Florida Senate - 2016                                     SB 440
       By Senator Abruzzo
       25-00507-16                                            2016440__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to care for retired law enforcement
    3         dogs; creating s. 943.69, F.S.; providing a short
    4         title; defining terms; providing legislative findings;
    5         creating the Care for Retired Law Enforcement Dogs
    6         Program within the Department of Law Enforcement;
    7         requiring the department to contract with a
    8         corporation not for profit to administer and manage
    9         the program; providing requirements for the
   10         corporation not for profit; providing requirements for
   11         the disbursement of funds for the veterinary care of
   12         eligible retired law enforcement dogs; placing an
   13         annual cap on the amount of funds available for the
   14         care of an eligible retired law enforcement dog;
   15         prohibiting a former handler or adopter from receiving
   16         reimbursement if funds are depleted for the year for
   17         which such reimbursement is sought; providing for
   18         administrative fees; requiring the department to adopt
   19         rules; providing an appropriation; providing an
   20         effective date.
   22  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   24         Section 1. Section 943.69, Florida Statutes, is created to
   25  read:
   26         943.69 Care for Retired Law Enforcement Dogs Program.—
   27         (1) SHORT TITLE.—This section may be cited as the “Care for
   28  Retired Law Enforcement Dogs Program Act.”
   29         (2) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
   30         (a) “Law enforcement agency” means a lawfully established
   31  state or local public agency having primary responsibility for
   32  the prevention and detection of crime or the enforcement of the
   33  penal, traffic, highway, regulatory, game, immigration, postal,
   34  customs, or controlled substance laws.
   35         (b) “Retired law enforcement dog” means a dog that was
   36  previously in the service of or employed by a law enforcement
   37  agency in this state for the principal purpose of aiding in the
   38  detection of criminal activity, enforcement of laws, or
   39  apprehension of offenders and that received certification in
   40  obedience and apprehension work from a certifying organization
   41  such as the National Police Canine Association or other
   42  certifying organization.
   43         (c) “Veterinarian” has the same meaning as provided in s.
   44  474.202.
   45         (d) “Veterinary care” means a veterinary medical service
   46  specified in s. 474.202 which is provided by a veterinarian
   47  licensed under chapter 474. The term includes annual wellness
   48  examinations, vaccines, internal and external parasite
   49  prevention treatments, testing and treatment of illnesses and
   50  diseases, medications, emergency care and surgeries, specialty
   51  care such as veterinary oncology, euthanasia, and cremation.
   52         (3) LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS.—The Legislature finds that:
   53         (a) Law enforcement dogs have become an integral part of
   54  many law enforcement efforts statewide, including the
   55  apprehension of suspects through tracking and searching,
   56  evidence location, drug and bomb detection, and search and
   57  rescue operations;
   58         (b) Law enforcement agencies agree that the use of law
   59  enforcement dogs is an extremely cost-effective means of crime
   60  control and that these dogs possess skills and abilities that
   61  frequently exceed those of existing technology;
   62         (c) The service of law enforcement dogs is often dangerous
   63  and can expose them to injury at a rate higher than that of
   64  nonservice dogs; and
   65         (d) Law enforcement dogs provide significant contributions
   66  to the residents of this state.
   67         (4) ESTABLISHMENT OF PROGRAM.-The Care for Retired Law
   68  Enforcement Dogs Program is created within the Department of Law
   69  Enforcement to provide a stable funding source for veterinary
   70  care provided to these dogs.
   71         (5) ADMINISTRATION.—The Department of Law Enforcement shall
   72  contract with a corporation not for profit organized under
   73  chapter 617 to administer and manage the Care for Retired Law
   74  Enforcement Dogs Program. Notwithstanding the competitive sealed
   75  bid procedures required under chapter 287, the department shall
   76  enter into a contract with a corporation not for profit that:
   77         (a) Is dedicated to the protection or care of retired law
   78  enforcement dogs;
   79         (b) Is exempt from taxation under s. 501(a) of the Internal
   80  Revenue Code as an organization described in s. 501(c)(3) of
   81  that code;
   82         (c) Has maintained such tax-exempt status for at least 5
   83  years;
   84         (d) Agrees to be subject to review and audit at the
   85  discretion of the Auditor General in order to ensure accurate
   86  accounting and disbursement of state funds; and
   87         (e) Demonstrates the ability to effectively and efficiently
   88  disseminate information and to assist former handlers and
   89  adopters of retired law enforcement dogs in complying with this
   90  section.
   91         (6) FUNDING.—
   92         (a) The corporation not for profit shall be the disbursing
   93  authority for funds appropriated by the Legislature to the
   94  department for the Care for Retired Law Enforcement Dogs
   95  Program. These funds shall be disbursed upon receipt of:
   96         1. Valid documentation from the law enforcement agency from
   97  which the dog retired which verifies that the dog was in the
   98  service of or employed by such agency; and
   99         2. A valid invoice from a veterinarian for veterinary care
  100  provided in this state to a retired law enforcement dog which is
  101  submitted by the former handler or adopter of a retired law
  102  enforcement dog.
  103         (b) Annual disbursements to a former handler or adopter to
  104  reimburse him or her for the cost of care provided to a retired
  105  law enforcement dog may not exceed $1,500 per dog. A former
  106  handler or adopter of a retired law enforcement dog may not
  107  accumulate unused funds from a current year for use in a future
  108  year.
  109         (c) A former handler or adopter of a retired law
  110  enforcement dog who seeks reimbursement for veterinary services
  111  may not receive reimbursement if funds appropriated for the Care
  112  for Retired Law Enforcement Dogs Program are depleted in the
  113  year for which the reimbursement is sought.
  114         (7) ADMINISTRATIVE FEES.—The corporation not for profit
  115  must receive administrative fees, including salaries and
  116  benefits, of up to 10 percent of appropriated funds.
  117         (8) RULEMAKING AUTHORITY.-The department shall adopt rules
  118  pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement this section.
  119         Section 2. For the 2016-2017 fiscal year, and each fiscal
  120  year thereafter, the sum of $300,000 in recurring funds is
  121  appropriated from the General Revenue Fund to the Department of
  122  Law Enforcement for the purpose of implementing the Care for
  123  Retired Law Enforcement Dogs Program.
  124         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2016.