Florida Senate - 2017              PROPOSED COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE
       Bill No. SB 1398
       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.
   30  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   32         Section 1. Section 553.5141, Florida Statutes, is created
   33  to read:
   34         553.5141Americans 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.