Florida Senate - 2017 CS for SB 60 By the Committee on Children, Families, and Elder Affairs; and Senator Bean 586-00896-17 201760c1 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to children obtaining driver licenses; 3 amending s. 409.1454, F.S.; revising legislative 4 findings; revising a pilot program to make it 5 permanent; revising the applicability of the program 6 to include children in out-of-home care; authorizing 7 the program to pay for a child to complete a driver 8 education program and obtain a driver license or the 9 related costs of licensure under certain 10 circumstances; revising the duties of the Department 11 of Children and Families under the program; deleting 12 the requirement for an annual report by the department 13 to the Governor and the Legislature; amending s. 14 39.6035, F.S.; revising a child’s transition plan to 15 include options to use in obtaining a driver license 16 under certain circumstances; amending s. 39.701, F.S.; 17 revising a required determination made by the court 18 and a citizen review panel; requiring the department 19 to include specified information in the social study 20 report for judicial review under certain 21 circumstances; amending s. 322.09, F.S.; providing 22 that a guardian ad litem authorized by a minor’s 23 caregiver to sign for the minor’s learner’s driver 24 license does not assume any obligation or liability 25 for damages; making technical changes; reenacting s. 26 409.1451(5)(a), F.S., to incorporate the amendment 27 made to s. 39.6035, F.S., in a reference thereto; 28 reenacting ss. 322.05(3) and 322.56(8)(a), F.S., to 29 incorporate the amendment made to s. 322.09, F.S., in 30 references thereto; providing an effective date. 31 32 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 33 34 Section 1. Section 409.1454, Florida Statutes, is amended, 35 to read: 36 409.1454 MOTOR VEHICLE INSURANCE AND DRIVER LICENSES FOR 37 CHILDREN IN CARE.— 38 (1) The Legislature finds that the costs of driver 39 education, licensure and costs incidental to licensure, and 40 motor vehicle insurance for a child in
licensedout-of-home care 41 after such child obtains a driver license create createsan 42 additional barrier to engaging in normal age-appropriate 43 activities and gaining independence and may limit opportunities 44 for obtaining employment and completing educational goals. The 45 Legislature also finds that the completion of an approved driver 46 education course is necessary to develop safe driving skills. 47 (2) To the extent that funding is available, the department 48 shall establish a 3-year pilotprogram to pay the cost of driver 49 education, licensure and other costs incidental to licensure, 50 and motor vehicle insurance for children in licensedout-of-home 51 care who have successfully completed a driver education program. 52 (3) If a caregiver, or an individual or not-for-profit 53 entity approved by the caregiver, adds a child to his or her 54 existing insurance policy, the amount paid to the caregiver or 55 approved purchaser may not exceed the increase in cost 56 attributable to the addition of the child to the policy. 57 (4) Payment shall be made to eligible recipients in the 58 order of eligibility until available funds are exhausted. If a 59 child determined to be eligible reaches permanency status or 60 turns 18 years of age, the program may pay for that child to 61 complete a driver education program and obtain a driver license 62 for up to 6 months after the date the child reaches permanency 63 status or 6 months after the date the child turns 18 years of 64 age. A child continuing in care under s. 39.6251 may be eligible 65 to have the costs of licensure and costs incidental to licensure 66 paid if the child demonstrates that such costs are creating 67 barriers for obtaining employment or completing educational 68 goals. 69 (5) The department shall contract with a not-for-profit 70 entity whose mission is to support youth aging out of foster 71 care to develop procedures for operating and administering the 72 pilotprogram, including, but not limited to: 73 (a) Determining eligibility, including responsibilities for 74 the child and caregivers. 75 (b) Developing application and payment forms. 76 (c) Notifying eligible children, caregivers, group homes, 77 and residential programs of the pilotprogram. 78 (d) Providing technical assistance to lead agencies, 79 providers, group homes, and residential programs to support 80 removing obstacles that prevent children in foster care from 81 driving. 82 (e) Publicizing the program, engaging in outreach, and 83 providing incentives to youth participating in the program to 84 encourage the greatest number of eligible children to obtain 85 driver licenses. 86 (6) By July 1, 2015, and annually thereafter for the87 duration of the pilot program, the department shall submit a88 report to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the89 Speaker of the House of Representatives evaluating the success90 of and outcomes achieved by the pilot program. The report shall91 include a recommendation as to whether the pilot program should92 be continued, terminated, or expanded.93 Section 2. Subsection (1) of section 39.6035, Florida 94 Statutes, is amended to read: 95 39.6035 Transition plan.— 96 (1) During the 180-day period after a child reaches 17 97 years of age, the department and the community-based care 98 provider, in collaboration with the caregiver and any other 99 individual whom the child would like to include, shall assist 100 the child in developing a transition plan. The required 101 transition plan is in addition to standard case management 102 requirements. The transition plan must address specific options 103 for the child to use in obtaining services, including housing, 104 health insurance, education, a driver license, and workforce 105 support and employment services. The plan must also consider 106 establishing and maintaining naturally occurring mentoring 107 relationships and other personal support services. The 108 transition plan may be as detailed as the child chooses. In 109 developing the transition plan, the department and the 110 community-based provider shall: 111 (a) Provide the child with the documentation required 112 pursuant to s. 39.701(3); and 113 (b) Coordinate the transition plan with the independent 114 living provisions in the case plan and, for a child with 115 disabilities, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 116 transition plan. 117 Section 3. Paragraph (c) of subsection (2) and paragraph 118 (a) of subsection (3) of section 39.701, Florida Statutes, are 119 amended to read: 120 39.701 Judicial review.— 121 (2) REVIEW HEARINGS FOR CHILDREN YOUNGER THAN 18 YEARS OF 122 AGE.— 123 (c) Review determinations.—The court and any citizen review 124 panel shall take into consideration the information contained in 125 the social services study and investigation and all medical, 126 psychological, and educational records that support the terms of 127 the case plan; testimony by the social services agency, the 128 parent, the foster parent or legal custodian, the guardian ad 129 litem or surrogate parent for educational decisionmaking if one 130 has been appointed for the child, and any other person deemed 131 appropriate; and any relevant and material evidence submitted to 132 the court, including written and oral reports to the extent of 133 their probative value. These reports and evidence may be 134 received by the court in its effort to determine the action to 135 be taken with regard to the child and may be relied upon to the 136 extent of their probative value, even though not competent in an 137 adjudicatory hearing. In its deliberations, the court and any 138 citizen review panel shall seek to determine: 139 1. If the parent was advised of the right to receive 140 assistance from any person or social service agency in the 141 preparation of the case plan. 142 2. If the parent has been advised of the right to have 143 counsel present at the judicial review or citizen review 144 hearings. If not so advised, the court or citizen review panel 145 shall advise the parent of such right. 146 3. If a guardian ad litem needs to be appointed for the 147 child in a case in which a guardian ad litem has not previously 148 been appointed or if there is a need to continue a guardian ad 149 litem in a case in which a guardian ad litem has been appointed. 150 4. Who holds the rights to make educational decisions for 151 the child. If appropriate, the court may refer the child to the 152 district school superintendent for appointment of a surrogate 153 parent or may itself appoint a surrogate parent under the 154 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and s. 39.0016. 155 5. The compliance or lack of compliance of all parties with 156 applicable items of the case plan, including the parents’ 157 compliance with child support orders. 158 6. The compliance or lack of compliance with a visitation 159 contract between the parent and the social service agency for 160 contact with the child, including the frequency, duration, and 161 results of the parent-child visitation and the reason for any 162 noncompliance. 163 7. The frequency, kind, and duration of contacts among 164 siblings who have been separated during placement, as well as 165 any efforts undertaken to reunite separated siblings if doing so 166 is in the best interest of the child. 167 8. The compliance or lack of compliance of the parent in 168 meeting specified financial obligations pertaining to the care 169 of the child, including the reason for failure to comply, if 170 applicable. 171 9. Whether the child is receiving safe and proper care 172 according to s. 39.6012, including, but not limited to, the 173 appropriateness of the child’s current placement, including 174 whether the child is in a setting that is as family-like and as 175 close to the parent’s home as possible, consistent with the 176 child’s best interests and special needs, and including 177 maintaining stability in the child’s educational placement, as 178 documented by assurances from the community-based care provider 179 that: 180 a. The placement of the child takes into account the 181 appropriateness of the current educational setting and the 182 proximity to the school in which the child is enrolled at the 183 time of placement. 184 b. The community-based care agency has coordinated with 185 appropriate local educational agencies to ensure that the child 186 remains in the school in which the child is enrolled at the time 187 of placement. 188 10. A projected date likely for the child’s return home or 189 other permanent placement. 190 11. When appropriate, the basis for the unwillingness or 191 inability of the parent to become a party to a case plan. The 192 court and the citizen review panel shall determine if the 193 efforts of the social service agency to secure party 194 participation in a case plan were sufficient. 195 12. For a child who has reached 13 years of age but is not 196 yet 18 years of age, the adequacy of the child’s preparation for 197 adulthood and independent living. For a child who is 15 years of 198 age or older, the court shall determine if appropriate steps are 199 being taken for the child to obtain a driver license or 200 learner’s driver license. 201 13. If amendments to the case plan are required. Amendments 202 to the case plan must be made under s. 39.6013. 203 (3) REVIEW HEARINGS FOR CHILDREN 17 YEARS OF AGE.— 204 (a) In addition to the review and report required under 205 paragraphs (1)(a) and (2)(a), respectively, the court shall hold 206 a judicial review hearing within 90 days after a child’s 17th 207 birthday. The court shall also issue an order, separate from the 208 order on judicial review, that the disability of nonage of the 209 child has been removed pursuant to ss. 743.044, 743.045, 210 743.046, and 743.047, and for any of these disabilities that the 211 court finds is in the child’s best interest to remove. The court 212 shall continue to hold timely judicial review hearings. If 213 necessary, the court may review the status of the child more 214 frequently during the year before the child’s 18th birthday. At 215 each review hearing held under this subsection, in addition to 216 any information or report provided to the court by the foster 217 parent, legal custodian, or guardian ad litem, the child shall 218 be given the opportunity to address the court with any 219 information relevant to the child’s best interest, particularly 220 in relation to independent living transition services. The 221 department shall include in the social study report for judicial 222 review written verification that the child has: 223 1. A current Medicaid card and all necessary information 224 concerning the Medicaid program sufficient to prepare the child 225 to apply for coverage upon reaching the age of 18, if such 226 application is appropriate. 227 2. A certified copy of the child’s birth certificate and, 228 if the child does not have a valid driver license, a Florida 229 identification card issued under s. 322.051. 230 3. A social security card and information relating to 231 social security insurance benefits if the child is eligible for 232 those benefits. If the child has received such benefits and they 233 are being held in trust for the child, a full accounting of 234 these funds must be provided and the child must be informed as 235 to how to access those funds. 236 4. All relevant information related to the Road-to 237 Independence Program, including, but not limited to, eligibility 238 requirements, information on participation, and assistance in 239 gaining admission to the program. If the child is eligible for 240 the Road-to-Independence Program, he or she must be advised that 241 he or she may continue to reside with the licensed family home 242 or group care provider with whom the child was residing at the 243 time the child attained his or her 18th birthday, in another 244 licensed family home, or with a group care provider arranged by 245 the department. 246 5. An open bank account or the identification necessary to 247 open a bank account and to acquire essential banking and 248 budgeting skills. 249 6. Information on public assistance and how to apply for 250 public assistance. 251 7. A clear understanding of where he or she will be living 252 on his or her 18th birthday, how living expenses will be paid, 253 and the educational program or school in which he or she will be 254 enrolled. 255 8. Information related to the ability of the child to 256 remain in care until he or she reaches 21 years of age under s. 257 39.013. 258 9. A letter providing the dates that the child is under the 259 jurisdiction of the court. 260 10. A letter stating that the child is in compliance with 261 financial aid documentation requirements. 262 11. The child’s educational records. 263 12. The child’s entire health and mental health records. 264 13. The process for accessing his or her case file. 265 14. A statement encouraging the child to attend all 266 judicial review hearings occurring after the child’s 17th 267 birthday. 268 15. Information on how to obtain a driver license or 269 learner’s driver license. 270 Section 4. Subsection (4) of section 322.09, Florida 271 Statutes, is amended to read: 272 322.09 Application of minors; responsibility for negligence 273 or misconduct of minor.— 274 (4) Notwithstanding the provisions ofsubsections (1) and 275 (2), if a foster parent of a minor who is under the age of 18 276 years and is in foster care as defined in s. 39.01, an 277 authorized representative of a residential group home at which 278 such a minor resides, orthe caseworker at the agency at which 279 the state has placed the minor, or a guardian ad litem 280 specifically authorized by the minor’s caregiver to sign for a 281 learner’s driver license signs the minor’s application for a 282 learner’s driver license, that foster parent, group home 283 representative, orcaseworker, or guardian ad litem does not 284 assume any obligation or become liable for any damages caused by 285 the negligence or willful misconduct of the minor by reason of 286 having signed the application. Before Prior tosigning the 287 application, the caseworker shall notify the foster parent or 288 other responsible party of his or her intent to sign and verify 289 the application. 290 Section 5. For the purpose of incorporating the amendment 291 made by this act to section 39.6035, Florida Statutes, in a 292 reference thereto, paragraph (a) of subsection (5) of section 293 409.1451, Florida Statutes, is reenacted to read: 294 409.1451 The Road-to-Independence Program.— 295 (5) PORTABILITY.—The services provided under this section 296 are portable across county lines and between lead agencies. 297 (a) The service needs that are identified in the original 298 or updated transition plan, pursuant to s. 39.6035, shall be 299 provided by the lead agency where the young adult is currently 300 residing but shall be funded by the lead agency who initiated 301 the transition plan. 302 Section 6. For the purpose of incorporating the amendment 303 made by this act to section 322.09, Florida Statutes, in a 304 reference thereto, subsection (3) of section 322.05, Florida 305 Statutes, is reenacted to read: 306 322.05 Persons not to be licensed.—The department may not 307 issue a license: 308 (3) To a person who is at least 16 years of age but who is 309 under 18 years of age, unless the parent, guardian, or other 310 responsible adult meeting the requirements of s. 322.09 311 certifies that he or she, or another licensed driver 21 years of 312 age or older, has accompanied the applicant for a total of not 313 less than 50 hours’ behind-the-wheel experience, of which not 314 less than 10 hours must be at night. This subsection is not 315 intended to create a private cause of action as a result of the 316 certification. The certification is inadmissible for any purpose 317 in any civil proceeding. 318 Section 7. For the purpose of incorporating the amendment 319 made by this act to section 322.09, Florida Statutes, in a 320 reference thereto, paragraph (a) of subsection (8) of section 321 322.56, Florida Statutes, is reenacted to read: 322 322.56 Contracts for administration of driver license 323 examination.— 324 (8) The department shall contract with providers of 325 approved online traffic law and substance abuse education 326 courses to serve as third-party providers to conduct online, on 327 behalf of the department, examinations required pursuant to ss. 328 322.12 and 322.1615 to applicants for Class E learner’s driver 329 licenses. 330 (a) The online testing program shall: 331 1. Use personal questions before the examination, which the 332 applicant is required to answer during the examination, to 333 strengthen test security to deter fraud; 334 2. Require, before the start of the examination, the 335 applicant’s parent, guardian, or other responsible adult who 336 meets the requirements of s. 322.09 to provide the third-party 337 administrator with his or her driver license number and to 338 certify that the parent, guardian, or responsible adult will 339 monitor the applicant during the examination; and 340 3. Require, before issuance by the department of a 341 learner’s driver license to an applicant who has passed an 342 online examination, the applicant’s parent, guardian, or other 343 responsible adult who meets the requirements of s. 322.09 to 344 certify to the department that he or she monitored the applicant 345 during the online examination. This certification shall be 346 similar to the certification required by s. 322.05(3). This 347 subsection does not preclude the department from continuing to 348 provide written examinations at driver license facilities. 349 Section 8. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.