Florida Senate - 2013                                     SB 976
       By Senator Sobel
       33-00319C-13                                           2013976__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to senior services; providing a short
    3         title; providing a definition; authorizing each county
    4         to create an independent special district by ordinance
    5         to provide funding for services for seniors; requiring
    6         elector approval to annually levy ad valorem taxes;
    7         requiring the district to comply with statutory
    8         requirements related to levying and fixing millage and
    9         filing financial or compliance reports; providing for
   10         the dissolution of the district; requiring the
   11         governing body of the county to periodically submit to
   12         the electorate the question of retention or
   13         dissolution of the district; creating a governing
   14         council for the district; specifying criteria for
   15         membership to the council; providing terms of office;
   16         requiring the council members to serve without
   17         compensation; specifying the powers and functions of
   18         the council; requiring the council to appoint a chair
   19         and vice chair and elect other officers, identify and
   20         assess the needs of seniors, provide training and
   21         orientation to new members of the council, make and
   22         adopt bylaws and rules for the council’s operation and
   23         governance, and provide an annual report to the county
   24         governing body; authorizing two or more districts to
   25         enter into cooperative agreements; requiring the
   26         council to maintain minutes of each meeting; requiring
   27         the council to prepare a tentative annual budget and
   28         compute a millage rate to fund the district; requiring
   29         that all tax moneys collected be paid directly to the
   30         council by the county tax collector and be deposited
   31         in qualified public depositories; requiring certain
   32         members to file a surety bond; specifying expenditures
   33         of funds; requiring the council to prepare and file
   34         quarterly financial reports with the county governing
   35         body; prohibiting the council from requiring certain
   36         matching funds; providing legislative intent with
   37         respect to the use of funds collected by the council;
   38         providing a directive to the Division of Law Revision
   39         and Information; providing an effective date.
   41  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   43         Section 1. Services for seniors; special district.—
   44         (1) SHORT TITLE.—This section may be cited as the “Florida
   45  Act for Responsible Persons.”
   46         (2) DEFINITION.—As used in this section, the term “senior”
   47  means a person who is at least 65 years of age.
   48         (3) SPECIAL DISTRICT.—Each county may, by ordinance, create
   49  an independent special district, as defined in s. 189.403,
   50  Florida Statutes, to provide countywide funding for senior
   51  services. The boundaries of such district must be coterminous
   52  with the boundaries of the county.
   53         (a) Upon adoption of the ordinance creating the district,
   54  the question of levying ad valorem taxes at a rate of up to 0.5
   55  mills of assessed valuation of all properties subject to ad
   56  valorem taxes within the county, which shall be used to fund the
   57  district, shall be placed on the ballot by the governing body of
   58  the county enacting the ordinance and take effect if approved by
   59  a majority of the electors of the county voting in a referendum
   60  held for such purpose. The ballot for the referendum must
   61  conform to s. 101.161, Florida Statutes.
   62         (b) A district created under this section shall:
   63         1. Levy and fix millage as provided in s. 200.065, Florida
   64  Statutes.
   65         2. Maintain the same fiscal year as the county.
   66         3. Comply with all other statutory requirements of general
   67  application which relate to the filing of any financial or
   68  compliance reports required under part III of chapter 218,
   69  Florida Statutes, or any other report or documentation required
   70  by law, including the requirements of ss. 189.415, 189.417, and
   71  189.418, Florida Statutes.
   72         (c) The district may be dissolved by special act of the
   73  Legislature, or the county governing body may, by ordinance,
   74  dissolve the district subject to approval by a majority of the
   75  electors in the county voting on the issue. The district may
   76  also be dissolved pursuant to s. 189.4042, Florida Statutes.
   77  Before dissolving the district, the county shall obligate itself
   78  to assume the debts, liabilities, contracts, and outstanding
   79  obligations of the district within the total millage available
   80  to the county for all county and municipal purposes as provided
   81  under s. 9, Article VII of the State Constitution.
   82         (d) A referendum by the electorate creating the district
   83  may specify that the district is not subject to reauthorization
   84  or may specify the number of years the initial authorization
   85  remains effective. If the referendum does not prescribe terms of
   86  reauthorization, the governing body of the county shall submit
   87  the question of retention or dissolution to the electorate in
   88  the general election 12 years after the initial authorization.
   89         1.The district council may specify, and submit to the
   90  governing body of the county within 9 months before the
   91  scheduled election, that the district is not subject to
   92  reauthorization or may specify the number of years for which
   93  reauthorization remains effective. If the district council makes
   94  such specification and submission, the governing body of the
   95  county shall include that information in the question submitted
   96  to the electorate. If the district council does not specify and
   97  submit such information, the governing body of the county shall
   98  resubmit the question of reauthorization to the electorate every
   99  12 years after the prior authorization. The district council may
  100  recommend to the governing body of the county language for the
  101  question submitted to the electorate.
  102         2.This paragraph does not preclude the district council
  103  from requesting that the governing body of the county submit the
  104  question of retention or dissolution of a district with voter
  105  approved taxing authority to the electorate at an earlier date.
  106         3. This paragraph does not limit authority to dissolve a
  107  district as provided under paragraph (c).
  108         (e) This section does not prohibit a county from exercising
  109  such power as is provided by general or special law to provide
  110  or fund services for seniors.
  111         (4) COUNCIL MEMBERSHIP.—
  112         (a) The district shall be governed by an 11-member council
  113  consisting of:
  114         1. Four permanent positions representing:
  115         a. The executive director of the area agency on aging, or a
  116  designee who is a director of senior programs in the county.
  117         b. The county director of social services, or a designee
  118  who is a director of services for the elderly.
  119         c. The director of the Adult Protective Services program at
  120  the Department of Children and Families, or a designee.
  121         d. The Deputy Secretary for Statewide Services at the
  122  Department of Health, or a designee who may be the senior
  123  administrator of the county health department.
  124         2. Two members appointed for 2-year terms by a majority of
  125  the county governing body, one of whom shall represent the board
  126  of county commissioners and one of whom shall be the county
  127  representative of the Florida League of Cities.
  128         3. Three members appointed by the Governor and
  129  representing, to the greatest extent possible, the cultural
  130  diversity of the county’s population, of which at least one
  131  member is from the business community and one member is 60 years
  132  of age or older. All members appointed by the Governor must have
  133  been residents of the county during the previous 24 months.
  134         a. Three names shall be submitted to the Governor for each
  135  appointment by the county governing body. The Governor shall
  136  make a selection within 45 days after receipt of the submitted
  137  names or request a new list of candidates.
  138         b. The appointees shall be appointed to 4-year terms and
  139  may be reappointed for one additional term of office. The length
  140  of the terms of the initial appointees shall be adjusted to
  141  stagger the terms.
  142         c. The Governor may remove any of his or her appointees for
  143  cause or upon the written petition of the county governing body.
  144  If any council member appointed by the Governor resigns, dies,
  145  or is removed from office, the vacancy shall be filled by the
  146  Governor, using the same method as the original appointment, and
  147  the new member shall be appointed for the remainder of the
  148  unexpired term.
  149         4. One member appointed by the President of the Senate.
  150         5. One member appointed by the Speaker of the House of
  151  Representatives.
  152         (b) Members of the council shall serve without
  153  compensation.
  154         (5) COUNCIL DUTIES.—
  155         (a) The council shall:
  156         1. Immediately after the members are appointed, elect a
  157  chair and vice chair from among its members and elect other
  158  officers as deemed necessary by the council.
  159         2. Immediately after the officers are elected, identify and
  160  assess the needs of seniors within the county and submit a
  161  written report to the county governing body which describes:
  162         a. The activities, services, and opportunities that will be
  163  provided to seniors.
  164         b. The manner in which seniors will be served, including a
  165  description of arrangements and agreements that will be made
  166  with community organizations, state and local educational
  167  agencies, federal agencies, public assistance agencies, the
  168  court system, guardianship groups, and other applicable public
  169  and private agencies and organizations.
  170         c. The anticipated schedule for providing those activities,
  171  services, and opportunities.
  172         d. The special outreach efforts that will be undertaken to
  173  provide services to seniors who are at risk, abused, neglected,
  174  or ailing.
  175         e. The manner in which the council will seek and obtain
  176  funding for unmet needs.
  177         f. The strategy for interagency coordination in order to
  178  maximize existing human and fiscal resources.
  179         3. Provide training and orientation to all new members to
  180  allow them to perform their duties.
  181         4. Make and adopt bylaws and rules for the council’s
  182  guidance, operation, governance, and maintenance which are
  183  consistent with applicable federal or state laws or county
  184  ordinances.
  185         5. Provide an annual written report, to be presented by
  186  January 1, to the county governing body. At a minimum, the
  187  annual report must include:
  188         a. Information on the effectiveness of activities,
  189  services, and programs offered by the district, including, but
  190  not limited to, cost-effectiveness.
  191         b. A detailed anticipated budget for the continuation of
  192  activities, services, and programs offered by the district and a
  193  list of all sources of funding.
  194         c. Procedures used for the early identification of at-risk
  195  seniors who need additional or continued services, and methods
  196  for ensuring that the additional or continued services are
  197  received.
  198         d. A description of the degree to which the district’s
  199  objectives and activities are meeting the goals of this section.
  200         e. Detailed information on the district’s various programs,
  201  services, and activities available to seniors.
  202         f. Information on district programs, services, and
  203  activities that should be eliminated; programs, services, and
  204  activities that should be continued; and programs, services, and
  205  activities that should be added to the basic responsibilities of
  206  the district.
  207         (b) The council may:
  208         1. Provide and maintain in the county the preventive,
  209  developmental, treatment, rehabilitative, and other services
  210  which the council determines are needed for the general welfare
  211  of seniors.
  212         2. Allocate and provide funds to other county agencies that
  213  operate for the benefit of seniors.
  214         3. Collect information and statistical data and conduct
  215  research and assessments that are helpful to the council and the
  216  county in determining the needs of seniors in the county.
  217         4. Consult and coordinate with other agencies providing
  218  services dedicated to the welfare of seniors in order to prevent
  219  the duplication of services.
  220         5. Seek grants from state, federal, and local agencies and
  221  accept donations from all sources.
  222         6. Lease or buy real estate, equipment, and personal
  223  property and construct buildings as needed to carry out the
  224  powers, functions, and duties of the district, except that such
  225  purchases may not be made or buildings constructed unless paid
  226  for with cash on hand or secured by funds deposited in a
  227  financial institution.
  228         7. Employ, pay, and provide benefits for any part-time or
  229  full-time personnel needed to carry out the powers, functions,
  230  and duties of the district.
  231         (c) Two or more districts may enter into a cooperative
  232  agreement to:
  233         1. Share administrative costs, including staff and office
  234  space if a more efficient or effective operation will result.
  235  The cooperative agreement must include provisions for
  236  apportioning costs between the districts, keeping separate and
  237  distinct financial records for each district, and resolving any
  238  conflicts that might arise under the agreement.
  239         2. Seek grants, accept donations, or jointly fund programs
  240  serving multicounty areas. The cooperative agreement must
  241  include provisions for the adequate accounting of separate and
  242  joint funds.
  243         (d) The council shall maintain minutes of each meeting,
  244  including a record of all votes cast, and make such minutes
  245  available to any interested person.
  246         (6) DISTRICT BUDGET.—
  247         (a) On or before July 1 of each year, the council shall,
  248  pursuant to s. 189.418, Florida Statutes, prepare a tentative
  249  annual budget of the district’s expected income and
  250  expenditures, including a contingency fund. In addition, the
  251  council shall compute a proposed millage rate of up to 0.5 mills
  252  of assessed value, as necessary to fund the tentative budget.
  253  The council must comply with s. 200.065, Florida Statutes.
  254         (b) After the district’s budget is certified and delivered
  255  to the county governing body, the budget may not be changed or
  256  modified by the governing body or any other authority.
  257         (c) As soon after collection as is reasonably practicable,
  258  all taxes collected under this section shall be paid directly to
  259  the district by the county’s revenue-collection entity.
  260         (d) All moneys received by the district shall be deposited
  261  into qualified public depositories, as defined in s. 280.02,
  262  Florida Statutes, with separate and distinguishable accounts
  263  established specifically for the district, and may be withdrawn
  264  only by checks signed by the chair of the council and
  265  countersigned by one other member of the council or by a chief
  266  executive officer authorized by the council.
  267         1. Upon taking office, the chair and the other member of
  268  the council or chief executive officer authorized to sign checks
  269  shall each file a surety bond in the sum of at least $1,000 for
  270  each $1 million, or portion of such amount, of the district’s
  271  annual budget, which shall be conditioned upon the faithful
  272  discharge of the duties of his or her office. The premium on
  273  such bond may be paid by the district as part of the expenses of
  274  the council. Other members of the council are not required to
  275  give bond or other security.
  276         2. Funds of the district may not be expended except by
  277  check, except for expenditures of up to $100, which may be made
  278  from a petty cash account. All expenditures from petty cash must
  279  be recorded on the books and records of the council. District
  280  funds, except expenditures from petty cash, may not be expended
  281  without prior approval of the council, in addition to the
  282  budgeting of such funds.
  283         (e) Within 10 business days after the expiration of each
  284  annual quarter, the council shall prepare and file with the
  285  county governing body a financial report that includes:
  286         1. The council’s total expenditures for the quarter.
  287         2. The council’s total receipts during the quarter.
  288         3. A statement of the funds the council has on hand, has
  289  invested, or has deposited at the end of the quarter.
  290         4. The council’s total administrative costs for the
  291  quarter.
  292         (f) The council may not require any service provider to
  293  provide additional matching funds as a condition of providing
  294  district services or programs to seniors.
  295         (g) It is the intent of the Legislature that the funds
  296  collected pursuant to this section be used to support
  297  improvements in services for seniors and that such funds not be
  298  used as a substitute for existing resources or for resources
  299  that would otherwise be available for such services.
  300         Section 2. The Division of Law Revision and Information is
  301  requested to place the provisions of section 1 of this act into
  302  part V of chapter 125, Florida Statutes, and to appropriately
  303  retitle that part.
  304         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2013.