Florida Senate - 2019                CS for CS for CS for SB 616
       By the Committees on Rules; Community Affairs; and Innovation,
       Industry, and Technology; and Senators Perry and Hutson
       595-04834-19                                           2019616c3
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to engineering; amending s. 455.271,
    3         F.S.; deleting a provision requiring a delinquent
    4         status licensee to apply for active or inactive
    5         status; requiring rulemaking to authorize licensees
    6         whose licenses are void to apply for reinstatement;
    7         amending s. 471.008, F.S.; revising the Board of
    8         Professional Engineers’ rulemaking authority; amending
    9         s. 471.013, F.S.; revising the prerequisites for a
   10         person to take an examination that determines whether
   11         she or he is qualified to practice in this state as an
   12         engineer; deleting an obsolete provision; amending s.
   13         471.015, F.S.; revising licensure certification
   14         requirements to include active engineering experience
   15         and a minimum age; revising requirements for licensure
   16         by endorsement by the board; providing that the time
   17         period in which a licensure application must be
   18         granted or denied is tolled if an applicant is
   19         required to make a personal appearance before the
   20         board; authorizing the board to deny a license if such
   21         an applicant fails to appear before the board within a
   22         specified timeframe; amending s. 471.019, F.S.;
   23         requiring the board to adopt rules relating to a
   24         reinstatement process for void licenses; revising
   25         continuing education requirements for reactivating a
   26         license; amending s. 471.025, F.S.; requiring a
   27         successor engineer to be able to independently re
   28         create certain work when seeking to reuse certain
   29         documents; specifying that a successor engineer
   30         assumes full professional and legal responsibility by
   31         signing or affixing his or her seal to assumed
   32         documents; releasing the engineer who previously
   33         sealed the documents from any professional
   34         responsibility or civil liability for her or his work
   35         that is assumed by a successor engineer; defining the
   36         term “successor engineer”; amending s. 553.79, F.S.;
   37         requiring that structural inspections on a threshold
   38         building be performed during new construction or
   39         during certain repair or restoration projects;
   40         amending s. 553.791, F.S.; revising notice
   41         requirements for certain building code inspection
   42         services by private providers; decreasing the amount
   43         of time a local building official has to take certain
   44         actions after receiving a permit application and
   45         affidavit from a private provider; prohibiting a local
   46         building official from prohibiting a private provider
   47         from performing any inspection outside the local
   48         building official’s normal operating hours; providing
   49         an effective date.
   51  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   53         Section 1. Paragraph (a) of subsection (6) of section
   54  455.271, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
   55         455.271 Inactive and delinquent status.—
   56         (6)(a) A delinquent status licensee must affirmatively
   57  apply with a complete application, as defined by rule of the
   58  board, or the department if there is no board, for active or
   59  inactive status during the licensure cycle in which a licensee
   60  becomes delinquent. Failure by a delinquent status licensee to
   61  become active or inactive before the expiration of the current
   62  licensure cycle shall render the license void without any
   63  further action by the board or the department. The board, or the
   64  department if there is no board, shall adopt rules allowing a
   65  licensee whose license is void to apply for reinstatement.
   67  This subsection does not apply to individuals subject to
   68  regulation under chapter 473.
   69         Section 2. Section 471.008, Florida Statutes, is amended to
   70  read:
   71         471.008 Rulemaking authority.—The board has authority to
   72  adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to:
   73         (1) Implement provisions of this chapter or chapter 455
   74  which confer conferring duties upon it.
   75         (2) Ensure competence in the practice of engineering.
   76         (3)Ensure accuracy, completeness, and quality in the
   77  engineering products provided.
   78         Section 3. Paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of section
   79  471.013, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
   80         471.013 Examinations; prerequisites.—
   81         (1)(a) A person shall be entitled to take an examination
   82  for the purpose of determining whether she or he is qualified to
   83  practice in this state as an engineer if the person is of good
   84  moral character and:
   85         1. Is a graduate from an approved engineering curriculum of
   86  4 years or more in a school, college, or university which has
   87  been approved by the board and has a record of 4 years of active
   88  engineering experience of a character indicating competence to
   89  be in responsible charge of engineering; or
   90         2. Is a graduate of an approved engineering technology
   91  curriculum of 4 years or more in a school, college, or
   92  university which has been approved by the board within the State
   93  University System, having been enrolled or having graduated
   94  prior to July 1, 1979, and has a record of 4 years of active
   95  engineering experience of a character indicating competence to
   96  be in responsible charge of engineering; or
   97         3. Has, in lieu of such education and experience
   98  requirements, 10 years or more of active engineering work of a
   99  character indicating that the applicant is competent to be
  100  placed in responsible charge of engineering. However, this
  101  subparagraph does not apply unless such person notifies the
  102  department before July 1, 1984, that she or he was engaged in
  103  such work on July 1, 1981.
  105  The board shall adopt rules providing for the review and
  106  approval of schools or colleges and the courses of study in
  107  engineering in such schools and colleges. The rules must shall
  108  be based on the educational requirements for engineering as
  109  defined in s. 471.005. The board may adopt rules providing for
  110  the acceptance of the approval and accreditation of schools and
  111  courses of study by a nationally accepted accreditation
  112  organization.
  113         Section 4. Subsections (2), (3), and (6) of section
  114  471.015, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  115         471.015 Licensure.—
  116         (2)(a) The board shall certify for licensure any applicant
  117  who has submitted proof satisfactory to the board that he or she
  118  is at least 18 years of age and who:
  119         1. Satisfies the requirements of s. 471.013(1)(a)1. and has
  120  a record of 4 years of active engineering experience of a
  121  character indicating competence to be in responsible charge of
  122  engineering; or
  123         2. Satisfies the requirements of s. 471.013(1)(a)2. and has
  124  a record of 6 years of active engineering experience of a
  125  character indicating competence to be in responsible charge of
  126  engineering s. 471.013.
  127         (b) The board may refuse to certify any applicant who has
  128  violated any of the provisions of s. 471.031.
  129         (3) The board shall certify as qualified for a license by
  130  endorsement an applicant who:
  131         (a) Qualifies to take the fundamentals examination and the
  132  principles and practice examination as set forth in s. 471.013,
  133  has passed a United States national, regional, state, or
  134  territorial licensing examination that is substantially
  135  equivalent to the fundamentals examination and principles and
  136  practice examination required by s. 471.013, and has satisfied
  137  the experience requirements set forth in paragraph (2)(a) and s.
  138  471.013; or
  139         (b) Holds a valid license to practice engineering issued by
  140  another state or territory of the United States, if the criteria
  141  for issuance of the license were substantially the same as the
  142  licensure criteria that existed in this state at the time the
  143  license was issued.
  144         (6) The board may require a personal appearance by any
  145  applicant for licensure under this chapter. Any applicant of
  146  whom a personal appearance is required must be given adequate
  147  notice of the time and place of the appearance and provided with
  148  a statement of the purpose of and reasons requiring the
  149  appearance. If an applicant is required to appear, the time
  150  period within which a licensure application must be granted or
  151  denied is tolled until such time as the applicant appears.
  152  However, if the applicant fails to appear before the board at
  153  either of the next two regularly scheduled board meetings, the
  154  application for licensure may be denied.
  155         Section 5. Section 471.019, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  156  read:
  157         471.019 Reactivation.—The board shall prescribe by rule a
  158  reinstatement process for void licenses which includes
  159  establishing appropriate continuing education requirements for
  160  reactivating a license. The continuing education requirements
  161  for reactivating a license for a licensed engineer may not
  162  exceed the continuing education requirements prescribed pursuant
  163  to s. 471.017 12 classroom hours for each year the license was
  164  inactive.
  165         Section 6. Subsection (4) is added to section 471.025,
  166  Florida Statutes, to read:
  167         471.025 Seals.—
  168         (4) A successor engineer seeking to reuse documents
  169  previously sealed by another engineer must be able to
  170  independently re-create all of the work done by the original
  171  engineer. A successor engineer assumes full professional and
  172  legal responsibility by signing and affixing his or her seal to
  173  the assumed documents. Such documents must be treated as though
  174  they were the successor engineer’s original product, and the
  175  original engineer is released from any professional
  176  responsibility or civil liability for prior work assumed by the
  177  successor engineer. For the purposes of this subsection, the
  178  term “successor engineer” means an engineer who is using or
  179  relying upon the work, findings, or recommendations of the
  180  engineer who previously sealed the pertinent documents.
  181         Section 7. Paragraph (a) of subsection (5) of section
  182  553.79, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  183         553.79 Permits; applications; issuance; inspections.—
  184         (5)(a) During new construction or during repair or
  185  restoration projects in which the structural system or
  186  structural loading of a threshold building is being modified,
  187  the enforcing agency shall require a special inspector to
  188  perform structural inspections on the a threshold building
  189  pursuant to a structural inspection plan prepared by the
  190  engineer or architect of record. The structural inspection plan
  191  must be submitted to and approved by the enforcing agency before
  192  the issuance of a building permit for the construction, repair,
  193  or restoration of a threshold building. The purpose of the
  194  structural inspection plan is to provide specific inspection
  195  procedures and schedules so that the building can be adequately
  196  inspected for compliance with the permitted documents. The
  197  special inspector may not serve as a surrogate in carrying out
  198  the responsibilities of the building official, the architect, or
  199  the engineer of record. The contractor’s contractual or
  200  statutory obligations are not relieved by any action of the
  201  special inspector. The special inspector shall determine that a
  202  professional engineer who specializes in shoring design has
  203  inspected the shoring and reshoring for conformance with the
  204  shoring and reshoring plans submitted to the enforcing agency. A
  205  fee simple title owner of a building, which does not meet the
  206  minimum size, height, occupancy, occupancy classification, or
  207  number-of-stories criteria which would result in classification
  208  as a threshold building under s. 553.71(12), may designate such
  209  building as a threshold building, subject to more than the
  210  minimum number of inspections required by the Florida Building
  211  Code.
  212         Section 8. Subsections (4) and (5), paragraphs (a), (b),
  213  and (c) of subsection (7), and subsection (9) of section
  214  553.791, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  215         553.791 Alternative plans review and inspection.—
  216         (4) A fee owner or the fee owner’s contractor using a
  217  private provider to provide building code inspection services
  218  shall notify the local building official at the time of permit
  219  application, or by 2 p.m. local time, 2 no less than 7 business
  220  days prior to the first scheduled inspection by the local
  221  building official or building code enforcement agency for a
  222  private provider performing required inspections of construction
  223  under this section, on a form to be adopted by the commission.
  224  This notice shall include the following information:
  225         (a) The services to be performed by the private provider.
  226         (b) The name, firm, address, telephone number, and
  227  facsimile number of each private provider who is performing or
  228  will perform such services, his or her professional license or
  229  certification number, qualification statements or resumes, and,
  230  if required by the local building official, a certificate of
  231  insurance demonstrating that professional liability insurance
  232  coverage is in place for the private provider’s firm, the
  233  private provider, and any duly authorized representative in the
  234  amounts required by this section.
  235         (c) An acknowledgment from the fee owner in substantially
  236  the following form:
  238         I have elected to use one or more private providers to
  239         provide building code plans review and/or inspection
  240         services on the building or structure that is the
  241         subject of the enclosed permit application, as
  242         authorized by s. 553.791, Florida Statutes. I
  243         understand that the local building official may not
  244         review the plans submitted or perform the required
  245         building inspections to determine compliance with the
  246         applicable codes, except to the extent specified in
  247         said law. Instead, plans review and/or required
  248         building inspections will be performed by licensed or
  249         certified personnel identified in the application. The
  250         law requires minimum insurance requirements for such
  251         personnel, but I understand that I may require more
  252         insurance to protect my interests. By executing this
  253         form, I acknowledge that I have made inquiry regarding
  254         the competence of the licensed or certified personnel
  255         and the level of their insurance and am satisfied that
  256         my interests are adequately protected. I agree to
  257         indemnify, defend, and hold harmless the local
  258         government, the local building official, and their
  259         building code enforcement personnel from any and all
  260         claims arising from my use of these licensed or
  261         certified personnel to perform building code
  262         inspection services with respect to the building or
  263         structure that is the subject of the enclosed permit
  264         application.
  266  If the fee owner or the fee owner’s contractor makes any changes
  267  to the listed private providers or the services to be provided
  268  by those private providers, the fee owner or the fee owner’s
  269  contractor shall, within 1 business day after any change, update
  270  the notice to reflect such changes. A change of a duly
  271  authorized representative named in the permit application does
  272  not require a revision of the permit, and the building code
  273  enforcement agency shall not charge a fee for making the change.
  274  In addition, the fee owner or the fee owner’s contractor shall
  275  post at the project site, prior to the commencement of
  276  construction and updated within 1 business day after any change,
  277  on a form to be adopted by the commission, the name, firm,
  278  address, telephone number, and facsimile number of each private
  279  provider who is performing or will perform building code
  280  inspection services, the type of service being performed, and
  281  similar information for the primary contact of the private
  282  provider on the project.
  283         (5) After construction has commenced and if the local
  284  building official is unable to provide inspection services in a
  285  timely manner, the fee owner or the fee owner’s contractor may
  286  elect to use a private provider to provide inspection services
  287  by notifying the local building official of the owner’s or
  288  contractor’s intention to do so by 2 p.m. local time, 2 no less
  289  than 7 business days prior to the next scheduled inspection
  290  using the notice provided for in paragraphs (4)(a)-(c).
  291         (7)(a) No more than 20 30 business days after receipt of a
  292  permit application and the affidavit from the private provider
  293  required pursuant to subsection (6), the local building official
  294  shall issue the requested permit or provide a written notice to
  295  the permit applicant identifying the specific plan features that
  296  do not comply with the applicable codes, as well as the specific
  297  code chapters and sections. If the local building official does
  298  not provide a written notice of the plan deficiencies within the
  299  prescribed 20-day 30-day period, the permit application shall be
  300  deemed approved as a matter of law, and the permit shall be
  301  issued by the local building official on the next business day.
  302         (b) If the local building official provides a written
  303  notice of plan deficiencies to the permit applicant within the
  304  prescribed 20-day 30-day period, the 20-day 30-day period shall
  305  be tolled pending resolution of the matter. To resolve the plan
  306  deficiencies, the permit applicant may elect to dispute the
  307  deficiencies pursuant to subsection (13) or to submit revisions
  308  to correct the deficiencies.
  309         (c) If the permit applicant submits revisions, the local
  310  building official has the remainder of the tolled 20-day 30-day
  311  period plus 5 business days to issue the requested permit or to
  312  provide a second written notice to the permit applicant stating
  313  which of the previously identified plan features remain in
  314  noncompliance with the applicable codes, with specific reference
  315  to the relevant code chapters and sections. If the local
  316  building official does not provide the second written notice
  317  within the prescribed time period, the permit shall be issued by
  318  the local building official on the next business day.
  319         (9) A private provider performing required inspections
  320  under this section shall provide notice to the local building
  321  official of the date and approximate time of any such inspection
  322  no later than the prior business day by 2 p.m. local time or by
  323  any later time permitted by the local building official in that
  324  jurisdiction. The local building official may not prohibit the
  325  private provider from performing any inspection outside of the
  326  local building official’s normal operating hours, including
  327  before and after normal business hours, on weekends, or on
  328  holidays. The local building official may visit the building
  329  site as often as necessary to verify that the private provider
  330  is performing all required inspections. A deficiency notice must
  331  be posted at the job site by the private provider, the duly
  332  authorized representative of the private provider, or the
  333  building department whenever a noncomplying item related to the
  334  building code or the permitted documents is found. After
  335  corrections are made, the item must be reinspected by the
  336  private provider or representative before being concealed.
  337  Reinspection or reaudit fees shall not be charged by the local
  338  jurisdiction as a result of the local jurisdiction’s audit
  339  inspection occurring before the performance of the private
  340  provider’s inspection or for any other administrative matter not
  341  involving the detection of a violation of the building code or a
  342  permit requirement.
  343         Section 9. This act shall take effect October 1, 2019.