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2023 Florida Statutes (including 2023C)

Direct-support organization.
F.S. 16.618
16.618 Direct-support organization.
(1) The Department of Legal Affairs shall establish a direct-support organization to provide assistance, funding, and support to the Statewide Council on Human Trafficking and to assist in the fulfillment of the council’s purposes. The direct-support organization must be:
(a) A Florida corporation, not for profit, incorporated under chapter 617, and approved by the Secretary of State;
(b) Organized and operated exclusively to solicit funds; request and receive grants, gifts, and bequests of money; acquire, receive, hold, invest, and administer, in its own name, property and funds; and make expenditures in support of the purposes specified in this section; and
(c) Certified by the department, after review, to be operating in a manner consistent with the purposes of the organization and in the best interests of this state.
(2) The direct-support organization shall operate under written contract with the department. The contract must provide for all of the following:
(a) Approval of the articles of incorporation and bylaws of the direct-support organization by the department.
(b) Submission of an annual budget for approval by the department.
(c) Annual certification by the department that the direct-support organization is complying with the terms of the contract and is operating in a manner consistent with the purposes of the organization and in the best interests of this state.
(d) Reversion to the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence of moneys and property held in trust by the direct-support organization if the direct-support organization is no longer approved to operate or if it ceases to exist.
(e) Disclosure of the material provisions of the contract and the distinction between the board of directors and the direct-support organization to donors of gifts, contributions, or bequests, which disclosures must be included in all promotional and fundraising publications.
(f) An annual financial audit in accordance with s. 215.981.
(g) Establishment of the fiscal year of the direct-support organization as beginning on July 1 of each year and ending on June 30 of the following year.
(h) Appointment of the board of directors, pursuant to this section.
(i) Authority of the board of directors of the direct-support organization to hire an executive director.
(3) The board of directors of the direct-support organization shall consist of 13 members. Each member of the board of directors shall be appointed to a 4-year term; however, for the purpose of providing staggered terms, the appointees of the President of the Senate and the appointees of the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall each initially be appointed to 2-year terms, and the Attorney General shall initially appoint 2 members to serve 2-year terms. All subsequent appointments shall be for 4-year terms. Any vacancy that occurs must be filled in the same manner as the original appointment and is for the unexpired term of that seat. The board of directors shall be appointed as follows:
(a) Two members appointed by the executive director of the Department of Law Enforcement, both of whom must have law enforcement backgrounds with experience and knowledge in the area of human trafficking.
(b) Three members appointed by the Attorney General, one of whom must be a survivor of human trafficking and one of whom must be a mental health expert.
(c) Four members appointed by the President of the Senate.
(d) Four members appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
(4)(a) The direct-support organization may contract with the Florida Forensic Institute for Research, Security, and Tactics to develop the training and information as required by this subsection.
1. The contract with the institute must provide that the direct-support organization may terminate the contract if the institute fails to meet its obligations under this subsection.
2. If the institute ceases to exist, or if the contract between the direct-support organization and the institute is terminated, the department shall contract with another organization in order to develop the training and information as required by this subsection.
(b) Recognizing that this state hosts large-scale events, including sporting events, concerts, and cultural events, which generate significant tourism to this state, produce significant economic revenue, and often are conduits for human trafficking, the institute must develop training that is available for statewide dissemination.
1. Training must focus on detecting human trafficking, best practices for reporting human trafficking, and the interventions and treatment for survivors of human trafficking.
2. In developing the training, the institute shall consult with law enforcement agencies, survivors of human trafficking, industry representatives, tourism representatives, and other interested parties. The institute also must conduct research to determine the reduction in recidivism attributable to the education of the harms of human trafficking for first-time offenders.
(c) The institute shall serve as a repository of information on human trafficking and training materials and resources to recognize and prevent human trafficking.
(d) The human trafficking task force in each circuit, pursuant to s. 409.1754(4), shall coordinate on an ongoing basis with the institute, at least every 6 months, to update training and information on best practices to combat human trafficking.
(e) Sheriffs’ offices and local law enforcement agencies may coordinate with the institute to receive updated training and information on best practices.
(f) The direct-support organization shall develop training for firesafety inspectors in the recognition and reporting of human trafficking. Such training is eligible for continuing education credit under s. 633.216(4).
(5) In conjunction with the Statewide Council on Human Trafficking, and funded exclusively by the direct-support organization, the direct-support organization shall form strategic partnerships to foster the development of community and private sector resources to advance the goals of the council.
(6) The direct-support organization shall consider the participation of counties and municipalities in this state which demonstrate a willingness to participate and an ability to be successful in any programs funded by the direct-support organization.
(7)(a) The department may authorize the appropriate use without charge of the department’s property, facilities, and personnel by the direct-support organization. The use must be for the approved purposes of the direct-support organization and may not be made at times or places that would unreasonably interfere with opportunities for the general public to use departmental facilities.
(b) The department shall prescribe by agreement conditions with which the direct-support organization must comply in order to use department property, facilities, or personnel. Such conditions must provide for budget and audit review and oversight by the department.
(c) The department may not authorize the use of property, facilities, or personnel of the council, department, or designated program by the direct-support organization which does not provide equal employment opportunities to all persons regardless of race, color, religion, sex, age, or national origin.
(8)(a) The direct-support organization may conduct programs and activities; raise funds; request and receive grants, gifts, and bequests of money; acquire, receive, hold, invest, and administer, in its own name, securities, funds, objects of value, or other property, real or personal; and make expenditures to or for the direct or indirect benefit of the council or designated program.
(b) Notwithstanding s. 287.025(1)(e), the direct-support organization may enter into contracts to insure the property of the council or designated programs and may insure objects or collections on loan from other entities in satisfying security terms of the lender.
(9) A departmental employee, a direct-support organization or council employee, a volunteer, or a director of a designated program may not:
(a) Receive a commission, fee, or financial benefit in connection with serving on the council; or
(b) Be a business associate of any individual, firm, or organization involved in the sale or the exchange of real or personal property to the direct-support organization, the council, or a designated program.
(10) All moneys received by the direct-support organization shall be deposited into an account of the direct-support organization and shall be used in a manner consistent with the goals of the council or designated program.
(11) The department may terminate its agreement with the direct-support organization at any time if the department determines that the direct-support organization does not meet the objectives of this section.
(12) This section is repealed October 1, 2024, unless reviewed and saved from repeal by the Legislature.
History.s. 1, ch. 2019-152; s. 2, ch. 2020-2; s. 2, ch. 2022-168.