Florida Senate - 2024                      CS for CS for SB 1366
       By the Committees on Appropriations; and Banking and Insurance;
       and Senators DiCeglie and Pizzo
       576-03644-24                                          20241366c2
    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 that the unit owners of certain condominium
    8         parcels are eligible to participate in the pilot
    9         program; providing requirements for associations to
   10         apply for a certain inspection; authorizing the
   11         president of the association to submit an inspection
   12         application; providing requirements for associations
   13         to apply for a certain grant; requiring the president
   14         of the association to submit a grant application;
   15         authorizing a unit owner to participate in the pilot
   16         program under certain circumstances; providing voting
   17         requirements; requiring that licensed inspectors be
   18         used for a specified purpose; requiring the department
   19         to contract with specified entities for certain
   20         inspections; providing requirements for such entities;
   21         authorizing the department to conduct criminal record
   22         checks of certain inspectors; requiring inspectors to
   23         submit fingerprints and processing fees to the
   24         department; providing requirements for hurricane
   25         mitigation inspectors and inspections; requiring that
   26         applications for inspections and grants include
   27         specified statements; authorizing an association to
   28         receive an inspection without applying for a
   29         mitigation grant; providing mitigation grants for a
   30         specified purpose; providing requirements for an
   31         association receiving a mitigation grant; authorizing
   32         an association to select its own contractors if each
   33         contractor meets certain requirements; requiring the
   34         department to electronically verify a contractor’s
   35         state license; requiring the association to complete
   36         construction to receive the final grant award;
   37         requiring the association to make the property
   38         available for final inspection once the project is
   39         completed; requiring that such construction be
   40         completed and that the association submit a request
   41         for a final inspection within a specified timeframe;
   42         requiring that mitigation grants be matched by the
   43         association; providing a maximum state contribution
   44         based on the General Appropriations Act; providing
   45         requirements for mitigation projects; providing the
   46         manner in which mitigation grants may be used;
   47         requiring the department to develop a specified
   48         process that ensures the most efficient means to
   49         collect and verify inspection and grant applications;
   50         authorizing the department to direct hurricane
   51         mitigation inspectors to collect and verify certain
   52         information; authorizing the department to contract
   53         for certain services; providing requirements for such
   54         contracts; requiring the department to implement a
   55         quality assurance and reinspection program; requiring
   56         the department to submit to the Legislature an annual
   57         report containing specified information; authorizing
   58         the department to request additional information from
   59         an applicant; providing that an application is deemed
   60         withdrawn under certain circumstances; requiring the
   61         department to adopt rules; providing an effective
   62         date.
   64  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   66         Section 1. Section 215.5587, Florida Statutes, is created
   67  to read:
   68         215.5587My Safe Florida Condominium Pilot Program.—There
   69  is established within the Department of Financial Services the
   70  My Safe Florida Condominium Pilot Program to be implemented
   71  pursuant to appropriations. The department shall provide fiscal
   72  accountability, contract management, and strategic leadership
   73  for the pilot program, consistent with this section. This
   74  section does not create an entitlement for associations or unit
   75  owners or obligate the state in any way to fund the inspection
   76  or retrofitting of condominiums in the state. Implementation of
   77  this pilot program is subject to annual legislative
   78  appropriations. It is the intent of the Legislature that the My
   79  Safe Florida Condominium Pilot Program provide licensed
   80  inspectors to perform inspections for and grants to eligible
   81  associations as funding allows.
   82         (1)DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
   83         (a)“Association” has the same meaning as in s. 718.103.
   84         (b)“Board of administration” has the same meaning as in s.
   85  718.103.
   86         (c)“Condominium” has the same meaning as in s. 718.103.
   87         (d)“Condominium parcel” has the same meaning as s.
   88  718.103.
   89         (e)“Department” means the Department of Financial
   90  Services.
   91         (f)“Property” means the parcel or parcels whose owners
   92  have applied to participate in the program.
   93         (g)“Service area” means the area of this state within 15
   94  miles inward of a coastline as defined in s. 376.031.
   95         (h)“Unit” has the same meaning as in s. 718.103.
   96         (i)“Unit owner” has the same meaning as in s. 718.103.
   97         (j)“Voting interests” has the same meaning as s. 718.103.
   98         (2)PARTICIPATION.—Only the owners of condominium parcels
   99  within the service area and which are 3 stories or less are
  100  eligible to participate in the pilot program.
  101         (a)In order to apply for an inspection of condominium
  102  parcels under subsection (4), an association must receive
  103  approval by a majority vote of the board of administration or a
  104  majority vote of the total voting interests of the association
  105  to participate in the pilot program. The president of the
  106  association may submit an inspection application for the
  107  condominium parcels participating in the pilot program.
  108         (b)In order to apply for a grant under subsection (5)
  109  which improves one or more units within a condominium parcel, an
  110  association must receive both of the following:
  111         1.Approval by a majority vote of the board of
  112  administration or a majority vote of the total voting interests
  113  of the association to participate in a mitigation grant.
  114         2.A unanimous vote of all unit owners within the structure
  115  or building that is the subject of the mitigation grant.
  116         (c)The president of the association shall submit a grant
  117  application for the condominium parcels participating in the
  118  pilot program. A unit owner may participate in the pilot program
  119  through a mitigation grant awarded to the association but may
  120  not participate individually in the pilot program.
  121         (d)The votes required under this subsection may take place
  122  at the annual budget meeting of the association or at a unit
  123  owner meeting called for the purpose of taking such vote. Before
  124  a vote of the unit owners may be taken, the association must
  125  provide to the unit owners a clear disclosure of the pilot
  126  program on a form created by the department. The president and
  127  the treasurer of the board of administration must sign the
  128  disclosure form indicating that a copy of the form was provided
  129  to each unit owner of the association. The signed disclosure
  130  form and the minutes from the meeting at which the unit owners
  131  voted to participate in the pilot program must be maintained as
  132  part of the official records of the association. Within 14 days
  133  after an affirmative vote to participate in the pilot program,
  134  the association must provide written notice in the same manner
  135  as required under s. 718.112(2)(d) to all unit owners of the
  136  decision to participate in the pilot program.
  138         (a)Licensed inspectors must be used to provide inspections
  139  of the property to determine the mitigation measures that are
  140  needed, the insurance premium discounts that may be available to
  141  the association, and the improvements to existing properties of
  142  the association that are needed to reduce a property’s
  143  vulnerability to hurricane damage.
  144         (b)The department shall contract with wind certification
  145  entities to provide hurricane mitigation inspections. To qualify
  146  for selection by the department as a wind certification entity
  147  to provide hurricane mitigation inspections, the entity must, at
  148  a minimum, meet all of the following requirements:
  149         1.Use hurricane mitigation inspectors who are licensed or
  150  certified as:
  151         a.A building inspector under s. 468.607;
  152         b.A general, building, or residential contractor under s.
  153  489.111;
  154         c.A professional engineer under s. 471.015;
  155         d.A professional architect under s. 481.213; or
  156         e.A home inspector under s. 468.8314 who has completed at
  157  least 3 hours of hurricane mitigation training approved by the
  158  Construction Industry Licensing Board, which must include
  159  hurricane mitigation techniques, compliance with the uniform
  160  mitigation verification form, and completion of a proficiency
  161  exam.
  162         2.Use hurricane mitigation inspectors who have undergone
  163  drug testing and a background screening. The department may
  164  conduct criminal record checks of inspectors used by wind
  165  certification entities. Inspectors must submit a full set of
  166  fingerprints to the department or to a vendor, an entity, or an
  167  agency authorized by s. 943.053(13). The department, vendor,
  168  entity, or agency shall forward the fingerprints to the
  169  Department of Law Enforcement for state processing, and the
  170  Department of Law Enforcement shall forward the fingerprints to
  171  the Federal Bureau of Investigation for national processing.
  172  Fees for state and federal fingerprint processing shall be paid
  173  by the applicant. The state cost for fingerprint processing
  174  shall be as provided in s. 943.053(3)(e). The results must be
  175  returned to the department for screening. The fingerprints must
  176  be taken by a law enforcement agency, designated examination
  177  center, or other department-approved entity.
  178         3.Provide a quality assurance program, including a
  179  reinspection component.
  181         (a)The inspections provided to an association under this
  182  section must, at a minimum, include all of the following:
  183         1.An inspection of the property, and a report that
  184  summarizes the results and identifies recommended improvements
  185  the association may take to mitigate hurricane damage.
  186         2.A range of cost estimates regarding the recommended
  187  mitigation improvements.
  188         3.Information regarding estimated insurance premium
  189  discounts, correlated to the current mitigation features and the
  190  recommended mitigation improvements identified by the
  191  inspection.
  192         (b)An application for an inspection must contain a signed
  193  or electronically verified statement made under penalty of
  194  perjury by the president of the board of administration that the
  195  association has submitted only a single application for each
  196  property that the association operates or maintains.
  197         (c)An association may apply for and receive an inspection
  198  without also applying for a grant under subsection (5).
  199         (5)MITIGATION GRANTS.—Grants must be used by associations
  200  to make improvements recommended by an inspection which increase
  201  the condominium parcel’s resistance to hurricane damage.
  202         (a)An application for a mitigation grant must:
  203         1.Contain a signed or electronically verified statement
  204  made under penalty of perjury by the president of the board of
  205  administration that the association has submitted only a single
  206  application for each condominium parcel that the association
  207  operates or maintains.
  208         2.Include a notarized statement from the president of the
  209  board of administration containing the name and license number
  210  of each contractor the association intends to use for the
  211  mitigation project.
  212         3.Include a notarized statement from the president of the
  213  board of administration which commits to the department that the
  214  association will complete the mitigation improvements. If the
  215  grant will be used to improve units, the application must also
  216  include an acknowledged statement from each unit owner who is
  217  required to provide approval for a grant under paragraph (2)(b).
  218         (b)An association may select its own contractors for the
  219  mitigation project as long as each contractor meets all
  220  qualification, certification, or licensing requirements in
  221  general law. A mitigation project must be performed by a
  222  properly licensed contractor who has secured all required local
  223  permits necessary for the project. The department must
  224  electronically verify that the contractor’s state license number
  225  is accurate and up to date before approving a grant application.
  226         (c)An association awarded a grant must complete the entire
  227  mitigation project in order to receive the final grant award and
  228  must agree to make the property available for a final inspection
  229  once the mitigation project is finished to ensure the mitigation
  230  improvements are completed in a matter consistent with the
  231  intent of the pilot program and meet or exceed the applicable
  232  Florida Building Code requirements. Construction must be
  233  completed and the association must submit a request to the
  234  department for a final inspection, or request an extension of
  235  time, within 1 year after receiving grant approval. If the
  236  association fails to comply with this paragraph, the application
  237  is deemed abandoned and the grant money reverts back to the
  238  department.
  239         (d)All grants must be matched on the basis of $1 provided
  240  by the association for $2 provided by the state up to a maximum
  241  contribution as provided in the General Appropriations Act.
  242         (e)When recommended by a hurricane mitigation inspection
  243  report, grants for eligible associations may be used for the
  244  following improvements:
  245         1.Opening protection, including exterior doors, garage
  246  doors, windows, and skylights.
  247         2.Reinforcing roof-to-wall connections.
  248         3.Improving the strength of roof-deck attachments.
  249         4.Secondary water barrier for roofs.
  250         (f)1.If improvements to protect the property which
  251  complied with the current applicable building code at the time
  252  have been previously installed, the association must use a
  253  mitigation grant to install improvements that do both of the
  254  following:
  255         a.Comply with or exceed the applicable building code in
  256  effect at the time the association applied for the grant.
  257         b.Provide more hurricane protection than the improvements
  258  that the association previously installed.
  259         2.The association may not use a mitigation grant to:
  260         a.Install the same type of improvements that were
  261  previously installed; or
  262         b.Pay a deductible for a pending insurance claim for
  263  damage that is part of the property for which grant funds are
  264  being received.
  265         (g)The department shall develop a process that ensures the
  266  most efficient means to collect and verify inspection and grant
  267  applications to determine eligibility. The department may direct
  268  hurricane mitigation inspectors to collect and verify inspection
  269  and grant application information or use the Internet or other
  270  electronic means to collect information and determine
  271  eligibility.
  272         (6)CONTRACT MANAGEMENT.—
  273         (a)The department may contract with third parties for
  274  grant management, inspection services, contractor services,
  275  information technology, educational outreach, and auditing
  276  services. Such contracts are considered direct costs of the
  277  pilot program and are not subject to administrative cost limits.
  278  The department shall contract with providers that have a
  279  demonstrated record of successful business operations in areas
  280  directly related to the services to be provided and shall ensure
  281  the highest accountability for use of state funds, consistent
  282  with this section.
  283         (b)The department shall implement a quality assurance and
  284  reinspection program that determines whether initial inspections
  285  and mitigation improvements are completed in a manner consistent
  286  with the intent of the pilot program. The department may use a
  287  valid random sampling in order to perform the quality assurance
  288  portion of the pilot program.
  289         (7)REPORTS.—By February 1 of each year, the department
  290  shall submit a report to the President of the Senate and the
  291  Speaker of the House of Representatives on the activities of the
  292  pilot program and the use of state funds. The report must
  293  include all of the following information:
  294         (a)The number of inspections requested.
  295         (b)The number of inspections performed.
  296         (c)The number of grant applications received.
  297         (d)The number of grants approved and the monetary value of
  298  each grant.
  299         (e)The estimated average annual amount of insurance
  300  premium discounts each association received and the total
  301  estimated annual amount of insurance premium discounts received
  302  by all associations participating in the pilot program.
  303         (f)The estimated average annual amount of insurance
  304  premium discounts each unit owner received as a result of the
  305  improvements to the building or structure.
  306         (8)REQUESTS FOR INFORMATION.—The department may request
  307  that an applicant provide additional information. An application
  308  is deemed withdrawn by the applicant if the department does not
  309  receive a response to its request for additional information
  310  within 60 days after the applicant is notified of any apparent
  311  error or omission.
  312         (9)RULES.—The department shall adopt rules pursuant to ss.
  313  120.536(1) and 120.54 to govern the program, implement this
  314  section, and carry out the duties of the department under this
  315  section.
  316         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2024.