Florida Senate - 2024                             CS for SB 1366
       By the Committee on Banking and Insurance; and Senator DiCeglie
       597-03009-24                                          20241366c1
    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” means property, whether real or
   68  personal, which is owned or leased by, or dedicated by a
   69  recorded plat to, the association for the use and benefit of its
   70  members and which is located in the service area.
   71         (c)“Board of administration” has the same meaning as in s.
   72  718.103.
   73         (d)“Condominium” has the same meaning as in s. 718.103.
   74         (e)“Condominium property” means the lands, leaseholds, and
   75  personal property that are subject to condominium ownership,
   76  whether or not contiguous, and all improvements thereon and all
   77  easements and rights appurtenant thereto intended for use in
   78  connection with the condominium and that are located in the
   79  service area.
   80         (f)“Department” means the Department of Financial
   81  Services.
   82         (g)“Property” means association property and condominium
   83  property, as applicable, located in the service area.
   84         (h)“Rebuild” means property under construction to replace
   85  a structure that was destroyed or significantly damaged by a
   86  hurricane and deemed unlivable by a regulatory authority.
   87         (i)“Service area” means the area of the state within 15
   88  miles inward of a coastline as defined in s. 376.031.
   89         (j)“Unit” has the same meaning as in s. 718.103.
   90         (k)“Unit owner” has the same meaning as in s. 718.103.
   91         (2)PARTICIPATION.—
   92         (a)In order to apply for an inspection under subsection
   93  (4) or a grant under subsection (5) for association property or
   94  condominium property, an association must receive approval by a
   95  majority vote of the board of administration or a majority vote
   96  of the total voting interests of the association to participate
   97  in the pilot program.
   98         (b)In order to apply for a grant under subsection (5)
   99  which improves one or more units within a condominium, an
  100  association must receive both of the following:
  101         1.Approval by a majority vote of the board of
  102  administration or a majority vote of the total voting interests
  103  of the association to participate in a mitigation inspection.
  104         2.A unanimous vote of all unit owners within the structure
  105  or building that is the subject of the mitigation grant.
  106         (c)A unit owner may participate in the pilot program
  107  through a mitigation grant awarded to the association but may
  108  not participate individually in the pilot program.
  109         (d)The votes required under this subsection may take place
  110  at the annual budget meeting of the association or at a unit
  111  owner meeting called for the purpose of taking such vote. Before
  112  a vote of the unit owners may be taken, the association must
  113  provide to the unit owners a clear disclosure of the pilot
  114  program on a form created by the department. The president and
  115  the treasurer of the board of administration must sign the
  116  disclosure form indicating that a copy of the form was provided
  117  to each unit owner of the association. The signed disclosure
  118  form and the minutes from the meeting at which the unit owners
  119  voted to participate in the pilot program must be maintained as
  120  part of the official records of the association. Within 14 days
  121  after an affirmative vote to participate in the pilot program,
  122  the association must provide written notice in the same manner
  123  as required under s. 718.112(2)(d) to all unit owners of the
  124  decision to participate in the pilot program.
  126         (a)Licensed inspectors must be used to provide inspections
  127  of the property to determine the mitigation measures that are
  128  needed, the insurance premium discounts that may be available to
  129  the association, and the improvements to existing properties of
  130  the association that are needed to reduce a property’s
  131  vulnerability to hurricane damage.
  132         (b)The department shall contract with wind certification
  133  entities to provide hurricane mitigation inspections. To qualify
  134  for selection by the department as a wind certification entity
  135  to provide hurricane mitigation inspections, the entity must, at
  136  a minimum, meet all of the following requirements:
  137         1.Use hurricane mitigation inspectors who are licensed or
  138  certified as:
  139         a.A building inspector under s. 468.607;
  140         b.A general, building, or residential contractor under s.
  141  489.111;
  142         c.A professional engineer under s. 471.015;
  143         d.A professional architect under s. 481.213; or
  144         e.A home inspector under s. 468.8314 who has completed at
  145  least 3 hours of hurricane mitigation training approved by the
  146  Construction Industry Licensing Board, which must include
  147  hurricane mitigation techniques, compliance with the uniform
  148  mitigation verification form, and completion of a proficiency
  149  exam.
  150         2.Use hurricane mitigation inspectors who have undergone
  151  drug testing and a background screening. The department may
  152  conduct criminal record checks of inspectors used by wind
  153  certification entities. Inspectors must submit a full set of
  154  fingerprints to the department or to a vendor, an entity, or an
  155  agency authorized by s. 943.053(13). The department, vendor,
  156  entity, or agency shall forward the fingerprints to the
  157  Department of Law Enforcement for state processing, and the
  158  Department of Law Enforcement shall forward the fingerprints to
  159  the Federal Bureau of Investigation for national processing.
  160  Fees for state and federal fingerprint processing shall be paid
  161  by the applicant. The state cost for fingerprint processing
  162  shall be as provided in s. 943.053(3)(e). The results must be
  163  returned to the department for screening. The fingerprints must
  164  be taken by a law enforcement agency, designated examination
  165  center, or other department-approved entity.
  166         3.Provide a quality assurance program, including a
  167  reinspection component.
  169         (a)The inspections provided to an association under this
  170  section must, at a minimum, include all of the following:
  171         1.An inspection of the property, and a report that
  172  summarizes the results and identifies recommended improvements
  173  the association may take to mitigate hurricane damage.
  174         2.A range of cost estimates regarding the recommended
  175  mitigation improvements.
  176         3.Information regarding estimated insurance premium
  177  discounts, correlated to the current mitigation features and the
  178  recommended mitigation improvements identified by the
  179  inspection.
  180         (b)An application for an inspection must contain a signed
  181  or electronically verified statement made under penalty of
  182  perjury by the president of the board of administration that the
  183  association has submitted only a single application for each
  184  property that the association operates or maintains.
  185         (c)An association may apply for and receive an inspection
  186  without also applying for a grant under subsection (5).
  187         (5)MITIGATION GRANTS.—Financial grants may be used to
  188  encourage associations to retrofit the property the association
  189  operates and maintains in order to make such property less
  190  vulnerable to hurricane damage.
  191         (a)An application for a mitigation grant must:
  192         1.Contain a signed or electronically verified statement
  193  made under penalty of perjury by the president of the board of
  194  administration that the association has submitted only a single
  195  application for each property that the association operates or
  196  maintains.
  197         2.Include a notarized statement from the president of the
  198  board of administration containing the name and license number
  199  of the contractor the association intends to use for the
  200  mitigation project.
  201         3.Include a notarized statement from the president of the
  202  board of administration which commits to the department that the
  203  association will complete the mitigation improvements. If the
  204  grant will be used to improve units, the application must also
  205  include an acknowledged statement from each unit owner who is
  206  required to provide approval for a grant under paragraph (2)(b).
  207         (b)An association may select its own contractor for the
  208  mitigation project as long as such contractor meets all
  209  qualification, certification, or licensing requirements in
  210  general law. A mitigation project must be performed by a
  211  properly licensed contractor who has secured all required local
  212  permits necessary for the project. The department must
  213  electronically verify that the contractor’s state license number
  214  is accurate and up to date before approving a grant application.
  215         (c)An association awarded a grant must complete the entire
  216  mitigation project in order to receive the final grant award and
  217  must agree to make the property available for a final inspection
  218  once the mitigation project is finished to ensure the mitigation
  219  improvements are completed in a matter consistent with the
  220  intent of the pilot program and meet or exceed the applicable
  221  Florida Building Code requirements. Construction must be
  222  completed and the association must submit a request to the
  223  department for a final inspection, or request an extension of
  224  time, within 1 year after receiving grant approval. If the
  225  association fails to comply with this paragraph, the application
  226  is deemed abandoned and the grant money reverts back to the
  227  department.
  228         (d)All grants must be matched on the basis of $1 provided
  229  by the association for $2 provided by the state up to a maximum
  230  contribution as provided in the General Appropriations Act.
  231         (e)When recommended by a hurricane mitigation inspection
  232  report, grants for eligible associations may be used for the
  233  following improvements:
  234         1.Opening protection.
  235         2.Exterior doors, including garage doors.
  236         3.Reinforcing roof-to-wall connections.
  237         4.Improving the strength of roof-deck attachments.
  238         5.Secondary water barrier for roof.
  239         (f)Grants may be used for a previously inspected existing
  240  structure on the property or for a rebuild.
  241         (g)1.If improvements to protect the property which
  242  complied with the current applicable building code at the time
  243  have been previously installed, the association must use a
  244  mitigation grant to install improvements that do both of the
  245  following:
  246         a.Comply with or exceed the applicable building code in
  247  effect at the time the association applied for the grant.
  248         b.Provide more hurricane protection than the improvements
  249  that the association previously installed.
  250         2.The association may not use a mitigation grant to:
  251         a.Install the same type of improvements that were
  252  previously installed; or
  253         b.Pay a deductible for a pending insurance claim for
  254  damage that is part of the property for which grant funds are
  255  being received.
  256         (h)The department shall develop a process that ensures the
  257  most efficient means to collect and verify grant applications to
  258  determine eligibility and may direct hurricane mitigation
  259  inspectors to collect and verify grant application information
  260  or use the Internet or other electronic means to collect
  261  information and determine eligibility.
  262         (6)CONTRACT MANAGEMENT.—
  263         (a)The department may contract with third parties for
  264  grant management, inspection services, contractor services,
  265  information technology, educational outreach, and auditing
  266  services. Such contracts are considered direct costs of the
  267  pilot program and are not subject to administrative cost limits.
  268  The department shall contract with providers that have a
  269  demonstrated record of successful business operations in areas
  270  directly related to the services to be provided and shall ensure
  271  the highest accountability for use of state funds, consistent
  272  with this section.
  273         (b)The department shall implement a quality assurance and
  274  reinspection program that determines whether initial inspections
  275  and mitigation improvements are completed in a manner consistent
  276  with the intent of the pilot program. The department may use a
  277  valid random sampling in order to perform the quality assurance
  278  portion of the pilot program.
  279         (7)REPORTS.—By February 1 of each year, the department
  280  shall submit a report to the President of the Senate and the
  281  Speaker of the House of Representatives on the activities of the
  282  pilot program and the use of state funds. The report must
  283  include all of the following information:
  284         (a)The number of inspections requested.
  285         (b)The number of inspections performed.
  286         (c)The number of grant applications received.
  287         (d)The number of grants approved and the monetary value of
  288  each grant.
  289         (e)The estimated average annual amount of insurance
  290  premium discounts each association received and the total
  291  estimated annual amount of insurance premium discounts received
  292  by all associations participating in the pilot program.
  293         (f)The estimated average annual amount of insurance
  294  premium discounts each unit owner received as a result of the
  295  improvements to the building or structure.
  296         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2024.