Florida Senate - 2018 SB 432
By Senator Lee
1 A bill to be entitled
2 An act relating to community redevelopment agencies;
3 creating s. 112.327, F.S.; defining terms; prohibiting
4 a person from lobbying a community redevelopment
5 agency until he or she has registered as a lobbyist
6 with that agency; providing registration requirements;
7 requiring an agency to make lobbyist registrations
8 available to the public; requiring a database of
9 currently registered lobbyists and principals to be
10 available on certain websites; requiring a lobbyist to
11 send a written statement to the agency canceling the
12 registration for a principal that he or she no longer
13 represents; authorizing an agency to remove the name
14 of a lobbyist from the list of registered lobbyists
15 under certain circumstances; authorizing an agency to
16 establish an annual lobbyist registration fee, not to
17 exceed a specified amount; requiring an agency to be
18 diligent in ascertaining whether persons required to
19 register have complied, subject to certain
20 requirements; requiring the Commission on Ethics to
21 investigate a lobbyist or principal under certain
22 circumstances, subject to certain requirements;
23 requiring the commission to provide the Governor with
24 a report of its findings and recommendations in such
25 investigations; authorizing the Governor to enforce
26 the commission’s findings and recommendations;
27 authorizing community redevelopment agencies to adopt
28 rules to govern the registration of lobbyists;
29 amending s. 112.3142, F.S.; requiring ethics training
30 for community redevelopment agency commissioners;
31 specifying requirements for such training; amending s.
32 163.340, F.S.; revising the definition of the term
33 “blighted area”; amending s. 163.356, F.S.; revising
34 reporting requirements; deleting provisions requiring
35 certain annual reports; amending s. 163.357, F.S.;
36 requiring, rather than authorizing, a governing body
37 that consists of five members to appoint two
38 additional persons to act as members of the community
39 redevelopment agency; providing requirements for the
40 additional members; amending s. 163.367, F.S.;
41 requiring ethics training for community redevelopment
42 agency commissioners; amending s. 163.370, F.S.;
43 revising the list of projects that are prohibited from
44 being financed by increment revenues; requiring
45 community redevelopment agencies to follow certain
46 procurement procedures; creating s. 163.371, F.S.;
47 providing annual reporting requirements; requiring a
48 community redevelopment agency to publish annual
49 reports and boundary maps on its website; creating s.
50 163.3756, F.S.; providing legislative findings;
51 requiring the Department of Economic Opportunity to
52 declare inactive community redevelopment agencies that
53 have reported no financial activity for a specified
54 number of years; providing hearing procedures;
55 authorizing certain financial activity by a community
56 redevelopment agency that is declared inactive;
57 providing for application; requiring the department to
58 maintain a website identifying all inactive community
59 redevelopment agencies; amending s. 163.387, F.S.;
60 effective on a specified date, revising requirements
61 for the use of redevelopment trust fund proceeds;
62 limiting allowed expenditures; revising requirements
63 for the annual budget of a community redevelopment
64 agency; requiring municipal community redevelopment
65 agencies to provide an annual budget to the county
66 commission; revising requirements for use of moneys in
67 the redevelopment trust fund for specific
68 redevelopment projects; revising requirements for the
69 annual audit; requiring the audit to be included with
70 the financial report of the county or municipality
71 that created the community redevelopment agency;
72 amending s. 218.32, F.S.; revising criteria for
73 finding that a county or municipality failed to file a
74 report; requiring the Department of Financial Services
75 to provide a report to the Department of Economic
76 Opportunity concerning community redevelopment
77 agencies reporting no revenues, expenditures, or
78 debts; amending s. 163.524, F.S.; conforming a cross
79 reference; making technical changes; providing an
80 effective date.
82 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
84 Section 1. Section 112.327, Florida Statutes, is created to
86 112.327 Lobbying before community redevelopment agencies;
87 registration and reporting.—
88 (1) As used in this section, the term:
89 (a) “Agency” or “community redevelopment agency” means a
90 public agency created by, or designated pursuant to, s. 163.356
91 or s. 163.357 and operating under the authority of part III of
92 chapter 163.
93 (b) “Lobby” means to seek to influence an agency with
94 respect to a decision of the agency in an area of policy or
95 procurement or to attempt to obtain the goodwill of an agency
96 official or employee on behalf of another person. The term shall
97 be interpreted and applied consistently with the rules of the
98 commission implementing s. 112.3215.
99 (c) “Lobbyist” has the same meaning as provided in s.
101 (d) “Principal” has the same meaning as provided in s.
103 (2) A person may not lobby an agency until he or she has
104 registered as a lobbyist with that agency. Such registration
105 shall be due upon the person initially being retained to lobby
106 and is renewable on a calendar-year basis thereafter. Upon
107 registration, the person shall provide a statement, signed by
108 the principal or principal’s representative, stating that the
109 registrant is authorized to represent the principal. The
110 principal shall also identify and designate its main business on
111 the statement authorizing that lobbyist pursuant to a
112 classification system approved by the agency. Any changes to the
113 information required by this section must be disclosed within 15
114 days by filing a new registration form. An agency may create its
115 own lobbyist registration forms or may accept a completed
116 legislative branch or executive branch lobbyist registration
117 form. In completing the form required by the agency, the
118 registrant must disclose, under oath, the following:
119 (a) His or her name and business address.
120 (b) The name and business address of each principal
122 (c) The existence of any direct or indirect business
123 association, partnership, or financial relationship with any
124 officer or employee of an agency with which he or she lobbies or
125 intends to lobby.
126 (3) An agency shall make lobbyist registrations available
127 to the public. If an agency maintains a website, a database of
128 currently registered lobbyists and principals must be available
129 on that website. If the agency does not maintain a website, the
130 database of currently registered lobbyists and principals must
131 be available on the website of the county or municipality that
132 created the agency.
133 (4) A lobbyist shall promptly send a written statement to
134 the agency canceling the registration for a principal upon
135 termination of the lobbyist’s representation of that principal.
136 An agency may remove the name of a lobbyist from the list of
137 registered lobbyists if the principal notifies the agency that a
138 person is no longer authorized to represent that principal.
139 (5) An agency may establish an annual lobbyist registration
140 fee, not to exceed $40, for each principal represented. The
141 agency may use registration fees only for the purpose of
142 administering this section.
143 (6) An agency shall be diligent in ascertaining whether
144 persons required to register under this section have complied.
145 An agency may not knowingly authorize an unregistered person to
146 lobby the agency.
147 (7) Upon receipt of a sworn complaint alleging that a
148 lobbyist or principal has failed to register with an agency or
149 has knowingly submitted false information in a report or
150 registration required under this section, the commission shall
151 investigate a lobbyist or principal pursuant to the procedures
152 established under s. 112.324. The commission shall provide the
153 Governor with a report of its findings and recommendations in
154 any investigation conducted pursuant to this subsection. The
155 Governor may enforce the commission’s findings and
157 (8) Community redevelopment agencies may adopt rules to
158 govern the registration of lobbyists, including the adoption of
159 forms and the establishment of the lobbyist registration fee.
160 Section 2. Subsection (2) of section 112.3142, Florida
161 Statutes, is amended to read:
162 112.3142 Ethics training for specified constitutional
163 officers and elected municipal officers.—
164 (2)(a) All constitutional officers must complete 4 hours of
165 ethics training each calendar year which addresses, at a
166 minimum, s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution, the Code of
167 Ethics for Public Officers and Employees, and the public records
168 and public meetings laws of this state. This requirement may be
169 satisfied by completion of a continuing legal education class or
170 other continuing professional education class, seminar, or
171 presentation if the required subjects are covered.
Beginning January 1, 2015, All elected municipal
173 officers must complete 4 hours of ethics training each calendar
174 year which addresses, at a minimum, s. 8, Art. II of the State
175 Constitution, the Code of Ethics for Public Officers and
176 Employees, and the public records and public meetings laws of
177 this state. This requirement may be satisfied by completion of a
178 continuing legal education class or other continuing
179 professional education class, seminar, or presentation if the
180 required subjects are covered.
181 (c) Beginning October 1, 2018, each commissioner of a
182 community redevelopment agency under part III of chapter 163
183 must complete 4 hours of ethics training each calendar year
184 which addresses, at a minimum, s. 8, Art. II of the State
185 Constitution, the Code of Ethics for Public Officers and
186 Employees, and the public records and public meetings laws of
187 this state. This requirement may be satisfied by completion of a
188 continuing legal education class or other continuing
189 professional education class, seminar, or presentation if the
190 required subject material is covered by such class.
191 (d) The commission shall adopt rules establishing minimum
192 course content for the portion of an ethics training class which
193 addresses s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution and the Code
194 of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees.
195 (e) (d) The Legislature intends that a constitutional
196 officer or elected municipal officer who is required to complete
197 ethics training pursuant to this section receive the required
198 training as close as possible to the date that he or she assumes
199 office. A constitutional officer or elected municipal officer
200 assuming a new office or new term of office on or before March
201 31 must complete the annual training on or before December 31 of
202 the year in which the term of office began. A constitutional
203 officer or elected municipal officer assuming a new office or
204 new term of office after March 31 is not required to complete
205 ethics training for the calendar year in which the term of
206 office began.
207 Section 3. Subsection (8) of section 163.340, Florida
208 Statutes, is amended to read:
209 163.340 Definitions.—The following terms, wherever used or
210 referred to in this part, have the following meanings:
211 (8) “Blighted area” means an area in which there are a
212 substantial number of deteriorated or deteriorating structures;
213 in which conditions, as indicated by government-maintained
214 statistics or other studies, endanger life or property or are
215 leading to economic distress; and in which two or more of the
216 following factors are present:
217 (a) Predominance of defective or inadequate street layout,
218 parking facilities, roadways, bridges, or public transportation
220 (b) Aggregate assessed values of real property in the area
221 for ad valorem tax purposes have failed to show any appreciable
222 increase over the 5 years before prior to the finding of such
224 (c) Faulty lot layout in relation to size, adequacy,
225 accessibility, or usefulness.
226 (d) Unsanitary or unsafe conditions.
227 (e) Deterioration of site or other improvements.
228 (f) Inadequate and outdated building density patterns.
229 (g) Falling lease rates per square foot of office,
230 commercial, or industrial space compared to the remainder of the
231 county or municipality.
232 (h) Tax or special assessment delinquency exceeding the
233 fair value of the land.
234 (i) Residential and commercial vacancy rates higher in the
235 area than in the remainder of the county or municipality.
236 (j) Incidence of crime in the area higher than in the
237 remainder of the county or municipality.
238 (k) Fire and emergency medical service calls to the area
239 proportionately higher than in the remainder of the county or
241 (l) A greater number of violations of the Florida Building
242 Code in the area than the number of violations recorded in the
243 remainder of the county or municipality.
244 (m) Diversity of ownership or defective or unusual
245 conditions of title which prevent the free alienability of land
246 within the deteriorated or hazardous area.
247 (n) Governmentally owned property with adverse
248 environmental conditions caused by a public or private entity.
249 (o) A substantial number or percentage of properties
250 damaged by sinkhole activity which have not been adequately
251 repaired or stabilized.
252 (p) Rates of unemployment higher in the area than in the
253 remainder of the county or municipality.
254 (q) Rates of poverty higher in the area than in the
255 remainder of the county or municipality.
256 (r) Rates of foreclosure higher in the area than in the
257 remainder of the county or municipality.
258 (s) Rates of infant mortality higher in the area than in
259 the remainder of the county or municipality.
261 However, the term “blighted area” also means any area in which
262 at least one of the factors identified in paragraphs (a) through
263 (o) is present and all taxing authorities subject to s.
264 163.387(2)(a) agree, either by interlocal agreement with the
265 agency or by resolution, that the area is blighted. Such
266 agreement or resolution must be limited to a determination that
267 the area is blighted. For purposes of qualifying for the tax
268 credits authorized in chapter 220, the term “blighted area”
269 means an area as defined in this subsection.
270 Section 4. Paragraphs (c) and (d) of subsection (3) of
271 section 163.356, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
272 163.356 Creation of community redevelopment agency.—
273 (3)(c) The governing body of the county or municipality
274 shall designate a chair and vice chair from among the
275 commissioners. An agency may employ an executive director,
276 technical experts, and such other agents and employees,
277 permanent and temporary, as it requires, and determine their
278 qualifications, duties, and compensation. For such legal service
279 as it requires, an agency may employ or retain its own counsel
280 and legal staff.
281 (d) An agency authorized to transact business and exercise
282 powers under this part shall file with the governing body the
283 report required pursuant to s. 163.371(1) , on or before March 31
284 of each year, a report of its activities for the preceding
285 fiscal year, which report shall include a complete financial
286 statement setting forth its assets, liabilities, income, and
287 operating expenses as of the end of such fiscal year. At the
288 time of filing the report, the agency shall publish in a
289 newspaper of general circulation in the community a notice to
290 the effect that such report has been filed with the county or
291 municipality and that the report is available for inspection
292 during business hours in the office of the clerk of the city or
293 county commission and in the office of the agency.
294 (e) (d) At any time after the creation of a community
295 redevelopment agency, the governing body of the county or
296 municipality may appropriate to the agency such amounts as the
297 governing body deems necessary for the administrative expenses
298 and overhead of the agency, including the development and
299 implementation of community policing innovations.
300 Section 5. Paragraph (c) of subsection (1) of section
301 163.357, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
302 163.357 Governing body as the community redevelopment
305 (c) A governing body that which consists of five members
306 shall may appoint two additional persons to act as members of
307 the community redevelopment agency. These members may not be
308 elected officials. The two additional members must have
309 expertise in at least one of the following areas: architecture,
310 finance, construction, land use, affordable housing,
311 sustainability, or other educational or professional experience
312 in the area of community redevelopment. The terms of office of
313 the additional members shall be for 4 years, except that the
314 first person appointed shall initially serve a term of 2 years.
315 Persons appointed under this section are subject to all
316 provisions of this part relating to appointed members of a
317 community redevelopment agency.
318 Section 6. Subsection (1) of section 163.367, Florida
319 Statutes, is amended to read:
320 163.367 Public officials, commissioners, and employees
321 subject to code of ethics.—
322 (1)(a) The officers, commissioners, and employees of a
323 community redevelopment agency created by, or designated
324 pursuant to, s. 163.356 or s. 163.357 are shall be subject to
325 the provisions and requirements of part III of chapter 112.
326 (b) Commissioners of a community redevelopment agency must
327 comply with the ethics training requirements in s. 112.3142.
328 Section 7. Paragraphs (d), (e), and (f) are added to
329 subsection (3) of section 163.370, Florida Statutes, and
330 subsection (5) is added to that section, to read:
331 163.370 Powers; counties and municipalities; community
332 redevelopment agencies.—
333 (3) The following projects may not be paid for or financed
334 by increment revenues:
335 (d) Community redevelopment agency activities related to
336 festivals or street parties designed to promote tourism.
337 (e) Grants to entities that promote tourism.
338 (f) Grants to nonprofit entities providing socially
339 beneficial programs.
340 (5) A community redevelopment agency shall procure all
341 commodities and services under the same purchasing processes and
342 requirements that apply to the county or municipality that
343 created the agency.
344 Section 8. Section 163.371, Florida Statutes, is created to
346 163.371 Reporting requirements.—
347 (1) Beginning March 31, 2019, and no later than March 31 of
348 each year thereafter, a community redevelopment agency shall
349 file an annual report with the county or municipality that
350 created the agency and publish the information on the agency’s
351 website. The report must include the following information:
352 (a) A complete audit report of the redevelopment trust fund
353 pursuant to s. 163.387(8).
354 (b) The performance data for each plan authorized,
355 administered, or overseen by the community redevelopment agency
356 as of December 31 of the year being reported, including the:
357 1. Total number of projects started and completed and the
358 estimated cost for each project.
359 2. Total expenditures from the redevelopment trust fund.
360 3. Original assessed real property values within the
361 community redevelopment agency’s area of authority as of the day
362 the agency was created.
363 4. Total assessed real property values of property within
364 the boundaries of the community redevelopment agency as of
365 January 1 of the year being reported.
366 5. Total amount expended for affordable housing for low
367 income and middle-income residents.
368 (c) A summary indicating if and to what extent the
369 community redevelopment agency has achieved the goals set out in
370 its community redevelopment plan.
371 (2) By January 1, 2019, each community redevelopment agency
372 shall publish on its website digital maps that depict the
373 geographic boundaries and total acreage of the community
374 redevelopment agency. If any change is made to the boundaries or
375 total acreage, the agency shall post updated map files on its
376 website within 60 days after the date such change takes effect.
377 Section 9. Section 163.3756, Florida Statutes, is created
378 to read:
379 163.3756 Inactive community redevelopment agencies.—
380 (1) The Legislature finds that a number of community
381 redevelopment agencies continue to exist but report no revenues,
382 no expenditures, and no outstanding debt in their annual report
383 to the Department of Financial Services pursuant to s. 218.32.
384 (2)(a) A community redevelopment agency that has reported
385 no revenues, expenditures, or debt under s. 218.32 or s.
386 189.016(9) for 3 consecutive fiscal years calculated from no
387 earlier than October 1, 2015, shall be declared inactive by the
388 Department of Economic Opportunity, which shall notify the
389 agency of the declaration of inactive status under this
390 subsection. If the agency has no board members and no agent, the
391 notice of inactive status must be delivered to the governing
392 board or commission of the county or municipality which created
393 the agency.
394 (b) The governing board of a community redevelopment agency
395 declared inactive under this subsection may seek to invalidate
396 the declaration by initiating proceedings under s. 189.062(5)
397 within 30 days after the date of the receipt of the notice from
398 the Department of Economic Opportunity.
399 (3) A community redevelopment agency declared inactive
400 under this section is authorized to expend funds only from the
401 redevelopment trust fund as necessary to service outstanding
402 bond debt. The agency may not expend other funds without an
403 ordinance of the governing body of the local government which
404 created the agency consenting to the expenditure of funds.
405 (4) The provisions of s. 189.062(2) and (4) do not apply to
406 a community redevelopment agency that has been declared inactive
407 under this section.
408 (5) The provisions of this section are cumulative to the
409 provisions of s. 189.062. To the extent the provisions of this
410 section conflict with the provisions of s. 189.062, this section
412 (6) The Department of Economic Opportunity shall maintain
413 on its website a separate list of community redevelopment
414 agencies declared inactive under this section.
415 Section 10. Subsections (6) and (8) of section 163.387,
416 Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
417 163.387 Redevelopment trust fund.—
418 (6) Effective October 1, 2018, moneys in the redevelopment
419 trust fund may be expended from time to time for undertakings of
420 a community redevelopment agency as described in the community
421 redevelopment plan only pursuant to an annual budget adopted by
422 the board of commissioners of the community redevelopment agency
423 and only for the following purposes stated in this subsection. ,
424 including, but not limited to:
425 (a) Except as provided in this subsection, a community
426 redevelopment agency shall comply with the requirements of s.
428 (b) A community redevelopment agency created by a
429 municipality shall submit its annual budget to the board of
430 county commissioners for the county in which the agency is
431 located within 10 days after the adoption of such budget and
432 submit amendments of its annual budget to the board of county
433 commissioners within 10 days after the date the amended budget
434 is adopted Administrative and overhead expenses necessary or
435 incidental to the implementation of a community redevelopment
436 plan adopted by the agency.
437 (c) The annual budget of a community redevelopment agency
438 may provide for payment of the following expenses:
439 1. Administrative and overhead expenses directly or
440 indirectly necessary to implement a community redevelopment plan
441 adopted by the agency. However, administrative and overhead
442 expenses may not exceed 18 percent of the total annual budget of
443 the community redevelopment agency.
444 2. (b) Expenses of redevelopment planning, surveys, and
445 financial analysis, including the reimbursement of the governing
446 body or the community redevelopment agency for such expenses
447 incurred before the redevelopment plan was approved and adopted.
448 3. (c) The acquisition of real property in the redevelopment
450 4. (d) The clearance and preparation of any redevelopment
451 area for redevelopment and relocation of site occupants within
452 or outside the community redevelopment area as provided in s.
454 5. (e) The repayment of principal and interest or any
455 redemption premium for loans, advances, bonds, bond anticipation
456 notes, and any other form of indebtedness.
457 6. (f) All expenses incidental to or connected with the
458 issuance, sale, redemption, retirement, or purchase of bonds,
459 bond anticipation notes, or other form of indebtedness,
460 including funding of any reserve, redemption, or other fund or
461 account provided for in the ordinance or resolution authorizing
462 such bonds, notes, or other form of indebtedness.
463 7. (g) The development of affordable housing within the
464 community redevelopment area.
465 8. (h) The development of community policing innovations.
466 9. Infrastructure improvement, building construction, and
467 building renovation, including improvements, construction, and
468 renovation related to parking lots, parking garages, and
469 neighborhood parks.
470 10. Grants and loans to businesses for facade improvements,
471 signage, sprinkler system upgrades, and other structural
473 (8)(a) Each community redevelopment agency with revenues or
474 a total of expenditures and expenses in excess of $100,000, as
475 reported on the trust fund financial statements, shall provide
476 for a financial an audit of the trust fund each fiscal year and
477 a report of such audit shall to be prepared by an independent
478 certified public accountant or firm. Each financial audit
479 provided pursuant to this subsection must be conducted in
480 accordance with rules for audits adopted by the Auditor General
481 which are in effect as of the last day of the community
482 redevelopment agency’s fiscal year being audited.
483 (b) The audit Such report shall:
484 1. Describe the amount and source of deposits into, and the
485 amount and purpose of withdrawals from, the trust fund during
486 such fiscal year and the amount of principal and interest paid
487 during such year on any indebtedness to which increment revenues
488 are pledged and the remaining amount of such indebtedness.
489 2. Include a complete financial statement identifying the
490 assets, liabilities, income, and operating expenses of the
491 community redevelopment agency as of the end of such fiscal
493 3. Include a finding by the auditor determining whether the
494 community redevelopment agency complies with the requirements of
495 subsection (7).
496 (c) The audit report for the community redevelopment agency
497 shall be included with the annual financial report submitted by
498 the county or municipality that created the agency to the
499 Department of Financial Services as provided in s. 218.32,
500 regardless of whether the agency reports separately under s.
502 (d) The agency shall provide by registered mail a copy of
503 the audit report to each taxing authority.
504 Section 11. Subsection (3) of section 218.32, Florida
505 Statutes, is amended to read:
506 218.32 Annual financial reports; local governmental
508 (3)(a) The department shall notify the President of the
509 Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives of any
510 municipality that has not reported any financial activity for
511 the last 4 fiscal years. Such notice must be sufficient to
512 initiate dissolution procedures as described in s.
513 165.051(1)(a). Any special law authorizing the incorporation or
514 creation of the municipality must be included within the
516 (b) Failure of a county or municipality to include in its
517 annual report to the department the full audit required by s.
518 163.387(8) for each community redevelopment agency created by
519 that county or municipality constitutes a failure to report
520 under this section.
521 (c) By November 1 of each year, the department must provide
522 the Special District Accountability Program of the Department of
523 Economic Opportunity with a list of each community redevelopment
524 agency reporting no revenues, expenditures, or debt for the
525 community redevelopment agency’s previous fiscal year.
526 Section 12. Subsection (3) of section 163.524, Florida
527 Statutes, is amended to read:
528 163.524 Neighborhood Preservation and Enhancement Program;
529 participation; creation of Neighborhood Preservation and
530 Enhancement Districts; creation of Neighborhood Councils and
531 Neighborhood Enhancement Plans.—
532 (3) After the boundaries and size of the Neighborhood
533 Preservation and Enhancement District have been defined, the
534 local government shall pass an ordinance authorizing the
535 creation of the Neighborhood Preservation and Enhancement
536 District. The ordinance shall contain a finding that the
537 boundaries of the Neighborhood Preservation and Enhancement
538 District comply with s. 163.340(7) or (8)(a)-(s) (8)(a)-(o) or
539 do not contain properties that are protected by deed
540 restrictions. Such ordinance may be amended or repealed in the
541 same manner as other local ordinances.
542 Section 13. This act shall take effect July 1, 2018.