Florida Senate - 2017 SB 10 By Senator Bradley 5-00174A-17 201710__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to water resources; amending s. 3 201.15, F.S.; revising the requirements under which 4 certain bonds may be issued; amending s. 215.618, 5 F.S.; providing an exception to the requirement that 6 bonds issued for acquisition and improvement of land, 7 water areas, and related property interests and 8 resources be deposited into the Florida Forever Trust 9 Fund and distributed in a specified manner; creating 10 s. 373.4598, F.S.; providing legislative findings and 11 intent; defining terms; requiring the South Florida 12 Water Management District to seek proposals from 13 willing sellers of property within the Everglades 14 Agricultural Area for land that is suitable for the 15 reservoir project; clarifying that all appraisal 16 reports, offers, and counteroffers are confidential 17 and exempt from public records requirements; requiring 18 the district to assign the Entire Option Property Non 19 Exclusive Option of a specified agreement to the Board 20 of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund 21 under certain circumstances; requiring the district to 22 retain the agreement’s option under certain 23 circumstances; requiring the board or the district, as 24 applicable, to exercise the specified option by a 25 certain date under certain circumstances; providing 26 requirements for the Proposed Option Property Purchase 27 Price; authorizing the disposal or exchange of certain 28 land or interests in land for certain purposes; 29 requiring the district to begin, seek permitting for, 30 and construct the reservoir project under certain 31 circumstances; requiring the district, in coordination 32 with the United States Army Corps of Engineers, to 33 begin the planning study for the reservoir project by 34 a specified date under certain circumstances; 35 requiring the district to identify specified lands 36 under certain circumstances; providing requirements 37 for the planning study; requiring the district, in 38 coordination with the United States Army Corps of 39 Engineers, to seek Congressional authorization for the 40 reservoir project under certain circumstances; 41 authorizing certain costs to be funded using Florida 42 Forever bond proceeds under certain circumstances; 43 specifying how such bond proceeds shall be deposited; 44 authorizing the use of state funds for the reservoir 45 project; requiring the district to seek additional 46 sources of funding; requiring the district to seek 47 federal credits under certain circumstances; requiring 48 the district to request the United States Army Corps 49 of Engineers, in the Corps’ review of the regulation 50 schedule, to consider any increase in southern outlet 51 capacity of Lake Okeechobee; amending s. 375.041, 52 F.S.; increasing the minimum annual funding for 53 certain Everglades projects under specified 54 circumstances; requiring the district and the board to 55 notify the Division of Law Revision and Information by 56 a certain date of specified land acquisitions; 57 providing a directive to the division; providing 58 contingent appropriations; providing effective dates, 59 one of which is contingent. 60 61 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 62 63 Section 1. Paragraph (a) of subsection (3) of section 64 201.15, Florida Statutes, is amended to read: 65 201.15 Distribution of taxes collected.—All taxes collected 66 under this chapter are hereby pledged and shall be first made 67 available to make payments when due on bonds issued pursuant to 68 s. 215.618 or s. 215.619, or any other bonds authorized to be 69 issued on a parity basis with such bonds. Such pledge and 70 availability for the payment of these bonds shall have priority 71 over any requirement for the payment of service charges or costs 72 of collection and enforcement under this section. All taxes 73 collected under this chapter, except taxes distributed to the 74 Land Acquisition Trust Fund pursuant to subsections (1) and (2), 75 are subject to the service charge imposed in s. 215.20(1). 76 Before distribution pursuant to this section, the Department of 77 Revenue shall deduct amounts necessary to pay the costs of the 78 collection and enforcement of the tax levied by this chapter. 79 The costs and service charge may not be levied against any 80 portion of taxes pledged to debt service on bonds to the extent 81 that the costs and service charge are required to pay any 82 amounts relating to the bonds. All of the costs of the 83 collection and enforcement of the tax levied by this chapter and 84 the service charge shall be available and transferred to the 85 extent necessary to pay debt service and any other amounts 86 payable with respect to bonds authorized before January 1, 2017, 87 secured by revenues distributed pursuant to this section. All 88 taxes remaining after deduction of costs shall be distributed as 89 follows: 90 (3) Amounts on deposit in the Land Acquisition Trust Fund 91 shall be used in the following order: 92 (a) Payment of debt service or funding of debt service 93 reserve funds, rebate obligations, or other amounts payable with 94 respect to Florida Forever bonds issued pursuant to s. 215.618. 95 The amount used for such purposes may not exceed $300 million in 96 each fiscal year. It is the intent of the Legislature that all 97 bonds issued to fund the Florida Forever Act be retired by 98 December 31, 2040. Except for bonds issued to refund previously 99 issued bonds, no series of bonds may be issued pursuant to this 100 paragraph unless such bonds are approved and the debt service 101 for the remainder of the fiscal year in which the bonds are 102 issued is specifically appropriated in the General 103 Appropriations Act or other law with respect to bonds issued for 104 the purposes of s. 373.4598. 105 106 Bonds issued pursuant to s. 215.618 or s. 215.619 are equally 107 and ratably secured by moneys distributable to the Land 108 Acquisition Trust Fund. 109 Section 2. Subsection (5) of section 215.618, Florida 110 Statutes, is amended to read: 111 215.618 Bonds for acquisition and improvement of land, 112 water areas, and related property interests and resources.— 113 (5) The proceeds from the sale of bonds issued pursuant to 114 this section, less the costs of issuance, the costs of funding 115 reserve accounts, and other costs with respect to the bonds, 116 shall be deposited into the Florida Forever Trust Fund. The bond 117 proceeds deposited into the Florida Forever Trust Fund shall be 118 distributed by the Department of Environmental Protection as 119 provided in s. 259.105. This subsection does not apply to 120 proceeds from the sale of bonds issued for the purposes of s. 121 373.4598. 122 Section 3. Section 373.4598, Florida Statutes, is created 123 to read: 124 373.4598 Reservoir project in the Everglades Agricultural 125 Area.— 126 (1) LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS AND INTENT.— 127 (a) The Legislature declares that an emergency exists 128 regarding the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries due to the 129 harmful freshwater discharges east and west of the lake. Such 130 discharges have manifested in widespread algae blooms, public 131 health impacts, and extensive environmental harm to wildlife and 132 the aquatic ecosystem. These conditions threaten the ecological 133 integrity of the estuaries and the economic viability of the 134 state and affected communities. 135 (b) The Legislature finds that the acquisition of 136 strategically located lands south of the lake and the 137 construction of the reservoir project will increase the 138 availability of water storage and reduce the harmful freshwater 139 discharges. Additionally, water storage south of the lake will 140 increase the availability of water for the Everglades and to 141 meet irrigation demands for the Everglades Agricultural Area; 142 restore the hydrological connection to the Everglades; and 143 provide flood protection by reducing, through additional storage 144 capacity, some of the demands on the Herbert Hoover Dike. 145 (c) The Legislature recognizes that the reservoir project 146 is authorized in the Water Resources Development Act of 2000 as 147 a project component of CERP. Unless other funding is available, 148 the Legislature directs the district in implementation of the 149 reservoir project to abide by applicable state and federal law 150 in order to do that which is required to obtain federal credit 151 under CERP. If the district implements the reservoir project as 152 a project component as defined in s. 373.1501, the district must 153 abide by all applicable state and federal law relating to such 154 projects. 155 (d) Nothing in this section is intended to diminish the 156 commitments made by the state in chapter 2016-201, Laws of 157 Florida. 158 (2) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term: 159 (a) “Agreement” means the Second Amended and Restated 160 Agreement for Sale and Purchase between the United States Sugar 161 Corporation, SBG Farms, Inc., Southern Garden Groves 162 Corporation, and the South Florida Water Management District, 163 dated August 12, 2010. 164 (b) “Board” means the Board of Trustees of the Internal 165 Improvement Trust Fund. 166 (c) “Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan” or “CERP” 167 has the same meaning as the term “comprehensive plan” as defined 168 in s. 373.470. 169 (d) “District” means the South Florida Water Management 170 District. 171 (e) “Everglades Agricultural Area” or “EAA” has the same 172 meaning as provided in s. 373.4592. 173 (f) “Lake” means Lake Okeechobee. 174 (g) “Reservoir project” means a project to construct one or 175 two above-ground reservoirs that have a total water storage 176 capacity of approximately 360,000 acre-feet and are located in 177 the EAA. 178 (3) LAND ACQUISITION.—The Legislature declares that 179 acquiring land for the reservoir project is in the public 180 interest and that the governing board of the district and the 181 board may acquire fee title for the purpose of implementing the 182 reservoir project. 183 (a) Upon the effective date of this act, the district shall 184 seek proposals from willing sellers of property within the 185 Everglades Agricultural Area in order to acquire approximately 186 60,000 acres of land that is suitable for the reservoir project. 187 All appraisal reports, offers, and counteroffers are 188 confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1), as provided in s. 189 373.139. 190 (b) If the district does not acquire land pursuant to 191 paragraph (a) by December 31, 2017: 192 1. The district must assign, by January 31, 2018, the 193 agreement’s Entire Option Property Non-Exclusive Option to the 194 board, as authorized in, and in accordance with, the agreement. 195 If, for any reason, the Seller, as defined in the agreement, 196 does not find the assignment to be reasonably acceptable in form 197 and substance, the district must retain the Entire Option 198 Property Non-Exclusive Option; and 199 2. The board or the district, whichever holds the option, 200 must, by March 1, 2018, exercise the option in accordance with 201 the agreement. The Buyer’s Proposed Option Property Purchase 202 Price, as specified in the agreement, may not be less than the 203 average of $7,400 per acre, unless the maximum offer allowed by 204 law is less than the average of $7,400 per acre. 205 3. The board or the district, if applicable, may dispose of 206 or exchange any land or lease interest in the land that is 207 acquired pursuant to this paragraph in order to achieve optimal 208 siting for the reservoir project or to dispose of land that is 209 not necessary for the reservoir project. Any such exchange or 210 disposition may not be in violation of the agreement. 211 (4) DESIGN, PERMITTING, AND CONSTRUCTION.—If the district 212 finds willing sellers of property pursuant to paragraph (3)(a), 213 the district: 214 (a) Once the land has been agreed upon for purchase, must 215 immediately begin the reservoir project with the goal of 216 providing adequate water storage and conveyance south of the 217 lake to reduce the volume of regulatory discharges of water from 218 the lake to the east and west; and 219 (b) Once the land is acquired, must expeditiously pursue 220 necessary permitting and begin implementation and construction 221 of the reservoir project as soon as practicable. 222 (5) PLANNING STUDY.— 223 (a) If land is acquired pursuant to paragraph (3)(a) and 224 other funding is not available, the district must, in 225 coordination with the United States Army Corps of Engineers, 226 begin the planning study for the reservoir project by March 1, 227 2018. 228 (b) If land is not acquired pursuant to paragraph (3)(a) by 229 December 31, 2017, the district must, in coordination with the 230 United States Army Corps of Engineers, begin the planning study 231 for the reservoir project by October 1, 2019. 232 1. If land is acquired pursuant to paragraph (3)(b), the 233 district must identify which of the acquired land is suitable 234 for the reservoir project. 235 2. If land is not acquired pursuant to paragraph (3)(b), 236 the district must identify land that is suitable for the 237 reservoir project and the best option for securing such land. 238 (c) The district, when developing the planning study, must 239 focus on the goal of the reservoir project, which is to provide 240 adequate water storage and conveyance south of the lake to 241 reduce the volume of regulatory discharges of water from the 242 lake to the east and west. 243 (d) Upon completion of the planning study and the 244 finalization of the project implementation report, as defined in 245 s. 373.470, the district, in coordination with the United States 246 Army Corps of Engineers, shall seek Congressional authorization 247 for the reservoir project. 248 (6) FUNDING.— 249 (a) Pursuant to s. 11(e), Art. VII of the State 250 Constitution, state bonds are authorized under this section to 251 finance or refinance the acquisition and improvement of land, 252 water areas, and related property interests and resources for 253 the purposes of conservation, outdoor recreation, water resource 254 development, restoration of natural systems, and historic 255 preservation. In accordance with s. 17, Art. X of the State 256 Constitution, funds deposited into the Everglades Trust Fund may 257 be expended for the purposes of conservation and protection of 258 natural resources in the Everglades Protection Area and the 259 Everglades Agricultural Area. 260 (b) Any cost related to this section, including, but not 261 limited to, the costs for land acquisition, construction, and 262 operation and maintenance, may be funded using proceeds from 263 Florida Forever bonds issued under s. 215.618, as authorized 264 under that section. The Legislature determines that the 265 authorization and issuance of such bonds is in the best interest 266 of the state and determines that the reservoir project should be 267 implemented. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, 268 proceeds from the sale of such bonds, less the costs of 269 issuance, the costs of funding reserve accounts, and other costs 270 with respect to the bonds, shall be deposited in the following 271 manner: 272 1. If land is acquired pursuant to paragraph (3)(a), the 273 amount of up to $800 million in bond proceeds in the 2017-2018 274 fiscal year to the Everglades Trust Fund for the purposes of 275 this section, and the amount of up to $400 million in bond 276 proceeds in the 2018-2019 fiscal year to the Everglades Trust 277 Fund for the purposes of this section; or 278 2. If land is acquired pursuant to paragraph (3)(b), the 279 amount of up to $1.2 billion in bond proceeds in the 2018-2019 280 fiscal year to the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement 281 Trust Fund, or the Everglades Trust Fund, if applicable, to be 282 used for the purposes of this section. 283 (c) Notwithstanding s. 373.026(8)(b) or any other provision 284 of law, the use of state funds is authorized for the reservoir 285 project. 286 (d) The district shall actively seek additional sources of 287 funding, including federal funding, for the reservoir project. 288 (e) If the reservoir project receives Congressional 289 authorization, the district must seek applicable federal credits 290 toward the state’s share of funding the land acquisition and 291 implementation of the reservoir project. 292 (7) LAKE OKEECHOBEE REGULATION SCHEDULE.—The district shall 293 request that the United States Army Corps of Engineers include 294 in its evaluation of the regulation schedule for the lake any 295 increase in outlet capacity south of the lake which offsets the 296 harmful freshwater discharges to the St. Lucie and 297 Caloosahatchee estuaries. 298 Section 4. Effective January 1, 2019, and contingent upon 299 the failure of the district or board to acquire land by November 300 30, 2018, pursuant to section 373.4598(3)(a) or (b), Florida 301 Statutes, subsection (3) of section 375.041, Florida Statutes, 302 is amended to read: 303 375.041 Land Acquisition Trust Fund.— 304 (3) Funds distributed into the Land Acquisition Trust Fund 305 pursuant to s. 201.15 shall be applied: 306 (a) First, to pay debt service or to fund debt service 307 reserve funds, rebate obligations, or other amounts payable with 308 respect to Florida Forever bonds issued under s. 215.618; and 309 pay debt service, provide reserves, and pay rebate obligations 310 and other amounts due with respect to Everglades restoration 311 bonds issued under s. 215.619; and 312 (b) Of the funds remaining after the payments required 313 under paragraph (a), but before funds may be appropriated, 314 pledged, or dedicated for other uses: 315 1. A minimum of the lesser of 30
25percent or $250 $200316 million shall be appropriated annually for Everglades projects 317 that implement the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan as 318 set forth in s. 373.470, including the Central Everglades 319 Planning Project subject to Congressional authorization; the 320 Long-Term Plan as defined in s. 373.4592(2); and the Northern 321 Everglades and Estuaries Protection Program as set forth in s. 322 373.4595. From these funds, $32 million shall be distributed 323 each fiscal year through the 2023-2024 fiscal year to the South 324 Florida Water Management District for the Long-Term Plan as 325 defined in s. 373.4592(2). After deducting the $32 million 326 distributed under this subparagraph, from the funds remaining, a 327 minimum of the lesser of 80 76.5percent or $150 $100million 328 shall be appropriated each fiscal year through the 2025-2026 329 fiscal year for the planning, design, engineering, and 330 construction of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan as 331 set forth in s. 373.470, including the Everglades Agricultural 332 Area Storage Reservoir, component G, and including the Central 333 Everglades Planning Project subject to Congressional 334 authorization. The Department of Environmental Protection and 335 the South Florida Water Management District shall give 336 preference to those Everglades restoration projects that reduce 337 harmful discharges of water from Lake Okeechobee to the St. 338 Lucie or Caloosahatchee estuaries in a timely manner. For the 339 purpose of performing the calculation provided in this 340 subparagraph, the amount of debt service paid pursuant to 341 paragraph (a) for bonds issued after July 1, 2016, for the 342 purposes set forth under paragraph (b) shall be added to the 343 amount remaining after the payments required under paragraph 344 (a). The amount of the distribution calculated shall then be 345 reduced by an amount equal to the debt service paid pursuant to 346 paragraph (a) on bonds issued after July 1, 2016, for the 347 purposes set forth under this subparagraph. 348 2. A minimum of the lesser of 7.6 percent or $50 million 349 shall be appropriated annually for spring restoration, 350 protection, and management projects. For the purpose of 351 performing the calculation provided in this subparagraph, the 352 amount of debt service paid pursuant to paragraph (a) for bonds 353 issued after July 1, 2016, for the purposes set forth under 354 paragraph (b) shall be added to the amount remaining after the 355 payments required under paragraph (a). The amount of the 356 distribution calculated shall then be reduced by an amount equal 357 to the debt service paid pursuant to paragraph (a) on bonds 358 issued after July 1, 2016, for the purposes set forth under this 359 subparagraph. 360 3. The sum of $5 million shall be appropriated annually 361 each fiscal year through the 2025-2026 fiscal year to the St. 362 Johns River Water Management District for projects dedicated to 363 the restoration of Lake Apopka. This distribution shall be 364 reduced by an amount equal to the debt service paid pursuant to 365 paragraph (a) on bonds issued after July 1, 2016, for the 366 purposes set forth in this subparagraph. 367 Section 5. The South Florida Water Management District and 368 the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund 369 shall notify the Division of Law Revision and Information no 370 later than December 1, 2018, whether they have acquired land 371 pursuant to s. 373.4598, Florida Statutes. 372 Section 6. The Division of Law Revision and Information is 373 directed to replace the phrase “the effective date of this act” 374 wherever it occurs in this act with the date the act becomes a 375 law. 376 Section 7. Contingent upon bonds being issued for the 377 purposes of s. 373.4598, Florida Statutes, and if land is 378 acquired pursuant to s. 373.4598(3)(a), Florida Statutes, the 379 sum of $64,000,000 in recurring funds from the Land Acquisition 380 Trust Fund is appropriated for the 2017-2018 fiscal year to pay 381 debt service on bonds that implement this act and are issued 382 pursuant to s. 215.618, Florida Statutes. 383 Section 8. Contingent upon bonds being issued for the 384 purposes of s. 373.4598, Florida Statutes, and if land is 385 acquired pursuant to s. 373.4598(3)(a), Florida Statutes, the 386 sum of $36,000,000 in recurring funds from the Land Acquisition 387 Trust Fund is appropriated for the 2018-2019 fiscal year to pay 388 debt service on bonds that implement this act and are issued 389 pursuant to s. 215.618, Florida Statutes. 390 Section 9. Contingent upon bonds being issued for the 391 purposes of s. 373.4598, Florida Statutes, and if land is 392 acquired pursuant to s. 373.4598(3)(b), Florida Statutes, the 393 sum of $100,000,000 in recurring funds from the Land Acquisition 394 Trust Fund is appropriated for the 2018-2019 fiscal year to pay 395 debt service on bonds that implement this act and are issued 396 pursuant to s. 215.618, Florida Statutes. 397 Section 10. Except as otherwise expressly provided in this 398 act, this act shall take effect upon becoming a law.