Florida Senate - 2021                          SENATOR AMENDMENT
       Bill No. HB 487
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              
                Floor: 2/AD/2R         .            Floor: C            
             04/26/2021 03:06 PM       .      04/29/2021 12:23 PM       

       Senator Hutson moved the following:
    1         Senate Amendment (with title amendment)
    3         Before line 10
    4  insert:
    5         Section 1. Paragraph (g) of subsection (7) of section
    6  163.01, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
    7         163.01 Florida Interlocal Cooperation Act of 1969.—
    8         (7)
    9         (g)1. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section,
   10  any separate legal entity created under this section, the
   11  membership of which is limited to municipalities and counties of
   12  the state, and which may include a special district in addition
   13  to a municipality or county or both, may acquire, own,
   14  construct, improve, operate, and manage public facilities, or
   15  finance facilities on behalf of any person, relating to a
   16  governmental function or purpose, including, but not limited to,
   17  wastewater facilities, water or alternative water supply
   18  facilities, and water reuse facilities, which may serve
   19  populations within or outside of the members of the entity.
   20  Notwithstanding s. 367.171(7), any separate legal entity created
   21  under this paragraph is not subject to Public Service Commission
   22  jurisdiction. The separate legal entity may not provide utility
   23  services within the service area of an existing utility system
   24  unless it has received the consent of the utility.
   25         2. For purposes of this paragraph, the term:
   26         a. “Host government” means the governing body of the
   27  county, if the largest number of equivalent residential
   28  connections currently served by a system of the utility is
   29  located in the unincorporated area, or the governing body of a
   30  municipality, if the largest number of equivalent residential
   31  connections currently served by a system of the utility is
   32  located within that municipality’s boundaries.
   33         b. “Separate legal entity” means any entity created by
   34  interlocal agreement the membership of which is limited to two
   35  or more special districts, municipalities, or counties of the
   36  state, but which entity is legally separate and apart from any
   37  of its member governments.
   38         c. “System” means a water or wastewater facility or group
   39  of such facilities owned by one entity or affiliate entities.
   40         d. “Utility” means a water or wastewater utility and
   41  includes every person, separate legal entity, lessee, trustee,
   42  or receiver owning, operating, managing, or controlling a
   43  system, or proposing construction of a system, who is providing,
   44  or proposes to provide, water or wastewater service to the
   45  public for compensation.
   46         3. A separate legal entity that seeks to acquire any
   47  utility shall notify the host government in writing by certified
   48  mail about the contemplated acquisition not less than 30 days
   49  before any proposed transfer of ownership, use, or possession of
   50  any utility assets by such separate legal entity. The potential
   51  acquisition notice shall be provided to the legislative head of
   52  the governing body of the host government and to its chief
   53  administrative officer and shall provide the name and address of
   54  a contact person for the separate legal entity and information
   55  identified in s. 367.071(4)(a) concerning the contemplated
   56  acquisition.
   57         4.a. Within 30 days following receipt of the notice, the
   58  host government may adopt a resolution to become a member of the
   59  separate legal entity, adopt a resolution to approve the utility
   60  acquisition, or adopt a resolution to prohibit the utility
   61  acquisition by the separate legal entity if the host government
   62  determines that the proposed acquisition is not in the public
   63  interest. A resolution adopted by the host government which
   64  prohibits the acquisition may include conditions that would make
   65  the proposal acceptable to the host government.
   66         b. If a host government adopts a membership resolution, the
   67  separate legal entity shall accept the host government as a
   68  member on the same basis as its existing members before any
   69  transfer of ownership, use, or possession of the utility or the
   70  utility facilities. If a host government adopts a resolution to
   71  approve the utility acquisition, the separate legal entity may
   72  complete the acquisition. If a host government adopts a
   73  prohibition resolution, the separate legal entity may not
   74  acquire the utility within that host government’s territory
   75  without the specific consent of the host government by future
   76  resolution. If a host government does not adopt a prohibition
   77  resolution or an approval resolution, the separate legal entity
   78  may proceed to acquire the utility after the 30-day notice
   79  period without further notice.
   80         5. After the acquisition or construction of any utility
   81  systems by a separate legal entity created under this paragraph,
   82  revenues or any other income may not be transferred or paid to a
   83  member of a separate legal entity, or to any other special
   84  district, county, or municipality, from user fees or other
   85  charges or revenues generated from customers that are not
   86  physically located within the jurisdictional or service delivery
   87  boundaries of the member, special district, county, or
   88  municipality receiving the transfer or payment. Any transfer or
   89  payment to a member, special district, or other local government
   90  must be solely from user fees or other charges or revenues
   91  generated from customers that are physically located within the
   92  jurisdictional or service delivery boundaries of the member,
   93  special district, or local government receiving the transfer of
   94  payment.
   95         6. This section is an alternative provision otherwise
   96  provided by law as authorized in s. 4, Art. VIII of the State
   97  Constitution for any transfer of power as a result of an
   98  acquisition of a utility by a separate legal entity from a
   99  municipality, county, or special district.
  100         7. The entity may finance or refinance the acquisition,
  101  construction, expansion, and improvement of such facilities
  102  relating to a governmental function or purpose through the
  103  issuance of its bonds, notes, or other obligations under this
  104  section or as otherwise authorized by law. The entity has all
  105  the powers provided by the interlocal agreement under which it
  106  is created or which are necessary to finance, own, operate, or
  107  manage the public facility, including, without limitation, the
  108  power to establish rates, charges, and fees for products or
  109  services provided by it, the power to levy special assessments,
  110  the power to sell or finance all or a portion of such facility,
  111  and the power to contract with a public or private entity to
  112  manage and operate such facilities or to provide or receive
  113  facilities, services, or products. Except as may be limited by
  114  the interlocal agreement under which the entity is created, all
  115  of the privileges, benefits, powers, and terms of s. 125.01,
  116  relating to counties, and s. 166.021, relating to
  117  municipalities, are fully applicable to the entity. However,
  118  neither the entity nor any of its members on behalf of the
  119  entity may exercise the power of eminent domain over the
  120  facilities or property of any existing water or wastewater plant
  121  utility system, nor may the entity acquire title to any water or
  122  wastewater plant utility facilities, other facilities, or
  123  property which was acquired by the use of eminent domain after
  124  the effective date of this act, unless 10 or more years have
  125  elapsed since the date of the acquisition by eminent domain.
  126  Bonds, notes, and other obligations issued by the entity are
  127  issued on behalf of the public agencies that are members of the
  128  entity.
  129         8. Any entity created under this section may also issue
  130  bond anticipation notes in connection with the authorization,
  131  issuance, and sale of bonds. The bonds may be issued as serial
  132  bonds or as term bonds or both. Any entity may issue capital
  133  appreciation bonds or variable rate bonds. Any bonds, notes, or
  134  other obligations must be authorized by resolution of the
  135  governing body of the entity and bear the date or dates; mature
  136  at the time or times, not exceeding 40 years from their
  137  respective dates; bear interest at the rate or rates; be payable
  138  at the time or times; be in the denomination; be in the form;
  139  carry the registration privileges; be executed in the manner; be
  140  payable from the sources and in the medium or payment and at the
  141  place; and be subject to the terms of redemption, including
  142  redemption prior to maturity, as the resolution may provide. If
  143  any officer whose signature, or a facsimile of whose signature,
  144  appears on any bonds, notes, or other obligations ceases to be
  145  an officer before the delivery of the bonds, notes, or other
  146  obligations, the signature or facsimile is valid and sufficient
  147  for all purposes as if he or she had remained in office until
  148  the delivery. The bonds, notes, or other obligations may be sold
  149  at public or private sale for such price as the governing body
  150  of the entity shall determine. Pending preparation of the
  151  definitive bonds, the entity may issue interim certificates,
  152  which shall be exchanged for the definitive bonds. The bonds may
  153  be secured by a form of credit enhancement, if any, as the
  154  entity deems appropriate. The bonds may be secured by an
  155  indenture of trust or trust agreement. In addition, the
  156  governing body of the legal entity may delegate, to an officer,
  157  official, or agent of the legal entity as the governing body of
  158  the legal entity may select, the power to determine the time;
  159  manner of sale, public or private; maturities; rate of interest,
  160  which may be fixed or may vary at the time and in accordance
  161  with a specified formula or method of determination; and other
  162  terms and conditions as may be deemed appropriate by the
  163  officer, official, or agent so designated by the governing body
  164  of the legal entity. However, the amount and maturity of the
  165  bonds, notes, or other obligations and the interest rate of the
  166  bonds, notes, or other obligations must be within the limits
  167  prescribed by the governing body of the legal entity and its
  168  resolution delegating to an officer, official, or agent the
  169  power to authorize the issuance and sale of the bonds, notes, or
  170  other obligations.
  171         9. Bonds, notes, or other obligations issued under this
  172  paragraph may be validated as provided in chapter 75. The
  173  complaint in any action to validate the bonds, notes, or other
  174  obligations must be filed only in the Circuit Court for Leon
  175  County. The notice required to be published by s. 75.06 must be
  176  published in Leon County and in each county that is a member of
  177  the entity issuing the bonds, notes, or other obligations, or in
  178  which a member of the entity is located, and the complaint and
  179  order of the circuit court must be served only on the State
  180  Attorney of the Second Judicial Circuit and on the state
  181  attorney of each circuit in each county that is a member of the
  182  entity issuing the bonds, notes, or other obligations or in
  183  which a member of the entity is located. Section 75.04(2) does
  184  not apply to a complaint for validation brought by the legal
  185  entity.
  186         10. The accomplishment of the authorized purposes of a
  187  legal entity created under this paragraph is in all respects for
  188  the benefit of the people of the state, for the increase of
  189  their commerce and prosperity, and for the improvement of their
  190  health and living conditions. Since the legal entity will
  191  perform essential governmental functions for the public health,
  192  safety, and welfare in accomplishing its purposes, the legal
  193  entity is not required to pay any taxes or assessments of any
  194  kind whatsoever upon any property acquired or used by it for
  195  such purposes or upon any revenues at any time received by it,
  196  whether the property is within or outside the jurisdiction of
  197  members of the entity. The exemption provided in this paragraph
  198  applies regardless of whether the separate legal entity enters
  199  into agreements with private firms or entities to manage,
  200  operate, or improve the utilities owned by the separate legal
  201  entity. The bonds, notes, and other obligations of an entity,
  202  their transfer, and the income therefrom, including any profits
  203  made on the sale thereof, are at all times free from taxation of
  204  any kind by the state or by any political subdivision or other
  205  agency or instrumentality thereof. The exemption granted in this
  206  subparagraph is not applicable to any tax imposed by chapter 220
  207  on interest, income, or profits on debt obligations owned by
  208  corporations.
  210  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
  211  And the title is amended as follows:
  212         Between lines 2 and 3
  213  insert:
  214         amending s. 163.01, F.S.; providing an exception to a
  215         prohibition against legal entities and their members
  216         exercising the power of eminent domain over or
  217         acquiring title to certain facilities or property;