Florida Senate - 2017                        COMMITTEE AMENDMENT
       Bill No. SB 152
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              
                  Comm: RCS            .                                
                  03/14/2017           .                                

       The Committee on Military and Veterans Affairs, Space, and
       Domestic Security (Garcia) recommended the following:
    1         Senate Amendment (with title amendment)
    3         Delete everything after the enacting clause
    4  and insert:
    5         Section 1. Section 295.231, Florida Statutes, is created to
    6  read:
    7         295.231 Veterans Employment Small Business Grant Program.
    8  The Veterans Employment Small Business Grant Program is created
    9  within the Department of Economic Opportunity to be administered
   10  by Florida Is For Veterans, Inc. The purpose of the program is
   11  to stimulate investment in the state’s economy by providing
   12  grants to small businesses that hire and employ honorably
   13  discharged veterans or disabled veterans with service-connected
   14  disabilities.
   15         (1) As used in this section, the term:
   16         (a) “Corporation” means Florida Is For Veterans, Inc.
   17         (b) “Small business” means an independently owned and
   18  operated, for-profit, privately held business that employs 50 or
   19  fewer persons; generates $1 million or less in annual revenue;
   20  and has maintained its principal place of business in this state
   21  for at least the previous 4 calendar years.
   22         (2) The corporation may accept and administer moneys
   23  appropriated to the department for transfer to the corporation
   24  to provide grants to encourage small businesses in this state to
   25  hire and employ veterans.
   26         (3) A small business that initially hires a veteran on or
   27  after July 1, 2017, as an employee may receive a one-time grant
   28  of:
   29         (a) Fifteen hundred dollars per newly hired veteran, as
   30  defined in s. 1.01(14).
   31         (b) Three thousand dollars for each newly hired disabled
   32  veteran, as that term is described in s. 295.07(1)(a).
   33         (4) The total of grants awarded to a participating small
   34  business under subsection (3) may not exceed $10,500 per fiscal
   35  year.
   36         (5) A small business must apply to and enter into an
   37  agreement with the corporation in order to participate in the
   38  program. The agreement must require that the small business:
   39         (a) Employ a qualifying veteran for at least 1 year before
   40  becoming eligible for a grant awarded under subsection (3).
   41         (b) Report information regarding the employment status of
   42  each qualifying veteran, if requested to do so by the
   43  corporation.
   44         (c) Pay each qualifying veteran an amount equal to at least
   45  90 percent of the annual median income for veterans in this
   46  state, based on the most recent federal census or the most
   47  recent American Community Survey 5-year estimates published by
   48  the United States Census Bureau.
   49         (d) Use any awarded grant moneys to facilitate the small
   50  business’ creation of additional jobs for and employment of
   51  veterans; however, grant moneys may be used only for
   52  manufacturing, equipment, and facility expenses or other
   53  operating costs or fixed capital outlay projects.
   54         (e) Not receive an additional grant for rehiring a veteran
   55  previously claimed as an employee by the same small business for
   56  purposes of obtaining funds under the program.
   57         (f) Is eligible to receive a grant award only for a veteran
   58  initially hired on or after July 1, 2017.
   59         (6) The corporation shall notify the regional small
   60  business development center that serves the county in which a
   61  participating small business is located of the small business’s
   62  participation in the grant program in order to facilitate
   63  improved access to the resources of the Florida Small Business
   64  Development Center Network.
   65         (7) The Department of Economic Opportunity may adopt rules
   66  to implement and administer this section, including, but not
   67  limited to, rules specifying requirements for the application
   68  and approval process and the documentation necessary to claim
   69  grant moneys awarded under this section.
   70         (8) By December 31, 2020, the corporation shall provide a
   71  report to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the
   72  Speaker of the House of Representatives on the grant program’s
   73  progress and outcomes for the preceding 3 fiscal years. The
   74  report must include aggregate information on the total number of
   75  veterans and small businesses assisted by the program; an
   76  accounting of how the corporation used the state funds it
   77  received for the grant program; and a description of the nature
   78  of the participation in the program by the Florida Small
   79  Business Development Center Network. The report must also
   80  contain specific information on the number of small businesses
   81  receiving grant funds; the number of veterans employed by each
   82  small business receiving grant funds; the salary paid to each
   83  veteran employed; the period of time for which the small
   84  business employed each veteran; the grant program’s economic
   85  benefit to the state; and all performance-based metrics and
   86  methodologies used to calculate the grant program’s economic
   87  benefit to the state.
   88         (9) The grant program terminates July 1, 2022.
   89         Section 2. Beginning July 1, 2017, and for the 2017-2018
   90  through the 2021-2022 fiscal years, the sum of $500,000 in
   91  nonrecurring funds from the State Economic Enhancement and
   92  Development Trust Fund is appropriated to the Department of
   93  Economic Opportunity for transfer to Florida Is For Veterans,
   94  Inc., to contract with the Department of Economic Opportunity to
   95  implement and administer the Veterans Employment Small Business
   96  Grant Program. The corporation may award grant moneys up to a
   97  maximum of $500,000 per fiscal year. The corporation may spend
   98  up to $25,000 per fiscal year of funds transferred by the
   99  department for staffing and administrative costs associated with
  100  implementation and administration of the program. If any
  101  appropriated funds remain upon termination of the program,
  102  Florida Is For Veterans, Inc., shall transfer those funds to the
  103  Department of Economic Opportunity for deposit in the State
  104  Economic Enhancement and Development Trust Fund.
  105         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2017.
  107  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
  108  And the title is amended as follows:
  109         Delete everything before the enacting clause
  110  and insert:
  111                        A bill to be entitled                      
  112         An act relating to small business financial
  113         assistance; creating s. 295.231, F.S.; creating the
  114         Veterans Employment Small Business Grant Program
  115         within the Department of Economic Opportunity;
  116         directing Florida Is For Veterans, Inc., to administer
  117         the program; defining terms; authorizing the
  118         corporation to accept and administer moneys
  119         appropriated for such grants; specifying grant
  120         amounts; limiting the amount that a small business may
  121         receive under the program; requiring a small business
  122         to apply to and enter into an agreement with the
  123         corporation to receive grants; prescribing minimum
  124         criteria for such agreements; requiring the
  125         corporation to notify the appropriate regional small
  126         business development center of a small business’
  127         participation; authorizing the department to adopt
  128         rules; prescribing reporting requirements; providing
  129         for termination of the program; providing
  130         appropriations; providing an effective date.