Florida Senate - 2020                                    SB 1172
       By Senator Albritton
       26-00920B-20                                          20201172__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to transportation; amending s. 20.23,
    3         F.S.; revising requirements for determining the
    4         salaries of the secretary of the Department of
    5         Transportation and assistant secretaries; specifying
    6         the secretary’s minimum salary; amending s. 316.2397,
    7         F.S.; authorizing certain vehicles to show or display
    8         certain lights under certain circumstances; amending
    9         s. 337.14, F.S.; requiring certain contractors to be
   10         certified by the department as qualified; revising the
   11         financial statements required to accompany an
   12         application for certification; prohibiting the
   13         department from considering certain financial
   14         information; requiring the contractor to submit
   15         interim financial statements under certain
   16         circumstances; providing requirements for such
   17         statements; expanding an exception to a certain
   18         prohibition on contracting to include airport
   19         projects; amending s. 337.195, F.S.; specifying
   20         conditions under which the limitation on liability of
   21         the department applies for personal injury, property
   22         damage, or death; amending s. 338.155, F.S.;
   23         authorizing the Governor to suspend payment of tolls
   24         when necessary to assist emergency evacuation;
   25         providing for automatic reinstatement of tolls;
   26         authorizing the Governor to override the automatic
   27         reinstatement in extraordinary circumstances;
   28         providing an effective date.
   30  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   32         Section 1. Subsection (1) of section 20.23, Florida
   33  Statutes, is amended to read:
   34         20.23 Department of Transportation.—There is created a
   35  Department of Transportation which shall be a decentralized
   36  agency.
   37         (1)(a) The head of the Department of Transportation is the
   38  Secretary of Transportation. The secretary shall be appointed by
   39  the Governor from among three persons nominated by the Florida
   40  Transportation Commission and shall be subject to confirmation
   41  by the Senate. The secretary shall serve at the pleasure of the
   42  Governor.
   43         (b) The secretary shall be a proven, effective
   44  administrator who, by a combination of education and experience,
   45  shall clearly possesses possess a broad knowledge of the
   46  administrative, financial, and technical aspects of the
   47  development, operation, and regulation of transportation systems
   48  and facilities or comparable systems and facilities.
   49         (c) The secretary shall provide to the Florida
   50  Transportation Commission or its staff, such assistance,
   51  information, and documents as are requested by the commission or
   52  its staff to enable the commission to fulfill its duties and
   53  responsibilities.
   54         (d) The secretary may appoint up to three assistant
   55  secretaries who shall be directly responsible to the secretary
   56  and who shall perform such duties as are assigned by the
   57  secretary. The secretary shall designate to an assistant
   58  secretary the duties related to enhancing economic prosperity,
   59  including, but not limited to, the responsibility of liaison
   60  with the head of economic development in the Executive Office of
   61  the Governor. Such assistant secretary shall be directly
   62  responsible for providing the Executive Office of the Governor
   63  with investment opportunities and transportation projects that
   64  expand the state’s role as a global hub for trade and investment
   65  and enhance the supply chain system in the state to process,
   66  assemble, and ship goods to markets throughout the eastern
   67  United States, Canada, the Caribbean, and Latin America. The
   68  secretary may delegate to any assistant secretary the authority
   69  to act in the absence of the secretary.
   70         (a)(e)The Any secretary appointed after July 5, 1989, and
   71  the assistant secretaries are shall be exempt from the
   72  provisions of part III of chapter 110 and shall receive
   73  compensation commensurate with their qualifications and
   74  competitive with compensation for comparable responsibility in
   75  other public sector organizations and in the private sector.
   76         (b)Upon this act becoming a law, the Florida
   77  Transportation Commission shall establish and adjust the salary
   78  of the secretary according to a market analysis focused on
   79  comparably skilled individuals in other public sector
   80  organizations, including, but not limited to, expressway
   81  authorities, aviation authorities, and port authorities, and on
   82  comparably skilled individuals in the private sector. The market
   83  analysis shall serve as a basis for ascertaining compensation
   84  levels required to retain the secretary in the position within
   85  the department and to attract external individuals whose talents
   86  can fulfill the department’s mission and effect change. Such
   87  market analysis shall be updated before the appointment of a new
   88  secretary. The salary of the secretary shall be a minimum of
   89  $180,000 per year.
   90         Section 2. Subsections (2) and (7) of section 316.2397,
   91  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
   92         316.2397 Certain lights prohibited; exceptions.—
   93         (2) It is expressly prohibited for any vehicle or
   94  equipment, except police vehicles, to show or display blue
   95  lights, except that:
   96         (a)Police vehicles may show or display blue lights.
   97         (b)However, Vehicles owned, operated, or leased by the
   98  Department of Corrections or any county correctional agency may
   99  show or display blue lights when responding to emergencies.
  100         (c)Construction vehicles within a work zone on roadways
  101  with a posted speed limit of 55 miles per hour or more may show
  102  or display flashing blue lights in conjunction with paving
  103  operations or where a hazard exists.
  104         (d)Portable radar speed display units in advance of a work
  105  zone on roadways with a posted speed limit of 55 miles per hour
  106  or more may show or display flashing red and blue lights when
  107  workers are present.
  108         (7) Flashing lights are prohibited on vehicles except:
  109         (a) As a means of indicating a right or left turn, to
  110  change lanes, or to indicate that the vehicle is lawfully
  111  stopped or disabled upon the highway;
  112         (b) When a motorist intermittently flashes his or her
  113  vehicle’s headlamps at an oncoming vehicle notwithstanding the
  114  motorist’s intent for doing so;
  115         (c)During periods of extreme low visibility on roadways
  116  with a posted speed limit of 55 miles per hour or more; and
  117         (d)(c) For the lamps authorized under subsections (1), (2),
  118  (3), (4), (5), and (9), s. 316.2065, or s. 316.235(6) which may
  119  flash.
  120         Section 3. Subsections (1) and (7) of section 337.14,
  121  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  122         337.14 Application for qualification; certificate of
  123  qualification; restrictions; request for hearing.—
  124         (1) Any contractor desiring to bid for the performance of
  125  any construction contract in excess of $250,000 which the
  126  department proposes to let must first be certified by the
  127  department as qualified pursuant to this section and rules of
  128  the department. The rules of the department must address the
  129  qualification of contractors to bid on construction contracts in
  130  excess of $250,000 and must include requirements with respect to
  131  the equipment, past record, experience, financial resources, and
  132  organizational personnel of the applying contractor which are
  133  necessary to perform the specific class of work for which the
  134  contractor seeks certification. Any contractor who desires to
  135  bid on contracts in excess of $50 million and is not qualified
  136  and in good standing with the department as of January 1, 2019,
  137  must first be certified by the department as qualified and
  138  desires to bid on contracts in excess of $50 million must have
  139  satisfactorily completed two projects, each in excess of $15
  140  million, for the department or for any other state department of
  141  transportation. The department may limit the dollar amount of
  142  any contract upon which a contractor is qualified to bid or the
  143  aggregate total dollar volume of contracts such contractor is
  144  allowed to have under contract at any one time. Each applying
  145  contractor seeking qualification to bid on construction
  146  contracts in excess of $250,000 shall furnish the department a
  147  statement under oath, on such forms as the department may
  148  prescribe, setting forth detailed information as required on the
  149  application. Each application for certification must be
  150  accompanied by audited, certified financial statements prepared
  151  in accordance with United States generally accepted accounting
  152  principles and United States generally accepted auditing
  153  standards by a certified public accountant licensed by this
  154  state or another state the latest annual financial statement of
  155  the applying contractor completed within the last 12 months. The
  156  audited, certified financial statements must be for the applying
  157  contractor specifically and must have been prepared within the
  158  immediately preceding 12 months. The department may not consider
  159  any financial information relating to the parent entity of the
  160  applying contractor, if any. The department shall not certify as
  161  qualified any applying contractor that fails to submit the
  162  audited, certified financial statements required by this
  163  subsection. If the application or the annual financial statement
  164  shows the financial condition of the applying contractor more
  165  than 4 months before prior to the date on which the application
  166  is received by the department, the applying contractor must also
  167  submit interim audited, certified financial statements prepared
  168  in accordance with United States generally accepted accounting
  169  principles and United States generally accepted auditing
  170  standards by a certified public accountant licensed by this
  171  state or another state an interim financial statement and an
  172  updated application must be submitted. The interim financial
  173  statements statement must cover the period from the end date of
  174  the annual statement and must show the financial condition of
  175  the applying contractor no more than 4 months before prior to
  176  the date that the interim financial statements are statement is
  177  received by the department. However, upon the request of the
  178  applying contractor, an application and accompanying annual or
  179  interim financial statements statement received by the
  180  department within 15 days after either 4-month period under this
  181  subsection shall be considered timely. Each required annual or
  182  interim financial statement must be audited and accompanied by
  183  the opinion of a certified public accountant. An applying
  184  contractor desiring to bid exclusively for the performance of
  185  construction contracts with proposed budget estimates of less
  186  than $1 million may submit reviewed annual or reviewed interim
  187  financial statements prepared by a certified public accountant.
  188  The information required by this subsection is confidential and
  189  exempt from s. 119.07(1). The department shall act upon the
  190  application for qualification within 30 days after the
  191  department determines that the application is complete. The
  192  department may waive the requirements of this subsection for
  193  projects having a contract price of $500,000 or less if the
  194  department determines that the project is of a noncritical
  195  nature and the waiver will not endanger public health, safety,
  196  or property.
  197         (7) A “contractor” as defined in s. 337.165(1)(d) or his or
  198  her “affiliate” as defined in s. 337.165(1)(a) qualified with
  199  the department under this section may not also qualify under s.
  200  287.055 or s. 337.105 to provide testing services, construction,
  201  engineering, and inspection services to the department. This
  202  limitation does not apply to any design-build prequalification
  203  under s. 337.11(7) and does not apply when the department
  204  otherwise determines by written order entered at least 30 days
  205  before advertisement that the limitation is not in the best
  206  interests of the public with respect to a particular contract
  207  for testing services, construction, engineering, and inspection
  208  services. This subsection does not authorize a contractor to
  209  provide testing services, or provide construction, engineering,
  210  and inspection services, to the department in connection with a
  211  construction contract under which the contractor is performing
  212  any work. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the
  213  contrary, for a project that is wholly or partially funded by
  214  the department and administered by a local governmental entity,
  215  except for a seaport listed in s. 311.09 or an airport listed in
  216  s. 332.004, the entity performing design and construction
  217  engineering and inspection services may not be the same entity.
  218         Section 4. Subsection (2) of section 337.195, Florida
  219  Statutes, is amended to read:
  220         337.195 Limits on liability.—
  221         (2) In all cases involving personal injury, property
  222  damage, or death, a contractor who constructs, maintains, or
  223  repairs a highway, road, street, bridge, or other transportation
  224  facility for the Department of Transportation is not liable to a
  225  claimant for personal injury, property damage, or death arising
  226  from the performance of the construction, maintenance, or repair
  227  if, at the time of the personal injury, property damage, or
  228  death, the contractor was in compliance with contract documents
  229  material to the condition that was the proximate cause of the
  230  personal injury, property damage, or death.
  231         (a)The limitation on liability contained in this
  232  subsection applies when the contractor is deemed in compliance
  233  with the contract and the Department of Transportation
  234  Contractor’s Past Performance Rating (CPPR) indicates
  235  conformance with the contract documents at the time of the
  236  personal injury, property damage, or death.
  237         (b)(a) The limitation on liability contained in this
  238  subsection does not apply when the proximate cause of the
  239  personal injury, property damage, or death is a latent
  240  condition, defect, error, or omission that was created by the
  241  contractor and not a defect, error, or omission in the contract
  242  documents; or when the proximate cause of the personal injury,
  243  property damage, or death was the contractor’s failure to
  244  perform, update, or comply with the maintenance of the traffic
  245  safety plan as required by the contract documents.
  246         (c)(b)Nothing in This subsection does not relieve shall be
  247  interpreted or construed as relieving the contractor of any
  248  obligation to provide the Department of Transportation with
  249  written notice of any apparent error or omission in the contract
  250  documents.
  251         (d)(c)Nothing in This subsection does not shall be
  252  interpreted or construed to alter or affect any claim of the
  253  Department of Transportation against such contractor.
  254         (e)(d) This subsection does not affect any claim of any
  255  entity against such contractor, which claim is associated with
  256  such entity’s facilities on or in Department of Transportation
  257  roads or other transportation facilities.
  258         Section 5. Paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of section
  259  338.155, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  260         338.155 Payment of toll on toll facilities required;
  261  exemptions.—
  262         (1)
  263         (b) The Governor secretary or the secretary’s designee may
  264  suspend the payment of tolls on a toll facility when necessary
  265  to assist in emergency evacuation. Such tolls shall
  266  automatically be reinstated when the county in which such tolls
  267  are collected resumes a Level 3 activation of the State
  268  Emergency Operations Center. The Governor may override the
  269  automatic reinstatement in extraordinary circumstances.
  270         Section 6. This act shall take effect July 1, 2020.