Florida Senate - 2023                        COMMITTEE AMENDMENT
       Bill No. SB 748
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              

       The Committee on Banking and Insurance (Boyd) recommended the
    1         Senate Amendment (with title amendment)
    3         Delete lines 72 - 248
    4  and insert:
    5  damage.
    6         (b) The Department of Financial Services shall contract
    7  with wind certification entities to provide hurricane mitigation
    8  inspections. The inspections provided to homeowners, at a
    9  minimum, must include:
   10         1. A home inspection and report that summarizes the results
   11  and identifies recommended improvements a homeowner may take to
   12  mitigate hurricane damage.
   13         2. A range of cost estimates regarding the recommended
   14  mitigation improvements.
   15         3. Insurer-specific Information regarding estimated premium
   16  discounts, correlated to the current mitigation features and the
   17  recommended mitigation improvements identified by the
   18  inspection.
   19         (c)(b) To qualify for selection by the department as a wind
   20  certification entity to provide hurricane mitigation
   21  inspections, the entity must shall, at a minimum, meet the
   22  following requirements:
   23         1. Use hurricane mitigation inspectors who are licensed or
   24  certified as:
   25         a. Are certified as A building inspector under s. 468.607;
   26         b. Are licensed as A general, building, or residential
   27  contractor under s. 489.111;
   28         c. Are licensed as A professional engineer under s. 471.015
   29  and who have passed the appropriate equivalency test of the
   30  building code training program as required by s. 553.841;
   31         d. Are licensed as A professional architect under s.
   32  481.213; or
   33         e. A home inspector under s. 468.8314 and who have
   34  completed at least 3 hours of hurricane mitigation training
   35  approved by the Construction Industry Licensing Board, which
   36  training must include hurricane mitigation techniques,
   37  compliance with the uniform mitigation verification form, and
   38  completion of a proficiency exam Have at least 2 years of
   39  experience in residential construction or residential building
   40  inspection and have received specialized training in hurricane
   41  mitigation procedures. Such training may be provided by a class
   42  offered online or in person.
   43         2. Use hurricane mitigation inspectors who also:
   44         a. have undergone drug testing and a background screening.
   45  The department may conduct criminal record checks of inspectors
   46  used by wind certification entities. Inspectors must submit a
   47  set of the fingerprints to the department for state and national
   48  criminal history checks and must pay the fingerprint processing
   49  fee set forth in s. 624.501. The fingerprints must shall be sent
   50  by the department to the Department of Law Enforcement and
   51  forwarded to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for processing.
   52  The results must shall be returned to the department for
   53  screening. The fingerprints must shall be taken by a law
   54  enforcement agency, designated examination center, or other
   55  department-approved entity; and
   56         b.Have been certified, in a manner satisfactory to the
   57  department, to conduct the inspections.
   58         3. Provide a quality assurance program including a
   59  reinspection component.
   60         (c)The department shall implement a quality assurance
   61  program that includes a statistically valid number of
   62  reinspections.
   63         (d) An application for an inspection must contain a signed
   64  or electronically verified statement made under penalty of
   65  perjury that the applicant has submitted only a single
   66  application for that home.
   67         (e) The owner of a site-built, single-family, residential
   68  property for which a homestead exemption has been granted may
   69  apply for and receive an inspection without also applying for a
   70  grant pursuant to subsection (2) and without meeting the
   71  requirements of paragraph (2)(a).
   72         (2) MITIGATION GRANTS.—Financial grants shall be used to
   73  encourage single-family, site-built, owner-occupied, residential
   74  property owners to retrofit their properties to make them less
   75  vulnerable to hurricane damage.
   76         (a) For a homeowner to be eligible for a grant, the
   77  following criteria must be met:
   78         1. The homeowner must have been granted a homestead
   79  exemption on the home under chapter 196.
   80         2. The home must be a dwelling with an insured value of
   81  $500,000 or less. Homeowners who are low-income persons, as
   82  defined in s. 420.0004(11), are exempt from this requirement.
   83         3. The home must undergo have undergone an acceptable
   84  hurricane mitigation inspection as provided in subsection (1)
   85  after July 1, 2008.
   86         4. The home must be located in the “wind-borne debris
   87  region” as that term is defined in the Florida Building Code.
   88         5. The building permit application for initial construction
   89  of the home must have been made before January 1, 2008.
   90         5.6. The homeowner must agree to make his or her home
   91  available for inspection once a mitigation project is completed.
   93  An application for a grant must contain a signed or
   94  electronically verified statement made under penalty of perjury
   95  that the applicant has submitted only a single application and
   96  must have attached documents demonstrating the applicant meets
   97  the requirements of this paragraph.
   98         (b) All grants must be matched on the basis of $1 provided
   99  by the applicant for $2 provided by the state up to a maximum
  100  state contribution of $10,000 toward the actual cost of the
  101  mitigation project.
  102         (c) The program shall create a process in which contractors
  103  agree to participate and homeowners select from a list of
  104  participating contractors. All mitigation must be based upon the
  105  securing of all required local permits and inspections and must
  106  be performed by properly licensed contractors. Mitigation
  107  projects are subject to random reinspection of up to at least 5
  108  percent of all projects. Hurricane mitigation inspectors
  109  qualifying for the program may also participate as mitigation
  110  contractors as long as the inspectors meet the department’s
  111  qualifications and certification requirements for mitigation
  112  contractors.
  113         (d) Matching fund grants shall also be made available to
  114  local governments and nonprofit entities for projects that will
  115  reduce hurricane damage to single-family, site-built, owner
  116  occupied, residential property. The department shall liberally
  117  construe those requirements in favor of availing the state of
  118  the opportunity to leverage funding for the My Safe Florida Home
  119  Program with other sources of funding.
  120         (e) When recommended by a hurricane mitigation inspection,
  121  grants may be used for the following improvements:
  122         1. Opening protection.
  123         2. Exterior doors, including garage doors.
  124         3. Brace gable ends.
  125         4. Reinforcing roof-to-wall connections.
  126         4.5. Improving the strength of roof-deck attachments.
  127         6.Upgrading roof covering from code to code plus.
  128         5.7. Secondary water barrier for roof.
  130  The department may require that improvements be made to all
  131  openings, including exterior doors and garage doors, as a
  132  condition of reimbursing a homeowner approved for a grant. The
  133  department may adopt, by rule, the maximum grant allowances for
  134  any improvement allowable under this paragraph.
  135         (f) Grants may be used on a previously inspected existing
  136  structure or on a rebuild. A rebuild is defined as a site-built,
  137  single-family dwelling under construction to replace a home that
  138  was destroyed or significantly damaged by a hurricane and deemed
  139  unlivable by a regulatory authority. The homeowner must be a
  140  low-income homeowner as defined in paragraph (g), must have had
  141  a homestead exemption for that home before prior to the
  142  hurricane, and must be intending to rebuild the home as that
  143  homeowner’s homestead.
  144         (g) Low-income homeowners, as defined in s. 420.0004(11),
  145  who otherwise meet the requirements of paragraphs (a), (c), (e),
  146  and (f) are eligible for a grant of up to $10,000 $5,000 and are
  147  not required to provide a matching amount to receive the grant.
  148  Additionally, for low-income homeowners, grant funding may be
  149  used for repair to existing structures leading to any of the
  150  mitigation improvements provided in paragraph (e), limited to 20
  151  percent of the grant value. The program may accept a
  152  certification directly from a low-income homeowner that the
  153  homeowner meets the requirements of s. 420.0004(11) if the
  154  homeowner provides such certification in a signed or
  155  electronically verified statement made under penalty of perjury.
  156         (h) The department shall establish objective, reasonable
  157  criteria for prioritizing grant applications, consistent with
  158  the requirements of this section.
  159         (i) The department shall develop a process that ensures the
  160  most efficient means to collect and verify grant applications to
  161  determine eligibility and may direct hurricane mitigation
  162  inspectors to collect and verify grant application information
  163  or use the Internet or other electronic means to collect
  164  information and determine eligibility.
  166         (a) The department may undertake a statewide multimedia
  167  public outreach and advertising campaign to inform consumers of
  168  the availability and benefits of hurricane inspections and of
  169  the safety and financial benefits of residential hurricane
  170  damage mitigation. The department may seek out and use local,
  171  state, federal, and private funds to support the campaign.
  172         (b)The program may develop brochures for distribution to
  173  Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, general contractors,
  174  roofing contractors, and real estate brokers and sales
  175  associates who are licensed under part I of chapter 475 which
  176  provide information on the benefits to homeowners of residential
  177  hurricane damage mitigation. Citizens Property Insurance
  178  Corporation is encouraged to distribute the brochure to its
  179  policyholders.
  181  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
  182  And the title is amended as follows:
  183         Delete lines 7 - 17
  184  and insert:
  185         granted a homestead exemption; revising the
  186         information provided to homeowners as part of a
  187         hurricane mitigation inspection; revising the
  188         hurricane mitigation inspectors that may be selected
  189         by the Department of Financial Services to provide
  190         hurricane mitigation inspections; deleting a provision
  191         requiring the department to implement a certain
  192         quality assurance program; revising the criteria for