Florida Senate - 2019                        COMMITTEE AMENDMENT
       Bill No. SB 616
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              

       The Committee on Innovation, Industry, and Technology (Perry)
       recommended the following:
    1         Senate Amendment (with title amendment)
    3         Delete everything after the enacting clause
    4  and insert:
    5         Section 1. Paragraph (a) of subsection (6) of section
    6  455.271, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
    7         455.271 Inactive and delinquent status.—
    8         (6)(a) A delinquent status licensee must affirmatively
    9  apply with a complete application, as defined by rule of the
   10  board, or the department if there is no board, for active or
   11  inactive status during the licensure cycle in which a licensee
   12  becomes delinquent. Failure by a delinquent status licensee to
   13  become active or inactive before the expiration of the current
   14  licensure cycle shall render the license void without any
   15  further action by the board or the department. The board, or the
   16  department if there is no board, shall adopt rules allowing a
   17  licensee whose license is void to apply for reinstatement.
   19  This subsection does not apply to individuals subject to
   20  regulation under chapter 473.
   21         Section 2. Subsections (13) of section 471.005, Florida
   22  Statutes, is redesignated as subsection (3), and present
   23  subsection (3) and subsection (8) of that section are amended,
   24  to read:
   25         471.005 Definitions.—As used in this chapter, the term:
   26         (3) “Certificate of authorization” means a license to
   27  practice engineering issued by the management corporation to a
   28  corporation or partnership.
   29         (8) “License” means the licensing of engineers or
   30  certification of businesses to practice engineering in this
   31  state.
   32         Section 3. Section 471.008, Florida Statutes, is amended to
   33  read:
   34         471.008 Rulemaking authority.—The board has authority to
   35  adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to:
   36         (1) Implement provisions of this chapter or chapter 455
   37  which confer conferring duties upon it.
   38         (2) Ensure competence in the practice of engineering.
   39         (3)Ensure accuracy, completeness, and quality in the
   40  engineering products provided.
   41         Section 4. Subsection (4) of section 471.011, Florida
   42  Statutes, is amended to read:
   43         471.011 Fees.—
   44         (4) The fee for a certificate of authorization shall not
   45  exceed $125.
   46         Section 5. Paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of section
   47  471.013, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
   48         471.013 Examinations; prerequisites.—
   49         (1)(a) A person shall be entitled to take an examination
   50  for the purpose of determining whether she or he is qualified to
   51  practice in this state as an engineer if the person is of good
   52  moral character and:
   53         1. Is a graduate from an approved engineering curriculum of
   54  4 years or more in a school, college, or university which has
   55  been approved by the board and has a record of 4 years of active
   56  engineering experience of a character indicating competence to
   57  be in responsible charge of engineering; or
   58         2. Is a graduate of an approved engineering technology
   59  curriculum of 4 years or more in a school, college, or
   60  university which has been approved by the board within the State
   61  University System, having been enrolled or having graduated
   62  prior to July 1, 1979, and has a record of 4 years of active
   63  engineering experience of a character indicating competence to
   64  be in responsible charge of engineering; or
   65         3. Has, in lieu of such education and experience
   66  requirements, 10 years or more of active engineering work of a
   67  character indicating that the applicant is competent to be
   68  placed in responsible charge of engineering. However, this
   69  subparagraph does not apply unless such person notifies the
   70  department before July 1, 1984, that she or he was engaged in
   71  such work on July 1, 1981.
   73  The board shall adopt rules providing for the review and
   74  approval of schools or colleges and the courses of study in
   75  engineering in such schools and colleges. The rules must shall
   76  be based on the educational requirements for engineering as
   77  defined in s. 471.005. The board may adopt rules providing for
   78  the acceptance of the approval and accreditation of schools and
   79  courses of study by a nationally accepted accreditation
   80  organization.
   81         Section 6. Subsections (2), (3), (5), and (6) of section
   82  471.015, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
   83         471.015 Licensure.—
   84         (2)(a) The board shall certify for licensure any applicant
   85  who has submitted proof satisfactory to the board that he or she
   86  is at least 18 years of age and who:
   87         1. Satisfies the requirements of s. 471.013(1)(a)1. and has
   88  a record of 4 years of active engineering experience of a
   89  character indicating competence to be in responsible charge of
   90  engineering; or
   91         2. Satisfies the requirements of s. 471.013(1)(a)2. and has
   92  a record of 6 years of active engineering experience of a
   93  character indicating competence to be in responsible charge of
   94  engineering s. 471.013.
   95         (b) The board may refuse to certify any applicant who has
   96  violated any of the provisions of s. 471.031.
   97         (3) The board shall certify as qualified for a license by
   98  endorsement an applicant who:
   99         (a) Qualifies to take the fundamentals examination and the
  100  principles and practice examination as set forth in s. 471.013,
  101  has passed a United States national, regional, state, or
  102  territorial licensing examination that is substantially
  103  equivalent to the fundamentals examination and principles and
  104  practice examination required by s. 471.013, and has satisfied
  105  the experience requirements set forth in paragraph (2)(a) and s.
  106  471.013; or
  107         (b) Holds a valid license to practice engineering issued by
  108  another state or territory of the United States, if the criteria
  109  for issuance of the license were substantially the same as the
  110  licensure criteria that existed in this state at the time the
  111  license was issued.
  112         (5)(a) The board shall deem that an applicant who seeks
  113  licensure by endorsement has passed an examination substantially
  114  equivalent to the fundamentals examination when such applicant
  115  has held a valid professional engineer’s license in another
  116  state for 10 15 years and has had 15 20 years of continuous
  117  professional-level engineering experience.
  118         (b) The board shall deem that an applicant who seeks
  119  licensure by endorsement has passed an examination substantially
  120  equivalent to the fundamentals examination and the principles
  121  and practices examination when such applicant has held a valid
  122  professional engineer’s license in another state for 20 25 years
  123  and has had 25 30 years of continuous professional-level
  124  engineering experience.
  125         (6) The board may require a personal appearance by any
  126  applicant for licensure under this chapter. Any applicant of
  127  whom a personal appearance is required must be given adequate
  128  notice of the time and place of the appearance and provided with
  129  a statement of the purpose of and reasons requiring the
  130  appearance. If an applicant is required to appear, the time
  131  period within which a licensure application must be granted or
  132  denied is tolled until such time as the applicant appears.
  133  However, if the applicant fails to appear before the board at
  134  either of the next two regularly scheduled board meetings, the
  135  application for licensure may be denied.
  136         Section 7. Section 471.019, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  137  read:
  138         471.019 Reactivation.—The board shall prescribe by rule a
  139  reinstatement process for void licenses which includes
  140  establishing appropriate continuing education requirements for
  141  reactivating a license. The continuing education requirements
  142  for reactivating a license for a licensed engineer may not
  143  exceed the continuing education requirements prescribed pursuant
  144  to s. 471.017 12 classroom hours for each year the license was
  145  inactive.
  146         Section 8. Section 471.021, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  147  read:
  148         471.021 Engineers and firms of other states; temporary
  149  registration certificates to practice in Florida.—
  150         (1) Upon approval of the board and payment of the fee set
  151  in s. 471.011, the management corporation shall issue a
  152  temporary license for work on one specified project in this
  153  state for a period not to exceed 1 year to an engineer holding a
  154  certificate to practice in another state, provided Florida
  155  licensees are similarly permitted to engage in work in such
  156  state and provided that the engineer be qualified for licensure
  157  by endorsement.
  158         (2) Upon approval by the board and payment of the fee set
  159  in s. 471.011, the management corporation shall issue a
  160  temporary registration certificate of authorization for work on
  161  one specified project in this state for a period not to exceed 1
  162  year to an out-of-state corporation, partnership, or firm,
  163  provided one of the principal officers of the corporation, one
  164  of the partners of the partnership, or one of the principals in
  165  the fictitiously named firm has obtained a temporary license in
  166  accordance with subsection (1).
  167         (3) The application for a temporary license shall require
  168  the constitute appointment of the Department of State as an
  169  agent of the applicant for service of process in any action or
  170  proceeding against the applicant arising out of any transaction
  171  or operation connected with or incidental to the practice of
  172  engineering for which the temporary license was issued.
  173         Section 9. Section 471.023, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  174  read:
  175         471.023 Registration Certification of business
  176  organizations.—
  177         (1) The practice of, or the offer to practice, engineering
  178  by licensees or offering engineering services to the public
  179  through a business organization, including a partnership,
  180  corporation, business trust, or other legal entity or by a
  181  business organization, including a corporation, partnership,
  182  business trust, or other legal entity offering such services to
  183  the public through licensees under this chapter as agents,
  184  employees, officers, or partners is permitted only if the
  185  business organization is registered with possesses a
  186  certification issued by the management corporation pursuant to
  187  qualification by the board, subject to the provisions of this
  188  chapter. One or more of the principal officers of the business
  189  organization or one or more partners of the partnership and all
  190  personnel of the business organization who act in its behalf as
  191  engineers in this state shall be licensed as provided by this
  192  chapter. All final drawings, specifications, plans, reports, or
  193  documents involving practices licensed under this chapter which
  194  are prepared or approved for the use of the business
  195  organization or for public record within the state shall be
  196  dated and shall bear the signature and seal of the licensee who
  197  prepared or approved them. Nothing in this section shall be
  198  construed to mean that a license to practice engineering shall
  199  be held by a business organization. Nothing herein prohibits
  200  business organizations from joining together to offer
  201  engineering services to the public, if each business
  202  organization otherwise meets the requirements of this section.
  203  No business organization shall be relieved of responsibility for
  204  the conduct or acts of its agents, employees, or officers by
  205  reason of its compliance with this section, nor shall any
  206  individual practicing engineering be relieved of responsibility
  207  for professional services performed by reason of his or her
  208  employment or relationship with a business organization.
  209         (2) For the purposes of this section, registration with the
  210  management corporation a certificate of authorization shall be
  211  required for any business organization or other person
  212  practicing under a fictitious name, offering engineering
  213  services to the public. However, when an individual is
  214  practicing engineering in his or her own given name, he or she
  215  shall not be required to be registered licensed under this
  216  section.
  217         (3) Except as provided in s. 558.0035, the fact that a
  218  licensed engineer practices through a business organization does
  219  not relieve the licensee from personal liability for negligence,
  220  misconduct, or wrongful acts committed by him or her.
  221  Partnerships and all partners shall be jointly and severally
  222  liable for the negligence, misconduct, or wrongful acts
  223  committed by their agents, employees, or partners while acting
  224  in a professional capacity. Any officer, agent, or employee of a
  225  business organization other than a partnership shall be
  226  personally liable and accountable only for negligent acts,
  227  wrongful acts, or misconduct committed by him or her or
  228  committed by any person under his or her direct supervision and
  229  control, while rendering professional services on behalf of the
  230  business organization. The personal liability of a shareholder
  231  or owner of a business organization, in his or her capacity as
  232  shareholder or owner, shall be no greater than that of a
  233  shareholder-employee of a corporation incorporated under chapter
  234  607. The business organization shall be liable up to the full
  235  value of its property for any negligent acts, wrongful acts, or
  236  misconduct committed by any of its officers, agents, or
  237  employees while they are engaged on its behalf in the rendering
  238  of professional services.
  239         (4) Each certification of authorization shall be renewed
  240  every 2 years. Each business organization registered certified
  241  under this section must notify the board within 1 month after
  242  any change in the information contained in the application upon
  243  which the registration certification is based.
  244         (a)A qualifying agent who terminates an affiliation with a
  245  qualified business organization must notify the board, by a
  246  process established by rule, of such termination within 24 hours
  247  after the termination. If such qualifying agent is the only
  248  qualifying agent for that business organization, the business
  249  organization must be qualified by another qualifying agent
  250  within 60 days after the termination. Except as provided in
  251  paragraph (b), the business organization may not engage in the
  252  practice of engineering until it is qualified by another
  253  qualifying agent.
  254         (b) In the event a qualifying agent ceases employment with
  255  a qualified business organization and such qualifying agent is
  256  the only licensed individual affiliated with the business
  257  organization, the board may authorize another licensee employed
  258  by the business organization to temporarily serve as its
  259  qualifying agent for a period of not more than 60 days to
  260  proceed with incomplete contracts. The business organization may
  261  not operate beyond such period under this chapter absent
  262  replacement of the qualifying agent.
  263         (c) A qualifying agent shall notify the board, by a process
  264  established by rule, before engaging in the practice of
  265  engineering in affiliation with a different business
  266  organization.
  267         (5) Disciplinary action against a business organization
  268  shall be administered in the same manner and on the same grounds
  269  as disciplinary action against a licensed engineer.
  270         Section 10. Subsection (4) is added to section 471.025,
  271  Florida Statutes, to read:
  272         471.025 Seals.—
  273         (4) A successor engineer seeking to reuse documents
  274  previously sealed by another engineer must be able to
  275  independently re-create all of the work done by the original
  276  engineer. A successor engineer assumes full professional and
  277  legal responsibility by signing and affixing his or her seal to
  278  the assumed documents. Such documents must be treated as though
  279  they were the successor engineer’s original product, and the
  280  original engineer is released from any professional
  281  responsibility or civil liability for prior work assumed by the
  282  successor engineer. For the purposes of this subsection, the
  283  term “successor engineer” means an engineer who is using or
  284  relying upon the work, findings, or recommendations of the
  285  engineer who previously sealed the pertinent documents.
  286         Section 11. Paragraph (a) of subsection (5) of section
  287  553.79, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  288         553.79 Permits; applications; issuance; inspections.—
  289         (5)(a) During new construction or during repair or
  290  restoration projects in which the structural system or
  291  structural loading of a threshold building is being modified,
  292  the enforcing agency shall require a special inspector to
  293  perform structural inspections on the a threshold building
  294  pursuant to a structural inspection plan prepared by the
  295  engineer or architect of record. The structural inspection plan
  296  must be submitted to and approved by the enforcing agency before
  297  the issuance of a building permit for the construction, repair,
  298  or restoration of a threshold building. The purpose of the
  299  structural inspection plan is to provide specific inspection
  300  procedures and schedules so that the building can be adequately
  301  inspected for compliance with the permitted documents. The
  302  special inspector may not serve as a surrogate in carrying out
  303  the responsibilities of the building official, the architect, or
  304  the engineer of record. The contractor’s contractual or
  305  statutory obligations are not relieved by any action of the
  306  special inspector. The special inspector shall determine that a
  307  professional engineer who specializes in shoring design has
  308  inspected the shoring and reshoring for conformance with the
  309  shoring and reshoring plans submitted to the enforcing agency. A
  310  fee simple title owner of a building, which does not meet the
  311  minimum size, height, occupancy, occupancy classification, or
  312  number-of-stories criteria which would result in classification
  313  as a threshold building under s. 553.71(12), may designate such
  314  building as a threshold building, subject to more than the
  315  minimum number of inspections required by the Florida Building
  316  Code.
  317         Section 12. Subsections (4) and (5), paragraphs (a), (b),
  318  and (c) of subsection (7), and subsection (9) of section
  319  553.791, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  320         553.791 Alternative plans review and inspection.—
  321         (4) A fee owner or the fee owner’s contractor using a
  322  private provider to provide building code inspection services
  323  shall notify the local building official at the time of permit
  324  application, or no later than 2 p.m. of the business day before
  325  less than 7 business days prior to the first scheduled
  326  inspection by the local building official or building code
  327  enforcement agency for a private provider performing required
  328  inspections of construction under this section, on a form to be
  329  adopted by the commission. This notice shall include the
  330  following information:
  331         (a) The services to be performed by the private provider.
  332         (b) The name, firm, address, telephone number, and
  333  facsimile number of each private provider who is performing or
  334  will perform such services, his or her professional license or
  335  certification number, qualification statements or resumes, and,
  336  if required by the local building official, a certificate of
  337  insurance demonstrating that professional liability insurance
  338  coverage is in place for the private provider’s firm, the
  339  private provider, and any duly authorized representative in the
  340  amounts required by this section.
  341         (c) An acknowledgment from the fee owner in substantially
  342  the following form:
  344         I have elected to use one or more private providers to
  345         provide building code plans review and/or inspection
  346         services on the building or structure that is the
  347         subject of the enclosed permit application, as
  348         authorized by s. 553.791, Florida Statutes. I
  349         understand that the local building official may not
  350         review the plans submitted or perform the required
  351         building inspections to determine compliance with the
  352         applicable codes, except to the extent specified in
  353         said law. Instead, plans review and/or required
  354         building inspections will be performed by licensed or
  355         certified personnel identified in the application. The
  356         law requires minimum insurance requirements for such
  357         personnel, but I understand that I may require more
  358         insurance to protect my interests. By executing this
  359         form, I acknowledge that I have made inquiry regarding
  360         the competence of the licensed or certified personnel
  361         and the level of their insurance and am satisfied that
  362         my interests are adequately protected. I agree to
  363         indemnify, defend, and hold harmless the local
  364         government, the local building official, and their
  365         building code enforcement personnel from any and all
  366         claims arising from my use of these licensed or
  367         certified personnel to perform building code
  368         inspection services with respect to the building or
  369         structure that is the subject of the enclosed permit
  370         application.
  372  If the fee owner or the fee owner’s contractor makes any changes
  373  to the listed private providers or the services to be provided
  374  by those private providers, the fee owner or the fee owner’s
  375  contractor shall, within 1 business day after any change, update
  376  the notice to reflect such changes. A change of a duly
  377  authorized representative named in the permit application does
  378  not require a revision of the permit, and the building code
  379  enforcement agency shall not charge a fee for making the change.
  380  In addition, the fee owner or the fee owner’s contractor shall
  381  post at the project site, prior to the commencement of
  382  construction and updated within 1 business day after any change,
  383  on a form to be adopted by the commission, the name, firm,
  384  address, telephone number, and facsimile number of each private
  385  provider who is performing or will perform building code
  386  inspection services, the type of service being performed, and
  387  similar information for the primary contact of the private
  388  provider on the project.
  389         (5) After construction has commenced and if the local
  390  building official is unable to provide inspection services in a
  391  timely manner, the fee owner or the fee owner’s contractor may
  392  elect to use a private provider to provide inspection services
  393  by notifying the local building official of the owner’s or
  394  contractor’s intention to do so no later than 2 p.m. of the
  395  business day before less than 7 business days prior to the next
  396  scheduled inspection using the notice provided for in paragraphs
  397  (4)(a)-(c).
  398         (7)(a) No more than 15 30 business days after receipt of a
  399  permit application and the affidavit from the private provider
  400  required pursuant to subsection (6), the local building official
  401  shall issue the requested permit or provide a written notice to
  402  the permit applicant identifying the specific plan features that
  403  do not comply with the applicable codes, as well as the specific
  404  code chapters and sections. If the local building official does
  405  not provide a written notice of the plan deficiencies within the
  406  prescribed 15-day 30-day period, the permit application shall be
  407  deemed approved as a matter of law, and the permit shall be
  408  issued by the local building official on the next business day.
  409         (b) If the local building official provides a written
  410  notice of plan deficiencies to the permit applicant within the
  411  prescribed 15-day 30-day period, the 15-day 30-day period shall
  412  be tolled pending resolution of the matter. To resolve the plan
  413  deficiencies, the permit applicant may elect to dispute the
  414  deficiencies pursuant to subsection (13) or to submit revisions
  415  to correct the deficiencies.
  416         (c) If the permit applicant submits revisions, the local
  417  building official has the remainder of the tolled 15-day 30-day
  418  period plus 5 business days to issue the requested permit or to
  419  provide a second written notice to the permit applicant stating
  420  which of the previously identified plan features remain in
  421  noncompliance with the applicable codes, with specific reference
  422  to the relevant code chapters and sections. If the local
  423  building official does not provide the second written notice
  424  within the prescribed time period, the permit shall be issued by
  425  the local building official on the next business day.
  426         (9) A private provider performing required inspections
  427  under this section shall provide notice to the local building
  428  official of the date and approximate time of any such inspection
  429  no later than the prior business day by 2 p.m. local time or by
  430  any later time permitted by the local building official in that
  431  jurisdiction. The local building official may not prohibit the
  432  private provider from performing any inspection outside of the
  433  local building official’s normal operating hours, including
  434  before and after normal business hours, on weekends, or on
  435  holidays. The local building official may visit the building
  436  site as often as necessary to verify that the private provider
  437  is performing all required inspections. A deficiency notice must
  438  be posted at the job site by the private provider, the duly
  439  authorized representative of the private provider, or the
  440  building department whenever a noncomplying item related to the
  441  building code or the permitted documents is found. After
  442  corrections are made, the item must be reinspected by the
  443  private provider or representative before being concealed.
  444  Reinspection or reaudit fees shall not be charged by the local
  445  jurisdiction as a result of the local jurisdiction’s audit
  446  inspection occurring before the performance of the private
  447  provider’s inspection or for any other administrative matter not
  448  involving the detection of a violation of the building code or a
  449  permit requirement.
  450         Section 13. This act shall take effect October 1, 2019.
  452  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
  453  And the title is amended as follows:
  454         Delete everything before the enacting clause
  455  and insert:
  456                        A bill to be entitled                      
  457         An act relating to engineering; amending s. 455.271,
  458         F.S.; deleting a provision requiring a delinquent
  459         status licensee to apply for active or inactive
  460         status; requiring rulemaking to authorize licensees
  461         whose licenses are void to apply for reinstatement;
  462         amending s. 471.005, F.S.; revising definitions;
  463         amending s. 471.008, F.S.; revising the Board of
  464         Professional Engineers’ rulemaking authority; amending
  465         s. 471.011, F.S.; conforming provisions to changes
  466         made by the act; amending s. 471.013, F.S.; revising
  467         the prerequisites for a person to take an examination
  468         that determines whether she or he is qualified to
  469         practice in this state as an engineer; deleting an
  470         obsolete provision; amending s. 471.015, F.S.;
  471         revising licensure certification requirements to
  472         include active engineering experience and a minimum
  473         age; revising requirements for licensure by
  474         endorsement by the board; providing that the time
  475         period in which a licensure application must be
  476         granted or denied is tolled if an applicant is
  477         required to make a personal appearance before the
  478         board; authorizing the board to deny a license if such
  479         an applicant fails to appear before the board within a
  480         specified timeframe; amending s. 471.019, F.S.;
  481         requiring the board to adopt rules relating to a
  482         reinstatement process for void licenses; revising
  483         continuing education requirements for reactivating a
  484         license; amending s. 471.021, F.S.; requiring that
  485         temporary registrations be issued for certain work
  486         rather than certificates of authorization; amending s.
  487         471.023, F.S.; conforming provisions to changes made
  488         by the act; providing requirements for qualifying
  489         agents who terminate an affiliation with or cease
  490         employment with qualified business organizations;
  491         amending s. 471.025, F.S.; requiring a successor
  492         engineer to be able to independently re-create certain
  493         work when seeking to reuse certain documents;
  494         specifying that a successor engineer assumes full
  495         professional and legal responsibility by signing or
  496         affixing his or her seal to assumed documents;
  497         releasing the engineer who previously sealed the
  498         documents from any professional responsibility or
  499         civil liability for her or his work that is assumed by
  500         a successor engineer; defining the term “successor
  501         engineer”; amending s. 553.79, F.S.; requiring that
  502         structural inspections on a threshold building be
  503         performed during new construction or during certain
  504         repair or restoration projects; amending s. 553.791,
  505         F.S.; revising notice requirements for certain
  506         building code inspection services by private
  507         providers; decreasing the amount of time a local
  508         building official has to take certain actions after
  509         receiving a permit application and affidavit from a
  510         private provider; prohibiting a local building
  511         official from prohibiting a private provider from
  512         performing any inspection outside the local building
  513         official’s normal operating hours; providing an
  514         effective date.