Florida Senate - 2015 PROPOSED COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE Bill No. CS for SB 1246 Ì8976222Î897622 594-02559-15 Proposed Committee Substitute by the Committee on Fiscal Policy (Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development) 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to individuals with disabilities; 3 requiring the Department of Economic Opportunity, in 4 consultation with other organizations, to create the 5 Florida Unique Abilities Partner program; defining 6 terms; authorizing a business entity to apply to the 7 department for designation; requiring the department 8 to consider nominations of business entities for 9 designation; requiring the department to adopt 10 procedures for application and designation processes; 11 establishing criteria for a business entity to be 12 designated as a Florida Unique Abilities Partner; 13 requiring a business entity to certify that it 14 continues to meet the established criteria for 15 designation each year; requiring the department to 16 remove the designation if a business entity does not 17 submit yearly certification of continued eligibility; 18 authorizing a business entity to discontinue its use 19 of the designation; requiring the department, in 20 consultation with the disability community, to develop 21 a logo for business entities designated as Florida 22 Unique Abilities Program Partners; requiring the 23 department to adopt guidelines and requirements for 24 use of the logo; authorizing the department to allow a 25 designated business entity to display a logo; 26 prohibiting the use of a logo if a business entity 27 does not have a current designation; requiring the 28 department to maintain a website with specified 29 information; requiring the Agency for Persons with 30 Disabilities to provide a link on its website to the 31 department’s website for the Florida Unique Abilities 32 Partner program; requiring the department to provide 33 the Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation 34 with certain information; requiring the department and 35 CareerSource Florida, Inc., to identify employment 36 opportunities posted by employers that receive the 37 Florida Unique Abilities Partner designation on the 38 workforce information system; providing report 39 requirements; requiring the department to adopt rules; 40 providing appropriations; providing an effective date. 41 42 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 43 44 Section 1. Florida Unique Abilities Partner program.— 45 (1) CREATION AND PURPOSE.—The Department of Economic 46 Opportunity shall establish the Florida Unique Abilities Partner 47 program to designate a business entity as a Florida Unique 48 Abilities Partner if the business entity demonstrates 49 commitment, through employment or support, to the independence 50 of individuals who have a disability. The department shall 51 consult with the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, the 52 Division of Vocational Rehabilitation of the Department of 53 Education, the Division of Blind Services of the Department of 54 Education, and CareerSource Florida, Inc., in creating the 55 program. 56 (2) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term: 57 (a) “Department” means the Department of Economic 58 Opportunity. 59 (b) “Individuals who have a disability” means persons who 60 have a physical or intellectual impairment that substantially 61 limits one or more major life activities; persons who have a 62 history or record of such an impairment; or persons who are 63 perceived by others as having such an impairment. 64 (3) DESIGNATION.— 65 (a) A business entity may apply to the department to be 66 designated as a Florida Unique Abilities Partner, based on the 67 business entity’s achievements in at least one of the following 68 categories: 69 1. Employment of individuals who have a disability. 70 2. Contributions to local or national disability 71 organizations. 72 3. Contributions to or the establishment of a program that 73 contributes to the independence of individuals who have a 74 disability. 75 (b) As an alternative to application by a business entity, 76 the department must consider nominations from members of the 77 community where the business entity is located. The nomination 78 must identify the business entity’s achievements in at least one 79 of the categories provided in paragraph (a). 80 (c) The name, location, and contact information of the 81 business entity must be included in the business entity’s 82 application or nomination. 83 (d) The department shall adopt procedures for the 84 application, nomination, and designation processes for the 85 Florida Unique Abilities Partner program. Designation as a 86 Florida Unique Abilities Partner does not establish or involve 87 licensure, does not affect the substantial interests of a party, 88 and does not constitute a final agency action. The Florida 89 Unique Abilities Partner program and designation are not subject 90 to chapter 120, Florida Statutes. 91 (4) ELIGIBILITY AND AWARD.—In determining the eligibility 92 for the designation of a business entity as a Florida Unique 93 Abilities Partner, the department shall consider, at a minimum, 94 the following criteria: 95 (a) For a designation based on an application by a 96 business: 97 1. A business entity must certify that it employs at least 98 one individual who has a disability. Such employees must be 99 residents of this state and must have been employed by the 100 business entity for at least 9 months before the business 101 entity’s application for the designation. The department may not 102 require the employer to provide personally identifiable 103 information about its employees; 104 2. A business entity must certify that it has made 105 contributions to local and national disability organizations or 106 contributions in support of individuals who have a disability. 107 Contributions may be accomplished through financial or in-kind 108 contributions, including employee volunteer hours. Contributions 109 must be documented by providing copies of written receipts or 110 letters of acknowledgment from recipients or donees. A business 111 entity with 100 or fewer employees must make a financial or in 112 kind contribution of at least $1,000, and a business entity with 113 more than 100 employees must make a financial or in-kind 114 contribution of at least $5,000; or 115 3. A business entity must certify that it has established, 116 or has contributed to the establishment of, a program that 117 contributes to the independence of individuals who have a 118 disability. Contributions must be documented by providing copies 119 of written receipts, a summary of the program, program 120 materials, or letters of acknowledgment from program 121 participants or volunteers. A business entity with 100 or fewer 122 employees must make a financial or in-kind contribution of at 123 least $1,000 in the program, and a business entity with more 124 than 100 employees must make a financial or in-kind contribution 125 of at least $5,000. 126 127 A business entity that applies to the department to be 128 designated as a Florida Unique Abilities Partner shall be 129 awarded the designation upon meeting the requirements of this 130 section. 131 (b) For a designation based upon receipt of a nomination of 132 a business entity: 133 1. The department shall determine whether the nominee, 134 based on the information provided by the nominating person or 135 entity, meets the requirements of paragraph (a). The department 136 may request additional information from the nominee. 137 2. If the nominee meets the requirements, the department 138 shall provide notice, including the qualification criteria 139 provided in the nomination, to the nominee regarding the 140 nominee’s eligibility to be awarded a designation as a Florida 141 Unique Abilities Partner. 142 3. The nominee shall be provided 30 days from the receipt 143 of the notice to certify that the information in the notice is 144 true and accurate and accept the nomination; or to decline the 145 nomination. After 30 days, if the nomination has not been 146 accepted, the department may not award the designation. If the 147 nominee accepts the nomination, the department shall award the 148 designation. If the nominee declines the nomination, the 149 department may not award the designation. 150 (5) ANNUAL CERTIFICATION.—After an initial designation as a 151 Florida Unique Abilities Partner, a business entity must certify 152 each year that it continues to meet the criteria for the 153 designation. If a business entity does not submit the yearly 154 certification of continued eligibility, the department shall 155 remove the designation. A business entity may elect to 156 discontinue its use of the designation at any time by notifying 157 the department of such decision. 158 (6) LOGO DEVELOPMENT.— 159 (a) The department, in consultation with members of the 160 disability community, shall develop a logo that identifies a 161 business entity that is designated as a Florida Unique Abilities 162 Partner. 163 (b) The department shall adopt guidelines and requirements 164 for use of the logo, including how the logo may be used in 165 advertising. The department may allow a business entity to 166 display a Florida Unique Abilities Partner logo upon 167 designation. A business entity that has not been designated as a 168 Florida Unique Abilities Partner or has elected to discontinue 169 its designated status may not display the logo. 170 (7) WEBSITE.—The department shall maintain a website for 171 the program. At a minimum, the website must provide: a list of 172 business entities, by county, that currently have the Florida 173 Unique Abilities Partner designation, updated quarterly; 174 information regarding the eligibility requirements for the 175 designation and the method of application or nomination; and 176 best practices for business entities to facilitate the inclusion 177 of individuals who have a disability, updated annually. The 178 website may provide links to the websites of organizations or 179 other resources that will aid business entities to employ or 180 support individuals who have a disability. 181 (8) INTERAGENCY COLLABORATION.— 182 (a) The Agency for Persons with Disabilities shall provide 183 a link on its website to the department’s website for the 184 Florida Unique Abilities Partner program. 185 (b) On a quarterly basis, the department shall provide the 186 Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation with a current 187 list of all businesses that are designated as Florida Unique 188 Abilities Partners. The Florida Tourism Industry Marketing 189 Corporation must consider the Florida Unique Abilities Partner 190 program in the development of marketing campaigns, and 191 specifically in any targeted marketing campaign for individuals 192 who have a disability or their families. 193 (c) The department and CareerSource Florida, Inc., shall 194 identify employment opportunities posted by business entities 195 that currently have the Florida Unique Abilities Partner 196 designation on the workforce information system under s. 197 445.011, Florida Statutes. 198 (9) REPORT.— 199 (a) By January 1, 2016, the department shall provide a 200 report to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the 201 House of Representatives on the status of the implementation of 202 this section, including the adoption of rules, development of 203 the logo, and development of application procedures. 204 (b) Beginning in 2016 and each year thereafter, the 205 department’s annual report required under s. 20.60, Florida 206 Statutes, must describe in detail the progress and use of the 207 program. At a minimum, the report must include the following 208 information for the most recent year: the number of applications 209 and nominations received; the number of nominations accepted and 210 declined; designations awarded; annual certifications; use of 211 information provided under subsection (8); and any other 212 information deemed necessary to evaluate the program. 213 (10) RULES.—The department shall adopt rules to administer 214 this section. 215 Section 2. For the 2015-2016 fiscal year, the sums of 216 $100,000 in recurring funds and $100,000 in nonrecurring funds 217 from the Special Employment Security Administration Trust Fund 218 are appropriated to the Department of Economic Opportunity for 219 the purpose of funding the development, implementation, and 220 administration of the Florida Unique Abilities Partner program 221 created by this act. 222 Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2015.