2017 Florida Statutes
651.081 Residents’ council.—
(1) Residents living in a facility holding a valid certificate of authority under this chapter have the right of self-organization, the right to be represented by an individual of their own choosing, and the right to engage in concerted activities for the purpose of keeping informed on the operation of the facility that is caring for them or for the purpose of other mutual aid or protection.
(2)(a) Each facility shall establish a residents’ council created for the purpose of representing residents on matters set forth in s. 651.085. The residents’ council shall be established through an election in which the residents, as defined in s. 651.011, vote by ballot, physically or by proxy. If the election is to be held during a meeting, a notice of the organizational meeting must be provided to all residents of the community at least 10 business days before the meeting. Notice may be given through internal mailboxes, communitywide newsletters, bulletin boards, in-house television stations, and other similar means of communication. An election creating a residents’ council is valid if at least 40 percent of the total resident population participates in the election and a majority of the participants vote affirmatively for the council. The initial residents’ council created under this section is valid for at least 12 months. A residents’ organization formalized by bylaws and elected officials must be recognized as the residents’ council under this section and s. 651.085. Within 30 days after the election of a newly elected president or chair of the residents’ council, the provider shall give the president or chair a copy of this chapter and rules adopted thereunder, or direct him or her to the appropriate public website to obtain this information. Only one residents’ council may represent residents before the governing body of the provider as described in s. 651.085(2).
(b) In addition to those matters provided in s. 651.085, a residents’ council shall provide a forum in which a resident may submit issues or make inquiries related to, but not limited to, subjects that impact the general residential quality of life and cultural environment. The residents’ council shall serve as a formal liaison to provide input related to such matters to the appropriate representative of the provider.
(c) The activities of a residents’ council are independent of the provider. The provider is not responsible for ensuring, or for the associated costs of, compliance of the residents’ council with the provisions of this section with respect to the operation of a residents’ council.
(d) A residents’ council shall adopt its own bylaws and governance documents subject to the vote and approval of the residents. The residents’ council shall provide for open meetings when appropriate. The governing documents shall define the manner in which residents may submit an issue to the council and define a reasonable timeframe in which the residents’ council shall respond to a resident submission or inquiry. A residents’ council may include term limits in its governing documents to ensure consistent integration of new leaders. If a licensed facility files for bankruptcy under chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code, 11 U.S.C. chapter 11, the facility, in its required filing of the 20 largest unsecured creditors with the United States Trustee, shall include the name and contact information of a designated resident selected by the residents’ council, and a statement explaining that the designated resident was chosen by the residents’ council to serve as a representative of the residents’ interest on the creditors’ committee, if appropriate.
History.—s. 1, ch. 77-323; s. 251, ch. 79-400; s. 25, ch. 81-292; s. 2, ch. 81-318; s. 3, ch. 83-265; ss. 13, 31, 33, 35, ch. 83-328; s. 12, ch. 93-22; s. 3, ch. 2003-120; s. 9, ch. 2010-202; s. 5, ch. 2015-122.