Florida Senate - 2024                                    SB 1366
       By Senator DiCeglie
       18-00907A-24                                          20241366__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to the My Safe Florida Condominium
    3         Pilot Program; creating s. 215.5587, F.S.;
    4         establishing the My Safe Florida Condominium Pilot
    5         Program within the Department of Financial Services;
    6         providing legislative intent; defining terms;
    7         providing requirements for associations and unit
    8         owners to participate in the pilot program; providing
    9         voting requirements; requiring the department to
   10         contract with specified entities for certain
   11         inspections; providing requirements for such entities;
   12         authorizing the department to conduct criminal record
   13         checks of certain inspectors; requiring inspectors to
   14         submit fingerprints and processing fees to the
   15         department; providing requirements for hurricane
   16         mitigation inspectors and inspections; requiring that
   17         applications for inspections and grants include
   18         specified statements; authorizing an association to
   19         receive an inspection without applying for a
   20         mitigation grant; providing mitigation grants for a
   21         specified purpose; providing requirements for an
   22         association receiving a mitigation grant; authorizing
   23         an association to select its own contractor if such
   24         contractor meets certain requirements; requiring the
   25         department to electronically verify a contractor’s
   26         state license; requiring the association to complete
   27         construction to receive the final grant award;
   28         requiring the association to make the property
   29         available for final inspection once the project is
   30         completed; requiring that such construction be
   31         completed and that the association must submit a
   32         request for a final inspection within a specified
   33         timeframe; requiring that mitigation grants be matched
   34         by the association; providing a maximum state
   35         contribution based on the General Appropriations Act;
   36         providing requirements for mitigation projects;
   37         providing how mitigation grants may be used; requiring
   38         the department to develop a specified process to
   39         ensure efficiency; authorizing the department to
   40         contract for certain services; providing requirements
   41         for such contracts; requiring the department to
   42         implement a quality assurance and reinspection
   43         program; requiring the department to submit to the
   44         Legislature an annual report with specified
   45         information; providing an effective date.
   47  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   49         Section 1. Section 215.5587, Florida Statutes, is created
   50  to read:
   51         215.5587My Safe Florida Condominium Pilot Program.—There
   52  is established within the Department of Financial Services the
   53  My Safe Florida Condominium Pilot Program to be implemented
   54  pursuant to appropriations. The department shall provide fiscal
   55  accountability, contract management, and strategic leadership
   56  for the pilot program, consistent with this section. This
   57  section does not create an entitlement for associations or unit
   58  owners or obligate the state in any way to fund the inspection
   59  or retrofitting of condominiums in the state. Implementation of
   60  this pilot program is subject to annual legislative
   61  appropriations. It is the intent of the Legislature that the My
   62  Safe Florida Condominium Pilot Program provide licensed
   63  inspectors to perform inspections for and grants to eligible
   64  associations as funding allows.
   65         (1)DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
   66         (a)“Association” has the same meaning as in s. 718.103.
   67         (b)“Association property” has the same meaning as in s.
   68  718.103.
   69         (c)“Board of administration” has the same meaning as in s.
   70  718.103.
   71         (d)“Condominium” has the same meaning as in s. 718.103.
   72         (e)“Condominium property” has the same meaning as in s.
   73  718.103.
   74         (f)“Department” means the Department of Financial
   75  Services.
   76         (g)“Property” means association property and condominium
   77  property, as applicable.
   78         (h)“Rebuild” means property under construction to replace
   79  a structure that was destroyed or significantly damaged by a
   80  hurricane and deemed unlivable by a regulatory authority.
   81         (i)“Unit” has the same meaning as in s. 718.103.
   82         (j)“Unit owner” has the same meaning as in s. 718.103.
   83         (2)PARTICIPATION.—
   84         (a)In order to apply for an inspection under subsection
   85  (4) or a grant under subsection (5) for association property or
   86  condominium property, an association must receive approval by a
   87  majority vote of the board of administration or a majority vote
   88  of the total voting interests of the association to participate
   89  in the pilot program.
   90         (b)In order to apply for a grant under subsection (5)
   91  which improves one or more units within a condominium, an
   92  association must receive both of the following:
   93         1.Approval by a majority vote of the board of
   94  administration or a majority vote of the total voting interests
   95  of the association to participate in a mitigation inspection.
   96         2.A unanimous vote of all unit owners within the structure
   97  or building that is the subject of the mitigation grant.
   98         (c)A unit owner may participate in the pilot program
   99  through a mitigation grant awarded to the association but may
  100  not participate individually in the pilot program.
  101         (d)The votes required under this subsection may take place
  102  at the annual budget meeting of the association or at a unit
  103  owner meeting called for the purpose of taking such vote. Before
  104  a vote of the unit owners may be taken, the association must
  105  provide to the unit owners a clear disclosure of the pilot
  106  program on a form created by the department. The president and
  107  the treasurer of the board of administration must sign the
  108  disclosure form indicating that a copy of the form was provided
  109  to each unit owner of the association. The signed disclosure
  110  form and the minutes from the meeting at which the unit owners
  111  voted to participate in the pilot program must be maintained as
  112  part of the official records of the association. Within 14 days
  113  after an affirmative vote to participate in the pilot program,
  114  the association must provide written notice in the same manner
  115  as required under s. 718.112(2)(d) to all unit owners of the
  116  decision to participate in the pilot program.
  118         (a)Licensed inspectors shall provide inspections of the
  119  property to determine the mitigation measures that are needed,
  120  the insurance premium discounts that may be available to the
  121  association, and the improvements to existing properties of the
  122  association that are needed to reduce a property’s vulnerability
  123  to hurricane damage.
  124         (b)The department shall contract with wind certification
  125  entities to provide hurricane mitigation inspections. To qualify
  126  for selection by the department as a wind certification entity
  127  to provide hurricane mitigation inspections, the entity must, at
  128  a minimum, meet all of the following requirements:
  129         1.Use hurricane mitigation inspectors who are licensed or
  130  certified as:
  131         a.A building inspector under s. 468.607;
  132         b.A general, building, or residential contractor under s.
  133  489.111;
  134         c.A professional engineer under s. 471.015;
  135         d.A professional architect under s. 481.213; or
  136         e.A home inspector under s. 468.8314 who has completed at
  137  least 3 hours of hurricane mitigation training approved by the
  138  Construction Industry Licensing Board, which must include
  139  hurricane mitigation techniques, compliance with the uniform
  140  mitigation verification form, and completion of a proficiency
  141  exam.
  142         2.Use hurricane mitigation inspectors who have undergone
  143  drug testing and a background screening. The department may
  144  conduct criminal record checks of inspectors used by wind
  145  certification entities. Inspectors must submit a set of
  146  fingerprints to the department for state and national criminal
  147  history checks and must pay the fingerprint processing fee set
  148  forth in s. 624.501. The fingerprints must be sent by the
  149  department to the Department of Law Enforcement and forwarded to
  150  the Federal Bureau of Investigation for processing. The results
  151  must be returned to the department for screening. The
  152  fingerprints must be taken by a law enforcement agency,
  153  designated examination center, or other department-approved
  154  entity.
  155         3.Provide a quality assurance program, including a
  156  reinspection component.
  158         (a)The inspections provided to an association under this
  159  section must, at a minimum, include all of the following:
  160         1.An inspection of the property, and a report that
  161  summarizes the results and identifies recommended improvements
  162  the association may take to mitigate hurricane damage.
  163         2.A range of cost estimates regarding the recommended
  164  mitigation improvements.
  165         3.Information regarding estimated insurance premium
  166  discounts, correlated to the current mitigation features and the
  167  recommended mitigation improvements identified by the
  168  inspection.
  169         (b)An application for an inspection must contain a signed
  170  or electronically verified statement made under penalty of
  171  perjury by the president of the board of administration that the
  172  association has submitted only a single application for each
  173  property that the association operates or maintains.
  174         (c)An association may apply for and receive an inspection
  175  without also applying for a grant under subsection (5).
  176         (5)MITIGATION GRANTS.—Financial grants may be used to
  177  encourage associations to retrofit the property the association
  178  operates and maintains in order to make such property less
  179  vulnerable to hurricane damage.
  180         (a)An application for a mitigation grant must:
  181         1.Contain a signed or electronically verified statement
  182  made under penalty of perjury by the president of the board of
  183  administration that the association has submitted only a single
  184  application for each property that the association operates or
  185  maintains.
  186         2.Include a notarized statement from the president of the
  187  board of administration containing the name and license number
  188  of the contractor the association intends to use for the
  189  mitigation project.
  190         3.Include a notarized statement from the president of the
  191  board of administration which commits to the department that the
  192  association will complete the mitigation improvements. If the
  193  grant will be used to improve units, the application must also
  194  include an acknowledged statement from each unit owner who is
  195  required to provide approval for a grant under paragraph (2)(b).
  196         (b)An association may select its own contractor for the
  197  mitigation project as long as such contractor meets all
  198  qualification, certification, or licensing requirements in
  199  general law. A mitigation project must be performed by a
  200  properly licensed contractor who has secured all required local
  201  permits necessary for the project. The department must
  202  electronically verify that the contractor’s state license number
  203  is accurate and up to date before approving a grant application.
  204         (c)An association awarded a grant must complete the entire
  205  mitigation project in order to receive the final grant award and
  206  must agree to make the property available for a final inspection
  207  once the mitigation project is finished to ensure the mitigation
  208  improvements are completed in a matter consistent with the
  209  intent of the pilot program and meet or exceed the applicable
  210  Florida Building Code requirements. Construction must be
  211  completed and the association must submit a request to the
  212  department for a final inspection, or request an extension of
  213  time, within 1 year after receiving grant approval. If the
  214  association fails to comply with this paragraph, the application
  215  is deemed abandoned and the grant money reverts back to the
  216  department.
  217         (d)All grants must be matched on the basis of $1 provided
  218  by the association for $2 provided by the state up to a maximum
  219  contribution as provided in the General Appropriations Act.
  220         (e)When recommended by a hurricane mitigation inspection
  221  report, grants for eligible associations may be used for the
  222  following improvements:
  223         1.Opening protection.
  224         2.Exterior doors, including garage doors.
  225         3.Reinforcing roof-to-wall connections.
  226         4.Improving the strength of roof-deck attachments.
  227         5.Secondary water barrier for roof.
  228         (f)Grants may be used for a previously inspected existing
  229  structure on the property or for a rebuild.
  230         (g)1.If improvements to protect the property which
  231  complied with the current applicable building code at the time
  232  have been previously installed, the association must use a
  233  mitigation grant to install improvements that do both of the
  234  following:
  235         a.Comply with or exceed the applicable building code in
  236  effect at the time the association applied for the grant.
  237         b.Provide more hurricane protection than the improvements
  238  that the association previously installed.
  239         2.The association may not use a mitigation grant to:
  240         a.Install the same type of improvements that were
  241  previously installed; or
  242         b.Pay a deductible for a pending insurance claim for
  243  damage that is part of the property for which grant funds are
  244  being received.
  245         (h)The department shall develop a process that ensures the
  246  most efficient means to collect and verify grant applications to
  247  determine eligibility and may direct hurricane mitigation
  248  inspectors to collect and verify grant application information
  249  or use the Internet or other electronic means to collect
  250  information and determine eligibility.
  251         (6)CONTRACT MANAGEMENT.—
  252         (a)The department may contract with third parties for
  253  grant management, inspection services, contractor services,
  254  information technology, educational outreach, and auditing
  255  services. Such contracts are considered direct costs of the
  256  pilot program and are not subject to administrative cost limits.
  257  The department shall contract with providers that have a
  258  demonstrated record of successful business operations in areas
  259  directly related to the services to be provided and shall ensure
  260  the highest accountability for use of state funds, consistent
  261  with this section.
  262         (b)The department shall implement a quality assurance and
  263  reinspection program that determines whether initial inspections
  264  and mitigation improvements are completed in a manner consistent
  265  with the intent of the pilot program. The department may use a
  266  valid random sampling in order to perform the quality assurance
  267  portion of the pilot program.
  268         (7)REPORTS.—By February 1 of each year, the department
  269  shall submit a report to the President of the Senate and the
  270  Speaker of the House of Representatives on the activities of the
  271  pilot program and the use of state funds. The report must
  272  include all of the following information:
  273         (a)The number of inspections requested.
  274         (b)The number of inspections performed.
  275         (c)The number of grant applications received.
  276         (d)The number of grants approved and the monetary value of
  277  each grant.
  278         (e)The estimated average annual amount of insurance
  279  premium discounts each association received and the total
  280  estimated annual amount of insurance premium discounts received
  281  by all associations participating in the pilot program.
  282         (f)The estimated average annual amount of insurance
  283  premium discounts each unit owner received as a result of the
  284  improvements to the building or structure.
  285         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2024.