Florida Senate - 2017 SB 7008 By the Committee on Military and Veterans Affairs, Space, and Domestic Security 583-01720-17 20177008__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs 3 direct-support organization; amending s. 292.055, 4 F.S.; abrogating the scheduled repeal of provisions 5 governing a direct-support organization established by 6 the department; providing an effective date. 7 8 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 9 10 Section 1. Section 292.055, Florida Statutes, is amended to 11 read: 12 292.055 Direct-support organization.— 13 (1) SHORT TITLE; DIRECT-SUPPORT ORGANIZATION ESTABLISHED. 14 This section may be cited as the “Sergeant First Class Paul R. 15 Smith Memorial Act.” The Department of Veterans’ Affairs may 16 establish a direct-support organization to provide assistance, 17 funding, and support for the department in carrying out its 18 mission. This section governs the creation, use, powers, and 19 duties of the direct-support organization. 20 (2) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term: 21 (a) “Department” means the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. 22 (b) “Direct-support organization” means an organization 23 that is: 24 1. A Florida corporation not for profit, incorporated under 25 chapter 617, exempted from filing fees, and approved by the 26 Department of State. 27 2. Organized and operated exclusively to obtain funds; 28 request and receive grants, gifts, and bequests of moneys; 29 acquire, receive, hold, invest, and administer in its own name 30 securities, funds, or property; and make expenditures to or for 31 the direct or indirect benefit of the department, the veterans 32 of this state, and congressionally chartered veteran service 33 organizations having subdivisions that are incorporated in this 34 state. 35 3. Determined by the department to be operating in a manner 36 consistent with the goals of the department and in the best 37 interest of the state. 38 (c) “Personal services” includes full-time or part-time 39 personnel. 40 (3) BOARD OF DIRECTORS.—The direct-support organization 41 shall be governed by a board of directors. 42 (a) The board of directors shall consist of no fewer than 43 five members appointed by the executive director of the 44 department. Veteran service organizations in this state may 45 recommend nominees to the executive director of the department. 46 (b) The term of office of the board members shall be 3 47 years, except that the terms of the initial appointees shall be 48 for 1 year, 2 years, or 3 years in order to achieve staggered 49 terms. A member may be reappointed when his or her term expires. 50 The executive director of the department or his or her designee 51 shall serve as an ex officio member of the board of directors. 52 (c) Members must be current residents of this state. A 53 majority of the members must be veterans, as defined in s. 54 1.01(14), and highly knowledgeable about the United States 55 military, its service personnel, its veterans, and its missions. 56 The executive director of the department may remove any member 57 of the board for cause and with the approval of a majority of 58 the members of the board of directors. The executive director of 59 the department shall appoint a replacement for any vacancy that 60 occurs. 61 (4) CONTRACT.—A direct-support organization shall operate 62 under a written contract with the department. The written 63 contract must provide for: 64 (a) Certification by the department that the direct-support 65 organization is complying with the terms of the contract and is 66 doing so consistent with the goals and purposes of the 67 department and in the best interests of the state. This 68 certification must be made annually and reported in the official 69 minutes of a meeting of the direct-support organization. 70 (b) The reversion of moneys and property held by the 71 direct-support organization: 72 1. To the department if the direct-support organization is 73 no longer approved to operate for the department; 74 2. To the department if the direct-support organization 75 ceases to exist; or 76 3. To the state if the department ceases to exist. 77 (c) The disclosure of the material provisions of the 78 contract, and the distinction between the department and the 79 direct-support organization, to donors of gifts, contributions, 80 or bequests, including such disclosure on all promotional and 81 fundraising publications. 82 (5) USE OF PROPERTY.— 83 (a) The department may permit the use of property, 84 facilities, and personal services of the department by the 85 direct-support organization, subject to this section. 86 (b) The department may prescribe by contract any condition 87 with which the direct-support organization must comply in order 88 to use property, facilities, or personal services of the 89 department. 90 (c) The department may not permit the use of its property, 91 facilities, or personal services by any direct-support 92 organization organized under this section which does not provide 93 equal employment opportunities to all persons regardless of 94 race, color, national origin, gender, age, or religion. 95 (6) ACTIVITIES; RESTRICTIONS.—Any transaction or agreement 96 between the direct-support organization organized under this 97 section and another direct-support organization or other entity 98 must be approved by the executive director of the department. 99 (7) ANNUAL BUDGETS AND REPORTS.— 100 (a) The fiscal year of the direct-support organization 101 shall begin on July 1 of each year and end on June 30 of the 102 following year. 103 (b) The direct-support organization shall submit to the 104 department its federal Internal Revenue Service Application for 105 Recognition of Exemption form (Form 1023) and its federal 106 Internal Revenue Service Return of Organization Exempt from 107 Income Tax form (Form 990). 108 (8) ANNUAL AUDIT.—The direct-support organization shall 109 provide for an annual financial audit in accordance with s. 110 215.981. 111 (9) CONFIDENTIALITY OF DONORS.— 112 (a) Any information identifying a donor or prospective 113 donor to the direct-support organization who desires to remain 114 anonymous is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 115 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. 116 (b) Portions of meetings of the direct-support organization 117 during which the identity of a donor or prospective donor, whose 118 identity is confidential and exempt pursuant to paragraph (a), 119 is discussed are exempt from s. 286.011 and s. 24(b), Art. I of 120 the State Constitution. 121
(10) REPEAL.—This section is repealed October 1, 2017,122 unless reviewed and saved from repeal by the Legislature.123 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2017.