Florida Senate - 2012                              CS for SB 412
       By the Committee on Governmental Oversight and Accountability;
       and Senators Bennett and Storms
       585-02799-12                                           2012412c1
    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 or on behalf of or in opposition to
  148  any state or local ballot initiative. This restriction includes,
  149  but is not limited to, a prohibition against publishing or
  150  distributing any statement.
  151         2.The net receipts of the council may not in any part
  152  inure to the benefit of or be distributable to its directors,
  153  its officers, or other private persons, except that the council
  154  may pay reasonable compensation for services rendered by staff
  155  employees and may make payments and distributions in furtherance
  156  of the purposes of this section.
  157         3.Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the council
  158  may not carry on any other activity not permitted to be carried
  159  on by a corporation:
  160         a.That is exempt from federal income tax under s.
  161  501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; or
  162         b.To which charitable contributions are deductible under
  163  s. 170(c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code.
  164         4.Notwithstanding any other statement of the purposes and
  165  responsibilities of the council, the council may not engage in
  166  any activity or exercise any power that is not in furtherance of
  167  its specific and primary purposes.
  168         (4)GOVERNING BOARD.—
  169         (a)The Florida Concrete Masonry Council, Inc., shall be
  170  governed by a board of directors composed of 15 members as
  171  follows:
  172         1. Nine members representing concrete masonry
  173  manufacturers. Of these board members, at least five must be a
  174  representative of a manufacturer that is a member of the Masonry
  175  Association of Florida. These members must be representatives of
  176  concrete masonry manufacturers of various sizes. A manufacturer
  177  may not be represented by more than one member of the board.
  178         2. One member representing the Florida Building Commission.
  179         3. One member representing the Florida Homebuilders
  180  Association.
  181         4. One member having expertise in apprenticeship or
  182  vocational training.
  183         5. Two members who are masonry contractors and who are
  184  members of the Masonry Association of Florida.
  185         6. One member who is not a masonry contractor or
  186  manufacturer or an employee of a masonry contractor or
  187  manufacturer, but who is otherwise a stakeholder in the masonry
  188  industry.
  189         (b)The initial board of directors shall be appointed by
  190  the chair of the commission based on recommendations from the
  191  Masonry Association of Florida. Five of the initial board
  192  members shall be appointed to a 1-year term. Five shall be
  193  appointed for a 2-year term. The remaining board members shall
  194  be appointed for a 3-year term. Thereafter, each member shall be
  195  appointed to serve a 3-year term and may be reappointed to serve
  196  an additional consecutive term. After the initial appointments
  197  are made, each subsequent vacancy must be filled in accordance
  198  with the bylaws of the council. A member may not serve more than
  199  two consecutive terms. A member representing a manufacturer or a
  200  contractor must be employed by a manufacturer or contractor
  201  engaging in the trade or manufacture of concrete masonry
  202  products for at least 5 years immediately preceding the first
  203  day of his or her service on the board. All members of the board
  204  shall serve without compensation. However, the board members are
  205  entitled to reimbursement for per diem and travel expenses
  206  incurred in carrying out the intents and purposes of this
  207  section in accordance with s. 112.061, Florida Statutes.
  208         (c) The council shall elect from its members a chair, vice
  209  chair, and a secretary-treasurer to a 2-year term. The chair of
  210  the board must be a concrete masonry manufacturer.
  211         (d)The council shall provide for its officers through its
  212  bylaws, including the ability to set forth offices and
  213  responsibilities and form committees necessary for the
  214  administration of this section.
  215         (e)If a member of the board is absent for two consecutive,
  216  officially called meetings, the board of directors may declare
  217  that position vacant.
  218         (f) The council shall provide through its bylaws a
  219  mechanism for selecting board members which will require the
  220  council to solicit candidates from throughout the concrete
  221  masonry industry. The mechanism must ensure a fair and equitable
  222  representation on the board of manufacturers of various sizes
  223  and manufacturers from regions throughout the state.
  224         (5)REFERENDUM ON ASSESSMENTS.—All concrete masonry
  225  manufacturers in this state may vote in a referendum to
  226  determine whether the council may levy an assessment of 1 cent
  227  per concrete masonry unit. The referendum shall pose the
  228  question: “Do you approve of authorizing the Florida Concrete
  229  Masonry Council, Inc., to levy an assessment, pursuant to
  230  Florida law, of $0.01 per concrete masonry unit sold by a
  231  manufacturer in this state, to be used for the education of
  232  concrete masonry workers, research, and the promotion of
  233  concrete masonry products? The ballot provided to each
  234  manufacturer must be accompanied with a copy of this section.
  235  The duration of an authorization to levy the assessment may not
  236  exceed 5 years following the date of the approval of the levy
  237  unless reauthorized pursuant to subsection (11).
  238         (a)A referendum held under this section must be conducted
  239  by the Bureau of Economic and Business Research at the
  240  University of Florida by secret ballot in a manner prescribed by
  241  the council and approved by the commission. The council may
  242  solicit and accept contributions to fund costs incurred for the
  243  referendum.
  244         (b)Notice of a referendum to be held under this section
  245  must be given by certified mail to each manufacturer at least 30
  246  days before the referendum is held.
  247         (c)Each manufacturer is entitled to at least one vote plus
  248  one vote for every 10 machine cavities that are owned by the
  249  manufacturer and located in this state 90 days before the date
  250  of the referendum. However, a manufacturer may not have more
  251  than four votes. Proof of identification of the manufacturing of
  252  concrete masonry products and of the number of machine cavities
  253  must be presented before voting.
  254         (d)A simple majority vote shall determine any issue that
  255  requires a referendum under this section.
  257         (a)The council shall:
  258         1.Receive and disburse funds, as prescribed elsewhere in
  259  this section, to be used in administering and implementing this
  260  section.
  261         2.Maintain a permanent record of its business proceedings.
  262         3.Maintain a permanent, detailed record of its financial
  263  dealings.
  264         4.Prepare, for review by the concrete masonry industry in
  265  this state, periodic reports and an annual report for each
  266  fiscal year of its activities, and file the annual report with
  267  the commission.
  268         5.Prepare, for review by the concrete masonry industry in
  269  this state, periodic reports and an annual accounting for each
  270  fiscal year of all receipts and expenditures, and retain a
  271  certified public accountant for this purpose.
  272         6.Appoint a licensed banking institution to serve as the
  273  depository for program funds and handle disbursements of those
  274  funds.
  275         7.Maintain frequent communication with public officers at
  276  the state and national levels, including the commission.
  277         8.Maintain an office in this state.
  278         (b)The council may:
  279         1.Conduct or contract for scientific research with any
  280  accredited university, college, or similar institution, and
  281  enter into other contracts or agreements that will aid in
  282  carrying out the purposes of this section, including contracts
  283  for the purchase or acquisition of facilities or equipment
  284  necessary to carry out the purposes of this section.
  285         2.Disseminate reliable information benefiting the consumer
  286  and the concrete masonry industry.
  287         3.Provide to governmental bodies, on request, information
  288  relating to subjects of concern to the concrete masonry
  289  industry, and act jointly or in cooperation with the state or
  290  Federal Government, and agencies thereof, in the development or
  291  administration of programs that the council considers to be
  292  consistent with the objectives of this section.
  293         4.Sue and be sued as a council without individual
  294  liability of the members for acts of the council when acting
  295  within the scope of the powers of this section and in the manner
  296  prescribed by the laws of this state.
  297         5.Borrow from licensed lending institutions money in
  298  amounts that are not cumulatively greater than 50 percent of the
  299  council’s anticipated annual income.
  300         6.Maintain a financial reserve for emergency use, the
  301  total of which must not exceed 50 percent of the council’s
  302  anticipated annual income.
  303         7.Appoint advisory groups composed of representatives from
  304  organizations, institutions, governments, or businesses related
  305  to or interested in the welfare of the concrete masonry industry
  306  and the end-use consumer.
  307         8.Employ subordinate officers and employees of the
  308  council, prescribe their duties, and fix their compensation and
  309  terms of employment.
  310         9.Cooperate with any local, state, regional, or nationwide
  311  organization or agency engaged in work or activities consistent
  312  with the objectives of the program.
  313         10.Cause any duly authorized agent or representative to
  314  enter upon the premises of any market agency, market agent,
  315  collection agency, or manufacturer and examine or cause to be
  316  examined by the authorized agent only books, papers, and records
  317  that deal with the payment of the assessment provided for in
  318  this section or with the enforcement of this section.
  319         11.Do all other things necessary to further the intent of
  320  this section which are not prohibited by law.
  321         (7) ACCEPTANCE OF GRANTS AND GIFTS.—The council may accept
  322  grants, donations, contributions, or gifts from any source if
  323  the use of such resources is not restricted in any manner that
  324  the council considers to be inconsistent with the objectives of
  325  this section.
  327         (a) The council may make payments to other organizations
  328  for work or services performed which are consistent with the
  329  objectives of the program.
  330         (b) Before making payments described in this subsection,
  331  the council must secure a written agreement that the
  332  organization receiving payment will:
  333         1. Furnish at least annually, or more frequently on request
  334  of the council, written or printed reports of program activities
  335  and reports of financial data that are relative to the council’s
  336  funding of such activities; and
  337         2.Agree to have appropriate representatives attend
  338  business meetings of the council as reasonably requested by the
  339  chair of the council.
  340         (c)The council may require adequate proof of security
  341  bonding on the payments to any individual, business, or other
  342  organization.
  344         (a) Each manufacturer shall assess from the purchaser, at
  345  the time of sale by the manufacturer, the assessment levied by
  346  the council. The amount of the assessment must be separately
  347  stated on all receipts, invoices, or other evidence of sale as
  348  the “Florida Building Sustainability Fee.”
  349         (b) The manufacturer shall collect all such moneys and
  350  forward them quarterly to the council, and the council shall
  351  provide appropriate business forms for the convenience of the
  352  collecting agent in executing this duty.
  353         (c) The council shall maintain within its financial records
  354  a separate accounting of all moneys received under this
  355  subsection. The council shall provide for an annual financial
  356  audit of its accounts and records to be conducted by an
  357  independent certified public accountant pursuant to rules
  358  adopted by the Auditor General under s. 11.45, Florida Statutes.
  359         (d) The assessment is due and payable upon the sale of
  360  concrete masonry units that are produced in this state,
  361  regardless of the location of the purchaser. The assessment
  362  constitutes a personal debt of the manufacturer of concrete
  363  masonry units who collects the assessment or who otherwise owes
  364  the assessment. If a manufacturer fails to remit any properly
  365  due assessment, the council may bring a civil action against the
  366  manufacturer in the circuit court of any county for the
  367  collection thereof, and may add a penalty in the amount of 10
  368  percent of the assessment owed, the cost of enforcing the
  369  collection of the assessment, court costs, and reasonable
  370  attorney’s fees. The action shall be tried and judgment rendered
  371  as in any other cause of action for debts due and payable. All
  372  assessments, penalties, and enforcement costs are due and
  373  payable to the council.
  374         (10) VOTE ON CONTINUING THE ASSESSMENT.—Upon the delivery
  375  by certified mail to the council of petitions that represent at
  376  least 25 percent of the votes allocated under subsection (5) and
  377  that ask, “Shall the assessment authorized by the Concrete
  378  Masonry Products Research, Education, and Promotion Act
  379  continue?” the council shall, within 90 days after the receipt
  380  of the petitions, conduct a referendum to determine whether a
  381  majority of the votes cast in the referendum support the
  382  continuation of the Concrete Masonry Products Research,
  383  Education, and Promotion Act. All signatures must be collected
  384  within a 12-month period. A referendum held under this
  385  subsection may not be held more than one time in a 3-year
  386  period. Before each referendum, votes shall be reallocated using
  387  the method described in subsection (5).
  388         (11) BYLAWS.—The council shall, by September 30, 2012,
  389  adopt bylaws to carry out the intents and purposes of this
  390  section. These bylaws may be amended upon 30-days’ notice to
  391  board members at any regular or special meeting called for this
  392  purpose. The bylaws must conform to the requirements of this
  393  section but may also address any matter not in conflict with the
  394  general laws of this state.
  395         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2012.