accounts for individual students.
987 9. Adopt a master plan which specifies the mission and
988 objectives of the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. The
989 plan shall include, but not be limited to, procedures for
990 systematically measuring the school’s progress toward meeting
991 its objectives, analyzing changes in the student population, and
992 modifying school programs and services to respond to such
993 changes. The plan shall be for a period of 5 years and shall be
994 reviewed for needed modifications every 2 years. The board of
995 trustees shall submit the initial plan and subsequent
996 modifications to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and
997 the President of the Senate.
998 10. Designate a portion of the school as “The Verle Allyn
999 Pope Complex for the Deaf,” in tribute to the late Senator Verle
1000 Allyn Pope.
1001 Section 20. This act shall take effect July 1, 2014.