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.
    8  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   10         Section 1. Section 292.055, Florida Statutes, is amended to
   11  read:
   12         292.055 Direct-support organization.—
   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.
  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.