Florida Senate - 2012                                     SB 412
       By Senator Bennett
       21-00383-12                                            2012412__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to an assessment on the sale of
    3         masonry units; creating the “Concrete Masonry Products
    4         Research, Education, and Promotion Act”; providing
    5         definitions; creating the Florida Concrete Masonry
    6         Council, Inc., as a nonprofit corporation; authorizing
    7         the council to levy an assessment on the sale of
    8         masonry units by a manufacturer, under certain
    9         circumstances; specifying the powers and duties of the
   10         council; prohibiting the council from participating or
   11         intervening in any political campaign; prohibiting the
   12         council from using any receipt to benefit its
   13         directors, officers, or other private persons;
   14         prohibiting the council from engaging in certain
   15         activities or exercising certain powers; providing for
   16         the appointment of the governing board of the council;
   17         providing that board members serve without
   18         compensation; entitling members to receive
   19         reimbursement for per diem and travel expenses;
   20         authorizing the council to submit a referendum to
   21         manufacturers of masonry units for authorization to
   22         levy an assessment on the sale of concrete masonry
   23         units; providing for the administrative powers and
   24         duties of the council; authorizing the council to
   25         accept grants, donations, contributions, or gifts
   26         under certain circumstances; authorizing the council
   27         to make payments to other organizations under certain
   28         circumstances; requiring that a manufacturer of
   29         concrete masonry products collect the assessment from
   30         a purchaser at the time of sale of a concrete masonry
   31         unit; authorizing the council to initiate legal action
   32         against a manufacturer that fails to remit the
   33         assessment; providing a procedure for manufacturers to
   34         petition for a referendum to continue the assessment;
   35         requiring the council to adopt bylaws; providing an
   36         effective date.
   38         WHEREAS, the Legislature intends to promote the growth of
   39  the concrete masonry industry in this state; to assure the
   40  public that a superior, sustainable construction material is
   41  produced by a skilled and educated workforce; to provide for the
   42  general economic welfare of the state and of the producers,
   43  contractors, and end-use consumers of masonry products; and to
   44  provide the masonry industry of this state with the authority to
   45  establish a self-financed, self-governed program to help
   46  develop, maintain, and expand the state, national, and foreign
   47  markets for masonry products and services that are mined,
   48  manufactured, produced, or processed in this state, NOW,
   51  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   53         Section 1. Concrete Masonry Products Research, Education,
   54  and Promotion Act.—
   55         (1) SHORT TITLE.—This section may be cited as the “Concrete
   56  Masonry Products Research, Education, and Promotion Act.”
   57         (2) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
   58         (a) “Commission” means the Florida Building Commission.
   59         (b)“Concrete masonry products” refers to a broad class of
   60  products, including, but not limited to, concrete masonry units
   61  and hardscape products such as concrete pavers and segmental
   62  retaining wall units that are manufactured on a block machine
   63  using dry-cast concrete.
   64         (c) “Concrete masonry unit” means a concrete masonry
   65  product that is a man-made masonry unit having a nominal width
   66  of 3 inches or greater and manufactured by a block machine using
   67  dry-cast concrete. The term includes, but is not limited to,
   68  gray block, architectural block, concrete brick, concrete
   69  masonry units to be post-tensioned, concrete masonry units to be
   70  surface-bonded, sound wall block, and fence block. The term does
   71  not include concrete veneer units having a width of less than 3
   72  inches, segmental retaining wall units, concrete pavers, clay
   73  brick, clay masonry units, precast panels, cast stone, adhered
   74  manufactured stone masonry veneer, calcium silicate units,
   75  lintels and sills, articulating concrete or revetment block,
   76  autoclave-aerated concrete, and dimension stone.
   77         (d) “Council” means the Florida Concrete Masonry Council,
   78  Inc.
   79         (e) “Machine cavity” means the open space in the mold of a
   80  block machine capable of forming a single masonry unit that has
   81  nominal plan dimensions of 8 inches by 16 inches.
   82         (f) “Manufacturer” means a person engaged in the business
   83  of manufacturing concrete masonry units.
   84         (g) “Masonry unit” means a noncombustible building product
   85  intended to be laid by hand or to be joined using mortar, grout,
   86  surface bonding, post-tensioning, or some combination of these
   87  methods.
   89  PURPOSES.—
   90         (a)There is created the Florida Concrete Masonry Council,
   91  Inc., a nonprofit corporation organized under the laws of this
   92  state and operating as a direct-support organization of the
   93  commission.
   94         (b)The council may levy an assessment of 1 cent per
   95  concrete masonry unit that is produced and sold by a
   96  manufacturer in the state if the imposition of the assessment is
   97  approved by referendum pursuant to subsection (5). The proceeds
   98  of the assessment shall be used to fund the activities of the
   99  council. With respect to the administration of the assessment,
  100  the council shall:
  101         1.Develop, implement, and monitor a collection system for
  102  the assessment which must be administered by an independent
  103  third party.
  104         2.Conduct referenda under subsections (5) and (11).
  105         (c)The council shall:
  106         1.Plan, implement, and conduct programs of education,
  107  promotion, research, and consumer information and industry
  108  information which are designed to strengthen the market position
  109  of the concrete masonry industry in this state and in the
  110  nation, to maintain and expand domestic and foreign markets, and
  111  to expand the uses for concrete masonry products.
  112         2.Use the proceeds of the assessment for the purpose of
  113  funding research, education, promotion, and consumer and
  114  industry information of concrete masonry products in this state
  115  and in the nation.
  116         3.Coordinate research, education, promotion, industry, and
  117  consumer information programs with national programs or programs
  118  of other states.
  119         4.Develop new uses and markets for concrete masonry
  120  products.
  121         5.Develop and improve educational access to individuals
  122  seeking employment in the field of concrete masonry.
  123         6.Develop methods of improving the quality of concrete
  124  masonry products for the purpose of windstorm protection.
  125         7. Develop methods of improving the energy efficiency
  126  attributes of concrete masonry products.
  127         8.Inform and educate the public concerning the
  128  sustainability and economic benefits of concrete masonry
  129  products.
  130         9.Serve as a liaison within the concrete masonry and other
  131  construction industries of the state and elsewhere in matters
  132  that would increase efficiencies that ultimately benefit both
  133  the consumer and the concrete masonry industry.
  134         10.Buy, sell, mortgage, rent, or improve, in any manner
  135  that the council considers expedient, real property or personal
  136  property, or both.
  137         11.Publish and distribute such papers or periodicals as
  138  the board of directors considers necessary to encourage and
  139  accomplish the purposes of the council.
  140         12.Do all other acts necessary or expedient for the
  141  administration of the affairs and attainment of the purposes of
  142  the council.
  143         13.Approve an annual plan, budget, and audit for the
  144  council.
  145         (d)1.The council may not participate or intervene in any
  146  political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any
  147  candidate for public office. This restriction includes, but is
  148  not limited to, a prohibition against publishing or distributing
  149  any statement.
  150         2.The net receipts of the council may not in any part
  151  inure to the benefit of or be distributable to its directors,
  152  its officers, or other private persons, except that the council
  153  may pay reasonable compensation for services rendered by staff
  154  employees and may make payments and distributions in furtherance
  155  of the purposes of this section.
  156         3.Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the council
  157  may not carry on any other activity not permitted to be carried
  158  on by a corporation:
  159         a.That is exempt from federal income tax under s.
  160  501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; or
  161         b.To which charitable contributions are deductible under
  162  s. 170(c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code.
  163         4.Notwithstanding any other statement of the purposes and
  164  responsibilities of the council, the council may not engage in
  165  any activity or exercise any power that is not in furtherance of
  166  its specific and primary purposes.
  167         (4)GOVERNING BOARD.—
  168         (a)The Florida Concrete Masonry Council, Inc., shall be
  169  governed by a board of directors composed of 15 members as
  170  follows:
  171         1. Nine members representing concrete masonry
  172  manufacturers. Of these board members, at least five must be a
  173  representative of a manufacturer that is a member of the Masonry
  174  Association of Florida. These members must be representatives of
  175  concrete masonry manufacturers of various sizes. A manufacturer
  176  may not be represented by more than one member of the board.
  177         2. One member representing the Florida Building Commission.
  178         3. One member representing the Florida Homebuilders
  179  Association.
  180         4. One member having expertise in apprenticeship or
  181  vocational training.
  182         5. Two members who are masonry contractors and who are
  183  members of the Masonry Association of Florida.
  184         6. One member who is not a masonry contractor or
  185  manufacturer or an employee of a masonry contractor or
  186  manufacturer, but who is otherwise a stakeholder in the masonry
  187  industry.
  188         (b)The initial board of directors shall be appointed by
  189  the chair of the commission based on recommendations from the
  190  Masonry Association of Florida. Five of the initial board
  191  members shall be appointed to a 1-year term. Five shall be
  192  appointed for a 2-year term. The remaining board members shall
  193  be appointed for a 3-year term. Thereafter, each member shall be
  194  appointed to serve a 3-year term and may be reappointed to serve
  195  an additional consecutive term. After the initial appointments
  196  are made, each subsequent vacancy must be filled in accordance
  197  with the bylaws of the council. A member may not serve more than
  198  two consecutive terms. A member representing a manufacturer or a
  199  contractor must be employed by a manufacturer or contractor
  200  engaging in the trade or manufacture of concrete masonry
  201  products for at least 5 years immediately preceding the first
  202  day of his or her service on the board. All members of the board
  203  shall serve without compensation. However, the board members are
  204  entitled to reimbursement for per diem and travel expenses
  205  incurred in carrying out the intents and purposes of this
  206  section in accordance with s. 112.061, Florida Statutes.
  207         (c) The council shall elect from its members a chair, vice
  208  chair, and a secretary-treasurer to a 2-year term. The chair of
  209  the board must be a concrete masonry manufacturer.
  210         (d)The council shall provide for its officers through its
  211  bylaws, including the ability to set forth offices and
  212  responsibilities and form committees necessary for the
  213  administration of this section.
  214         (e)If a member of the board is absent for two consecutive,
  215  officially called meetings, the board of directors may declare
  216  that position vacant.
  217         (f) The council shall provide through its bylaws a
  218  mechanism for selecting board members which will require the
  219  council to solicit candidates from throughout the concrete
  220  masonry industry. The mechanism must ensure a fair and equitable
  221  representation on the board of manufacturers of various sizes
  222  and manufacturers from regions throughout the state.
  223         (5)REFERENDUM ON ASSESSMENTS.—All concrete masonry
  224  manufacturers in this state may vote in a referendum to
  225  determine whether the council may levy an assessment of 1 cent
  226  per concrete masonry unit. The referendum shall pose the
  227  question: “Do you approve of authorizing the Florida Concrete
  228  Masonry Council, Inc., to levy an assessment, pursuant to
  229  Florida law, of $0.01 per concrete masonry unit sold by a
  230  manufacturer in this state, to be used for the education of
  231  concrete masonry workers, research, and the promotion of
  232  concrete masonry products? The ballot provided to each
  233  manufacturer must be accompanied with a copy of this section.
  234  The duration of an authorization to levy the assessment may not
  235  exceed 5 years following the date of the approval of the levy
  236  unless reauthorized pursuant to subsection (11).
  237         (a)A referendum held under this section must be conducted
  238  by the Bureau of Economic and Business Research at the
  239  University of Florida by secret ballot in a manner prescribed by
  240  the council and approved by the commission. The council may
  241  solicit and accept contributions to fund costs incurred for the
  242  referendum.
  243         (b)Notice of a referendum to be held under this section
  244  must be given by certified mail to each manufacturer at least 30
  245  days before the referendum is held.
  246         (c)Each manufacturer is entitled to at least one vote plus
  247  one vote for every 10 machine cavities that are owned by the
  248  manufacturer and located in this state 90 days before the date
  249  of the referendum. However, a manufacturer may not have more
  250  than four votes. Proof of identification of the manufacturing of
  251  concrete masonry products and of the number of machine cavities
  252  must be presented before voting.
  253         (d)A simple majority vote shall determine any issue that
  254  requires a referendum under this section.
  256         (a)The council shall:
  257         1.Receive and disburse funds, as prescribed elsewhere in
  258  this section, to be used in administering and implementing this
  259  section.
  260         2.Maintain a permanent record of its business proceedings.
  261         3.Maintain a permanent, detailed record of its financial
  262  dealings.
  263         4.Prepare, for review by the concrete masonry industry in
  264  this state, periodic reports and an annual report for each
  265  fiscal year of its activities, and file the annual report with
  266  the commission.
  267         5.Prepare, for review by the concrete masonry industry in
  268  this state, periodic reports and an annual accounting for each
  269  fiscal year of all receipts and expenditures, and retain a
  270  certified public accountant for this purpose.
  271         6.Appoint a licensed banking institution to serve as the
  272  depository for program funds and handle disbursements of those
  273  funds.
  274         7.Maintain frequent communication with public officers at
  275  the state and national levels, including the commission.
  276         8.Maintain an office in this state.
  277         (b)The council may:
  278         1.Conduct or contract for scientific research with any
  279  accredited university, college, or similar institution, and
  280  enter into other contracts or agreements that will aid in
  281  carrying out the purposes of this section, including contracts
  282  for the purchase or acquisition of facilities or equipment
  283  necessary to carry out the purposes of this section.
  284         2.Disseminate reliable information benefiting the consumer
  285  and the concrete masonry industry.
  286         3.Provide to governmental bodies, on request, information
  287  relating to subjects of concern to the concrete masonry
  288  industry, and act jointly or in cooperation with the state or
  289  Federal Government, and agencies thereof, in the development or
  290  administration of programs that the council considers to be
  291  consistent with the objectives of this section.
  292         4.Sue and be sued as a council without individual
  293  liability of the members for acts of the council when acting
  294  within the scope of the powers of this section and in the manner
  295  prescribed by the laws of this state.
  296         5.Borrow from licensed lending institutions money in
  297  amounts that are not cumulatively greater than 50 percent of the
  298  council’s anticipated annual income.
  299         6.Maintain a financial reserve for emergency use, the
  300  total of which must not exceed 50 percent of the council’s
  301  anticipated annual income.
  302         7.Appoint advisory groups composed of representatives from
  303  organizations, institutions, governments, or businesses related
  304  to or interested in the welfare of the concrete masonry industry
  305  and the end-use consumer.
  306         8.Employ subordinate officers and employees of the
  307  council, prescribe their duties, and fix their compensation and
  308  terms of employment.
  309         9.Cooperate with any local, state, regional, or nationwide
  310  organization or agency engaged in work or activities consistent
  311  with the objectives of the program.
  312         10.Cause any duly authorized agent or representative to
  313  enter upon the premises of any market agency, market agent,
  314  collection agency, or manufacturer and examine or cause to be
  315  examined by the authorized agent only books, papers, and records
  316  that deal with the payment of the assessment provided for in
  317  this section or with the enforcement of this section.
  318         11.Do all other things necessary to further the intent of
  319  this section which are not prohibited by law.
  320         (7) ACCEPTANCE OF GRANTS AND GIFTS.—The council may accept
  321  grants, donations, contributions, or gifts from any source if
  322  the use of such resources is not restricted in any manner that
  323  the council considers to be inconsistent with the objectives of
  324  this section.
  326         (a) The council may make payments to other organizations
  327  for work or services performed which are consistent with the
  328  objectives of the program.
  329         (b) Before making payments described in this subsection,
  330  the council must secure a written agreement that the
  331  organization receiving payment will:
  332         1. Furnish at least annually, or more frequently on request
  333  of the council, written or printed reports of program activities
  334  and reports of financial data that are relative to the council’s
  335  funding of such activities; and
  336         2.Agree to have appropriate representatives attend
  337  business meetings of the council as reasonably requested by the
  338  chair of the council.
  339         (c)The council may require adequate proof of security
  340  bonding on the payments to any individual, business, or other
  341  organization.
  343         (a) Each manufacturer shall assess from the purchaser, at
  344  the time of sale by the manufacturer, the assessment levied by
  345  the council. The amount of the assessment must be separately
  346  stated on all receipts, invoices, or other evidence of sale as
  347  the “Florida Building Sustainability Fee.”
  348         (b) The manufacturer shall collect all such moneys and
  349  forward them quarterly to the council, and the council shall
  350  provide appropriate business forms for the convenience of the
  351  collecting agent in executing this duty.
  352         (c) The council shall maintain within its financial records
  353  a separate accounting of all moneys received under this
  354  subsection. The council shall provide for an annual financial
  355  audit of its accounts and records to be conducted by an
  356  independent certified public accountant pursuant to rules
  357  adopted by the Auditor General under s. 11.45, Florida Statutes.
  358         (d) The assessment is due and payable upon the sale of
  359  concrete masonry units that are produced in this state,
  360  regardless of the location of the purchaser. The assessment
  361  constitutes a personal debt of the manufacturer of concrete
  362  masonry units who collects the assessment or who otherwise owes
  363  the assessment. If a manufacturer fails to remit any properly
  364  due assessment, the council may bring a civil action against the
  365  manufacturer in the circuit court of any county for the
  366  collection thereof, and may add a penalty in the amount of 10
  367  percent of the assessment owed, the cost of enforcing the
  368  collection of the assessment, court costs, and reasonable
  369  attorney’s fees. The action shall be tried and judgment rendered
  370  as in any other cause of action for debts due and payable. All
  371  assessments, penalties, and enforcement costs are due and
  372  payable to the council.
  373         (10) VOTE ON CONTINUING THE ASSESSMENT.—Upon the delivery
  374  by certified mail to the council of petitions that represent at
  375  least 25 percent of the votes allocated under subsection (5) and
  376  that ask, “Shall the assessment authorized by the Concrete
  377  Masonry Products Research, Education, and Promotion Act
  378  continue?” the council shall, within 90 days after the receipt
  379  of the petitions, conduct a referendum to determine whether a
  380  majority of the votes cast in the referendum support the
  381  continuation of the Concrete Masonry Products Research,
  382  Education, and Promotion Act. All signatures must be collected
  383  within a 12-month period. A referendum held under this
  384  subsection may not be held more than one time in a 3-year
  385  period. Before each referendum, votes shall be reallocated using
  386  the method described in subsection (5).
  387         (11) BYLAWS.—The council shall, by September 30, 2012,
  388  adopt bylaws to carry out the intents and purposes of this
  389  section. These bylaws may be amended upon 30-days’ notice to
  390  board members at any regular or special meeting called for this
  391  purpose. The bylaws must conform to the requirements of this
  392  section but may also address any matter not in conflict with the
  393  general laws of this state.
  394         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2012.