Florida Senate - 2019                                    SB 1162
       By Senator Gainer
       2-01787A-19                                           20191162__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to the Northwest Florida Rural Inland
    3         Affected Counties Recovery Fund; creating s. 288.8055,
    4         F.S.; providing legislative intent; providing
    5         definitions; creating the Northwest Florida Rural
    6         Inland Affected Counties Recovery Fund within the
    7         Department of Economic Opportunity; requiring certain
    8         payments to be appropriated annually to the fund;
    9         prohibiting such payments from diminishing funds
   10         transferred to the Triumph Gulf Coast Trust Fund;
   11         requiring the department to grant awards to
   12         organizations and local governments for specified
   13         infrastructure projects and workforce programs;
   14         requiring the department to establish an application
   15         procedure and prioritize projects and programs that
   16         meet certain requirements; requiring the department,
   17         in consultation with specified entities, to review and
   18         certify applications; exempting certain funds from
   19         reversion; providing an effective date.
   21  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   23         Section 1. Section 288.8055, Florida Statutes, is created
   24  to read:
   25         288.8055Northwest Florida Rural Inland Affected Counties
   26  Recovery Fund.—
   27         (1)The Legislature recognizes that as a result of the
   28  Deepwater Horizon disaster, the rural inland affected counties
   29  of Northwest Florida continue to face extraordinary challenges
   30  in significantly improving their economies, specifically in
   31  terms of household income, job creation, average wages, and
   32  strong tax bases. The Legislature also recognizes that this area
   33  is designated as a rural area of opportunity by the Governor
   34  pursuant to s. 288.0656. Therefore, the Legislature intends to
   35  provide a long-term source of funding for economic recovery and
   36  enhancement efforts of the rural inland affected counties.
   37         (2)As used in this section, the term:
   38         (a)“Fund” means the Northwest Florida Rural Inland
   39  Affected Counties Recovery Fund created in this section.
   40         (b)“Rural inland affected county” means Calhoun County,
   41  Gadsden County, Holmes County, Jackson County, Jefferson County,
   42  Liberty County, or Washington County.
   43         (c)“Settlement agreement” means the agreement entitled
   44  “Settlement Agreement Between the Gulf States and the BP
   45  Entities with Respect to Economic and Other Claims Arising from
   46  the Deepwater Horizon Incident,” which was entered into on
   47  October 5, 2015, in the case styled In re: Oil Spill by the Oil
   48  Rig “Deepwater Horizon” in the Gulf of Mexico, on April 20,
   49  2010, MDL 2179 in the United States District Court for the
   50  Eastern District of Louisiana.
   51         (3)The Northwest Florida Rural Inland Affected Counties
   52  Recovery Fund is created within the department to facilitate the
   53  planning, preparation, and financing of infrastructure projects
   54  and workforce programs in rural inland affected counties which
   55  will encourage job creation, capital investment, and the
   56  strengthening and diversification of the economies of such
   57  counties by promoting tourism, trade, and economic development.
   58         (4)After the transfer of funds to the Triumph Gulf Coast
   59  Trust Fund specified in s. 288.8013, five percent of all
   60  payments to the state received pursuant to the settlement
   61  agreement after July 1, 2019, shall be appropriated annually by
   62  the Legislature to the fund. This subsection shall not diminish
   63  the funds transferred to the Triumph Gulf Coast Trust Fund.
   64         (5)The department shall grant awards to organizations or
   65  local governments within the rural inland affected counties for
   66  infrastructure projects and workforce programs that meet the
   67  priorities for economic recovery, diversification, and
   68  enhancement. Awards may be provided for:
   69         (a)Local match requirements of s. 288.0655.
   70         (b)Infrastructure planning, design, construction,
   71  expansion, or maintenance projects that meet such priorities.
   72         (c)Infrastructure feasibility studies, design and
   73  engineering activities, or other infrastructure planning and
   74  preparation activities necessary to induce the relocation or
   75  expansion of specific employment opportunities.
   76         (d)Grants to support workforce programs that provide
   77  participants in the rural inland affected counties with
   78  transferable sustainable workforce skills.
   79         (e)Grants to the Florida Tourism Industry Marketing
   80  Corporation created under s. 288.1226 for the purpose of
   81  advertising and promoting tourism and agricultural or
   82  agricultural-based products marketed under the “Fresh From
   83  Florida” or “From Florida” logos and for promoting
   84  infrastructure projects and workforce programs on behalf of the
   85  rural inland affected counties.
   86         (f)Grants to regionally based economic development
   87  organizations representing the rural inland affected counties
   88  for the purpose of building the professional capacity of such
   89  organizations and providing technical assistance to businesses
   90  served by such organizations.
   91         (6)The department shall establish an application procedure
   92  for awards and a scoring process for the selection of
   93  infrastructure projects and workforce programs that have the
   94  potential to generate increased economic activity in the rural
   95  inland affected counties, giving priority to such projects and
   96  programs that:
   97         (a)Generate maximum estimated economic benefits, based on
   98  tools and models not generally employed by economic input-output
   99  analyses, including cost-benefit, return-on-investment, or
  100  dynamic scoring techniques, to determine how the long-term
  101  economic growth potential of the rural inland affected counties
  102  may be enhanced by the award.
  103         (b)Increase household income above the national average in
  104  the rural inland affected counties.
  105         (c)Leverage or further enhance key assets, including K-20
  106  educational institutions, research facilities, and military
  107  bases, in the rural inland affected counties.
  108         (d)Partner with local governments to provide funds,
  109  infrastructure, land, or other assistance to the rural inland
  110  affected counties.
  111         (e)Benefit the environment and economy of the rural inland
  112  affected counties.
  113         (f)Provide outcome measures.
  114         (g)Partner with K-20 educational institutions or school
  115  districts located within the rural inland affected counties.
  116         (h)Are recommended by the board of county commissioners of
  117  the rural inland affected county in which such project or
  118  program will be located.
  119         (i)Partner with convention and visitor bureaus, tourist
  120  development councils, or chambers of commerce located within the
  121  rural inland affected counties.
  122         (7)Applications for awards shall be submitted to the
  123  department. The department, in consultation with Enterprise
  124  Florida, Inc., the Florida Tourism Industry Marketing
  125  Corporation, the Department of Environmental Protection, and the
  126  Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, as
  127  appropriate, shall review and certify applications pursuant to
  128  s. 288.061. The review shall include an evaluation of the
  129  economic benefit of the infrastructure project or workforce
  130  program and its long-term viability. The department shall have
  131  final approval of any awards provided pursuant to this section.
  132         (8)Notwithstanding s. 216.301, funds appropriated for the
  133  purposes of this section are not subject to reversion.
  134         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2019.