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The Florida Senate

CS/CS/SB 890 — Direct-Support Organizations

by Appropriations Committee; Education Committee; and Senators Bean and Montford

This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.

Prepared by: Education Committee (ED)

The bill extends the repeal date for the Florida Endowment Foundation for Vocational Rehabilitation (the Able Trust), the direct-support organization (DSO) of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) within the Florida Department of Education (DOE) from October 1, 2017 to October 1, 2019.

The bill increases transparency and oversight of the Able Trust by requiring the DSO to:

  • Account for state and private funds separately.
  • Limit administrative costs to 15 percent of the total estimated expenditures in any calendar year.
  • Publish certain information on The Able Trust’s website, such as a copy of each contract the Able Trust enters into.
  • Hold a competitive solicitation process for any allocation of funds for research, advertising or consulting.

Additionally, the bill:

  • Revises the distribution of proceeds from civil penalties collected by county courts from the Able Trust to the DVR.
  • Removes the Able Trust as the custodial agent for the motorcycle specialty license plates fees and direct funds currently received by the Able Trust to the Grants and Donations Trust Fund of the DVR and other specified entities.
  • Removes the Able Trust as administrator of the James Patrick Memorial Work Incentive Personal Attendant Services and Employment Assistance Program (program) and requires the Florida Association of Centers for Independent Living to administer the program.
  • Reduces program administrative costs from 12 percent to 10 percent of funds provided from fees for motorcycle specialty license plates and the tax collection enforcement diversion program.
  • Requires the program oversight council to submit a report to the Governor, Legislature, and Commissioner of Education by February 1 of each year, which summarizes the performance of the program.
  • Modifies the deadline, from February 1 to December 30, for the board of directors of the Able Trust to submit an annual report to the Governor, Legislature, and the Commissioner of Education and specifies additional information that must be included in the report.

The bill also modifies current law regarding citizen support organizations and DSOs to require that the contract between a CSO or DSO and an agency include a provision for the orderly cessation of operations and reversion to the state any state funds held in trust by the organization within 30 days after the authorizing statute for the DSO is repealed, the contract is terminated, or the DSO is dissolved.

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect July 1, 2017.

Vote: Senate 34-1; House 118-0