(1) SHORT TITLE.—This section may be cited as the “Florida Endowment for Vocational Rehabilitation Act.”
(2) DEFINITIONS.—For the purposes of this section:
(a) “Board” means the board of directors of the Florida Endowment Foundation for Vocational Rehabilitation.
(b) “Endowment fund” means an account established within the Florida Endowment Foundation for Vocational Rehabilitation to provide a continuing and growing source of revenue for vocational rehabilitation efforts.
(c) “Foundation” means the Florida Endowment Foundation for Vocational Rehabilitation.
(d) “Operating account” means an account established under paragraph (4)(d) to carry out the purposes provided in subsection (10).
(3) LEGISLATIVE INTENT.—The Legislature recognizes that it is in the best interest of the citizens of this state that citizens with disabilities be afforded a fair opportunity to become self-supporting, productive members of society. However, there is a critical need for significant additional funding to achieve this goal. Accordingly, the Legislature further finds and declares that:
(a) With skilled evaluation procedures and proper rehabilitative treatment, plus employment, training, and supportive services consistent with the needs of the individual, persons who are disabled can assume the activities of daily living and join their communities with dignity and independence.
(b) The purpose of this section is to broaden the participation and funding potential for further significant support for the rehabilitation of Florida citizens who are disabled.
(c) It is appropriate to encourage individual and corporate support and involvement, as well as state support and involvement, to promote employment opportunities for disabled citizens.
(4) REVENUE FOR THE ENDOWMENT FUND.—
(a) The endowment fund of the Florida Endowment for Vocational Rehabilitation is created as a long-term, stable, and growing source of revenue to be administered, in accordance with rules promulgated by the division, by the foundation as a direct-support organization of the division.
(b) The principal of the endowment fund shall derive from the deposits made pursuant to s. 318.21(2)(e), together with any legislative appropriations which may be made to the endowment, and such bequests, gifts, grants, and donations as may be solicited for such purpose by the foundation from public or private sources. (c) All funds remitted to the Department of Revenue pursuant to s. 318.21(2)(e) and (5) shall be transmitted monthly to the foundation for use as provided in subsection (10). All remaining liquid balances of funds held for investment and reinvestment by the State Board of Administration for the endowment fund on the effective date of this act shall be transmitted to the foundation within 60 days for use as provided in subsection (10).
(d) The board of directors of the foundation shall establish the operating account and shall deposit therein the moneys transmitted pursuant to paragraph (c). Moneys in the operating account shall be available to carry out the purposes of subsection (10).
(5) THE FLORIDA ENDOWMENT FOUNDATION FOR VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION.—The Florida Endowment Foundation for Vocational Rehabilitation is hereby created as a direct-support organization of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, to encourage public and private support to enhance vocational rehabilitation and employment of citizens who are disabled. As a direct-support organization, the foundation shall operate under contract with the division and shall:
(a) Be a Florida corporation not for profit incorporated under the provisions of chapter 617 and approved by the Department of State.
(b) Be organized and operated exclusively to raise funds; to submit requests and receive grants from the Federal Government, the state, private foundations, and individuals; to receive, hold, and administer property; and to make expenditures to or for the benefit of the rehabilitation programs approved by the board of directors of the foundation.
(c) Be approved by the division to be operating for the benefit and best interest of the state.
(6) DIRECT-SUPPORT ORGANIZATION CONTRACT.—The contract between the foundation and the division shall provide for:
(a) Approval of the articles of incorporation of the foundation by the division.
(b) Governance of the foundation by a board of directors appointed by the Governor.
(c) Submission of an annual budget of the foundation for approval by the division.
(d) Certification by the division, after an annual financial and performance review, that the foundation is operating in compliance with the terms of the contract and the rules of the division, and in a manner consistent with the goals of the Legislature in providing assistance to disabled citizens.
(e) The release and conditions of the expenditure of any state revenues.
(f) The reversion to the state of moneys in the foundation and in any other funds and accounts held in trust by the foundation if the contract is terminated.
(g) The fiscal year of the foundation, to begin on July 1 and end on June 30 of each year.
(7) CONFIDENTIALITY.— (a) The identity of a donor or prospective donor to the Florida Endowment Foundation for Vocational Rehabilitation who desires to remain anonymous and all information identifying such donor or prospective donor are confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. Portions of meetings of the Florida Endowment Foundation for Vocational Rehabilitation during which the identity of donors or prospective donors is discussed are exempt from the provisions of s. 286.011 and s. 24(b), Art. I of the State Constitution. (b) Records relating to clients of or applicants to the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation that come into the possession of the foundation and that are confidential by other provisions of law are confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution, and may not be released by the foundation. Portions of meetings of the Florida Endowment Foundation for Vocational Rehabilitation during which the identities of such clients of or applicants to the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation are discussed are exempt from the provisions of s. 286.011 and s. 24(b), Art. I of the State Constitution. (8) BOARD OF DIRECTORS.—The foundation shall be administered by a board of directors, as follows: (a) Membership.—The board of directors shall consist of nine members who have an interest in service to persons with disabilities and who:
1. Have skills in foundation work or other fundraising activities, financial consulting, or investment banking or other related experience; or
2. Have experience in policymaking or management-level positions or have otherwise distinguished themselves in the field of business, industry, or rehabilitation.
Disabled individuals who meet the above criteria shall be given special consideration for appointment.
(b) Appointment.—The board members shall be appointed by the Governor.
(c) Terms.—Board members shall serve for 3-year terms or until resignation or removal for cause.
(d) Filling of vacancies.—In the event of a vacancy on the board caused by other than the expiration of a term, a new member shall be appointed.
(e) Removal for cause.—Each member is accountable to the Governor for the proper performance of the duties of office. The Governor may remove any member from office for malfeasance, misfeasance, neglect of duty, incompetence, or permanent inability to perform official duties or for pleading nolo contendere to, or being found guilty of, a crime.
(9) ORGANIZATION, POWERS, AND DUTIES.—Within the limits prescribed in this section or by rule of the division:
(a) Upon appointment, the board shall meet and organize. Thereafter, the board shall hold such meetings as are necessary to implement the provisions of this section and shall conduct its business in accordance with rules promulgated by the division.
(b) The board may solicit and receive bequests, gifts, grants, donations, goods, and services. Where gifts are restricted as to purpose, they may be used only for the purpose or purposes stated by the donor. The board may transmit monetary gifts to the State Board of Administration for deposit in the endowment fund principal.
(c) The board may enter into contracts with the Federal Government, state or local agencies, private entities, or individuals to carry out the purposes of this section.
(d) The board may identify, initiate, and fund new and creative programs to carry out the purposes of this section, utilizing existing organizations, associations, and agencies to carry out such rehabilitation programs and purposes wherever possible.
(e) The board may make gifts or grants:
1. To the State of Florida or any political subdivision thereof, or any public agency of state or local government.
2. To a corporation, trust, association, or foundation organized and operated exclusively for charitable, educational, or scientific purposes.
3. To any citizen who has a documented disability.
4. To the division for purposes of program recognition and marketing, public relations and education, professional development, and technical assistance and workshops for grant applicants and recipients, the business community, and individuals with disabilities or recognized groups organized on their behalf.
(f) The board may advertise and solicit applications for funding and shall evaluate applications and program proposals submitted thereto. Funding shall be awarded only where the evaluation is positive and the proposal meets both the guidelines for use established in subsection (10) and such evaluation criteria as the division may prescribe by rule.
(g) The board shall monitor, review, and annually evaluate funded programs to determine whether funding should be continued, terminated, reduced, or increased.
(h) The board shall establish an operating account as provided in paragraph (4)(d).
(i) The board may take such additional actions, including the hiring of necessary staff, as are deemed necessary and appropriate to administer this section, subject to rules of the division.
(10) DISTRIBUTION OF MONEYS.—The board shall use the moneys in the operating account, by whatever means, to provide for:
(a) Planning, research, and policy development for issues related to the employment and training of disabled citizens, and publication and dissemination of such information as may serve the objectives of this section.
(b) Promotion of initiatives for disabled citizens.
(c) Funding of programs which engage in, contract for, foster, finance, or aid in job training and counseling for disabled citizens or research, education, demonstration, or other activities related thereto.
(d) Funding of programs which engage in, contract for, foster, finance, or aid in activities designed to advance better public understanding and appreciation of the field of vocational rehabilitation.
(e) Funding of programs, property, or facilities which aid, strengthen, and extend in any proper and useful manner the objectives, work, services, and physical facilities of the division, in accordance with the purposes of this section.
(11) ANNUAL AUDIT.—The board shall provide for an annual financial audit of the foundation in accordance with s. 215.981. The identities of donors and prospective donors who desire to remain anonymous shall be protected, and that anonymity shall be maintained in the auditor’s report.
(12) ANNUAL REPORT.—The board shall issue a report to the Governor, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the Commissioner of Education by February 1 each year, summarizing the performance of the endowment fund for the previous fiscal year, summarizing the foundation’s fundraising activities and performance, and detailing those activities and programs supported by the endowment principal or earnings on the endowment principal or by bequests, gifts, grants, donations, and other valued goods and services received.
(13) RULES.—The division shall promulgate rules for the implementation of this section.
(14) REPEAL.—This section is repealed October 1, 2017, unless reviewed and saved from repeal by the Legislature.