Florida Senate - 2017 PROPOSED COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE Bill No. SB 1398 Ì7836805Î783680 576-04074-17 Proposed Committee Substitute by the Committee on Appropriations (Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government) 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to the accessibility of places of 3 public accommodation; creating s. 553.5141, F.S.; 4 providing definitions; requiring the Department of 5 Business and Professional Regulation to establish a 6 program to provide for the certification of certain 7 experts; authorizing such experts to advise and 8 provide certain inspections for places of public 9 accommodation relating to the Americans with 10 Disabilities Act; requiring the department to 11 establish certification requirements; authorizing an 12 owner of a place of public accommodation to request a 13 facility to be inspected for specified purposes; 14 requiring a certified expert to provide the owner of a 15 place of public accommodation a certification of 16 conformity if the facility conforms to specified 17 provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act; 18 specifying that such certificate is valid for 3 years; 19 specifying that an owner of a place of public 20 accommodation may submit a remediation plan to the 21 department under certain circumstances; providing that 22 a remediation plan is only valid for a certain period 23 of time; requiring a court to consider certain 24 information in specified actions; requiring the 25 department to develop and maintain a website for 26 specified purposes; requiring the department to adopt 27 rules; providing an appropriation; providing an 28 effective date. 29 30 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 31 32 Section 1. Section 553.5141, Florida Statutes, is created 33 to read: 34 553.5141 Americans with Disabilities Act; certification of 35 experts.— 36 (1) For purposes of this section: 37 (a) “Certified expert” means a person certified by the 38 department under subsection (2). 39 (b) “Commerce” means communication, trade, traffic, 40 transportation, or travel: 41 1. Among the several states; 42 2. Between any foreign country or any territory or 43 possession and any state; or 44 3. Between points in the same state but through another 45 state or foreign country. 46 (c) “Department” means the Department of Business and 47 Professional Regulation. 48 (d) “Facility” means all or any portion of buildings, 49 complexes, equipment, parking lots, passageways, roads, rolling 50 stock or other conveyances, sites, structures, walks, or other 51 real or personal property, including the site where the 52 building, equipment, property, or structure is located. 53 (e) “Place of public accommodation” means a facility 54 operated by a private entity whose operations affect commerce 55 and is a private entity as described in 42 U.S.C. s. 12181(7). 56 (f) “Private entity” means any nongovernmental entity, such 57 as a company or nonprofit organization, corporation, 58 partnership, any other legal entity, or any natural person. 59 (g) “Registry” means the registry of certified experts and 60 of remediation plans filed by places of public accommodation and 61 maintained by the department. 62 (2)(a) The department shall establish a program to provide 63 certification for experts who have sufficient experience, 64 knowledge, or training to advise places of public accommodation 65 regarding the compliance guidelines applicable to places of 66 public accommodation under subchapter III of the Americans with 67 Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. s. 12182. The certified experts may 68 provide inspections of places of public accommodation to 69 determine if barriers to access are present in the facility 70 within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. s. 12182 and the applicable 71 regulations interpreting that chapter. 72 (b) The department shall establish requirements for experts 73 to qualify for certification under this section. 74 (3)(a) An owner of a place of public accommodation may 75 request that a facility be inspected by a certified expert. 76 However, use of an expert certified under this section is not 77 required. 78 (b) If a place of public accommodation conforms to 79 subchapter III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the 80 certified expert must provide the owner with a certification of 81 conformity which is valid for 3 years after the date of 82 issuance. 83 (c) If a place of public accommodation does not conform to 84 subchapter III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the owner 85 may submit a remediation plan to the department which includes: 86 1. The date the place of public accommodation was 87 inspected. 88 2. The name of the certified expert or other person who 89 inspected the place of public accommodation. 90 3. Identification of specific remedial measures that the 91 place of public accommodation will undertake. 92 4. The anticipated dates of initiation and completion for 93 each remedial measure that the place of public accommodation has 94 agreed to undertake. 95 (d) A remediation plan submitted under paragraph (c) is 96 only valid for 10 years after its submission to the department. 97 (e) In any action brought in this state alleging a 98 violation of subchapter III of the Americans with Disabilities 99 Act, 42 U.S.C. s. 12182, the courts shall consider any 100 remediation plan filed by the place of public accommodation 101 before the filing of the plaintiff’s complaint in determining if 102 the plaintiff’s complaint was filed in good faith and if the 103 plaintiff is entitled to attorney fees and costs. 104 (4) The department shall develop and maintain on its 105 website, accessible to the public, an electronic registry of 106 certifications of conformity and remediation plans. 107 (5) The department shall adopt rules to administer this 108 section. 109 Section 2. For the 2017-2018 fiscal year, the sums of 110 $5,000 in recurring funds and $155,000 in nonrecurring funds 111 from the Professional Regulation Trust Fund are appropriated to 112 the Department of Business and Professional Regulation for the 113 purpose of implementing this act. 114 Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2017.