Chapter 288 Commercial Development And Capital Improvements

Link to law: http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0200-0299%2F0288%2F0288.html
Published: 2015

CHAPTER 288
COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT AND CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS

PART I
GENERAL PROVISIONS(ss. 288.0001-288.1258)

PART II
DIVISION OF BOND FINANCE(ss. 288.13-288.33)

PART III
FOREIGN TRADE ZONES(ss. 288.35-288.38)

PART IV
SMALL AND MINORITY BUSINESS(ss. 288.7015-288.714)

PART V
EXPORT FINANCE(ss. 288.770-288.778)

PART VI
GULF COAST ECONOMIC CORRIDOR(ss. 288.80-288.8018)

PART VII
INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS(ss. 288.809-288.855)

PART VIII
ENTERPRISE FLORIDA, INC.(ss. 288.901-288.923)

PART IX
TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT(ss. 288.95155-288.955)

PART X
CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT(ss. 288.9602-288.9614)

PART XI
CAPITAL FORMATION(ss. 288.9621-288.9627)

PART XII
DEFENSE CONVERSION AND TRANSITION(ss. 288.972-288.987)

PART XIII
NEW MARKETS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM ACT(ss. 288.991-288.9922)

PART XIV
MICROFINANCE PROGRAMS(ss. 288.993-288.9937)

PART I
GENERAL PROVISIONS

288.0001 Economic Development Programs Evaluation.

288.001 The Florida Small Business Development Center Network.

288.005 Definitions.

288.006 General operation of loan programs.

288.012 State of Florida international offices; state protocol officer; protocol manual.

288.017 Cooperative advertising matching grants program.

288.018 Regional Rural Development Grants Program.

288.019 Rural considerations in grant review and evaluation processes.

288.021 Economic development liaison.

288.0251 International development outreach activities in Latin America and Caribbean Basin.

288.035 Economic development activities.

288.037 Department of State; agreement with county tax collector.

288.041 Solar energy industry; legislative findings and policy; promotional activities.

288.0415 Solar energy; advancement; economic development strategy.

288.046 Quick-response training; legislative intent.

288.047 Quick-response training for economic development.

288.061 Economic development incentive application process.

288.065 Rural Community Development Revolving Loan Fund.

288.0655 Rural Infrastructure Fund.

288.0656 Rural Economic Development Initiative.

288.06561 Reduction or waiver of financial match requirements.

288.0657 Florida rural economic development strategy grants.

288.0658 Nature-based recreation; promotion and other assistance by Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

288.0659 Local Government Distressed Area Matching Grant Program.

288.075 Confidentiality of records.

288.076 Return on investment reporting for economic development programs.

288.095 Economic Development Trust Fund.

288.1045 Qualified defense contractor and space flight business tax refund program.

288.106 Tax refund program for qualified target industry businesses.

288.107 Brownfield redevelopment bonus refunds.

288.108 High-impact business.

288.1081 Economic Gardening Business Loan Pilot Program.

288.1082 Economic Gardening Technical Assistance Pilot Program.

288.1088 Quick Action Closing Fund.

288.1089 Innovation Incentive Program.

288.1097 Qualified job training organizations; certification; duties.

288.111 Information concerning local manufacturing development programs.

288.1162 Professional sports franchises; duties.

288.11621 Spring training baseball franchises.

288.11625 Sports development.

288.11631 Retention of Major League Baseball spring training baseball franchises.

288.1166 Professional sports facility; designation as shelter site for the homeless; establishment of local programs.

288.1167 Sports franchise contract provisions for food and beverage concession and contract awards to minority business enterprises.

288.1168 Professional golf hall of fame facility.

288.1169 International Game Fish Association World Center facility.

288.1171 Motorsports entertainment complex; definitions; certification; duties.

288.1175 Agriculture education and promotion facility.

288.1201 State Economic Enhancement and Development Trust Fund.

288.122 Tourism Promotional Trust Fund.

288.1226 Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation; use of property; board of directors; duties; audit.

288.12265 Welcome centers.

288.124 Convention grants program.

288.125 Definition of “entertainment industry.”

288.1251 Promotion and development of entertainment industry; Office of Film and Entertainment; creation; purpose; powers and duties.

288.1252 Florida Film and Entertainment Advisory Council; creation; purpose; membership; powers and duties.

288.1253 Travel and entertainment expenses.

288.1254 Entertainment industry financial incentive program.

288.1258 Entertainment industry qualified production companies; application procedure; categories; duties of the Department of Revenue; records and reports.

288.0001 Economic Development Programs Evaluation.—The Office of Economic and Demographic Research and the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability (OPPAGA) shall develop and present to the Governor, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the chairs of the legislative appropriations committees the Economic Development Programs Evaluation.
(1) The Office of Economic and Demographic Research and OPPAGA shall coordinate the development of a work plan for completing the Economic Development Programs Evaluation and shall submit the work plan to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives by July 1, 2013.

(2) The Office of Economic and Demographic Research and OPPAGA shall provide a detailed analysis of economic development programs as provided in the following schedule:
(a) By January 1, 2014, and every 3 years thereafter, an analysis of the following:
1. The capital investment tax credit established under s. 220.191.

2. The qualified target industry tax refund established under s. 288.106.

3. The brownfield redevelopment bonus refund established under s. 288.107.

4. High-impact business performance grants established under s. 288.108.

5. The Quick Action Closing Fund established under s. 288.1088.

6. The Innovation Incentive Program established under s. 288.1089.

7. Enterprise Zone Program incentives established under ss. 212.08(5) and (15), 212.096, 220.181, and 220.182.

8. The New Markets Development Program established under ss. 288.991-288.9922.

(b) By January 1, 2015, and every 3 years thereafter, an analysis of the following:
1. The entertainment industry financial incentive program established under s. 288.1254.

2. The entertainment industry sales tax exemption program established under s. 288.1258.

3. VISIT Florida and its programs established or funded under ss. 288.122, 288.1226, 288.12265, and 288.124.

4. The Florida Sports Foundation and related programs established under ss. 288.1162, 288.11621, 288.1166, 288.1167, 288.1168, 288.1169, and 288.1171.

(c) By January 1, 2016, and every 3 years thereafter, an analysis of the following:
1. The qualified defense contractor and space flight business tax refund program established under s. 288.1045.

2. The tax exemption for semiconductor, defense, or space technology sales established under s. 212.08(5)(j).

3. The Military Base Protection Program established under s. 288.980.

4. The Manufacturing and Spaceport Investment Incentive Program formerly established under s. 288.1083.

5. The Quick Response Training Program established under s. 288.047.

6. The Incumbent Worker Training Program established under s. 445.003.

7. International trade and business development programs established or funded under s. 288.826.

(d) By January 1, 2019, and every 3 years thereafter, an analysis of the grant and entrepreneur initiative programs established under s. 295.22(3)(d) and (e).

(e) Beginning January 1, 2018, and every 3 years thereafter, an analysis of the Sports Development Program established under s. 288.11625.

(3) Pursuant to the schedule established in subsection (2), the Office of Economic and Demographic Research shall evaluate and determine the economic benefits, as defined in s. 288.005, of each program over the previous 3 years. The analysis must also evaluate the number of jobs created, the increase or decrease in personal income, and the impact on state gross domestic product from the direct, indirect, and induced effects of the state’s investment in each program over the previous 3 years.
(a) For the purpose of evaluating tax credits, tax refunds, sales tax exemptions, cash grants, and similar programs, the Office of Economic and Demographic Research shall evaluate data only from those projects in which businesses received state funds during the evaluation period. Such projects may be fully completed, partially completed with future fund disbursal possible pending performance measures, or partially completed with no future fund disbursal possible as a result of a business’s inability to meet performance measures.

(b) The analysis must use the model developed by the Office of Economic and Demographic Research, as required in s. 216.138, to evaluate each program. The office shall provide a written explanation of the key assumptions of the model and how it is used. If the office finds that another evaluation model is more appropriate to evaluate a program, it may use another model, but it must provide an explanation as to why the selected model was more appropriate.

(4) Pursuant to the schedule established in subsection (2), OPPAGA shall evaluate each program over the previous 3 years for its effectiveness and value to the taxpayers of this state and include recommendations on each program for consideration by the Legislature. The analysis may include relevant economic development reports or analyses prepared by the Department of Economic Opportunity, Enterprise Florida, Inc., or local or regional economic development organizations; interviews with the parties involved; or any other relevant data.

(5) The Office of Economic and Demographic Research and OPPAGA must be given access to all data necessary to complete the Economic Development Programs Evaluation, including any confidential data. The offices may collaborate on data collection and analysis.

History.—s. 1, ch. 2013-39; s. 1, ch. 2013-42; s. 6, ch. 2014-1; s. 19, ch. 2014-18; s. 3, ch. 2014-167; s. 3, ch. 2014-218.

288.001 The Florida Small Business Development Center Network.—
(1) PURPOSE.—The Florida Small Business Development Center Network is the principal business assistance organization for small businesses in the state. The purpose of the network is to serve emerging and established for-profit, privately held businesses that maintain a place of business in the state.

(2) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Board of Governors” means the Board of Governors of the State University System.

(b) “Host institution” means the university designated by the Board of Governors to be the recipient organization in accordance with 13 C.F.R. s. 130.200.

(c) “Network” means the Florida Small Business Development Center Network.

(3) OPERATION; POLICIES AND PROGRAMS.—
(a) The network’s statewide director shall operate the network in compliance with the federal laws and regulations governing the network and the Board of Governors Regulation 10.015.

(b) The network’s statewide director shall consult with the Board of Governors, the department, and the network’s statewide advisory board to ensure that the network’s policies and programs align with the statewide goals of the State University System and the statewide strategic economic development plan as provided under s. 20.60.

(4) STATEWIDE ADVISORY BOARD.—
(a) The network shall maintain a statewide advisory board to advise, counsel, and confer with the statewide director on matters pertaining to the operation of the network.

(b) The statewide advisory board shall consist of 19 members from across the state. At least 12 members must be representatives of the private sector who are knowledgeable of the needs and challenges of small businesses. The members must represent various segments and industries of the economy in this state and must bring knowledge and skills to the statewide advisory board which would enhance the board’s collective knowledge of small business assistance needs and challenges. Minority and gender representation must be considered when making appointments to the board. The board must include the following members:
1. Three members appointed from the private sector by the President of the Senate.

2. Three members appointed from the private sector by the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

3. Three members appointed from the private sector by the Governor.

4. Three members appointed from the private sector by the network’s statewide director.

5. One member appointed by the host institution.

6. The President of Enterprise Florida, Inc., or his or her designee.

7. The Chief Financial Officer or his or her designee.

8. The President of the Florida Chamber of Commerce or his or her designee.

9. The Small Business Development Center Project Officer from the U.S. Small Business Administration at the South Florida District Office or his or her designee.

10. The executive director of the National Federation of Independent Businesses, Florida, or his or her designee.

11. The executive director of the Florida United Business Association or his or her designee.

(c) The term of an appointed member shall be for 4 years, beginning August 1, 2013, except that at the time of initial appointments, two members appointed by the Governor, one member appointed by the President of the Senate, one member appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and one member appointed by the network’s statewide director shall be appointed for 2 years. An appointed member may be reappointed to a subsequent term. Members of the statewide advisory board may not receive compensation but may be reimbursed for per diem and travel expenses in accordance with s. 112.061.

(5) SMALL BUSINESS SUPPORT SERVICES; AGREEMENT.—
(a) The statewide director, in consultation with the advisory board, shall develop support services that are delivered through regional small business development centers. Support services must target the needs of businesses that employ fewer than 100 persons and demonstrate an assessed capacity to grow in employment or revenue.

(b) Support services must include, but need not be limited to, providing information or research, consulting, educating, or assisting businesses in the following activities:
1. Planning related to the start-up, operation, or expansion of a small business enterprise in this state. Such activities include providing guidance on business formation, structure, management, registration, regulation, and taxes.

2. Developing and implementing strategic or business plans. Such activities include analyzing a business’s mission, vision, strategies, and goals; critiquing the overall plan; and creating performance measures.

3. Developing the financial literacy of existing businesses related to their business cash flow and financial management plans. Such activities include conducting financial analysis health checks, assessing cost control management techniques, and building financial management strategies and solutions.

4. Developing and implementing plans for existing businesses to access or expand to new or existing markets. Such activities include conducting market research, researching and identifying expansion opportunities in international markets, and identifying opportunities in selling to units of government.

5. Supporting access to capital for business investment and expansion. Such activities include providing technical assistance relating to obtaining surety bonds; identifying and assessing potential debt or equity investors or other financing opportunities; assisting in the preparation of applications, projections, or pro forma or other support documentation for surety bond, loan, financing, or investment requests; and facilitating conferences with lenders or investors.

6. Assisting existing businesses to plan for a natural or manmade disaster, and assisting businesses when such an event occurs. Such activities include creating business continuity and disaster plans, preparing disaster and bridge loan applications, and carrying out other emergency support functions.

(c) A business receiving support services must agree to participate in assessments of such services. The agreement, at a minimum, must request the business to report demographic characteristics, changes in employment and sales, debt and equity capital attained, and government contracts acquired. The host institution may require additional reporting requirements for funding described in subsection (7).

(6) REQUIRED MATCH.—The network must provide a match equal to the total amount of any direct legislative appropriation which is received directly by the host institution and is specifically designated for the network. The match may include funds from federal or other nonstate funding sources designated for the network. At least 50 percent of the match must be cash. The remaining 50 percent may be provided through any allowable combination of additional cash, in-kind contributions, or indirect costs.

(7) ADDITIONAL STATE FUNDS; USES; PAY-PER-PERFORMANCE INCENTIVES; STATEWIDE SERVICE; SERVICE ENHANCEMENTS; BEST PRACTICES; ELIGIBILITY.—
(a) The statewide director, in coordination with the host institution, shall establish a pay-per-performance incentive for regional small business development centers. Such incentive shall be funded from half of any state appropriation received directly by the host institution, which appropriation is specifically designated for the network. These funds shall be distributed to the regional small business development centers based upon data collected from the businesses as provided under paragraph (5)(c). The distribution formula must provide for the distribution of funds in part on the gross number of jobs created annually by each center and in part on the number of jobs created per support service hour. The pay-per-performance incentive must supplement the operations and support services of each regional small business development center.

(b) Half of any state funds received directly by the host institution which are specifically designated for the network shall be distributed by the statewide director, in coordination with the advisory board, for the following purposes:
1. Ensuring that support services are available statewide, especially in underserved and rural areas of the state, to assist eligible businesses;

2. Enhancing participation in the network among state universities and colleges; and

3. Facilitating the adoption of innovative small business assistance best practices by the regional small business development centers.

(c) The statewide director, in coordination with the advisory board, shall develop annual programs to distribute funds for each of the purposes described in paragraph (b). The network shall announce the annual amount of available funds for each program, performance expectations, and other requirements. For each program, the statewide director shall present applications and recommendations to the advisory board. The advisory board shall make the final approval of applications. Approved applications must be publicly posted. At a minimum, programs must include:
1. New regional small business development centers; and

2. Awards for the top six regional small business development centers that adopt best practices, as determined by the advisory board. Detailed information about best practices must be made available to regional small business development centers for voluntary implementation.

(d) A regional small business development center that has been found by the statewide director to perform poorly, to engage in improper activity affecting the operation and integrity of the network, or to fail to follow the rules and procedures set forth in the laws, regulations, and policies governing the network, is not eligible for funds under this subsection.

(e) Funds awarded under this subsection may not reduce matching funds dedicated to the regional small business development centers.

(8) REPORTING.—
(a) The statewide director shall quarterly update the Board of Governors, the department, and the advisory board on the network’s progress and outcomes, including aggregate information on businesses assisted by the network.

(b) The statewide director, in coordination with the advisory board, shall annually report, on October 1, to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives on the network’s progress and outcomes for the previous fiscal year. The report must include aggregate information on businesses assisted by the network; network services and programs; the use of all federal, state, local, and private funds received by the network and the regional small business development centers, including any additional funds specifically appropriated by the Legislature for the purposes described in subsection (7); and the network’s economic benefit to the state. The report must contain specific information on performance-based metrics and contain the methodology used to calculate the network’s economic benefit to the state.

History.—s. 1, ch. 2008-149; s. 9, ch. 2013-39; s. 43, ch. 2014-17; s. 17, ch. 2015-2.

288.005 Definitions.—As used in this chapter, the term:
(1) “Economic benefits” means the direct, indirect, and induced gains in state revenues as a percentage of the state’s investment. The state’s investment includes state grants, tax exemptions, tax refunds, tax credits, and other state incentives.

(2) “Department” means the Department of Economic Opportunity.

(3) “Executive director” means the executive director of the Department of Economic Opportunity, unless otherwise stated.

(4) “Jobs” means full-time equivalent positions, including, but not limited to, positions obtained from a temporary employment agency or employee leasing company or through a union agreement or coemployment under a professional employer organization agreement, which result directly from a project in this state. This number does not include temporary construction jobs involved with the construction of facilities for the project.

(5) “Loan administrator” means an entity statutorily eligible to receive state funds and authorized by the department to make loans under a loan program.

(6) “Loan program” means a program established in this chapter to provide appropriated funds to an eligible entity to further a specific state purpose for a limited period of time and with a requirement that such appropriated funds be repaid to the state. The term includes a “loan fund” or “loan pilot program” administered by the department under this chapter.

History.—s. 17, ch. 2011-142; s. 10, ch. 2013-39; s. 10, ch. 2013-42; s. 4, ch. 2014-218.

288.006 General operation of loan programs.—
(1) The Legislature intends to promote the goals of accountability and proper stewardship by recipients of loan program funds. This section applies to all loan programs established under this chapter.

(2) State funds appropriated for a loan program may be used only by an eligible recipient or loan administrator, and the use of such funds is restricted to the specific state purpose of the loan program, subject to any compensation due to a loan administrator as provided under this chapter. State funds may be awarded directly by the department to an eligible recipient or awarded by the department to a loan administrator. All state funds, including any interest earned, remain state funds unless otherwise stated in the statutory requirements of the loan program.

(3)(a) Upon termination of a loan program by the Legislature or by statute, all appropriated funds shall revert to the General Revenue Fund. The department shall pay the entity for any allowable administrative expenses due to the loan administrator as provided under this chapter, unless otherwise required by law.

(b) Upon termination of a contract between the department and an eligible recipient or loan administrator, all remaining appropriated funds shall revert to the fund from which the appropriation was made. The department shall become the successor entity for any outstanding loans. Except in the case of the termination of a contract for fraud or a finding that the loan administrator was not meeting the terms of the program, the department shall pay the entity for any allowable administrative expenses due to the loan administrator as provided under this chapter.

(c) The eligible recipient or loan administrator to which this subsection applies shall execute all appropriate instruments to reconcile any remaining accounts associated with a terminated loan program or contract. The entity shall execute all appropriate instruments to ensure that the department is authorized to collect all receivables for outstanding loans, including, but not limited to, assignments of promissory notes and mortgages.

(4) An eligible recipient or loan administrator must avoid any potential conflict of interest regarding the use of appropriated funds for a loan program. An eligible recipient or loan administrator or a board member, employee, or agent thereof, or an immediate family member of a board member, employee, or agent, may not have a financial interest in an entity that is awarded a loan under a loan program. A loan may not be made to a person or entity if a conflict of interest exists between the parties involved. As used in this subsection, the term “immediate family” means a parent, spouse, child, sibling, grandparent, or grandchild related by blood or marriage.

(5) In determining eligibility for an entity applying for the award of funds directly by the department or applying for selection as a loan administrator for a loan program, the department shall evaluate each applicant’s business practices, financial stability, and past performance in other state programs, in addition to the loan program’s statutory requirements. Eligibility of an entity applying to be a recipient or loan administrator may be conditionally granted or denied outright if the department determines that the entity is noncompliant with any law, rule, or program requirement.

(6) Recurring use of state funds, including revolving loans or new negotiable instruments, which have been repaid to the loan administrator may be made if the loan program’s statutory structure permits. However, any use of state funds made by a loan administrator remains subject to subsections (2) and (3), and compensation to a loan administrator may not exceed any limitation provided by this chapter.

(7) The Auditor General may conduct audits as provided in s. 11.45 to verify that the appropriations under each loan program are expended by the eligible recipient or loan administrator as required for each program. If the Auditor General determines that the appropriations are not expended as required, the Auditor General shall notify the department, which may pursue recovery of the funds. This section does not prevent the department from pursuing recovery of the appropriated loan program funds when necessary to protect the funds or when authorized by law.

(8) The department may adopt rules under ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 as necessary to carry out this section.

History.—s. 5, ch. 2014-218.

288.012 State of Florida international offices; state protocol officer; protocol manual.—The Legislature finds that the expansion of international trade and tourism is vital to the overall health and growth of the economy of this state. This expansion is hampered by the lack of technical and business assistance, financial assistance, and information services for businesses in this state. The Legislature finds that these businesses could be assisted by providing these services at State of Florida international offices. The Legislature further finds that the accessibility and provision of services at these offices can be enhanced through cooperative agreements or strategic alliances between private businesses and state, local, and international governmental entities.
(1) The department is authorized to:
(a) Establish and operate offices in other countries for the purpose of promoting trade and economic development opportunities of the state, and promoting the gathering of trade data information and research on trade opportunities in specific countries.

(b) Enter into agreements with governmental and private sector entities to establish and operate offices in other countries which contain provisions that may conflict with the general laws of the state pertaining to the purchase of office space, employment of personnel, and contracts for services. When agreements pursuant to this section are made which set compensation in another country’s currency, such agreements shall be subject to the requirements of s. 215.425, but the purchase of another country’s currency by the department to meet such obligations shall be subject only to s. 216.311.

(2) Each international office shall have in place an operational plan approved by the participating boards or other governing authority, a copy of which shall be provided to the department. These operating plans shall be reviewed and updated each fiscal year and shall include, at a minimum, the following:
(a) Specific policies and procedures encompassing the entire scope of the operation and management of each office.

(b) A comprehensive, commercial strategic plan identifying marketing opportunities and industry sector priorities for the country in which an international office is located.

(c) Provisions for access to information for Florida businesses related to trade leads and inquiries.

(d) Identification of new and emerging market opportunities for Florida businesses. This information shall be provided either free of charge or on a fee basis with fees set only to recover the costs of providing the information.

(e) Provision of access for Florida businesses to international trade assistance services provided by state and local entities, seaport and airport information, and other services identified by the department.

(f) Qualitative and quantitative performance measures for each office, including, but not limited to, the number of businesses assisted, the number of trade leads and inquiries generated, the number of international buyers and importers contacted, and the amount and type of marketing conducted.

(3) Each international office shall annually submit to Enterprise Florida, Inc., a complete and detailed report on its activities and accomplishments during the previous fiscal year for inclusion in the annual report required under s. 288.906. In the format and by the annual date prescribed by Enterprise Florida, Inc., the report must set forth information on:
(a) The number of Florida companies assisted.

(b) The number of inquiries received about investment opportunities in this state.

(c) The number of trade leads generated.

(d) The number of investment projects announced.

(e) The estimated U.S. dollar value of sales confirmations.

(f) The number of representation agreements.

(g) The number of company consultations.

(h) Barriers or other issues affecting the effective operation of the office.

(i) Changes in office operations which are planned for the current fiscal year.

(j) Marketing activities conducted.

(k) Strategic alliances formed with organizations in the country in which the office is located.

(l) Activities conducted with Florida’s other international offices.

(m) Any other information that the office believes would contribute to an understanding of its activities.

(4) The Department of Economic Opportunity, in connection with the establishment, operation, and management of any of its offices located in another country, is exempt from the provisions of ss. 255.21, 255.25, and 255.254 relating to leasing of buildings; ss. 283.33 and 283.35 relating to bids for printing; ss. 287.001-287.20 relating to purchasing and motor vehicles; and ss. 282.003-282.0056 and 282.702-282.7101 relating to communications, and from all statutory provisions relating to state employment.
(a) The department may exercise such exemptions only upon prior approval of the Governor.

(b) If approval for an exemption under this section is granted as an integral part of a plan of operation for a specified international office, such action shall constitute continuing authority for the department to exercise the exemption, but only in the context and upon the terms originally granted. Any modification of the approved plan of operation with respect to an exemption contained therein must be resubmitted to the Governor for his or her approval. An approval granted to exercise an exemption in any other context shall be restricted to the specific instance for which the exemption is to be exercised.

(c) As used in this subsection, the term “plan of operation” means the plan developed pursuant to subsection (2).

(d) Upon final action by the Governor with respect to a request to exercise the exemption authorized in this subsection, the department shall report such action, along with the original request and any modifications thereto, to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives within 30 days.

(5) Where feasible and appropriate, international offices established and operated under this section may provide one-stop access to the economic development, trade, and tourism information, services, and programs of the state. Where feasible and appropriate, such offices may also be collocated with other international offices of the state.

(6) The department is authorized to make and to enter into contracts with Enterprise Florida, Inc., to carry out the provisions of this section. The authority, duties, and exemptions provided in this section apply to Enterprise Florida, Inc., to the same degree and subject to the same conditions as applied to the department. To the greatest extent possible, such contracts shall include provisions for cooperative agreements or strategic alliances between private businesses and state, international, and local governmental entities to operate international offices.

(7) The Governor may designate a state protocol officer. The state protocol officer shall be housed within the Executive Office of the Governor. In consultation with the Governor and other governmental officials, the state protocol officer shall develop, maintain, publish, and distribute the state protocol manual.

History.—s. 1, ch. 80-401; s. 1, ch. 82-115; ss. 3, 6, ch. 83-252; ss. 9, 10, ch. 88-201; ss. 1, 2, 3, ch. 89-150; s. 112, ch. 90-201; ss. 40, 44, ch. 90-335; s. 53, ch. 91-5; s. 9, ch. 92-277; s. 219, ch. 95-148; s. 30, ch. 96-320; s. 14, ch. 97-278; s. 80, ch. 99-251; s. 4, ch. 2000-208; s. 58, ch. 2001-61; s. 49, ch. 2010-5; s. 130, ch. 2011-142; s. 56, ch. 2011-213; s. 11, ch. 2013-39; s. 11, ch. 2013-42.

288.017 Cooperative advertising matching grants program.—
(1) Enterprise Florida, Inc., is authorized to establish a cooperative advertising matching grants program and, pursuant thereto, to make expenditures and enter into contracts with local governments and nonprofit corporations for the purpose of publicizing the tourism advantages of the state. The department, based on recommendations from Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall have final approval of grants awarded through this program. Enterprise Florida, Inc., may contract with its direct-support organization to administer the program.

(2) The total annual allocation of funds for this grant program may not exceed $40,000. Each grant awarded under the program shall be limited to no more than $2,500 and shall be matched by nonstate dollars. All grants shall be restricted to local governments and nonprofit corporations serving and located in municipalities having a population of 50,000 persons or less or in counties with an unincorporated area having a population of 200,000 persons or less.

(3) Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall conduct an annual competitive selection process for the award of grants under the program. In determining its recommendations for the grant awards, the commission shall consider the demonstrated need of the applicant for advertising assistance, the feasibility and projected benefit of the applicant’s proposal, the amount of nonstate funds that will be leveraged, and such other criteria as the commission deems appropriate. In evaluating grant applications, the department shall consider recommendations from Enterprise Florida, Inc. The department, however, has final approval authority for any grant under this section.

History.—s. 1, ch. 91-218; s. 31, ch. 96-320; s. 131, ch. 2011-142.

288.018 Regional Rural Development Grants Program.—
(1) The department shall establish a matching grant program to provide funding to regionally based economic development organizations representing rural counties and communities for the purpose of building the professional capacity of their organizations. Such matching grants may also be used by an economic development organization to provide technical assistance to businesses within the rural counties and communities that it serves. The department is authorized to approve, on an annual basis, grants to such regionally based economic development organizations. The maximum amount an organization may receive in any year will be $50,000, or $150,000 in a rural area of opportunity recommended by the Rural Economic Development Initiative and designated by the Governor, and must be matched each year by an equivalent amount of nonstate resources.

(2) In approving the participants, the department shall consider the demonstrated need of the applicant for assistance and require the following:
(a) Documentation of official commitments of support from each of the units of local government represented by the regional organization.

(b) Demonstration that each unit of local government has made a financial or in-kind commitment to the regional organization.

(c) Demonstration that the private sector has made financial or in-kind commitments to the regional organization.

(d) Demonstration that the organization is in existence and actively involved in economic development activities serving the region.

(e) Demonstration of the manner in which the organization is or will coordinate its efforts with those of other local and state organizations.

(3) The department may also contract for the development of an enterprise zone web portal or websites for each enterprise zone which will be used to market the program for job creation in disadvantaged urban and rural enterprise zones. Each enterprise zone web page should include downloadable links to state forms and information, as well as local message boards that help businesses and residents receive information concerning zone boundaries, job openings, zone programs, and neighborhood improvement activities.

(4) The department may expend up to $750,000 each fiscal year from funds appropriated to the Rural Community Development Revolving Loan Fund for the purposes outlined in this section. The department may contract with Enterprise Florida, Inc., for the administration of the purposes specified in this section. Funds released to Enterprise Florida, Inc., for this purpose shall be released quarterly and shall be calculated based on the applications in process.

History.—s. 32, ch. 96-320; s. 94, ch. 99-251; s. 9, ch. 2001-201; s. 15, ch. 2010-147; s. 132, ch. 2011-142; s. 30, ch. 2014-218.

288.019 Rural considerations in grant review and evaluation processes.—Notwithstanding any other law, and to the fullest extent possible, the member agencies and organizations of the Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI) as defined in s. 288.0656(6)(a) shall review all grant and loan application evaluation criteria to ensure the fullest access for rural counties as defined in s. 288.0656(2) to resources available throughout the state.
(1) Each REDI agency and organization shall review all evaluation and scoring procedures and develop modifications to those procedures which minimize the impact of a project within a rural area.

(2) Evaluation criteria and scoring procedures must provide for an appropriate ranking based on the proportionate impact that projects have on a rural area when compared with similar project impacts on an urban area.

(3) Evaluation criteria and scoring procedures must recognize the disparity of available fiscal resources for an equal level of financial support from an urban county and a rural county.
(a) The evaluation criteria should weight contribution in proportion to the amount of funding available at the local level.

(b) In-kind match should be allowed and applied as financial match when a county is experiencing financial distress through elevated unemployment at a rate in excess of the state’s average by 5 percentage points or because of the loss of its ad valorem base.

(4) For existing programs, the modified evaluation criteria and scoring procedure must be delivered to the department for distribution to the REDI agencies and organizations. The REDI agencies and organizations shall review and make comments. Future rules, programs, evaluation criteria, and scoring processes must be brought before a REDI meeting for review, discussion, and recommendation to allow rural counties fuller access to the state’s resources.

History.—s. 10, ch. 2001-201; s. 22, ch. 2009-51; s. 133, ch. 2011-142.

288.021 Economic development liaison.—
(1) The heads of the Department of Transportation, the Department of Environmental Protection and an additional member appointed by the secretary of the department, the Department of Education, the Department of Management Services, the Department of Revenue, the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, each water management district, and each Department of Transportation district office shall designate a high-level staff member from within such agency to serve as the economic development liaison for the agency. This person shall report to the agency head and have general knowledge both of the state’s permitting and other regulatory functions and of the state’s economic goals, policies, and programs. This person shall also be the primary point of contact for the agency with the department on issues and projects important to the economic development of Florida, including its rural areas, to expedite project review, to ensure a prompt, effective response to problems arising with regard to permitting and regulatory functions, and to work closely with the other economic development liaisons to resolve interagency conflicts.

(2) Whenever it is necessary to change the designee, the head of each agency shall notify the Governor in writing of the person designated as the economic development liaison for such agency.

History.—s. 14, ch. 92-277; s. 115, ch. 94-356; s. 33, ch. 96-320; s. 3, ch. 99-244; s. 85, ch. 99-245; s. 50, ch. 2010-5; s. 134, ch. 2011-142; s. 12, ch. 2011-213; s. 34, ch. 2012-96.

288.0251 International development outreach activities in Latin America and Caribbean Basin.—The department may contract for the implementation of Florida’s international volunteer corps to provide short-term training and technical assistance activities in Latin America and the Caribbean Basin. The entity contracted under this section must require that such activities be conducted by qualified volunteers who are citizens of the state. The contracting agency must have a statewide focus and experience in coordinating international volunteer programs.
History.—s. 9, ch. 86-139; s. 82, ch. 90-201; s. 25, ch. 91-5; s. 26, ch. 91-201; s. 5, ch. 91-429; ss. 15, 65, ch. 93-187; s. 34, ch. 96-320; s. 24, ch. 99-251; s. 6, ch. 2004-242; s. 135, ch. 2011-142.

Note.—Former s. 229.6056.

288.035 Economic development activities.—
(1) The Florida Public Service Commission may authorize public utilities to recover reasonable economic development expenses. For purposes of this section, recoverable “economic development expenses” are those expenses described in subsection (2) which are consistent with criteria to be established by rules adopted by the department.

(2) Such rules shall provide that authorized economic development expenses shall be limited to the following:
(a) Expenditures for operational assistance, including the participation in trade shows and prospecting missions with state and local entities.

(b) Expenditures for assisting the state and local governments in the design of strategic plans for economic development activities.

(c) Expenditures for marketing and research services, including assisting local governments in marketing specific sites for business and industry development or recruitment, and assisting local governments in responding to inquiries from business and industry concerning the development of specific sites.

(3) The Florida Public Service Commission shall adopt rules for the recovery of economic development expenses by public utilities, including the sharing of expenses by shareholders.

History.—s. 1, ch. 94-136; s. 35, ch. 96-320; s. 136, ch. 2011-142; s. 13, ch. 2011-213.

288.037 Department of State; agreement with county tax collector.—In order to further the economic development goals of the state, and notwithstanding any law to the contrary, the Department of State may enter into an agreement with the county tax collector for the purpose of appointing the county tax collector as the Department of State’s agent to accept applications for licenses or other similar registrations and applications for renewals of licenses or other similar registrations. The agreement must specify the time within which the tax collector must forward any applications and accompanying application fees to the Department of State.
History.—s. 55, ch. 97-278; s. 137, ch. 2011-142.

288.041 Solar energy industry; legislative findings and policy; promotional activities.—
(1) It is hereby found and declared that:
(a) The solar energy industry in this state has been a leader in the nation in the manufacture, supply, and delivery of solar energy systems.

(b) The use of solar energy in this state has been demonstrated to save conventional energy sources.

(c) The solar energy industry offers the prospect for improved economic welfare of this state through creation of jobs, increased energy security, and enhancing the quality of the environment of this state.

(d) Through helping to provide for a clean environment and healthy economy, the solar energy industry contributes to the continued growth and development of the tourist industry of this state.

(2) It is the policy of this state to promote, stimulate, develop, and advance the growth of the solar energy industry in this state.

(3) By January 15 of each year, the Department of Environmental Protection shall report to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives on the impact of the solar energy industry on the economy of this state and shall make any recommendations on initiatives to further promote the solar energy industry as the Department of Environmental Protection deems appropriate.

History.—s. 2, ch. 93-249; s. 23, ch. 94-321; s. 36, ch. 96-320; s. 62, ch. 99-13; s. 10, ch. 2004-243; s. 1, ch. 2005-66; s. 138, ch. 2011-142.

288.0415 Solar energy; advancement; economic development strategy.—The use of solar energy is a proven, effective means of reducing air pollution, while also creating new jobs, saving energy, lowering consumer utility bills, and stimulating economic development. As such, this state is committed to advancing the use of solar energy in the state. Towards this end, the state shall give priority to removing identified barriers to and providing incentives for increased solar energy development and use. In addition, the state shall capitalize on solar energy as an economic development strategy for job creation, market development, international trade, and other related means of stimulating and enhancing the economy of this state.
History.—s. 22, ch. 94-321.

288.046 Quick-response training; legislative intent.—The Legislature recognizes the importance of providing a skilled workforce for attracting new industries and retaining and expanding existing businesses and industries in this state. It is the intent of the Legislature that a program exist to meet the short-term, immediate, workforce-skill needs of such businesses and industries. It is further the intent of the Legislature that funds provided for the purposes of s. 288.047 be expended on businesses and industries that support the state’s economic development goals, particularly high value-added businesses or businesses that locate in and provide jobs in the state’s distressed urban and rural areas, and that instruction funded pursuant to s. 288.047 lead to permanent, quality employment opportunities.
History.—s. 1, ch. 93-187; s. 77, ch. 2000-165.

288.047 Quick-response training for economic development.—
(1) The Quick-Response Training Program is created to meet the workforce-skill needs of existing, new, and expanding industries. The program shall be administered by CareerSource Florida, Inc., in conjunction with Enterprise Florida, Inc., and the Department of Education. CareerSource Florida, Inc., shall adopt guidelines for the administration of this program, shall provide technical services, and shall identify businesses that seek services through the program. CareerSource Florida, Inc., may contract with Enterprise Florida, Inc., or administer this program directly, if it is determined that such an arrangement maximizes the amount of the Quick Response grant going to direct services.

(2) CareerSource Florida, Inc., shall ensure that instruction funded pursuant to this section is not available through the local community college or school district and that the instruction promotes economic development by providing specialized training to new workers or retraining for current employees to meet changing skill requirements caused by new technology or new product lines and to prevent potential layoffs. Such funds may not be expended to provide training for instruction related to retail businesses or to reimburse businesses for trainee wages. Funds made available pursuant to this section may not be expended in connection with the relocation of a business from one community to another unless CareerSource Florida, Inc., determines that, in the absence of such relocation, the business will move outside this state or that the business has a compelling economic rationale for the relocation which creates additional jobs.

(3) Requests for funding may be submitted to the Quick-Response Training Program by a specific business or industry, through a school district director of career education or community college occupational dean on behalf of a business or industry, or through official state or local economic development efforts. In allocating funds for the purposes of the program, CareerSource Florida, Inc., shall establish criteria for approval of requests for funding and shall select the entity that provides the most efficient, cost-effective instruction meeting such criteria. Program funds may be allocated to a career center, community college, or state university. Program funds may be allocated to private postsecondary institutions only after a review that includes, but is not limited to, accreditation and licensure documentation and prior approval by CareerSource Florida, Inc. Instruction funded through the program must terminate when participants demonstrate competence at the level specified in the request; however, the grant term may not exceed 24 months. Costs and expenditures for the Quick-Response Training Program must be documented and separated from those incurred by the training provider.

(4) For the first 6 months of each fiscal year, CareerSource Florida, Inc., shall set aside 30 percent of the amount appropriated by the Legislature for the Quick-Response Training Program to fund instructional programs for businesses located in an enterprise zone or brownfield area. Any unencumbered funds remaining undisbursed from this set-aside at the end of the 6-month period may be used to provide funding for a program that qualifies for funding pursuant to this section.

(5) Prior to the allocation of funds for a request made pursuant to this section, CareerSource Florida, Inc., shall prepare a grant agreement between the business or industry requesting funds, the educational institution receiving funding through the program, and CareerSource Florida, Inc. Such agreement must include, but is not limited to:
(a) An identification of the personnel necessary to conduct the instructional program, the qualifications of such personnel, and the respective responsibilities of the parties for paying costs associated with the employment of such personnel.

(b) An identification of the estimated length of the instructional program.

(c) An identification of all direct, training-related costs, including tuition and fees, curriculum development, books and classroom materials, and overhead or indirect costs, not to exceed 5 percent of the grant amount.

(d) An identification of special program requirements that are not addressed otherwise in the agreement.

(e) Permission to access information specific to the wages and performance of participants upon the completion of instruction for evaluation purposes. Information which, if released, would disclose the identity of the person to whom the information pertains or disclose the identity of the person’s employer is confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1). The agreement must specify that any evaluations published subsequent to the instruction may not identify the employer or any individual participant.

(6) For purposes of this section, CareerSource Florida, Inc., may accept grants of money, materials, services, or property of any kind from any agency, corporation, or individual.

(7) In providing instruction pursuant to this section, materials that relate to methods of manufacture or production, potential trade secrets, business transactions, or proprietary information received, produced, ascertained, or discovered by employees of the respective departments, district school boards, community college district boards of trustees, or other personnel employed for the purposes of this section is confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1). The state may seek copyright protection for instructional materials and ancillary written documents developed wholly or partially with state funds as a result of instruction provided pursuant to this section, except for materials that are confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1).

(8) The Quick-Response Training Program is created to provide assistance to participants in the welfare transition program. CareerSource Florida, Inc., may award quick-response training grants and develop applicable guidelines for the training of participants in the welfare transition program. In addition to a local economic development organization, grants must be endorsed by the applicable regional workforce board.
(a) Training funded pursuant to this subsection may not exceed 12 months, and may be provided by the local community college, school district, regional workforce board, or the business employing the participant, including on-the-job training. Training will provide entry-level skills to new workers, including those employed in retail, who are participants in the welfare transition program.

(b) Participants trained pursuant to this subsection must be employed at a job paying at least $6 per hour.

(c) Funds made available pursuant to this subsection may be expended in connection with the relocation of a business from one community to another if approved by CareerSource Florida, Inc.

(9) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, eligible matching contributions received under this section from the Quick-Response Training Program may be counted toward the private sector support of Enterprise Florida, Inc., under s. 288.904.

(10) CareerSource Florida, Inc., and Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall coordinate and cooperate in administering this section so that any division of responsibility between the two organizations which relates to marketing or administering the Quick-Response Training Program is not apparent to a business that inquires about or applies for funding under this section. A business shall be provided with a single point of contact for information and assistance.

History.—s. 2, ch. 93-187; ss. 2, 71, ch. 94-136; s. 874, ch. 95-148; s. 3, ch. 95-345; s. 37, ch. 96-320; s. 134, ch. 96-406; s. 15, ch. 97-278; s. 34, ch. 97-307; s. 23, ch. 98-57; s. 78, ch. 2000-165; s. 3, ch. 2000-317; s. 22, ch. 2004-357; s. 139, ch. 2011-142; s. 5, ch. 2015-98.

288.061 Economic development incentive application process.—
(1) Upon receiving a submitted economic development incentive application, the Division of Strategic Business Development of the Department of Economic Opportunity and designated staff of Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall review the application to ensure that the application is complete, whether and what type of state and local permits may be necessary for the applicant’s project, whether it is possible to waive such permits, and what state incentives and amounts of such incentives may be available to the applicant. The department shall recommend to the executive director to approve or disapprove an applicant business. If review of the application demonstrates that the application is incomplete, the executive director shall notify the applicant business within the first 5 business days after receiving the application.

(2) Beginning July 1, 2013, the department shall review and evaluate each economic development incentive application for the economic benefits of the proposed award of state incentives proposed for the project. The term “economic benefits” has the same meaning as in s. 288.005. The Office of Economic and Demographic Research shall establish the methodology and model used to calculate the economic benefits. For purposes of this requirement, an amended definition of “economic benefits” may be developed by the Office of Economic and Demographic Research.

(3) Within 10 business days after the department receives the submitted economic development incentive application, the executive director shall approve or disapprove the application and issue a letter of certification to the applicant which includes a justification of that decision, unless the business requests an extension of that time.
(a) The contract or agreement with the applicant must specify the total amount of the award, the performance conditions that must be met to obtain the award, the schedule for payment, and sanctions that would apply for failure to meet performance conditions. The department may enter into one agreement or contract covering all of the state incentives that are being provided to the applicant. The contract must provide that release of funds is contingent upon sufficient appropriation of funds by the Legislature.

(b) The release of funds for the incentive or incentives awarded to the applicant depends upon the statutory requirements of the particular incentive program.

(4) The department shall validate contractor performance and report such validation in the annual incentives report required under s. 288.907.

(5)(a) The executive director may not approve an economic development incentive application unless the application includes a signed written declaration by the applicant which states that the applicant has read the information in the application and that the information is true, correct, and complete to the best of the applicant’s knowledge and belief.

(b) After an economic development incentive application is approved, the awardee shall provide, in each year that the department is required to validate contractor performance, a signed written declaration. The written declaration must state that the awardee has reviewed the information and that the information is true, correct, and complete to the best of the awardee’s knowledge and belief.

(6) The department is authorized to adopt rules to implement this section.

History.—s. 9, ch. 2009-51; s. 18, ch. 2011-142; s. 12, ch. 2013-39; s. 12, ch. 2013-42; s. 6, ch. 2014-218.

288.065 Rural Community Development Revolving Loan Fund.—
(1) The Rural Community Development Revolving Loan Fund Program is established within the department to facilitate the use of existing federal, state, and local financial resources by providing local governments with financial assistance to further promote the economic viability of rural communities. These funds may be used to finance initiatives directed toward maintaining or developing the economic base of rural communities, especially initiatives addressing employment opportunities for residents of these communities.

(2)(a) The program shall provide for long-term loans, loan guarantees, and loan loss reserves to units of local governments, or economic development organizations substantially underwritten by a unit of local government, within counties with populations of 75,000 or fewer, or within any county with a population of 125,000 or fewer which is contiguous to a county with a population of 75,000 or fewer, based on the most recent official population estimate as determined under s. 186.901, including those residing in incorporated areas and those residing in unincorporated areas of the county, or to units of local government, or economic development organizations substantially underwritten by a unit of local government, within a rural area of opportunity.

(b) Requests for loans shall be made by application to the department. Loans shall be made pursuant to agreements specifying the terms and conditions agreed to between the applicant and the department. The loans shall be the legal obligations of the applicant.

(c) All repayments of principal and interest shall be returned to the loan fund and made available for loans to other applicants. However, in a rural area of opportunity designated by the Governor, and upon approval by the department, repayments of principal and interest may be retained by the applicant if such repayments are dedicated and matched to fund regionally based economic development organizations representing the rural area of opportunity.

(3) The department shall manage the fund, establishing loan practices that must include, but are not limited to, procedures for establishing loan interest rates, uses of funding, application procedures, and application review procedures. The department shall have final approval authority for any loan under this section.

(4) Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 216.301, funds appropriated for this purpose shall not be subject to reversion.

History.—s. 42, ch. 96-320; s. 18, ch. 97-278; s. 95, ch. 99-251; s. 11, ch. 2001-201; s. 11, ch. 2009-51; s. 141, ch. 2011-142; s. 31, ch. 2014-218.

288.0655 Rural Infrastructure Fund.—
(1) There is created within the department the Rural Infrastructure Fund to facilitate the planning, preparing, and financing of infrastructure projects in rural communities which will encourage job creation, capital investment, and the strengthening and diversification of rural economies by promoting tourism, trade, and economic development.

(2)(a) Funds appropriated by the Legislature shall be distributed by the department through grant programs that maximize the use of federal, local, and private resources, including, but not limited to, those available under the Small Cities Community Development Block Grant Program.

(b) To facilitate access of rural communities and rural areas of opportunity as defined by the Rural Economic Development Initiative to infrastructure funding programs of the Federal Government, such as those offered by the United States Department of Agriculture and the United States Department of Commerce, and state programs, including those offered by Rural Economic Development Initiative agencies, and to facilitate local government or private infrastructure funding efforts, the department may award grants for up to 30 percent of the total infrastructure project cost. If an application for funding is for a catalyst site, as defined in s. 288.0656, the department may award grants for up to 40 percent of the total infrastructure project cost. Eligible projects must be related to specific job-creation or job-retention opportunities. Eligible projects may also include improving any inadequate infrastructure that has resulted in regulatory action that prohibits economic or community growth or reducing the costs to community users of proposed infrastructure improvements that exceed such costs in comparable communities. Eligible uses of funds shall include improvements to public infrastructure for industrial or commercial sites and upgrades to or development of public tourism infrastructure. Authorized infrastructure may include the following public or public-private partnership facilities: storm water systems; telecommunications facilities; broadband facilities; roads or other remedies to transportation impediments; nature-based tourism facilities; or other physical requirements necessary to facilitate tourism, trade, and economic development activities in the community. Authorized infrastructure may also include publicly or privately owned self-powered nature-based tourism facilities, publicly owned telecommunications facilities, and broadband facilities, and additions to the distribution facilities of the existing natural gas utility as defined in s. 366.04(3)(c), the existing electric utility as defined in s. 366.02, or the existing water or wastewater utility as defined in s. 367.021(12), or any other existing water or wastewater facility, which owns a gas or electric distribution system or a water or wastewater system in this state where:
1. A contribution-in-aid of construction is required to serve public or public-private partnership facilities under the tariffs of any natural gas, electric, water, or wastewater utility as defined herein; and

2. Such utilities as defined herein are willing and able to provide such service.

(c) To facilitate timely response and induce the location or expansion of specific job creating opportunities, the department may award grants for infrastructure feasibility studies, design and engineering activities, or other infrastructure planning and preparation activities. Authorized grants shall be up to $50,000 for an employment project with a business committed to create at least 100 jobs; up to $150,000 for an employment project with a business committed to create at least 300 jobs; and up to $300,000 for a project in a rural area of opportunity. Grants awarded under this paragraph may be used in conjunction with grants awarded under paragraph (b), provided that the total amount of both grants does not exceed 30 percent of the total project cost. In evaluating applications under this paragraph, the department shall consider the extent to which the application seeks to minimize administrative and consultant expenses.

(d) The department shall participate in a memorandum of agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture under which state funds available through the Rural Infrastructure Fund may be advanced, in excess of the prescribed state share, for a project that has received from the United States Department of Agriculture a preliminary determination of eligibility for federal financial support. State funds in excess of the prescribed state share which are advanced pursuant to this paragraph and the memorandum of agreement shall be reimbursed when funds are awarded under an application for federal funding.

(e) To enable local governments to access the resources available pursuant to s. 403.973(18), the department may award grants for surveys, feasibility studies, and other activities related to the identification and preclearance review of land which is suitable for preclearance review. Authorized grants under this paragraph may not exceed $75,000 each, except in the case of a project in a rural area of opportunity, in which case the grant may not exceed $300,000. Any funds awarded under this paragraph must be matched at a level of 50 percent with local funds, except that any funds awarded for a project in a rural area of opportunity must be matched at a level of 33 percent with local funds. If an application for funding is for a catalyst site, as defined in s. 288.0656, the requirement for local match may be waived pursuant to the process in s. 288.06561. In evaluating applications under this paragraph, the department shall consider the extent to which the application seeks to minimize administrative and consultant expenses.

(3) The department, in consultation with Enterprise Florida, Inc., the Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation, the Department of Environmental Protection, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, as appropriate, shall review and certify applications pursuant to s. 288.061. The review shall include an evaluation of the economic benefit of the projects and their long-term viability. The department shall have final approval for any grant under this section.

(4) By September 1, 2012, the department shall, in consultation with the organizations listed in subsection (3), and other organizations, reevaluate existing guidelines and criteria governing submission of applications for funding, review and evaluation of such applications, and approval of funding under this section. The department shall consider factors including, but not limited to, the project’s potential for enhanced job creation or increased capital investment, the demonstration and level of local public and private commitment, whether the project is located in an enterprise zone, in a community development corporation service area, or in an urban high-crime area as designated under s. 212.097, the unemployment rate of the county in which the project would be located, and the poverty rate of the community.

(5) Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 216.301, funds appropriated for the purposes of this section shall not be subject to reversion.

History.—s. 96, ch. 99-251; s. 37, ch. 2000-152; s. 1, ch. 2002-392; s. 5, ch. 2006-55; s. 54, ch. 2008-4; s. 12, ch. 2009-51; s. 142, ch. 2011-142; s. 32, ch. 2014-218.

288.0656 Rural Economic Development Initiative.—

(1)(a) Recognizing that rural communities and regions continue to face extraordinary challenges in their efforts to significantly improve their economies, specifically in terms of personal income, job creation, average wages, and strong tax bases, it is the intent of the Legislature to encourage and facilitate the location and expansion of major economic development projects of significant scale in such rural communities.

(b) The Rural Economic Development Initiative, known as “REDI,” is created within the department, and the participation of state and regional agencies in this initiative is authorized.

(2) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Catalyst project” means a business locating or expanding in a rural area of opportunity to serve as an economic generator of regional significance for the growth of a regional target industry cluster. The project must provide capital investment on a scale significant enough to affect the entire region and result in the development of high-wage and high-skill jobs.

(b) “Catalyst site” means a parcel or parcels of land within a rural area of opportunity that has been prioritized as a geographic site for economic development through partnerships with state, regional, and local organizations. The site must be reviewed by REDI and approved by the department for the purposes of locating a catalyst project.

(c) “Economic distress” means conditions affecting the fiscal and economic viability of a rural community, including such factors as low per capita income, low per capita taxable values, high unemployment, high underemployment, low weekly earned wages compared to the state average, low housing values compared to the state average, high percentages of the population receiving public assistance, high poverty levels compared to the state average, and a lack of year-round stable employment opportunities.

(d) “Rural area of opportunity” means a rural community, or a region composed of rural communities, designated by the Governor, which has been adversely affected by an extraordinary economic event, severe or chronic distress, or a natural disaster or that presents a unique economic development opportunity of regional impact.

(e) “Rural community” means:
1. A county with a population of 75,000 or fewer.

2. A county with a population of 125,000 or fewer which is contiguous to a county with a population of 75,000 or fewer.

3. A municipality within a county described in subparagraph 1. or subparagraph 2.

4. An unincorporated federal enterprise community or an incorporated rural city with a population of 25,000 or fewer and an employment base focused on traditional agricultural or resource-based industries, located in a county not defined as rural, which has at least three or more of the economic distress factors identified in paragraph (c) and verified by the department.

For purposes of this paragraph, population shall be determined in accordance with the most recent official estimate pursuant to s. 186.901.

(3) REDI shall be responsible for coordinating and focusing the efforts and resources of state and regional agencies on the problems which affect the fiscal, economic, and community viability of Florida’s economically distressed rural communities, working with local governments, community-based organizations, and private organizations that have an interest in the growth and development of these communities to find ways to balance environmental and growth management issues with local needs.

(4) REDI shall review and evaluate the impact of statutes and rules on rural communities and shall work to minimize any adverse impact and undertake outreach and capacity-building efforts.

(5) REDI shall facilitate better access to state resources by promoting direct access and referrals to appropriate state and regional agencies and statewide organizations. REDI may undertake outreach, capacity-building, and other advocacy efforts to improve conditions in rural communities. These activities may include sponsorship of conferences and achievement awards.

(6)(a) By August 1 of each year, the head of each of the following agencies and organizations shall designate a deputy secretary or higher-level staff person from within the agency or organization to serve as the REDI representative for the agency or organization:
1. The Department of Transportation.

2. The Department of Environmental Protection.

3. The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

4. The Department of State.

5. The Department of Health.

6. The Department of Children and Families.

7. The Department of Corrections.

8. The Department of Education.

9. The Department of Juvenile Justice.

10. The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

11. Each water management district.

12. Enterprise Florida, Inc.

13. CareerSource Florida, Inc.

14. VISIT Florida.

15. The Florida Regional Planning Council Association.

16. The Agency for Health Care Administration.

17. The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS).

An alternate for each designee shall also be chosen, and the names of the designees and alternates shall be sent to the executive director of the department.

(b) Each REDI representative must have comprehensive knowledge of his or her agency’s functions, both regulatory and service in nature, and of the state’s economic goals, policies, and programs. This person shall be the primary point of contact for his or her agency with REDI on issues and projects relating to economically distressed rural communities and with regard to expediting project review, shall ensure a prompt effective response to problems arising with regard to rural issues, and shall work closely with the other REDI representatives in the identification of opportunities for preferential awards of program funds and allowances and waiver of program requirements when necessary to encourage and facilitate long-term private capital investment and job creation.

(c) The REDI representatives shall work with REDI in the review and evaluation of statutes and rules for adverse impact on rural communities and the development of alternative proposals to mitigate that impact.

(d) Each REDI representative shall be responsible for ensuring that each district office or facility of his or her agency is informed about the Rural Economic Development Initiative and for providing assistance throughout the agency in the implementation of REDI activities.

(7)(a) REDI may recommend to the Governor up to three rural areas of opportunity. The Governor may by executive order designate up to three rural areas of opportunity which will establish these areas as priority assignments for REDI as well as to allow the Governor, acting through REDI, to waive criteria, requirements, or similar provisions of any economic development incentive. Such incentives shall include, but are not limited to, the Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund Program under s. 288.106, the Quick Response Training Program under s. 288.047, the Quick Response Training Program for participants in the welfare transition program under s. 288.047(8), transportation projects under s. 339.2821, the brownfield redevelopment bonus refund under s. 288.107, and the rural job tax credit program under ss. 212.098 and 220.1895.

(b) Designation as a rural area of opportunity under this subsection shall be contingent upon the execution of a memorandum of agreement among the department; the governing body of the county; and the governing bodies of any municipalities to be included within a rural area of opportunity. Such agreement shall specify the terms and conditions of the designation, including, but not limited to, the duties and responsibilities of the county and any participating municipalities to take actions designed to facilitate the retention and expansion of existing businesses in the area, as well as the recruitment of new businesses to the area.

(c) Each rural area of opportunity may designate catalyst projects, provided that each catalyst project is specifically recommended by REDI, identified as a catalyst project by Enterprise Florida, Inc., and confirmed as a catalyst project by the department. All state agencies and departments shall use all available tools and resources to the extent permissible by law to promote the creation and development of each catalyst project and the development of catalyst sites.

(8) REDI shall submit a report to the department on all REDI activities for the previous fiscal year as a supplement to the department’s annual report required under s. 20.60. This supplementary report must include:
(a) A status report on all projects currently being coordinated through REDI, the number of preferential awards and allowances made pursuant to this section, the dollar amount of such awards, and the names of the recipients.

(b) A description of all waivers of program requirements granted.

(c) Information as to the economic impact of the projects coordinated by REDI.

(d) Recommendations based on the review and evaluation of statutes and rules having an adverse impact on rural communities and proposals to mitigate such adverse impacts.

History.—s. 97, ch. 99-251; s. 79, ch. 2000-165; s. 12, ch. 2001-201; s. 13, ch. 2009-51; s. 51, ch. 2010-5; s. 143, ch. 2011-142; s. 2, ch. 2012-128; s. 13, ch. 2013-39; s. 13, ch. 2013-42; s. 54, ch. 2014-19; s. 33, ch. 2014-218; s. 6, ch. 2015-98.

288.06561 Reduction or waiver of financial match requirements.—Notwithstanding any other law, the member agencies and organizations of the Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI), as defined in s. 288.0656(6)(a), shall review the financial match requirements for projects in rural areas as defined in s. 288.0656(2).
(1) Each agency and organization shall develop a proposal to waive or reduce the match requirement for rural areas.

(2) Agencies and organizations shall ensure that all proposals are submitted to the department for review by the REDI agencies.

(3) These proposals shall be delivered to the department for distribution to the REDI agencies and organizations. A meeting of REDI agencies and organizations must be called within 30 days after receipt of such proposals for REDI comment and recommendations on each proposal.

(4) Waivers and reductions must be requested by the county or community, and such county or community must have three or more of the factors identified in s. 288.0656(2)(c).

(5) Any other funds available to the project may be used for financial match of federal programs when there is fiscal hardship, and the match requirements may not be waived or reduced.

(6) When match requirements are not reduced or eliminated, donations of land, though usually not recognized as an in-kind match, may be permitted.

(7) To the fullest extent possible, agencies and organizations shall expedite the rule adoption and amendment process if necessary to incorporate the reduction in match by rural areas in fiscal distress.

(8) REDI shall include in its annual report an evaluation on the status of changes to rules, number of awards made with waivers, and recommendations for future changes.

History.—s. 5, ch. 2001-201; s. 14, ch. 2009-51; s. 144, ch. 2011-142.

288.0657 Florida rural economic development strategy grants.—
(1) As used in this section, the term “rural community” means:
(a) A county with a population of 75,000 or fewer.

(b) A county with a population of 125,000 or fewer which is contiguous to a county with a population of 75,000 or fewer.

(c) A municipality within a county described in paragraph (a) or paragraph (b).

For purposes of this subsection, population shall be determined in accordance with the most recent official estimate pursuant to s. 186.901.

(2) The department may accept and administer moneys appropriated to the department for providing grants to assist rural communities to develop and implement strategic economic development plans.

(3) A rural community, an economic development organization in a rural area, or a regional organization representing at least one rural community or such economic development organizations may apply for such grants.

(4) The department shall establish criteria for reviewing grant applications. These criteria shall include, but are not limited to, the degree of participation and commitment by the local community and the application’s consistency with local comprehensive plans or the application’s proposal to ensure such consistency. The department shall review each application for a grant. The department may approve grants only to the extent that funds are appropriated for such grants by the Legislature.

History.—s. 98, ch. 99-251; s. 15, ch. 2009-51; s. 145, ch. 2011-142.

288.0658 Nature-based recreation; promotion and other assistance by Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.—The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is directed to assist Enterprise Florida, Inc.; the Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation, doing business as VISIT Florida; convention and visitor bureaus; tourist development councils; economic development organizations; and local governments through the provision of marketing advice, technical expertise, promotional support, and product development related to nature-based recreation and sustainable use of natural resources. In carrying out this responsibility, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shall focus its efforts on fostering nature-based recreation in rural communities and regions encompassing rural communities. As used in this section, the term “nature-based recreation” means leisure activities related to the state’s lands, waters, and fish and wildlife resources, including, but not limited to, wildlife viewing, fishing, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, camping, hunting, backpacking, and nature photography.
History.—s. 100, ch. 99-251; s. 146, ch. 2011-142.

1288.0659 Local Government Distressed Area Matching Grant Program.—
(1) The Local Government Distressed Area Matching Grant Program is created within the department. The purpose of the program is to stimulate investment in the state’s economy by providing grants to match demonstrated business assistance by local governments to attract and retain businesses in this state.

(2) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Local government” means a county or municipality.

(b) “Qualified business assistance” means economic incentives provided by a local government for the purpose of attracting or retaining a specific business, including, but not limited to, suspensions, waivers, or reductions of impact fees or permit fees; direct incentive payments; expenditures for onsite or offsite improvements directly benefiting a specific business; or construction or renovation of buildings for a specific business.

(3) The department may accept and administer moneys appropriated by the Legislature for providing grants to match expenditures by local governments to attract or retain businesses in this state.

(4) A local government may apply for grants to match qualified business assistance made by the local government for the purpose of attracting or retaining a specific business. A local government may apply for no more than one grant per targeted business. A local government may only have one application pending with the department. Additional applications may be filed after a previous application has been approved or denied.

(5) To qualify for a grant, the business being targeted by a local government must create at least 15 full-time jobs, must be new to this state, must be expanding its operations in this state, or would otherwise leave the state absent state and local assistance, and the local government applying for the grant must expedite its permitting processes for the target business by accelerating the normal review and approval timelines. In addition to these requirements, the department shall review the grant requests using the following evaluation criteria, with priority given in descending order:
(a) The presence and degree of pervasive poverty, unemployment, and general distress as determined pursuant to s. 290.0058 in the area where the business will locate, with priority given to locations with greater degrees of poverty, unemployment, and general distress.

(b) The extent of reliance on the local government expenditure as an inducement for the business’s location decision, with priority given to higher levels of local government expenditure.

(c) The number of new full-time jobs created, with priority given to higher numbers of jobs created.

(d) The average hourly wage for jobs created, with priority given to higher average wages.

(e) The amount of capital investment to be made by the business, with priority given to higher amounts of capital investment.

(6) In evaluating grant requests, the department shall take into consideration the need for grant assistance as it relates to the local government’s general fund balance as well as local incentive programs that are already in existence.

(7) Funds made available pursuant to this section may not be expended in connection with the relocation of a business from one community to another community in this state unless the department determines that without such relocation the business will move outside this state or determines that the business has a compelling economic rationale for the relocation which creates additional jobs. Funds made available pursuant to this section may not be used by the receiving local government to supplant matching commitments required of the local government pursuant to other state or federal incentive programs.

(8) Within 30 days after the department receives an application for a grant, the department shall approve a preliminary grant allocation or disapprove the application. The preliminary grant allocation shall be based on estimates of qualified business assistance submitted by the local government and shall equal 50 percent of the amount of the estimated qualified business assistance or $50,000, whichever is less. The preliminary grant allocation shall be executed by contract with the local government. The contract shall set forth the terms and conditions, including the timeframes within which the final grant award will be disbursed. The final grant award may not exceed the preliminary grant allocation. The department may approve preliminary grant allocations only to the extent that funds are appropriated for such grants by the Legislature.
(a) Preliminary grant allocations that are revoked or voluntarily surrendered shall be immediately available for reallocation.

(b) Recipients of preliminary grant allocations shall promptly report to the department the date on which the local government’s permitting and approval process is completed and the date on which all qualified business assistance is completed.

(9) The department shall make a final grant award to a local government within 30 days after receiving information from the local government sufficient to demonstrate actual qualified business assistance. An awarded grant amount shall equal 50 percent of the amount of the qualified business assistance or $50,000, whichever is less, and may not exceed the preliminary grant allocation. The amount by which a preliminary grant allocation exceeds a final grant award shall be immediately available for reallocation.

(10) Up to 2 percent of the funds appropriated annually by the Legislature for the program may be used by the department for direct administrative costs associated with implementing this section.

History.—s. 16, ch. 2010-147; s. 13, ch. 2011-4; s. 147, ch. 2011-142.

1Note.—Section 30, ch. 2015-221, provides that:“(1) A business may apply to the Department of Economic Opportunity for the incentives specified in subsection (2) if each of the following criteria is satisfied:
“(a) The business has entered into a contract with the Department of Economic Opportunity for a project under ss. 288.0659, 288.1045, 288.106, 288.107, 288.108, 288.1088, or 288.1089, Florida Statutes, between January 1, 2012, and July 1, 2015.
“(b) The contract is deemed active by the Department of Economic Opportunity and has not expired or been terminated.
“(c) The project that is the subject of the contract is located within the boundaries of an enterprise zone designated pursuant to chapter 290, Florida Statutes, as the boundaries existed on May 1, 2015.
“(2) For a project described under paragraph (1)(c), a business qualified under subsection (1) may apply for the following incentives:
“(a) The property tax exemption for a licensed child care facility under s. 196.095, Florida Statutes 2014.
“(b) The building sales tax refund under s. 212.08(5)(g), Florida Statutes 2014.
“(c) The business property sales tax refund under s. 212.08(5)(h), Florida Statutes 2014.
“(d) The electrical energy sales tax exemption under s. 212.08(15), Florida Statutes 2014.
“(e) The enterprise zone jobs tax credit under s. 212.096, Florida Statutes 2014.
“(f) The enterprise zone jobs tax credit under s. 220.181, Florida Statutes 2014.
“(g) The enterprise zone property tax credit under s. 220.182, Florida Statutes 2014.
“(3) The Department of Economic Opportunity must provide a list of businesses that are qualified under subsection (1) to the Department of Revenue by December 31, 2015. The Department of Economic Opportunity must also provide notice to the Department of Revenue within 10 days after the expiration or termination of a contract.
“(4) From January 1, 2016, to December 31, 2018, the Department of Economic Opportunity is designated to perform all the duties and responsibilities that were performed by the governing body or enterprise zone development agency having jurisdiction over the enterprise zone under ss. 196.095, 212.08(5)(g) and (h), 212.08(15), 212.096, 220.181, and 220.182, Florida Statutes 2014, including receipt and review of applications and verifications.
“(5) The incentives described in subsection (2) are to be treated as if they had not expired on December 31, 2015.
“(6) This section is effective January 1, 2016, and expires on December 31, 2018.”

288.075 Confidentiality of records.—
(1) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Economic development agency” means:
1. The Department of Economic Opportunity;

2. Any industrial development authority created in accordance with part III of chapter 159 or by special law;

3. Space Florida created in part II of chapter 331;

4. The public economic development agency of a county or municipality or, if the county or municipality does not have a public economic development agency, the county or municipal officers or employees assigned the duty to promote the general business interests or industrial interests of that county or municipality or the responsibilities related thereto;

5. Any research and development authority created in accordance with part V of chapter 159; or

6. Any private agency, person, partnership, corporation, or business entity when authorized by the state, a municipality, or a county to promote the general business interests or industrial interests of the state or that municipality or county.

(b) “Proprietary confidential business information” means information that is owned or controlled by the corporation, partnership, or person requesting confidentiality under this section; that is intended to be and is treated by the corporation, partnership, or person as private in that the disclosure of the information would cause harm to the business operations of the corporation, partnership, or person; that has not been disclosed unless disclosed pursuant to a statutory provision, an order of a court or administrative body, or a private agreement providing that the information may be released to the public; and that is information concerning:
1. Business plans.

2. Internal auditing controls and reports of internal auditors.

3. Reports of external auditors for privately held companies.

(c) “Trade secret” has the same meaning as in s. 688.002.

(2) PLANS, INTENTIONS, AND INTERESTS.—

(a)1. If a private corporation, partnership, or person requests in writing before an economic incentive agreement is signed that an economic development agency maintain the confidentiality of information concerning plans, intentions, or interests of such private corporation, partnership, or person to locate, relocate, or expand any of its business activities in this state, the information is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution for 12 months after the date an economic development agency receives a request for confidentiality or until the information is otherwise disclosed, whichever occurs first.

2. An economic development agency may extend the period of confidentiality specified in subparagraph 1. for up to an additional 12 months upon written request from the private corporation, partnership, or person who originally requested confidentiality under this section and upon a finding by the economic development agency that such private corporation, partnership, or person is still actively considering locating, relocating, or expanding its business activities in this state. Such a request for an extension in the period of confidentiality must be received prior to the expiration of any confidentiality originally provided under subparagraph 1.

If a final project order for a signed economic development agreement is issued, then the information will remain confidential and exempt for 180 days after the final project order is issued, until a date specified in the final project order, or until the information is otherwise disclosed, whichever occurs first. However, such period of confidentiality may not extend beyond the period of confidentiality established in subparagraph 1. or subparagraph 2.

(b) A public officer or employee may not enter into a binding agreement with any corporation, partnership, or person who has requested confidentiality of information under this subsection until 90 days after the information is made public unless:
1. The public officer or employee is acting in an official capacity;

2. The agreement does not accrue to the personal benefit of such public officer or employee; and

3. In the professional judgment of the officer or employee, the agreement is necessary to effectuate an economic development project.

(3) TRADE SECRETS.—Trade secrets held by an economic development agency are confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.

(4) PROPRIETARY CONFIDENTIAL BUSINESS INFORMATION.—Proprietary confidential business information held by an economic development agency is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution, until such information is otherwise publicly available or is no longer treated by the proprietor as proprietary confidential business information.

(5) IDENTIFICATION, ACCOUNT, AND REGISTRATION NUMBERS.—A federal employer identification number, reemployment assistance account number, or Florida sales tax registration number held by an economic development agency is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.

(6) ECONOMIC INCENTIVE PROGRAMS.—
1(a) The following information held by an economic development agency pursuant to the administration of an economic incentive program for qualified businesses is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution for a period not to exceed the duration of the incentive agreement, including an agreement authorizing a tax refund or tax credit, or upon termination of the incentive agreement:
1. The percentage of the business’s sales occurring outside this state and, for businesses applying under s. 288.1045, the percentage of the business’s gross receipts derived from Department of Defense contracts during the 5 years immediately preceding the date the business’s application is submitted.

2. An individual employee’s personal identifying information that is held as evidence of the achievement or nonachievement of the wage requirements of the tax refund, tax credit, or incentive agreement programs or of the job creation requirements of such programs.

3. The amount of:
a. Taxes on sales, use, and other transactions paid pursuant to chapter 212;

b. Corporate income taxes paid pursuant to chapter 220;

c. Intangible personal property taxes paid pursuant to chapter 199;

d. Insurance premium taxes paid pursuant to chapter 624;

e. Excise taxes paid on documents pursuant to chapter 201;

f. Ad valorem taxes paid, as defined in s. 220.03(1); or

g. State communications services taxes paid pursuant to chapter 202.

However, an economic development agency may disclose in the annual incentives report required under s. 288.907 the aggregate amount of each tax identified in this subparagraph and paid by all businesses participating in each economic incentive program.

(b)1. The following information held by an economic development agency relating to a specific business participating in an economic incentive program is no longer confidential or exempt 180 days after a final project order for an economic incentive agreement is issued, until a date specified in the final project order, or if the information is otherwise disclosed, whichever occurs first:
a. The name of the qualified business.

b. The total number of jobs the business committed to create or retain.

c. The total number of jobs created or retained by the business.

d. Notwithstanding s. 213.053(2), the amount of tax refunds, tax credits, or incentives awarded to, claimed by, or, if applicable, refunded to the state by the business.

e. The anticipated total annual wages of employees the business committed to hire or retain.

2. For a business applying for certification under s. 288.1045 which is based on obtaining a new Department of Defense contract, the total number of jobs expected and the amount of tax refunds claimed may not be released until the new Department of Defense contract is awarded.

(7) PENALTIES.—Any person who is an employee of an economic development agency who violates the provisions of this section commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

History.—s. 1, ch. 77-75; s. 1, ch. 79-395; s. 3, ch. 83-47; s. 1, ch. 86-152; s. 1, ch. 86-180; s. 1, ch. 86-218; s. 1, ch. 89-217; s. 104, ch. 90-360; s. 245, ch. 91-224; s. 220, ch. 95-148; s. 1, ch. 95-378; s. 1, ch. 96-353; s. 135, ch. 96-406; s. 14, ch. 99-256; s. 1, ch. 2001-161; s. 5, ch. 2002-183; s. 27, ch. 2003-286; s. 55, ch. 2006-60; s. 1, ch. 2006-157; s. 1, ch. 2007-203; s. 23, ch. 2011-76; s. 148, ch. 2011-142; s. 1, ch. 2012-28; s. 55, ch. 2012-30.

1Note.—Section 35, ch. 2011-76, provides that:“(1) The executive director of the Department of Revenue is authorized, and all conditions are deemed met, to adopt emergency rules under ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54(4), Florida Statutes, for the purpose of implementing this act.
“(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, such emergency rules shall remain in effect for 6 months after the date adopted and may be renewed during the pendency of procedures to adopt permanent rules addressing the subject of the emergency rules.”

288.076 Return on investment reporting for economic development programs.—
(1) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Jobs” has the same meaning as provided in s. 288.106(2)(i).

(b) “Participant business” means an employing unit, as defined in s. 443.036, that has entered into an agreement with the department to receive a state investment.

(c) “Project” has the same meaning as provided in s. 288.106(2)(m).

(d) “Project award date” means the date a participant business enters into an agreement with the department to receive a state investment.

(e) “State investment” means any state grants, tax exemptions, tax refunds, tax credits, or other state incentives provided to a business under a program administered by the department, including the capital investment tax credit under s. 220.191.

(2) The department shall maintain a website for the purpose of publishing the information described in this section. The information required to be published under this section must be provided in a format accessible to the public which enables users to search for and sort specific data and to easily view and retrieve all data at once.

(3) Within 48 hours after expiration of the period of confidentiality for project information deemed confidential and exempt pursuant to s. 288.075, the department shall publish the following information pertaining to each project:
(a) Projected economic benefits.—The projected economic benefits at the time of the initial project award date.

(b) Project information.—
1. The program or programs through which state investment is being made.

2. The maximum potential cumulative state investment in the project.

3. The target industry or industries, and any high-impact sectors implicated by the project.

4. The county or counties that will be impacted by the project.

5. For a project that requires local commitment, the total cumulative local financial commitment and in-kind support for the project.

(c) Participant business information.—
1. The location of the headquarters of the participant business or, if a subsidiary, the headquarters of the parent company.

2. The firm size class of the participant business, or where owned by a parent company the firm size class of the participant business’s parent company, using the firm size classes established by the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, and whether the participant business qualifies as a small business as defined in s. 288.703.

3. The date of the project award.

4. The expected duration of the contract.

5. The anticipated dates when the participant business will claim the last state investment.

(d) Project evaluation criteria.—Economic benefits generated by the project.

(e) Project performance goals.—
1. The incremental direct jobs attributable to the project, identifying the number of jobs generated and the number of jobs retained.

2. The number of jobs generated and the number of jobs retained by the project, and for projects commencing after October 1, 2013, the average annual wage of persons holding such jobs.

3. The incremental direct capital investment in the state generated by the project.

(f) Total state investment to date.—The total amount of state investment disbursed to the participant business to date under the terms of the contract, itemized by incentive program.

(4) The department shall calculate and publish on its website the economic benefits of each project within 48 hours after the conclusion of the agreement between each participant business and the department. The department shall work with the Office of Economic and Demographic Research to provide a description of the methodology used to calculate the economic benefits of a project, and the department must publish the information on its website.

(5) At least annually, from the project award date, the department shall:
(a) Publish verified results to update the information described in paragraphs (3)(b)-(f) to accurately reflect any changes in the published information since the project award date.

(b) Publish on its website the date on which the information collected and published for each project was last updated.

(6) Annually, the department shall publish information relating to the progress of Quick Action Closing Fund projects, including the average number of days between the date the department receives a completed application and the date on which the application is approved.

(7)(a) Within 48 hours after expiration of the period of confidentiality provided under s. 288.075, the department shall publish the contract or agreement described in s. 288.061, redacted to protect the participant business from disclosure of information that remains confidential or exempt by law.

(b) Within 48 hours after submitting any report of findings and recommendations made pursuant to s. 288.106(7)(d) concerning a business’s failure to complete a tax refund agreement pursuant to the tax refund program for qualified target industry businesses, the department shall publish such report.

(8) For projects completed before October 1, 2013, the department shall compile and, by October 1, 2014, shall publish the information described in subsections (3), (4), and (5), to the extent such information is available and applicable.

(9) The provisions of this section that restrict the department’s publication of information are intended only to limit the information that the department may publish on its website and shall not be construed to create an exemption from public records requirements under s. 119.07(1) or s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.

(10) The department may adopt rules to administer this section.

History.—s. 14, ch. 2013-39; s. 14, ch. 2013-42.

288.095 Economic Development Trust Fund.—
(1) The Economic Development Trust Fund is created within the Department of Economic Opportunity. Moneys deposited into the fund must be used only to support the authorized activities and operations of the department.

(2) There is created, within the Economic Development Trust Fund, the Economic Development Incentives Account. The Economic Development Incentives Account consists of moneys appropriated to the account for purposes of the tax incentives programs authorized under ss. 288.1045 and 288.106, and local financial support provided under ss. 288.1045 and 288.106. Moneys in the Economic Development Incentives Account shall be subject to the provisions of s. 216.301(1)(a).

(3)(a) The department may approve applications for certification pursuant to ss. 288.1045(3) and 288.106. However, the total state share of tax refund payments may not exceed $35 million.

(b) The total amount of tax refund claims approved for payment by the department based on actual project performance may not exceed the amount appropriated to the Economic Development Incentives Account for such purposes for the fiscal year. Claims for tax refunds under ss. 288.1045 and 288.106 shall be paid in the order the claims are approved by the department. In the event the Legislature does not appropriate an amount sufficient to satisfy the tax refunds under ss. 288.1045 and 288.106 in a fiscal year, the department shall pay the tax refunds from the appropriation for the following fiscal year. By March 1 of each year, the department shall notify the legislative appropriations committees of the Senate and House of Representatives of any anticipated shortfall in the amount of funds needed to satisfy claims for tax refunds from the appropriation for the current fiscal year.

(c) Moneys in the Economic Development Incentives Account may be used only to pay tax refunds and make other payments authorized under s. 288.1045, s. 288.106, or s. 288.107.

(d) The department may adopt rules necessary to carry out the provisions of this subsection, including rules providing for the use of moneys in the Economic Development Incentives Account and for the administration of the Economic Development Incentives Account.

History.—s. 5, ch. 92-111; ss. 4, 7, ch. 93-414; ss. 15, 75, ch. 94-136; s. 43, ch. 96-320; s. 10, ch. 97-277; s. 12, ch. 97-278; s. 25, ch. 99-251; s. 41, ch. 2001-201; s. 2, ch. 2002-392; s. 2, ch. 2005-66; s. 1, ch. 2005-276; s. 19, ch. 2011-142; s. 15, ch. 2013-39; s. 15, ch. 2013-42.

1288.1045 Qualified defense contractor and space flight business tax refund program.—
(1) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section:
(a) “Applicant” means any business entity that holds a valid Department of Defense contract or space flight business contract, any business entity that is a subcontractor under a valid Department of Defense contract or space flight business contract, or any business entity that holds a valid contract for the reuse of a defense-related facility, including all members of an affiliated group of corporations as defined in s. 220.03(1)(b).

(b) “Average wage in the area” means the average of all wages and salaries in the state, the county, or in the standard metropolitan area in which the business unit is located.

(c) “Business unit” means an employing unit, as defined in s. 443.036, that is registered with the department for reemployment assistance purposes or means a subcategory or division of an employing unit that is accepted by the department as a reporting unit.

(d) “Consolidation of a Department of Defense contract” means the consolidation of one or more of an applicant’s facilities under one or more Department of Defense contracts, from outside this state or from inside and outside this state, into one or more of the applicant’s facilities inside this state.

(e) “Consolidation of a space flight business contract” means the consolidation of one or more of an applicant’s facilities under one or more space flight business contracts, from outside this state or from inside and outside this state, into one or more of the applicant’s facilities inside this state.

(f) “Contract for reuse of a defense-related facility” means a contract with a duration of 2 or more years for the use of a facility for manufacturing, assembling, fabricating, research, development, or design of tangible personal property, but excluding any contract to provide goods, improvements to real or tangible property, or services directly to or for any particular military base or installation in this state. Such facility must be located within a port, as defined in s. 313.21, and have been occupied by a business entity that held a valid Department of Defense contract or occupied by any branch of the Armed Forces of the United States, within 1 year of any contract being executed for the reuse of such facility. A contract for reuse of a defense-related facility may not include any contract for reuse of such facility for any Department of Defense contract for manufacturing, assembling, fabricating, research, development, or design.

(g) “Department of Defense contract” means a competitively bid Department of Defense contract or subcontract or a competitively bid federal agency contract or subcontract issued on behalf of the Department of Defense for manufacturing, assembling, fabricating, research, development, or design with a duration of 2 or more years, but excluding any contract or subcontract to provide goods, improvements to real or tangible property, or services directly to or for any particular military base or installation in this state. The term includes contracts or subcontracts for products or services for military use or homeland security which contracts or subcontracts are approved by the United States Department of Defense, the United States Department of State, or the United States Department of Homeland Security.

(h) “Fiscal year” means the fiscal year of the state.

(i) “Jobs” means full-time equivalent positions, including, but not limited to, positions obtained from a temporary employment agency or employee leasing company or through a union agreement or coemployment under a professional employer organization agreement, that result directly from a project in this state. This number does not include temporary construction jobs involved with the construction of facilities for the project.

(j) “Local financial support” means funding from local sources, public or private, which is paid to the Economic Development Trust Fund and which is equal to 20 percent of the annual tax refund for a qualified applicant. Local financial support may include excess payments made to a utility company under a designated program to allow decreases in service by the utility company under conditions, regardless of when application is made. A qualified applicant may not provide, directly or indirectly, more than 5 percent of such funding in any fiscal year. The sources of such funding may not include, directly or indirectly, state funds appropriated from the General Revenue Fund or any state trust fund, excluding tax revenues shared with local governments pursuant to law.

(k) “Local financial support exemption option” means the option to exercise an exemption from the local financial support requirement available to any applicant whose project is located in a county designated by the Rural Economic Development Initiative, if the county commissioners of the county in which the project will be located adopt a resolution requesting that the applicant’s project be exempt from the local financial support requirement. Any applicant that exercises this option is not eligible for more than 80 percent of the total tax refunds allowed such applicant under this section.

(l) “New Department of Defense contract” means a Department of Defense contract entered into after the date application for certification as a qualified applicant is made and after January 1, 1994.

(m) “New space flight business contract” means a space flight business contract entered into after an application for certification as a qualified applicant is made after July 1, 2008.

(n) “Nondefense production jobs” means employment exclusively for activities that, directly or indirectly, are unrelated to the Department of Defense.

(o) “Project” means any business undertaking in this state under a new Department of Defense contract, consolidation of a Department of Defense contract, new space flight business contract, consolidation of a space flight business contract, or conversion of defense production jobs over to nondefense production jobs or reuse of defense-related facilities.

(p) “Qualified applicant” means an applicant that has been approved by the department to be eligible for tax refunds pursuant to this section.

(q) “Space flight business” means the manufacturing, processing, or assembly of space flight technology products, space flight facilities, space flight propulsion systems, or space vehicles, satellites, or stations of any kind possessing the capability for space flight, as defined by s. 212.02(23), or components thereof, and includes, in supporting space flight, vehicle launch activities, flight operations, ground control or ground support, and all administrative activities directly related to such activities. The term does not include products that are designed or manufactured for general commercial aviation or other uses even if those products may also serve an incidental use in space flight applications.

(r) “Space flight business contract” means a competitively bid federal agency contract, federal agency subcontract, an awarded commercial contract, or an awarded commercial subcontract for space flight business with a duration of 2 or more years.

(s) “Taxable year” means the same as in s. 220.03(1)(y).

(2) GRANTING OF A TAX REFUND; ELIGIBLE AMOUNTS.—
(a) There shall be allowed, from the Economic Development Trust Fund, a refund to a qualified applicant for the amount of eligible taxes certified by the department which were paid by such qualified applicant. The total amount of refunds for all fiscal years for each qualified applicant shall be determined pursuant to subsection (3). The annual amount of a refund to a qualified applicant shall be determined pursuant to subsection (5).

(b) Upon approval by the director, a qualified applicant shall be allowed tax refund payments equal to $3,000 times the number of jobs specified in the tax refund agreement under subparagraph (4)(a)1. or equal to $6,000 times the number of jobs if the project is located in a rural county or an enterprise zone. Further, a qualified applicant shall be allowed additional tax refund payments equal to $1,000 times the number of jobs specified in the tax refund agreement under subparagraph (4)(a)1. if such jobs pay an annual average wage of at least 150 percent of the average private sector wage in the area or equal to $2,000 times the number of jobs if such jobs pay an annual average wage of at least 200 percent of the average private sector wage in the area. A qualified applicant may not receive refunds of more than 25 percent of the total tax refunds provided in the tax refund agreement pursuant to subparagraph (4)(a)1. in any fiscal year, provided that no qualified applicant may receive more than $2.5 million in tax refunds pursuant to this section in any fiscal year.

(c) Contingent upon an annual appropriation by the Legislature, the department may approve not more in tax refunds than the amount appropriated to the Economic Development Trust Fund for tax refunds, for a fiscal year pursuant to subsection (5) and s. 288.095.

(d) For the first 6 months of each fiscal year, the department shall set aside 30 percent of the amount appropriated for refunds pursuant to this section by the Legislature to provide tax refunds only to qualified applicants who employ 500 or fewer full-time employees in this state. Any unencumbered funds remaining undisbursed from this set-aside at the end of the 6-month period may be used to provide tax refunds for any qualified applicants pursuant to this section.

2(e) After entering into a tax refund agreement pursuant to subsection (4), a qualified applicant may:
1. Receive refunds from the account for corporate income taxes due and paid pursuant to chapter 220 by that business beginning with the first taxable year of the business which begins after entering into the agreement.

2. Receive refunds from the account for the following taxes due and paid by that business after entering into the agreement:
a. Taxes on sales, use, and other transactions paid pursuant to chapter 212.

b. Intangible personal property taxes paid pursuant to chapter 199.

c. Excise taxes paid on documents pursuant to chapter 201.

d. Ad valorem taxes paid, as defined in s. 220.03(1)(a) on June 1, 1996.

e. State communications services taxes administered under chapter 202. This provision does not apply to the gross receipts tax imposed under chapter 203 and administered under chapter 202 or the local communications services tax authorized under s. 202.19.

However, a qualified applicant may not receive a tax refund pursuant to this section for any amount of credit, refund, or exemption granted such contractor for any of such taxes. If a refund for such taxes is provided by the department, which taxes are subsequently adjusted by the application of any credit, refund, or exemption granted to the qualified applicant other than that provided in this section, the qualified applicant shall reimburse the Economic Development Trust Fund for the amount of such credit, refund, or exemption. A qualified applicant must notify and tender payment to the department within 20 days after receiving a credit, refund, or exemption, other than that provided in this section.

(f) Any qualified applicant who fraudulently claims this refund is liable for repayment of the refund to the Economic Development Trust Fund plus a mandatory penalty of 200 percent of the tax refund which shall be deposited into the General Revenue Fund. Any qualified applicant who fraudulently claims this refund commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(g) Funds made available pursuant to this section may not be expended in connection with the relocation of a business from one community to another community in this state unless the department determines that without such relocation the business will move outside this state or determines that the business has a compelling economic rationale for the relocation which creates additional jobs.

(3) APPLICATION PROCESS; REQUIREMENTS; AGENCY DETERMINATION.—
(a) To apply for certification as a qualified applicant pursuant to this section, an applicant must file an application with the department which satisfies the requirements of paragraphs (b) and (e), paragraphs (c) and (e), paragraphs (d) and (e), or paragraphs (e) and (j). An applicant may not apply for certification pursuant to this section after a proposal has been submitted for a new Department of Defense contract, after the applicant has made the decision to consolidate an existing Department of Defense contract in this state for which such applicant is seeking certification, after a proposal has been submitted for a new space flight business contract in this state, after the applicant has made the decision to consolidate an existing space flight business contract in this state for which such applicant is seeking certification, or after the applicant has made the decision to convert defense production jobs to nondefense production jobs for which such applicant is seeking certification.

(b) Applications for certification based on the consolidation of a Department of Defense contract or a new Department of Defense contract must be submitted to the department as prescribed by the department and must include, but are not limited to, the following information:
1. The applicant’s federal employer identification number, the applicant’s Florida sales tax registration number, and a signature of an officer of the applicant.

2. The permanent location of the manufacturing, assembling, fabricating, research, development, or design facility in this state at which the project is or is to be located.

3. The Department of Defense contract numbers of the contract to be consolidated, the new Department of Defense contract number, or the “RFP” number of a proposed Department of Defense contract.

4. The date the contract was executed or is expected to be executed, and the date the contract is due to expire or is expected to expire.

5. The commencement date for project operations under the contract in this state.

6. The number of net new full-time equivalent Florida jobs included in the project as of December 31 of each year and the average wage of such jobs.

7. The total number of full-time equivalent employees employed by the applicant in this state.

8. The percentage of the applicant’s gross receipts derived from Department of Defense contracts during the 5 taxable years immediately preceding the date the application is submitted.

9. The number of full-time equivalent jobs in this state to be retained by the project.

10. A brief statement concerning the applicant’s need for tax refunds, and the proposed uses of such refunds by the applicant.

11. A resolution adopted by the governing board of the county or municipality in which the project will be located, which recommends the applicant be approved as a qualified applicant, and which indicates that the necessary commitments of local financial support for the applicant exist. Prior to the adoption of the resolution, the county commission may review the proposed public or private sources of such support and determine whether the proposed sources of local financial support can be provided or, for any applicant whose project is located in a county designated by the Rural Economic Development Initiative, a resolution adopted by the county commissioners of such county requesting that the applicant’s project be exempt from the local financial support requirement.

12. Any additional information requested by the department.

(c) Applications for certification based on the conversion of defense production jobs to nondefense production jobs must be submitted to the department as prescribed by the department and must include, but are not limited to, the following information:
1. The applicant’s federal employer identification number, the applicant’s Florida sales tax registration number, and a signature of an officer of the applicant.

2. The permanent location of the manufacturing, assembling, fabricating, research, development, or design facility in this state at which the project is or is to be located.

3. The Department of Defense contract numbers of the contract under which the defense production jobs will be converted to nondefense production jobs.

4. The date the contract was executed, and the date the contract is due to expire or is expected to expire, or was canceled.

5. The commencement date for the nondefense production operations in this state.

6. The number of net new full-time equivalent Florida jobs included in the nondefense production project as of December 31 of each year and the average wage of such jobs.

7. The total number of full-time equivalent employees employed by the applicant in this state.

8. The percentage of the applicant’s gross receipts derived from Department of Defense contracts during the 5 taxable years immediately preceding the date the application is submitted.

9. The number of full-time equivalent jobs in this state to be retained by the project.

10. A brief statement concerning the applicant’s need for tax refunds, and the proposed uses of such refunds by the applicant.

11. A resolution adopted by the governing board of the county or municipality in which the project will be located, which recommends the applicant be approved as a qualified applicant, and which indicates that the necessary commitments of local financial support for the applicant exist. Prior to the adoption of the resolution, the county commission may review the proposed public or private sources of such support and determine whether the proposed sources of local financial support can be provided or, for any applicant whose project is located in a county designated by the Rural Economic Development Initiative, a resolution adopted by the county commissioners of such county requesting that the applicant’s project be exempt from the local financial support requirement.

12. Any additional information requested by the department.

(d) Applications for certification based on a contract for reuse of a defense-related facility must be submitted to the department as prescribed by the department and must include, but are not limited to, the following information:
1. The applicant’s Florida sales tax registration number and a signature of an officer of the applicant.

2. The permanent location of the manufacturing, assembling, fabricating, research, development, or design facility in this state at which the project is or is to be located.

3. The business entity holding a valid Department of Defense contract or branch of the Armed Forces of the United States that previously occupied the facility, and the date such entity last occupied the facility.

4. A copy of the contract to reuse the facility, or such alternative proof as may be prescribed by the department that the applicant is seeking to contract for the reuse of such facility.

5. The date the contract to reuse the facility was executed or is expected to be executed, and the date the contract is due to expire or is expected to expire.

6. The commencement date for project operations under the contract in this state.

7. The number of net new full-time equivalent Florida jobs included in the project as of December 31 of each year and the average wage of such jobs.

8. The total number of full-time equivalent employees employed by the applicant in this state.

9. The number of full-time equivalent jobs in this state to be retained by the project.

10. A brief statement concerning the applicant’s need for tax refunds, and the proposed uses of such refunds by the applicant.

11. A resolution adopted by the governing board of the county or municipality in which the project will be located, which recommends the applicant be approved as a qualified applicant, and which indicates that the necessary commitments of local financial support for the applicant exist. Before the adoption of the resolution, the county commission may review the proposed public or private sources of such support and determine whether the proposed sources of local financial support can be provided or, for any applicant whose project is located in a county designated by the Rural Economic Development Initiative, a resolution adopted by the county commissioners of such county requesting that the applicant’s project be exempt from the local financial support requirement.

12. Any additional information requested by the department.

(e) To qualify for review by the department, the application of an applicant must, at a minimum, establish the following to the satisfaction of the department:
1. The jobs proposed to be provided under the application, pursuant to subparagraph (b)6., subparagraph (c)6., or subparagraph (j)6., must pay an estimated annual average wage equaling at least 115 percent of the average wage in the area where the project is to be located.

2. The consolidation of a Department of Defense contract must result in a net increase of at least 25 percent in the number of jobs at the applicant’s facilities in this state or the addition of at least 80 jobs at the applicant’s facilities in this state.

3. The conversion of defense production jobs to nondefense production jobs must result in net increases in nondefense employment at the applicant’s facilities in this state.

4. The Department of Defense contract or the space flight business contract cannot allow the business to include the costs of relocation or retooling in its base as allowable costs under a cost-plus, or similar, contract.

5. A business unit of the applicant must have derived not less than 60 percent of its gross receipts in this state from Department of Defense contracts or space flight business contracts over the applicant’s last fiscal year, and must have derived not less than an average of 60 percent of its gross receipts in this state from Department of Defense contracts or space flight business contracts over the 5 years preceding the date an application is submitted pursuant to this section. This subparagraph does not apply to any application for certification based on a contract for reuse of a defense-related facility.

6. The reuse of a defense-related facility must result in the creation of at least 100 jobs at such facility.

7. A new space flight business contract or the consolidation of a space flight business contract must result in net increases in space flight business employment at the applicant’s facilities in this state.

(f) Each application meeting the requirements of paragraphs (b) and (e), paragraphs (c) and (e), paragraphs (d) and (e), or paragraphs (e) and (j) must be submitted to the department for a determination of eligibility. The department shall review and evaluate each application based on, but not limited to, the following criteria:
1. Expected contributions to the state strategic economic development plan prepared by the department, taking into account the extent to which the project contributes to the state’s high-technology base, and the long-term impact of the project and the applicant on the state’s economy.

2. The economic benefit of the jobs created or retained by the project in this state, taking into account the cost and average wage of each job created or retained, and the potential risk to existing jobs.

3. The amount of capital investment to be made by the applicant in this state.

4. The local commitment and support for the project and applicant.

5. The impact of the project on the local community, taking into account the unemployment rate for the county where the project will be located.

6. The dependence of the local community on the defense industry or space flight business.

7. The impact of any tax refunds granted pursuant to this section on the viability of the project and the probability that the project will occur in this state if such tax refunds are granted to the applicant, taking into account the expected long-term commitment of the applicant to economic growth and employment in this state.

8. The length of the project, or the expected long-term commitment to this state resulting from the project.

(g) Applications shall be reviewed and certified pursuant to s. 288.061. If appropriate, the department shall enter into a written agreement with the qualified applicant pursuant to subsection (4).

(h) The department may not certify any applicant as a qualified applicant when the value of tax refunds to be included in that letter of certification exceeds the available amount of authority to certify new businesses as determined in s. 288.095(3). A letter of certification that approves an application must specify the maximum amount of a tax refund that is to be available to the contractor for each fiscal year and the total amount of tax refunds for all fiscal years.

(i) This section does not create a presumption that an applicant should receive any tax refunds under this section.

(j) Applications for certification based upon a new space flight business contract or the consolidation of a space flight business contract must be submitted to the department as prescribed by the department and must include, but are not limited to, the following information:
1. The applicant’s federal employer identification number, the applicant’s Florida sales tax registration number, and a signature of an officer of the applicant.

2. The permanent location of the space flight business facility in this state where the project is or will be located.

3. The new space flight business contract number, the space flight business contract numbers of the contract to be consolidated, or the request-for-proposal number of a proposed space flight business contract.

4. The date the contract was executed and the date the contract is due to expire, is expected to expire, or was canceled.

5. The commencement date for project operations under the contract in this state.

6. The number of net new full-time equivalent Florida jobs included in the project as of December 31 of each year and the average wage of such jobs.

7. The total number of full-time equivalent employees employed by the applicant in this state.

8. The percentage of the applicant’s gross receipts derived from space flight business contracts during the 5 taxable years immediately preceding the date the application is submitted.

9. The number of full-time equivalent jobs in this state to be retained by the project.

10. A brief statement concerning the applicant’s need for tax refunds and the proposed uses of such refunds by the applicant.

11. A resolution adopted by the governing board of the county or municipality in which the project will be located which recommends the applicant be approved as a qualified applicant and indicates that the necessary commitments of local financial support for the applicant exist. Prior to the adoption of the resolution, the county commission may review the proposed public or private sources of such support and determine whether the proposed sources of local financial support can be provided or, for any applicant whose project is located in a county designated by the Rural Economic Development Initiative, a resolution adopted by the county commissioners of such county requesting that the applicant’s project be exempt from the local financial support requirement.

12. Any additional information requested by the department.

(4) QUALIFIED APPLICANT TAX REFUND AGREEMENT.—
(a) A qualified applicant shall enter into a written agreement with the department containing, but not limited to, the following:
1. The total number of full-time equivalent jobs in this state that are or will be dedicated to the qualified applicant’s project, the average wage of such jobs, the definitions that will apply for measuring the achievement of these terms during the pendency of the agreement, and a time schedule or plan for when such jobs will be in place and active in this state.

2. The maximum amount of a refund that the qualified applicant is eligible to receive for each fiscal year, based on the job creation or retention and maintenance schedule specified in subparagraph 1.

3. An agreement with the department allowing the department to review and verify the financial and personnel records of the qualified applicant to ascertain whether the qualified applicant is complying with the requirements of this section.

4. The date by which, in each fiscal year, the qualified applicant may file a claim pursuant to subsection (5) to be considered to receive a tax refund in the following fiscal year.

5. That local financial support shall be annually available and will be paid to the Economic Development Trust Fund.

(b) Compliance with the terms and conditions of the agreement is a condition precedent for receipt of tax refunds each year. The failure to comply with the terms and conditions of the agreement shall result in the loss of eligibility for receipt of all tax refunds previously authorized pursuant to this section, and the revocation of the certification as a qualified applicant by the department, unless the qualified applicant is eligible to receive and elects to accept a prorated refund under paragraph (5)(g) or the department grants the qualified applicant an economic-stimulus exemption.
1. A qualified applicant may submit, in writing, a request to the department for an economic-stimulus exemption. The request must provide quantitative evidence demonstrating how negative economic conditions in the qualified applicant’s industry, the effects of the impact of a named hurricane or tropical storm, or specific acts of terrorism affecting the qualified applicant have prevented the qualified applicant from complying with the terms and conditions of its tax refund agreement.

2. Upon receipt of a request under subparagraph 1., the department shall have 45 days to notify the requesting qualified applicant, in writing, if its exemption has been granted or denied. In determining if an exemption should be granted, the department shall consider the extent to which negative economic conditions in the requesting qualified applicant’s industry, the effects of the impact of a named hurricane or tropical storm, or specific acts of terrorism affecting the qualified applicant have prevented the qualified applicant from complying with the terms and conditions of its tax refund agreement.

3. As a condition for receiving a prorated refund under paragraph (5)(g) or an economic-stimulus exemption under this paragraph, a qualified applicant must agree to renegotiate its tax refund agreement with the department to, at a minimum, ensure that the terms of the agreement comply with current law and the procedures of the department governing application for and award of tax refunds. Upon approving the award of a prorated refund or granting an economic-stimulus exemption, the department shall renegotiate the tax refund agreement with the qualified applicant as required by this subparagraph. When amending the agreement of a qualified applicant receiving an economic-stimulus exemption, the department may extend the duration of the agreement for a period not to exceed 2 years.

4. A qualified applicant that receives an economic-stimulus exemption may not receive a tax refund for the period covered by the exemption.

(c) The agreement shall be signed by the executive director and the authorized officer of the qualified applicant.

(d) The agreement must contain the following legend, clearly printed on its face in bold type of not less than 10 points:“This agreement is neither a general obligation of the State of Florida, nor is it backed by the full faith and credit of the State of Florida. Payment of tax refunds are conditioned on and subject to specific annual appropriations by the Florida Legislature of funds sufficient to pay amounts authorized in s. 288.1045, Florida Statutes.”

(5) ANNUAL CLAIM FOR REFUND.—
(a) To be eligible to claim any scheduled tax refund, qualified applicants who have entered into a written agreement with the department pursuant to subsection (4) and who have entered into a valid new Department of Defense contract, entered into a valid new space flight business contract, commenced the consolidation of a space flight business contract, commenced the consolidation of a Department of Defense contract, commenced the conversion of defense production jobs to nondefense production jobs, or entered into a valid contract for reuse of a defense-related facility must apply by January 31 of each fiscal year to the department for tax refunds scheduled to be paid from the appropriation for the fiscal year that begins on July 1 following the January 31 claims-submission date. The department may, upon written request, grant a 30-day extension of the filing date. The application must include a notarized signature of an officer of the applicant.

(b) The claim for refund by the qualified applicant must include a copy of all receipts pertaining to the payment of taxes for which a refund is sought, and data related to achieving each performance item contained in the tax refund agreement pursuant to subsection (4). The amount requested as a tax refund may not exceed the amount for the relevant fiscal year in the written agreement entered pursuant to subsection (4).

(c) A tax refund may not be approved for any qualified applicant unless local financial support has been paid to the Economic Development Trust Fund for that refund. If the local financial support is less than 20 percent of the approved tax refund, the tax refund shall be reduced. The tax refund paid may not exceed 5 times the local financial support received. Funding from local sources includes tax abatement under s. 196.1995 or the appraised market value of municipal or county land, including any improvements or structures, conveyed or provided at a discount through a sale or lease to that applicant. The amount of any tax refund for an applicant approved under this section shall be reduced by the amount of any such tax abatement granted or the value of the land granted, including the value of any improvements or structures; and the limitations in subsection (2) shall be reduced by the amount of any such tax abatement or the value of the land granted, including any improvements or structures. A report listing all sources of the local financial support shall be provided to the department when such support is paid to the Economic Development Trust Fund.

(d) The department, with assistance from the Department of Revenue, shall, by June 30 following the scheduled date for submitting the tax refund claim, specify by written order the approval or disapproval of the tax refund claim and, if approved, the amount of the tax refund that is authorized to be paid to the qualified applicant for the annual tax refund. The department may grant an extension of this date upon the request of the qualified applicant for the purpose of filing additional information in support of the claim.

(e) The total amount of tax refunds approved by the department under this section in any fiscal year may not exceed the amount authorized under s. 288.095(3).

(f) Upon approval of the tax refund pursuant to paragraphs (c) and (d), the Chief Financial Officer shall issue a warrant for the amount included in the written order. In the event of any appeal of the written order, the Chief Financial Officer may not issue a warrant for a refund to the qualified applicant until the conclusion of all appeals of the written order.

(g) A prorated tax refund, less a 5 percent penalty, shall be approved for a qualified applicant provided all other applicable requirements have been satisfied and the applicant proves to the satisfaction of the department that it has achieved at least 80 percent of its projected employment and that the average wage paid by the qualified applicant is at least 90 percent of the average wage specified in the tax refund agreement, but in no case less than 115 percent of the average private sector wage in the area available at the time of certification. The prorated tax refund shall be calculated by multiplying the tax refund amount for which the qualified applicant would have been eligible, if all applicable requirements had been satisfied, by the percentage of the average employment specified in the tax refund agreement which was achieved, and by the percentage of the average wages specified in the tax refund agreement which was achieved.

(h) This section does not create a presumption that a tax refund claim will be approved and paid.

(6) ADMINISTRATION.—
(a) The department may verify information provided in any claim submitted for tax credits under this section with regard to employment and wage levels or the payment of the taxes with the appropriate agency or authority including the Department of Revenue, the department, or any local government or authority.

(b) To facilitate the process of monitoring and auditing applications made under this program, the department may provide a list of qualified applicants to the Department of Revenue or to any local government or authority. The department may request the assistance of said entities with respect to monitoring jobs, wages, and the payment of the taxes listed in subsection (2).

(c) Funds specifically appropriated for the tax refund program under this section may not be used for any purpose other than the payment of tax refunds authorized by this section.

(7) EXPIRATION.—An applicant may not be certified as qualified under this section after June 30, 2014. A tax refund agreement existing on that date shall continue in effect in accordance with its terms.

History.—s. 1, ch. 96-348; s. 10, ch. 97-79; s. 30, ch. 97-99; s. 17, ch. 97-278; s. 85, ch. 99-251; s. 1, ch. 2002-225; s. 3, ch. 2002-392; s. 340, ch. 2003-261; s. 2, ch. 2003-270; s. 21, ch. 2004-5; s. 60, ch. 2004-269; s. 2, ch. 2005-276; s. 37, ch. 2007-5; s. 1, ch. 2008-89; s. 16, ch. 2009-51; s. 17, ch. 2010-147; s. 24, ch. 2011-76; s. 149, ch. 2011-142; s. 56, ch. 2012-30; s. 35, ch. 2012-96; s. 20, ch. 2013-18; s. 16, ch. 2013-42; s. 1, ch. 2013-96.

1Note.—Section 30, ch. 2015-221, provides that:“(1) A business may apply to the Department of Economic Opportunity for the incentives specified in subsection (2) if each of the following criteria is satisfied:
“(a) The business has entered into a contract with the Department of Economic Opportunity for a project under ss. 288.0659, 288.1045, 288.106, 288.107, 288.108, 288.1088, or 288.1089, Florida Statutes, between January 1, 2012, and July 1, 2015.
“(b) The contract is deemed active by the Department of Economic Opportunity and has not expired or been terminated.
“(c) The project that is the subject of the contract is located within the boundaries of an enterprise zone designated pursuant to chapter 290, Florida Statutes, as the boundaries existed on May 1, 2015.
“(2) For a project described under paragraph (1)(c), a business qualified under subsection (1) may apply for the following incentives:
“(a) The property tax exemption for a licensed child care facility under s. 196.095, Florida Statutes 2014.
“(b) The building sales tax refund under s. 212.08(5)(g), Florida Statutes 2014.
“(c) The business property sales tax refund under s. 212.08(5)(h), Florida Statutes 2014.
“(d) The electrical energy sales tax exemption under s. 212.08(15), Florida Statutes 2014.
“(e) The enterprise zone jobs tax credit under s. 212.096, Florida Statutes 2014.
“(f) The enterprise zone jobs tax credit under s. 220.181, Florida Statutes 2014.
“(g) The enterprise zone property tax credit under s. 220.182, Florida Statutes 2014.
“(3) The Department of Economic Opportunity must provide a list of businesses that are qualified under subsection (1) to the Department of Revenue by December 31, 2015. The Department of Economic Opportunity must also provide notice to the Department of Revenue within 10 days after the expiration or termination of a contract.
“(4) From January 1, 2016, to December 31, 2018, the Department of Economic Opportunity is designated to perform all the duties and responsibilities that were performed by the governing body or enterprise zone development agency having jurisdiction over the enterprise zone under ss. 196.095, 212.08(5)(g) and (h), 212.08(15), 212.096, 220.181, and 220.182, Florida Statutes 2014, including receipt and review of applications and verifications.
“(5) The incentives described in subsection (2) are to be treated as if they had not expired on December 31, 2015.
“(6) This section is effective January 1, 2016, and expires on December 31, 2018.”

2Note.—Section 35, ch. 2011-76, provides that:“(1) The executive director of the Department of Revenue is authorized, and all conditions are deemed met, to adopt emergency rules under ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54(4), Florida Statutes, for the purpose of implementing this act.
“(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, such emergency rules shall remain in effect for 6 months after the date adopted and may be renewed during the pendency of procedures to adopt permanent rules addressing the subject of the emergency rules.”

1288.106 Tax refund program for qualified target industry businesses.—
(1) LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS AND DECLARATIONS.—The Legislature finds that retaining and expanding existing businesses in the state, encouraging the creation of new businesses in the state, attracting new businesses from outside the state, and generally providing conditions favorable for the growth of target industries creates high-quality, high-wage employment opportunities for residents of the state and strengthens the state’s economic foundation. The Legislature also finds that incentives narrowly focused in application and scope tend to be more effective in achieving the state’s economic development goals. The Legislature further finds that higher-wage jobs reduce the state’s share of hidden costs, such as public assistance and subsidized health care associated with low-wage jobs. Therefore, the Legislature declares that it is the policy of the state to encourage the growth of higher-wage jobs and a diverse economic base by providing state tax refunds to qualified target industry businesses that originate or expand in the state or that relocate to the state.

(2) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section:
(a) “Account” means the Economic Development Incentives Account within the Economic Development Trust Fund established under s. 288.095.

(b) “Authorized local economic development agency” means a public or private entity, including an entity defined in s. 288.075, authorized by a county or municipality to promote the general business or industrial interests of that county or municipality.

(c) “Average private sector wage in the area” means the statewide private sector average wage or the average of all private sector wages and salaries in the county or in the standard metropolitan area in which the business is located.

(d) “Business” means an employing unit, as defined in s. 443.036, that is registered for reemployment assistance purposes with the state agency providing reemployment assistance tax collection services under an interagency agreement pursuant to s. 443.1316, or a subcategory or division of an employing unit that is accepted by the state agency providing reemployment assistance tax collection services as a reporting unit.

(e) “Corporate headquarters business” means an international, national, or regional headquarters office of a multinational or multistate business enterprise or national trade association, whether separate from or connected with other facilities used by such business.

(f) “Enterprise zone” means an area designated as an enterprise zone pursuant to s. 290.0065.

(g) “Expansion of an existing business” means the expansion of an existing Florida business by or through additions to real and personal property, resulting in a net increase in employment of not less than 10 percent at such business.

(h) “Fiscal year” means the fiscal year of the state.

(i) “Jobs” means full-time equivalent positions, including, but not limited to, positions obtained from a temporary employment agency or employee leasing company or through a union agreement or coemployment under a professional employer organization agreement, that result directly from a project in this state. The term does not include temporary construction jobs involved with the construction of facilities for the project or any jobs previously included in any application for tax refunds under s. 288.1045 or this section.

(j) “Local financial support” means funding from local sources, public or private, that is paid to the Economic Development Trust Fund and that is equal to 20 percent of the annual tax refund for a qualified target industry business. A qualified target industry business may not provide, directly or indirectly, more than 5 percent of such funding in any fiscal year. The sources of such funding may not include, directly or indirectly, state funds appropriated from the General Revenue Fund or any state trust fund, excluding tax revenues shared with local governments pursuant to law.

(k) “Local financial support exemption option” means the option to exercise an exemption from the local financial support requirement available to any applicant whose project is located in a brownfield area, a rural city, or a rural community. Any applicant that exercises this option is not eligible for more than 80 percent of the total tax refunds allowed such applicant under this section.

(l) “New business” means a business that applies for a tax refund under this section before beginning operations in this state and that is a legal entity separate from any other commercial or industrial operations owned by the same business.

(m) “Project” means the creation of a new business or expansion of an existing business.

(n) “Qualified target industry business” means a target industry business approved by the department to be eligible for tax refunds under this section.

(o) “Rural city” means a city having a population of 10,000 or fewer, or a city having a population of greater than 10,000 but fewer than 20,000 that has been determined by the department to have economic characteristics such as, but not limited to, a significant percentage of residents on public assistance, a significant percentage of residents with income below the poverty level, or a significant percentage of the city’s employment base in agriculture-related industries.

(p) “Rural community” means:
1. A county having a population of 75,000 or fewer.

2. A county having a population of 125,000 or fewer that is contiguous to a county having a population of 75,000 or fewer.

3. A municipality within a county described in subparagraph 1. or subparagraph 2.

For purposes of this paragraph, population shall be determined in accordance with the most recent official estimate pursuant to s. 186.901.

(q) “Target industry business” means a corporate headquarters business or any business that is engaged in one of the target industries identified pursuant to the following criteria developed by the department in consultation with Enterprise Florida, Inc.:
1. Future growth.—Industry forecasts should indicate strong expectation for future growth in both employment and output, according to the most recent available data. Special consideration should be given to businesses that export goods to, or provide services in, international markets and businesses that replace domestic and international imports of goods or services.

2. Stability.—The industry should not be subject to periodic layoffs, whether due to seasonality or sensitivity to volatile economic variables such as weather. The industry should also be relatively resistant to recession, so that the demand for products of this industry is not typically subject to decline during an economic downturn.

3. High wage.—The industry should pay relatively high wages compared to statewide or area averages.

4. Market and resource independent.—The location of industry businesses should not be dependent on Florida markets or resources as indicated by industry analysis, except for businesses in the renewable energy industry.

5. Industrial base diversification and strengthening.—The industry should contribute toward expanding or diversifying the state’s or area’s economic base, as indicated by analysis of employment and output shares compared to national and regional trends. Special consideration should be given to industries that strengthen regional economies by adding value to basic products or building regional industrial clusters as indicated by industry analysis. Special consideration should also be given to the development of strong industrial clusters that include defense and homeland security businesses.

6. Positive economic impact.—The industry is expected to have strong positive economic impacts on or benefits to the state or regional economies. Special consideration should be given to industries that facilitate the development of the state as a hub for domestic and global trade and logistics.

The term does not include any business engaged in retail industry activities; any electrical utility company as defined in s. 366.02(2); any phosphate or other solid minerals severance, mining, or processing operation; any oil or gas exploration or production operation; or any business subject to regulation by the Division of Hotels and Restaurants of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Any business within NAICS code 5611 or 5614, office administrative services and business support services, respectively, may be considered a target industry business only after the local governing body and Enterprise Florida, Inc., make a determination that the community where the business may locate has conditions affecting the fiscal and economic viability of the local community or area, including but not limited to, factors such as low per capita income, high unemployment, high underemployment, and a lack of year-round stable employment opportunities, and such conditions may be improved by the location of such a business to the community. By January 1 of every 3rd year, beginning January 1, 2011, the department, in consultation with Enterprise Florida, Inc., economic development organizations, the State University System, local governments, employee and employer organizations, market analysts, and economists, shall review and, as appropriate, revise the list of such target industries and submit the list to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

(r) “Taxable year” means taxable year as defined in s. 220.03(1)(y).

(3) TAX REFUND; ELIGIBLE AMOUNTS.—
(a) There shall be allowed, from the account, a refund to a qualified target industry business for the amount of eligible taxes certified by the department that were paid by the business. The total amount of refunds for all fiscal years for each qualified target industry business must be determined pursuant to subsection (4). The annual amount of a refund to a qualified target industry business must be determined pursuant to subsection (6).

(b)1. Upon approval by the department, a qualified target industry business shall be allowed tax refund payments equal to $3,000 multiplied by the number of jobs specified in the tax refund agreement under subparagraph (5)(a)1., or equal to $6,000 multiplied by the number of jobs if the project is located in a rural community or an enterprise zone.

2. A qualified target industry business shall be allowed additional tax refund payments equal to $1,000 multiplied by the number of jobs specified in the tax refund agreement under subparagraph (5)(a)1. if such jobs pay an annual average wage of at least 150 percent of the average private sector wage in the area, or equal to $2,000 multiplied by the number of jobs if such jobs pay an annual average wage of at least 200 percent of the average private sector wage in the area.

3. A qualified target industry business shall be allowed tax refund payments in addition to the other payments authorized in this paragraph equal to $1,000 multiplied by the number of jobs specified in the tax refund agreement under subparagraph (5)(a)1. if the local financial support is equal to that of the state’s incentive award under subparagraph 1.

4. In addition to the other tax refund payments authorized in this paragraph, a qualified target industry business shall be allowed a tax refund payment equal to $2,000 multiplied by the number of jobs specified in the tax refund agreement under subparagraph (5)(a)1. if the business:
a. Falls within one of the high-impact sectors designated under s. 288.108; or

b. Increases exports of its goods through a seaport or airport in the state by at least 10 percent in value or tonnage in each of the years that the business receives a tax refund under this section. For purposes of this sub-subparagraph, seaports in the state are limited to the ports of Jacksonville, Tampa, Port Everglades, Miami, Port Canaveral, Ft. Pierce, Palm Beach, Port Manatee, Port St. Joe, Panama City, St. Petersburg, Pensacola, Fernandina, and Key West.

2(c) A qualified target industry business may not receive refund payments of more than 25 percent of the total tax refunds specified in the tax refund agreement under subparagraph (5)(a)1. in any fiscal year. Further, a qualified target industry business may not receive more than $1.5 million in refunds under this section in any single fiscal year, or more than $2.5 million in any single fiscal year if the project is located in an enterprise zone.

2(d) After entering into a tax refund agreement under subsection (5), a qualified target industry business may:
1. Receive refunds from the account for the following taxes due and paid by that business beginning with the first taxable year of the business that begins after entering into the agreement:
a. Corporate income taxes under chapter 220.

b. Insurance premium tax under s. 624.509.

2. Receive refunds from the account for the following taxes due and paid by that business after entering into the agreement:
a. Taxes on sales, use, and other transactions under chapter 212.

b. Intangible personal property taxes under chapter 199.

c. Excise taxes on documents under chapter 201.

d. Ad valorem taxes paid, as defined in s. 220.03(1).

e. State communications services taxes administered under chapter 202. This provision does not apply to the gross receipts tax imposed under chapter 203 and administered under chapter 202 or the local communications services tax authorized under s. 202.19.

(e) However, a qualified target industry business may not receive a refund under this section for any amount of credit, refund, or exemption previously granted to that business for any of the taxes listed in paragraph (d). If a refund for such taxes is provided by the department, which taxes are subsequently adjusted by the application of any credit, refund, or exemption granted to the qualified target industry business other than as provided in this section, the business shall reimburse the account for the amount of that credit, refund, or exemption. A qualified target industry business shall notify and tender payment to the department within 20 days after receiving any credit, refund, or exemption other than one provided in this section.

(f) Refunds made available under this section may not be expended in connection with the relocation of a business from one community to another community in the state unless the department determines that, without such relocation, the business will move outside the state or determines that the business has a compelling economic rationale for relocation and that the relocation will create additional jobs.

(g) A qualified target industry business that fraudulently claims a refund under this section:
1. Is liable for repayment of the amount of the refund to the account, plus a mandatory penalty in the amount of 200 percent of the tax refund which shall be deposited into the General Revenue Fund.

2. Commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(4) APPLICATION AND APPROVAL PROCESS.—
(a) To apply for certification as a qualified target industry business under this section, the business must file an application with the department before the business decides to locate in this state or before the business decides to expand its existing operations in this state. The application must include, but need not be limited to, the following information:
1. The applicant’s federal employer identification number and, if applicable, state sales tax registration number.

2. The proposed permanent location of the applicant’s facility in this state at which the project is to be located.

3. A description of the type of business activity or product covered by the project, including a minimum of a five-digit NAICS code for all activities included in the project. As used in this paragraph, “NAICS” means those classifications contained in the North American Industry Classification System, as published in 2007 by the Office of Management and Budget, Executive Office of the President, and updated periodically.

4. The proposed number of net new full-time equivalent Florida jobs at the qualified target industry business as of December 31 of each year included in the project and the average wage of those jobs. If more than one type of business activity or product is included in the project, the number of jobs and average wage for those jobs must be separately stated for each type of business activity or product.

5. The total number of full-time equivalent employees employed by the applicant in this state, if applicable.

6. The anticipated commencement date of the project.

7. A brief statement explaining the role that the estimated tax refunds to be requested will play in the decision of the applicant to locate or expand in this state.

8. An estimate of the proportion of the sales resulting from the project that will be made outside this state.

9. An estimate of the proportion of the cost of the machinery and equipment, and any other resources necessary in the development of its product or service, to be used by the business in its Florida operations which will be purchased outside this state.

10. A resolution adopted by the governing board of the county or municipality in which the project will be located, which resolution recommends that the project be approved as a qualified target industry business and specifies that the commitments of local financial support necessary for the target industry business exist. Before the passage of such resolution, the department may also accept an official letter from an authorized local economic development agency that endorses the proposed target industry project and pledges that sources of local financial support for such project exist. For the purposes of making pledges of local financial support under this subparagraph, the authorized local economic development agency shall be officially designated by the passage of a one-time resolution by the local governing board.

11. Any additional information requested by the department.

(b) To qualify for review by the department, the application of a target industry business must, at a minimum, establish the following to the satisfaction of the department:

1.a. The jobs proposed to be created under the application, pursuant to subparagraph (a)4., must pay an estimated annual average wage equaling at least 115 percent of the average private sector wage in the area where the business is to be located or the statewide private sector average wage. The governing board of the local governmental entity providing the local financial support of the jurisdiction where the qualified target industry business is to be located shall notify the department and Enterprise Florida, Inc., which calculation of the average private sector wage in the area must be used as the basis for the business’s wage commitment. In determining the average annual wage, the department shall include only new proposed jobs, and wages for existing jobs shall be excluded from this calculation.

b. The department may waive the average wage requirement at the request of the local governing body recommending the project and Enterprise Florida, Inc. The department may waive the wage requirement for a project located in a brownfield area designated under s. 376.80, in a rural city, in a rural community, in an enterprise zone, or for a manufacturing project at any location in the state if the jobs proposed to be created pay an estimated annual average wage equaling at least 100 percent of the average private sector wage in the area where the business is to be located, only if the merits of the individual project or the specific circumstances in the community in relationship to the project warrant such action. If the local governing body and Enterprise Florida, Inc., make such a recommendation, it must be transmitted in writing, and the specific justification for the waiver recommendation must be explained. If the department elects to waive the wage requirement, the waiver must be stated in writing, and the reasons for granting the waiver must be explained.

2. The target industry business’s project must result in the creation of at least 10 jobs at the project and, in the case of an expansion of an existing business, must result in a net increase in employment of at least 10 percent at the business. At the request of the local governing body recommending the project and Enterprise Florida, Inc., the department may waive this requirement for a business in a rural community or enterprise zone if the merits of the individual project or the specific circumstances in the community in relationship to the project warrant such action. If the local governing body and Enterprise Florida, Inc., make such a request, the request must be transmitted in writing, and the specific justification for the request must be explained. If the department elects to grant the request, the grant must be stated in writing, and the reason for granting the request must be explained.

3. The business activity or product for the applicant’s project must be within an industry identified by the department as a target industry business that contributes to the economic growth of the state and the area in which the business is located, that produces a higher standard of living for residents of this state in the new global economy, or that can be shown to make an equivalent contribution to the area’s and state’s economic progress.

(c) Each application meeting the requirements of paragraph (b) must be submitted to the department for determination of eligibility. The department shall review and evaluate each application based on, but not limited to, the following criteria:
1. Expected contributions to the state’s economy, consistent with the state strategic economic development plan prepared by the department.

2. The economic benefits of the proposed award of tax refunds under this section.

3. The amount of capital investment to be made by the applicant in this state.

4. The local financial commitment and support for the project.

5. The expected effect of the project on the unemployed and underemployed in the county where the project will be located.

6. The expected effect of the award on the viability of the project and the probability that the project would be undertaken in this state if such tax refunds are granted to the applicant.

7. A review of the business’s past activities in this state or other states, including whether the business has been subjected to criminal or civil fines and penalties. This subparagraph does not require the disclosure of confidential information.

(d) Applications shall be reviewed and certified pursuant to s. 288.061. The department shall include in its review projections of the tax refunds the business would be eligible to receive in each fiscal year based on the creation and maintenance of the net new Florida jobs specified in subparagraph (a)4. as of December 31 of the preceding state fiscal year. If appropriate, the department shall enter into a written agreement with the qualified target industry business pursuant to subsection (5).

(e) The department may not certify any target industry business as a qualified target industry business if the value of tax refunds to be included in that letter of certification exceeds the available amount of authority to certify new businesses as determined in s. 288.095(3). However, if the commitments of local financial support represent less than 20 percent of the eligible tax refund payments, or to otherwise preserve the viability and fiscal integrity of the program, the department may certify a qualified target industry business to receive tax refund payments of less than the allowable amounts specified in paragraph (3)(b). A letter of certification that approves an application must specify the maximum amount of tax refund that will be available to the qualified industry business in each fiscal year and the total amount of tax refunds that will be available to the business for all fiscal years.

(f) This section does not create a presumption that an applicant will receive any tax refunds under this section. However, the department may issue nonbinding opinion letters, upon the request of prospective applicants, as to the applicants’ eligibility and the potential amount of refunds.

(5) TAX REFUND AGREEMENT.—
(a) Each qualified target industry business must enter into a written agreement with the department that specifies, at a minimum:
1. The total number of full-time equivalent jobs in this state that will be dedicated to the project, the average wage of those jobs, the definitions that will apply for measuring the achievement of these terms during the pendency of the agreement, and a time schedule or plan for when such jobs will be in place and active in this state.

2. The maximum amount of tax refunds that the qualified target industry business is eligible to receive on the project and the maximum amount of a tax refund that the qualified target industry business is eligible to receive for each fiscal year, based on the job creation and maintenance schedule specified in subparagraph 1.

3. That the department may review and verify the financial and personnel records of the qualified target industry business to ascertain whether that business is in compliance with this section.

4. The date by which, in each fiscal year, the qualified target industry business may file a claim under subsection (6) to be considered to receive a tax refund in the following fiscal year.

5. That local financial support will be annually available and will be paid to the account. The department may not enter into a written agreement with a qualified target industry business if the local financial support resolution is not passed by the local governing body within 90 days after the department has issued the letter of certification under subsection (4).

6. That the department may conduct a review of the business to evaluate whether the business is continuing to contribute to the area’s or state’s economy.

7. That in the event the business does not complete the agreement, the business will provide the department with the reasons the business was unable to complete the agreement.

(b) Compliance with the terms and conditions of the agreement is a condition precedent for the receipt of a tax refund each year. The failure to comply with the terms and conditions of the tax refund agreement results in the loss of eligibility for receipt of all tax refunds previously authorized under this section and the revocation by the department of the certification of the business entity as a qualified target industry business, unless the business is eligible to receive and elects to accept a prorated refund under paragraph (6)(e) or the department grants the business an economic recovery extension.
1. A qualified target industry business may submit a request to the department for an economic recovery extension. The request must provide quantitative evidence demonstrating how negative economic conditions in the business’s industry, the effects of a named hurricane or tropical storm, or specific acts of terrorism affecting the qualified target industry business have prevented the business from complying with the terms and conditions of its tax refund agreement.

2. Upon receipt of a request under subparagraph 1., the department has 45 days to notify the requesting business, in writing, whether its extension has been granted or denied. In determining whether an extension should be granted, the department shall consider the extent to which negative economic conditions in the requesting business’s industry have occurred in the state or the effects of a named hurricane or tropical storm or specific acts of terrorism affecting the qualified target industry business have prevented the business from complying with the terms and conditions of its tax refund agreement. The department shall consider current employment statistics for this state by industry, including whether the business’s industry had substantial job loss during the prior year, when determining whether an extension shall be granted.

3. As a condition for receiving a prorated refund under paragraph (6)(e) or an economic recovery extension under this paragraph, a qualified target industry business must agree to renegotiate its tax refund agreement with the department to, at a minimum, ensure that the terms of the agreement comply with current law and the department’s procedures governing application for and award of tax refunds. Upon approving the award of a prorated refund or granting an economic recovery extension, the department shall renegotiate the tax refund agreement with the business as required by this subparagraph. When amending the agreement of a business receiving an economic recovery extension, the department may extend the duration of the agreement for a period not to exceed 2 years.

4. A qualified target industry business may submit a request for an economic recovery extension to the department in lieu of any tax refund claim scheduled to be submitted after January 1, 2009, but before July 1, 2012.

5. A qualified target industry business that receives an economic recovery extension may not receive a tax refund for the period covered by the extension.

(c) The agreement must be signed by the executive director and by an authorized officer of the qualified target industry business within 120 days after the issuance of the letter of certification under subsection (4), but not before passage and receipt of the resolution of local financial support. The department may grant an extension of this period at the written request of the qualified target industry business.

(d) The agreement must contain the following legend, clearly printed on its face in bold type of not less than 10 points in size: “This agreement is not a general obligation of the State of Florida, nor is it backed by the full faith and credit of the State of Florida. Payment of tax refunds is conditioned on and subject to specific annual appropriations by the Florida Legislature sufficient to pay amounts authorized in section 288.106, Florida Statutes.”

(6) ANNUAL CLAIM FOR REFUND.—
(a) To be eligible to claim any scheduled tax refund, a qualified target industry business that has entered into a tax refund agreement with the department under subsection (5) must apply by January 31 of each fiscal year to the department for the tax refund scheduled to be paid from the appropriation for the fiscal year that begins on July 1 following the January 31 claims-submission date. The department may, upon written request, grant a 30-day extension of the filing date.

(b) The claim for refund by the qualified target industry business must include a copy of all receipts pertaining to the payment of taxes for which the refund is sought and data related to achievement of each performance item specified in the tax refund agreement. The amount requested as a tax refund may not exceed the amount specified for the relevant fiscal year in that agreement.

(c) The department may waive the requirement for proof of taxes paid in future years for a qualified target industry business that provides the department with proof that, in a single year, the business has paid an amount of state taxes from the categories in paragraph (3)(d) which is at least equal to the total amount of tax refunds that the business may receive through successful completion of its tax refund agreement.

(d) A tax refund may not be approved for a qualified target industry business unless the required local financial support has been paid into the account for that refund. If the local financial support provided is less than 20 percent of the approved tax refund, the tax refund must be reduced. In no event may the tax refund exceed an amount that is equal to 5 times the amount of the local financial support received. Further, funding from local sources includes any tax abatement granted to that business under s. 196.1995 or the appraised market value of municipal or county land conveyed or provided at a discount to that business. The amount of any tax refund for such business approved under this section must be reduced by the amount of any such tax abatement granted or the value of the land granted, and the limitations in subsection (3) and paragraph (4)(e) must be reduced by the amount of any such tax abatement or the value of the land granted. A report listing all sources of the local financial support shall be provided to the department when such support is paid to the account.

(e) A prorated tax refund, less a 5 percent penalty, shall be approved for a qualified target industry business if all other applicable requirements have been satisfied and the business proves to the satisfaction of the department that:
1. It has achieved at least 80 percent of its projected employment; and

2. The average wage paid by the business is at least 90 percent of the average wage specified in the tax refund agreement, but in no case less than 115 percent of the average private sector wage in the area available at the time of certification, or 150 percent or 200 percent of the average private sector wage if the business requested the additional per-job tax refund authorized in paragraph (3)(b) for wages above those levels. The prorated tax refund shall be calculated by multiplying the tax refund amount for which the qualified target industry business would have been eligible, if all applicable requirements had been satisfied, by the percentage of the average employment specified in the tax refund agreement which was achieved, and by the percentage of the average wages specified in the tax refund agreement which was achieved.

(f) The department, with such assistance as may be required from the Department of Revenue, shall, by June 30 following the scheduled date for submission of the tax refund claim, specify by written order the approval or disapproval of the tax refund claim and, if approved, the amount of the tax refund that is authorized to be paid to the qualified target industry business for the annual tax refund. The department may grant an extension of this date on the request of the qualified target industry business for the purpose of filing additional information in support of the claim.

(g) The total amount of tax refund claims approved by the department under this section in any fiscal year must not exceed the amount authorized under s. 288.095(3).

(h) This section does not create a presumption that a tax refund claim will be approved and paid.

(i) Upon approval of the tax refund under paragraphs (d), (e), and (f), the Chief Financial Officer shall issue a warrant for the amount specified in the written order. If the written order is appealed, the Chief Financial Officer may not issue a warrant for a refund to the qualified target industry business until the conclusion of all appeals of that order.

(7) ADMINISTRATION.—
(a) The department may verify information provided in any claim submitted for tax credits under this section with regard to employment and wage levels or the payment of the taxes to the appropriate agency or authority, including the Department of Revenue or any local government or authority.

(b) To facilitate the process of monitoring and auditing applications made under this section, the department may provide a list of qualified target industry businesses to the Department of Revenue or to any local government or authority. The department may request the assistance of those entities with respect to monitoring jobs, wages, and the payment of the taxes listed in subsection (3).

(c) Funds specifically appropriated for tax refunds for qualified target industry businesses under this section may not be used by the department for any purpose other than the payment of tax refunds authorized by this section.

(d) Beginning with tax refund agreements signed after July 1, 2010, the department shall attempt to ascertain the causes for any business’s failure to complete its agreement and its findings and recommendations must be included in the annual incentives report under s. 288.907.

(8) SPECIAL INCENTIVES.—If the department determines it is in the best interest of the public for reasons of facilitating economic development, growth, or new employment opportunities within a Disproportionally Affected County, the department may, between July 1, 2011, and June 30, 2014, waive any or all wage or local financial support eligibility requirements and allow a qualified target industry business from another state which relocates all or a portion of its business to a Disproportionally Affected County to receive a tax refund payment of up to $6,000 multiplied by the number of jobs specified in the tax refund agreement under subparagraph (5)(a)1. over the term of the agreement. Prior to granting such waiver, the executive director of the department shall file with the Governor a written statement of the conditions and circumstances constituting the reason for the waiver. Such business shall be eligible for the additional tax refund payments specified in subparagraph (3)(b)4. if it meets the criteria. As used in this section, the term “Disproportionally Affected County” means Bay County, Escambia County, Franklin County, Gulf County, Okaloosa County, Santa Rosa County, Walton County, or Wakulla County.

(9) EXPIRATION.—An applicant may not be certified as qualified under this section after June 30, 2020. A tax refund agreement existing on that date shall continue in effect in accordance with its terms.

History.—s. 76, ch. 94-136; s. 44, ch. 96-320; s. 31, ch. 97-99; s. 19, ch. 97-278; s. 7, ch. 98-75; s. 26, ch. 99-251; s. 38, ch. 2000-210; s. 59, ch. 2001-61; s. 11, ch. 2002-294; s. 4, ch. 2002-392; s. 8, ch. 2003-36; s. 341, ch. 2003-261; s. 3, ch. 2003-270; s. 61, ch. 2004-269; s. 3, ch. 2005-276; s. 38, ch. 2007-5; s. 17, ch. 2009-51; s. 1, ch. 2010-136; s. 18, ch. 2010-147; s. 14, ch. 2011-4; s. 25, ch. 2011-76; s. 150, ch. 2011-142; s. 2, ch. 2011-223; s. 30, ch. 2012-5; s. 57, ch. 2012-30; s. 36, ch. 2012-96; s. 9, ch. 2012-117; s. 16, ch. 2013-39; s. 17, ch. 2013-42; s. 2, ch. 2013-96; s. 8, ch. 2015-3.

1Note.—Section 30, ch. 2015-221, provides that:“(1) A business may apply to the Department of Economic Opportunity for the incentives specified in subsection (2) if each of the following criteria is satisfied:
“(a) The business has entered into a contract with the Department of Economic Opportunity for a project under ss. 288.0659, 288.1045, 288.106, 288.107, 288.108, 288.1088, or 288.1089, Florida Statutes, between January 1, 2012, and July 1, 2015.
“(b) The contract is deemed active by the Department of Economic Opportunity and has not expired or been terminated.
“(c) The project that is the subject of the contract is located within the boundaries of an enterprise zone designated pursuant to chapter 290, Florida Statutes, as the boundaries existed on May 1, 2015.
“(2) For a project described under paragraph (1)(c), a business qualified under subsection (1) may apply for the following incentives:
“(a) The property tax exemption for a licensed child care facility under s. 196.095, Florida Statutes 2014.
“(b) The building sales tax refund under s. 212.08(5)(g), Florida Statutes 2014.
“(c) The business property sales tax refund under s. 212.08(5)(h), Florida Statutes 2014.
“(d) The electrical energy sales tax exemption under s. 212.08(15), Florida Statutes 2014.
“(e) The enterprise zone jobs tax credit under s. 212.096, Florida Statutes 2014.
“(f) The enterprise zone jobs tax credit under s. 220.181, Florida Statutes 2014.
“(g) The enterprise zone property tax credit under s. 220.182, Florida Statutes 2014.
“(3) The Department of Economic Opportunity must provide a list of businesses that are qualified under subsection (1) to the Department of Revenue by December 31, 2015. The Department of Economic Opportunity must also provide notice to the Department of Revenue within 10 days after the expiration or termination of a contract.
“(4) From January 1, 2016, to December 31, 2018, the Department of Economic Opportunity is designated to perform all the duties and responsibilities that were performed by the governing body or enterprise zone development agency having jurisdiction over the enterprise zone under ss. 196.095, 212.08(5)(g) and (h), 212.08(15), 212.096, 220.181, and 220.182, Florida Statutes 2014, including receipt and review of applications and verifications.
“(5) The incentives described in subsection (2) are to be treated as if they had not expired on December 31, 2015.
“(6) This section is effective January 1, 2016, and expires on December 31, 2018.”

2Note.—Section 35, ch. 2011-76, provides that:“(1) The executive director of the Department of Revenue is authorized, and all conditions are deemed met, to adopt emergency rules under ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54(4), Florida Statutes, for the purpose of implementing this act.
“(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, such emergency rules shall remain in effect for 6 months after the date adopted and may be renewed during the pendency of procedures to adopt permanent rules addressing the subject of the emergency rules.”

1288.107 Brownfield redevelopment bonus refunds.—
(1) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section:
(a) “Account” means the Economic Development Incentives Account as authorized in s. 288.095.

(b) “Brownfield sites” means sites that are generally abandoned, idled, or underused industrial and commercial properties where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by actual or perceived environmental contamination.

(c) “Brownfield area eligible for bonus refunds” means a brownfield site for which a rehabilitation agreement with the Department of Environmental Protection or a local government delegated by the Department of Environmental Protection has been executed under s. 376.80 and any abutting real property parcel within a brownfield area which has been designated by a local government by resolution under s. 376.80.

(d) “Eligible business” means:
1. A qualified target industry business as defined in s. 288.106(2); or

2. A business that can demonstrate a fixed capital investment of at least $2 million in mixed-use business activities, including multiunit housing, commercial, retail, and industrial in brownfield areas eligible for bonus refunds, and that provides benefits to its employees.

(e) “Jobs” means full-time equivalent positions, including, but not limited to, positions obtained from a temporary employment agency or employee leasing company or through a union agreement or coemployment under a professional employer organization agreement, that result directly from a project in this state. The term does not include temporary construction jobs involved with the construction of facilities for the project and which are not associated with the implementation of the site rehabilitation as provided in s. 376.80.

(f) “Project” means the creation of a new business or the expansion of an existing business as defined in s. 288.106.

(2) BROWNFIELD REDEVELOPMENT BONUS REFUND.—Bonus refunds shall be approved by the department as specified in the final order and allowed from the account as follows:
(a) A bonus refund of $2,500 shall be allowed to any qualified target industry business as defined in s. 288.106 for each new Florida job created in a brownfield area eligible for bonus refunds which is claimed on the qualified target industry business’s annual refund claim authorized in s. 288.106(6).

(b) A bonus refund of up to $2,500 shall be allowed to any other eligible business as defined in subparagraph (1)(d)2. for each new Florida job created in a brownfield area eligible for bonus refunds which is claimed under an annual claim procedure similar to the annual refund claim authorized in s. 288.106(6). The amount of the refund shall be equal to 20 percent of the average annual wage for the jobs created.

(3) CRITERIA.—The minimum criteria for participation in the brownfield redevelopment bonus refund are:
(a) The creation of at least 10 new full-time permanent jobs. Such jobs shall not include construction or site rehabilitation jobs associated with the implementation of a brownfield site agreement as described in s. 376.80(5).

(b) The completion of a fixed capital investment of at least $2 million in mixed-use business activities, including multiunit housing, commercial, retail, and industrial in brownfield areas eligible for bonus refunds, by an eligible business applying for a refund under paragraph (2)(b) which provides benefits to its employees.

(4) PAYMENT OF BROWNFIELD REDEVELOPMENT BONUS REFUNDS.—
(a) To be eligible to receive a bonus refund for new Florida jobs created in a brownfield area eligible for bonus refunds, a business must have been certified as a qualified target industry business under s. 288.106 or eligible business as defined in paragraph (1)(d) and must have indicated on the qualified target industry business tax refund application form submitted in accordance with s. 288.106(4) or other similar agreement for other eligible business as defined in paragraph (1)(d) that the project for which the application is submitted is or will be located in a brownfield area eligible for bonus refunds and that the business is applying for certification as a qualified brownfield business under this section, and must have signed a qualified target industry business tax refund agreement with the department that indicates that the business has been certified as a qualified target industry business located in a brownfield area eligible for bonus refunds and specifies the schedule of brownfield redevelopment bonus refunds that the business may be eligible to receive in each fiscal year.

(b) To be considered to receive an eligible brownfield redevelopment bonus refund payment, the business meeting the requirements of paragraph (a) must submit a claim once each fiscal year on a claim form approved by the department which indicates the location of the brownfield site for which a rehabilitation agreement with the Department of Environmental Protection or a local government delegated by the Department of Environmental Protection has been executed under s. 376.80, the address of the business facility’s brownfield location, the name of the brownfield in which it is located, the number of jobs created, and the average wage of the jobs created by the business within the brownfield as defined in s. 288.106 or other eligible business as defined in paragraph (1)(d) and the administrative rules and policies for that section.

(c) The bonus refunds shall be available on the same schedule as the qualified target industry tax refund payments scheduled in the qualified target industry tax refund agreement authorized in s. 288.106 or other similar agreement for other eligible businesses as defined in paragraph (1)(e).

(d) After entering into a tax refund agreement as provided in s. 288.106 or other similar agreement for other eligible businesses as defined in paragraph (1)(e), an eligible business may receive brownfield redevelopment bonus refunds from the account pursuant to s. 288.106(3)(d).

(e) An eligible business that fraudulently claims a refund under this section:
1. Is liable for repayment of the amount of the refund to the account, plus a mandatory penalty in the amount of 200 percent of the tax refund, which shall be deposited into the General Revenue Fund.

2. Commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(f) Applications shall be reviewed and certified pursuant to s. 288.061. The department shall review all applications submitted under s. 288.106 or other similar application forms for other eligible businesses as defined in paragraph (1)(d) which indicate that the proposed project will be located in a brownfield area eligible for bonus refunds and determine, with the assistance of the Department of Environmental Protection, that the project location is within a brownfield area eligible for bonus refunds as provided in this act.

(g) The department shall approve all claims for a brownfield redevelopment bonus refund payment that are found to meet the requirements of paragraphs (b) and (d).

(h) The department, with such assistance as may be required from the Department of Environmental Protection, shall specify by written final order the amount of the brownfield redevelopment bonus refund that is authorized for the qualified target industry business for the fiscal year within 30 days after the date that the claim for the annual tax refund is received by the department.

(i) The total amount of the bonus refunds approved by the department under this section in any fiscal year must not exceed the total amount appropriated to the Economic Development Incentives Account for this purpose for the fiscal year. In the event that the Legislature does not appropriate an amount sufficient to satisfy projections by the department for brownfield redevelopment bonus refunds under this section in a fiscal year, the department shall, not later than July 15 of such year, determine the proportion of each brownfield redevelopment bonus refund claim which shall be paid by dividing the amount appropriated for tax refunds for the fiscal year by the projected total of brownfield redevelopment bonus refund claims for the fiscal year. The amount of each claim for a brownfield redevelopment bonus tax refund shall be multiplied by the resulting quotient. If, after the payment of all such refund claims, funds remain in the Economic Development Incentives Account for brownfield redevelopment tax refunds, the department shall recalculate the proportion for each refund claim and adjust the amount of each claim accordingly.

(j) Upon approval of the brownfield redevelopment bonus refund, payment shall be made for the amount specified in the final order. If the final order is appealed, payment may not be made for a refund to the qualified target industry business until the conclusion of all appeals of that order.

(5) ADMINISTRATION.—
(a) The department may verify information provided in any claim submitted for tax credits under this section with regard to employment and wage levels or the payment of the taxes to the appropriate agency or authority, including the Department of Revenue, or any local government or authority.

(b) To facilitate the process of monitoring and auditing applications made under this program, the department may provide a list of qualified target industry businesses to the Department of Revenue, to the Department of Environmental Protection, or to any local government authority. The department may request the assistance of those entities with respect to monitoring the payment of the taxes listed in s. 288.106(3).

History.—s. 11, ch. 97-277; s. 8, ch. 98-75; s. 40, ch. 2000-210; s. 4, ch. 2000-317; s. 12, ch. 2002-294; s. 9, ch. 2003-36; s. 18, ch. 2009-51; s. 4, ch. 2010-136; s. 19, ch. 2010-147; s. 151, ch. 2011-142; s. 17, ch. 2013-39; s. 18, ch. 2013-42.

1Note.—Section 30, ch. 2015-221, provides that:“(1) A business may apply to the Department of Economic Opportunity for the incentives specified in subsection (2) if each of the following criteria is satisfied:
“(a) The business has entered into a contract with the Department of Economic Opportunity for a project under ss. 288.0659, 288.1045, 288.106, 288.107, 288.108, 288.1088, or 288.1089, Florida Statutes, between January 1, 2012, and July 1, 2015.
“(b) The contract is deemed active by the Department of Economic Opportunity and has not expired or been terminated.
“(c) The project that is the subject of the contract is located within the boundaries of an enterprise zone designated pursuant to chapter 290, Florida Statutes, as the boundaries existed on May 1, 2015.
“(2) For a project described under paragraph (1)(c), a business qualified under subsection (1) may apply for the following incentives:
“(a) The property tax exemption for a licensed child care facility under s. 196.095, Florida Statutes 2014.
“(b) The building sales tax refund under s. 212.08(5)(g), Florida Statutes 2014.
“(c) The business property sales tax refund under s. 212.08(5)(h), Florida Statutes 2014.
“(d) The electrical energy sales tax exemption under s. 212.08(15), Florida Statutes 2014.
“(e) The enterprise zone jobs tax credit under s. 212.096, Florida Statutes 2014.
“(f) The enterprise zone jobs tax credit under s. 220.181, Florida Statutes 2014.
“(g) The enterprise zone property tax credit under s. 220.182, Florida Statutes 2014.
“(3) The Department of Economic Opportunity must provide a list of businesses that are qualified under subsection (1) to the Department of Revenue by December 31, 2015. The Department of Economic Opportunity must also provide notice to the Department of Revenue within 10 days after the expiration or termination of a contract.
“(4) From January 1, 2016, to December 31, 2018, the Department of Economic Opportunity is designated to perform all the duties and responsibilities that were performed by the governing body or enterprise zone development agency having jurisdiction over the enterprise zone under ss. 196.095, 212.08(5)(g) and (h), 212.08(15), 212.096, 220.181, and 220.182, Florida Statutes 2014, including receipt and review of applications and verifications.
“(5) The incentives described in subsection (2) are to be treated as if they had not expired on December 31, 2015.
“(6) This section is effective January 1, 2016, and expires on December 31, 2018.”

1288.108 High-impact business.—
(1) LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS AND DECLARATIONS.—The Legislature finds that attracting, retaining, and providing favorable conditions for the growth of certain high-impact facilities provides widespread economic benefits to Florida citizens through high-quality employment opportunities in the facility and in related facilities attracted to Florida, through the increased tax base provided by the high-impact facility and its related sector businesses, through an enhanced entrepreneurial climate in the state and the resulting business and employment opportunities, and through the stimulation and enhancement of the state’s universities and community colleges. It is the policy of this state to stimulate growth of these business sectors and the state economy by enhancing Florida’s competitive position and encouraging the location of such major high-impact facilities in the state.

(2) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Commencement of operations” means that the qualified high-impact business has begun to actively operate the principal function for which the facility was constructed as determined by the department and specified in the qualified high-impact business agreement.

(b) “Cumulative investment” means the total investment in buildings and equipment made by a qualified high-impact business since the beginning of construction of such facility.

(c) “Eligible high-impact business” means a business in one of the high-impact sectors identified by Enterprise Florida, Inc., and certified by the department as provided in subsection (5), which is making a cumulative investment in the state of at least $50 million and creating at least 50 new full-time equivalent jobs in the state or a research and development facility making a cumulative investment of at least $25 million and creating at least 25 new full-time equivalent jobs. Such investment and employment must be achieved in a period not to exceed 3 years after the date the business is certified as a qualified high-impact business.

(d) “Fiscal year” means the fiscal year of the state.

(e) “Jobs” means full-time equivalent positions, including, but not limited to, positions obtained from a temporary employment agency or employee leasing company or through a union agreement or coemployment under a professional employer organization agreement, that result directly from a project in this state. The term does not include temporary construction jobs involved in the construction of the project facility.

(f) “Qualified high-impact business” means a business in one of the high-impact sectors that has been certified by the department as a qualified high-impact business to receive a high-impact sector performance grant.

(g) “Research and development” means basic and applied research in science or engineering, as well as the design, development, and testing of prototypes or processes of new or improved products. Research and development does not mean market research, routine consumer product testing, sales research, research in the social sciences or psychology, nontechnological activities or technical services.

(3) HIGH-IMPACT SECTOR PERFORMANCE GRANTS; ELIGIBLE AMOUNTS.—
(a) Upon commencement of operations, a qualified high-impact business is eligible to receive a high-impact business performance grant in the amount as determined by the department under subsection (5), consistent with eligible amounts as provided in paragraph (b), and specified in the qualified high-impact business agreement. The precise conditions that are considered commencement of operations must be specified in the qualified high-impact business agreement.

(b) The department may negotiate qualified high-impact business performance grant awards for any single qualified high-impact business. In negotiating such awards, the department shall consider the following guidelines in conjunction with other relevant applicant impact and cost information and analysis as required in subsection (5).
1. A qualified high-impact business making a cumulative investment of $50 million and creating 50 jobs may be eligible for a total qualified high-impact business performance grant of $500,000 to $1 million.

2. A qualified high-impact business making a cumulative investment of $100 million and creating 100 jobs may be eligible for a total qualified high-impact business performance grant of $1 million to $2 million.

3. A qualified high-impact business making a cumulative investment of $800 million and creating 800 jobs may be eligible for a qualified high-impact business performance grant of $10 million to $12 million.

4. A qualified high-impact business engaged in research and development making a cumulative investment of $25 million and creating 25 jobs may be eligible for a total qualified high-impact business performance grant of $700,000 to $1 million.

5. A qualified high-impact business engaged in research and development making a cumulative investment of $75 million, and creating 75 jobs may be eligible for a total qualified high-impact business performance grant of $2 million to $3 million.

6. A qualified high-impact business engaged in research and development making a cumulative investment of $150 million, and creating 150 jobs may be eligible for a qualified high-impact business performance grant of $3.5 million to $4.5 million.

(c) Fifty percent of the performance grant awarded under subsection (5) must be paid to the qualified high-impact business upon certification by the business that operations have commenced.

(d) The balance of the performance grant award shall be paid to the qualified high-impact business upon the business’s certification that full operations have commenced and that the full investment and employment goals specified in the qualified high-impact business agreement have been met and verified by the department. The verification must occur not later than 60 days after the qualified high-impact business has provided the certification specified in this paragraph.

(e) The department may, upon a showing of reasonable cause for delay and significant progress toward the achievement of the investment and employment goals specified in the qualified high-impact business agreement, extend the date for commencement of operations, not to exceed an additional 2 years beyond the limit specified in paragraph (2)(a), but in no case may any high-impact sector performance grant payment be made to the business until the scheduled goals have been achieved.

(4) AUTHORITY TO APPROVE QUALIFIED HIGH-IMPACT BUSINESS PERFORMANCE GRANTS.—
(a) The total amount of active performance grants scheduled for payment by the department in any single fiscal year may not exceed the lesser of $30 million or the amount appropriated by the Legislature for that fiscal year for qualified high-impact business performance grants. If the scheduled grant payments are not made in the year for which they were scheduled in the qualified high-impact business agreement and are rescheduled as authorized in paragraph (3)(e), they are, for purposes of this paragraph, deemed to have been paid in the year in which they were originally scheduled in the qualified high-impact business agreement.

(b) If the Legislature does not appropriate an amount sufficient to satisfy the qualified high-impact business performance grant payments scheduled for any fiscal year, the department shall, not later than July 15 of that year, determine the proportion of each grant payment which may be paid by dividing the amount appropriated for qualified high-impact business performance grant payments for the fiscal year by the total performance grant payments scheduled in all performance grant agreements for the fiscal year. The amount of each grant scheduled for payment in that fiscal year must be multiplied by the resulting quotient. All businesses affected by this calculation must be notified by August 1 of each fiscal year. If, after the payment of all the refund claims, funds remain in the appropriation for payment of qualified high-impact business performance grants, the department shall recalculate the proportion for each performance grant payment and adjust the amount of each claim accordingly.

(5) APPLICATIONS; CERTIFICATION PROCESS; GRANT AGREEMENT.—
(a) The department shall review an application pursuant to s. 288.061 which is received from any eligible business, as defined in subsection (2), for consideration as a qualified high-impact business before the business has made a decision to locate or expand a facility in this state. The business must provide the following information:
1. A complete description of the type of facility, business operations, and product or service associated with the project.

2. The number of full-time equivalent jobs that will be created by the project and the average annual wage of those jobs.

3. The cumulative amount of investment to be dedicated to this project within 3 years.

4. A statement concerning any special impacts the facility is expected to stimulate in the sector, the state, or regional economy and in state universities and community colleges.

5. A statement concerning the role the grant will play in the decision of the applicant business to locate or expand in this state.

6. Any additional information requested by the department.

(b) Applications shall be reviewed and certified pursuant to s. 288.061.

(c) The department and the qualified high-impact business shall enter into a performance grant agreement setting forth the conditions for payment of the qualified high-impact business performance grant. The agreement shall include the total amount of the qualified high-impact business facility performance grant award, the performance conditions that must be met to obtain the award, including the employment, average salary, investment, the methodology for determining if the conditions have been met, and the schedule of performance grant payments.

(6) SELECTION AND DESIGNATION OF HIGH-IMPACT SECTORS.—
(a) Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall, by January 1, of every third year, beginning January 1, 2011, initiate the process of reviewing and, if appropriate, selecting a new high-impact sector for designation or recommending the deactivation of a designated high-impact sector. The process of reviewing designated high-impact sectors or recommending the deactivation of a designated high-impact sector shall be in consultation with the department, economic development organizations, the State University System, local governments, employee and employer organizations, market analysts, and economists.

(b) The department has authority, after recommendation from Enterprise Florida, Inc., to designate a high-impact sector or to deauthorize a designated high-impact sector.

(c) To begin the process of selecting and designating a new high-impact sector, Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall undertake a thorough study of the proposed sector. This study must consider the definition of the sector, including the types of facilities which characterize the sector that might qualify for a high-impact performance grant and whether a powerful incentive like the high-impact performance grant is needed to induce major facilities in the sector to locate or grow in this state; the benefits that major facilities in the sector have or could have on the state’s economy and the relative significance of those benefits; the needs of the sector and major sector facilities, including natural, public, and human resources and benefits and costs with regard to these resources; the sector’s current and future markets; the current fiscal and potential fiscal impacts of the sector, to both the state and its communities; any geographic opportunities or limitations with regard to the sector, including areas of the state most likely to benefit from the sector and areas unlikely to benefit from the sector; the state’s advantages or disadvantages with regard to the sector; and the long-term expectations for the industry on a global level and in the state. If Enterprise Florida, Inc., finds favorable conditions for the designation of the sector as a high-impact sector, it shall include in the study recommendations for a complete and comprehensive sector strategy, including appropriate marketing and workforce strategies for the entire sector and any recommendations that Enterprise Florida, Inc., may have for statutory or policy changes needed to improve the state’s business climate and to attract and grow Florida businesses, particularly small businesses, in the proposed sector. The study shall reflect the finding of the sector-business network specified in paragraph (d).

(d) In conjunction with the study required in paragraph (c), Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall develop and consult with a network of sector businesses. While this network may include non-Florida businesses, it must include any businesses currently within the state. If the number of Florida businesses in the sector is large, a representative cross-section of Florida sector businesses may form the core of this network.

(e) The study and its findings and recommendations and the recommendations gathered from the sector-business network must be discussed and considered during at least one meeting per calendar year of leaders in business, government, education, workforce development, and economic development called by the Governor to address the business climate in the state, develop a common vision for the economic future of the state, and identify economic development efforts to fulfill that vision.

(f) If after consideration of the completed study required in paragraph (c) and the input derived from consultation with the sector-business network in paragraph (d) and the meeting as required in paragraph (e), the board of directors of Enterprise Florida, Inc., finds that the sector will have exceptionally large and widespread benefits to the state and its citizens, relative to any public costs; that the sector is characterized by the types of facilities that require exceptionally large investments and provide employment opportunities to a relatively large number of workers in high-quality, high-income jobs that might qualify for a high-impact performance grant; and that given the competition for such businesses it may be necessary for the state to be able to offer a large inducement, such as a high-impact performance grant, to attract such a business to the state or to encourage businesses to continue to grow in the state, the board of directors of Enterprise Florida, Inc., may recommend that the department consider the designation of the sector as a high-impact business sector.

(g) Upon receiving a recommendation from the board of directors of Enterprise Florida, Inc., together with the study required in paragraph (c) and a summary of the findings and recommendations of the sector-business network required in paragraph (d), including a list of all meetings of the sector network and participants in those meetings and the findings and recommendations from the meeting as required in paragraph (e), the department shall after a thorough evaluation of the study and accompanying materials report its findings and either concur in the recommendation of Enterprise Florida, Inc., and designate the sector as a high-impact business sector or notify Enterprise Florida, Inc., that it does not concur and deny the board’s request for designation or return the recommendation and study to Enterprise Florida, Inc., for further evaluation. In any case, the department’s decision must be in writing and justify the reasons for the decision.

(h) If the department designates the sector as a high-impact sector, it shall, within 30 days, notify the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives of its decision and provide a complete report on its decision, including copies of the material provided by Enterprise Florida, Inc., and the department’s evaluation and comment on any statutory or policy changes recommended by Enterprise Florida, Inc.

(i) For the purposes of this subsection, a high-impact sector consists of the silicon technology sector that Enterprise Florida, Inc., has found to be focused around the type of high-impact businesses for which the incentive created in this subsection is required and will create the kinds of sector and economy wide benefits that justify the use of state resources to encourage these investments and require substantial inducements to compete with the incentive packages offered by other states and nations.

History.—s. 13, ch. 97-278; s. 65, ch. 99-13; s. 11, ch. 99-251; s. 6, ch. 2002-392; s. 10, ch. 2003-36; s. 19, ch. 2009-51; s. 20, ch. 2010-147; s. 152, ch. 2011-142; s. 37, ch. 2012-96; s. 21, ch. 2013-18.

1Note.—Section 30, ch. 2015-221, provides that:“(1) A business may apply to the Department of Economic Opportunity for the incentives specified in subsection (2) if each of the following criteria is satisfied:
“(a) The business has entered into a contract with the Department of Economic Opportunity for a project under ss. 288.0659, 288.1045, 288.106, 288.107, 288.108, 288.1088, or 288.1089, Florida Statutes, between January 1, 2012, and July 1, 2015.
“(b) The contract is deemed active by the Department of Economic Opportunity and has not expired or been terminated.
“(c) The project that is the subject of the contract is located within the boundaries of an enterprise zone designated pursuant to chapter 290, Florida Statutes, as the boundaries existed on May 1, 2015.
“(2) For a project described under paragraph (1)(c), a business qualified under subsection (1) may apply for the following incentives:
“(a) The property tax exemption for a licensed child care facility under s. 196.095, Florida Statutes 2014.
“(b) The building sales tax refund under s. 212.08(5)(g), Florida Statutes 2014.
“(c) The business property sales tax refund under s. 212.08(5)(h), Florida Statutes 2014.
“(d) The electrical energy sales tax exemption under s. 212.08(15), Florida Statutes 2014.
“(e) The enterprise zone jobs tax credit under s. 212.096, Florida Statutes 2014.
“(f) The enterprise zone jobs tax credit under s. 220.181, Florida Statutes 2014.
“(g) The enterprise zone property tax credit under s. 220.182, Florida Statutes 2014.
“(3) The Department of Economic Opportunity must provide a list of businesses that are qualified under subsection (1) to the Department of Revenue by December 31, 2015. The Department of Economic Opportunity must also provide notice to the Department of Revenue within 10 days after the expiration or termination of a contract.
“(4) From January 1, 2016, to December 31, 2018, the Department of Economic Opportunity is designated to perform all the duties and responsibilities that were performed by the governing body or enterprise zone development agency having jurisdiction over the enterprise zone under ss. 196.095, 212.08(5)(g) and (h), 212.08(15), 212.096, 220.181, and 220.182, Florida Statutes 2014, including receipt and review of applications and verifications.
“(5) The incentives described in subsection (2) are to be treated as if they had not expired on December 31, 2015.
“(6) This section is effective January 1, 2016, and expires on December 31, 2018.”

288.1081 Economic Gardening Business Loan Pilot Program.—
(1) There is created within the department the Economic Gardening Business Loan Pilot Program. The purpose of the pilot program is to stimulate investment in Florida’s economy by providing loans to expanding businesses in the state.

(2) The Legislature finds that it is vital to the overall health and growth of the state’s economy to promote favorable conditions for expanding Florida businesses that demonstrate the ability to grow. The Legislature further finds that, due to the current extraordinary economic challenges confronting the state, there exists a public purpose in expending state resources to stimulate investment in Florida’s economy. It is therefore the intent of the Legislature that resources be provided for the pilot program.

(3)(a) To be eligible for a loan under the pilot program, an applicant must be a business eligible for assistance under the Economic Gardening Technical Assistance Pilot Program as provided in s. 288.1082(4)(a).

(b) A loan applicant must submit a written application to the loan administrator in the format prescribed by the loan administrator. The application must include:
1. The applicant’s federal employer identification number, reemployment assistance account number, and sales or other tax registration number.

2. The street address of the applicant’s principal place of business in this state.

3. A description of the type of economic activity, product, or research and development undertaken by the applicant, including the six-digit North American Industry Classification System code for each type of economic activity conducted by the applicant.

4. The applicant’s annual revenue, number of employees, number of full-time equivalent employees, and other information necessary to verify the applicant’s eligibility for the pilot program under s. 288.1082(4)(a).

5. The projected investment in the business, if any, which the applicant proposes in conjunction with the loan.

6. The total investment in the business from all sources, if any, which the applicant proposes in conjunction with the loan.

7. The number of net new full-time equivalent jobs that, as a result of the loan, the applicant proposes to create in this state as of December 31 of each year and the average annual wage of the proposed jobs.

8. The total number of full-time equivalent employees the applicant currently employs in this state.

9. The date that the applicant anticipates it needs the loan.

10. A detailed explanation of why the loan is needed to assist the applicant in expanding jobs in the state.

11. A statement that all of the applicant’s available corporate assets are pledged as collateral for the amount of the loan.

12. A statement that the applicant, upon receiving the loan, agrees not to seek additional long-term debt without prior approval of the loan administrator.

13. A statement that the loan is a joint obligation of the business and of each person who owns at least 20 percent of the business.

14. Any additional information requested by the department or the loan administrator.

(c) The loan administrator, after verifying the accuracy of a submitted application, shall award the loan to the applicant if the administrator determines that the applicant, as compared to other applicants submitting applications, is in the best position to use the loan to continue making a successful long-term business commitment to the state. The loan administrator also shall consider the following factors:
1. Whether the applicant has applied for or received incentives from local governments;

2. Whether the applicant has applied for or received waivers of taxes, impact fees, or other fees or charges by local governments; and

3. What other sources of investments or financing for the project that is the subject of the loan application will be available to the applicant.

(d) A borrower awarded a loan under this section and the loan administrator must enter into a loan agreement that provides for the borrower’s repayment of the loan.

(4) The following terms apply to a loan received under the pilot program:
(a) The maximum amount of the loan is $250,000.

(b) The proceeds of the loan may be used for working capital purchases, employee training, or salaries for newly created jobs in the state.

(c) The security interest for the loan’s collateral covering all of the borrower’s available corporate assets to cover the amount of the loan must be perfected by recording a lien under the Uniform Commercial Code.

(d) The period of the loan is 4 years.

(e) The interest rate of the loan is 2 percent. However, if the borrower does not create the projected number of jobs within the terms of the loan agreement, the interest rate shall be increased for the remaining period of the loan to the prime rate published in the Wall Street Journal, as of the date specified in the loan agreement, plus 4 percentage points. The loan agreement may provide flexibility in meeting the projected number of jobs for delays due to governmental regulatory issues, including, but not limited to, permitting.

(f) For the first 12 months of the loan, payment is due for interest only, payable during the twelfth month. Thereafter, payment for interest and principal is due each month until the loan is paid in full. Interest and principal payments are based on the unpaid balance of the total loan amount.

(5)(a) The department may designate one or more qualified entities to serve as loan administrators for the program. A loan administrator must:
1. Be a Florida corporation not for profit incorporated under chapter 617 which has its principal place of business in the state.

2. Have 5 years of verifiable experience of lending to businesses in this state.

3. Submit an application to the department on forms prescribed by the department. The application must include the loan administrator’s business plan for its proposed lending activities under the pilot program, including, but not limited to, a description of its outreach efforts, underwriting, credit policies and procedures, credit decision processes, monitoring policies and procedures, and collection practices; the membership of its board of directors; and samples of its currently used loan documentation. The application must also include a detailed description and supporting documentation of the nature of the loan administrator’s partnerships with local or regional economic and business development organizations.

(b) The department, upon selecting a loan administrator, shall enter into a grant agreement with the administrator to issue the available loans to eligible applicants. The grant agreement must specify the aggregate amount of the loans authorized for award by the loan administrator. The term of the grant agreement must be at least 4 years, except that the department may terminate the agreement earlier if the loan administrator fails to meet minimum performance standards set by the department. The grant agreement may be amended by mutual consent of both parties.

(c) The department shall disburse from the Economic Development Trust Fund to the loan administrator the appropriations provided for the pilot program. Disbursements to the loan administrator must not exceed the aggregate amount of the loans authorized in the grant agreement. The department may not disburse more than 50 percent of the aggregate amount of the loans authorized in the grant agreement until the department verifies the borrowers’ use of the loan proceeds and the loan administrator’s successful credit decisionmaking policies.

(d) A loan administrator is entitled to receive a loan origination fee, payable at closing, of 1 percent of each loan issued by the loan administrator and a servicing fee of 0.625 percent per annum of the loan’s outstanding principal balance, payable monthly. During the first 12 months of the loan, the servicing fee shall be paid from the disbursement from the Economic Development Trust Fund, and thereafter the loan administrator shall collect the servicing fee from the payments made by the borrower, charging the fee against repayments of principal.

(e) A loan administrator, after collecting the servicing fee in accordance with paragraph (d), shall remit the borrower’s collected interest, principal payments, and charges for late payments to the department on a quarterly basis. If the borrower defaults on the loan, the loan administrator shall initiate collection efforts to seek repayment of the loan. The loan administrator, upon collecting payments for a defaulted loan, shall remit the payments to the department but, to the extent authorized in the grant agreement, may deduct the costs of the administrator’s collection efforts. The department shall deposit all funds received under this paragraph in the General Revenue Fund.

(f) A loan administrator shall submit quarterly reports to the department which include the information required in the grant agreement. A quarterly report must include, at a minimum, the number of full-time equivalent jobs created as a result of the loans, the amount of wages paid to employees in the newly created jobs, and the locations and types of economic activity undertaken by the borrowers.

(6) All notes, mortgages, security agreements, letters of credit, or other instruments that are given to secure the repayment of loans issued in connection with the financing of any loan under the program, without regard to the status of any party thereto as a private party, are exempt from taxation by the state and its political subdivisions. The exemption granted in this subsection does not apply to any tax imposed by chapter 220 on interest, income, or profits on debt obligations owned by corporations.

(7) The department shall adopt rules under ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to administer this section.

(8) The annual report required under s. 20.60 must describe in detail the use of the loan funds. The report must include, at a minimum, the number of businesses receiving loans, the number of full-time equivalent jobs created as a result of the loans, the amount of wages paid to employees in the newly created jobs, the locations and types of economic activity undertaken by the borrowers, the amounts of loan repayments made to date, and the default rate of borrowers.

(9) Unexpended balances of appropriations provided for the pilot program shall not revert to the fund from which the appropriation was made at the end of a fiscal year but shall be retained in the Economic Development Trust Fund and be carried forward for expenditure for the pilot program during the following fiscal year. A loan administrator may not award a new loan or enter into a loan agreement after June 30, 2011. Balances of appropriations provided for the pilot program which remain unexpended as of July 1, 2011, shall revert to the General Revenue Fund.

(10) This section is repealed July 1, 2016, unless reviewed and reenacted by the Legislature before that date.

History.—s. 1, ch. 2009-13; s. 52, ch. 2010-5; s. 20, ch. 2011-142; s. 58, ch. 2012-30; s. 19, ch. 2013-39; s. 20, ch. 2013-42.

288.1082 Economic Gardening Technical Assistance Pilot Program.—
(1) There is created within the department the Economic Gardening Technical Assistance Pilot Program. The purpose of the pilot program is to stimulate investment in Florida’s economy by providing technical assistance for expanding businesses in the state.

(2) The department shall contract with one or more entities to administer the pilot program under this section. The department shall award each contract in accordance with the competitive bidding requirements in s. 287.057 to an entity that demonstrates the ability to implement the pilot program on a statewide basis, has an outreach plan, and has the ability to provide counseling services, access to technology and information, marketing services and advice, business management support, and other similar services. In selecting these entities, the department also must consider whether the entities will qualify for matching funds to provide the technical assistance.

(3) A contracted entity administering the pilot program shall provide technical assistance for eligible businesses which includes, but is not limited to:
(a) Access to free or affordable information services and consulting services, including information on markets, customers, and competitors, such as business databases, geographic information systems, and search engine marketing.

(b) Development of business connections, including interaction and exchange among business owners and resource providers, such as trade associations, think tanks, academic institutions, business roundtables, peer-to-peer learning sessions, and mentoring programs.

(4)(a) To be eligible for assistance under the pilot program, a business must be a for-profit, privately held, investment-grade business that employs at least 10 persons but not more than 50 persons, has maintained its principal place of business in the state for at least the previous 2 years, generates at least $1 million but not more than $25 million in annual revenue, qualifies for the tax refund program for qualified target industry businesses under s. 288.106, and, during 3 of the previous 5 years, has increased both its number of full-time equivalent employees in this state and its gross revenues.

(b) A contracted entity administering the pilot program, in selecting the eligible businesses to receive assistance, shall choose businesses in more than one industry cluster and, to the maximum extent practicable, shall choose businesses that are geographically distributed throughout Florida or are in partnership with businesses that are geographically distributed throughout Florida.

(5)(a) A business receiving assistance under the pilot program must enter into an agreement with the contracted entity administering the program to establish the business’s commitment to participation in the pilot program. The agreement must require, at a minimum, that the business:
1. Attend a minimum number of meetings between the business and the contracted entity administering the pilot program.

2. Report job creation data in the manner prescribed by the contracted entity administering the pilot program.

3. Provide financial data in the manner prescribed by the contracted entity administering the program.

(b) The department or the contracted entity administering the pilot program may prescribe in the agreement additional reporting requirements that are necessary to track the progress of the business and monitor the business’s implementation of the assistance. The contracted entity shall report the information to the department on a quarterly basis.

(6) A contracted entity administering the pilot program is authorized to promote the general business interests or industrial interests of the state.

(7) The department shall review the progress of the contracted entity administering the pilot program at least once each 6 months and shall determine whether the contracted entity is meeting its contractual obligations for administering the pilot program. The department may terminate and rebid a contract if the contracted entity does not meet its contractual obligations.

(8) The annual report required under s. 20.60 must describe in detail the progress of the pilot program. The report must include, at a minimum, the number of businesses receiving assistance, the number of full-time equivalent jobs created as a result of the assistance, if any, the amount of wages paid to employees in the newly created jobs, and the locations and types of economic activity undertaken by the businesses.

(9) The department may adopt rules under ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to administer this section.

History.—s. 2, ch. 2009-13; s. 21, ch. 2011-142; s. 20, ch. 2013-39; s. 21, ch. 2013-42.

1288.1088 Quick Action Closing Fund.—

(1)(a) The Legislature finds that attracting, retaining, and providing favorable conditions for the growth of certain high-impact business facilities, privately developed critical rural infrastructure, or key facilities in economically distressed urban or rural communities which provide widespread economic benefits to the public through high-quality employment opportunities in such facilities or in related facilities attracted to the state, through the increased tax base provided by the high-impact facility and related businesses, through an enhanced entrepreneurial climate in the state and the resulting business and employment opportunities, and through the stimulation and enhancement of the state’s universities and community colleges. In the global economy, there exists serious and fierce international competition for these facilities, and in most instances, when all available resources for economic development have been used, the state continues to encounter severe competitive disadvantages in vying for these business facilities. Florida’s rural areas must provide a competitive environment for business in the information age. This often requires an incentive to make it feasible for private investors to provide infrastructure in those areas.

(b) The Legislature finds that the conclusion of the space shuttle program and the gap in civil human space flight will result in significant job losses that will negatively impact families, companies, the state and regional economies, and the capability level of this state’s aerospace workforce. Thus, the Legislature also finds that this loss of jobs is a matter of state interest and great public importance. The Legislature further finds that it is in the state’s interest for provisions to be made in incentive programs for economic development to maximize the state’s ability to mitigate these impacts and to develop a more diverse aerospace economy.

(c) The Legislature therefore declares that sufficient resources shall be available to respond to extraordinary economic opportunities and to compete effectively for these high-impact business facilities, critical private infrastructure in rural areas, and key businesses in economically distressed urban or rural communities, and that up to 20 percent of these resources may be used for projects to retain or create high-technology jobs that are directly associated with developing a more diverse aerospace economy in this state.

(2) There is created within the department the Quick Action Closing Fund. Projects eligible for receipt of funds from the Quick Action Closing Fund shall:
(a) Be in an industry as referenced in s. 288.106.

(b) Have a positive economic benefit ratio of at least 5 to 1.

(c) Be an inducement to the project’s location or expansion in the state.

(d) Pay an average annual wage of at least 125 percent of the areawide or statewide private sector average wage.

(e) Be supported by the local community in which the project is to be located.

(3)(a) The department and Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall jointly review applications pursuant to s. 288.061 and determine the eligibility of each project consistent with the criteria in subsection (2). Waiver of these criteria may be considered under the following criteria:
1. Based on extraordinary circumstances;

2. In order to mitigate the impact of the conclusion of the space shuttle program; or

3. In rural areas of opportunity if the project would significantly benefit the local or regional economy.

(b) The department shall evaluate individual proposals for high-impact business facilities. Such evaluation must include, but need not be limited to:
1. A description of the type of facility or infrastructure, its operations, and the associated product or service associated with the facility.

2. The number of full-time-equivalent jobs that will be created by the facility and the total estimated average annual wages of those jobs or, in the case of privately developed rural infrastructure, the types of business activities and jobs stimulated by the investment.

3. The cumulative amount of investment to be dedicated to the facility within a specified period.

4. A statement of any special impacts the facility is expected to stimulate in a particular business sector in the state or regional economy or in the state’s universities and community colleges.

5. A statement of the role the incentive is expected to play in the decision of the applicant business to locate or expand in this state or for the private investor to provide critical rural infrastructure.

6. A report evaluating the quality and value of the company submitting a proposal. The report must include:
a. A financial analysis of the company, including an evaluation of the company’s short-term liquidity ratio as measured by its assets to liability, the company’s profitability ratio, and the company’s long-term solvency as measured by its debt-to-equity ratio;

b. The historical market performance of the company;

c. A review of any independent evaluations of the company;

d. A review of the latest audit of the company’s financial statement and the related auditor’s management letter; and

e. A review of any other types of audits that are related to the internal and management controls of the company.

(c)1. Within 7 business days after evaluating a project, the department shall recommend to the Governor approval or disapproval of a project for receipt of funds from the Quick Action Closing Fund. In recommending a project, the department shall include proposed performance conditions that the project must meet to obtain incentive funds.

2. The Governor may approve projects without consulting the Legislature for projects requiring less than $2 million in funding.

3. For projects requiring funding in the amount of $2 million to $5 million, the Governor shall provide a written description and evaluation of a project recommended for approval to the chair and vice chair of the Legislative Budget Commission at least 10 days prior to giving final approval for a project. The recommendation must include proposed performance conditions that the project must meet in order to obtain funds.

4. If the chair or vice chair of the Legislative Budget Commission or the President of the Senate or the Speaker of the House of Representatives timely advises the Executive Office of the Governor, in writing, that such action or proposed action exceeds the delegated authority of the Executive Office of the Governor or is contrary to legislative policy or intent, the Executive Office of the Governor shall void the release of funds and instruct the department to immediately change such action or proposed action until the Legislative Budget Commission or the Legislature addresses the issue. Notwithstanding such requirement, any project exceeding $5 million must be approved by the Legislative Budget Commission prior to the funds being released.

(d) Upon the approval of the Governor, the department and the business shall enter into a contract that sets forth the conditions for payment of moneys from the fund. The contract must include the total amount of funds awarded; the performance conditions that must be met to obtain the award, including, but not limited to, net new employment in the state, average salary, and total capital investment; demonstrate a baseline of current service and a measure of enhanced capability; the methodology for validating performance; the schedule of payments from the fund; and sanctions for failure to meet performance conditions. The contract must provide that payment of moneys from the fund is contingent upon sufficient appropriation of funds by the Legislature.

(e) The department shall validate contractor performance and report such validation in the annual incentives report required under s. 288.907.

(4) Funds appropriated by the Legislature for purposes of implementing this section shall be placed in reserve and may only be released pursuant to the legislative consultation and review requirements set forth in this section.

History.—s. 105, ch. 99-251; s. 13, ch. 2001-201; s. 4, ch. 2003-270; s. 7, ch. 2003-420; s. 2, ch. 2006-55; s. 20, ch. 2009-51; s. 22, ch. 2010-147; s. 2, ch. 2010-226; s. 154, ch. 2011-142; s. 3, ch. 2012-6; s. 21, ch. 2013-39; s. 22, ch. 2013-42; s. 34, ch. 2014-218.

1Note.—Section 30, ch. 2015-221, provides that:“(1) A business may apply to the Department of Economic Opportunity for the incentives specified in subsection (2) if each of the following criteria is satisfied:
“(a) The business has entered into a contract with the Department of Economic Opportunity for a project under ss. 288.0659, 288.1045, 288.106, 288.107, 288.108, 288.1088, or 288.1089, Florida Statutes, between January 1, 2012, and July 1, 2015.
“(b) The contract is deemed active by the Department of Economic Opportunity and has not expired or been terminated.
“(c) The project that is the subject of the contract is located within the boundaries of an enterprise zone designated pursuant to chapter 290, Florida Statutes, as the boundaries existed on May 1, 2015.
“(2) For a project described under paragraph (1)(c), a business qualified under subsection (1) may apply for the following incentives:
“(a) The property tax exemption for a licensed child care facility under s. 196.095, Florida Statutes 2014.
“(b) The building sales tax refund under s. 212.08(5)(g), Florida Statutes 2014.
“(c) The business property sales tax refund under s. 212.08(5)(h), Florida Statutes 2014.
“(d) The electrical energy sales tax exemption under s. 212.08(15), Florida Statutes 2014.
“(e) The enterprise zone jobs tax credit under s. 212.096, Florida Statutes 2014.
“(f) The enterprise zone jobs tax credit under s. 220.181, Florida Statutes 2014.
“(g) The enterprise zone property tax credit under s. 220.182, Florida Statutes 2014.
“(3) The Department of Economic Opportunity must provide a list of businesses that are qualified under subsection (1) to the Department of Revenue by December 31, 2015. The Department of Economic Opportunity must also provide notice to the Department of Revenue within 10 days after the expiration or termination of a contract.
“(4) From January 1, 2016, to December 31, 2018, the Department of Economic Opportunity is designated to perform all the duties and responsibilities that were performed by the governing body or enterprise zone development agency having jurisdiction over the enterprise zone under ss. 196.095, 212.08(5)(g) and (h), 212.08(15), 212.096, 220.181, and 220.182, Florida Statutes 2014, including receipt and review of applications and verifications.
“(5) The incentives described in subsection (2) are to be treated as if they had not expired on December 31, 2015.
“(6) This section is effective January 1, 2016, and expires on December 31, 2018.”

1288.1089 Innovation Incentive Program.—
(1) The Innovation Incentive Program is created within the Department of Economic Opportunity to ensure that sufficient resources are available to allow the state to respond expeditiously to extraordinary economic opportunities and to compete effectively for high-value research and development, innovation business, and alternative and renewal energy projects.

(2) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Alternative and renewable energy” means electrical, mechanical, or thermal energy produced from a method that uses one or more of the following fuels or energy sources: ethanol, cellulosic ethanol, biobutanol, biodiesel, biomass, biogas, hydrogen fuel cells, ocean energy, hydrogen, solar, hydro, wind, or geothermal.

(b) “Average private sector wage” means the statewide average wage in the private sector or the average of all private sector wages in the county or in the standard metropolitan area in which the project is located as determined by the department.

(c) “Brownfield area” means an area designated as a brownfield area pursuant to s. 376.80.

(d) “Cumulative investment” means cumulative capital investment and all eligible capital costs, as defined in s. 220.191.

(e) “Enterprise zone” means an area designated as an enterprise zone pursuant to s. 290.0065.

(f) “Fiscal year” means the state fiscal year.

(g) “Industry wage” means the average annual wage paid to employees in a particular industry, as designated by the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), and compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the United States Department of Labor.

(h) “Innovation business” means a business expanding or locating in this state that is likely to serve as a catalyst for the growth of an existing or emerging technology cluster or will significantly impact the regional economy in which it is to expand or locate.

(i) “Jobs” means full-time equivalent positions, including, but not limited to, positions obtained from a temporary employment agency or employee leasing company or through a union agreement or coemployment under a professional employer organization agreement, that result directly from a project in this state. The term does not include temporary construction jobs.

(j) “Naming opportunities” means charitable donations from any person or entity in consideration for the right to have all or a portion of the facility named for or in the memory of any person, living or dead, or for any entity.

(k) “Net royalty revenues” means all royalty revenues less the cost of obtaining, maintaining, and enforcing related patent and intellectual property rights, both foreign and domestic.

(l) “Match” means funding from local sources, public or private, which will be paid to the applicant and which is equal to 100 percent of an award. Eligible match funding may include any tax abatement granted to the applicant under s. 196.1995 or the appraised market value of land, buildings, infrastructure, or equipment conveyed or provided at a discount to the applicant. Complete documentation of a match payment or other conveyance must be presented to and verified by the department prior to transfer of state funds to an applicant. An applicant may not provide, directly or indirectly, more than 5 percent of match funding in any fiscal year. The sources of such funding may not include, directly or indirectly, state funds appropriated from the General Revenue Fund or any state trust fund, excluding tax revenues shared with local governments pursuant to law.

(m) “Project” means the location to or expansion in this state by an innovation business, a research and development applicant, or an alternative and renewable energy applicant approved for an award pursuant to this section.

(n) “Research and development” means basic and applied research in the sciences or engineering, as well as the design, development, and testing of prototypes or processes of new or improved products. Research and development does not include market research, routine consumer product testing, sales research, research in the social sciences or psychology, nontechnological activities, or technical services.

(o) “Research and development facility” means a facility that is predominately engaged in research and development activities. For purposes of this paragraph, the term “predominantly” means at least 51 percent of the time.

(p) “Rural area” means a rural city or rural community as defined in s. 288.106.

(3) To be eligible for consideration for an innovation incentive award, an innovation business, a research and development entity, or an alternative and renewable energy company must submit a written application to the department before making a decision to locate new operations in this state or expand an existing operation in this state. The application must include, but not be limited to:
(a) The applicant’s federal employer identification number, reemployment assistance account number, and state sales tax registration number. If such numbers are not available at the time of application, they must be submitted to the department in writing before the disbursement of any payments under this section.

(b) The location in this state at which the project is located or is to be located.

(c) A description of the type of business activity, product, or research and development undertaken by the applicant, including six-digit North American Industry Classification System codes for all activities included in the project.

(d) The applicant’s projected investment in the project.

(e) The total investment, from all sources, in the project.

(f) The number of net new full-time equivalent jobs in this state the applicant anticipates having created as of December 31 of each year in the project and the average annual wage of such jobs.

(g) The total number of full-time equivalent employees currently employed by the applicant in this state, if applicable.

(h) The anticipated commencement date of the project.

(i) A detailed explanation of why the innovation incentive is needed to induce the applicant to expand or locate in the state and whether an award would cause the applicant to locate or expand in this state.

(j) If applicable, an estimate of the proportion of the revenues resulting from the project that will be generated outside this state.

(4) To qualify for review by the department, the applicant must, at a minimum, establish the following to the satisfaction of the department:
(a) The jobs created by the project must pay an estimated annual average wage equaling at least 130 percent of the average private sector wage. The department may waive this average wage requirement at the request of Enterprise Florida, Inc., for a project located in a rural area, a brownfield area, or an enterprise zone, when the merits of the individual project or the specific circumstances in the community in relationship to the project warrant such action. A recommendation for waiver by Enterprise Florida, Inc., must include a specific justification for the waiver and be transmitted to the department in writing. If the department elects to waive the wage requirement, the waiver must be stated in writing and the reasons for granting the waiver must be explained.

(b) A research and development project must:
1. Serve as a catalyst for an emerging or evolving technology cluster.

2. Demonstrate a plan for significant higher education collaboration.

3. Provide the state, at a minimum, a cumulative break-even economic benefit within a 20-year period.

4. Be provided with a one-to-one match from the local community. The match requirement may be reduced or waived in rural areas of opportunity or reduced in rural areas, brownfield areas, and enterprise zones.

(c) An innovation business project in this state, other than a research and development project, must:

1.a. Result in the creation of at least 1,000 direct, new jobs at the business; or

b. Result in the creation of at least 500 direct, new jobs if the project is located in a rural area, a brownfield area, or an enterprise zone.

2. Have an activity or product that is within an industry that is designated as a target industry business under s. 288.106 or a designated sector under s. 288.108.

3.a. Have a cumulative investment of at least $500 million within a 5-year period; or

b. Have a cumulative investment that exceeds $250 million within a 10-year period if the project is located in a rural area, brownfield area, or an enterprise zone.

4. Be provided with a one-to-one match from the local community. The match requirement may be reduced or waived in rural areas of opportunity or reduced in rural areas, brownfield areas, and enterprise zones.

(d) For an alternative and renewable energy project in this state, the project must:
1. Demonstrate a plan for significant collaboration with an institution of higher education;

2. Provide the state, at a minimum, a cumulative break-even economic benefit within a 20-year period;

3. Include matching funds provided by the applicant or other available sources. The match requirement may be reduced or waived in rural areas of opportunity or reduced in rural areas, brownfield areas, and enterprise zones;

4. Be located in this state; and

5. Provide at least 35 direct, new jobs that pay an estimated annual average wage that equals at least 130 percent of the average private sector wage.

(5) The department shall review proposals pursuant to s. 288.061 for all three categories of innovation incentive awards. Before making a recommendation to the executive director, the department shall solicit comments and recommendations from the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. For each project, the evaluation and recommendation to the department must include, but need not be limited to:
(a) A description of the project, its required facilities, and the associated product, service, or research and development associated with the project.

(b) The percentage of match provided for the project.

(c) The number of full-time equivalent jobs that will be created by the project, the total estimated average annual wages of such jobs, and the types of business activities and jobs likely to be stimulated by the project.

(d) The cumulative investment to be dedicated to the project within 5 years and the total investment expected in the project if more than 5 years.

(e) The projected economic and fiscal impacts on the local and state economies relative to investment.

(f) A statement of any special impacts the project is expected to stimulate in a particular business sector in the state or regional economy or in the state’s universities and community colleges.

(g) A statement of any anticipated or proposed relationships with state universities.

(h) A statement of the role the incentive is expected to play in the decision of the applicant to locate or expand in this state.

(i) A recommendation and explanation of the amount of the award needed to cause the applicant to expand or locate in this state.

(j) A discussion of the efforts and commitments made by the local community in which the project is to be located to induce the applicant’s location or expansion, taking into consideration local resources and abilities.

(k) A recommendation for specific performance criteria the applicant would be expected to achieve in order to receive payments from the fund and penalties or sanctions for failure to meet or maintain performance conditions.

(l) Additional evaluative criteria for a research and development facility project, including:
1. A description of the extent to which the project has the potential to serve as catalyst for an emerging or evolving cluster.

2. A description of the extent to which the project has or could have a long-term collaborative research and development relationship with one or more universities or community colleges in this state.

3. A description of the existing or projected impact of the project on established clusters or targeted industry sectors.

4. A description of the project’s contribution to the diversity and resiliency of the innovation economy of this state.

5. A description of the project’s impact on special needs communities, including, but not limited to, rural areas, distressed urban areas, and enterprise zones.

(m) Additional evaluative criteria for alternative and renewable energy proposals, including:
1. The availability of matching funds or other in-kind contributions applied to the total project from an applicant. The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall give greater preference to projects that provide such matching funds or other in-kind contributions.

2. The degree to which the project stimulates in-state capital investment and economic development in metropolitan and rural areas, including the creation of jobs and the future development of a commercial market for renewable energy technologies.

3. The extent to which the proposed project has been demonstrated to be technically feasible based on pilot project demonstrations, laboratory testing, scientific modeling, or engineering or chemical theory that supports the proposal.

4. The degree to which the project incorporates an innovative new technology or an innovative application of an existing technology.

5. The degree to which a project generates thermal, mechanical, or electrical energy by means of a renewable energy resource that has substantial long-term production potential.

6. The degree to which a project demonstrates efficient use of energy and material resources.

7. The degree to which the project fosters overall understanding and appreciation of renewable energy technologies.

8. The ability to administer a complete project.

9. Project duration and timeline for expenditures.

10. The geographic area in which the project is to be conducted in relation to other projects.

11. The degree of public visibility and interaction.

(6) The department may negotiate the proposed amount of an award for any applicant meeting the requirements of this section. In negotiating such award, the department shall consider the amount of the incentive needed to cause the applicant to locate or expand in this state in conjunction with other relevant applicant impact and cost information and analysis as described in this section. Particular emphasis shall be given to the potential for the project to stimulate additional private investment and high-quality employment opportunities in the area.

(7) Upon receipt of the evaluation and recommendation from the department, the Governor shall approve or deny an award. In recommending approval of an award, the department shall include proposed performance conditions that the applicant must meet in order to obtain incentive funds and any other conditions that must be met before the receipt of any incentive funds. The Governor shall consult with the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives before giving approval for an award. Upon review and approval of an award by the Legislative Budget Commission, the Executive Office of the Governor shall release the funds.

(8)(a) After the conditions set forth in subsection (7) have been met, the department shall issue a letter certifying the applicant as qualified for an award. The department and the award recipient shall enter into an agreement that sets forth the conditions for payment of the incentive funds. The agreement must include, at a minimum:
1. The total amount of funds awarded.

2. The performance conditions that must be met in order to obtain the award or portions of the award, including, but not limited to, net new employment in the state, average wage, and total cumulative investment.

3. Demonstration of a baseline of current service and a measure of enhanced capability.

4. The methodology for validating performance.

5. The schedule of payments.

6. Sanctions for failure to meet performance conditions, including any clawback provisions.

(b) Additionally, agreements signed on or after July 1, 2009, must include the following provisions:
1. Notwithstanding subsection (4), a requirement that the jobs created by the recipient of the incentive funds pay an annual average wage at least equal to the relevant industry’s annual average wage or at least 130 percent of the average private sector wage, whichever is greater.

2. A reinvestment requirement. Each recipient of an award shall reinvest up to 15 percent of net royalty revenues, including revenues from spin-off companies and the revenues from the sale of stock it receives from the licensing or transfer of inventions, methods, processes, and other patentable discoveries conceived or reduced to practice using its facilities in Florida or its Florida-based employees, in whole or in part, and to which the recipient of the grant becomes entitled during the 20 years following the effective date of its agreement with the department. Each recipient of an award also shall reinvest up to 15 percent of the gross revenues it receives from naming opportunities associated with any facility it builds in this state. Reinvestment payments shall commence no later than 6 months after the recipient of the grant has received the final disbursement under the contract and shall continue until the maximum reinvestment, as specified in the contract, has been paid. Reinvestment payments shall be remitted to the department for deposit in the Biomedical Research Trust Fund for companies specializing in biomedicine or life sciences, or in the Economic Development Trust Fund for companies specializing in fields other than biomedicine or the life sciences. If these trust funds no longer exist at the time of the reinvestment, the state’s share of reinvestment shall be deposited in their successor trust funds as determined by law. Each recipient of an award shall annually submit a schedule of the shares of stock held by it as payment of the royalty required by this paragraph and report on any trades or activity concerning such stock. Each recipient’s reinvestment obligations survive the expiration or termination of its agreement with the state.

3. Requirements for the establishment of internship programs or other learning opportunities for educators and secondary, postsecondary, graduate, and doctoral students.

4. A requirement that the recipient submit quarterly reports and annual reports related to activities and performance to the department, according to standardized reporting periods.

5. A requirement for an annual accounting to the department of the expenditure of funds disbursed under this section.

6. A process for amending the agreement.

(9) The department shall validate the performance of an innovation business, a research and development facility, or an alternative and renewable energy business that has received an award. At the conclusion of the innovation incentive award agreement, or its earlier termination, the department shall include in the annual incentives report required under s. 288.907 a detailed description of whether the recipient of the innovation incentive grant achieved its specified outcomes.

(10) Each recipient of an award shall comply with business ethics standards developed by Enterprise Florida, Inc., which are based on appropriate best industry practices. The standards shall address ethical duties of business enterprises, fiduciary responsibilities of management, and compliance with the laws of this state.

(11) The department shall include in the annual incentives report required under s. 288.907 a report summarizing the activities and accomplishments of the recipients of grants from the Innovation Incentive Program during the previous 12 months and an evaluation of whether the recipients are catalysts for additional direct and indirect economic development in Florida.

(12) The department may seek the assistance of the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability, the Legislature’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research, and other entities for the purpose of developing performance measures or techniques to quantify the synergistic economic development impacts that awardees of grants are having within their communities.

History.—s. 3, ch. 2006-55; s. 27, ch. 2008-227; s. 25, ch. 2009-21; s. 1, ch. 2009-51; s. 5, ch. 2010-136; s. 23, ch. 2010-147; s. 155, ch. 2011-142; s. 31, ch. 2012-5; s. 59, ch. 2012-30; s. 39, ch. 2012-96; s. 22, ch. 2013-39; s. 23, ch. 2013-42; s. 35, ch. 2014-218.

1Note.—Section 30, ch. 2015-221, provides that:“(1) A business may apply to the Department of Economic Opportunity for the incentives specified in subsection (2) if each of the following criteria is satisfied:
“(a) The business has entered into a contract with the Department of Economic Opportunity for a project under ss. 288.0659, 288.1045, 288.106, 288.107, 288.108, 288.1088, or 288.1089, Florida Statutes, between January 1, 2012, and July 1, 2015.
“(b) The contract is deemed active by the Department of Economic Opportunity and has not expired or been terminated.
“(c) The project that is the subject of the contract is located within the boundaries of an enterprise zone designated pursuant to chapter 290, Florida Statutes, as the boundaries existed on May 1, 2015.
“(2) For a project described under paragraph (1)(c), a business qualified under subsection (1) may apply for the following incentives:
“(a) The property tax exemption for a licensed child care facility under s. 196.095, Florida Statutes 2014.
“(b) The building sales tax refund under s. 212.08(5)(g), Florida Statutes 2014.
“(c) The business property sales tax refund under s. 212.08(5)(h), Florida Statutes 2014.
“(d) The electrical energy sales tax exemption under s. 212.08(15), Florida Statutes 2014.
“(e) The enterprise zone jobs tax credit under s. 212.096, Florida Statutes 2014.
“(f) The enterprise zone jobs tax credit under s. 220.181, Florida Statutes 2014.
“(g) The enterprise zone property tax credit under s. 220.182, Florida Statutes 2014.
“(3) The Department of Economic Opportunity must provide a list of businesses that are qualified under subsection (1) to the Department of Revenue by December 31, 2015. The Department of Economic Opportunity must also provide notice to the Department of Revenue within 10 days after the expiration or termination of a contract.
“(4) From January 1, 2016, to December 31, 2018, the Department of Economic Opportunity is designated to perform all the duties and responsibilities that were performed by the governing body or enterprise zone development agency having jurisdiction over the enterprise zone under ss. 196.095, 212.08(5)(g) and (h), 212.08(15), 212.096, 220.181, and 220.182, Florida Statutes 2014, including receipt and review of applications and verifications.
“(5) The incentives described in subsection (2) are to be treated as if they had not expired on December 31, 2015.
“(6) This section is effective January 1, 2016, and expires on December 31, 2018.”

288.1097 Qualified job training organizations; certification; duties.—
(1) As used in this section, the term “qualified job training organization” means an organization that satisfies all of the following:
(a) Is accredited by the Commission for Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities.

(b) Collects Florida state sales tax.

(c) Operates statewide and has more than 100 locations within the state.

(d) Is exempt from income taxation under s. 501(c)(3) or (4) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.

(e) Specializes in the retail sale of donated items.

(f) Provides job training and employment services to individuals who have workplace disadvantages and disabilities.

(g) Uses a majority of its revenues for job training and placement programs that create jobs and foster economic development.

(2) To be eligible for funding, an organization must be certified by the department as meeting the criteria in subsection (1). After certification, the department may release funds to the qualified job training organization pursuant to a contract with the organization. The contract must include the performance conditions that must be met in order to obtain the award or portions of the award, including, but not limited to, net new employment in the state, the methodology for validating performance, the schedule of payments, and sanctions for failure to meet the performance requirements including any provisions for repayment of awards. The contract must also require that salaries paid to officers and employees of the qualified job training organization comply with s. 4958 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.

(3) A qualified job training organization that is certified must use the proceeds provided solely to encourage and provide economic development through capital construction, improvements, or the purchase of equipment that will result in expanded employment opportunities. Proceeds provided under this section for a qualified job training organization must result, within a 10-year period, in:
(a) The creation of at least 5,000 direct, new jobs.

(b) A minimum of 23,000 new clients served.

(c) The production of a minimum of $24 million in new sales tax revenues from increased sales.

(d) A minimum of $42 million in new salaries.

(e) A minimum of $6 million for job placement services.

(4) The failure to use the proceeds as required constitutes grounds for revoking certification.

History.—s. 4, ch. 2006-55; s. 40, ch. 2012-96.

288.111 Information concerning local manufacturing development programs.—The department shall develop materials that identify each local government that establishes a local manufacturing development program under s. 163.3252. The materials, which the department may elect to develop and maintain in electronic format or in any other format deemed by the department to provide public access, must be updated at least annually. Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall, and other state agencies may, distribute the materials to prospective, new, expanding, and relocating businesses seeking to conduct business in this state.
History.—s. 5, ch. 2013-224.

288.1162 Professional sports franchises; duties.—
(1) The department shall serve as the state agency for screening applicants for state funding under s. 212.20 and for certifying an applicant as a facility for a new or retained professional sports franchise.

(2) The department shall develop rules for the receipt and processing of applications for funding under s. 212.20.

(3) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “New professional sports franchise” means a professional sports franchise that was not based in this state before April 1, 1987.

(b) “Retained professional sports franchise” means a professional sports franchise that has had a league-authorized location in this state on or before December 31, 1976, and has continuously remained at that location, and has never been located at a facility that has been previously certified under any provision of this section.

(4) Before certifying an applicant as a facility for a new or retained professional sports franchise, the department must determine that:
(a) A “unit of local government” as defined in s. 218.369 is responsible for the construction, management, or operation of the professional sports franchise facility or holds title to the property on which the professional sports franchise facility is located.

(b) The applicant has a verified copy of a signed agreement with a new professional sports franchise for the use of the facility for a term of at least 10 years, or in the case of a retained professional sports franchise, an agreement for use of the facility for a term of at least 20 years.

(c) The applicant has a verified copy of the approval from the governing authority of the league in which the new professional sports franchise exists authorizing the location of the professional sports franchise in this state after April 1, 1987, or in the case of a retained professional sports franchise, verified evidence that it has had a league-authorized location in this state on or before December 31, 1976. As used in this section, the term “league” means the National League or the American League of Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, the National Football League, or the National Hockey League.

(d) The applicant has projections, verified by the department, which demonstrate that the new or retained professional sports franchise will attract a paid attendance of more than 300,000 annually.

(e) The applicant has an independent analysis or study, verified by the department, which demonstrates that the amount of the revenues generated by the taxes imposed under chapter 212 with respect to the use and operation of the professional sports franchise facility will equal or exceed $2 million annually.

(f) The municipality in which the facility for a new or retained professional sports franchise is located, or the county if the facility for a new or retained professional sports franchise is located in an unincorporated area, has certified by resolution after a public hearing that the application serves a public purpose.

(g) The applicant has demonstrated that it has provided, is capable of providing, or has financial or other commitments to provide more than one-half of the costs incurred or related to the improvement and development of the facility.

(h) An applicant previously certified under any provision of this section who has received funding under such certification is not eligible for an additional certification.

(5) An applicant certified as a facility for a new or retained professional sports franchise may use funds provided under s. 212.20 only for the public purpose of paying for the acquisition, construction, reconstruction, or renovation of a facility for a new or retained professional sports franchise to pay or pledge for the payment of debt service on, or to fund debt service reserve funds, arbitrage rebate obligations, or other amounts payable with respect to, bonds issued for the acquisition, construction, reconstruction, or renovation of such facility or for the reimbursement of such costs or the refinancing of bonds issued for such purposes.

(6) The department shall notify the Department of Revenue of any facility certified as a facility for a new or retained professional sports franchise. The department shall certify no more than eight facilities as facilities for a new professional sports franchise or as facilities for a retained professional sports franchise, including in the total any facilities certified by the former Department of Commerce before July 1, 1996. The department may make no more than one certification for any facility.

(7) The Auditor General may conduct audits as provided in s. 11.45 to verify that the distributions under this section are expended as required in this section. If the Auditor General determines that the distributions under this section are not expended as required by this section, the Auditor General shall notify the Department of Revenue, which may pursue recovery of the funds under the laws and rules governing the assessment of taxes.

(8) An applicant is not qualified for certification under this section if the franchise formed the basis for a previous certification, unless the previous certification was withdrawn by the facility or invalidated by the department or the former Department of Commerce before any funds were distributed under s. 212.20. This subsection does not disqualify an applicant if the previous certification occurred between May 23, 1993, and May 25, 1993; however, any funds to be distributed under s. 212.20 for the second certification shall be offset by the amount distributed to the previous certified facility. Distribution of funds for the second certification shall not be made until all amounts payable for the first certification are distributed.

History.—s. 2, ch. 88-226; s. 3, ch. 89-217; s. 49, ch. 89-356; s. 3, ch. 91-274; s. 35, ch. 94-338; s. 2, ch. 95-304; s. 45, ch. 96-320; s. 32, ch. 97-99; s. 2, ch. 2000-186; s. 2, ch. 2006-262; s. 4, ch. 2010-140; s. 35, ch. 2010-147; s. 3, ch. 2011-3; s. 158, ch. 2011-142.

288.11621 Spring training baseball franchises.—
(1) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Agreement” means a certified, signed lease between an applicant that applies for certification on or after July 1, 2010, and the spring training franchise for the use of a facility.

(b) “Applicant” means a unit of local government as defined in s. 218.369, including local governments located in the same county that have partnered with a certified applicant before the effective date of this section or with an applicant for a new certification, for purposes of sharing in the responsibilities of a facility.

(c) “Certified applicant” means a facility for a spring training franchise that was certified before July 1, 2010, under s. 288.1162(5), Florida Statutes 2009, or a unit of local government that is certified under this section.

(d) “Facility” means a spring training stadium, playing fields, and appurtenances intended to support spring training activities.

(e) “Local funds” and “local matching funds” mean funds provided by a county, municipality, or other local government.

(2) CERTIFICATION PROCESS.—
(a) Before certifying an applicant to receive state funding for a facility for a spring training franchise, the department must verify that:
1. The applicant is responsible for the acquisition, construction, management, or operation of the facility for a spring training franchise or holds title to the property on which the facility for a spring training franchise is located.

2. The applicant has a certified copy of a signed agreement with a spring training franchise for the use of the facility for a term of at least 20 years. The agreement also must require the franchise to reimburse the state for state funds expended by an applicant under this section if the franchise relocates before the agreement expires. The agreement may be contingent on an award of funds under this section and other conditions precedent.

3. The applicant has made a financial commitment to provide 50 percent or more of the funds required by an agreement for the acquisition, construction, or renovation of the facility for a spring training franchise. The commitment may be contingent upon an award of funds under this section and other conditions precedent.

4. The applicant demonstrates that the facility for a spring training franchise will attract a paid attendance of at least 50,000 annually to the spring training games.

5. The facility for a spring training franchise is located in a county that levies a tourist development tax under s. 125.0104.

(b) The department shall competitively evaluate applications for state funding of a facility for a spring training franchise. The total number of certifications may not exceed 10 at any time. The evaluation criteria must include, with priority given in descending order to, the following items:
1. The anticipated effect on the economy of the local community where the spring training facility is to be built, including projections on paid attendance, local and state tax collections generated by spring training games, and direct and indirect job creation resulting from the spring training activities. Priority shall be given to applicants who can demonstrate the largest projected economic impact.

2. The amount of the local matching funds committed to a facility relative to the amount of state funding sought, with priority given to applicants that commit the largest amount of local matching funds relative to the amount of state funding sought.

3. The potential for the facility to serve multiple uses.

4. The intended use of the funds by the applicant, with priority given to the funds being used to acquire a facility, construct a new facility, or renovate an existing facility.

5. The length of time that a spring training franchise has been under an agreement to conduct spring training activities within an applicant’s geographic location or jurisdiction, with priority given to applicants having agreements with the same franchise for the longest period of time.

6. The length of time that an applicant’s facility has been used by one or more spring training franchises, with priority given to applicants whose facilities have been in continuous use as facilities for spring training the longest.

7. The term remaining on a lease between an applicant and a spring training franchise for a facility, with priority given to applicants having the shortest lease terms remaining.

8. The length of time that a spring training franchise agrees to use an applicant’s facility if an application is granted under this section, with priority given to applicants having agreements for the longest future use.

9. The net increase of total active recreation space owned by the applicant after an acquisition of land for the facility, with priority given to applicants having the largest percentage increase of total active recreation space that will be available for public use.

10. The location of the facility in a brownfield, an enterprise zone, a community redevelopment area, or other area of targeted development or revitalization included in an urban infill redevelopment plan, with priority given to applicants having facilities located in these areas.

(c) Each applicant certified on or after July 1, 2010, shall enter into an agreement with the department that:
1. Specifies the amount of the state incentive funding to be distributed.

2. States the criteria that the certified applicant must meet in order to remain certified.

3. States that the certified applicant is subject to decertification if the certified applicant fails to comply with this section or the agreement.

4. States that the department may recover state incentive funds if the certified applicant is decertified.

5. Specifies information that the certified applicant must report to the department.

6. Includes any provision deemed prudent by the department.

(3) USE OF FUNDS.—
(a) A certified applicant may use funds provided under s. 212.20(6)(d)6.b. only to:
1. Serve the public purpose of acquiring, constructing, reconstructing, or renovating a facility for a spring training franchise.

2. Pay or pledge for the payment of debt service on, or to fund debt service reserve funds, arbitrage rebate obligations, or other amounts payable with respect thereto, bonds issued for the acquisition, construction, reconstruction, or renovation of such facility, or for the reimbursement of such costs or the refinancing of bonds issued for such purposes.

3. Assist in the relocation of a spring training franchise from one unit of local government to another only if the governing board of the current host local government by a majority vote agrees to relocation.

(b) State funds awarded to a certified applicant for a facility for a spring training franchise may not be used to subsidize facilities that are privately owned, maintained, and used only by a spring training franchise.

(c) The Department of Revenue may not distribute funds to an applicant certified on or after July 1, 2010, until it receives notice from the department that the certified applicant has encumbered funds under subparagraph (a)2.

(d)1. All certified applicants must place unexpended state funds received pursuant to s. 212.20(6)(d)6.b. in a trust fund or separate account for use only as authorized in this section.

2. A certified applicant may request that the Department of Revenue suspend further distributions of state funds made available under s. 212.20(6)(d)6.b. for 12 months after expiration of an existing agreement with a spring training franchise to provide the certified applicant with an opportunity to enter into a new agreement with a spring training franchise, at which time the distributions shall resume.

3. The expenditure of state funds distributed to an applicant certified before July 1, 2010, must begin within 48 months after the initial receipt of the state funds. In addition, the construction of, or capital improvements to, a spring training facility must be completed within 24 months after the project’s commencement.

(4) ANNUAL REPORTS.—On or before September 1 of each year, a certified applicant shall submit to the department a report that includes, but is not limited to:
(a) A copy of its most recent annual audit.

(b) A detailed report on all local and state funds expended to date on the project being financed under this section.

(c) A copy of the contract between the certified local governmental entity and the spring training team.

(d) A cost-benefit analysis of the team’s impact on the community.

(e) Evidence that the certified applicant continues to meet the criteria in effect when the applicant was certified.

(5) DECERTIFICATION.—
(a) The department shall decertify a certified applicant upon the request of the certified applicant.

(b) The department shall decertify a certified applicant if the certified applicant does not:
1. Have a valid agreement with a spring training franchise; or

2. Satisfy its commitment to provide local matching funds to the facility.

However, decertification proceedings against a local government certified before July 1, 2010, shall be delayed until 12 months after the expiration of the local government’s existing agreement with a spring training franchise, and without a new agreement being signed, if the certified local government can demonstrate to the department that it is in active negotiations with a major league spring training franchise, other than the franchise that was the basis for the original certification.

(c) A certified applicant has 60 days after it receives a notice of intent to decertify from the department to petition for review of the decertification. Within 45 days after receipt of the request for review, the department must notify a certified applicant of the outcome of the review.

(d) The department shall notify the Department of Revenue that a certified applicant is decertified within 10 days after the order of decertification becomes final. The Department of Revenue shall immediately stop the payment of any funds under this section that were not encumbered by the certified applicant under subparagraph (3)(a)2.

(e) The department shall order a decertified applicant to repay all of the unencumbered state funds that the local government received under this section and any interest that accrued on those funds. The repayment must be made within 60 days after the decertification order becomes final. These funds shall be deposited into the General Revenue Fund.

(f) A local government as defined in s. 218.369 may not be decertified by the department if it has paid or pledged for the payment of debt service on, or to fund debt service reserve funds, arbitrage rebate obligations, or other amounts payable with respect thereto, bonds issued for the acquisition, construction, reconstruction, or renovation of the facility for which the local government was certified, or for the reimbursement of such costs or the refinancing of bonds issued for the acquisition, construction, reconstruction, or renovation of the facility for which the local government was certified, or for the reimbursement of such costs or the refinancing of bonds issued for such purpose. This subsection does not preclude or restrict the ability of a certified local government to refinance, refund, or defease such bonds.

(6) ADDITIONAL CERTIFICATIONS.—If the department decertifies a unit of local government, the department may accept applications for an additional certification. A unit of local government may not be certified for more than one spring training franchise at any time.

(7) STRATEGIC PLANNING.—The department shall request assistance from Enterprise Florida, Inc., and the Florida Grapefruit League Association to develop a comprehensive strategic plan to:
(a) Finance spring training facilities.

(b) Monitor and oversee the use of state funds awarded to applicants.

(c) Identify the financial impact that spring training has on the state and ways in which to maintain or improve that impact.

(d) Identify opportunities to develop public-private partnerships to engage in marketing activities and advertise spring training baseball.

(e) Identify efforts made by other states to maintain or develop partnerships with baseball spring training teams.

(f) Develop recommendations for the Legislature to sustain or improve this state’s spring training tradition.

(8) RULEMAKING.—The department shall adopt rules to implement the certification, decertification, and decertification review processes required by this section.

(9) AUDITS.—The Auditor General may conduct audits as provided in s. 11.45 to verify that the distributions under this section are expended as required in this section. If the Auditor General determines that the distributions under this section are not expended as required by this section, the Auditor General shall notify the Department of Revenue, which may pursue recovery of the funds under the laws and rules governing the assessment of taxes.

History.—s. 5, ch. 2010-140; s. 36, ch. 2010-147; s. 159, ch. 2011-142; s. 41, ch. 2012-96; s. 44, ch. 2014-17.

288.11625 Sports development.—
(1) ADMINISTRATION.—The department shall serve as the state agency responsible for screening applicants for state funding under s. 212.20(6)(d)6.f.

(2) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Agreement” means a signed agreement between a unit of local government and a beneficiary.

(b) “Applicant” means a unit of local government, as defined in s. 218.369, which is responsible for the construction, management, or operation of a facility; or an entity that is responsible for the construction, management, or operation of a facility if a unit of local government holds title to the underlying property on which the facility is located.

(c) “Beneficiary” means a professional sports franchise of the National Football League, the National Hockey League, the National Basketball Association, the National League or American League of Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball, Major League Soccer, the North American Soccer League, the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, the promoter or host of a signature event administered by Breeders’ Cup Limited, or the promoter of a signature event sanctioned by the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing. A beneficiary may also be an applicant under this section. However, a professional sports franchise of the National League or the American League of Major League Baseball or Minor League Baseball may not be a beneficiary unless, before filing an application under subsection (3):
1. Major League Baseball verifies to the Attorney General that any Cuban refugee 17 years of age or older who has been present in the United States for less than 1 year and who was not present before the most recent Major League Baseball Rule 4 Draft of amateur players may contract as a free agent under rules no less favorable than the most favorable rules applicable to players who are residents of any country or territory other than the United States, Puerto Rico, or Canada; and

2. The Attorney General verifies that Major League Baseball has agreed to report to the Attorney General the identity of, and a description of the activity giving rise to the identification of, any resident of this state or other person operating in this state who Major League Baseball has reason to believe has engaged in:
a. Human smuggling, human trafficking, or the movement of individuals across national boundaries for purposes of evading Major League Baseball rules applicable to residents of the United States; or

b. Contracting with nondrafted players for an interest in a player’s professional baseball compensation or other consideration in exchange for human trafficking, assistance in human smuggling, or avoidance of Major League Baseball rules.

(d) “Commence” or “commenced” means the occurrence of a physical activity on the project site which is related to the construction, reconstruction, renovation, or improvement of the project site.

(e) “Facility” means a structure, and its adjoining parcels of local-government-owned land, primarily used to host games or events held by a beneficiary and does not include any portion used to provide transient lodging.

(f) “Project” means a proposed construction, reconstruction, renovation, or improvement of a facility or the proposed acquisition of land to construct a new facility and construction of improvements to state-owned land necessary for the efficient use of the facility.

(g) “Signature event” means a professional sports event with significant export factor potential. For purposes of this paragraph, the term “export factor” means the attraction of economic activity or growth into the state which otherwise would not have occurred. Examples of signature events may include, but are not limited to:
1. National Football League Super Bowls.

2. Professional sports All-Star games.

3. International sporting events and tournaments.

4. Professional motorsports events.

5. The establishment of a new professional sports franchise in this state.

(h) “State sales taxes generated by sales at the facility” means state sales taxes imposed under chapter 212 and generated by admissions to the facility; parking on property owned or controlled by the beneficiary or the applicant; team operations and necessary leases; sales by the beneficiary; sales by other vendors at the facility; and ancillary uses within 1,000 feet, including, but not limited to, team stores, museums, restaurants, retail, lodging, and commercial uses from economic development generated by the beneficiary or facility as determined by the Department of Economic Opportunity.

(3) PURPOSE.—The purpose of this section is to provide applicants state funding under s. 212.20(6)(d)6.f. for the public purpose of constructing, reconstructing, renovating, or improving a facility.

(4) APPLICATION AND APPROVAL PROCESS.—
(a) The department shall establish the procedures and application forms deemed necessary pursuant to the requirements of this section. The department may notify an applicant of any additional required or incomplete information necessary to evaluate an application.

(b) The annual application period is from June 1 through November 1.

(c) Within 60 days after receipt of a completed application, the department shall complete its evaluation of the application as provided under subsection (5) and notify the applicant in writing of the department’s decision to recommend approval of the applicant by the Legislature or to deny the application.

(d) By each February 1, the department shall rank the applicants and provide to the Legislature the list of the recommended applicants in ranked order of projects most likely to positively impact the state based on criteria established under this section. The list must include the department’s evaluation of the applicant.

(e) A recommended applicant’s request for funding must be approved by the Legislature, enacted by a general law or conforming bill approved by the Governor in the manner provided in s. 8, Art. III of the State Constitution. After enactment, the department must certify an applicant and its approved request for funding. The approved request for funding must be certified as an annual distribution amount, and the department must notify the Department of Revenue of the initial certification and the distribution amount.
1. An application by a unit of local government which is approved by the Legislature and subsequently certified by the department remains certified for the duration of the beneficiary’s agreement with the applicant or for 30 years, whichever is less, provided the certified applicant has an agreement with a beneficiary at the time of initial certification by the department.

2. An application by a beneficiary or other applicant which is approved by the Legislature and subsequently certified by the department remains certified for the duration of the beneficiary’s agreement with the unit of local government that owns the underlying property or for 30 years, whichever is less, provided the certified applicant has an agreement with the unit of local government at the time of initial certification by the department.

3. An applicant that is previously certified pursuant to this section does not need legislative approval each year to receive state funding.

(f) An applicant that is recommended by the department but not approved by the Legislature may reapply and shall update any information in the original application as required by the department.

(g) The department may recommend no more than one distribution under this section for any applicant, facility, or beneficiary at a time. A facility or beneficiary may not be the subject of more than one distribution under s. 212.20 at any time for any state-administered sports-related program, including s. 288.1162, s. 288.11621, s. 288.11631, or this section. This limitation does not apply if the applicant demonstrates that the beneficiary that is the subject of the distribution under s. 212.20 no longer plays at the facility that is the subject of the application under this section.

(h) An application submitted either by a first-time applicant whose project exceeds $300 million and commenced on the facility’s existing site before January 1, 2014, or by a beneficiary that has completed the terms of a previous agreement for distributions under chapter 212 for an existing facility shall be considered an application for a new facility for purposes that include, but are not limited to, incremental and baseline tax calculations.

(i) An application may be submitted to the department for evaluation and recommendation if the existing beneficiary has completed or will complete the terms of an existing distribution under chapter 212 for an existing facility before a distribution can be made.

(5) EVALUATION PROCESS.—
(a) Before recommending an applicant to receive a state distribution under s. 212.20(6)(d)6.f., the department must verify that:
1. The applicant or beneficiary is responsible for the construction, reconstruction, renovation, or improvement of a facility and obtained at least three bids for the project.

2. If the applicant is not a unit of local government, a unit of local government holds title to the property on which the facility and project are, or will be, located.

3. If the applicant is a unit of local government in whose jurisdiction the facility is, or will be, located, the unit of local government has an exclusive intent agreement to negotiate in this state with the beneficiary.

4. A unit of local government in whose jurisdiction the facility is, or will be, located supports the application for state funds. Such support must be verified by the adoption of a resolution, after a public hearing, that the project serves a public purpose.

5. The applicant or beneficiary has not previously defaulted or failed to meet any statutory requirements of a previous state-administered sports-related program under s. 288.1162, s. 288.11621, s. 288.11631, or this section. Additionally, the applicant or beneficiary is not currently receiving state distributions under s. 212.20 for the facility that is the subject of the application, unless the applicant demonstrates that the franchise that applied for a distribution under s. 212.20 no longer plays at the facility that is the subject of the application.

6. The applicant or beneficiary has sufficiently demonstrated a commitment to employ residents of this state, contract with Florida-based firms, and purchase locally available building materials to the greatest extent possible.

7. If the applicant is a unit of local government, the applicant has a certified copy of a signed agreement with a beneficiary for the use of the facility. If the applicant is a beneficiary, the beneficiary must enter into an agreement with the department. The applicant’s or beneficiary’s agreement must also require the following:
a. The beneficiary must reimburse the state for state funds that will be distributed if the beneficiary relocates or no longer occupies or uses the facility as the facility’s primary tenant before the agreement expires. Reimbursements must be sent to the Department of Revenue for deposit into the General Revenue Fund.

b. The beneficiary must pay for signage or advertising within the facility. The signage or advertising must be placed in a prominent location as close to the field of play or competition as is practicable, must be displayed consistent with signage or advertising in the same location and of like value, and must feature Florida advertising approved by the Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation.

8. The project will commence within 12 months after receiving state funds or did not commence before January 1, 2013.

(b) The department shall competitively evaluate and rank applicants that timely submit applications for state funding based on their ability to positively impact the state using the following criteria:
1. The proposed use of state funds.

2. The length of time that a beneficiary has agreed to use the facility.

3. The percentage of total project funds provided by the applicant and the percentage of total project funds provided by the beneficiary, with priority in the evaluation and ranking given to applications with 50 percent or more of total project funds provided by the applicant and beneficiary.

4. The number and type of signature events the facility is likely to attract during the duration of the agreement with the beneficiary.

5. The anticipated increase in average annual ticket sales and attendance at the facility due to the project.

6. The potential to attract out-of-state visitors to the facility.

7. The length of time a beneficiary has been in this state or partnered with the unit of local government. In order to encourage new franchises to locate in this state, an application for a new franchise shall be considered to have a significant positive impact on the state and shall be given priority in the evaluation and ranking by the department.

8. The multiuse capabilities of the facility.

9. The facility’s projected employment of residents of this state, contracts with Florida-based firms, and purchases of locally available building materials.

10. The amount of private and local financial or in-kind contributions to the project.

11. The amount of positive advertising or media coverage the facility generates.

12. The expected amount of average annual new incremental state sales taxes generated by sales at the facility above the baseline that will be generated as a result of the project, as required under subparagraph (6)(b)2.

13. The size and scope of the project and number of temporary and permanent jobs that will be created as a direct result of the facility improvement.

(6) DISTRIBUTION.—
(a) The department shall determine the annual distribution amount an applicant may receive based on 75 percent of the average annual new incremental state sales taxes generated by sales at the facility, as provided under subparagraph (b)2., and such annual distribution shall be limited by the following:
1. If the total project cost is $200 million or greater, the annual distribution amount may be up to $3 million.

2. If the total project cost is at least $100 million but less than $200 million, the annual distribution amount may be up to $2 million.

3. If the total project cost is less than $100 million and more than $30 million, the annual distribution amount may be up to $1 million.

4. Notwithstanding paragraph (4)(g) and subparagraph (5)(a)5., an applicant certified under s. 288.1162 which is currently receiving state distributions under s. 212.20 for the facility or beneficiary that is the subject of the application under this section may be eligible for an annual distribution amount of up to $1 million. The total project cost must be at least $100 million. This subparagraph does not apply to an applicant that demonstrates that the beneficiary that is the subject of the distribution under s. 212.20 no longer plays at the facility that is the subject of the application under this section.

(b) At the time of initial evaluation and review by the department pursuant to subsection (5), the applicant must provide an analysis by an independent certified public accountant which demonstrates:
1. The average annual amount of state sales taxes generated by sales at the facility during the 36-month period immediately before the beginning of the application period. This amount is the baseline.

2. The expected amount of average annual new incremental state sales taxes generated by sales at the facility above the baseline which will be generated as a result of the project.

3. The expected amount of average annual new incremental state sales taxes generated by sales at the facility must be at least $500,000 above the baseline for the applicant to be eligible to receive a distribution under this section.

For an application for a new facility, the baseline is zero. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, for projects with a total cost of more than $300 million which are at least 90 percent funded by private sources, the baseline is zero for purposes of this section. The baseline for an applicant under subparagraph (a)4. is $2 million.

(c) The independent analysis provided in paragraph (b) shall be verified by the department.

(d) The department shall notify the Department of Revenue of the applicant’s initial certification, and the Department of Revenue shall begin distributions within 45 days after such notification or upon a date specified by the department as requested by the approved applicant, whichever is later.

(e) The department shall consult with the Department of Revenue and the Office of Economic and Demographic Research to develop a standard calculation for estimating the average annual new incremental state sales taxes generated by sales at the facility.

(f) The department may not certify an applicant if, as a result of the certification, the total amount distributed will exceed $13 million in any fiscal year. In the 2014-2015 fiscal year, the department may not certify total annual distributions of more than $7 million for all certified applicants.

(7) CONTRACT.—An applicant approved by the Legislature and certified by the department must enter into a contract with the department which:
(a) Specifies the terms of the state’s investment.

(b) States the criteria that the certified applicant must meet in order to remain certified.

(c) Requires the applicant to submit the independent analysis required under subsection (6) and an annual independent analysis.
1. The applicant must agree to submit to the department, beginning 12 months after completion of a project or 12 months after the first four annual distributions, whichever is earlier, an annual analysis by an independent certified public accountant demonstrating the actual amount of new incremental state sales taxes generated by sales at the facility during the previous 12-month period. The applicant shall certify to the department a comparison of the actual amount of state sales taxes generated by sales at the facility during the previous 12-month period to the baseline under paragraph (6)(b).

2. The applicant must submit the certification within 90 days after the end of the previous 12-month period. The department shall verify the analysis.

(d) Specifies information that the certified applicant must report to the department.

(e) Requires the applicant to reimburse the state by electing to do one of the following:
1. After all distributions have been made, reimburse at the end of the contract term any amount by which the total distributions made under s. 212.20(6)(d)6.f. exceed actual new incremental state sales taxes generated by sales at the facility during the contract, plus a 5 percent penalty on that amount.

2. After the applicant begins to submit the independent analysis under paragraph (c), reimburse each year any amount by which the previous year’s annual distribution exceeds 75 percent of the actual new incremental state sales taxes generated by sales at the facility.

Any reimbursement due to the state must be made within 90 days after the applicable distribution under this paragraph. If the applicant is unable or unwilling to reimburse the state for such amount, the department may place a lien on the applicant’s facility. If the applicant is a municipality or county, it may reimburse the state from its half-cent sales tax allocation, as provided in s. 218.64(3). Reimbursements must be sent to the Department of Revenue for deposit into the General Revenue Fund.

(f) Includes any provisions deemed prudent by the department.

(8) USE OF FUNDS.—An applicant certified under this section may use state funds only for the following purposes:
(a) Constructing, reconstructing, renovating, or improving a facility or reimbursing such costs.

(b) Paying or pledging for the payment of debt service on bonds issued for the construction or renovation of such facility.

(c) Funding debt service reserve funds, arbitrage rebate obligations, or other amounts payable with respect thereto on bonds issued for the construction or renovation of such facility.

(d) Reimbursing the costs under paragraphs (b) and (c) or the refinancing of bonds issued for the construction or renovation of such facility.

(9) REPORTS.—
(a) On or before November 1 of each year, an applicant certified under this section and approved to receive state funds must submit to the department any information required by the department. The department shall summarize this information for inclusion in its annual report to the Legislature under paragraph (4)(d).

(b) Every 5 years after an applicant receives its first monthly distribution, the department must verify that the applicant is meeting the program requirements. If the applicant fails to meet these requirements, the department shall notify the Governor and the Legislature in its next annual report under paragraph (4)(d) that the requirements are not being met and recommend future action. The department shall take into consideration extenuating circumstances that may have prevented the applicant from meeting the program requirements, such as force majeure events or a significant economic downturn.

(10) AUDITS.—The Auditor General may conduct audits pursuant to s. 11.45 to verify the independent analysis required under paragraphs (6)(b) and (7)(c) and to verify that the distributions are expended as required. The Auditor General shall report the findings to the department. If the Auditor General determines that the distribution payments are not expended as required, the Auditor General must notify the Department of Revenue, which may pursue recovery of distributions under the laws and rules that govern the assessment of taxes.

(11) APPLICATION RELATED TO NEW FACILITIES OR PROJECTS COMMENCED BEFORE JULY 1, 2014.—Notwithstanding paragraph (4)(e), the Legislative Budget Commission may approve an application for state funds by an applicant for a new facility or a project commenced between March 1, 2013, and July 1, 2014. Such an application may be submitted after May 1, 2014. The department must review the application and recommend approval to the Legislature or deny the application. The Legislative Budget Commission may approve applications on or after January 1, 2015. The department must certify the applicant within 45 days of approval by the Legislative Budget Commission. State funds may not be distributed until the department notifies the Department of Revenue that the applicant was approved by the Legislative Budget Commission and certified by the department. An applicant certified under this subsection is subject to the provisions and requirements of this section. An applicant that fails to meet the conditions of this subsection may reapply during future application periods.

(12) REPAYMENT OF DISTRIBUTIONS.—An applicant that is certified under this section may be subject to repayment of distributions upon the occurrence of any of the following:
(a) An applicant’s beneficiary has broken the terms of its agreement with the applicant and relocated from the facility or no longer occupies or uses the facility as the facility’s primary tenant. The beneficiary must reimburse the state for state funds that will be distributed, plus a 5 percent penalty on that amount, if the beneficiary relocates before the agreement expires.

(b) A determination by the department that an applicant has submitted information or made a representation that is determined to be false, misleading, deceptive, or otherwise untrue. The applicant must reimburse the state for state funds that have been and will be distributed, plus a 5 percent penalty on that amount, if such determination is made. If the applicant is a municipality or county, it may reimburse the state from its half-cent sales tax allocation, as provided in s. 218.64(3).

(c) Repayment of distributions must be sent to the Department of Revenue for deposit into the General Revenue Fund.

(13) HALTING OF PAYMENTS.—The applicant may request in writing at least 20 days before the next monthly distribution that the department halt future payments. The department shall immediately notify the Department of Revenue to halt future payments.

(14) RULEMAKING.—The department may adopt rules to implement this section.

History.—s. 4, ch. 2014-167.

288.11631 Retention of Major League Baseball spring training baseball franchises.—
(1) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Agreement” means a certified, signed lease between an applicant that applies for certification on or after July 1, 2013, and a spring training franchise for the use of a facility.

(b) “Applicant” means a unit of local government as defined in s. 218.369, including a local government located in the same county, which has partnered with a certified applicant before the effective date of this section or with an applicant for a new certification, for purposes of sharing in the responsibilities of a facility.

(c) “Certified applicant” means a facility for a spring training franchise or a unit of local government that is certified under this section.

(d) “Facility” means a spring training stadium, playing fields, and appurtenances intended to support spring training activities.

(e) “Local funds” and “local matching funds” mean funds provided by a county, municipality, or other local government.

(2) CERTIFICATION PROCESS.—
(a) Before certifying an applicant to receive state funding for a facility for a spring training franchise, the department must verify that:
1. The applicant is responsible for the construction or renovation of the facility for a spring training franchise or holds title to the property on which the facility for a spring training franchise is located.

2. The applicant has a certified copy of a signed agreement with a spring training franchise. The signed agreement with a spring training franchise for the use of a facility must, at a minimum, be equal to the length of the term of the bonds issued for the public purpose of constructing or renovating a facility for a spring training franchise. If no such bonds are issued for the public purpose of constructing or renovating a facility for a spring training franchise, the signed agreement with a spring training franchise for the use of a facility must be for at least 20 years. Any such agreement with a spring training franchise for the use of a facility cannot be signed more than 4 years before the expiration of any existing agreement with a spring training franchise for the use of a facility. However, any such agreement may be signed at any time before the expiration of any existing agreement with a spring training franchise for use of a facility if the applicant has never received state funding for the facility as a spring training facility under this section or s. 288.11621 and the facility was constructed before January 1, 2000. The agreement must also require the franchise to reimburse the state for state funds expended by an applicant under this section if the franchise relocates before the agreement expires; however, if bonds were issued to construct or renovate a facility for a spring training franchise, the required reimbursement must be equal to the total amount of state distributions expected to be paid from the date the franchise breaks its agreement with the applicant through the final maturity of the bonds. The agreement may be contingent on an award of funds under this section and other conditions precedent.

3. The applicant has made a financial commitment to provide 50 percent or more of the funds required by an agreement for the construction or renovation of the facility for a spring training franchise. The commitment may be contingent upon an award of funds under this section and other conditions precedent.

4. The applicant demonstrates that the facility for a spring training franchise will attract a paid attendance of at least 50,000 persons annually to the spring training games.

5. The facility for a spring training franchise is located in a county that levies a tourist development tax under s. 125.0104.

6. The applicant is not currently certified to receive state funding for the facility as a spring training franchise under this section.

(b) The department shall evaluate applications for state funding of the construction or renovation of the facility for a spring training franchise. The evaluation criteria must include the following items:
1. The anticipated effect on the economy of the local community where the facility is to be constructed or renovated, including projections on paid attendance, local and state tax collections generated by spring training games, and direct and indirect job creation resulting from the spring training activities.

2. The amount of the local matching funds committed to a facility relative to the amount of state funding sought.

3. The potential for the facility to be used as a multiple purpose, year-round facility.

4. The intended use of the funds by the applicant.

5. The length of time that a spring training franchise has been under an agreement to conduct spring training activities within an applicant’s geographic location or jurisdiction.

6. The length of time that an applicant’s facility has been used by one or more spring training franchises, including continuous use as facilities for spring training.

7. The term remaining on a lease between an applicant and a spring training franchise for a facility.

8. The length of time that a spring training franchise agrees to use an applicant’s facility if an application is granted under this section.

9. The location of the facility in a brownfield, an enterprise zone, a community redevelopment area, or other area of targeted development or revitalization included in an urban infill redevelopment plan.

(c) Each applicant certified on or after July 1, 2013, shall enter into an agreement with the department which:
1. Specifies the amount of the state incentive funding to be distributed. The amount of state incentive funding per certified applicant may not exceed $20 million. However, if a certified applicant’s facility is used by more than one spring training franchise, the maximum amount may not exceed $50 million, and the Department of Revenue shall make distributions to the applicant pursuant to s. 212.20(6)(d)6.e.

2. States the criteria that the certified applicant must meet in order to remain certified. These criteria must include a provision stating that the spring training franchise must reimburse the state for any funds received if the franchise does not comply with the terms of the contract. If bonds were issued to construct or renovate a facility for a spring training franchise, the required reimbursement must be equal to the total amount of state distributions expected to be paid from the date the franchise violates the agreement with the applicant through the final maturity of the bonds.

3. States that the certified applicant is subject to decertification if the certified applicant fails to comply with this section or the agreement.

4. States that the department may recover state incentive funds if the certified applicant is decertified.

5. Specifies the information that the certified applicant must report to the department.

6. Includes any provision deemed prudent by the department.

(d) If a certified applicant has been certified under this program for use of its facility by one spring training franchise, the certified applicant may apply to amend its certification for use of its facility by more than one spring training franchise. The certified applicant must submit an application to amend its original certification that meets the requirements of this section. The maximum amount of state incentive funding to be distributed may not exceed $50 million as provided in subparagraph (c)1. for a certified applicant with a facility used by more than one spring training franchise, including any distributions previously received by the certified applicant under its original certification under this section. Upon approval of an amended certification, the department shall notify the Department of Revenue as provided in this section.

(3) USE OF FUNDS.—
(a) A certified applicant may use funds provided under s. 212.20(6)(d)6.e. only to:
1. Serve the public purpose of constructing or renovating a facility for a spring training franchise.

2. Pay or pledge for the payment of debt service on, or to fund debt service reserve funds, arbitrage rebate obligations, or other amounts payable with respect thereto, bonds issued for the construction or renovation of such facility, or for the reimbursement of such costs or the refinancing of bonds issued for such purposes.

(b) State funds awarded to a certified applicant for a facility for a spring training franchise may not be used to subsidize facilities that are privately owned by, maintained by, and used exclusively by a spring training franchise.

(c) The Department of Revenue may not distribute funds under s. 212.20(6)(d)6.e. until July 1, 2016. Further, the Department of Revenue may not distribute funds to an applicant certified on or after July 1, 2013, until it receives notice from the department that:
1. The certified applicant has encumbered funds under either subparagraph (a)1. or subparagraph (a)2.; and

2. If applicable, any existing agreement with a spring training franchise for the use of a facility has expired.

(d)1. All certified applicants shall place unexpended state funds received pursuant to s. 212.20(6)(d)6.e. in a trust fund or separate account for use only as authorized in this section.

2. A certified applicant may request that the department notify the Department of Revenue to suspend further distributions of state funds made available under s. 212.20(6)(d)6.e. for 12 months after expiration of an existing agreement with a spring training franchise to provide the certified applicant with an opportunity to enter into a new agreement with a spring training franchise, at which time the distributions shall resume.

3. The expenditure of state funds distributed to an applicant certified after July 1, 2013, must begin within 48 months after the initial receipt of the state funds. In addition, the construction or renovation of a spring training facility must be completed within 24 months after the project’s commencement.

(4) ANNUAL REPORTS.—
(a) On or before September 1 of each year, a certified applicant shall submit to the department a report that includes, but is not limited to:
1. A detailed accounting of all local and state funds expended to date on the project financed under this section.

2. A copy of the contract between the certified local governmental entity and the spring training franchise.

3. A cost-benefit analysis of the team’s impact on the community.

4. Evidence that the certified applicant continues to meet the criteria in effect when the applicant was certified.

(b) The department shall compile the information received from each certified applicant and publish the information annually by November 1.

(5) DECERTIFICATION.—
(a) The department shall decertify a certified applicant upon the request of the certified applicant.

(b) The department shall decertify a certified applicant if the certified applicant does not:
1. Have a valid agreement with a spring training franchise; or

2. Satisfy its commitment to provide local matching funds to the facility.

However, decertification proceedings against a local government certified after July 1, 2013, shall be delayed until 12 months after the expiration of the local government’s existing agreement with a spring training franchise, and without a new agreement being signed, if the certified local government can demonstrate to the department that it is in active negotiations with a major league spring training franchise, other than the franchise that was the basis for the original certification.

(c) A certified applicant has 60 days after it receives a notice of intent to decertify from the department to petition for review of the decertification. Within 45 days after receipt of the request for review, the department must notify a certified applicant of the outcome of the review.

(d) The department shall notify the Department of Revenue that a certified applicant has been decertified within 10 days after the order of decertification becomes final. The Department of Revenue shall immediately stop the payment of any funds under this section which were not encumbered by the certified applicant under subparagraph (3)(a)2.

(e) The department shall order a decertified applicant to repay all of the unencumbered state funds that the applicant received under this section and any interest that accrued on those funds. The repayment must be made within 60 days after the decertification order becomes final. These funds shall be deposited into the General Revenue Fund.

(f) A local government as defined in s. 218.369 may not be decertified by the department if it has paid or pledged for the payment of debt service on, or to fund debt service reserve funds, arbitrage rebate obligations, or other amounts payable with respect thereto, bonds issued for the construction or renovation of the facility for which the local government was certified, or for the reimbursement of such costs or the refinancing of bonds issued for the construction or renovation of the facility for which the local government was certified, or for the reimbursement of such costs or the refinancing of bonds issued for such purpose. This subsection does not preclude or restrict the ability of a certified local government to refinance, refund, or defease such bonds.

(6) RULEMAKING.—The department shall adopt rules to implement the certification, decertification, and decertification review processes required by this section.

(7) AUDITS.—The Auditor General may conduct audits as provided in s. 11.45 to verify that the distributions under this section are expended as required in this section. If the Auditor General determines that the distributions under this section are not expended as required by this section, the Auditor General shall notify the Department of Revenue, which may pursue recovery of the funds under the laws and rules governing the assessment of taxes.

History.—s. 24, ch. 2013-42; s. 5, ch. 2014-167.

288.1166 Professional sports facility; designation as shelter site for the homeless; establishment of local programs.—
(1) A professional sports facility constructed with financial assistance from the state shall be designated as a shelter site for the homeless during the period of a declared federal, state, or local emergency in accordance with the criteria of locally existing homeless shelter programs unless:
(a) The facility is otherwise contractually obligated for a specific event or activity;

(b) The facility is designated or used by the county owning the facility as a staging area; or

(c) The county owning the facility also owns or operates homeless assistance centers and the county determines there exists sufficient capacity to meet the sheltering needs of homeless persons within the county.

(2) If a local program does not exist in the facility’s area, such program shall be established in accordance with normally accepted criteria as defined by the county or its designee.

History.—s. 8, ch. 88-226; s. 6, ch. 2014-167.

288.1167 Sports franchise contract provisions for food and beverage concession and contract awards to minority business enterprises.—Any applicant who receives funding pursuant to the provisions of s. 212.20 must demonstrate that:
(1) Funds and facilities with respect to food and beverage and related concessions shall be awarded to minority business enterprises as defined in s. 288.703 on the same terms and conditions as the general food and beverage concessionaire and in accordance with the minority business enterprise procurement goals set forth in s. 287.09451;

(2) At least 15 percent of a company contracted to manage a professional sports franchise facility or a spring training franchise facility is owned by minority business enterprises or by a minority person as those terms are defined in s. 288.703; or

(3) At least 15 percent of all operational service contracts with a professional sports franchise facility or a spring training franchise facility are awarded to minority business enterprises or to a minority person as those terms are defined in s. 288.703.

History.—s. 10, ch. 88-226; s. 13, ch. 91-162; s. 4, ch. 91-274; s. 20, ch. 94-322; s. 61, ch. 2001-61.

288.1168 Professional golf hall of fame facility.—
(1) The department shall serve as the state agency for screening applicants for state funding pursuant to s. 212.20 and for certifying one applicant as the professional golf hall of fame facility in the state.

(2) Before certifying the professional golf hall of fame facility, the department must determine that:
(a) The professional golf hall of fame facility is the only professional golf hall of fame in the United States recognized by the PGA Tour, Inc.

(b) The applicant is a unit of local government as defined in s. 218.369 or a private sector group that has contracted to construct or operate the professional golf hall of fame facility on land owned by a unit of local government.

(c) The municipality in which the professional golf hall of fame facility is located, or the county if the facility is located in an unincorporated area, has certified by resolution after a public hearing that the application serves a public purpose.

(d) There are existing projections that the professional golf hall of fame facility will attract a paid attendance of more than 300,000 annually.

(e) There is an independent analysis or study, using methodology approved by the department, which demonstrates that the amount of the revenues generated by the taxes imposed under chapter 212 with respect to the use and operation of the professional golf hall of fame facility will equal or exceed $2 million annually.

(f) The applicant has submitted an agreement to provide $2 million annually in national and international media promotion of the professional golf hall of fame facility, Florida, and Florida tourism, through the PGA Tour, Inc., or its affiliates, at the then-current commercial rate, during the period of time that the facility receives funds pursuant to s. 212.20. The department and the PGA Tour, Inc., or its affiliates, must agree annually on a reasonable percentage of advertising specifically allocated for generic Florida advertising. The department shall have final approval of all generic advertising. Failure on the part of the PGA Tour, Inc., or its affiliates to annually provide the advertising as provided in this paragraph or subsection (6) shall result in the termination of funding as provided in s. 212.20.

(g) Documentation exists that demonstrates that the applicant has provided, is capable of providing, or has financial or other commitments to provide more than one-half of the costs incurred or related to the improvement and development of the facility.

(h) The application is signed by an official senior executive of the applicant and is notarized according to Florida law providing for penalties for falsification.

(3) The applicant may use funds provided pursuant to s. 212.20 for the public purpose of paying for the construction, reconstruction, renovation, or operation of the professional golf hall of fame facility, or to pay or pledge for payment of debt service on, or to fund debt service reserve funds, arbitrage rebate obligations, or other amounts payable with respect to, bonds issued for the construction, reconstruction, or renovation of the facility or for the reimbursement of such costs or the refinancing of bonds issued for such purpose.

(4) Upon determining that an applicant is or is not certifiable, the department shall notify the applicant of his or her status by means of an official letter. If certifiable, the department shall notify the executive director of the Department of Revenue and the applicant of such certification by means of an official letter granting certification. From the date of such certification, the applicant shall have 5 years to open the professional golf hall of fame facility to the public and notify the department of such opening. The Department of Revenue shall not begin distributing funds until 30 days following notice by the department that the professional golf hall of fame facility is open to the public.

(5) The Department of Revenue may audit as provided in s. 213.34 to verify that the distributions under this section have been expended as required by this section.

(6) The department must recertify every 10 years that the facility is open, continues to be the only professional golf hall of fame in the United States recognized by the PGA Tour, Inc., and is meeting the minimum projections for attendance or sales tax revenue as required at the time of original certification. If the facility is not certified as meeting the minimum projections, the PGA Tour, Inc., shall increase its required advertising contribution of $2 million annually to $2.5 million annually in lieu of reduction of any funds as provided by s. 212.20. The additional $500,000 must be allocated in its entirety for the use and promotion of generic Florida advertising as determined by the department. If the facility is not open to the public or is no longer in use as the only professional golf hall of fame in the United States recognized by the PGA Tour, Inc., the entire $2.5 million for advertising must be used for generic Florida advertising as determined by the department.

History.—s. 2, ch. 93-233; s. 221, ch. 95-148; s. 34, ch. 95-196; s. 5, ch. 95-420; s. 4, ch. 96-221; s. 46, ch. 96-320; s. 137, ch. 96-406; s. 33, ch. 97-99; s. 160, ch. 2011-142; s. 15, ch. 2011-213; s. 42, ch. 2012-96.

288.1169 International Game Fish Association World Center facility.—
(1) The department shall serve as the state agency approving applicants for funding pursuant to s. 212.20 and for certifying the applicant as the International Game Fish Association World Center facility. For purposes of this section, “facility” means the International Game Fish Association World Center, and “project” means the International Game Fish Association World Center and new colocated improvements by private sector concerns who have made cash or in-kind contributions to the facility of $1 million or more.

(2) Prior to certifying this facility, the department must determine that:
(a) The International Game Fish Association World Center is the only fishing museum, Hall of Fame, and international administrative headquarters in the United States recognized by the International Game Fish Association, and that one or more private sector concerns have committed to donate to the International Game Fish Association land upon which the International Game Fish Association World Center will operate.

(b) International Game Fish Association is a not-for-profit Florida corporation that has contracted to construct and operate the facility.

(c) The municipality in which the facility is located, or the county if the facility is located in an unincorporated area, has certified by resolution after a public hearing that the facility serves a public purpose.

(d) There are existing projections that the International Game Fish Association World Center facility and the colocated facilities of private sector concerns will attract an attendance of more than 1.8 million annually.

(e) There is an independent analysis or study, using methodology approved by the department, which demonstrates that the amount of the revenues generated by the taxes imposed under chapter 212 with respect to the use and operation of the project will exceed $1 million annually.

(f) There are existing projections that the project will attract more than 300,000 persons annually who are not residents of the state.

(g) The applicant has submitted an agreement to provide $500,000 annually in national and international media promotion of the facility, at the then-current commercial rates, during the period of time that the facility receives funds pursuant to s. 212.20. Failure on the part of the applicant to annually provide the advertising as provided in this paragraph shall result in the termination of the funding as provided in s. 212.20. The applicant can discharge its obligation under this paragraph by contracting with other persons, including private sector concerns who participate in the project.

(h) Documentation exists that demonstrates that the applicant has provided, and is capable of providing, or has financial or other commitments to provide, more than one-half of the cost incurred or related to the improvements and the development of the facility.

(i) The application is signed by senior officials of the International Game Fish Association and is notarized according to Florida law providing for penalties for falsification.

(3) The applicant may use funds provided pursuant to s. 212.20 for the purpose of paying for the construction, reconstruction, renovation, promotion, or operation of the facility, or to pay or pledge for payment of debt service on, or to fund debt service reserve funds, arbitrage rebate obligations, or other amounts payable with respect to, bonds issued for the construction, reconstruction, or renovation of the facility or for the reimbursement of such costs or by refinancing of bonds issued for such purposes.

(4) Upon determining that an applicant is or is not certifiable, the department shall notify the applicant of its status by means of an official letter. If certifiable, the department shall notify the executive director of the Department of Revenue and the applicant of such certification by means of an official letter granting certification. From the date of such certification, the applicant shall have 5 years to open the facility to the public and notify the department of such opening. The Department of Revenue shall not begin distributing funds until 30 days following notice by the department that the facility is open to the public.

(5) The Department of Revenue may audit as provided in s. 213.34 to verify that the contributions pursuant to this section have been expended as required by this section.

(6) The department must recertify every 10 years that the facility is open, that the International Game Fish Association World Center continues to be the only international administrative headquarters, fishing museum, and Hall of Fame in the United States recognized by the International Game Fish Association, and that the project is meeting the minimum projections for attendance or sales tax revenues as required at the time of original certification. If the facility is not recertified during this 10-year review as meeting the minimum projections, then funding shall be abated until certification criteria are met. If the project fails to generate $1 million of annual revenues pursuant to paragraph (2)(e), the distribution of revenues pursuant to s. 212.20(6)(d)6.d. shall be reduced to an amount equal to $83,333 multiplied by a fraction, the numerator of which is the actual revenues generated and the denominator of which is $1 million. Such reduction remains in effect until revenues generated by the project in a 12-month period equal or exceed $1 million.

History.—s. 2, ch. 96-415; s. 66, ch. 99-13; s. 12, ch. 2000-173; s. 4, ch. 2000-206; s. 30, ch. 2000-355; s. 62, ch. 2001-61; s. 32, ch. 2001-140; s. 9, ch. 2009-68; s. 53, ch. 2010-5; s. 161, ch. 2011-142; s. 17, ch. 2011-213.

288.1171 Motorsports entertainment complex; definitions; certification; duties.—
(1) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Applicant” means the owner of a motorsports entertainment complex.

(b) “Motorsports entertainment complex” means a closed-course racing facility.

(c) “Motorsports event” means a motorsports race that has been sanctioned by a sanctioning body.

(d) “Owner” means a unit of local government which owns a motorsports entertainment complex or owns the land on which the motorsports entertainment complex is located.

(e) “Sanctioning body” means the American Motorcycle Association (AMA), Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART), Grand American Road Racing Association (Grand Am), Indy Racing League (IRL), National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR), National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), Professional Sportscar Racing (PSR), Sports Car Club of America (SCCA), United States Auto Club (USAC), or any successor organization, or any other nationally recognized governing body of motorsports which establishes an annual schedule of motorsports events and grants rights to conduct such events, has established and administers rules and regulations governing all participants involved in such events and all persons conducting such events, and requires certain liability assurances, including insurance.

(f) “Unit of local government” has the meaning ascribed in s. 218.369.

(2) The department shall serve as the state agency for screening applicants for local option funding under s. 218.64(3) and for certifying an applicant as a motorsports entertainment complex. The department shall develop and adopt rules for the receipt and processing of applications for funding under s. 218.64(3). The department shall make a determination regarding any application filed by an applicant not later than 120 days after the application is filed.

(3) Before certifying an applicant as a motorsports entertainment complex, the department must determine that:
(a) A unit of local government holds title to the land on which the motorsports entertainment complex is located or holds title to the motorsports entertainment complex.

(b) The municipality in which the motorsports entertainment complex is located, or the county if the motorsports entertainment complex is located in an unincorporated area, has certified by resolution after a public hearing that the application serves a public purpose.

(4) Upon determining that an applicant meets the requirements of subsection (3), the department shall notify the applicant and the executive director of the Department of Revenue of such certification by means of an official letter granting certification. If the applicant fails to meet the certification requirements of subsection (3), the department shall notify the applicant not later than 10 days following such determination.

(5) A motorsports entertainment complex that has been previously certified under this section and has received funding under such certification is ineligible for any additional certification.

(6) An applicant certified as a motorsports entertainment complex may use funds provided pursuant to s. 218.64(3) only for the following public purposes:
(a) Paying for the construction, reconstruction, expansion, or renovation of a motorsports entertainment complex.

(b) Paying debt service reserve funds, arbitrage rebate obligations, or other amounts payable with respect to bonds issued for the construction, reconstruction, expansion, or renovation of the motorsports entertainment complex or for the reimbursement of such costs or the refinancing of bonds issued for such purposes.

(c) Paying for construction, reconstruction, expansion, or renovation of transportation or other infrastructure improvements related to, necessary for, or appurtenant to the motorsports entertainment complex, including, without limitation, paying debt service reserve funds, arbitrage rebate obligations, or other amounts payable with respect to bonds issued for the construction, reconstruction, expansion, or renovation of such transportation or other infrastructure improvements, and for the reimbursement of such costs or the refinancing of bonds issued for such purposes.

(d) Paying for programs of advertising and promotion of or related to the motorsports entertainment complex or the municipality in which the motorsports entertainment complex is located, or the county if the motorsports entertainment complex is located in an unincorporated area, if such programs of advertising and promotion are designed to increase paid attendance at the motorsports entertainment complex or increase tourism in or promote the economic development of the community in which the motorsports entertainment complex is located.

(7) The Department of Revenue may audit, as provided in s. 213.34, to verify that the distributions pursuant to this section have been expended as required in this section. Such information is subject to the confidentiality requirements of chapter 213. If the Department of Revenue determines that the distributions pursuant to certification under this section have not been expended as required by this section, it may pursue recovery of such funds pursuant to the laws and rules governing the assessment of taxes.

History.—s. 5, ch. 2006-262; s. 162, ch. 2011-142; s. 43, ch. 2012-96.

288.1175 Agriculture education and promotion facility.—
(1) The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall serve as the state agency for screening applicants for state funding pursuant to this section and for certifying an applicant as a qualified agriculture education and promotion facility as defined in subsection (3).

(2) The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 for the receipt and processing of applications for funding of projects pursuant to this section.

(3) As used in this section, the term “agriculture education and promotion facility” means an exhibition hall, arena, civic center, exposition center, or other capital project or facility which can be used for exhibitions, demonstrations, trade shows, classrooms, civic events, and other purposes that promote agriculture, horticulture, livestock, equestrian, and other resources of the state and educate the residents as to these resources.

(4) The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall certify a facility as an agriculture education and promotion facility if the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services determines that:
(a) The applicant is a unit of local government as defined in s. 218.369, or a fair association as defined in s. 616.001(11), which is responsible for the planning, design, permitting, construction, renovation, management, and operation of the agriculture education and promotion facility or holds title to the property on which such facility is to be developed and located.

(b) The applicant has projections, verified by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which demonstrate that the agriculture education and promotion facility will serve more than 25,000 visitors annually.

(c) The municipality in which the facility is located, or the county if the facility is located in an unincorporated area, has certified by resolution after a public hearing that the proposed agriculture education and promotion facility serves a public purpose.

(d) The applicant has demonstrated that it has provided, is capable of providing, or has financial or other commitments to provide more than 40 percent of the costs incurred or related to the planning, design, permitting, construction, or renovation of the facility. The applicant may include the value of the land and any improvements thereon in determining its contribution to the development of the facility.

(5) The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall competitively evaluate applications for funding of an agriculture education and promotion facility. If the number of applicants exceeds three, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall rank the applications based upon criteria developed by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, with priority given in descending order to the following items:
(a) The intended use of the funds by the applicant, with priority given to the construction of a new facility.

(b) The amount of local match, with priority given to the largest percentage of local match proposed.

(c) The location of the facility in a brownfield site as defined in s. 376.79(3), a rural enterprise zone as defined in s. 290.004, an agriculturally depressed area as defined in s. 570.74, or a county that has lost its agricultural land to environmental restoration projects.

(d) The net increase, as a result of the facility, of total available exhibition, arena, or civic center space within the jurisdictional limits of the local government in which the facility is to be located, with priority given to the largest percentage increase of total exhibition, arena, or civic center space.

(e) The historic record of the applicant in promoting agriculture and educating the public about agriculture, including, without limitation, awards, premiums, scholarships, auctions, and other such activities.

(f) The highest projection on paid attendance attracted by the agriculture education and promotion facility and the proposed economic impact on the local community.

(g) The location of the facility with respect to an Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) facility, with priority given to facilities closer in proximity to an IFAS facility.

(6) Funds may not be expended to develop or subsidize privately owned facilities, except for facilities owned by fair associations as defined in s. 616.001(11).

(7) An applicant may use funds provided pursuant to this section only for the public purpose of paying for the planning, design, permitting, construction, or renovation of an agriculture education and promotion facility or to pay or pledge for the payment of debt service on, or to fund debt service reserve funds, arbitrage rebate obligations, or other amounts payable with respect to, bonds issued for the planning, design, permitting, construction, or renovation of such facility or for the reimbursement of such costs or the refinancing of bonds issued for such purposes.

(8) Applications must be submitted by October 1 of each year. The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services may not recommend funding for less than the requested amount to any applicant certified as an agriculture education and promotion facility; however, funding of certified applicants shall be subject to the amount provided by the Legislature in the General Appropriations Act for this program.

History.—s. 1, ch. 2002-301; s. 27, ch. 2005-287; s. 163, ch. 2011-142; s. 21, ch. 2012-204; s. 5, ch. 2014-150.

288.1201 State Economic Enhancement and Development Trust Fund.—
(1) There is created within the Department of Economic Opportunity the State Economic Enhancement and Development Trust Fund. Moneys deposited in the trust fund shall be used for infrastructure and job creation opportunities and for the following purposes or programs:
(a) Transportation facilities that meet a strategic and essential state interest with respect to the economic development of the state;

(b) Affordable housing programs and projects in accordance with chapter 420;

(c) Economic development incentives for job creation and capital investment;

(d) Workforce training associated with locating a new business or expanding an existing business; and

(e) Tourism promotion and marketing services, functions, and programs.

(2) The trust fund is established for use as a depository for funds to be used for the purposes specified in subsection (1). Moneys to be credited to the trust fund shall consist of documentary stamp tax proceeds as specified in law, local financial support funds, interest earnings, and cash advances from other trust funds. Funds shall be expended only pursuant to legislative appropriation or an approved amendment to the department’s operating budget pursuant to the provisions of chapter 216.

(3) Notwithstanding s. 216.301 and pursuant to s. 216.351, any balance in the trust fund at the end of any fiscal year shall remain in the trust fund at the end of the year and shall be available for carrying out the purposes of the trust fund.

History.—s. 1, ch. 2011-138; s. 2, ch. 2014-46.

288.122 Tourism Promotional Trust Fund.—There is created within the department the Tourism Promotional Trust Fund. Moneys deposited in the Tourism Promotional Trust Fund shall only be used to support the authorized activities and operations and the tourism promotion and marketing activities, services, functions, and programs administered by Enterprise Florida, Inc., through a contract with the direct-support organization created under s. 288.1226.
History.—s. 1, ch. 80-234; s. 12, ch. 88-201; s. 8, ch. 91-218; s. 23, ch. 95-430; s. 48, ch. 96-320; s. 164, ch. 2011-142.

Note.—Former s. 288.342.

288.1226 Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation; use of property; board of directors; duties; audit.—
(1) DEFINITIONS.—For the purposes of this section, the term “corporation” means the Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation.

(2) ESTABLISHMENT.—The Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation is a direct-support organization of Enterprise Florida, Inc.
(a) The Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation is a corporation not for profit, as defined in s. 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, that is incorporated under the provisions of chapter 617 and approved by the Department of State.

(b) The corporation is organized and operated exclusively to request, receive, hold, invest, and administer property and to manage and make expenditures for the operation of the activities, services, functions, and programs of this state which relate to the statewide, national, and international promotion and marketing of tourism.

(c) The corporation is not an agency for the purposes of chapters 120, 216, and 287; ss. 255.21, 255.25, and 255.254, relating to leasing of buildings; ss. 283.33 and 283.35, relating to bids for printing; s. 215.31; and parts I, II, and IV-VIII of chapter 112.

(d) The corporation is subject to the provisions of chapter 119, relating to public meetings, and those provisions of chapter 286 relating to public meetings and records.

(3) USE OF PROPERTY.—Enterprise Florida, Inc.:
(a) Is authorized to permit the use of property and facilities of Enterprise Florida, Inc., by the corporation, subject to the provisions of this section.

(b) Shall prescribe conditions with which the corporation must comply in order to use property and facilities of Enterprise Florida, Inc. Such conditions shall provide for budget and audit review and for oversight by Enterprise Florida, Inc.

(c) May not permit the use of property and facilities of Enterprise Florida, Inc., if the corporation does not provide equal employment opportunities to all persons, regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or religion.

(4) BOARD OF DIRECTORS.—The board of directors of the corporation shall be composed of 31 tourism-industry-related members, appointed by Enterprise Florida, Inc., in conjunction with the department.
(a) The board shall consist of 16 members, appointed in such a manner as to equitably represent all geographic areas of the state, with no fewer than two members from any of the following regions:
1. Region 1, composed of Bay, Calhoun, Escambia, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Wakulla, Walton, and Washington Counties.

2. Region 2, composed of Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Clay, Columbia, Dixie, Duval, Flagler, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Lafayette, Levy, Madison, Marion, Nassau, Putnam, St. Johns, Suwannee, Taylor, and Union Counties.

3. Region 3, composed of Brevard, Indian River, Lake, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, St. Lucie, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia Counties.

4. Region 4, composed of Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, and Sarasota Counties.

5. Region 5, composed of Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, and Lee Counties.

6. Region 6, composed of Broward, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, and Palm Beach Counties.

(b) The 15 additional tourism-industry-related members shall include 1 representative from the statewide rental car industry; 7 representatives from tourist-related statewide associations, including those that represent hotels, campgrounds, county destination marketing organizations, museums, restaurants, retail, and attractions; 3 representatives from county destination marketing organizations; 1 representative from the cruise industry; 1 representative from an automobile and travel services membership organization that has at least 2.8 million members in Florida; 1 representative from the airline industry; and 1 representative from the space tourism industry, who will each serve for a term of 2 years.

(5) POWERS AND DUTIES.—The corporation, in the performance of its duties:
(a) May make and enter into contracts and assume such other functions as are necessary to carry out the provisions of the 4-year marketing plan required by s. 288.923, and the corporation’s contract with Enterprise Florida, Inc., which are not inconsistent with this or any other provision of law.

(b) May develop a program to provide incentives and to attract and recognize those entities which make significant financial and promotional contributions towards the expanded tourism promotion activities of the corporation.

(c) May establish a cooperative marketing program with other public and private entities which allows the use of the VISIT Florida logo in tourism promotion campaigns which meet the standards of Enterprise Florida, Inc., for which the corporation may charge a reasonable fee.

(d) May sue and be sued and appear and defend in all actions and proceedings in its corporate name to the same extent as a natural person.

(e) May adopt, use, and alter a common corporate seal. However, such seal must always contain the words “corporation not for profit.”

(f) Shall elect or appoint such officers and agents as its affairs shall require and allow them reasonable compensation.

(g) Shall hire and establish salaries and personnel and employee benefit programs for such permanent and temporary employees as are necessary to carry out the provisions of the 4-year marketing plan and the corporation’s contract with Enterprise Florida, Inc., which are not inconsistent with this or any other provision of law.

(h) Shall provide staff support to the Division of Tourism Promotion of Enterprise Florida, Inc. The president and chief executive officer of the Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation shall serve without compensation as the director of the division.

(i) May adopt, change, amend, and repeal bylaws, not inconsistent with law or its articles of incorporation, for the administration of the provisions of the 4-year marketing plan and the corporation’s contract with Enterprise Florida, Inc.

(j) May conduct its affairs, carry on its operations, and have offices and exercise the powers granted by this act in any state, territory, district, or possession of the United States or any foreign country. Where feasible, appropriate, and recommended by the 4-year marketing plan developed by the Division of Tourism Promotion of Enterprise Florida, Inc., the corporation may collocate the programs of foreign tourism offices in cooperation with any foreign office operated by any agency of this state.

(k) May appear on its own behalf before boards, commissions, departments, or other agencies of municipal, county, state, or federal government.

(l) May request or accept any grant, payment, or gift, of funds or property made by this state or by the United States or any department or agency thereof or by any individual, firm, corporation, municipality, county, or organization for any or all of the purposes of the 4-year marketing plan and the corporation’s contract with Enterprise Florida, Inc., that are not inconsistent with this or any other provision of law. Such funds shall be deposited in a bank account established by the corporation’s board of directors. The corporation may expend such funds in accordance with the terms and conditions of any such grant, payment, or gift, in the pursuit of its administration or in support of the programs it administers. The corporation shall separately account for the public funds and the private funds deposited into the corporation’s bank account.

(m) Shall establish a plan for participation in the corporation which will provide additional funding for the administration and duties of the corporation.

(n) In the performance of its duties, may undertake, or contract for, marketing projects and advertising research projects.

(o) In addition to any indemnification available under chapter 617, the corporation may indemnify, and purchase and maintain insurance on behalf of, directors, officers, and employees of the corporation against any personal liability or accountability by reason of actions taken while acting within the scope of their authority.

(6) ANNUAL AUDIT.—The corporation shall provide for an annual financial audit in accordance with s. 215.981. The annual audit report shall be submitted to the Auditor General; the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability; Enterprise Florida, Inc.; and the department for review. The Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability; Enterprise Florida, Inc.; the department; and the Auditor General have the authority to require and receive from the corporation or from its independent auditor any detail or supplemental data relative to the operation of the corporation. The department shall annually certify whether the corporation is operating in a manner and achieving the objectives that are consistent with the policies and goals of Enterprise Florida, Inc., and its long-range marketing plan. The identity of a donor or prospective donor to the corporation who desires to remain anonymous and all information identifying such donor or prospective donor are confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. Such anonymity shall be maintained in the auditor’s report.

(7) REPORT.—The corporation shall provide a quarterly report to Enterprise Florida, Inc., which shall:
(a) Measure the current vitality of the visitor industry of this state as compared to the vitality of such industry for the year to date and for comparable quarters of past years. Indicators of vitality shall be determined by Enterprise Florida, Inc., and shall include, but not be limited to, estimated visitor count and party size, length of stay, average expenditure per party, and visitor origin and destination.

(b) Provide detailed, unaudited financial statements of sources and uses of public and private funds.

(c) Measure progress towards annual goals and objectives set forth in the 4-year marketing plan.

(d) Review all pertinent research findings.

(e) Provide other measures of accountability as requested by Enterprise Florida, Inc.

(8) PUBLIC RECORDS EXEMPTION.—The identity of any person who responds to a marketing project or advertising research project conducted by the corporation in the performance of its duties on behalf of Enterprise Florida, Inc., or trade secrets as defined by s. 812.081 obtained pursuant to such activities, are exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.

(9) REPEAL.—This section is repealed October 1, 2019, unless reviewed and saved from repeal by the Legislature.

History.—s. 7, ch. 92-299; s. 6, ch. 94-136; s. 877, ch. 95-148; s. 1, ch. 95-369; s. 1, ch. 96-297; s. 53, ch. 96-320; s. 140, ch. 96-406; s. 41, ch. 97-100; s. 18, ch. 99-251; s. 1, ch. 2001-69; s. 91, ch. 2001-266; s. 2, ch. 2004-274; s. 32, ch. 2011-142; s. 32, ch. 2012-5; s. 13, ch. 2014-96.

288.12265 Welcome centers.—
(1) Responsibility for the welcome centers is assigned to Enterprise Florida, Inc., which shall contract with the Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation to employ all welcome center staff.

(2) Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall administer and operate the welcome centers. Pursuant to a contract with the Department of Transportation, Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall be responsible for routine repair, replacement, or improvement and the day-to-day management of interior areas occupied by the welcome centers. All other repairs, replacements, or improvements to the welcome centers shall be the responsibility of the Department of Transportation. Enterprise Florida, Inc., may contract with the Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation for the management and operation of the welcome centers.

History.—s. 4, ch. 96-320; s. 19, ch. 99-251; s. 27, ch. 2005-2; s. 165, ch. 2011-142; s. 82, ch. 2012-96.

Note.—Former s. 335.166.

288.124 Convention grants program.—Enterprise Florida, Inc., is authorized to establish a convention grants program and, pursuant to that program, to recommend to the department expenditures and contracts with local governments and nonprofit corporations or organizations for the purpose of attracting national conferences and conventions to Florida. Preference shall be given to local governments and nonprofit corporations or organizations seeking to attract minority conventions to Florida. Minority conventions are events that primarily involve minority persons, as defined in s. 288.703, who are residents or nonresidents of the state. Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall establish guidelines governing the award of grants and the administration of this program. The department has final approval authority for any grants under this section. The total annual allocation of funds for this program shall not exceed $40,000.
History.—s. 5, ch. 91-218; s. 57, ch. 96-320; s. 166, ch. 2011-142.

288.125 Definition of “entertainment industry.”—For the purposes of ss. 288.1251-288.1258, the term “entertainment industry” means those persons or entities engaged in the operation of motion picture or television studios or recording studios; those persons or entities engaged in the preproduction, production, or postproduction of motion pictures, made-for-television movies, television programming, digital media projects, commercial advertising, music videos, or sound recordings; and those persons or entities providing products or services directly related to the preproduction, production, or postproduction of motion pictures, made-for-television movies, television programming, digital media projects, commercial advertising, music videos, or sound recordings, including, but not limited to, the broadcast industry.
History.—s. 2, ch. 99-251; s. 38, ch. 2000-152; s. 1, ch. 2003-81; s. 1, ch. 2005-233; s. 24, ch. 2010-147.

288.1251 Promotion and development of entertainment industry; Office of Film and Entertainment; creation; purpose; powers and duties.—
(1) CREATION.—
(a) There is hereby created within the department the Office of Film and Entertainment for the purpose of developing, marketing, promoting, and providing services to the state’s entertainment industry.

(b) The department shall conduct a national search for a qualified person to fill the position of Commissioner of Film and Entertainment when the position is vacant. The executive director of the department has the responsibility to hire the film commissioner. Qualifications for the film commissioner include, but are not limited to, the following:
1. A working knowledge of the equipment, personnel, financial, and day-to-day production operations of the industries to be served by the Office of Film and Entertainment;

2. Marketing and promotion experience related to the film and entertainment industries to be served;

3. Experience working with a variety of individuals representing large and small entertainment-related businesses, industry associations, local community entertainment industry liaisons, and labor organizations; and

4. Experience working with a variety of state and local governmental agencies.

(2) POWERS AND DUTIES.—
(a) The Office of Film and Entertainment, in performance of its duties, shall:
1. In consultation with the Florida Film and Entertainment Advisory Council, update the strategic plan every 5 years to guide the activities of the Office of Film and Entertainment in the areas of entertainment industry development, marketing, promotion, liaison services, field office administration, and information. The plan shall:
a. Be annual in construction and ongoing in nature.

b. Include recommendations relating to the organizational structure of the office.

c. Include an annual budget projection for the office for each year of the plan.

d. Include an operational model for the office to use in implementing programs for rural and urban areas designed to:
(I) Develop and promote the state’s entertainment industry.

(II) Have the office serve as a liaison between the entertainment industry and other state and local governmental agencies, local film commissions, and labor organizations.

(III) Gather statistical information related to the state’s entertainment industry.

(IV) Provide information and service to businesses, communities, organizations, and individuals engaged in entertainment industry activities.

(V) Administer field offices outside the state and coordinate with regional offices maintained by counties and regions of the state, as described in sub-sub-subparagraph (II), as necessary.

e. Include performance standards and measurable outcomes for the programs to be implemented by the office.

f. Include an assessment of, and make recommendations on, the feasibility of creating an alternative public-private partnership for the purpose of contracting with such a partnership for the administration of the state’s entertainment industry promotion, development, marketing, and service programs.

2. Develop, market, and facilitate a working relationship between state agencies and local governments in cooperation with local film commission offices for out-of-state and indigenous entertainment industry production entities.

3. Implement a structured methodology prescribed for coordinating activities of local offices with each other and the commissioner’s office.

4. Represent the state’s indigenous entertainment industry to key decisionmakers within the national and international entertainment industry, and to state and local officials.

5. Prepare an inventory and analysis of the state’s entertainment industry, including, but not limited to, information on crew, related businesses, support services, job creation, talent, and economic impact and coordinate with local offices to develop an information tool for common use.

6. Identify, solicit, and recruit entertainment production opportunities for the state.

7. Assist rural communities and other small communities in the state in developing the expertise and capacity necessary for such communities to develop, market, promote, and provide services to the state’s entertainment industry.

(b) The Office of Film and Entertainment, in the performance of its duties, may:
1. Conduct or contract for specific promotion and marketing functions, including, but not limited to, production of a statewide directory, production and maintenance of an Internet website, establishment and maintenance of a toll-free number, organization of trade show participation, and appropriate cooperative marketing opportunities.

2. Conduct its affairs, carry on its operations, establish offices, and exercise the powers granted by this act in any state, territory, district, or possession of the United States.

3. Carry out any program of information, special events, or publicity designed to attract entertainment industry to Florida.

4. Develop relationships and leverage resources with other public and private organizations or groups in their efforts to publicize to the entertainment industry in this state, other states, and other countries the depth of Florida’s entertainment industry talent, crew, production companies, production equipment resources, related businesses, and support services, including the establishment of and expenditure for a program of cooperative advertising with these public and private organizations and groups in accordance with the provisions of chapter 120.

5. Provide and arrange for reasonable and necessary promotional items and services for such persons as the office deems proper in connection with the performance of the promotional and other duties of the office.

6. Prepare an annual economic impact analysis on entertainment industry-related activities in the state.

7. Request or accept any grant, payment, or gift of funds or property made by this state, the United States, or any department or agency thereof, or by any individual, firm, corporation, municipality, county, or organization, for any or all of the purposes of the Office of Film and Entertainment’s 5-year strategic plan or those permitted activities enumerated in this paragraph. Such funds shall be deposited in the Grants and Donations Trust Fund of the Executive Office of the Governor for use by the Office of Film and Entertainment in carrying out its responsibilities and duties as delineated in law. The office may expend such funds in accordance with the terms and conditions of any such grant, payment, or gift in the pursuit of its administration or in support of fulfilling its duties and responsibilities. The office shall separately account for the public funds and the private funds deposited into the trust fund.

History.—s. 3, ch. 99-251; s. 5, ch. 2001-106; s. 25, ch. 2010-147; s. 167, ch. 2011-142.

288.1252 Florida Film and Entertainment Advisory Council; creation; purpose; membership; powers and duties.—
(1) CREATION.—There is created within the department, for administrative purposes only, the Florida Film and Entertainment Advisory Council.

(2) PURPOSE.—The purpose of the council is to serve as an advisory body to the department and to the Office of Film and Entertainment to provide these offices with industry insight and expertise related to developing, marketing, promoting, and providing service to the state’s entertainment industry.

(3) MEMBERSHIP.—
(a) The council shall consist of 17 members, 7 to be appointed by the Governor, 5 to be appointed by the President of the Senate, and 5 to be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

(b) When making appointments to the council, the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall appoint persons who are residents of the state and who are highly knowledgeable of, active in, and recognized leaders in Florida’s motion picture, television, video, sound recording, or other entertainment industries. These persons shall include, but not be limited to, representatives of local film commissions, representatives of entertainment associations, a representative of the broadcast industry, representatives of labor organizations in the entertainment industry, and board chairs, presidents, chief executive officers, chief operating officers, or persons of comparable executive position or stature of leading or otherwise important entertainment industry businesses and offices. Council members shall be appointed in such a manner as to equitably represent the broadest spectrum of the entertainment industry and geographic areas of the state.

(c) Council members shall serve for 4-year terms.

(d) Subsequent appointments shall be made by the official who appointed the council member whose expired term is to be filled.

(e) In addition to the 17 appointed members of the council, 1 representative from each of Enterprise Florida, Inc., CareerSource Florida, Inc., and VISIT Florida shall serve as ex officio, nonvoting members of the council.

(f) Absence from three consecutive meetings shall result in automatic removal from the council.

(g) A vacancy on the council shall be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term by the official who appointed the vacating member.

(h) No more than one member of the council may be an employee of any one company, organization, or association.

(i) Any member shall be eligible for reappointment but may not serve more than two consecutive terms.

(4) MEETINGS; ORGANIZATION.—
(a) The council shall meet no less frequently than once each quarter of the calendar year, but may meet more often as set by the council.

(b) The council shall annually elect from its appointed membership one member to serve as chair of the council and one member to serve as vice chair. The Office of Film and Entertainment shall provide staff assistance to the council, which shall include, but not be limited to, keeping records of the proceedings of the council, and serving as custodian of all books, documents, and papers filed with the council.

(c) A majority of the members of the council shall constitute a quorum.

(d) Members of the council shall serve without compensation, but shall be entitled to reimbursement for per diem and travel expenses in accordance with s. 112.061 while in performance of their duties.

(5) POWERS AND DUTIES.—The Florida Film and Entertainment Advisory Council shall have all the powers necessary or convenient to carry out and effectuate the purposes and provisions of this act, including, but not limited to, the power to:
(a) Adopt bylaws for the governance of its affairs and the conduct of its business.

(b) Advise and consult with the Office of Film and Entertainment on the content, development, and implementation of the 5-year strategic plan to guide the activities of the office.

(c) Review the Commissioner of Film and Entertainment’s administration of the programs related to the strategic plan, and advise the commissioner on the programs and any changes that might be made to better meet the strategic plan.

(d) Consider and study the needs of the entertainment industry for the purpose of advising the film commissioner and the department.

(e) Identify and make recommendations on state agency and local government actions that may have an impact on the entertainment industry or that may appear to industry representatives as an official state or local action affecting production in the state.

(f) Consider all matters submitted to it by the film commissioner and the department.

(g) Advise and consult with the film commissioner and the department, at their request or upon its own initiative, regarding the promulgation, administration, and enforcement of all laws and rules relating to the entertainment industry.

(h) Suggest policies and practices for the conduct of business by the Office of Film and Entertainment or by the department that will improve internal operations affecting the entertainment industry and will enhance the economic development initiatives of the state for the industry.

(i) Appear on its own behalf before boards, commissions, departments, or other agencies of municipal, county, or state government, or the Federal Government.

History.—s. 4, ch. 99-251; s. 6, ch. 2001-106; s. 26, ch. 2010-147; s. 168, ch. 2011-142; s. 7, ch. 2015-98.

288.1253 Travel and entertainment expenses.—
(1) As used in this section, the term “travel expenses” means the actual, necessary, and reasonable costs of transportation, meals, lodging, and incidental expenses normally incurred by an employee of the Office of Film and Entertainment, which costs are defined and prescribed by rules adopted by the department, subject to approval by the Chief Financial Officer.

(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 112.061, the department shall adopt rules by which it may make expenditures by reimbursement to: the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, security staff of the Governor or Lieutenant Governor, the Commissioner of Film and Entertainment, or staff of the Office of Film and Entertainment for travel expenses or entertainment expenses incurred by such individuals solely and exclusively in connection with the performance of the statutory duties of the Office of Film and Entertainment. The rules are subject to approval by the Chief Financial Officer before adoption. The rules shall require the submission of paid receipts, or other proof of expenditure prescribed by the Chief Financial Officer, with any claim for reimbursement.

(3) The Office of Film and Entertainment shall include in the annual report for the entertainment industry financial incentive program required under s. 288.1254(10) a report of the office’s expenditures for the previous fiscal year. The report must consist of a summary of all travel, entertainment, and incidental expenses incurred within the United States and all travel, entertainment, and incidental expenses incurred outside the United States, as well as a summary of all successful projects that developed from such travel.

(4) The Office of Film and Entertainment and its employees and representatives, when authorized, may accept and use complimentary travel, accommodations, meeting space, meals, equipment, transportation, and any other goods or services necessary for or beneficial to the performance of the office’s duties and purposes, so long as such acceptance or use is not in conflict with part III of chapter 112. The department shall, by rule, develop internal controls to ensure that such goods or services accepted or used pursuant to this subsection are limited to those that will assist solely and exclusively in the furtherance of the office’s goals and are in compliance with part III of chapter 112.

(5) Any claim submitted under this section is not required to be sworn to before a notary public or other officer authorized to administer oaths, but any claim authorized or required to be made under any provision of this section shall contain a statement that the expenses were actually incurred as necessary travel or entertainment expenses in the performance of official duties of the Office of Film and Entertainment and shall be verified by written declaration that it is true and correct as to every material matter. Any person who willfully makes and subscribes to any claim which he or she does not believe to be true and correct as to every material matter or who willfully aids or assists in, procures, or counsels or advises with respect to, the preparation or presentation of a claim pursuant to this section that is fraudulent or false as to any material matter, whether such falsity or fraud is with the knowledge or consent of the person authorized or required to present the claim, commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. Whoever receives a reimbursement by means of a false claim is civilly liable, in the amount of the overpayment, for the reimbursement of the public fund from which the claim was paid.

History.—s. 5, ch. 99-251; s. 7, ch. 2001-106; s. 343, ch. 2003-261; s. 27, ch. 2010-147; s. 169, ch. 2011-142; s. 23, ch. 2013-39; s. 25, ch. 2013-42.

288.1254 Entertainment industry financial incentive program.—
(1) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Certified production” means a qualified production that has tax credits allocated to it by the department based on the production’s estimated qualified expenditures, up to the production’s maximum certified amount of tax credits, by the department. The term does not include a production if its first day of principal photography or project start date in this state occurs before the production is certified by the department, unless the production spans more than 1 fiscal year, was a certified production on its first day of principal photography or project start date in this state, and submits an application for continuing the same production for the subsequent fiscal year.

1(b) “Digital media project” means a production of interactive entertainment that is produced for distribution in commercial or educational markets. The term includes a video game or production intended for Internet or wireless distribution, an interactive website, digital animation, and visual effects, including, but not limited to, three-dimensional movie productions and movie conversions. The term does not include a production that contains content that is obscene as defined in s. 847.001.

2(c) “High-impact digital media project” means a digital media project that has qualified expenditures greater than $4.5 million.

(d) “High-impact television series” means a production created to run multiple production seasons and having an estimated order of at least seven episodes per season and qualified expenditures of at least $625,000 per episode.

2(e) “Off-season certified production” means a feature film, independent film, or television series or pilot that films 75 percent or more of its principal photography days from June 1 through November 30.

(f) “Principal photography” means the filming of major or significant components of the qualified production which involve lead actors.

2(g) “Production” means a theatrical or direct-to-video motion picture; a made-for-television motion picture; visual effects or digital animation sequences produced in conjunction with a motion picture; a commercial; a music video; an industrial or educational film; an infomercial; a documentary film; a television pilot program; a presentation for a television pilot program; a television series, including, but not limited to, a drama, a reality show, a comedy, a soap opera, a telenovela, a game show, an awards show, or a miniseries production; or a digital media project by the entertainment industry. One season of a television series is considered one production. The term does not include a weather or market program; a sporting event or a sporting event broadcast; a gala; a production that solicits funds; a home shopping program; a political program; a political documentary; political advertising; a gambling-related project or production; a concert production; a local, regional, or Internet-distributed-only news show or current-events show; a sports news or sports recap show; a pornographic production; or any production deemed obscene under chapter 847. A production may be produced on or by film, tape, or otherwise by means of a motion picture camera; electronic camera or device; tape device; computer; any combination of the foregoing; or any other means, method, or device.

(h) “Production expenditures” means the costs of tangible and intangible property used for, and services performed primarily and customarily in, production, including preproduction and postproduction, but excluding costs for development, marketing, and distribution. The term includes, but is not limited to:
1. Wages, salaries, or other compensation paid to legal residents of this state, including amounts paid through payroll service companies, for technical and production crews, directors, producers, and performers.

2. Net expenditures for sound stages, backlots, production editing, digital effects, sound recordings, sets, and set construction.

3. Net expenditures for rental equipment, including, but not limited to, cameras and grip or electrical equipment.

4. Up to $300,000 of the costs of newly purchased computer software and hardware unique to the project, including servers, data processing, and visualization technologies, which are located in and used exclusively in the state for the production of digital media.

5. Expenditures for meals, travel, and accommodations. For purposes of this paragraph, the term “net expenditures” means the actual amount of money a qualified production spent for equipment or other tangible personal property, after subtracting any consideration received for reselling or transferring the item after the qualified production ends, if applicable.

3(i) “Qualified expenditures” means production expenditures incurred in this state by a qualified production for:
1. Goods purchased or leased from, or services, including, but not limited to, insurance costs and bonding, payroll services, and legal fees, which are provided by, a vendor or supplier in this state that is registered with the Department of State or the Department of Revenue, has a physical location in this state, and employs one or more legal residents of this state. This does not include rebilled goods or services provided by an in-state company from out-of-state vendors or suppliers. When services provided by the vendor or supplier include personal services or labor, only personal services or labor provided by residents of this state, evidenced by the required documentation of residency in this state, qualify.

2. Payments to legal residents of this state in the form of salary, wages, or other compensation up to a maximum of $400,000 per resident unless otherwise specified in subsection (4). A completed declaration of residency in this state must accompany the documentation submitted to the office for reimbursement.

For a qualified production involving an event, such as an awards show, the term does not include expenditures solely associated with the event itself and not directly required by the production. The term does not include expenditures incurred before certification, with the exception of those incurred for a commercial, a music video, or the pickup of additional episodes of a high-impact television series within a single season. Under no circumstances may the qualified production include in the calculation for qualified expenditures the original purchase price for equipment or other tangible property that is later sold or transferred by the qualified production for consideration. In such cases, the qualified expenditure is the net of the original purchase price minus the consideration received upon sale or transfer.

3(j) “Qualified production” means a production in this state meeting the requirements of this section. The term does not include a production:
1. In which, for the first 2 years of the incentive program, less than 50 percent, and thereafter, less than 60 percent, of the positions that make up its production cast and below-the-line production crew, or, in the case of digital media projects, less than 75 percent of such positions, are filled by legal residents of this state, whose residency is demonstrated by a valid Florida driver license or other state-issued identification confirming residency, or students enrolled full-time in a film-and-entertainment-related course of study at an institution of higher education in this state; or

2. That contains obscene content as defined in s. 847.001(10).

(k) “Qualified production company” means a corporation, limited liability company, partnership, or other legal entity engaged in one or more productions in this state.

3(l) “Qualified digital media production facility” means a building or series of buildings and their improvements in which data processing, visualization, and sound synchronization technologies are regularly applied for the production of qualified digital media projects or the digital animation components of qualified productions.

3(m) “Qualified production facility” means a building or complex of buildings and their improvements and associated backlot facilities in which regular filming activity for film or television has occurred for a period of no less than 1 year and which contain at least one sound stage of at least 7,800 square feet.

3(n) “Regional population ratio” means the ratio of the population of a region to the population of this state. The regional population ratio applicable to a given fiscal year is the regional population ratio calculated by the Office of Film and Entertainment using the latest official estimates of population certified under s. 186.901, available on the first day of that fiscal year.

3(o) “Regional tax credit ratio” means a ratio the numerator of which is the sum of tax credits awarded to productions in a region to date plus the tax credits certified, but not yet awarded, to productions currently in that region and the denominator of which is the sum of all tax credits awarded in the state to date plus all tax credits certified, but not yet awarded, to productions currently in the state. The regional tax credit ratio applicable to a given year is the regional tax credit ratio calculated by the Office of Film and Entertainment using credit award and certification information available on the first day of that fiscal year.

3(p) “Underutilized region” for a given state fiscal year means a region with a regional tax credit ratio applicable to that fiscal year that is lower than its regional population ratio applicable to that fiscal year. The following regions are established for purposes of making this determination:
1. North Region, consisting of Alachua, Baker, Bay, Bradford, Calhoun, Clay, Columbia, Dixie, Duval, Escambia, Franklin, Gadsden, Gilchrist, Gulf, Hamilton, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Lafayette, Leon, Levy, Liberty, Madison, Nassau, Okaloosa, Putnam, Santa Rosa, St. Johns, Suwannee, Taylor, Union, Wakulla, Walton, and Washington Counties.

2. Central East Region, consisting of Brevard, Flagler, Indian River, Lake, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, St. Lucie, and Volusia Counties.

3. Central West Region, consisting of Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Marion, Polk, Pasco, Pinellas, Sarasota, and Sumter Counties.

4. Southwest Region, consisting of Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, and Lee Counties.

5. Southeast Region, consisting of Broward, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, and Palm Beach Counties.

2(q) “Interactive website” means a website or group of websites that includes interactive and downloadable content, and creates 25 new Florida full-time equivalent positions operating from a principal place of business located within Florida. An interactive website or group of websites must provide documentation that those jobs were created to the Office of Film and Entertainment prior to the award of tax credits. Each subsequent program application must provide proof that 25 Florida full-time equivalent positions are maintained.

(2) CREATION AND PURPOSE OF PROGRAM.—The entertainment industry financial incentive program is created within the Office of Film and Entertainment. The purpose of this program is to encourage the use of this state as a site for filming, for the digital production of films, and to develop and sustain the workforce and infrastructure for film, digital media, and entertainment production.

(3) APPLICATION PROCEDURE; APPROVAL PROCESS.—
(a) Program application.—A qualified production company producing a qualified production in this state may submit a program application to the Office of Film and Entertainment for the purpose of determining qualification for an award of tax credits authorized by this section no earlier than 180 days before the first day of principal photography or project start date in this state. The applicant shall provide the Office of Film and Entertainment with information required to determine whether the production is a qualified production and to determine the qualified expenditures and other information necessary for the office to determine eligibility for the tax credit.

(b) Required documentation.—The Office of Film and Entertainment shall develop an application form for qualifying an applicant as a qualified production. The form must include, but need not be limited to, production-related information concerning employment of residents in this state, a detailed budget of planned qualified expenditures, and the applicant’s signed affirmation that the information on the form has been verified and is correct. The Office of Film and Entertainment and local film commissions shall distribute the form.

3(c) Application process.—The Office of Film and Entertainment shall establish a process by which an application is accepted and reviewed and by which tax credit eligibility and award amount are determined. The Office of Film and Entertainment may request assistance from a duly appointed local film commission in determining compliance with this section. A certified high-impact television series may submit an initial application for no more than two successive seasons, notwithstanding the fact that the successive seasons have not been ordered. The successive season’s qualified expenditure amounts shall be based on the current season’s estimated qualified expenditures. Upon the completion of production of each season, a high-impact television series may submit an application for no more than one additional season.

(d) Certification.—The Office of Film and Entertainment shall review the application within 15 business days after receipt. Upon its determination that the application contains all the information required by this subsection and meets the criteria set out in this section, the Office of Film and Entertainment shall qualify the applicant and recommend to the department that the applicant be certified for the maximum tax credit award amount. Within 5 business days after receipt of the recommendation, the department shall reject the recommendation or certify the maximum recommended tax credit award, if any, to the applicant and to the executive director of the Department of Revenue.

3(e) Grounds for denial.—The Office of Film and Entertainment shall deny an application if it determines that the application is not complete or the production or application does not meet the requirements of this section. Within 90 days after submitting a program application, except with respect to applications in the independent and emerging media queue, a production must provide proof of project financing to the Office of Film and Entertainment, otherwise the project is deemed denied and withdrawn. A project that has been withdrawn may submit a new application upon providing the Office of Film and Entertainment proof of financing.

(f) Verification of actual qualified expenditures.—
1. The Office of Film and Entertainment shall develop a process to verify the actual qualified expenditures of a certified production. The process must require:
a. A certified production to submit, in a timely manner after production ends in this state and after making all of its qualified expenditures in this state, data substantiating each qualified expenditure, including documentation on the net expenditure on equipment and other tangible personal property by the qualified production, to an independent certified public accountant licensed in this state;

b. Such accountant to conduct a compliance audit, at the certified production’s expense, to substantiate each qualified expenditure and submit the results as a report, along with the required substantiating data, to the Office of Film and Entertainment; and

c. The Office of Film and Entertainment to review the accountant’s submittal and report to the department the final verified amount of actual qualified expenditures made by the certified production.

2. The department shall determine and approve the final tax credit award amount to each certified applicant based on the final verified amount of actual qualified expenditures and shall notify the executive director of the Department of Revenue in writing that the certified production has met the requirements of the incentive program and of the final amount of the tax credit award. The final tax credit award amount may not exceed the maximum tax credit award amount certified under paragraph (d).

(g) Promoting Florida.—The Office of Film and Entertainment shall ensure that, as a condition of receiving a tax credit under this section, marketing materials promoting this state as a tourist destination or film and entertainment production destination are included, when appropriate, at no cost to the state, which must, at a minimum, include placement of a “Filmed in Florida” or “Produced in Florida” logo in the end credits. The placement of a “Filmed in Florida” or “Produced in Florida” logo on all packaging material and hard media is also required, unless such placement is prohibited by licensing or other contractual obligations. The size and placement of such logo shall be commensurate to other logos used. If no logos are used, the statement “Filmed in Florida using Florida’s Entertainment Industry Financial Incentive,” or a similar statement approved by the Office of Film and Entertainment, shall be used. The Office of Film and Entertainment shall provide a logo and supply it for the purposes specified in this paragraph. A 30-second “Visit Florida” promotional video must also be included on all optical disc formats of a film, unless such placement is prohibited by licensing or other contractual obligations. The 30-second promotional video shall be approved and provided by the Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation in consultation with the Commissioner of Film and Entertainment.

(4) TAX CREDIT ELIGIBILITY; TAX CREDIT AWARDS; QUEUES; ELECTION AND DISTRIBUTION; CARRYFORWARD; CONSOLIDATED RETURNS; PARTNERSHIP AND NONCORPORATE DISTRIBUTIONS; MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS.—
(a) Priority for tax credit award.—The priority of a qualified production for tax credit awards must be determined on a first-come, first-served basis within its appropriate queue. Each qualified production must be placed into the appropriate queue and is subject to the requirements of that queue.

1(b) Tax credit eligibility.—
1. General production queue.—Ninety-four percent of tax credits authorized pursuant to subsection (6) in any state fiscal year must be dedicated to the general production queue. The general production queue consists of all qualified productions other than those eligible for the commercial and music video queue or the independent and emerging media production queue. A qualified production that demonstrates a minimum of $625,000 in qualified expenditures is eligible for tax credits equal to 20 percent of its actual qualified expenditures, up to a maximum of $8 million. A qualified production that incurs qualified expenditures during multiple state fiscal years may combine those expenditures to satisfy the $625,000 minimum threshold.
a. An off-season certified production that is a feature film, independent film, or television series or pilot is eligible for an additional 5 percent tax credit on actual qualified expenditures. An off-season certified production that does not complete 75 percent of principal photography due to a disruption caused by a hurricane or tropical storm may not be disqualified from eligibility for the additional 5 percent credit as a result of the disruption.

b. If more than 45 percent of the sum of total tax credits initially certified and awarded after April 1, 2012, total tax credits initially certified after April 1, 2012, but not yet awarded, and total tax credits available for certification after April 1, 2012, but not yet certified has been awarded for high-impact television series, then no high-impact television series is eligible for tax credits under this subparagraph. Tax credits initially certified for a high-impact television series after April 1, 2012, may not be awarded if the award will cause the percentage threshold in this sub-subparagraph to be exceeded. This sub-subparagraph does not prohibit the award of tax credits certified before April 1, 2012, for high-impact television series.

c. Subject to sub-subparagraph b., first priority in the queue for tax credit awards not yet certified shall be given to high-impact television series and high-impact digital media projects. For the purposes of determining priority between a high-impact television series and a high-impact digital media project, the first position must go to the first application received. Thereafter, priority shall be determined by alternating between a high-impact television series and a high-impact digital media project on a first-come, first-served basis. However, if the Office of Film and Entertainment receives an application for a high-impact television series or high-impact digital media project that would be certified but for the alternating priority, the office may certify the project as being in the priority position if an application that would normally be the priority position is not received within 5 business days.

d. A qualified production for which at least 67 percent of its principal photography days occur within a region designated as an underutilized region at the time that the production is certified is eligible for an additional 5 percent tax credit.

e. A qualified production that employs students enrolled full-time in a film and entertainment-related or digital media-related course of study at an institution of higher education in this state is eligible for an additional 15 percent tax credit on qualified expenditures that are wages, salaries, or other compensation paid to such students. The additional 15 percent tax credit is also applicable to persons hired within 12 months after graduating from a film and entertainment-related or digital media-related course of study at an institution of higher education in this state. The additional 15 percent tax credit applies to qualified expenditures that are wages, salaries, or other compensation paid to such recent graduates for 1 year after the date of hiring.

f. A qualified production for which 50 percent or more of its principal photography occurs at a qualified production facility, or a qualified digital media project or the digital animation component of a qualified production for which 50 percent or more of the project’s or component’s qualified expenditures are related to a qualified digital media production facility, is eligible for an additional 5 percent tax credit on actual qualified expenditures for production activity at that facility.

g. A qualified production is not eligible for tax credits provided under this paragraph totaling more than 30 percent of its actual qualified expenses.

2. Commercial and music video queue.—Three percent of tax credits authorized pursuant to subsection (6) in any state fiscal year must be dedicated to the commercial and music video queue. A qualified production company that produces national or regional commercials or music videos may be eligible for a tax credit award if it demonstrates a minimum of $100,000 in qualified expenditures per national or regional commercial or music video and exceeds a combined threshold of $500,000 after combining actual qualified expenditures from qualified commercials and music videos during a single state fiscal year. After a qualified production company that produces commercials, music videos, or both reaches the threshold of $500,000, it is eligible to apply for certification for a tax credit award. The maximum credit award shall be equal to 20 percent of its actual qualified expenditures up to a maximum of $500,000. If there is a surplus at the end of a fiscal year after the Office of Film and Entertainment certifies and determines the tax credits for all qualified commercial and video projects, such surplus tax credits shall be carried forward to the following fiscal year and are available to any eligible qualified productions under the general production queue.

3. Independent and emerging media production queue.—Three percent of tax credits authorized pursuant to subsection (6) in any state fiscal year must be dedicated to the independent and emerging media production queue. This queue is intended to encourage independent film and emerging media production in this state. Any qualified production, excluding commercials, infomercials, or music videos, which demonstrates at least $100,000, but not more than $625,000, in total qualified expenditures is eligible for tax credits equal to 20 percent of its actual qualified expenditures. If a surplus exists at the end of a fiscal year after the Office of Film and Entertainment certifies and determines the tax credits for all qualified independent and emerging media production projects, such surplus tax credits shall be carried forward to the following fiscal year and are available to any eligible qualified productions under the general production queue.

4. Family-friendly productions.—A certified theatrical or direct-to-video motion picture production or video game determined by the Commissioner of Film and Entertainment, with the advice of the Florida Film and Entertainment Advisory Council, to be family-friendly, based on review of the script and review of the final release version, is eligible for an additional tax credit equal to 5 percent of its actual qualified expenditures. Family-friendly productions are those that have cross-generational appeal; would be considered suitable for viewing by children age 5 or older; are appropriate in theme, content, and language for a broad family audience; embody a responsible resolution of issues; and do not exhibit or imply any act of smoking, sex, nudity, or vulgar or profane language.

(c) Withdrawal of tax credit eligibility.—A qualified or certified production must continue on a reasonable schedule, which includes beginning principal photography or the production project in this state no more than 45 calendar days before or after the principal photography or project start date provided in the production’s program application. The department shall withdraw the eligibility of a qualified or certified production that does not continue on a reasonable schedule.

(d) Election and distribution of tax credits.—
1. A certified production company receiving a tax credit award under this section shall, at the time the credit is awarded by the department after production is completed and all requirements to receive a credit award have been met, make an irrevocable election to apply the credit against taxes due under chapter 220, against state taxes collected or accrued under chapter 212, or against a stated combination of the two taxes. The election is binding upon any distributee, successor, transferee, or purchaser. The department shall notify the Department of Revenue of any election made pursuant to this paragraph.

2. A qualified production company is eligible for tax credits against its sales and use tax liabilities and corporate income tax liabilities as provided in this section. However, tax credits awarded under this section may not be claimed against sales and use tax liabilities or corporate income tax liabilities for any tax period beginning before July 1, 2011, regardless of when the credits are applied for or awarded.

(e) Tax credit carryforward.—If the certified production company cannot use the entire tax credit in the taxable year or reporting period in which the credit is awarded, any excess amount may be carried forward to a succeeding taxable year or reporting period. A tax credit applied against taxes imposed under chapter 212 may be carried forward for a maximum of 5 years after the date the credit is awarded. A tax credit applied against taxes imposed under chapter 220 may be carried forward for a maximum of 5 years after the date the credit is awarded, after which the credit expires and may not be used.

(f) Consolidated returns.—A certified production company that files a Florida consolidated return as a member of an affiliated group under s. 220.131(1) may be allowed the credit on a consolidated return basis up to the amount of the tax imposed upon the consolidated group under chapter 220.

(g) Partnership and noncorporate distributions.—A qualified production company that is not a corporation as defined in s. 220.03 may elect to distribute tax credits awarded under this section to its partners or members in proportion to their respective distributive income or loss in the taxable year in which the tax credits were awarded.

(h) Mergers or acquisitions.—Tax credits available under this section to a certified production company may succeed to a surviving or acquiring entity subject to the same conditions and limitations as described in this section; however, they may not be transferred again by the surviving or acquiring entity.

(5) TRANSFER OF TAX CREDITS.—
(a) Authorization.—Upon application to the Office of Film and Entertainment and approval by the department, a certified production company, or a partner or member that has received a distribution under paragraph (4)(g), may elect to transfer, in whole or in part, any unused credit amount granted under this section. An election to transfer any unused tax credit amount under chapter 212 or chapter 220 must be made no later than 5 years after the date the credit is awarded, after which period the credit expires and may not be used. The department shall notify the Department of Revenue of the election and transfer.

(b) Number of transfers permitted.—A certified production company that elects to apply a credit amount against taxes remitted under chapter 212 is permitted a one-time transfer of unused credits to one transferee. A certified production company that elects to apply a credit amount against taxes due under chapter 220 is permitted a one-time transfer of unused credits to no more than four transferees, and such transfers must occur in the same taxable year.

3(c) Transferee rights and limitations.—The transferee is subject to the same rights and limitations as the certified production company awarded the tax credit, except that the initial transferee shall be permitted a one-time transfer of unused credits to no more than two subsequent transferees, and such transfers must occur in the same taxable year as the credits were received by the initial transferee, after which the subsequent transferees may not sell or otherwise transfer the tax credit.

(6) RELINQUISHMENT OF TAX CREDITS.—
(a) Beginning July 1, 2011, a certified production company, or any person who has acquired a tax credit from a certified production company pursuant to subsections (4) and (5), may elect to relinquish the tax credit to the Department of Revenue in exchange for 90 percent of the amount of the relinquished tax credit.

(b) The Department of Revenue may approve payments to persons relinquishing tax credits pursuant to this subsection.

(c) Subject to legislative appropriation, the Department of Revenue shall request the Chief Financial Officer to issue warrants to persons relinquishing tax credits. Payments under this subsection shall be made from the funds from which the proceeds from the taxes against which the tax credits could have been applied pursuant to the irrevocable election made by the certified production company under subsection (4) are deposited.

2(7) ANNUAL ALLOCATION OF TAX CREDITS.—
3(a) The aggregate amount of the tax credits that may be certified pursuant to paragraph (3)(d) may not exceed:
1. For fiscal year 2010-2011, $53.5 million.

2. For fiscal year 2011-2012, $74.5 million.

3. For fiscal years 2012-2013, 2013-2014, 2014-2015, and 2015-2016, $42 million per fiscal year.

(b) Any portion of the maximum amount of tax credits established per fiscal year in paragraph (a) that is not certified as of the end of a fiscal year shall be carried forward and made available for certification during the following 2 fiscal years in addition to the amounts available for certification under paragraph (a) for those fiscal years.

(c) Upon approval of the final tax credit award amount pursuant to subparagraph (3)(f)2., an amount equal to the difference between the maximum tax credit award amount previously certified under paragraph (3)(d) and the approved final tax credit award amount shall immediately be available for recertification during the current and following fiscal years in addition to the amounts available for certification under paragraph (a) for those fiscal years.

(d) If, during a fiscal year, the total amount of credits applied for, pursuant to paragraph (3)(a), exceeds the amount of credits available for certification in that fiscal year, such excess shall be treated as having been applied for on the first day of the next fiscal year in which credits remain available for certification.

(8) RULES, POLICIES, AND PROCEDURES.—
(a) The department may adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 and develop policies and procedures to implement and administer this section, including, but not limited to, rules specifying requirements for the application and approval process, records required for substantiation for tax credits, procedures for making the election in paragraph (4)(d), the manner and form of documentation required to claim tax credits awarded or transferred under this section, and marketing requirements for tax credit recipients.

(b) The Department of Revenue may adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to administer this section, including rules governing the examination and audit procedures required to administer this section and the manner and form of documentation required to claim tax credits awarded, transferred, or relinquished under this section.

(9) AUDIT AUTHORITY; REVOCATION AND FORFEITURE OF TAX CREDITS; FRAUDULENT CLAIMS.—
(a) Audit authority.—The Department of Revenue may conduct examinations and audits as provided in s. 213.34 to verify that tax credits under this section are received, transferred, and applied according to the requirements of this section. If the Department of Revenue determines that tax credits are not received, transferred, or applied as required by this section, it may, in addition to the remedies provided in this subsection, pursue recovery of such funds pursuant to the laws and rules governing the assessment of taxes.

(b) Revocation of tax credits.—The department may revoke or modify any written decision qualifying, certifying, or otherwise granting eligibility for tax credits under this section if it is discovered that the tax credit applicant submitted any false statement, representation, or certification in any application, record, report, plan, or other document filed in an attempt to receive tax credits under this section. The department shall immediately notify the Department of Revenue of any revoked or modified orders affecting previously granted tax credits. Additionally, the applicant must notify the Department of Revenue of any change in its tax credit claimed.

(c) Forfeiture of tax credits.—A determination by the Department of Revenue, as a result of an audit pursuant to paragraph (a) or from information received from the Office of Film and Entertainment, that an applicant received tax credits pursuant to this section to which the applicant was not entitled is grounds for forfeiture of previously claimed and received tax credits. The applicant is responsible for returning forfeited tax credits to the Department of Revenue, and such funds shall be paid into the General Revenue Fund of the state. Tax credits purchased in good faith are not subject to forfeiture unless the transferee submitted fraudulent information in the purchase or failed to meet the requirements in subsection (5).

(d) Fraudulent claims.—Any applicant that submits fraudulent information under this section is liable for reimbursement of the reasonable costs and fees associated with the review, processing, investigation, and prosecution of the fraudulent claim. An applicant that obtains a credit payment under this section through a claim that is fraudulent is liable for reimbursement of the credit amount plus a penalty in an amount double the credit amount. The penalty is in addition to any criminal penalty to which the applicant is liable for the same acts. The applicant is also liable for costs and fees incurred by the state in investigating and prosecuting the fraudulent claim.

3(10) ANNUAL REPORT.—Each November 1, the Office of Film and Entertainment shall submit an annual report for the previous fiscal year to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives which outlines the incentive program’s return on investment and economic benefits to the state. The report must also include an estimate of the full-time equivalent positions created by each production that received tax credits under this section and information relating to the distribution of productions receiving credits by geographic region and type of production. The report must also include the expenditures report required under s. 288.1253(3) and the information describing the relationship between tax exemptions and incentives to industry growth required under s. 288.1258(5).

2(11) REPEAL.—This section is repealed July 1, 2016, except that:
(a) Tax credits certified under paragraph (3)(d) before July 1, 2016, may be awarded under paragraph (3)(f) on or after July 1, 2016, if the other requirements of this section are met.

(b) Tax credits carried forward under paragraph (4)(e) remain valid for the period specified.

(c) Subsections (5), (8) and (9) shall remain in effect until July 1, 2021.

History.—s. 2, ch. 2003-81; s. 2, ch. 2005-233; s. 2, ch. 2007-125; s. 56, ch. 2008-4; s. 38, ch. 2009-82; s. 28, ch. 2010-147; s. 26, ch. 2011-76; s. 170, ch. 2011-142; s. 15, ch. 2012-32; s. 44, ch. 2012-96; s. 38, ch. 2013-15; s. 24, ch. 2013-39; s. 26, ch. 2013-42.

1Note.—A. Section 35, ch. 2011-76, provides that:
“(1) The executive director of the Department of Revenue is authorized, and all conditions are deemed met, to adopt emergency rules under ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54(4), Florida Statutes, for the purpose of implementing this act.
“(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, such emergency rules shall remain in effect for 6 months after the date adopted and may be renewed during the pendency of procedures to adopt permanent rules addressing the subject of the emergency rules.”
B. Section 25, ch. 2012-32, provides that:
“(1) The executive director of the Department of Revenue is authorized, and all conditions are deemed met, to adopt emergency rules under ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54(4), Florida Statutes, for the purpose of implementing this act.
“(2) Notwithstanding any provision of law, such emergency rules shall remain in effect for 6 months after the date adopted and may be renewed during the pendency of procedures to adopt permanent rules addressing the subject of the emergency rules.”

2Note.—Section 25, ch. 2012-32, provides that:“(1) The executive director of the Department of Revenue is authorized, and all conditions are deemed met, to adopt emergency rules under ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54(4), Florida Statutes, for the purpose of implementing this act.
“(2) Notwithstanding any provision of law, such emergency rules shall remain in effect for 6 months after the date adopted and may be renewed during the pendency of procedures to adopt permanent rules addressing the subject of the emergency rules.”

3Note.—Section 35, ch. 2011-76, provides that:“(1) The executive director of the Department of Revenue is authorized, and all conditions are deemed met, to adopt emergency rules under ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54(4), Florida Statutes, for the purpose of implementing this act.
“(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, such emergency rules shall remain in effect for 6 months after the date adopted and may be renewed during the pendency of procedures to adopt permanent rules addressing the subject of the emergency rules.”

288.1258 Entertainment industry qualified production companies; application procedure; categories; duties of the Department of Revenue; records and reports.—
(1) PRODUCTION COMPANIES AUTHORIZED TO APPLY.—
(a) Any production company engaged in this state in the production of motion pictures, made-for-TV motion pictures, television series, commercial advertising, music videos, or sound recordings may submit an application to the Department of Revenue to be approved by the Office of Film and Entertainment as a qualified production company for the purpose of receiving a sales and use tax certificate of exemption from the Department of Revenue.

(b) For the purposes of this section, “qualified production company” means any production company that has submitted a properly completed application to the Department of Revenue and that is subsequently qualified by the Office of Film and Entertainment.

(2) APPLICATION PROCEDURE.—
(a) The Department of Revenue will review all submitted applications for the required information. Within 10 working days after the receipt of a properly completed application, the Department of Revenue will forward the completed application to the Office of Film and Entertainment for approval.

(b)1. The Office of Film and Entertainment shall establish a process by which an entertainment industry production company may be approved by the office as a qualified production company and may receive a certificate of exemption from the Department of Revenue for the sales and use tax exemptions under ss. 212.031, 212.06, and 212.08.

2. Upon determination by the Office of Film and Entertainment that a production company meets the established approval criteria and qualifies for exemption, the Office of Film and Entertainment shall return the approved application or application renewal or extension to the Department of Revenue, which shall issue a certificate of exemption.

3. The Office of Film and Entertainment shall deny an application or application for renewal or extension from a production company if it determines that the production company does not meet the established approval criteria.

(c) The Office of Film and Entertainment shall develop, with the cooperation of the Department of Revenue and local government entertainment industry promotion agencies, a standardized application form for use in approving qualified production companies.
1. The application form shall include, but not be limited to, production-related information on employment, proposed budgets, planned purchases of items exempted from sales and use taxes under ss. 212.031, 212.06, and 212.08, a signed affirmation from the applicant that any items purchased for which the applicant is seeking a tax exemption are intended for use exclusively as an integral part of entertainment industry preproduction, production, or postproduction activities engaged in primarily in this state, and a signed affirmation from the Office of Film and Entertainment that the information on the application form has been verified and is correct. In lieu of information on projected employment, proposed budgets, or planned purchases of exempted items, a production company seeking a 1-year certificate of exemption may submit summary historical data on employment, production budgets, and purchases of exempted items related to production activities in this state. Any information gathered from production companies for the purposes of this section shall be considered confidential taxpayer information and shall be disclosed only as provided in s. 213.053.

2. The application form may be distributed to applicants by the Office of Film and Entertainment or local film commissions.

(d) All applications, renewals, and extensions for designation as a qualified production company shall be processed by the Office of Film and Entertainment.

(e) In the event that the Department of Revenue determines that a production company no longer qualifies for a certificate of exemption, or has used a certificate of exemption for purposes other than those authorized by this section and chapter 212, the Department of Revenue shall revoke the certificate of exemption of that production company, and any sales or use taxes exempted on items purchased or leased by the production company during the time such company did not qualify for a certificate of exemption or improperly used a certificate of exemption shall become immediately due to the Department of Revenue, along with interest and penalty as provided by s. 212.12. In addition to the other penalties imposed by law, any person who knowingly and willfully falsifies an application, or uses a certificate of exemption for purposes other than those authorized by this section and chapter 212, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in ss. 775.082, 775.083, and 775.084.

(3) CATEGORIES.—

(a)1. A production company may be qualified for designation as a qualified production company for a period of 1 year if the company has operated a business in Florida at a permanent address for a period of 12 consecutive months. Such a qualified production company shall receive a single 1-year certificate of exemption from the Department of Revenue for the sales and use tax exemptions under ss. 212.031, 212.06, and 212.08, which certificate shall expire 1 year after issuance or upon the cessation of business operations in the state, at which time the certificate shall be surrendered to the Department of Revenue.

2. The Office of Film and Entertainment shall develop a method by which a qualified production company may annually renew a 1-year certificate of exemption for a period of up to 5 years without requiring the production company to resubmit a new application during that 5-year period.

3. Any qualified production company may submit a new application for a 1-year certificate of exemption upon the expiration of that company’s certificate of exemption.

(b)1. A production company may be qualified for designation as a qualified production company for a period of 90 days. Such production company shall receive a single 90-day certificate of exemption from the Department of Revenue for the sales and use tax exemptions under ss. 212.031, 212.06, and 212.08, which certificate shall expire 90 days after issuance, with extensions contingent upon approval of the Office of Film and Entertainment. The certificate shall be surrendered to the Department of Revenue upon its expiration.

2. Any production company may submit a new application for a 90-day certificate of exemption upon the expiration of that company’s certificate of exemption.

(4) DUTIES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE.—
(a) The Department of Revenue shall review the initial application and notify the applicant of any omissions and request additional information if needed. An application shall be complete upon receipt of all requested information. The Department of Revenue shall forward all complete applications to the Office of Film and Entertainment within 10 working days.

(b) The Department of Revenue shall issue a numbered certificate of exemption to a qualified production company within 5 working days of the receipt of an approved application, application renewal, or application extension from the Office of Film and Entertainment.

(c) The Department of Revenue may promulgate such rules and shall prescribe and publish such forms as may be necessary to effectuate the purposes of this section or any of the sales tax exemptions which are reasonably related to the provisions of this section.

(d) The Department of Revenue is authorized to establish audit procedures in accordance with the provisions of ss. 212.12, 212.13, and 213.34 which relate to the sales tax exemption provisions of this section.

1(5) RELATIONSHIP OF TAX EXEMPTIONS AND INCENTIVES TO INDUSTRY GROWTH; REPORT TO THE LEGISLATURE.—The Office of Film and Entertainment shall keep annual records from the information provided on taxpayer applications for tax exemption certificates beginning January 1, 2001. These records also must reflect a ratio of the annual amount of sales and use tax exemptions under this section, plus the incentives awarded pursuant to s. 288.1254 to the estimated amount of funds expended by certified productions. In addition, the office shall maintain data showing annual growth in Florida-based entertainment industry companies and entertainment industry employment and wages. The employment information must include an estimate of the full-time equivalent positions created by each production that received tax credits pursuant to s. 288.1254. The Office of Film and Entertainment shall include this information in the annual report for the entertainment industry financial incentive program required under s. 288.1254(10).

History.—s. 1, ch. 2000-182; s. 8, ch. 2001-106; s. 29, ch. 2010-147; s. 27, ch. 2011-76; s. 25, ch. 2013-39; s. 27, ch. 2013-42.

1Note.—Section 35, ch. 2011-76, provides that:“(1) The executive director of the Department of Revenue is authorized, and all conditions are deemed met, to adopt emergency rules under ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54(4), Florida Statutes, for the purpose of implementing this act.
“(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, such emergency rules shall remain in effect for 6 months after the date adopted and may be renewed during the pendency of procedures to adopt permanent rules addressing the subject of the emergency rules.”

PART II
DIVISION OF BOND FINANCE

288.13 Cooperation with other units, boards, agencies, and individuals.

288.14 Board of Trustees of Internal Improvement Trust Fund may cooperate.

288.15 Powers of Division of Bond Finance.

288.17 Revenue certificates.

288.18 Planning, promoting, and supervising state building projects.

288.23 Division authorized to acquire roads and bridges.

288.24 Division authorized to acquire ferries and toll ferries.

288.27 Lease or sale by division.

288.28 Department of Transportation authorized to lease or purchase certain roads and bridges.

288.281 Financing construction or acquisition of roads and bridges; additional method.

288.29 Ratifying prior transactions.

288.30 Cumulative provisions.

288.31 Armories; financing construction authorized.

288.33 School buildings; financing construction authorized.

288.13 Cooperation with other units, boards, agencies, and individuals.—Express authority and power is hereby given any county, municipality, drainage district, road or bridge district, school district or any other political subdivision, board, or commission in the state to make and enter into, with the Division of Bond Finance of the State Board of Administration, contracts and leases, within the provisions and purposes of this chapter. The division is hereby expressly authorized to make agreements with and enter into any and all contracts with any political subdivisions of the state.
History.—s. 3, ch. 15861, 1933; CGL 1936 Supp. 4151 (112); s. 2, ch. 22821, 1945; s. 11, ch. 29788, 1955; ss. 22, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 264, ch. 92-279; s. 55, ch. 92-326.

Note.—Former s. 420.04.

288.14 Board of Trustees of Internal Improvement Trust Fund may cooperate.—The Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund may convey and grant to the Division of Bond Finance of the State Board of Administration, and enter into agreements permitting the use and occupation by the division, with or without compensation, of land under its control and not in use for state purposes, including swamps, overflowed lands, bottoms of streams, lakes, rivers, bays, and other waters of the state, and the riparian rights thereto appertaining, as, in the judgment of said board, may be reasonably necessary in carrying out the provisions of this chapter.
History.—s. 4, ch. 15861, 1933; CGL 1936 Supp. 4151(113); s. 11, ch. 29788, 1955; s. 2, ch. 61-119; ss. 22, 27, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 265, ch. 92-279; s. 55, ch. 92-326.

Note.—Former s. 420.05.

288.15 Powers of Division of Bond Finance.—There is hereby granted to and vested in the Division of Bond Finance of the State Board of Administration the power, right, franchise, and authority:
(1) To take, exclusively occupy, use, and possess rights-of-way for any projects, enterprises, or undertakings of the division, over and across state-owned lands not otherwise in use for state purposes.

(2)(a) The division is hereby authorized and empowered to exercise the power of eminent domain and may condemn for the use of the division any and all lands, easements, rights-of-way, riparian rights, property, and property rights of every description required in carrying out the objects and purposes of this chapter.

(b) The proceedings for condemnation hereunder may be instituted and conducted in the name of the division, and the procedure shall be the same as is prescribed by chapter 73.

(3) To own and to acquire by donation, purchase, or otherwise, real and personal property, tangible and intangible, and to lease, sell, alienate, and dispose of the same or any part or parts thereof in carrying out the objects and purposes of this chapter.

(4) To subscribe for, purchase, acquire, own, sell, or otherwise dispose of bonds and obligations of municipalities and political subdivisions of the state, needful or incident to carrying out the objects and purposes of this chapter, and exercise all the rights, powers, and privileges incident to ownership thereof.

(5) In order to carry out the objectives and purposes of this chapter, the division is authorized to acquire, own, construct, operate, maintain, improve, and extend public buildings, facilities, or works within the state which are of the character hereinafter specifically mentioned. All public buildings, facilities, and works which the division is authorized to own, construct, operate, and maintain must be such as can ultimately be owned and operated by an agency, department, board, bureau, or commission of the state. All or any such buildings, facilities, or works may be of a revenue-producing character in order that the cost of the same or some part of improvements or extensions thereto may be paid from receipts therefrom, including in Tallahassee only rentals, leases, and sales to both public and nonpublic agencies through the issue and sales or disposition of revenue bonds, notes, or certificates of the division. The buildings, facilities, and works which the division is hereby authorized to acquire, construct, operate, maintain, improve, and extend are:
(a) Toll bridges or tunnels, and toll roads wherever the same are connected with or form a part of the state system of public roads. The location and construction of same shall first be approved by the Department of Transportation.

(b) To accept as a gift or grant or to purchase or lease from the Federal Government any personal property or any real property, fixtures, or appurtenances thereto, located in the state, payment for which can be made from the revenues derived therefrom, which will be used in the development of the agriculture, forest and reforestation of the state or such property as will provide recreation for the public and citizens of the state.

(c) It is expressly declared that the Division of Bond Finance shall not be authorized:
1. Except as is provided in s. 288.13, to acquire, own, or construct any buildings, facilities, or works which are to be maintained and operated solely for municipal or local purpose; and

2. To so accept, purchase, or lease from the Federal Government any property or business ordinarily owned and operated by private business; provided, however, this provision does not prohibit or limit such purchase, acceptance of gift, or lease of surplus property to be used for noncompetitive government purposes.

(d) Public buildings, facilities, and additions or improvements to existing buildings and facilities for ultimate use in connection with any of the several state institutions, departments, bureaus, boards, or commissions; and, in furtherance of this paragraph, the Department of Management Services, the Board of Governors of the State University System, and the State Board of Education are authorized to cooperate with the Division of Bond Finance and to do and perform all acts and things necessary thereto. Any property acquired by the Division of Bond Finance under the provisions of this chapter may ultimately be conveyed to the state free and clear of all debt or other encumbrance.

(e) The Division of Bond Finance is hereby authorized to collect reasonable rentals, tolls, or charges for the use of public buildings, facilities, or works constructed, acquired, or owned by it and for the products and services of the same exclusively for the purpose of paying the expenses of improving, repairing, maintaining, and operating its facilities and properties and paying the principal and interest on its obligations. The division is authorized by reasonable regulations to prescribe for the use of buildings, facilities, works, or projects owned and operated by it, the amount of rentals, tolls, or charges and may make and enter into contracts with any municipality, district, county or other political subdivision, board, commission, agency, or department of the state for the use of such projects or sale of the products or services thereof; provided, that the receipts from any project shall not be expended on any other project except as provided in subsection (8).

(f) However, the provisions of this chapter shall not be construed to authorize the construction, acquisition, ownership, or operation by the division of any project other than the class of projects referred to in this subsection.

(6) To secure, assemble, study, map, plat, and chart any and all data which may pertain to the governance, rehabilitation, welfare, health, transportation, commerce, marketing, finance, business, population, land use, sanitation, waterways, mineral resources, parks, wildlife, public buildings and property, and the laws relating to social, economic, or conservational matters of the state, its political subdivisions, and its people for the purpose of advising and assisting, proposing, and recommending to state administrative officers, the state Legislature, and the people of the state plans for the future development, welfare, and governance of the state, in order that the state’s plan of development may be coordinated, its economic resources be conserved, and the welfare of its people be promoted.

(7) It is expressly provided:
(a) That nothing in this chapter shall be construed as vesting in the Division of Bond Finance the power, right, or privilege to engage in private enterprise or business for profit; and

(b) That nothing in this chapter shall authorize the purchase, condemnation, or other acquisition by the division of the properties or securities of privately owned utilities or any part of same.

(8) The division is hereby authorized and directed to proceed with the acquisition of land and buildings thereon now needed or to be needed for use in whole or in part by any agency, board, bureau, or commission of the state, such acquisition to be within the area defined by the Department of Management Services for the long-range development of the proposed Capitol Center; and
(a) To construct, acquire, own, and operate buildings and facilities thereon, such buildings and facilities to be financed by the revenue they yield, through the issuance of revenue certificates;

(b) To have specific authority in financing the acquisition, construction, and operation of such buildings and facilities, to utilize rentals to both public and nonpublic agencies as well as any regularly appropriated state or other public funds; however, no revenue from lands, buildings, or facilities now owned by the state may be pledged to finance the acquisition of land, buildings, or facilities pursuant to the provisions of this law, except revenue from land, buildings, or facilities purchased or acquired pursuant to the provisions of this law.

(9) Subsections (5) and (8) shall be liberally construed to effectuate the objectives and purposes thereof and the public policy of the state as hereby declared.

History.—ss. 5, 6, ch. 15861, 1933; CGL 1936 Supp. 4151(114), (115); ss. 3, 4, ch. 20509, 1941; s. 3, ch. 22821, 1945; ss. 1, 2, 3, ch. 26851, 1951; s. 11, ch. 29788, 1955; s. 2, ch. 57-57; s. 2, ch. 65-173; s. 3, ch. 65-178; s. 2, ch. 65-255; s. 2, ch. 65-525; s. 18, ch. 69-216; ss. 22, 23, 25, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 84, ch. 71-355; s. 2, ch. 73-326; s. 2, ch. 75-70; s. 20, ch. 83-216; s. 58, ch. 85-349; s. 5, ch. 88-215; s. 266, ch. 92-279; s. 55, ch. 92-326; s. 92, ch. 98-279; s. 37, ch. 2007-217.

Note.—Former s. 420.06.

288.17 Revenue certificates.—The Division of Bond Finance of the State Board of Administration is authorized to issue interest-bearing revenue certificates for construction of all state buildings approved by the Legislature in its appropriation acts and requested by the Department of Management Services or by the Board of Governors of the State University System.
History.—s. 1, ch. 29831, 1955; s. 1, ch. 65-512; s. 1, ch. 67-603; ss. 22, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 85, ch. 71-355; s. 267, ch. 92-279; s. 55, ch. 92-326; s. 38, ch. 2007-217.

288.18 Planning, promoting, and supervising state building projects.—
(1) The Department of Management Services shall be responsible for promoting any state building project financed as provided by law in any community where a state building is needed.

(2) Whenever the Division of Bond Finance and the Board of Administration shall find a building project financially feasible, all state agencies, commissions, bureaus, or branch offices of any department occupying rented office space in the area, shall occupy space in the state buildings to the extent that space is available.

(3) Any state agency required to occupy space by the Department of Management Services may contract for such space and pledge such rentals as are provided and appropriated by the Legislature for the purpose of financing the retirement of revenue certificates for the lifetime of any issue.

History.—s. 2, ch. 29831, 1955; ss. 22, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 83, ch. 71-377; s. 2, ch. 75-70; s. 59, ch. 85-349; s. 268, ch. 92-279; s. 55, ch. 92-326; s. 93, ch. 98-279.

288.23 Division authorized to acquire roads and bridges.—
(1) The Division of Bond Finance of the State Board of Administration is authorized and empowered, upon the application of any county or counties evidenced by resolution of the board or boards of county commissioners thereof, to acquire by purchase, gift, or eminent domain and/or to construct within such county or counties so making application therefor, any road or bridge, including the acquisition of necessary rights-of-way therefor, connecting state highways within such county or counties; provided, however, in the event the said division shall determine, agree, or contract to build or construct any road or bridge under the provisions hereof then it shall so advise the Department of Transportation of such determination, agreement, or contract and shall give the Department of Transportation complete copies of all documents, agreements, resolutions, contracts, and instruments relating to such matter and shall request the Department of Transportation to do such construction work including the acquisition of necessary rights-of-way, planning, surveying, and actual construction of such project and shall also transfer to the credit of the Department of Transportation in the Treasury of the state the funds hereinafter provided for such projects and the Department of Transportation shall thereupon be authorized, empowered, and directed to proceed with such construction, including the acquisition of necessary rights-of-way, and to use the said funds for such work, and no other work, in the same manner that it is now authorized to use the funds otherwise provided by law for its use in construction of roads and bridges.

(2) The authority herein and hereby conferred to acquire rights-of-way shall be construed to extend to and include the acquisition of new rights-of-way separately to be used in the future for the construction of new roads and new bridges and for the acquisition of rights-of-way to be used in the future for widening or four-laning or extending, or otherwise improving, existing state roads and bridges. Provided, however, that no rights-of-way shall be acquired hereunder except for use in the construction of roads and bridges that have been prior to such acquisition legally designated as state roads and bridges, and provided further, that if any provision or any part of any provision of this amended section shall be held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect the validity of the remaining provisions of this amended section. The acquisition of rights-of-way as provided above separately and in advance of the construction of improvements on such rights-of-way, shall be and constitute a separate project or purpose under the provisions of this chapter or under the provisions of any other law or laws, and the Division of Bond Finance shall be fully authorized to issue its bonds, notes or certificates in the manner provided in this chapter to finance the cost of the acquisition of such rights-of-way separately and in advance of the construction of improvements on such rights-of-way.

History.—s. 1, ch. 23758, 1947; s. 11, ch. 29788, 1955; s. 1, ch. 57-86; ss. 22, 23, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 269, ch. 92-279; s. 55, ch. 92-326.

Note.—Former s. 420.12.

288.24 Division authorized to acquire ferries and toll ferries.—
(1) The Division of Bond Finance of the State Board of Administration is authorized:
(a) To acquire, own, maintain, and operate ferries and toll ferries wherever the same are connected with or form a part of or are auxiliary to the state system of public roads.

(b) To fix and collect reasonable rentals, tolls, or charges for the use of any ferries operated by or under agreement with the said division.

(c) To enter into a contract or contracts with the Department of Transportation for the acquisition, maintenance, or operation of any such ferry or ferries.

(2) The acquisition, ownership, maintenance, and operation of said ferries and toll ferries shall be exercised in accordance with existing laws governing the powers of said division in connection with other buildings, facilities, additions, and improvements.

History.—ss. 1, 2, 3, 4, ch. 25009, 1949; s. 11, ch. 29788, 1955; ss. 22, 23, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 60, ch. 79-164; s. 270, ch. 92-279; s. 55, ch. 92-326.

Note.—Former s. 420.121.

288.27 Lease or sale by division.—The Division of Bond Finance is authorized and empowered to lease or sell roads or bridges acquired or constructed pursuant to s. 288.23 to the Department of Transportation, upon such terms and conditions as will secure sufficient revenue for paying all cost incurred in connection with the acquisition or construction of such roads or bridges and which will represent the fair market value thereof for leasehold and for purchase purposes.
History.—s. 3, ch. 23758, 1947; s. 11, ch. 29788, 1955; ss. 22, 23, 35, ch. 69-106.

Note.—Former s. 420.14.

288.28 Department of Transportation authorized to lease or purchase certain roads and bridges.—The Department of Transportation is hereby authorized and empowered to lease or purchase from the Division of Bond Finance of the State Board of Administration such roads or bridges as may have been acquired or constructed under the provisions of s. 288.23 and to pay either the rental or the purchase price from the surplus gasoline taxes which may, in the future, accrue to the credit of the county or counties in which the road or bridge is located, under the provisions of s. 9, Art. XII of the State Constitution.
History.—s. 4, ch. 23758, 1947; s. 1, ch. 26768, 1951; s. 11, ch. 29788, 1955; ss. 22, 23, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 18, ch. 69-216; s. 271, ch. 92-279; s. 55, ch. 92-326.

Note.—Former s. 420.15.

288.281 Financing construction or acquisition of roads and bridges; additional method.—
(1) Upon request of any county, any road or bridge district, or any authority, evidenced by a resolution duly adopted by the governing body thereof, the Division of Bond Finance of the State Board of Administration is authorized and empowered to issue and sell interest-bearing bonds, notes, or certificates in its own name for and on behalf of said county, road or bridge district, or authority, for the purpose of financing the construction of roads or bridges within the county, district, or authority, or the acquisition of rights-of-way for such roads. The governing body of the county, district, or authority may request in said resolution that the division construct or acquire said project by and through its statutory agent, the Department of Transportation.

(2) Any county, road or bridge district, or authority making application to the Division of Bond Finance pursuant to this section may prescribe the terms, conditions, and limitations under which said bonds, notes, or certificates shall be issued and sold and the proceeds of the sale of said bonds, notes, and certificates shall be applied.

(3) Any bonds, notes, or certificates issued by the division pursuant to this section may be secured by and payable as to both principal and interest, in whole or in part, from the 20-percent surplus gasoline tax funds accruing under the provisions of s. 9, Art. XII of the State Constitution, tolls or other revenue derived from the operation of the project, or ad valorem taxes or any combination thereof that may be legally available to said county, road or bridge district, or authority. If authorized by the Department of Transportation bonds, notes, or certificates may be additionally secured by and payable as to both principal and interest from legally available 80-percent surplus gasoline tax funds accruing to the Department of Transportation under the provisions of s. 9, Art. XII of the State Constitution.

(4) This section is intended to be cumulative of other powers granted to the Division of Bond Finance, the Department of Transportation, the counties, districts, and authorities under other provisions of law and is not intended to repeal, abrogate, or modify any such provisions.

History.—s. 1, ch. 61-433; ss. 22, 23, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 18, ch. 69-216; s. 272, ch. 92-279; s. 55, ch. 92-326.

288.29 Ratifying prior transactions.—Any transaction heretofore consummated, or in the process of consummation, in whole or in part, concerning the acquisition, condemnation, financing, construction, lease, or sale of any such road or bridge within the intendment of ss. 288.23, 288.24, 288.27, 288.28, 288.29, 288.30, be and the same is hereby ratified, legalized and confirmed.
History.—s. 5, ch. 23758, 1947; s. 11, ch. 29788, 1955.

Note.—Former s. 420.16.

288.30 Cumulative provisions.—Sections 288.23, 288.24, 288.27, 288.28, and 288.29 are intended to be cumulative of other powers granted to the Division of Bond Finance and the Department of Transportation under other provisions of law and are not intended to repeal, abrogate, or modify any such provisions.
History.—s. 6, ch. 23758, 1947; s. 11, ch. 29788, 1955; ss. 22, 23, 35, ch. 69-106.

Note.—Former s. 420.17.

288.31 Armories; financing construction authorized.—
(1) The Division of Bond Finance of the State Board of Administration shall have the power to borrow money and incur obligations by way of bonds, notes, or revenue certificates and issue such obligations for the purpose of financing, either in whole or in part, the construction of armories in such counties and municipalities as designated by the State Armory Board. The authority hereby conferred shall empower the said division to issue such certificates or bonds for the financing of the share or portion of the cost to be borne by a county or municipality when required by the provisions of a grant of funds from the state or the Federal Government or any other source, or to authorize the borrowing and issuing of obligations for financing such an armory in its entirety. Bonds, notes, or certificates issued hereunder shall be issued in conformity to all the provisions of chapter 215, and the division shall be empowered to fix the rentals or charges to be collected for the purpose of the retirement or purchase of said obligations. The division and the county or municipality shall be empowered to enter into such lease, or leases, as may be necessary to ensure the providing of sufficient funds to retire such obligations and when the said obligations shall have been fully paid, the armory shall be conveyed to the state. Leases with the county or municipality under the terms of this section shall provide for the control of the building and its use to be vested in the military commander representing the Armory Board in accordance with the provisions of s. 250.40.

(2) For the purpose of determining the amount of the contribution of any county or municipality toward the requirement of matching state or federal funds, real estate provided or donated by such county or municipality may be considered as a portion of the contribution required to the amount of the fair appraised value of the same as determined by the Armory Board, and all lands, buildings and structures shall be conveyed to and become the property of the Division of Bond Finance when it acts under the provisions of this section, the same to be conveyed to the state when all obligations against same shall have been paid in full.

(3) Nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing the pledging, mortgaging or otherwise hypothecating the real estate and armory building, but the obligations issued hereunder shall pledge only the income from the armory building as covered in its rental by the county or municipality or from other sources.

(4) The purpose of this section is to provide a means for financing and supplying the funds necessary to be furnished by a county or municipality to meet and match funds made available by the state or federal government on a matching basis or to provide the total amount of the construction costs of armories.

(5) Counties and municipalities are hereby authorized and empowered to levy taxes not to exceed 1 mill to provide the funds necessary for the lease or leases herein provided and for the retirement of bonds or certificates of indebtedness issued by the division under the provisions of this section.

(6) Nothing in this section, however, shall be construed to repeal any provision of chapter 250, as amended in 1949.

History.—s. 1, ch. 24200, 1947; ss. 1, 2, ch. 25125, 1949; (2), s. 10, ch. 26484, 1951; s. 11, ch. 29788, 1955; ss. 22, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 273, ch. 92-279; s. 55, ch. 92-326; s. 22, ch. 2004-5.

Note.—Former s. 420.18.

288.33 School buildings; financing construction authorized.—
(1) Upon the request of the school board of any district with the approval of the State Board of Education evidenced by a resolution duly adopted by the governing body of each of such boards, the Division of Bond Finance of the State Board of Administration is authorized and empowered to issue and sell interest-bearing revenue bonds, notes, or certificates in its own name for the purpose of constructing, within the county, school buildings or additions thereto for rent, lease, or purchase by the school board of the district. The Division of Bond Finance may, by contract, make the school board its agent for the acquisition or construction of such school buildings, classrooms, or facilities.

(2) Any school board, making application to the Division of Bond Finance pursuant to this section may prescribe the terms, conditions and limitations under which said bonds, notes, or certificates shall be issued and sold and the proceeds of the sale of said bonds, notes, and certificates shall be applied.

(3) Under no circumstances shall any bonds, notes or certificates issued under this section by the division be construed as an obligation of the state nor of its subdivisions nor shall the state or its subdivisions under any theory be bound therefor. They shall be solely and only the obligations of the division in its corporate and representative capacity and shall be secured only by such revenues as shall be pledged as security for the payment thereof.

(4) Any revenue bonds, notes or certificates issued by the Division of Bond Finance pursuant to this section may be secured by a lease-purchase agreement executed by the school board, which agreement may remain in effect until the bonds and all interest thereon and any refunding thereof have been paid in full. As security for the rentals agreed to be paid under the terms of the lease-purchase agreement, the school board may pledge and agree to pay as such rentals any moneys legally available for school purposes to such school board not prohibited by the Florida Constitution. Each school board requesting the construction of school buildings under this section shall annually request in its budget sufficient funds to meet the annual rentals agreed to be paid the Division of Bond Finance for lease or purchase of said buildings.

(5) As further security for the repayment of said revenue bonds, notes or certificates, the said school board is authorized to pledge as rentals any funds which may be appropriated by the Legislature for school purposes to said school board. The authority to pledge funds provided for in this subsection is expressly limited to any funds as, if, and when appropriated, in that the Legislature is under no obligation to make any future appropriation.

(6) Any school board requesting the Division of Bond Finance to construct school buildings pursuant to this section shall use said leased buildings for school purposes so long as a need exists therefor and until all of said revenue bonds, notes or certificates and the interest thereon, including any refundings thereof are paid in full; and thereupon title to said buildings shall vest in the school board.

(7) This section is intended to be cumulative to the other powers granted to the Division of Bond Finance and is not intended to repeal or abrogate any such other powers. In financing school buildings pursuant to this section the division may utilize all the powers granted under this chapter.

(8) No approval of any other state board, body, agency, or official other than as specified herein, shall be required for the issuance of such revenue bonds, notes or certificates as provided in this section except the approval of the State Board of Administration in the manner now provided by law.

History.—s. 1, ch. 67-428; ss. 22, 28, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 69-300; s. 274, ch. 92-279; s. 55, ch. 92-326.

PART III
FOREIGN TRADE ZONES

288.35 Definitions.

288.36 Foreign trade zones; authority to establish, operate, and maintain.

288.37 Foreign trade zones; authority to select and describe locations and make rules.

288.38 Applicability of state laws and rules concerning citrus fruit and products.

288.35 Definitions.—The following terms, wherever used or referred to in this part, shall have the following meanings:
(1) “Corporation” means any corporation organized for the purpose of establishing, operating, and maintaining a foreign trade zone.

(2) “Government agency” means the state or any county or political subdivision thereof; any state agency; any consolidated government of a county, and some or all of the municipalities located within the county; any chartered municipality in the state; and any of the institutions of such consolidated governments, counties, or municipalities. Specifically included are airports, port authorities, industrial authorities, and Space Florida.

(3) “Act of Congress” means the Act of Congress approved June 18, 1934, entitled an Act to provide for the establishment, operation, and maintenance of foreign trade zones in ports of entry of the United States, to expedite and encourage foreign commerce, and for other purposes, as amended, and commonly known as the Foreign Trade Zones Act of 1934, 19 U.S.C. ss. 81a-81u.

(4) “Operational and promotional advancements” means any advance of state funds which are drawn from the State Treasury for the purpose of paying legal obligations of the state on a cash basis.

History.—s. 1, ch. 76-42; s. 3, ch. 78-375; s. 15, ch. 99-256; s. 6, ch. 2002-183; s. 56, ch. 2006-60.

288.36 Foreign trade zones; authority to establish, operate, and maintain.—Any corporation or government agency shall have the power to apply to the proper authorities of the United States for a grant of the privilege of establishing, operating, and maintaining foreign trade zones and foreign trade subzones under the provisions of the Act of Congress and, when the grant is issued, to accept the grant and to establish, operate, and maintain the foreign trade zones and foreign trade subzones and do all things necessary and proper to carry into effect the establishment, operation, and maintenance of such zones, all in accordance with the Act of Congress and other applicable laws and rules and regulations.
History.—s. 2, ch. 76-42.

288.37 Foreign trade zones; authority to select and describe locations and make rules.—Any corporation or government agency may select and describe the location of the foreign trade zones or foreign trade subzones for which an application is made under the provisions of the Act of Congress and make such rules and regulations concerning the establishment, operation, and maintenance of the foreign trade zones or foreign trade subzones as may be necessary to comply with the Act of Congress or as may be necessary to comply with the rules and regulations made in accordance with the Act of Congress.
History.—s. 3, ch. 76-42.

288.38 Applicability of state laws and rules concerning citrus fruit and products.—Any application for establishment of a foreign trade zone made pursuant hereto shall include a provision that all laws of this state and rules of the Florida Department of Citrus applicable to citrus fruit and processed citrus products shall equally apply within any foreign trade zone so established.
History.—s. 4, ch. 76-42.

PART IV
SMALL AND MINORITY BUSINESS

288.7015 Appointment of rules ombudsman; duties.

288.702 Short title.

288.703 Definitions.

288.7031 Application of certain definitions.

288.705 Statewide contracts register.

288.706 Florida Minority Business Loan Mobilization Program.

288.7094 Black business investment corporations.

288.7102 Black Business Loan Program.

288.71025 Prohibited acts; penalties.

288.7103 Eligibility for loan, loan guarantee, or investment.

288.714 Quarterly and annual reports.

288.7015 Appointment of rules ombudsman; duties.—The Governor shall appoint a rules ombudsman, as defined in s. 288.703, in the Executive Office of the Governor, for considering the impact of agency rules on the state’s citizens and businesses. In carrying out duties as provided by law, the ombudsman shall consult with Enterprise Florida, Inc., at which point the department may recommend to improve the regulatory environment of this state. The duties of the rules ombudsman are to:
(1) Carry out the responsibility provided in s. 120.54(3)(b), with respect to small businesses.

(2) Review state agency rules that adversely or disproportionately impact businesses, particularly those relating to small and minority businesses.

(3) Make recommendations on any existing or proposed rules to alleviate unnecessary or disproportionate adverse effects to businesses.

(4) Each state agency shall cooperate fully with the rules ombudsman in identifying such rules. Further, each agency shall take the necessary steps to waive, modify, or otherwise minimize such adverse effects of any such rules. However, nothing in this section authorizes any state agency to waive, modify, provide exceptions to, or otherwise alter any rule that is:
(a) Expressly required to implement or enforce any statutory provision or the express legislative intent thereof;

(b) Designed to protect persons against discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, handicap, or marital status; or

(c) Likely to prevent a significant risk or danger to the public health, the public safety, or the environment of the state.

(5) The modification or waiver of any such rule pursuant to this section must be accomplished in accordance with the provisions of chapter 120.

History.—s. 5, ch. 96-320; s. 67, ch. 2010-102; s. 171, ch. 2011-142; s. 45, ch. 2014-17.

288.702 Short title.—This section and ss. 288.703-288.706 may be cited as the “Florida Small and Minority Business Assistance Act.”
History.—s. 1, ch. 85-104; s. 2, ch. 2007-157.

288.703 Definitions.—As used in ss. 288.702-288.706, the term:
(1) “Certified minority business enterprise” means a business which has been certified by the certifying organization or jurisdiction in accordance with s. 287.0943(1) and (2).

(2) “Financial institution” means any bank, trust company, insurance company, savings and loan association, credit union, federal lending agency, or foundation.

(3) “Minority business enterprise” means any small business concern as defined in subsection (6) which is organized to engage in commercial transactions, which is domiciled in Florida, and which is at least 51-percent-owned by minority persons who are members of an insular group that is of a particular racial, ethnic, or gender makeup or national origin, which has been subjected historically to disparate treatment due to identification in and with that group resulting in an underrepresentation of commercial enterprises under the group’s control, and whose management and daily operations are controlled by such persons. A minority business enterprise may primarily involve the practice of a profession. Ownership by a minority person does not include ownership which is the result of a transfer from a nonminority person to a minority person within a related immediate family group if the combined total net asset value of all members of such family group exceeds $1 million. For purposes of this subsection, the term “related immediate family group” means one or more children under 16 years of age and a parent of such children or the spouse of such parent residing in the same house or living unit.

(4) “Minority person” means a lawful, permanent resident of Florida who is:
(a) An African American, a person having origins in any of the black racial groups of the African Diaspora, regardless of cultural origin.

(b) A Hispanic American, a person of Spanish or Portuguese culture with origins in Spain, Portugal, Mexico, South America, Central America, or the Caribbean, regardless of race.

(c) An Asian American, a person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent, or the Pacific Islands, including the Hawaiian Islands before 1778.

(d) A Native American, a person who has origins in any of the Indian Tribes of North America before 1835, upon presentation of proper documentation thereof as established by rule of the Department of Management Services.

(e) An American woman.

(5) “Ombudsman” means an office or individual whose responsibilities include coordinating with the Office of Supplier Diversity for the interests of and providing assistance to small and minority business enterprises in dealing with governmental agencies and in developing proposals for changes in state agency rules.

(6) “Small business” means an independently owned and operated business concern that employs 200 or fewer permanent full-time employees and that, together with its affiliates, has a net worth of not more than $5 million or any firm based in this state which has a Small Business Administration 8(a) certification. As applicable to sole proprietorships, the $5 million net worth requirement shall include both personal and business investments.

History.—s. 2, ch. 85-104; s. 14, ch. 91-162; s. 275, ch. 92-279; s. 55, ch. 92-326; s. 18, ch. 93-187; s. 22, ch. 94-322; s. 59, ch. 96-320; s. 2, ch. 98-295; s. 5, ch. 2000-286; s. 3, ch. 2007-157; s. 172, ch. 2011-142.

288.7031 Application of certain definitions.—The definitions of “small business,” “minority business enterprise,” and “certified minority business enterprise” provided in s. 288.703 apply to the state and all political subdivisions of the state.
History.—s. 3, ch. 98-295.

288.705 Statewide contracts register.—All state agencies shall in a timely manner provide the Florida Small Business Development Center Procurement System with all formal solicitations for contractual services, supplies, and commodities. The Small Business Development Center shall coordinate with Minority Business Development Centers to compile and distribute this information to small and minority businesses requesting such service for the period of time necessary to familiarize the business with the market represented by state agencies. On or before February 1 of each year, the Small Business Development Center shall report to the department on the use of the statewide contracts register. The report shall include, but not be limited to, information relating to:
(1) The total number of solicitations received from state agencies during the calendar year.

(2) The number of solicitations received from each state agency during the calendar year.

(3) The method of distributing solicitation information to businesses requesting such service.

(4) The total number of businesses using the service.

(5) The percentage of businesses using the service which are owned and controlled by minorities.

(6) The percentage of service-disabled veteran business enterprises using the service.

History.—s. 4, ch. 85-104; s. 277, ch. 92-279; s. 55, ch. 92-326; s. 23, ch. 94-322; s. 60, ch. 96-320; s. 39, ch. 2007-217; s. 2, ch. 2008-155; s. 173, ch. 2011-142.

288.706 Florida Minority Business Loan Mobilization Program.—
(1) The Legislature finds that it is in the interest of the public welfare to meaningfully assist minority business enterprises that are vital to the overall economy of this state. It is the intent of the Legislature to promote diversity in state contracting by eliminating barriers to minority business enterprises providing goods and services to this state. Finally, the Legislature recognizes the contribution of minority business enterprises to employment opportunities in this state.

(2) The Florida Minority Business Loan Mobilization Program is created to promote the development of minority business enterprises, as defined in s. 288.703(3), increase the ability of minority business enterprises to compete for state contracts, and sustain the economic growth of minority business enterprises in this state. The goal of the program is to assist minority business enterprises by facilitating working capital loans to minority business enterprises that are vendors on state agency contracts. The Department of Management Services shall administer the program.

(3) Notwithstanding ss. 215.422(14) and 216.181(16), and pursuant to s. 216.351, under the Florida Minority Business Loan Mobilization Program, a state agency may disburse up to 10 percent of the base contract award amount to assist a minority business enterprise vendor that is awarded a state agency contract for goods or services in obtaining working capital financing as provided in subsection (5).

(4) Notwithstanding ss. 215.422(14) and 216.181(16), and pursuant to s. 216.351, in lieu of applying for participation in the Florida Minority Business Loan Mobilization Program, a minority business enterprise vendor awarded a state agency contract for the performance of professional services may apply with that contracting state agency for up to 5 percent of the base contract award amount. The contracting state agency may award such advance in order to facilitate the performance of that contract.

(5) The following Florida Minority Business Loan Mobilization Program procedures apply to minority business enterprise vendors for contracts awarded by a state agency for construction or professional services or for the provision of goods or services:
(a) Upon receipt of an award of a prime contract or subcontract, a minority business enterprise vendor may seek to obtain working capital financing from a participating financial institution. The minority business enterprise vendor shall complete all the necessary requirements of the participating financial institution in order to obtain a working capital agreement. A minority business enterprise vendor shall only be entitled to participate in the program if a working capital agreement is established with a participating financial institution.

(b) The working capital agreement may provide for a line of credit that is no less than 125 percent and no more than 200 percent of the designated loan mobilization payment described in paragraph (c).

(c) The designated loan mobilization payment is that portion of the base contract award amount that is to be disbursed by the agency under this section. The actual amount of the designated loan mobilization payment shall be no less than $5,000 and no greater than $250,000. The amount of the designated loan mobilization payment shall be:
1. No less than 5 percent and no more than 10 percent of the base contract award amount between the minority business enterprise prime contract vendor and the contracting state agency; or

2. No less than 5 percent and no more than 10 percent of the base contract award amount between a minority business enterprise subcontract vendor and a minority business enterprise or nonminority business enterprise prime contract vendor.

(d) The designated loan mobilization payment shall be disbursed pursuant to the working capital agreement and this subsection and shall be made payable by the contracting state agency to the minority business enterprise prime contract vendor and the participating financial institution using the tax identification number of the minority business enterprise vendor that is the debtor under the working capital agreement.

(e) The following procedures shall apply when the minority business enterprise is the prime contract vendor to the contracting state agency:
1. Pursuant to s. 216.351, the provisions of ss. 215.422(14) and 216.181(16) do not apply to this paragraph.

2. For construction contracts, the designated loan mobilization payment shall be disbursed when:
a. The minority business enterprise prime contract vendor requests disbursement in the first application for payment.

b. The contracting state agency has issued a notice to proceed and has approved the first application for payment.

3. For contracts other than construction contracts, the designated loan mobilization payment shall be disbursed when:
a. The minority business enterprise prime contract vendor requests disbursement by letter delivered to the contracting state agency after the execution of the contract but prior to the commencement of work.

b. The contracting state agency has approved the minority business enterprise prime contract vendor’s letter of request.

4. The designated loan mobilization payment may be paid by the contracting state agency prior to the commencement of work. In order to ensure that the contract time provisions do not commence until the minority business enterprise prime contract vendor has adequate working capital, the contract documents may provide that the contract shall commence at such time as the contracting state agency releases the designated loan mobilization payment to the minority business enterprise prime contract vendor and participating financial institution pursuant to the working capital agreement.

(f) The following procedures shall apply when the minority business enterprise is the subcontract vendor:
1. For purposes of this paragraph, the term “minority business enterprise subcontract vendor” is limited to subcontractors and suppliers to prime contract vendors that contract with a state agency.

2. A designated loan mobilization payment for a minority business enterprise subcontract vendor shall be made:
a. Upon approval by the contracting state agency of a letter from the minority business enterprise subcontract vendor and prime contract vendor that requests the designated loan mobilization payment and that indicates that the prime contract vendor is on notice of the request.

b. Payable to the prime contract vendor and the participating financial institution, which shall pay these funds to the minority business enterprise subcontract vendor within 10 business days after the receipt of the funds from the state.

3. No prime contract vendor shall retain more than 5 percent of the amount earned by a minority business enterprise subcontract vendor participating in this program, except that if the prime contract vendor is also participating in this program, the amount the prime contract vendor retains shall be subject to the provisions governing prime contract vendors.

(6) All prime contract vendors shall be required to incorporate the designated loan mobilization payment procedures in subcontract agreements or purchase orders with minority business enterprise vendors participating in this program and to cooperate in the release of designated loan mobilization payments to achieve the objective of providing working capital for minority business enterprise subcontract vendors.

(7) The contracting state agency shall encourage prime contract vendors to make weekly or biweekly payments to minority business enterprise subcontract vendors participating in this program.

(8) The contracting state agency shall monitor compliance with this section. Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to limit the contracting state agency’s right to insist upon strict compliance with the requirements of the contract documents.

(9) The contracting state agency shall not be a party to a working capital agreement between a participating financial institution and a participating minority business enterprise vendor. The participating financial institution shall notify the contracting state agency head of vendor program applications received by such institution.

(10) The Department of Management Services shall maintain a listing of financial institutions willing to participate in the Florida Minority Business Loan Mobilization Program. This list of financial institutions shall not be exclusive. A minority business enterprise vendor who has a working relationship with a financial institution is encouraged to request that the financial institution apply to participate as a financial institution for the program.

(11) The Department of Management Services shall collaborate with Enterprise Florida, Inc., and the department to assist in the development and enhancement of black business enterprises.

History.—s. 1, ch. 2002-303; s. 1, ch. 2003-268; s. 4, ch. 2007-157; s. 174, ch. 2011-142; s. 33, ch. 2012-5; s. 22, ch. 2013-18.

288.7094 Black business investment corporations.—
(1) The term “black business investment corporation” means a corporation that provides loans, loan guarantees, or investments to black business enterprises under s. 288.7102.

(2) A black business investment corporation that meets the requirements of s. 288.7102(4) is eligible to participate in the Black Business Loan Program and shall receive priority consideration by the department for participation in the program.

History.—s. 10, ch. 2007-157; s. 3, ch. 2008-140; s. 175, ch. 2011-142.

288.7102 Black Business Loan Program.—
(1) The Black Business Loan Program is established in the department, which shall annually certify eligible recipients and subsequently disburse funds appropriated by the Legislature, through such eligible recipients, to black business enterprises that cannot obtain capital through conventional lending institutions but that could otherwise compete successfully in the private sector.

(2) The department shall establish an application and annual certification process for entities seeking funds to participate in providing loans, loan guarantees, or investments in black business enterprises pursuant to the Florida Black Business Investment Act. The department shall process all applications and recertifications submitted by June 1 on or before July 31.

(3) If the Black Business Loan Program is appropriated any funding in a fiscal year, the department shall distribute an equal amount of the appropriation, calculated as the total annual appropriation divided by the total number of program recipients certified on or before July 31 of that fiscal year.

(4) To be eligible to receive funds and provide loans, loan guarantees, or investments under this section, a recipient must:
(a) Be a corporation registered in the state.

(b) For an existing recipient, annually submit to the department a financial audit performed by an independent certified public accountant for the most recently completed fiscal year, which audit does not reveal any material weaknesses or instances of material noncompliance.

(c) For a new recipient:
1. Demonstrate that its board of directors includes citizens of the state experienced in the development of black business enterprises.

2. Demonstrate that the recipient has a business plan that allows the recipient to operate in a manner consistent with this section and the rules of the department.

3. Demonstrate that the recipient has the technical skills to analyze and evaluate applications by black business enterprises for loans, loan guarantees, or investments.

4. Demonstrate that the recipient has established viable partnerships with public and private funding sources, economic development agencies, and workforce development and job referral networks.

5. Demonstrate that the recipient can provide a private match equal to 20 percent of the amount of funds provided by the department.

(d) For an existing or new recipient, agree to maintain the recipient’s books and records relating to funds received by the department according to generally accepted accounting principles and in accordance with the requirements of s. 215.97(7) and to make those books and records available to the department for inspection upon reasonable notice.

(5) Each eligible recipient must meet the requirements of this section, the terms of the contract between the recipient and the department, and any other applicable state or federal laws. An entity may not receive funds unless the entity meets annual certification requirements.

(6) Upon approval by the department and before release of the funds as provided in this section, the department shall issue a letter certifying the applicant as qualified for an award. The department and the applicant shall enter into an agreement that sets forth the conditions for award of the funds. The agreement must include the total amount of funds awarded; the performance conditions that must be met once the funding has been awarded, including, but not limited to, compliance with all of the requirements of this section for eligible recipients of funds under this section; and sanctions for failure to meet performance conditions, including any provisions to recover awards.

(7) The department shall adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement this section.

(8) A black business investment corporation certified by the department as an eligible recipient under this section is authorized to use funds appropriated for the Black Business Loan Program in any of the following forms:
(a) Purchases of stock, preferred or common, voting or nonvoting; however, no more than 40 percent of the funds may be used for direct investments in black business enterprises;

(b) Loans or loan guarantees, with or without recourse, in either a subordinated or priority position; or

(c) Technical support to black business enterprises, not to exceed 9 percent of the funds received, and direct administrative costs, not to exceed 12 percent of the funds received.

(9) It is the intent of the Legislature that if any one type of investment mechanism authorized in subsection (8) is held to be invalid, all other valid mechanisms remain available.

(10) All loans, loan guarantees, and investments, and any income related thereto, shall be used to carry out the public purpose to develop black business enterprises. This subsection does not preclude a reasonable profit for the participating black business investment corporation or for return of equity developed to the state and participating financial institutions upon any distribution of the assets or excess income of the investment corporation.

History.—s. 11, ch. 2007-157; s. 2, ch. 2008-140; s. 4, ch. 2010-39; s. 176, ch. 2011-142; s. 34, ch. 2012-5; s. 46, ch. 2012-96.

288.71025 Prohibited acts; penalties.—
(1) It is unlawful for any person to hold itself out as a black business investment corporation without being certified as eligible to participate in the Florida Black Business Loan Program.

(2) In addition to any other penalties or remedies provided under law, the department may bring a civil action in any court of competent jurisdiction against any person for a knowing or willful violation of this section. Upon an adverse adjudication, the court may impose a civil penalty of up to $500 and payment of court costs and reasonable attorney’s fees incurred by the plaintiff.

History.—s. 12, ch. 2007-157; s. 5, ch. 2010-39; s. 39, ch. 2013-15.

288.7103 Eligibility for loan, loan guarantee, or investment.—A black business enterprise is not eligible to receive a loan, loan guarantee, or investment from funds disbursed pursuant to s. 288.7102 unless the black business enterprise demonstrates that:
(1) The proposed loan, loan guarantee, or investment is economically sound and will assist the black business enterprise in entering the conventional lending market, increasing opportunities for employment, and strengthening the economy of the state.

(2) The black business enterprise will be able to compete successfully in the private sector if the black business enterprise obtains the requested financial assistance and has obtained or will obtain appropriate and credible technical or managerial support through an organization approved by the corporation.

History.—s. 13, ch. 2007-157.

288.714 Quarterly and annual reports.—
(1) Each recipient of state funds under s. 288.7102 shall provide to the department a quarterly report within 15 days after the end of each calendar quarter that includes a detailed summary of the recipient’s performance of the duties imposed by s. 288.7102, including, but not limited to:
(a) The dollar amount of all loans or loan guarantees made to black business enterprises, the percentages of the loans guaranteed, and the names and identification of the types of businesses served.

(b) Loan performance information.

(c) The amount and nature of all other financial assistance provided to black business enterprises.

(d) The amount and nature of technical assistance provided to black business enterprises, including technical assistance services provided in areas in which such services are otherwise unavailable.

(e) A balance sheet for the recipient, including an explanation of all investments and administrative and operational expenses.

(f) A summary of all services provided to nonblack business enterprises, including the dollar value and nature of such services and the names and identification of the types of businesses served.

(g) Any other information as required by policies adopted by the department.

(2) The department must compile a summary of all quarterly reports within 30 days after the end of each calendar quarter which includes a detailed summary of the recipient’s performance of the duties imposed by s. 288.7102.

(3) The department shall include in its annual report required under s. 20.60 a detailed report of the performance of the Black Business Loan Program. The report must include a cumulative summary of the quarterly report data compiled pursuant to subsection (2).

History.—s. 20, ch. 85-104; s. 4, ch. 89-352; s. 66, ch. 96-320; s. 8, ch. 2002-180; s. 5, ch. 2003-268; s. 15, ch. 2007-157; s. 7, ch. 2010-39; s. 177, ch. 2011-142; s. 45, ch. 2012-96; s. 26, ch. 2013-39; s. 28, ch. 2013-42.

PART V
EXPORT FINANCE

288.770 Short title.

288.771 Legislative findings and intent.

288.772 Definitions.

288.773 Florida Export Finance Corporation.

288.774 Powers and limitations.

288.775 Florida Export Finance Corporation Guarantee Account.

288.776 Board of directors; powers and duties.

288.777 President of the corporation.

288.7771 Annual report of Florida Export Finance Corporation.

288.778 Office of Financial Institutions and Securities Regulation.

288.770 Short title.—Sections 288.771-288.778 may be cited as the “Florida Export Finance Corporation Act.”
History.—s. 46, ch. 93-187; s. 68, ch. 99-13.

288.771 Legislative findings and intent.—The Legislature finds that the expansion of international trade is vital to the overall health and growth of Florida’s economy; however, this expansion is severely slowed by the lack of financial and technical assistance for small and medium-sized Florida businesses. The Legislature further finds that these businesses could be assisted through the establishment of a Florida Export Finance Corporation designed to work with the United States Export-Import Bank, Small Business Administration, Foreign Credit Insurance Association, Overseas Private Investment Corporation, Private Export Funding Corporation, and other federal, state, and private agencies and institutions to provide Florida traders with information, technical assistance, and financial support. It is the intention of the Legislature to expand job opportunities for Florida’s workforce. Furthermore, it is the intention of the Legislature to avoid duplicating existing programs, and to coordinate, assist, augment, and improve the access to those programs by Florida-based small and medium-sized businesses and to promote Florida products and services in the international marketplace.
History.—s. 47, ch. 93-187.

288.772 Definitions.—For purposes of ss. 288.771-288.778:
(1) “Account” means the Florida Export Finance Corporation account in the Florida Intergovernmental Relations Foundation, Inc.

(2) “Board” means the board of directors of the Florida Export Finance Corporation.

(3) “Corporation” means the Florida Export Finance Corporation.

(4) “Domiciled in this state” means registered to do business in this state.

(5) “Financial institution” shall have the same meaning as that term is defined in s. 655.005.

(6) “President” means the chief executive officer of the Florida Export Finance Corporation.

(7) “Small and medium-sized businesses” or “businesses” means businesses domiciled in this state which employ less than 250 people and have a net worth of less than $6 million.

History.—s. 48, ch. 93-187; s. 68, ch. 96-320; s. 21, ch. 97-278; s. 32, ch. 2011-194.

288.773 Florida Export Finance Corporation.—The Florida Export Finance Corporation is hereby created as a corporation not for profit, to be incorporated under the provisions of chapter 617 and approved by the Department of State. The corporation is organized on a nonstock basis. The purpose of the corporation is to expand employment and income opportunities for residents of this state through increased exports of goods and services, by providing businesses domiciled in this state information and technical assistance on export opportunities, exporting techniques, and financial assistance through guarantees and direct loan originations for sale in support of export transactions. The corporation shall have the power and authority to carry out the following functions:
(1) To coordinate the efforts of the corporation with programs and goals of the United States Export-Import Bank, the International Trade Administration of the United States Department of Commerce, the Foreign Credit Insurance Association, Enterprise Florida, Inc., and other private and public programs and organizations, domestic and foreign, designed to provide export assistance and export-related financing.

(2) To establish a network of contacts among those domestic and foreign public and private organizations which provide information, technical assistance, and financial support of exporting.

(3) To assemble, publish, and disseminate information on export opportunities, techniques of exporting, sources of public and private export assistance, and sources of export-related financing.

(4) To organize, host, and participate in seminars and other forums designed to disseminate information and technical assistance on exporting and export-related financing.

(5) To insure, coinsure, lend, and guarantee loans, and to originate for sale direct export-related loans, extended to small and medium-sized businesses in this state pursuant to criteria, bylaws, rules, and policies adopted by the board.

History.—s. 49, ch. 93-187; s. 69, ch. 96-320; s. 178, ch. 2011-142.

288.774 Powers and limitations.—
(1) The corporation may charge fees to help defray the operating expenses of its programs. The amount of fees shall be determined by the board.

(2) The total of loans, guarantees, direct loan originations for sale and insured export transactions outstanding shall not be more than five times the balance of the account. The board may elect to require a higher reserve.

(3)(a) The board shall adopt rules on the terms and limits for loans, guarantees, and direct loan originations, but a loan guarantee or a direct loan origination shall not exceed 90 percent of the transaction contract.

(b) In providing assistance, the board shall be guided by the statewide economic development plan adopted by the department.

(c) The board shall explore the possibility of organizing Florida financial institutions and international bank syndicates for the purpose of offering nonrecourse postexport financing to Florida exporters.

(4) The board shall adopt rules to ensure that program participants graduate from the program to private financing and that no applicant receives more than $500,000 of assistance over any 5-year period. On a case-by-case basis, the board may exempt applicants from this limitation if the applicant demonstrates that he or she cannot secure financing from traditional lending sources. The term “applicant,” as used in this subsection, means any individual corporate officer or business owner regardless of whether the business name changes from application to application.

History.—s. 50, ch. 93-187; s. 224, ch. 95-148; s. 70, ch. 96-320; s. 179, ch. 2011-142.

288.775 Florida Export Finance Corporation Guarantee Account.—
(1) The board shall create the Florida Export Finance Corporation Guarantee Account for the purpose of receiving state, federal, and private financial resources, and the return from investments of those resources, and for the purposes of this part. The account shall be under the exclusive control of the board.

(2) Resources in the account shall be allocated for operating expenses of the corporation and for other purposes authorized in this part.

(3) Appropriations for the corporation shall be deposited into the account.
(a) The board of the corporation may deposit the resources of the account designated for the purposes of this section with state or federally chartered financial institutions in this state and may invest the remaining portion in permissible securities.

(b) At all times, the board shall attempt to maximize the returns on these funds.

(c) All funds received from the activity of the corporation shall be redeposited in the account to be used to support the purposes of this part.

(4) Any claims against the account shall be paid solely from the account. Under no circumstances shall the credit of the state be pledged other than funds appropriated by law to the account, nor shall the state be liable or obligated in any way for claims on the account or against the corporation.

History.—s. 51, ch. 93-187; s. 71, ch. 96-320; s. 22, ch. 97-278.

288.776 Board of directors; powers and duties.—

(1)(a) The corporation shall have a board of directors consisting of 15 members representing all geographic areas of the state. Minority and gender representation must be considered when making appointments to the board. The board membership must include:
1. A representative of the following businesses, all of which must be registered to do business in this state: a foreign bank, a state bank, a federal bank, an insurance company involved in covering trade financing risks, and a small or medium-sized exporter.

2. The following persons or their designee: the President of Enterprise Florida, Inc., the Chief Financial Officer, the Secretary of State, and a senior official of the United States Department of Commerce.

(b) Appointees who are not state or Federal Government officials shall serve for a term of 3 years and shall be eligible for reappointment. Nonstate and nonfederal official vacancies on the board shall be filled by the board within 30 days after the effective date of the vacancy.

(2) Board members shall serve without compensation but may be reimbursed for all necessary expenses in the performance of their duties, including attending board meetings and conducting board business.

(3) The board shall:
(a) Prior to the expenditure of funds from the export finance account, adopt bylaws, rules, and policies which are necessary to carry out the responsibilities under this part, particularly with respect to the implementation of the corporation’s programs to insure, coinsure, lend, provide loan guarantees, and make direct, guaranteed, or collateralized loans by the corporation to support export transactions. The corporation’s bylaws, rules, and policies shall be reviewed and approved by Enterprise Florida, Inc., prior to final adoption by the board.

(b) Hold regularly scheduled meetings, at least quarterly, in order to carry out the objectives and responsibilities of the board.

(c) Issue an annual report to Enterprise Florida, Inc., on the activities of the corporation, including an evaluation of activities and recommendations for change. The evaluation shall include the corporation’s impact on the following:
1. Participation of private banks and other private organizations and individuals in the corporation’s export financing programs.

2. Access of small and medium-sized businesses in this state to federal export financing programs.

3. Export volume of the small and medium-sized businesses in this state accessing the corporation’s programs.

4. Other economic and social benefits to international programs in this state.

(d) Adopt policies, including criteria, establishing which exporters and export transactions shall be eligible for insurance, coinsurance, loan guarantees, and direct, guaranteed, or collateralized loans which may be extended by the corporation. Pursuant to this subsection, the board shall adopt rules to include the following criteria:
1. Any individual signing any corporation loan application and loan or guarantee agreement shall have an equity in the business applying for financial assistance.

2. Each program shall exclusively support the export of goods and services by small and medium-sized businesses which are domiciled in this state. Priority shall be given to goods which have value added in this state.

3. Financial assistance shall only be extended when at least one of the following circumstances exists:
a. The assistance is required to secure the participation of small and medium-sized export businesses in federal, state, or private financing programs.

b. No conventional source of lender support is available for the business from public or private financing sources.

Personal financial records, trade secrets, or proprietary information of applicants shall be confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1).

(e) Adopt requirements to ensure the full repayment of loans and loan guarantees, plus accrued interest, full-recourse claims, and indemnities on direct loan originations sold by the corporation, and the solvency of any insurance and coinsurance program extended under this part.

(f) Approve any extension of insurance, coinsurance, loans, loan guarantees, or direct loan originations for sale, under this part.

(g) Consult with Enterprise Florida, Inc., or any state or federal agency, to ensure that the respective loan guarantee or working capital loan origination programs are not duplicative and that each program makes full use of, to the extent practicable, the resources of the other.

(h) Work to secure a delegated line of authority from the United States Export-Import Bank or other appropriate federal or state agency or private sector entity in order to take advantage of this possible funding or guarantee source.

(i) Develop a streamlined application and review process, including a survey of businesses to obtain the statistics required in paragraph (c).

History.—s. 52, ch. 93-187; s. 2, ch. 95-386; s. 72, ch. 96-320; s. 142, ch. 96-406; s. 23, ch. 97-278; s. 69, ch. 99-13; s. 346, ch. 2003-261; s. 180, ch. 2011-142.

288.777 President of the corporation.—
(1) The board shall appoint a president. The president shall be knowledgeable about private and public export assistance and export financing programs.

(2) The president shall serve at the pleasure of the board and shall receive a salary and benefits as shall be fixed by the board.

(3) The president shall administer the programs of the corporation and perform such duties as shall be delegated by the board.

(4) The president may, upon approval of the board:
(a) Contract for services.

(b) Hold public hearings.

(c) Call upon and reimburse for services any state agency or department for assistance in carrying out the objectives of this part.

(d) Participate with government or private industry in programs for technical assistance, loans, technology transfer, or any other programs related to this part.

(e) Undertake or commission studies on methods to increase financial resources to expand the exports of goods and services by small and medium-sized businesses in this state.

(f) Hire staff and provide export finance training for them and other individuals involved in export finance assistance, including such training sessions as may be provided by the United States Export-Import Bank and other organizations.

(g) Exercise any other powers as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this part.

(5) The president shall provide staff to the board as requested.

(6) The president shall submit an annual budget to be approved by the board.

History.—s. 53, ch. 93-187; s. 73, ch. 96-320; s. 24, ch. 97-278.

288.7771 Annual report of Florida Export Finance Corporation.—The corporation shall annually prepare and submit to Enterprise Florida, Inc., for inclusion in its annual report required under s. 288.906, a complete and detailed report setting forth:
(1) The report required in s. 288.776(3).

(2) Its assets and liabilities at the end of its most recent fiscal year.

History.—s. 54, ch. 93-187; s. 74, ch. 96-320; s. 25, ch. 97-278; s. 64, ch. 2001-61; s. 68, ch. 2010-102; s. 181, ch. 2011-142; s. 27, ch. 2013-39; s. 29, ch. 2013-42.

288.778 Office of Financial Institutions and Securities Regulation.—The Office of Financial Regulation shall review the corporation’s activities once every 24 months to determine compliance with this part and other related laws and rules and to evaluate the corporation’s operations. The office shall prepare a report based on its review and evaluation with recommendation for any corrective action. The president shall submit to the office regular reports on the corporation’s activities. The content and frequency of such reports shall be determined by the office. The office shall charge a fee for conducting the review and evaluation and preparing the related report, which fee shall not be in excess of the examination fee paid by financial institutions chartered or licensed under the financial institutions code of this state.
History.—s. 56, ch. 93-187; s. 19, ch. 99-155; s. 347, ch. 2003-261.

PART VI
GULF COAST ECONOMIC CORRIDOR

288.80 Short title

288.8011 Gulf Coast Economic Corridor; legislative intent.

288.8012 Definitions.

288.8013 Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc.; Recovery Fund; creation; investment.

288.8014 Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc.; organization; board of directors.

288.8015 Board of directors; powers.

288.8016 Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc.; duties.

288.8017 Awards.

288.8018 Gulf Coast audits.

288.80 Short title—This section and ss. 288.8011-288.8017 may be cited as the “Gulf Coast Economic Corridor Act.”
History.—s. 51, ch. 2013-39.

288.8011 Gulf Coast Economic Corridor; legislative intent.—The Legislature recognizes that fully supporting areas affected by the Deepwater Horizon disaster to ensure goals for economic recovery and diversification are achieved is in the best interest of the citizens of the state. The Legislature intends to provide a long-term source of funding for efforts of economic recovery and enhancement in the Gulf Coast region. The Legislature finds that it is important to help businesses, individuals, and local governments in the Gulf Coast region recover.
History.—s. 52, ch. 2013-39.

288.8012 Definitions.—As used in ss. 288.80-288.8017, the term:
(1) “Awardee” means a person, organization, or local government granted an award of funds from the Recovery Fund for a project or program.

(2) “Disproportionately affected county” means Bay County, Escambia County, Franklin County, Gulf County, Okaloosa County, Santa Rosa County, Walton County, or Wakulla County.

(3) “Earnings” means all the income generated by investments and interest.

(4) “Recovery Fund” means a trust account established by Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc., for the benefit of the disproportionately affected counties.

History.—s. 53, ch. 2013-39.

288.8013 Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc.; Recovery Fund; creation; investment.—
(1) There is created within the Department of Economic Opportunity a nonprofit corporation, to be known as Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc., which shall be registered, incorporated, organized, and operated in compliance with chapter 617, and which is not a unit or entity of state government. Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc., may receive, hold, invest, and administer the Recovery Fund in support of this act. Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc., is a separate budget entity and is not subject to control, supervision, or direction by the Department of Economic Opportunity in any manner, including, but not limited to, personnel, purchasing, transactions involving real or personal property, and budgetary matters.

(2) Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc., must create and administer the Recovery Fund for the benefit of the disproportionately affected counties. The principal of the fund shall derive from 75 percent of all funds recovered by the Attorney General for economic damage to the state resulting from the Deepwater Horizon disaster, after payment of reasonable and necessary attorney fees, costs, and expenses, including such attorney fees, costs, and expenses pursuant to s. 16.0155.

(3) The Recovery Fund must be maintained as a long-term and stable source of revenue, which shall decline over a 30-year period in equal amounts each year. Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc., shall establish a trust account at a federally insured financial institution to hold funds and make deposits and payments. Earnings generated by investments and interest of the fund, plus the amount of principal available each year, shall be available to make awards pursuant to this act and pay administrative costs. Earnings shall be accounted for separately from principal funds set forth in subsection (2). Administrative costs are limited to 2.25 percent of the earnings in a calendar year. Administrative costs include payment of investment fees, travel and per diem expenses of board members, audits, salary or other costs for employed or contracted staff, including required staff under s. 288.8014(9), and other allowable costs. Any funds remaining in the Recovery Fund after 30 years shall revert to the State Treasury.

(4) Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc., shall invest and reinvest the principal of the Recovery Fund in accordance with s. 617.2104, in such a manner not to subject the funds to state or federal taxes, and consistent with an investment policy statement adopted by the corporation.
(a) The board of directors shall formulate an investment policy governing the investment of the principal of the Recovery Fund. The policy shall pertain to the types, kinds, or nature of investment of any of the funds, and any limitations, conditions or restrictions upon the methods, practices, or procedures for investment, reinvestments, purchases, sales, or exchange transactions, provided such policies shall not conflict with nor be in derogation of any state constitutional provision or law. The policy shall be formulated with the advice of the financial advisor in consultation with the State Board of Administration.

(b) Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc., must competitively procure one or more money managers, under the advice of the financial advisor in consultation with the State Board of Administration, to invest the principal of the Recovery Fund. The applicant manager or managers may not include representatives from the financial institution housing the trust account for the Recovery Fund. The applicant manager or managers must present a plan to invest the Recovery Fund to maximize earnings while prioritizing the preservation of Recovery Fund principal. Any agreement with a money manager must be reviewed by Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc., for continuance at least every 5 years. Plans should include investment in technology and growth businesses domiciled in, or that will be domiciled in, this state or businesses whose principal address is in this state.

(c) Costs and fees for investment services shall be deducted from the earnings as administrative costs. Fees for investment services shall be no greater than 150 basis points.

(d) Annually, Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc., shall cause an audit to be conducted of the investment of the Recovery Fund by the independent certified public accountant retained in s. 288.8014. The expense of such audit shall be paid from earnings for administrative purposes.

(5) Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc., shall report on June 30 and December 30 each year to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives on the financial status of the Recovery Fund and its investments, the established priorities, the project and program selection process, including a list of all submitted projects and reasons for approval or denial, and the status of all approved awards.

(6) The Auditor General shall conduct an operational audit of the Recovery Fund and Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc., annually. Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc., shall provide to the Auditor General any detail or supplemental data required.

History.—s. 54, ch. 2013-39; s. 7, ch. 2014-218.

288.8014 Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc.; organization; board of directors.—
(1) Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc., is subject to the provisions of chapter 119 relating to public records and those provisions of chapter 286 relating to public meetings and records.

(2) Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc., shall be governed by a 5-member board of directors. Each of the Trustees of the State Board of Administration, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall each appoint one member from the private sector. The board of directors shall annually elect a chairperson from among the board’s members. The chairperson may be removed by a majority vote of the members. His or her successor shall be elected to serve for the balance of the removed chairperson’s term. The chairperson is responsible to ensure records are kept of the proceedings of the board of directors and is the custodian of all books, documents, and papers filed with the board; the minutes of meetings of the board; and the official seal of Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc.

(3) Notwithstanding s. 20.052(4)(c), each initial appointment to the board of directors by the Board of Trustees of the State Board of Administration shall serve for a term that ends 4 years after the Legislature appropriates funds to the Recovery Fund. To achieve staggered terms among the members of the board, each initial appointment to the board of directors by the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall serve for a term that ends 5 years after the Legislature appropriates funds to the Recovery Fund. Thereafter, each member of the board of directors shall serve for a term of 4 years. A member is not eligible for reappointment to the board, except, however, any member appointed to fill a vacancy for a term of 2 years or less may be reappointed for an additional term of 4 years. The initial appointments to the board must be made by November 15, 2013. Vacancies on the board of directors shall be filled by the officer who originally appointed the member. A vacancy that occurs before the scheduled expiration of the term of the member shall be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term.

(4) The Legislature determines that it is in the public interest for the members of the board of directors to be subject to the requirements of ss. 112.313, 112.3135, and 112.3143, notwithstanding the fact that the board members are not public officers or employees. For purposes of those sections, the board members shall be considered to be public officers or employees. In addition to the postemployment restrictions of s. 112.313(9), a person appointed to the board of directors must agree to refrain from having any direct interest in any contract, franchise, privilege, project, program, or other benefit arising from an award by Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc., during the term of his or her appointment and for 2 years after the termination of such appointment. It is a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, for a person to accept appointment to the board of directors in violation of this subsection or to accept a direct interest in any contract, franchise, privilege, project, program, or other benefit granted by Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc., to an awardee within 2 years after the termination of his or her service on the board. Further, each member of the board of directors who is not otherwise required to file financial disclosure under s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution or s. 112.3144 shall file disclosure of financial interests under s. 112.3145.

(5) Each member of the board of directors shall serve without compensation, but shall receive travel and per diem expenses as provided in s. 112.061 while in the performance of his or her duties.

(6) Each member of the board of directors is accountable for the proper performance of the duties of office, and each member owes a fiduciary duty to the people of the state to ensure that awards provided are disbursed and used, and investments are made, as prescribed by law and contract. An appointed member of the board of directors may be removed by the officer that appointed the member for malfeasance, misfeasance, neglect of duty, incompetence, permanent inability to perform official duties, unexcused absence from three consecutive meetings of the board, arrest or indictment for a crime that is a felony or a misdemeanor involving theft or a crime of dishonesty, or pleading nolo contendere to, or being found guilty of, any crime.

(7) The board of directors shall meet at least quarterly, upon the call of the chairperson or at the request of a majority of the membership, to review the Recovery Fund, establish and review priorities for economic recovery in disproportionately affected counties, and determine use of the earnings available. A majority of the members of the board of directors constitutes a quorum. Members may not vote by proxy.

(8) The executive director of the Department of Economic Opportunity, or his or her designee, the secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection, or his or her designee, and the chair of the Committee of 8 Disproportionally Affected Counties, or his or her designee, shall be available to consult with the board of directors and may be requested to attend meetings of the board of directors. These individuals shall not be permitted to vote on any matter before the board.

(9)(a) Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc., is permitted to hire or contract for all staff necessary to the proper execution of its powers and duties to implement this act. The corporation is required to retain:
1. An independent certified public accountant licensed in this state pursuant to chapter 473 to inspect the records of and to annually audit the expenditure of the earnings and available principal disbursed by Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc.

2. An independent financial advisor to assist Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc., in the development and implementation of a strategic plan consistent with the requirements of this act.

3. An economic advisor who will assist in the award process, including the development of priorities, allocation decisions, and the application and process; will assist the board in determining eligibility of award applications and the evaluation and scoring of applications; and will assist in the development of award documentation.

4. A legal advisor with expertise in not-for-profit investing and contracting and who is a member of The Florida Bar to assist with contracting and carrying out the intent of this act.

(b) Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc., shall require all employees of the corporation to comply with the code of ethics for public employees under part III of chapter 112. Retained staff under paragraph (a) must agree to refrain from having any direct interest in any contract, franchise, privilege, project, program, or other benefit arising from an award by Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc., during the term of his or her appointment and for 2 years after the termination of such appointment.

(c) Retained staff under paragraph (a) shall be available to consult with the board of directors and shall attend meetings of the board of directors. These individuals shall not be permitted to vote on any matter before the board.

History.—s. 55, ch. 2013-39; s. 8, ch. 2014-218.

288.8015 Board of directors; powers.—In addition to the powers and duties prescribed in chapter 617 and the articles and bylaws adopted in compliance with that chapter, the board of directors may:
(1) Make and enter into contracts and other instruments necessary or convenient for the exercise of its powers and functions.

(2) Make expenditures including any necessary administrative expenditure from earnings consistent with its powers.

(3) Adopt, use, and alter a common corporate seal. Notwithstanding any provision of chapter 617 to the contrary, this seal is not required to contain the words “corporation not for profit.”

(4) Adopt, amend, and repeal bylaws, not inconsistent with the powers granted to it or the articles of incorporation, for the administration of the activities of Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc., and the exercise of its corporate powers.

(5) Use the state seal, notwithstanding the provisions of s. 15.03, when appropriate, for standard corporate identity applications. Use of the state seal is not intended to replace use of a corporate seal as provided in this section.

Under no circumstances may the credit of the State of Florida be pledged on behalf of Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc.
History.—s. 56, ch. 2013-39.

288.8016 Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc.; duties.—Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc., shall have the following duties:
(1) Manage responsibly and prudently all funds received, and ensure that the use of such funds is in accordance with all applicable laws, bylaws, or contractual requirements.

(2) Administer the program created under this act.

(3) Monitor, review, and annually evaluate awardees and their projects or programs to determine whether an award should be continued, terminated, reduced, or increased.

(4) Operate in a transparent manner, providing public access to information, notice of meetings, awards, and the status of projects and programs. To this end, Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc., shall maintain a website that provides public access to this information.

History.—s. 57, ch. 2013-39.

288.8017 Awards.—
(1) Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc., shall make awards from available earnings and principal derived under s. 288.8013(2) to projects or programs that meet the priorities for economic recovery, diversification, and enhancement of the disproportionately affected counties, notwithstanding s. 377.43. Awards may be provided for:
(a) Ad valorem tax reduction within disproportionately affected counties;

(b) Payment of impact fees adopted pursuant to s. 163.31801 and imposed within disproportionately affected counties;

(c) Administrative funding for economic development organizations located within the disproportionately affected counties;

(d) Local match requirements of ss. 288.0655, 288.0659, 288.1045, and 288.106 for projects in the disproportionately affected counties;

(e) Economic development projects in the disproportionately affected counties;

(f) Infrastructure projects that are shown to enhance economic development in the disproportionately affected counties;

(g) Grants to local governments in the disproportionately affected counties to establish and maintain equipment and trained personnel for local action plans of response to respond to disasters, such as plans created for the Coastal Impacts Assistance Program;

(h) Grants to support programs of excellence that prepare students for future occupations and careers at K-20 institutions that have home campuses in the disproportionately affected counties. Eligible programs include those that increase students’ technology skills and knowledge; encourage industry certifications; provide rigorous, alternative pathways for students to meet high school graduation requirements; strengthen career readiness initiatives; fund high-demand programs of emphasis at the bachelor’s and master’s level designated by the Board of Governors; and, similar to or the same as talent retention programs created by the Chancellor of the State University System and the Commission of Education, encourage students with interest or aptitude for science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medical disciplines to pursue postsecondary education at a state university within the disproportionately affected counties; and

(i) Grants to the tourism entity created under s. 288.1226 for the purpose of advertising and promoting tourism, Fresh From Florida, or related content on behalf of one or all of the disproportionately affected counties.

(2) Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc., shall establish an application procedure for awards and a scoring process for the selection of projects and programs that have the potential to generate increased economic activity in the disproportionately affected counties, giving priority to projects and programs that:
(a) Generate maximum estimated economic benefits, based on tools and models not generally employed by economic input-output analyses, including cost-benefit, return-on-investment, or dynamic scoring techniques to determine how the long-term economic growth potential of the disproportionately affected counties may be enhanced by the investment.

(b) Increase household income in the disproportionately affected counties above national average household income.

(c) Expand high growth industries or establish new high growth industries in the region.
1. Industries that are supported must have strong growth potential in the disproportionately affected counties.

2. An industry’s growth potential is defined based on a detailed review of the current industry trends nationally and the necessary supporting asset base for that industry in the disproportionately affected counties region.

(d) Leverage or further enhance key regional assets, including educational institutions, research facilities, and military bases.

(e) Partner with local governments to provide funds, infrastructure, land, or other assistance for the project.

(f) Have investment commitments from private equity or private venture capital funds.

(g) Provide or encourage seed stage investments in start-up companies.

(h) Provide advice and technical assistance to companies on restructuring existing management, operations, or production to attract advantageous business opportunities.

(i) Benefit the environment in addition to the economy.

(j) Provide outcome measures for programs of excellence support, including terms of intent and metrics.

(k) Partner with K-20 educational institutions or school districts located within the disproportionately affected counties.

(l) Partner with convention and visitor bureaus, tourist development councils, or chambers of commerce located within the disproportionately affected counties.

(3) Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc., may make awards as applications are received or may establish application periods for selection. Awards may not be used to finance 100 percent of any project or program. Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc., may require a one-to-one private-sector match or higher for an award, if applicable and deemed prudent by the board of directors. An awardee may not receive all of the earnings or available principal in any given year.

(4) A contract executed by Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc., with an awardee must include provisions requiring a performance report on the contracted activities, must account for the proper use of funds provided under the contract, and must include provisions for recovery of awards in the event the award was based upon fraudulent information or the awardee is not meeting the performance requirements of the award. Awardees must regularly report to Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc., the status of the project or program on a schedule determined by the corporation.

History.—s. 58, ch. 2013-39.

288.8018 Gulf Coast audits.—
(1) The scope of a financial audit conducted pursuant to s. 218.39 shall include funds related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill for any year in which a local government entity receives or expends funds related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, including any funds under s. 288.8017 or under 33 U.S.C. s. 1321(t). The scope of review for these funds shall include, but is not limited to, compliance with state and federal laws related to the receipt and expenditure of these funds.

(2) Every 2 years, the Auditor General shall conduct an operational audit, as defined in s. 11.45, of a local government entity’s funds related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to evaluate the local government entity’s performance in administering laws, policies, and procedures governing the expenditure of funds related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in an efficient and effective manner. The scope of review shall include, but is not limited to, evaluating internal controls, internal audit functions, reporting and performance requirements required for use of the funds, and compliance with state and federal law. The audit shall include any funds the local government entity receives or expends related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, including any funds under s. 288.8017 or under 33 U.S.C. s. 1321(t).

(3) In addition to the rules of the Auditor General adopted under s. 11.45(8), the Auditor General shall adopt rules for the form and conduct of all financial audits performed by independent certified public accountants and for audits of local government entities conducted under this section for funds received under 33 U.S.C. s. 1321(t). Such rules shall take into account the rules for such audits set forth by the Secretary of the Treasury pursuant to 33 U.S.C s. 1321(t).

(4) The Auditor General may report findings to the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States in addition to the reporting requirements under state law.

History.—s. 59, ch. 2013-39.

PART VII
INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

288.809 Florida Intergovernmental Relations Foundation; use of property; board of directors; audit.

288.816 Intergovernmental relations.

288.8175 Linkage institutes between postsecondary institutions in this state and foreign countries.

288.826 Florida International Trade and Promotion Trust Fund.

288.851 Short title.

288.852 Legislative purpose.

288.853 International sanctions against Castro government.

288.854 Support for a free and independent Cuba.

288.855 Export or sale for export to foreign countries in violation of federal law prohibited.

288.809 Florida Intergovernmental Relations Foundation; use of property; board of directors; audit.—
(1) DEFINITIONS.—For the purposes of this section, the term:
(a) “Florida Intergovernmental Relations Foundation” means a direct-support organization:
1. Which is a corporation not for profit that is incorporated under the provisions of chapter 617 and approved by the Department of State;

2. Which is organized and operated exclusively to solicit, receive, hold, invest, and administer property and, subject to the approval of the state protocol officer, to make expenditures to or for the promotion of intergovernmental relations programs; and

3. Which the state protocol officer, after review, has certified to be operating in a manner consistent with the policies and goals of the state protocol officer.

(b) “Personal services” includes full-time or part-time personnel, as well as payroll processing.

(2) USE OF PROPERTY.—The state protocol officer:
(a) May permit the use of property, facilities, and personal services of the Executive Office of the Governor by the foundation, subject to this section.

(b) Shall prescribe conditions with which the foundation must comply in order to use property, facilities, or personal services of the department. Such conditions shall provide for budget and audit review and for oversight by the state protocol officer.

(c) Shall not permit the use of property, facilities, or personal services of the foundation if the foundation does not provide equal employment opportunities to all persons, regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or religion.

(3) BOARD OF DIRECTORS.—The board of directors of the foundation shall be composed of seven members appointed by the Governor, of whom no more than three shall be employees or elected officials of the state.

(4) ANNUAL AUDIT.—The foundation shall provide for an annual financial audit in accordance with s. 215.981. The identity of a donor or prospective donor to the foundation who desires to remain anonymous and all information identifying such donor or prospective donor are confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. Such anonymity shall be maintained in the auditor’s report.

(5) REPEAL.—This section is repealed October 1, 2019, unless reviewed and saved from repeal by the Legislature.

History.—s. 67, ch. 90-201; s. 9, ch. 91-5; s. 26, ch. 91-201; s. 5, ch. 91-429; s. 11, ch. 92-299; s. 225, ch. 95-148; s. 2, ch. 95-369; s. 75, ch. 96-320; s. 143, ch. 96-406; s. 93, ch. 2001-266; s. 8, ch. 2004-242; s. 183, ch. 2011-142; s. 14, ch. 2014-96.

288.816 Intergovernmental relations.—
(1) The state protocol officer shall be responsible for consular operations and the sister city and sister state program and shall serve as liaison with foreign, federal, and other state international organizations and with county and municipal governments in Florida.

(2) The state protocol officer shall be responsible for all consular relations between the state and all foreign governments doing business in Florida. The state protocol officer shall monitor United States laws and directives to ensure that all federal treaties regarding foreign privileges and immunities are properly observed. The state protocol officer shall:
(a) Establish a viable system of registration for foreign government officials residing or having jurisdiction in the state. Emphasis shall be placed on maintaining active communication between the state protocol officer and the United States Department of State in order to be currently informed regarding foreign governmental personnel stationed in, or with official responsibilities for, Florida. Active dialogue shall also be maintained with foreign countries which historically have had dealings with Florida in order to keep them informed of the proper procedure for registering with the state.

(b) Maintain and systematically update a current and accurate list of all such foreign governmental officials, consuls, or consulates.

(c) Issue certificates to such foreign governmental officials after verification pursuant to proper investigations through United States Department of State sources and the appropriate foreign government.

(d) Verify entitlement to sales and use tax exemptions pursuant to United States Department of State guidelines and identification methods.

(e) Verify entitlement to issuance of special motor vehicle license plates by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to honorary consuls or such other officials representing foreign governments who are not entitled to issuance of special Consul Corps license plates by the United States Government.

(f) Establish a system of communication to provide all state and local law enforcement agencies with information regarding proper procedures relating to the arrest or incarceration of a foreign citizen.

(g) Request the Department of Law Enforcement to provide transportation and protection services when necessary pursuant to s. 943.68.

(h) Coordinate, when necessary, special activities between foreign governments and Florida state and local governments. These may include Consular Corps Day, Consular Corps conferences, and various other social, cultural, or educational activities.

(i) Notify all newly arrived foreign governmental officials of the services offered by the state protocol officer.

(3) The state protocol officer shall operate the sister city and sister state program and establish such new programs as needed to further global understanding through the interchange of people, ideas, and culture between Florida and the world. To accomplish this purpose, the state protocol officer shall have the power and authority to:
(a) Coordinate and carry out activities designed to encourage the state and its subdivisions to participate in sister city and sister state affiliations with foreign countries and their subdivisions. Such activities may include a State of Florida sister cities conference.

(b) Encourage cooperation with and disseminate information pertaining to the Sister Cities International Program and any other program whose object is to promote linkages with foreign countries and their subdivisions.

(c) Maximize any aid available from all levels of government, public and private agencies, and other entities to facilitate such activities.

(d) Establish a viable system of registration for sister city and sister state affiliations between the state and foreign countries and their subdivisions. Such system shall include a method to determine that sufficient ties are properly established as well as a method to supervise how these ties are maintained.

(e) Maintain a current and accurate listing of all such affiliations. Sister city affiliations shall not be discouraged between the state and any country specified in s. 620(f)(1) of the federal Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended, with whom the United States is currently conducting diplomatic relations unless a mandate from the United States Government expressly prohibits such affiliations.

(4) The state protocol officer shall serve as a contact for the state with the Florida Washington Office, the Florida Congressional Delegation, and United States Government agencies with respect to laws or policies which may affect the interests of the state in the area of international relations. All inquiries received regarding international economic trade development or reverse investment opportunities shall be referred to Enterprise Florida, Inc. In addition, the state protocol officer shall serve as liaison with other states with respect to international programs of interest to Florida. The state protocol officer shall also investigate and make suggestions regarding possible areas of joint action or regional cooperation with these states.

(5) The state protocol officer shall have the power and duty to encourage the relocation to Florida of consular offices and multilateral and international agencies and organizations.

(6) The department and Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall help to contribute an international perspective to the state’s development efforts.

History.—s. 74, ch. 90-201; s. 16, ch. 91-5; s. 26, ch. 91-201; s. 5, ch. 91-429; s. 77, ch. 96-320; s. 26, ch. 97-278; s. 2, ch. 2001-200; s. 23, ch. 2002-21; s. 9, ch. 2004-242; s. 4, ch. 2011-66; s. 182, ch. 2011-142; s. 23, ch. 2013-18.

288.8175 Linkage institutes between postsecondary institutions in this state and foreign countries.—
(1) There are created Florida linkage institutes. A primary purpose of these institutes is to assist in the development of stronger economic, cultural, educational, and social ties between this state and strategic foreign countries through the promotion of expanded public and private dialogue on cooperative research and technical assistance activities, increased bilateral commerce, student and faculty exchange, cultural exchange, and the enhancement of language training skills between the postsecondary institutions in this state and those of selected foreign countries. Each institute must ensure that minority students are afforded an equal opportunity to participate in the exchange programs.

(2) Each institute must be governed by an agreement between the Board of Governors of the State University System for a state university and the State Board of Education for a community college with the counterpart organization in a foreign country. Each institute must report to the Department of Education regarding its program activities, expenditures, and policies.

(3) Each institute must be co-administered in this state by a university-community college partnership, as designated in subsection (5), and must have a private sector and public sector advisory committee. The advisory committee must be representative of the international education and commercial interests of the state and may have members who are native to the foreign country partner. Six members must be appointed by the Department of Education. The Department of Education must appoint at least one member who is an international educator. The presidents, or their designees, of the participating university and community college must also serve on the advisory committee.

(4) The institutes are:
(a) Florida-Brazil Institute (University of Florida and Miami Dade College).

(b) Florida-Costa Rica Institute (Florida State University and Valencia College).

(c) Florida Caribbean Institute (Florida International University and Daytona State College).

(d) Florida-Canada Institute (University of Central Florida and Palm Beach State College).

(e) Florida-China Institute (University of West Florida, University of South Florida, and Eastern Florida State College).

(f) Florida-Japan Institute (University of South Florida, University of West Florida, and St. Petersburg College).

(g) Florida-France Institute (New College of the University of South Florida, Miami Dade College, and Florida State University).

(h) Florida-Israel Institute (Florida Atlantic University and Broward College).

(i) Florida-West Africa Institute (Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, University of North Florida, and Florida State College at Jacksonville).

(j) Florida-Eastern Europe Institute (University of Central Florida and Lake-Sumter State College).

(k) Florida-Mexico Institute (Florida International University and Polk State College).

(5) Each institute is allowed to exempt from s. 1009.21 up to 25 full-time equivalent students per year from the respective host countries to study in any of the state universities or community colleges in this state as resident students for tuition purposes. The institute directors shall develop criteria, to be approved by the Department of Education, for the selection of these students. Students must return home within 3 years after their tenure of graduate or undergraduate study for a length of time equal to their exemption period.

(6) Each state university and community college linkage institute partner may enter into an agreement for a student exchange program, that requires that the tuition and fees of a student who is enrolled in a state university or community college and who is participating in an exchange program be paid to the university or community college while the student is participating in the exchange program. The agreement may also require that the tuition and fees of a student who is enrolled in a postsecondary institution in a foreign country and who is participating in an exchange program be paid to the foreign institution of enrollment.

(7) A linkage institute may not be created or funded except upon the recommendation of the Department of Education and except by amendment to this section.

History.—s. 23, ch. 87-329; s. 1, ch. 88-162; s. 78, ch. 90-201; s. 34, ch. 90-302; s. 21, ch. 91-5; s. 26, ch. 91-201; s. 5, ch. 91-429; s. 66, ch. 93-187; s. 78, ch. 96-320; s. 27, ch. 97-278; s. 36, ch. 2000-258; s. 947, ch. 2002-387; s. 10, ch. 2004-242; s. 41, ch. 2007-217; s. 57, ch. 2008-4; s. 26, ch. 2009-21; s. 9, ch. 2009-228; s. 1, ch. 2010-23; s. 69, ch. 2010-102; s. 2, ch. 2011-102; s. 184, ch. 2011-142; s. 1, ch. 2013-24; s. 1, ch. 2013-45.

Note.—Former s. 240.137.

288.826 Florida International Trade and Promotion Trust Fund.—There is hereby established in the State Treasury the Florida International Trade and Promotion Trust Fund. The moneys deposited into this trust fund shall be administered by the department for the operation of Enterprise Florida, Inc., and for the operation of Florida international offices under s. 288.012.
History.—s. 91, ch. 90-132; s. 114, ch. 90-201; s. 55, ch. 91-5; s. 26, ch. 91-201; s. 5, ch. 91-429; s. 16, ch. 92-299; s. 13, ch. 95-430; s. 79, ch. 96-320; s. 185, ch. 2011-142.

288.851 Short title.—This act may be cited as the “Cuban Freedom Act.”
History.—s. 1, ch. 96-188.

288.852 Legislative purpose.—It is the purpose of this act to assist in strengthening international sanctions against the government of Fidel Castro and his regime in the Republic of Cuba, encouraging the holding of free and fair elections, providing a policy framework for the United States and Florida to support a transition government and a democratically elected government in Cuba, and protecting the rights of Floridians who own claims to confiscated property abroad.
History.—s. 2, ch. 96-188.

288.853 International sanctions against Castro government.—
(1) The Legislature hereby finds that:
(a) The acts of Fidel Castro and his government, including human rights violations, are a threat to international peace and to the peace of the State of Florida.

(b) The President should instruct the United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations to seek, in the Security Council, an international embargo against the Castro dictatorship, similar to consultations conducted with respect to Haiti.

(c) There should be a detrimental impact on United States assistance to any independent state of the former Soviet Union which resumes efforts to make operational the nuclear facility at Cienfuegos, Cuba.

(2) The Legislature hereby supports and reaffirms s. 1704(a) of the Cuban Democracy Act of 1992, which states that the President should encourage foreign countries to restrict trade and credit relations with Cuba, and urges the President to take immediate steps to apply sanctions described in s. 1704(b)(1) of such act against countries assisting Cuba.

(3) To the extent allowed by federal law, no loan, credit, or other financing may be extended knowingly by a citizen or legal resident of Florida, a state agency, or a financial institution located or doing business in Florida to any person for the purpose of financing transactions involving any confiscated property, as defined by s. 4 of the federal Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act of 1996, the claim to which is owned by a citizen or legal resident of Florida as of July 1, 1996, except for financing by the citizen or legal resident of Florida owning such claim for a transaction permitted under state and federal law. Any person who violates this subsection commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084 so long as the imposition of the state penalty does not in any way interfere with full federal prosecution and penalties.

(4) The Legislature hereby requests:
(a) Congress and the President to withhold payment to any international financial institution that approves a loan or other assistance to Cuba in an amount equal to the amount of the loan or assistance provided to Cuba.

(b) The President to instruct the United States Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States to oppose the readmission of Cuba to the Organization of American States until a democratically elected government exists in Cuba.

(c) Upon the termination of Fidel Castro’s government in Cuba to take steps during the period that a transition government is in power in Cuba to support the processing of Cuba’s application for membership in any international financial institution, to take effect after a democratically elected government is in power in Cuba.

(5)(a) It is illegal for any person, firm, or corporation to import into Florida any sugars, syrups, or molasses that are the product of a country that the President determines has imported sugar, syrup, or molasses from Cuba. The intent of this section is to prevent indirect subsidization of the Cuban sugar industry through countries that buy Cuban sugar for domestic consumption and sell their own sugar to the United States at inflated prices under the sugar quota allotment program. Any person who violates this subsection commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084 so long as the imposition of the state penalty does not in any way interfere with full federal prosecution and penalties.

(b) The requirements of paragraph (a) shall not apply if the country described in paragraph (a) certifies to the President that the country will not import sugar, syrup, or molasses that is the product of Cuba until free and fair elections are held in Cuba.

History.—s. 3, ch. 96-188; s. 70, ch. 99-13; s. 70, ch. 2010-102.

288.854 Support for a free and independent Cuba.—
(1) It is the policy of Florida to:
(a) Support the self-determination of the Cuban people.

(b) Facilitate a peaceful transition to representative democracy and a free market economy in Cuba.

(c) Be impartial toward any individual or entity in the selection by the Cuban people of their future government.

(2) Once the President has determined that a democratically elected government exists in Cuba, the Legislature of Florida supports the United States policy to:
(a) Restore diplomatic recognition and support the reintegration of Cuba into entities of the Inter-American System.

(b) Remove the economic embargo.

(c) Pursue a mutually beneficial trading relationship.

(3) Florida’s participation in the economic embargo on Cuba shall be terminated by Florida upon transmittal to Congress of a presidential determination that a democratically elected government is in power in Cuba.

(4) For the purposes of this act, the term:
(a) A “transition government in Cuba” means one which:
1. Is demonstrably in transition from communist totalitarian dictatorship to democracy.

2. Has released all political prisoners.

3. Has dissolved the present Department of State Security in the Cuban Ministry of the Interior.

4. Also “makes public commitments” to:
a. Establishing an independent judiciary.

b. Respecting internationally recognized human rights and basic freedoms.

c. Guaranteeing the rights of free speech and freedom of the press.

d. Permitting the reinstatement of citizenship to Cuban-born nationals returning to Cuba.

e. Organizing free and fair elections for a new government.

f. Assuring the right to private property.

g. Taking appropriate steps either to return to United States citizens property taken by the government of Cuba on or after January 1, 1959, or to provide equitable compensation to United States citizens for such property.

h. Having a currency that is fully convertible domestically and internationally.

i. Granting permits to privately owned telecommunications and media companies to operate in Cuba.

j. Allowing the establishment of an independent labor movement and of independent social, economic, and political associations.

5. Does not include Fidel Castro or Raul Castro.

6. Has given adequate assurances that it will allow the speedy and efficient distribution of assistance to the Cuban people.

7. Permits the deployment throughout Cuba of independent and unfettered international human rights monitors.

(b) A “democratic government in Cuba” means one which:
1. Is the product of free and fair elections in which opposition parties had sufficient time to organize and were permitted full access to media.

2. Is showing respect for basic civil liberties and human rights.

3. Has established an independent judiciary.

4. Is moving toward a market-oriented economic system based on the right to own and enjoy property.

5. Is committed to making constitutional changes that would ensure regular free and fair elections.

6. Has returned to United States citizens, and entities which are 50 percent or more beneficially owned by United States citizens, property taken by the government of Cuba from such citizens and entities on or after January 1, 1959, or provides full compensation in accordance with international law standards.

History.—s. 4, ch. 96-188.

288.855 Export or sale for export to foreign countries in violation of federal law prohibited.—No person, corporation, company, or other entity shall export or make a sale intended for export to a foreign country of any goods, products, or services in violation of any federal law. Except as prohibited by the preceding sentence, no person, corporation, company, or other entity, by contract or otherwise, shall prohibit, restrict, or restrain the exportation or a sale intended for exportation from the state to a foreign country of any goods, products, or services.
History.—s. 5, ch. 96-188.

PART VIII
ENTERPRISE FLORIDA, INC.

288.901 Enterprise Florida, Inc.

288.9015 Powers of Enterprise Florida, Inc.; board of directors.

288.903 Duties of Enterprise Florida, Inc.

288.904 Funding for Enterprise Florida, Inc.; performance and return on the public’s investment.

288.905 President and employees of Enterprise Florida, Inc.

288.906 Annual report of Enterprise Florida, Inc., and its divisions; audits.

288.907 Annual incentives report.

288.911 Creation and implementation of a marketing and image campaign.

288.912 Inventory of communities seeking to recruit businesses.

288.92 Divisions of Enterprise Florida, Inc.

288.923 Division of Tourism Marketing; definitions; responsibilities.

288.901 Enterprise Florida, Inc.—
(1) CREATION.—
(a) There is created a nonprofit corporation, to be known as “Enterprise Florida, Inc.,” which shall be registered, incorporated, organized, and operated in compliance with chapter 617, and which is not a unit or entity of state government.

(b) The Legislature determines it is in the public interest and reflects the state’s public policy that Enterprise Florida, Inc., operate in the most open and accessible manner consistent with its public purposes. To this end, the Legislature specifically declares that Enterprise Florida, Inc., and its divisions, boards, and advisory councils, or similar entities created or managed by Enterprise Florida, Inc., are subject to the provisions of chapter 119 relating to public records and those provisions of chapter 286 relating to public meetings and records.

(c) The president, senior managers, and members of the board of directors of Enterprise Florida, Inc., are subject to ss. 112.313(1)-(8), (10), (12), and (15); 112.3135; and 112.3143(2). For purposes of applying ss. 112.313(1)-(8), (10), (12), and (15); 112.3135; and 112.3143(2) to activities of the president, senior managers, and members of the board of directors, those persons shall be considered public officers or employees and the corporation shall be considered their agency. The exemption set forth in s. 112.313(12) for advisory boards applies to the members of Enterprise Florida, Inc., board of directors. Further, each member of the board of directors who is not otherwise required to file financial disclosures pursuant to s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution or s. 112.3144, shall file disclosure of financial interests pursuant to s. 112.3145.

(2) PURPOSES.—Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall act as the economic development organization for the state, utilizing private sector and public sector expertise in collaboration with the department to:
(a) Increase private investment in Florida;

(b) Advance international and domestic trade opportunities;

(c) Market the state both as a probusiness location for new investment and as an unparalleled tourist destination;

(d) Revitalize Florida’s space and aerospace industries, and promote emerging complementary industries;

(e) Promote opportunities for minority-owned businesses;

(f) Assist and market professional and amateur sport teams and sporting events in Florida; and

(g) Assist, promote, and enhance economic opportunities in this state’s rural and urban communities.

(3) PERFORMANCE.—Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall enter into a performance-based contract with the department, pursuant to s. 20.60, which includes annual measurements of the performance of Enterprise Florida, Inc.

(4) GOVERNANCE.—Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall be governed by a board of directors. The Governor shall serve as chairperson of the board. The board of directors shall biennially elect one of its members as vice chairperson.

(5) APPOINTED MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS.—
(a) In addition to the Governor or his or her designee, the board of directors shall consist of the following appointed members:
1. The Commissioner of Education or his or her designee.

2. The Chief Financial Officer or his or her designee.

3. The Attorney General or his or her designee.

4. The Commissioner of Agriculture or his or her designee.

5. The chairperson of the board of directors of CareerSource Florida, Inc.

6. The Secretary of State or his or her designee.

7. Twelve members from the private sector, six of whom shall be appointed by the Governor, three of whom shall be appointed by the President of the Senate, and three of whom shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Members appointed by the Governor are subject to Senate confirmation.

(b) In making their appointments, the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall ensure that the composition of the board of directors reflects the diversity of Florida’s business community and is representative of the economic development goals in subsection (2). The board must include at least one director for each of the following areas of expertise: international business, tourism marketing, the space or aerospace industry, managing or financing a minority-owned business, manufacturing, finance and accounting, and sports marketing.

(c) The Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives also shall consider appointees who reflect Florida’s racial, ethnic, and gender diversity. Efforts shall be taken to ensure participation from all geographic areas of the state, including representation from urban and rural communities.

(d) Appointed members shall be appointed to 4-year terms, except that initially, to provide for staggered terms, the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall each appoint one member to serve a 2-year term and one member to serve a 3-year term, with the remaining initial appointees serving 4-year terms. All subsequent appointments shall be for 4-year terms.

(e) Initial appointments must be made by October 1, 2011, and be eligible for confirmation at the earliest available Senate session. Terms end on September 30.

(f) Any member is eligible for reappointment, except that a member may not serve more than two terms.

(g) A vacancy on the board of directors shall be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term. Vacancies on the board shall be filled by appointment by the Governor, the President of the Senate, or the Speaker of the House of Representatives, respectively, depending on who appointed the member whose vacancy is to be filled or whose term has expired.

(h) Appointed members may be removed by the Governor, the President of the Senate, or the Speaker of the House of Representatives, respectively, for cause. Absence from three consecutive meetings results in automatic removal.

(6) AT-LARGE MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS.—The board of directors may by resolution appoint at-large members to the board from the private sector, each of whom may serve a term of up to 3 years. At-large members shall have the powers and duties of other members of the board. An at-large member is eligible for reappointment but may not vote on his or her own reappointment. An at-large member shall be eligible to fill vacancies occurring among private sector appointees under subsection (5). At-large members may annually provide contributions to Enterprise Florida, Inc., in an amount determined by the board of directors. The contributions must be used to defray the operating expenses of Enterprise Florida, Inc., and help meet the required private match to the state’s annual appropriation.

(7) EX OFFICIO BOARD MEMBERS.—In addition to the members specified in subsections (5) and (6), the board of directors shall consist of the following ex officio members:
(a) A member of the Senate, who shall be appointed by the President of the Senate and serve at the pleasure of the President.

(b) A member of the House of Representatives, who shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and serve at the pleasure of the Speaker.

(8) MEETING.—The board of directors shall meet at least four times each year, upon the call of the chairperson, at the request of the vice chairperson, or at the request of a majority of the membership. A majority of the total number of current voting members shall constitute a quorum. The board of directors may take official action by a majority vote of the members present at any meeting at which a quorum is present.

(9) SERVICE.—Members of the board of directors shall serve without compensation, but members may be reimbursed for all reasonable, necessary, and actual expenses, as determined by the board of directors.

(10) PROHIBITION.—Enterprise Florida, Inc., may not endorse any candidate for any elected public office or contribute moneys to the campaign of any such candidate.

History.—s. 2, ch. 92-277; s. 2, ch. 94-232; s. 881, ch. 95-148; s. 80, ch. 96-320; s. 28, ch. 97-278; s. 27, ch. 99-251; s. 80, ch. 2000-165; s. 348, ch. 2003-261; s. 4, ch. 2005-66; s. 22, ch. 2011-142; s. 83, ch. 2012-96; s. 21, ch. 2013-36; s. 8, ch. 2014-183; s. 8, ch. 2015-98.

288.9015 Powers of Enterprise Florida, Inc.; board of directors.—
(1) Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall integrate its efforts in business recruitment and expansion, job creation, marketing the state for tourism and sports, and promoting economic opportunities for minority-owned businesses and promoting economic opportunities for rural and distressed urban communities with those of the department, to create an aggressive, agile, and collaborative effort to reinvigorate the state’s economy.

(2) The board of directors of Enterprise Florida, Inc., may:
(a) Secure funding for its programs and activities, and for its boards from federal, state, local, and private sources and from fees charged for services and published materials.

(b) Solicit, receive, hold, invest, and administer any grant, payment, or gift of funds or property and make expenditures consistent with the powers granted to it.

(c) Make and enter into contracts and other instruments necessary or convenient for the exercise of its powers and functions. A contract executed by Enterprise Florida, Inc., with a person or organization under which such person or organization agrees to perform economic development services or similar business assistance services on behalf of Enterprise Florida, Inc., or the state must include provisions requiring a performance report on the contracted activities and must account for the proper use of funds provided under the contract, coordinate with other components of state and local economic development systems, and avoid duplication of existing state and local services and activities.

(d) Elect or appoint such officers, employees, and agents as required for its activities and for its divisions and pay such persons reasonable compensation.

(e) Carry forward any unexpended state appropriations into succeeding fiscal years.

(f) Create and dissolve advisory councils pursuant to s. 288.92, working groups, task forces, or similar organizations, as necessary to carry out its mission. Members of advisory councils, working groups, task forces, or similar organizations created by Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall serve without compensation, but may be reimbursed for reasonable, necessary, and actual expenses, as determined by the board of directors of Enterprise Florida, Inc.

(g) Establish an executive committee consisting of the chairperson or a designee, the vice chairperson, and as many additional members of the board of directors as the board deems appropriate, except that such committee must have a minimum of five members. The executive committee shall have such authority as the board of directors delegates to it, except that the board may not delegate the authority to hire or fire the president or the authority to establish or adjust the compensation paid to the president.

(h) Sue and be sued, and appear and defend in all actions and proceedings, in its corporate name to the same extent as a natural person.

(i) Adopt, use, and alter a common corporate seal for Enterprise Florida, Inc., and its divisions. Notwithstanding any provision of chapter 617 to the contrary, this seal is not required to contain the words “corporation not for profit.”

(j) Adopt, amend, and repeal bylaws, not inconsistent with the powers granted to it or the articles of incorporation, for the administration of the activities of Enterprise Florida, Inc., and the exercise of its corporate powers.

(k) Acquire, enjoy, use, and dispose of patents, copyrights, and trademarks and any licenses, royalties, and other rights or interests thereunder or therein.

(l) Use the state seal, notwithstanding the provisions of s. 15.03, when appropriate, for standard corporate identity applications. Use of the state seal is not intended to replace use of a corporate seal as provided in this section.

(m) Procure insurance or require bond against any loss in connection with the property of Enterprise Florida, Inc., and its divisions, in such amounts and from such insurers as is necessary or desirable.

(3) The powers granted to Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall be liberally construed in order that Enterprise Florida, Inc., may pursue and succeed in its responsibilities under this part.

(4) Under no circumstances may the credit of the State of Florida be pledged on behalf of Enterprise Florida, Inc.

(5) In addition to any indemnification available under chapter 617, Enterprise Florida, Inc., may indemnify, and purchase and maintain insurance on behalf of, its directors, officers, and employees of Enterprise Florida, Inc., and its divisions against any personal liability or accountability by reason of actions taken while acting within the scope of their authority.

History.—s. 81, ch. 96-320; s. 29, ch. 97-278; s. 28, ch. 99-251; s. 14, ch. 2001-201; s. 10, ch. 2002-180; s. 5, ch. 2005-66; s. 64, ch. 2006-60; s. 6, ch. 2006-291; s. 11, ch. 2006-301; s. 16, ch. 2007-157; s. 58, ch. 2008-4; s. 24, ch. 2009-51; s. 1, ch. 2010-143; s. 23, ch. 2011-142.

288.903 Duties of Enterprise Florida, Inc.—Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall have the following duties:
(1) Responsibly and prudently manage all public and private funds received, and ensure that the use of such funds is in accordance with all applicable laws, bylaws, or contractual requirements.

(2) Administer the entities or programs created pursuant to part IX of this chapter; ss. 288.9622-288.9624; ss. 288.95155 and 288.9519; and chapter 95-429, Laws of Florida, line 1680Y.

(3) Prepare an annual report pursuant to s. 288.906.

(4) Prepare, in conjunction with the department, an annual incentives report pursuant to s. 288.907.

(5) Assist the department with the development of an annual and a long-range strategic business blueprint for economic development required in s. 20.60.

(6) In coordination with CareerSource Florida, Inc., identify education and training programs that will ensure that Florida businesses have access to a skilled and competent workforce necessary to compete successfully in the domestic and global marketplace.

History.—s. 4, ch. 92-277; s. 83, ch. 96-320; s. 30, ch. 97-278; s. 30, ch. 99-251; s. 24, ch. 2011-142; s. 28, ch. 2013-39; s. 30, ch. 2013-42; s. 9, ch. 2015-98.

288.904 Funding for Enterprise Florida, Inc.; performance and return on the public’s investment.—

(1)(a) The Legislature may annually appropriate to Enterprise Florida, Inc., a sum of money for its operations, and separate line-item appropriations for each of the divisions listed in s. 288.92.

(b) The state’s operating investment in Enterprise Florida, Inc., and its divisions is the budget contracted by the department to Enterprise Florida, Inc., less any funding that is directed by the Legislature to be subcontracted to a specific recipient entity.

(c) The board of directors of Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall adopt for each upcoming fiscal year an operating budget for the organization, including its divisions, which specifies the intended uses of the state’s operating investment and a plan for securing private sector support.

(2)(a) The Legislature finds that it is a priority to maximize private sector support in operating Enterprise Florida, Inc., and its divisions, as an endorsement of its value and as an enhancement of its efforts. Thus, the state appropriations must be matched with private sector support equal to at least 100 percent of the state operational funding.

(b) Private sector support in operating Enterprise Florida, Inc., and its divisions includes:
1. Cash given directly to Enterprise Florida, Inc., for its operations, including contributions from at-large members of the board of directors;

2. Cash donations from organizations assisted by the divisions;

3. Cash jointly raised by Enterprise Florida, Inc., and a private local economic development organization, a group of such organizations, or a statewide private business organization that supports collaborative projects;

4. Cash generated by fees charged for products or services of Enterprise Florida, Inc., and its divisions by sponsorship of events, missions, programs, and publications; and

5. Copayments, stock, warrants, royalties, or other private resources dedicated to Enterprise Florida, Inc., or its divisions.

(3)(a) Specifically for the marketing and advertising activities of the Division of Tourism Marketing or as contracted through the Florida Tourism Industry Corporation, a one-to-one match is required of private to public contributions within 4 calendar years after the implementation date of the marketing plan pursuant to s. 288.923.

(b) For purposes of calculating the required one-to-one match, matching private funds shall be divided into four categories. Documentation for the components of the four private match categories shall be kept on file for inspection as determined necessary. The four private match categories are:
1. Direct cash contributions, which include, but are not limited to, cash derived from strategic alliances, contributions of stocks and bonds, and partnership contributions.

2. Fees for services, which include, but are not limited to, event participation, research, and brochure placement and transparencies.

3. Cooperative advertising, which is the value based on cost of contributed productions, air time, and print space.

4. In-kind contributions, which include, but are not limited to, the value of strategic alliance services contributed, the value of loaned employees, discounted service fees, items contributed for use in promotions, and radio or television air time or print space for promotions. The value of air time or print space shall be calculated by taking the actual time or space and multiplying by the nonnegotiated unit price for that specific time or space which is known as the media equivalency value. In order to avoid duplication in determining media equivalency value, only the value of the promotion itself shall be included; the value of the items contributed for the promotion may not be included.

(4) Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall fully comply with the performance measures, standards, and sanctions in its contract with the department, under s. 20.60. The department shall ensure, to the maximum extent possible, that the contract performance measures are consistent with performance measures that it is required to develop and track under performance-based program budgeting. The contract shall also include performance measures for the divisions.

(5) The Legislature intends to review the performance of Enterprise Florida, Inc., in achieving the performance goals stated in its annual contract with the department to determine whether the public is receiving a positive return on its investment in Enterprise Florida, Inc., and its divisions. It also is the intent of the Legislature that Enterprise Florida, Inc., coordinate its operations with local economic development organizations to maximize the state and local return on investment to create jobs for Floridians.

History.—s. 5, ch. 92-277; s. 84, ch. 96-320; s. 31, ch. 97-278; s. 31, ch. 99-251; s. 81, ch. 2000-165; s. 7, ch. 2005-66; s. 71, ch. 2010-102; s. 25, ch. 2011-142; s. 29, ch. 2013-39; s. 31, ch. 2013-42.

288.905 President and employees of Enterprise Florida, Inc.—
(1) The board of directors of Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall appoint a president, who shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor. The president shall also be known as the “secretary of commerce” and shall serve as the Governor’s chief negotiator for business recruitment and business expansion.

(2) The president is the chief administrative and operational officer of the board of directors and of Enterprise Florida, Inc., and shall direct and supervise the administrative affairs of the board of directors and any divisions, councils, or boards. The board of directors may delegate to the president those powers and responsibilities it deems appropriate, including hiring and management of all staff, except for the appointment of a president.

(3) The board of directors shall establish and adjust the president’s compensation.

(4) No employee of Enterprise Florida, Inc., may receive compensation for employment that exceeds the salary paid to the Governor, unless the board of directors and the employee have executed a contract that prescribes specific, measurable performance outcomes for the employee, the satisfaction of which provides the basis for the award of incentive payments that increase the employee’s total compensation to a level above the salary paid to the Governor.

History.—s. 6, ch. 92-277; s. 85, ch. 96-320; s. 42, ch. 97-100; s. 32, ch. 97-278; s. 71, ch. 99-13; s. 32, ch. 99-251; s. 82, ch. 2000-165; s. 5, ch. 2000-317; s. 28, ch. 2005-2; s. 26, ch. 2011-142.

288.906 Annual report of Enterprise Florida, Inc., and its divisions; audits.—
(1) Before December 1 of each year, Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall submit to the Governor, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Senate Minority Leader, and the House Minority Leader a complete and detailed report including, but not limited to:
(a) A description of the operations and accomplishments of Enterprise Florida, Inc., and its divisions, boards, and advisory councils or similar entities created by Enterprise Florida, Inc., and an identification of any major trends, initiatives, or developments affecting the performance of any program or activity. The individual annual reports prepared by each division shall be included as addenda.

(b) An evaluation of progress toward achieving organizational goals and specific performance outcomes, both short-term and long-term, established pursuant to this part or under the agreement with the department.

(c) Methods for implementing and funding the operations of Enterprise Florida, Inc., and its divisions, including the private sector support required under s. 288.904.

(d) A description of the operations and accomplishments of Enterprise Florida, Inc., and its divisions with respect to aggressively marketing Florida’s rural communities and distressed urban communities as locations for potential new investment and job creation, aggressively assisting in the creation, retention, and expansion of existing businesses and job growth in these communities, and aggressively assisting these communities in the identification and development of new economic development opportunities.

(e) A description and evaluation of the operations and accomplishments of Enterprise Florida, Inc., and its divisions with respect to interaction with local and private economic development organizations, including the identification of each organization that is a primary partner and any specific programs or activities which promoted the activities of such organizations and an identification of any specific programs or activities that promoted a comprehensive and coordinated approach to economic development in this state.

(f) An assessment of job creation that directly benefits participants in the welfare transition program or other programs designed to put long-term unemployed persons back to work.

(g) The results of a customer-satisfaction survey of businesses served. The survey shall be conducted by an independent entity with expertise in survey research that is under contract with Enterprise Florida, Inc., to develop, analyze, and report the results.

(h) An annual compliance and financial audit of accounts and records by an independent certified public accountant at the end of its most recent fiscal year performed in accordance with rules adopted by the Auditor General.

(2) The detailed report required by this section shall also include the information identified in subsection (1), if applicable, for each division established within Enterprise Florida, Inc.

(3) The following reports must be included as supplements to the detailed report required by this section:
(a) The annual report of the Florida Export Finance Corporation required under s. 288.7771.

(b) The report on international offices required under s. 288.012.

History.—s. 7, ch. 92-277; s. 231, ch. 95-148; s. 3, ch. 95-369; s. 86, ch. 96-320; s. 145, ch. 96-406; s. 33, ch. 97-278; s. 33, ch. 99-251; s. 83, ch. 2000-165; s. 141, ch. 2001-266; s. 27, ch. 2011-142; s. 30, ch. 2013-39; s. 32, ch. 2013-42.

288.907 Annual incentives report.—By December 30 of each year, Enterprise Florida, Inc., in conjunction with the department, shall provide the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives a detailed incentives report quantifying the economic benefits for all of the economic development incentive programs marketed by Enterprise Florida, Inc. The annual incentives report must include:
(1) For each incentive program:
(a) A brief description of the incentive program.

(b) The amount of awards granted, by year, since inception and the annual amount actually transferred from the state treasury to businesses or for the benefit of businesses for each of the previous 3 years.

(c) The actual amount of private capital invested, actual number of jobs created, and actual wages paid for incentive agreements completed during the previous 3 years for each target industry sector.

(2) For projects completed during the previous state fiscal year:
(a) The number of economic development incentive applications received.

(b) The number of recommendations made to the department by Enterprise Florida, Inc., including the number recommended for approval and the number recommended for denial.

(c) The number of final decisions issued by the department for approval and for denial.

(d) The projects for which a tax refund, tax credit, or cash grant agreement was executed, identifying for each project:
1. The number of jobs committed to be created.

2. The amount of capital investments committed to be made.

3. The annual average wage committed to be paid.

4. The amount of state economic development incentives committed to the project from each incentive program under the project’s terms of agreement with the Department of Economic Opportunity.

5. The amount and type of local matching funds committed to the project.

(e) Tax refunds paid or other payments made funded out of the Economic Development Incentives Account for each project.

(f) The types of projects supported.

(3) For economic development projects that received tax refunds, tax credits, or cash grants under the terms of an agreement for incentives:
(a) The number of jobs actually created.

(b) The amount of capital investments actually made.

(c) The annual average wage paid.

(4) For a project receiving economic development incentives approved by the department and receiving federal or local incentives, a description of the federal or local incentives, if available.

(5) The number of withdrawn or terminated projects that did not fulfill the terms of their agreements with the department and, consequently, are not receiving incentives.

(6) For any agreements signed after July 1, 2010, findings and recommendations on the efforts of the department to ascertain the causes of any business’s inability to complete its agreement made under s. 288.106.

(7) The amount of tax refunds, tax credits, or other payments made to projects locating or expanding in state enterprise zones, rural communities, brownfield areas, or distressed urban communities. The report must include a separate analysis of the impact of such tax refunds on state enterprise zones designated under s. 290.0065, rural communities, brownfield areas, and distressed urban communities.

(8) The name of and tax refund amount for each business that has received a tax refund under s. 288.1045 or s. 288.106 during the preceding fiscal year.

(9) An identification of the target industry businesses and high-impact businesses.

(10) A description of the trends relating to business interest in, and usage of, the various incentives, and the number of minority-owned or woman-owned businesses receiving incentives.

(11) An identification of incentive programs not used and recommendations for program changes or program elimination.

(12) Information related to the validation of contractor performance required under s. 288.061.

(13) Beginning in 2014, a summation of the activities related to the Florida Space Business Incentives Act.

History.—s. 28, ch. 2011-142; s. 31, ch. 2013-39; s. 33, ch. 2013-42.

288.911 Creation and implementation of a marketing and image campaign.—
(1) Enterprise Florida, Inc., in collaboration with the private sector, shall create a marketing campaign to help attract, develop, and retain information technology businesses in this state. The campaign must be coordinated with any existing economic development promotion efforts in this state, and shall be jointly funded from private and public resources.

(2) The message of the campaign shall be to increase national and international awareness of this state as a state ideally suited for the successful advancement of the information technology business sector. Marketing strategies shall include development of promotional materials, Internet and print advertising, public relations and media placement, trade show attendance at information technology events, and appropriate followup activities. Efforts to promote this state as a high-technology business leader must include identification and coordination of existing business technology resources, partnerships with economic development organizations and private sector businesses, continued retention and growth of businesses based in this state that produce high-technology products or use high-technology skills for manufacturing, and recruitment of new business in such area.

History.—s. 34, ch. 2000-164.

288.912 Inventory of communities seeking to recruit businesses.—By September 30 of each year, a county or municipality that has a population of at least 25,000 or its local economic development organization must submit to Enterprise Florida, Inc., a brief overview of the strengths, services, and economic development incentives that its community offers. The local government or its local economic development organization also must identify any industries that it is encouraging to locate or relocate to its area. A county or municipality having a population of 25,000 or fewer or its local economic development organization seeking to recruit businesses may submit information as required in this section and may participate in any activity or initiative resulting from the collection, analysis, and reporting of the information to Enterprise Florida, Inc., pursuant to this section.
History.—s. 29, ch. 2011-142.

288.92 Divisions of Enterprise Florida, Inc.—
(1) Enterprise Florida, Inc., may create and dissolve divisions as necessary to carry out its mission. Each division shall have distinct responsibilities and complementary missions. At a minimum, Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall have divisions related to the following areas:
(a) International Trade and Business Development;

(b) Business Retention and Recruitment;

(c) Tourism Marketing;

(d) Minority Business Development; and

(e) Sports Industry Development.

(2)(a) The officers and agents of the divisions shall be hired and their annual compensation established by the president of Enterprise Florida, Inc., as deemed appropriate by the board of directors, and may be eligible for performance bonuses pursuant to s. 288.905. This paragraph does not apply to any employees of the corporation established pursuant to s. 288.1226.

(b)1. The following officers and board members are subject to ss. 112.313(1)-(8), (10), (12), and (15); 112.3135; and 112.3143(2):
a. Officers and members of the board of directors of the divisions of Enterprise Florida, Inc.

b. Officers and members of the board of directors of subsidiaries of Enterprise Florida, Inc.

c. Officers and members of the board of directors of corporations created to carry out the missions of Enterprise Florida, Inc.

d. Officers and members of the board of directors of corporations with which a division is required by law to contract to carry out its missions.

2. For purposes of applying ss. 112.313(1)-(8), (10), (12), and (15); 112.3135; and 112.3143(2) to activities of the officers and members of the board of directors specified in subparagraph 1., those persons shall be considered public officers or employees and the corporation shall be considered their agency.

3. It is not a violation of s. 112.3143(2) or (4) for the officers or members of the board of directors of the Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation to:
a. Vote on the 4-year marketing plan required under s. 288.923 or vote on any individual component of or amendment to the plan.

b. Participate in the establishment or calculation of payments related to the private match requirements of s. 288.904(3). The officer or member must file an annual disclosure describing the nature of his or her interests or the interests of his or her principals, including corporate parents and subsidiaries of his or her principal, in the private match requirements. This annual disclosure requirement satisfies the disclosure requirement of s. 112.3143(4). This disclosure must be placed either on the Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation’s website or included in the minutes of each meeting of the Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation’s board of directors at which the private match requirements are discussed or voted upon.

(c) The board of directors of Enterprise Florida, Inc., may organize the divisions and, to the greatest extent possible, minimize costs by requiring that the divisions share administrative staff.

(3) Each division shall draft and submit an annual report for inclusion in the report required under s. 288.906 which details the division’s activities during the previous fiscal year and includes recommendations for improving current statutes related to the division’s area of responsibility.

History.—s. 30, ch. 2011-142; s. 32, ch. 2013-39; s. 34, ch. 2013-42; s. 9, ch. 2014-183.

288.923 Division of Tourism Marketing; definitions; responsibilities.—
(1) There is created within Enterprise Florida, Inc., the Division of Tourism Marketing.

(2) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Tourism marketing” means any effort exercised to attract domestic and international visitors from outside the state to destinations in this state and to stimulate Florida resident tourism to areas within the state.

(b) “Tourist” means any person who participates in trade or recreation activities outside the county of his or her permanent residence or who rents or leases transient living quarters or accommodations as described in s. 125.0104(3)(a).

(c) “County destination marketing organization” means a public or private agency that is funded by local option tourist development tax revenues under s. 125.0104, or local option convention development tax revenues under s. 212.0305, and is officially designated by a county commission to market and promote the area for tourism or convention business or, in any county that has not levied such taxes, a public or private agency that is officially designated by the county commission to market and promote the area for tourism or convention business.

(d) “Direct-support organization” means the Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation.

(3) Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall contract with the Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation, a direct-support organization established in s. 288.1226, to execute tourism promotion and marketing services, functions, and programs for the state, including, but not limited to, the activities prescribed by the 4-year marketing plan. The division shall assist to maintain and implement the contract.

(4) The division’s responsibilities and duties include, but are not limited to:
(a) Maintaining and implementing the contract with the Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation.

(b) Advising the department and Enterprise Florida, Inc., on development of domestic and international tourism marketing campaigns featuring Florida.

(c) Developing a 4-year marketing plan.
1. At a minimum, the marketing plan shall discuss the following:
a. Continuation of overall tourism growth in this state.

b. Expansion to new or under-represented tourist markets.

c. Maintenance of traditional and loyal tourist markets.

d. Coordination of efforts with county destination marketing organizations, other local government marketing groups, privately owned attractions and destinations, and other private sector partners to create a seamless, four-season advertising campaign for the state and its regions.

e. Development of innovative techniques or promotions to build repeat visitation by targeted segments of the tourist population.

f. Consideration of innovative sources of state funding for tourism marketing.

g. Promotion of nature-based tourism and heritage tourism.

h. Development of a component to address emergency response to natural and manmade disasters from a marketing standpoint.

2. The plan shall be annual in construction and ongoing in nature. Any annual revisions of the plan shall carry forward the concepts of the remaining 3-year portion of the plan and consider a continuum portion to preserve the 4-year timeframe of the plan. The plan also shall include recommendations for specific performance standards and measurable outcomes for the division and direct-support organization. The department, in consultation with the board of directors of Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall base the actual performance metrics on these recommendations.

3. The 4-year marketing plan shall be developed in collaboration with the Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation. The plan shall be annually reviewed and approved by the board of directors of Enterprise Florida, Inc.

(d) Drafting and submitting an annual report required by s. 288.92. The annual report shall set forth for the division and the direct-support organization:
1. Operations and accomplishments during the fiscal year, including the economic benefit of the state’s investment and effectiveness of the marketing plan.

2. The 4-year marketing plan, including recommendations on methods for implementing and funding the plan.

3. The assets and liabilities of the direct-support organization at the end of its most recent fiscal year.

4. A copy of the annual financial and compliance audit conducted under s. 288.1226(6).

(5) Notwithstanding s. 288.92, the division shall be staffed by the Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation. Such staff shall not be considered to be employees of the division and shall remain employees of the Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation. Section 288.905 does not apply to the Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation.

(6) This section is repealed October 1, 2019, unless reviewed and saved from repeal by the Legislature.

History.—s. 31, ch. 2011-142; s. 15, ch. 2014-96.

PART IX
TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT

288.95155 Florida Small Business Technology Growth Program.

288.9519 Not-for-profit corporation.

288.9520 Public records exemption.

288.955 Scripps Florida Funding Corporation.

288.95155 Florida Small Business Technology Growth Program.—
(1) The Florida Small Business Technology Growth Program is hereby established to provide financial assistance to businesses in this state having high job growth and emerging technology potential and fewer than 100 employees. The program shall be administered and managed by Enterprise Florida, Inc.

(2) Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall establish a separate small business technology growth account in the Florida Technology Research Investment Fund for purposes of this section. Moneys in the account shall consist of appropriations by the Legislature, proceeds of any collateral used to secure such assistance, transfers, fees assessed for providing or processing such financial assistance, grants, interest earnings, and earnings on financial assistance.

(3) Pursuant to s. 216.351, the amount of any moneys appropriated to the account which are unused at the end of the fiscal year shall not be subject to reversion under s. 216.301. All moneys in the account are continuously appropriated to the account and may be used for loan guarantees, letter of credit guarantees, cash reserves for loan and letter of credit guarantees, payments of claims pursuant to contracts for guarantees, subordinated loans, loans with warrants, royalty investments, equity investments, and operations of the program. Any claim against the program shall be paid solely from the account. Neither the credit nor the taxing power of the state shall be pledged to secure the account or moneys in the account, other than from moneys appropriated or assigned to the account, and the state shall not be liable or obligated in any way for any claims against the account or against Enterprise Florida, Inc.

(4) Awards of assistance from the program shall be finalized subject to the policies and procedures of Enterprise Florida, Inc. Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall leverage at least one dollar of matching investment for each dollar awarded from the program. Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall give the highest priority to moderate-risk and high-risk ventures that offer the greatest opportunity for compelling economic development impact. Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall establish for each award a risk-reward timetable that profiles the risks of the assistance, estimates the potential economic development impact, and establishes a timetable for reviewing the success or failure of the assistance. By December 31 of each year, Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall evaluate, on a portfolio basis, the results of all awards of assistance made from the program during the year.

(5) Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall prepare for inclusion in the annual report required under s. 288.907 a report on the financial status of the program. The report must specify the assets and liabilities of the program within the current fiscal year and must include a portfolio update that lists all of the businesses assisted, the private dollars leveraged by each business assisted, and the growth in sales and in employment of each business assisted.

History.—s. 1, ch. 98-59; s. 37, ch. 99-251; s. 11, ch. 2004-243; ss. 39, 40, ch. 2009-82; s. 72, ch. 2010-102; s. 4, ch. 2011-3; s. 186, ch. 2011-142; s. 33, ch. 2013-39; s. 35, ch. 2013-42.

288.9519 Not-for-profit corporation.—
(1) It is the intent of the Legislature to promote the development of the state economy and to authorize the establishment of a not-for-profit organization that shall promote the competitiveness and profitability of high-technology business and industry through technology development projects of importance to specific manufacturing sectors in this state. This not-for-profit corporation shall work cooperatively with Enterprise Florida, Inc., and shall avoid duplicating the activities, programs, and functions of Enterprise Florida, Inc.

(2) In addition to all other powers and authority, not explicitly prohibited by statutes, this not-for-profit organization has the following powers and duties:
(a) To receive funds appropriated to the organization by the Legislature. Such funds may not duplicate funds appropriated to Enterprise Florida, Inc., but shall serve to further the advancement of the state economy, jointly and collaboratively with Enterprise Florida, Inc.

(b) To submit a legislative budget request through a state agency.

(c) To accept gifts, grants, donations, expenses, in-kind services, or other goods or services for carrying out its purposes, and to expend such funds or assets in any legal manner according to the terms and conditions of acceptance and without interference, control, or restraint by the state.

(d) To carry forward any unexpended state appropriations into succeeding fiscal years.

History.—s. 12, ch. 93-187; s. 98, ch. 96-320; s. 38, ch. 99-251.

288.9520 Public records exemption.—Materials that relate to methods of manufacture or production, potential trade secrets, potentially patentable material, actual trade secrets, business transactions, financial and proprietary information, and agreements or proposals to receive funding that are received, generated, ascertained, or discovered by Enterprise Florida, Inc., including its affiliates or subsidiaries and partnership participants, such as private enterprises, educational institutions, and other organizations, are confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution, except that a recipient of Enterprise Florida, Inc., research funds shall make available, upon request, the title and description of the research project, the name of the researcher, and the amount and source of funding provided for the project.
History.—s. 17, ch. 89-381; s. 81, ch. 90-360; s. 13, ch. 93-187; s. 1, ch. 95-230; s. 99, ch. 96-320; s. 147, ch. 96-406; s. 39, ch. 99-251.

Note.—Former s. 240.539(7).

1288.955 Scripps Florida Funding Corporation.—
(1) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Contract” means the contract executed between the corporation and the grantee under this section.

(b) “Corporation” means the Scripps Florida Funding Corporation created under this section.

(c) “Grantee” means The Scripps Research Institute, a not-for-profit public benefit corporation, or a division, subsidiary, affiliate, or entity formed by The Scripps Research Institute to establish a state-of-the-art biomedical research institution and campus in this state. The grantee is neither an agency nor an entity acting on behalf of an agency for purposes of chapter 119 and s. 286.011.

(2) CREATION.—
(a) There is created a not-for-profit corporation known as the Scripps Florida Funding Corporation, which shall be registered, incorporated, organized, and operated under chapter 617.

(b) The corporation is not a unit or entity of state government. However, the corporation is subject to the provisions of s. 24, Art. I of the State Constitution and chapter 119, relating to public meetings and records, and the provisions of chapter 286 relating to public meetings and records.

(c) The corporation must establish at least one corporate office in this state and appoint a registered agent.

(d) The corporation shall hire or contract for all staff necessary to the proper execution of its powers and duties within the funds appropriated to implement this section and shall require that all officers, directors, and employees of the corporation comply with the code of ethics for public officers and employees under part III of chapter 112. In no case may the corporation expend more than $300,000 in the first year and $200,000 per year thereafter for staffing and necessary administrative expenditures, including, but not limited to, travel and per diem and audit expenditures, using funds appropriated to implement this section.

(e) The department shall provide administrative support to the corporation as requested by the corporation. In the event of the dissolution of the corporation, the department shall be the corporation’s successor in interest and shall assume all rights, duties, and obligations of the corporation under any contract to which the corporation is then a party and under law.

(3) PURPOSE.—The corporation shall be organized to receive, hold, invest, administer, and disburse funds appropriated by the Legislature for the establishment and operation of a state-of-the-art biomedical research institution and campus in this state by The Scripps Research Institute. The corporation shall safeguard the state’s commitment of financial support by ensuring that, as a condition for the receipt of these funds, the grantee meets its contractual obligations. In this manner, the corporation shall facilitate and oversee the state goal and public purpose of providing financial support for the institution and campus in order to expand the amount and prominence of biomedical research conducted in this state, provide an inducement for high-technology businesses to locate in this state, create educational opportunities through access to and partnerships with the institution, and promote improved health care through the scientific outcomes of the institution.

(4) BOARD; MEMBERSHIP.—The corporation shall be governed by a board of directors.
(a) The board of directors shall consist of nine voting members, of whom the Governor shall appoint three, the President of the Senate shall appoint three, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall appoint three. The executive director of the department or the director’s designee shall serve as an ex-officio, nonvoting member of the board of directors.

(b) Each member of the board of directors shall serve for a term of 4 years, except that initially the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives each shall appoint one member for a term of 1 year, one member for a term of 2 years, and one member for a term of 4 years to achieve staggered terms among the members of the board. A member is not eligible for reappointment to the board, except, however, that a member appointed to an initial term of 1 year or 2 years may be reappointed for an additional term of 4 years, and a person appointed to fill a vacancy with 2 years or less remaining on the term may be reappointed for an additional term of 4 years. The Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall make their initial appointments to the board by November 15, 2003.

(c) The Governor, the President of the Senate, or the Speaker of the House of Representatives, respectively, shall fill a vacancy on the board of directors, according to who appointed the member whose vacancy is to be filled or whose term has expired. A vacancy that occurs before the scheduled expiration of the term of the member shall be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term.

(d) Each member of the board of directors who is not otherwise required to file financial disclosure under s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution or s. 112.3144 shall file disclosure of financial interests under s. 112.3145.

(e) A person may not be appointed to the board of directors if he or she has had any direct interest in any contract, franchise, privilege, or other benefit granted by The Scripps Research Institute or any of its affiliate organizations within 5 years before appointment. A person appointed to the board of directors must agree to refrain from having any direct interest in any contract, franchise, privilege, or other benefit granted by The Scripps Research Institute or any of its affiliate organizations during the term of his or her appointment and for 5 years after the termination of such appointment. It is a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.083 or s. 775.084, for a person to accept appointment to the board of directors in violation of this paragraph or to accept a direct interest in any contract, franchise, privilege, or other benefit granted by the institution or affiliate within 5 years after the termination of his or her service on the board.

(f) Each member of the board of directors shall serve without compensation, but shall receive travel and per diem expenses as provided in s. 112.061 while in the performance of his or her duties.

(g) Each member of the board of directors is accountable for the proper performance of the duties of office, and each member owes a fiduciary duty to the people of the state to ensure that funds provided in furtherance of this section are disbursed and used as prescribed by law and contract. The Governor, the President of the Senate, or the Speaker of the House of Representatives, according to which officer appointed the member, may remove a member for malfeasance, misfeasance, neglect of duty, incompetence, permanent inability to perform official duties, unexcused absence from three consecutive meetings of the board, arrest or indictment for a crime that is a felony or a misdemeanor involving theft or a crime of dishonesty, or pleading nolo contendere to, or being found guilty of, any crime.

(5) ORGANIZATION; MEETINGS.—

(a)1. The board of directors shall annually elect a chairperson and a vice chairperson from among the board’s members. The members may, by a vote of five of the nine board members, remove a member from the position of chairperson or vice chairperson prior to the expiration of his or her term as chairperson or vice chairperson. His or her successor shall be elected to serve for the balance of the removed chairperson’s or vice chairperson’s term.

2. The chairperson is responsible to ensure that records are kept of the proceedings of the board of directors and is the custodian of all books, documents, and papers filed with the board; the minutes of meetings of the board; and the official seal of the corporation.

(b)1. The board of directors shall meet upon the call of the chairperson or at the request of a majority of the members, but no less than three times per calendar year.

2. A majority of the voting members of the board of directors constitutes a quorum. Except as otherwise provided in this section, the board may take official action by a majority vote of the members present at any meeting at which a quorum is present. Members may not vote by proxy.

3. A member of the board may participate in a meeting of the board by telephone or videoconference through which each member may hear every other member.

(6) POWERS AND DUTIES.—The corporation is organized to receive, hold, invest, administer, and disburse funds appropriated by the Legislature in support of this section and to disburse any income generated from the investment of these funds consistent with the purpose and provisions of this section. In addition to the powers and duties prescribed in chapter 617 and the articles and bylaws adopted under that chapter, the corporation:
(a) May make and enter into contracts and assume any other functions that are necessary to carry out the provisions of this section.

(b) May enter into leases and contracts for the purchase of real property and hold notes, mortgages, guarantees, or security agreements to secure the performance of obligations of the grantee under the contract.

(c) May perform all acts and things necessary or convenient to carry out the powers expressly granted in this section and a contract entered into between the corporation and the grantee.

(d) May make expenditures, from funds provided by this state, including any necessary administrative expenditures consistent with its powers.

(e) May indemnify, and purchase and maintain insurance on behalf of, directors, officers, and employees of the corporation against any personal liability or accountability.

(f) Shall disburse funds pursuant to the provisions of this section and a contract entered into between the corporation and the grantee.

(g) Shall receive and review reports and financial documentation provided by the grantee to ensure compliance with the provisions of this section and provisions of the contract.

(h) Shall prepare an annual report as prescribed in subsection (14).

(7) INVESTMENT OF FUNDS.—The corporation must enter into an agreement with the State Board of Administration under which funds received by the corporation from the department which are not disbursed to the grantee shall be invested by the State Board of Administration on behalf of the corporation. Funds shall be invested in suitable instruments authorized under s. 215.47 and specified in investment guidelines established and agreed to by the State Board of Administration and the corporation.

(8) CONTRACT.—
(a) By January 30, 2004, the corporation shall negotiate and execute a contract with the grantee for a term of 20 years. Such contract shall govern the disbursement and use of funds under this section. The board may, by a simple majority vote, authorize one 45-day extension of this deadline. The corporation may not execute the contract unless the contract is approved by the affirmative vote of at least seven of the nine members of the board of directors. At least 14 days before execution of the contract, The Scripps Research Institute must submit to the board, the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives an organizational plan, in a form and manner prescribed by the board, for the establishment of a state-of-the-art biomedical research institution and campus in this state, and the board must submit a copy of the proposed contract to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

(b) The contract, at a minimum, must contain provisions:
1. Specifying the procedures and schedules that govern the disbursement of funds under this section and specifying the conditions or deliverables that the grantee must satisfy before the release of each disbursement.

2. Requiring the grantee to submit to the corporation a business plan in a form and manner prescribed by the corporation.

3. Prohibiting The Scripps Research Institute or the grantee from establishing other biomedical science or research facilities in any state other than this state or California for a period of 12 years from the commencement of the contract. Nothing in this subparagraph shall prohibit the grantee from establishing or engaging in normal collaborative activities with other organizations.

4. Governing the ownership of or security interests in real property and personal property, including, but not limited to, research equipment, obtained through the financial support of state or local government, including a provision that in the event of a breach of the contract or in the event the grantee ceases operations in this state, such property purchased with state funds shall revert to the state and such property purchased with local funds shall revert to the local governing authority.

5. Requiring the grantee to be an equal opportunity employer.

6. Requiring the grantee to maintain a policy of awarding preference in employment to residents of this state, as defined by law, except for professional scientific staff positions requiring a doctoral degree, postdoctoral training positions, and graduate student positions.

7. Requiring the grantee to maintain a policy of making purchases from vendors in this state, to the extent it is cost-effective and scientifically sound.

8. Requiring the grantee to use the Internet-based job-listing system of the department in advertising employment opportunities.

9. Requiring the grantee to establish accredited science degree programs.

10. Requiring the grantee to establish internship programs to create learning opportunities for educators and secondary, postsecondary, graduate, and doctoral students.

11. Requiring the grantee to submit data to the corporation on the activities and performance during each fiscal year and to provide to the corporation an annual accounting of the expenditure of funds disbursed under this section.

12. Establishing that the corporation shall review the activities of the grantee to assess the grantee’s financial and operational compliance with the provisions of the contract and with relevant provisions of law.

13. Authorizing the grantee, when feasible, to use information submitted by it to the Federal Government or to other organizations awarding research grants to the grantee to help meet reporting requirements imposed under this section or the contract, if the information satisfies the reporting standards of this section and the contract.

14. Requiring the grantee during the first 7 years of the contract to create 545 positions and to acquire associated research equipment for the grantee’s facility in this state, and pay for related maintenance of the equipment, in a total amount of not less than $45 million.

15. Requiring the grantee to progress in the creation of the total number of jobs prescribed in subparagraph 14. on the following schedule: At least 38 positions in the 1st year, 168 positions in the 2nd year, 280 positions in the 3rd year, 367 positions in the 4th year, 436 positions in the 5th year, 500 positions in the 6th year, and 545 positions in the 7th year. The board may allow the grantee to deviate downward from such employee levels by 25 percent in any year, to allow the grantee flexibility in achieving the objectives set forth in the business plan provided to the corporation; however, the grantee must have no fewer than 545 positions by the end of the 7th year.

16. Requiring the grantee to allow the corporation to retain an independent certified public accountant licensed in this state pursuant to chapter 473 to inspect the records of the grantee in order to audit the expenditure of funds disbursed to the grantee. The independent certified public accountant shall not disclose any confidential or proprietary scientific information of the grantee.

17. Requiring the grantee to purchase liability insurance and governing the coverage level of such insurance.

(c) An amendment to the contract is not effective unless it is approved by the affirmative vote of at least seven of the nine members of the board of directors.

(9) PERFORMANCE EXPECTATIONS.—In addition to the provisions prescribed in subsection (8), the contract between the corporation and the grantee shall include a provision that the grantee, in cooperation with the department, shall report to the corporation on performance expectations that reflect the aspirations of the Governor and the Legislature for the benefits accruing to this state as a result of the funds appropriated pursuant to this section. These shall include, but are not limited to, performance expectations addressing:
(a) The number and dollar value of research grants obtained from the Federal Government or sources other than this state.

(b) The percentage of total research dollars received by The Scripps Research Institute from sources other than this state which is used to conduct research activities by the grantee in this state.

(c) The number or value of patents obtained by the grantee.

(d) The number or value of licensing agreements executed by the grantee.

(e) The extent to which research conducted by the grantee results in commercial applications.

(f) The number of collaborative agreements reached and maintained with colleges and universities in this state and with research institutions in this state, including agreements that foster participation in research opportunities by public and private colleges and universities and research institutions in this state with significant minority populations, including historically black colleges and universities.

(g) The number of collaborative partnerships established and maintained with businesses in this state.

(h) The total amount of funding received by the grantee from sources other than the State of Florida.

(i) The number or value of spin-off businesses created in this state as a result of commercialization of the research of the grantee.

(j) The number or value of businesses recruited to this state by the grantee.

(k) The establishment and implementation of policies to promote supplier diversity using the guidelines developed by the Office of Supplier Diversity under s. 287.09451 and to comply with the ordinances, including any small business ordinances, enacted by the county and which are applicable to the biomedical research institution and campus located in this state.

(l) The designation by the grantee of a representative to coordinate with the Office of Supplier Diversity.

(m) The establishment and implementation of a program to conduct workforce recruitment activities at public and private colleges and universities and community colleges in this state which request the participation of the grantee.

The contract shall require the grantee to provide information to the corporation on the progress in meeting these performance expectations on an annual basis. It is the intent of the Legislature that, in fulfilling its obligation to work with Florida’s public and private colleges and universities, Scripps Florida work with such colleges and universities regardless of size.

(10) DISBURSEMENT CONDITIONS.—In addition to the provisions prescribed in subsection (8), the contract between the corporation and the grantee shall include disbursement conditions that must be satisfied by the grantee as a condition for the continued disbursement of funds under this section. These disbursement conditions shall be negotiated between the corporation and the grantee and shall not be designed to impede the ability of the grantee to attain full operational status. The disbursement conditions may be appropriately varied as to timeframes, numbers, values, and percentages. The disbursement conditions shall include, but are not limited to, the following areas:
(a) Demonstrate creation of jobs and report on the average salaries paid.

(b) Beginning 18 months after the grantee’s occupancy of its permanent facility, the grantee shall annually obtain $100,000 of nonstate funding for each full-time equivalent tenured-track faculty member employed at the Florida facility.

(c) No later than 3 years after the grantee’s occupancy of its permanent facility, the grantee shall apply to the relevant accrediting agency for accreditation of its Florida graduate program.

(d) The grantee shall purchase equipment for its Florida facility as scheduled in its contract with the corporation.

(e) No later than 18 months after occupying its permanent facility, the grantee shall establish a program for qualified graduate students from Florida universities permitting them access to the facility for doctoral, thesis-related research.

(f) No later than 18 months after occupancy of the permanent facility, the grantee shall establish a summer internship for high school students.

(g) No later than 3 years after occupancy of the permanent facility, the grantee shall establish a research program for middle and high school teachers.

(h) No later than 18 months after occupancy of the permanent facility, the grantee shall establish a program for adjunct professors.

(i) No later than 6 months after commissioning its high throughput technology, the grantee shall establish a program to allow open access for qualified science projects.

(j) Beginning June 2004, the grantee shall commence collaborative efforts with Florida public and private colleges and universities, and shall continue cooperative collaboration through the term of the agreement.

(k) Beginning 18 months after the grantee occupies the permanent facility, the grantee shall establish an annual seminar series featuring a review of the science work done by the grantee and its collaborators at the Florida facility.

(l) Beginning June 2004, the grantee shall commence collaboration efforts with the department by complying with reasonable requests for cooperation in economic development efforts in the biomed/biotech industry. No later than July 2004, the grantee shall designate a person who shall be charged with assisting in these collaborative efforts.

(11) DISBURSEMENTS.—
(a) The corporation shall disburse funds to the grantee over a period of 7 calendar years starting in the calendar year beginning January 1, 2004, under the terms and conditions of the contract. The corporation shall complete disbursement of the total amount of funds payable to the grantee under the contract no later than December 31, 2010, unless the grantee fails to satisfy the terms and conditions of the contract. Any funds of the corporation that are not disbursed by December 31, 2010, shall be paid to the Biomedical Research Trust Fund of the Department of Health.

(b) The contract shall provide for a reduction or elimination of funding in any year if:
1. The grantee is no longer operating in this state;

2. The grantee has failed to commit in writing to maintain operations in the state for the succeeding year; or

3. The grantee commits a material default or breach of the contract, as defined and governed by the contract. Determination of material default or breach of contract shall require the affirmative vote of at least seven of the nine members of the board.

(c) Each disbursement by the corporation to the grantee under this section is conditioned upon the affirmative approval of at least five of the nine members of the board of directors and upon demonstration by the grantee that it has met the particular contractual deliverables that are the basis for that disbursement.

(12) USE OF FUNDS.—
(a) Funds appropriated in furtherance of this section may not be disbursed or expended for activities that do not principally benefit or that are not directly related to the establishment or operation of the grantee in this state, except upon approval of the affirmative vote of at least seven of the nine members of the board of directors.

(b) No funds appropriated in furtherance of this section may be used for the purpose of lobbying any branch or agency of state government or any political subdivision of the state.

(c) The grantee must provide for separate accounts for any funds appropriated in furtherance of this section and separate books and records relating to The Scripps Research Institute’s Florida operation.

(13) REINVESTMENT.—
(a) The grantee shall reinvest 15 percent of the net royalty revenues, including the revenues from the sale of stock, received by The Scripps Research Institute from the licensing or transfer of inventions, methods, processes, and other patentable discoveries conceived or reduced to practice using the grantee’s Florida facilities or Florida employees, in whole or in part, and to which the grantee becomes entitled during the 20 years following the effective date of the contract between the corporation and the grantee. For purposes of this paragraph, the term “net royalty revenues” means all royalty revenues less the cost of obtaining, maintaining, and enforcing related patent and intellectual property rights, both foreign and domestic. Reinvestment payments under this paragraph shall commence no later than 6 months after the grantee has received the final disbursement under the contract and shall continue until the maximum reinvestment has been paid.

(b) The grantee shall reinvest 15 percent of the gross revenues it receives from naming opportunities associated with any facility it builds in this state. For purposes of this section, the term “naming opportunities” includes charitable donations from any person or entity in consideration for the right to have all or a portion of the facility named for or in the memory of any person, living or dead, or for any entity. The obligation to make reinvestment payments under this section shall commence upon the execution of the contract between the corporation and the grantee.

All reinvestment payments made pursuant to this section shall be remitted to the state for deposit in the Biomedical Research Trust Fund or, if such fund has ceased to exist, in another trust fund that supports biomedical research, as determined by law. The maximum reinvestment required of the grantee pursuant to this subsection shall not exceed $200 million. At such time as the reinvestment payments equal $155 million or the contract expires, whichever is earlier, the board of the corporation shall determine whether the performance expectations and disbursement conditions have been met. If the board determines that the performance expectations and disbursement conditions have been met, the amount of $200 million shall be reduced to $155 million. The grantee shall annually submit a schedule of the shares of stock held by it as payment of the royalty referred to in paragraph (a) and report on any trades or activity concerning such stock. The grantee’s obligations under this subsection shall survive the expiration or termination of the contract between the corporation and the grantee.

(14) ANNUAL REPORT.—By December 1 of each year, the corporation shall prepare a report of the activities and outcomes under this section for the preceding fiscal year. The report, at a minimum, must include:
(a) A description of the activities of the corporation in managing and enforcing the contract with the grantee.

(b) An accounting of the amount of funds disbursed during the preceding fiscal year to the grantee.

(c) An accounting of expenditures by the grantee during the fiscal year of funds disbursed under this section.

(d) Information on the number and salary level of jobs created by the grantee, including the number and salary level of jobs created for residents of this state.

(e) Information on the amount and nature of economic activity generated through the activities of the grantee.

(f) An assessment of factors affecting the progress toward achieving the projected biotech industry cluster associated with the grantee’s operations, as projected by economists on behalf of the Executive Office of the Governor.

(g) A compliance and financial audit of the accounts and records of the corporation at the end of the preceding fiscal year conducted by an independent certified public accountant in accordance with rules of the Auditor General.

(h) A description of the status of the performance expectations under subsection (9) and the disbursement conditions under subsection (10).

The corporation shall submit the report to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

(15) LIABILITY.—
(a) The appropriation or disbursement of funds under this section does not constitute a debt, liability, or obligation of the State of Florida, any political subdivision thereof, or the corporation or a pledge of the faith and credit of the state or of any such political subdivision.

(b) The appropriation or disbursement of funds under this section does not subject the State of Florida, any political subdivision thereof, or the corporation to liability related to the research activities and research products of the grantee.

(16) FORCE MAJEURE.—Notwithstanding any other provisions contained in this act, if the grantee is prevented from timely achieving any deadlines set forth in this act due to its inability to occupy its permanent Florida facility within 2 years after entering into the memorandum of agreement pursuant to s. 403.973, as a result of permitting delays and related administrative or judicial proceedings, acts of God, labor disturbances, or other similar events beyond the control of the grantee, the deadline shall be extended by the number of days by which the grantee was delayed in commencing its occupancy of its permanent Florida facility. In no event shall the extension be for more than 4 years. Upon the occurrence of a force majeure event, the Scripps Florida Funding Corporation shall continue to fund the grantee at a level that permits it to sustain its current level of operations until the force majeure event ceases and the grantee is able to resume the contract schedule governing disbursement.

History.—ss. 1, 6, ch. 2003-420; s. 1, ch. 2009-236; s. 187, ch. 2011-142.

1Note.—Section 4, ch. 2003-420, provides that “[n]otwithstanding any other provision of law, the county in which the projects that are part of or ancillary to the state-of-the-art biomedical research institution and campus to be established in this state by the grantee under section 288.955, Florida Statutes, are to be located shall have the exclusive right, which right may be assigned in whole or in part by the governing body of the county in its sole discretion, to provide water and wastewater services to such projects to the extent deemed necessary by the governing body of the county. The county may plan, acquire, construct, reconstruct, enlarge or extend, operate, and maintain water and wastewater systems and facilities within or without the boundaries of such projects for the provision of water and wastewater services.”

PART X
CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT

288.9602 Findings and declarations of necessity.

288.9603 Definitions.

288.9604 Creation of the authority.

288.9605 Corporation powers.

288.9606 Issue of revenue bonds.

288.9607 Guaranty of bond issues.

288.9608 Creation and funding of the Energy, Technology, and Economic Development Guaranty Fund.

288.9609 Bonds as legal investments.

288.9610 Annual reports of Florida Development Finance Corporation.

288.9614 Authorized programs.

288.9602 Findings and declarations of necessity.—The Legislature finds and declares that:
(1) There is a need to enhance economic activity in the state by attracting manufacturing, development, redevelopment of brownfield areas, business enterprise management, and other activities conducive to economic promotion in order to provide a stronger, more balanced, and stable economy in the state.

(2) A significant portion of businesses located in the state or desiring to locate in the state encounter difficulty in obtaining financing on terms competitive with those available to businesses located in other states and nations or are unable to obtain such financing at all.

(3) The difficulty in obtaining such financing impairs the expansion of economic activity and the creation of jobs and income in communities throughout the state.

(4) The businesses most often affected by these financing difficulties are small businesses critical to the economic development of the state.

(5) The economic well-being of the people in, and the commercial and industrial resources of, the state would be enhanced by the provision of financing to businesses on terms competitive with those available in the most developed financial markets worldwide.

(6) In order to improve the prosperity and welfare of this state and its inhabitants, to improve and promote the financing of projects related to the economic development of this state, including redevelopment of brownfield areas, and to increase the purchasing power and opportunities for gainful employment of citizens of this state, it is necessary and in the public interest to facilitate the financing of such projects as provided for in this act and to do so without regard to the boundaries between counties, municipalities, special districts, and other local governmental bodies or agencies in order to more effectively and efficiently serve the interests of the greatest number of people in the widest area practicable.

(7) In order to promote and stimulate development and advance the business prosperity and economic welfare of this state and its inhabitants; to encourage and assist new business and industry in this state through loans, investments, or other business transactions; to rehabilitate and assist existing businesses; to stimulate and assist in the expansion of all kinds of for-profit and not-for-profit business activity; and to create maximum opportunities for employment, encouragement of thrift, and improvement of the standard of living of the citizens of Florida, it is necessary and in the public interest to facilitate the cooperation and action between organizations, public and private, in the promotion, development, and conduct of all kinds of for-profit and not-for-profit business activity in the state.

(8) In order to efficiently and effectively achieve the purposes of this act, it is necessary and in the public interest to create a special development finance authority to cooperate and act in conjunction with public agencies of this state and local governments of this state, through interlocal agreements pursuant to the Florida Interlocal Cooperation Act of 1969, in the promotion and advancement of projects related to economic development, including redevelopment of brownfield areas, throughout the state.

(9) The purposes to be achieved by the special development finance authority through such projects and such financings of business and industry in compliance with the criteria and the requirements of this act are predominantly the public purposes stated in this section, and such purposes implement the governmental purposes under the State Constitution of providing for the health, safety, and welfare of the people of the state.

History.—ss. 26, 62, ch. 93-187; s. 1, ch. 93-402; s. 11, ch. 98-75; s. 2, ch. 2010-139.

288.9603 Definitions.—
(1) “Act” means the Florida Development Finance Corporation Act of 1993, and all acts supplemental thereto and amendatory thereof.

(2) “Amortization payments” means periodic payments, such as monthly, semiannually, or annually, of interest on premiums, if any, and installments of principal of revenue bonds as required by an indenture of the corporation.

(3) “Applicant” means the individual, firm, or corporation, whether for profit or nonprofit, charged with developing the project under the terms of the indenture of the corporation.

(4) “Cash equivalents” shall include letters of credit issued by investment grade rated financial institutions or their subsidiaries; direct obligations of the government of the United States of America, or any agency thereof, or obligations unconditionally guaranteed by the United States of America; certificates of deposit issued by investment grade rated financial institutions or their subsidiaries; and investments in commercial paper which, at the time of acquisition by the corporation is accorded the highest rating by Standard & Poor’s Corporation, Moody’s Investors Services, Inc., or any other nationally recognized credit rating agency of similar standing, provided that in each such case such investments shall be convertible to cash as may be reasonably necessary for application of such moneys as and when the same are to be applied in accordance with the provisions of this act.

(5) “Corporation” means the Florida Development Finance Corporation.

(6) “Debt service” shall mean for any bonds issued by the corporation or for any bonds or other form of indebtedness for which a guaranty has been issued pursuant to ss. 288.9606, 288.9607, and 288.9608, for any period for which such determination is to be made, the aggregate amount of all interest charges due or which shall become due on or with respect to such bonds or indebtedness during the period for which such determination is being made, plus the aggregate amount of scheduled principal payments due or which shall become due on or with respect to such bonds or indebtedness during the period for which such determination is being made. Scheduled principal payments may include only principal payments that are scheduled as part of the terms of the original bond or indebtedness issue and that result in the reduction of the outstanding principal balance of the bonds or indebtedness.

(7) “Economic development specialist” means a resident of the state who is professionally employed in the discipline of economic development or industrial development.

(8) “Financial institution” means any banking corporation or trust company, savings and loan association, insurance company or related corporation, partnership, foundation, or other institution engaged primarily in lending or investing funds in this state.

(9) “Maximum debt service” shall mean, for any period of 6 months or 1 year, as the case may be, during the life of any bonds issued by the corporation and for which a guaranty has been issued pursuant to ss. 288.9606, 288.9607, and 288.9608 and for which such determination is being made, the maximum amount of the debt service which is due or will become due during such period of time on or with respect to such bonds. For the purposes of calculating the amount of the maximum debt service with respect to any bonds which bear interest at a variable rate, the corporation shall utilize a fixed rate which it in its reasonable discretion determines to be appropriate.

(10) “Partnership” means Enterprise Florida, Inc.

(11) “Guaranty agreement” means an agreement by and between the corporation and an applicant pursuant to the provisions of s. 288.9607.

(12) “Guaranty agreement fund” means the Energy, Technology, and Economic Development Guaranty Fund established by the corporation pursuant to s. 288.9608.

(13) “Interlocal agreement” means an agreement by and between the Florida Development Finance Corporation and a public agency of this state, pursuant to the provisions of s. 163.01.

(14) “Public agency” means a political subdivision, agency, or officer of this state or of any state of the United States, including, but not limited to, state, government, county, city, school district, single and multipurpose special district, single and multipurpose public authority, metropolitan or consolidated government, an independently elected county officer, any agency of the United States Government, and any similar entity of any other state of the United States.

History.—ss. 27, 62, ch. 93-187; s. 1, ch. 93-402; s. 100, ch. 96-320; s. 40, ch. 99-251; s. 3, ch. 2010-139.

288.9604 Creation of the authority.—
(1) There is created a public body corporate and politic known as the “Florida Development Finance Corporation.” The corporation shall be constituted as a public instrumentality, and the exercise by the corporation of the powers conferred by this act shall be deemed and held to be the performance of an essential public function. The corporation has the power to function within the corporate limits of any public agency with which it has entered into an interlocal agreement for any of the purposes of this act.

(2) The Governor, subject to confirmation by the Senate, shall appoint the board of directors of the corporation, who shall be five in number. The terms of office for the directors shall be for 4 years from the date of their appointment. A vacancy occurring during a term shall be filled for the unexpired term. A director shall be eligible for reappointment. At least three of the directors of the corporation shall be bankers who have been selected by the Governor from a list of bankers who were nominated by Enterprise Florida, Inc., and one of the directors shall be an economic development specialist.

(3)(a)1. A director may not receive compensation for his or her services, but is entitled to necessary expenses, including travel expenses, incurred in the discharge of his or her duties. Each director shall hold office until his or her successor has been appointed.

2. Directors are subject to ss. 112.313(1)-(8), (10), (12), and (15); 112.3135; and 112.3143(2). For purposes of applying ss. 112.313(1)-(8), (10), (12), and (15); 112.3135; and 112.3143(2) to activities of directors, directors shall be considered public officers and the corporation shall be considered their agency.

(b) The powers of the corporation shall be exercised by the directors thereof. A majority of the directors constitutes a quorum for the purposes of conducting business and exercising the powers of the corporation and for all other purposes. Action may be taken by the corporation upon a vote of a majority of the directors present, unless in any case the bylaws require a larger number. Any person may be appointed as director if he or she resides, or is engaged in business, which means owning a business, practicing a profession, or performing a service for compensation or serving as an officer or director of a corporation or other business entity so engaged, within the state.

(c) The directors of the corporation shall annually elect one of their members as chair and one as vice chair. The corporation may employ a president, technical experts, and such other agents and employees, permanent and temporary, as it requires and determine their qualifications, duties, and compensation. For such legal services as it requires, the corporation may employ or retain its own counsel and legal staff.

(4) The board may remove a director for inefficiency, neglect of duty, or misconduct in office only after a hearing and only if he or she has been given a copy of the charges at least 10 days before such hearing and has had an opportunity to be heard in person or by counsel. The removal of a director shall create a vacancy on the board which shall be filled pursuant to subsection (2).

History.—ss. 28, 62, ch. 93-187; s. 1, ch. 93-402; s. 11, ch. 94-136; s. 882, ch. 95-148; s. 101, ch. 96-320; s. 43, ch. 97-100; s. 41, ch. 99-251; s. 38, ch. 2002-1; s. 73, ch. 2010-102; s. 4, ch. 2010-139; s. 15, ch. 2011-4; s. 188, ch. 2011-142; s. 10, ch. 2014-183.

288.9605 Corporation powers.—
(1) The powers of the corporation created by s. 288.9604 shall include all the powers necessary or convenient to carry out and effectuate the purposes and provisions of this act.

(2) The corporation is authorized and empowered to:
(a) Have perpetual succession as a body politic and corporate and adopt bylaws for the regulation of its affairs and the conduct of its business.

(b) Adopt an official seal and alter the same at its pleasure.

(c) Maintain an office at such place or places as it may designate.

(d) Sue and be sued in its own name and plead and be impleaded.

(e) Enter into interlocal agreements pursuant to s. 163.01(7) with public agencies of this state for the exercise of any power, privilege, or authority consistent with the purposes of this act.

(f) Issue, from time to time, revenue bonds, notes, or other evidence of indebtedness, including, but not limited to, taxable bonds and bonds the interest on which is exempt from federal income taxation, for the purpose of financing and refinancing any capital projects that promote economic development within the state, thereby benefiting the citizens of the state, and exercise all powers in connection with the authorization, issuance, and sale of bonds, subject to the provisions of s. 288.9606.

(g) Issue bond anticipation notes in connection with the authorization, issuance, and sale of such bonds, pursuant to the provisions of s. 288.9606.

(h) Make and execute contracts and other instruments necessary or convenient to the exercise of its powers under the act.

(i) Disseminate information about itself and its activities.

(j) Acquire, by purchase, lease, option, gift, grant, bequest, devise, or otherwise, real property, together with any improvements thereon, or personal property for its administrative purposes or in furtherance of the purposes of this act.

(k) Hold, improve, clear, or prepare for development any such property.

(l) Mortgage, pledge, hypothecate, or otherwise encumber or dispose of any real or personal property.

(m) Insure or provide for insurance of any real or personal property or operations of the corporation or any private enterprise against any risks or hazards, including the power to pay premiums on any such insurance.

(n) Establish and fund a guaranty fund in furtherance of the purposes of this act.

(o) Invest funds held in reserve or sinking funds or any such funds not required for immediate disbursement in property or securities in such manner as the board shall determine, subject to the authorizing resolution on any bonds issued, and to terms established in the investment agreement pursuant to ss. 288.9606, 288.9607, and 288.9608, and redeem such bonds as have been issued pursuant to s. 288.9606 at the redemption price established therein or purchase such bonds at less than redemption price, all such bonds so redeemed or purchased to be canceled.

(p) Borrow money and apply for and accept advances, loans, grants, contributions, and any other form of financial assistance from the Federal Government or the state, county, or other public agency or from any sources, public or private, for the purposes of this act and give such security as may be required and enter into and carry out contracts or agreements in connection therewith; and include in any contract for financial assistance with the Federal Government or the state, county, or other public agency for, or with respect to, any purposes under this act and related activities such conditions imposed pursuant to federal laws as the county or municipality or other public agency deems reasonable and appropriate which are not inconsistent with the provisions of this act.

(q) Make or have all surveys and plans necessary for the carrying out of the purposes of this act, contract with any person, public or private, in making and carrying out such plans, and adopt, approve, modify, and amend such plans.

(r) Develop, test, and report methods and techniques and carry out demonstrations and other activities for the promotion of any of the purposes of this act.

(s) Apply for, accept, and utilize grants from the Federal Government or the state, county, or other public agency available for any of the purposes of this act.

(t) Make expenditures necessary to carry out the purposes of this act.

(u) Exercise all or any part or combination of powers granted in this act.

(v) Enter into investment agreements with Enterprise Florida, Inc., concerning the issuance of bonds and other forms of indebtedness and capital.

(w) Determine the situations and circumstances for participation in partnerships by agreement with local governments, financial institutions, and others associated with the redevelopment of brownfield areas pursuant to the Brownfields Redevelopment Act for a limited state guaranty of revenue bonds, loan guarantees, or loan loss reserves.

History.—ss. 29, 62, ch. 93-187; s. 1, ch. 93-402; s. 12, ch. 94-136; s. 12, ch. 98-75; s. 73, ch. 99-13; s. 5, ch. 2010-139; s. 189, ch. 2011-142.

288.9606 Issue of revenue bonds.—
(1) When authorized by a public agency pursuant to s. 163.01(7), the corporation has power in its corporate capacity, in its discretion, to issue revenue bonds or other evidences of indebtedness which a public agency has the power to issue, from time to time to finance the undertaking of any purpose of this act, including, without limiting the generality thereof, the payment of principal and interest upon any advances for surveys and plans or preliminary loans, and has the power to issue refunding bonds for the payment or retirement of bonds previously issued. Bonds issued pursuant to this section shall bear the name “Florida Development Finance Corporation Revenue Bonds.” The security for such bonds may be based upon such revenues as are legally available. In anticipation of the sale of such revenue bonds, the corporation may issue bond anticipation notes and may renew such notes from time to time, but the maximum maturity of any such note, including renewals thereof, may not exceed 5 years from the date of issuance of the original note. Such notes shall be paid from any revenues of the corporation available therefor and not otherwise pledged or from the proceeds of sale of the revenue bonds in anticipation of which they were issued. Any bond, note, or other form of indebtedness issued pursuant to this act shall mature no later than the end of the 30th fiscal year after the fiscal year in which the bond, note, or other form of indebtedness was issued.

(2) Bonds issued under this section do not constitute an indebtedness within the meaning of any constitutional or statutory debt limitation or restriction, and are not subject to the provisions of any other law or charter relating to the authorization, issuance, or sale of bonds. Bonds issued under the provisions of this act are declared to be for an essential public and governmental purpose. Bonds issued under this act, the interest on which is exempt from income taxes of the United States, together with interest thereon and income therefrom, are exempted from all taxes, except those taxes imposed by chapter 220, on interest, income, or profits on debt obligations owned by corporations.

(3) Bonds issued under this section shall be authorized by a public agency of this state pursuant to the terms of an interlocal agreement, unless such bonds are issued pursuant to subsection (7); may be issued in one or more series; and shall bear such date or dates, be payable upon demand or mature at such time or times, bear interest rate or rates, be in such denomination or denominations, be in such form either with or without coupon or registered, carry such conversion or registration privileges, have such rank or priority, be executed in such manner, be payable in such medium of payments at such place or places, be subject to such terms of redemption, with or without premium, be secured in such manner, and have such other characteristics as may be provided by the corporation. Bonds issued under this section may be sold in such manner, either at public or private sale, and for such price as the corporation may determine will effectuate the purpose of this act.

(4) In case a director whose signature appears on any bonds or coupons issued under this act ceases to be a director before the delivery of such bonds, such signature is, nevertheless, valid and sufficient for all purposes, the same as if such director had remained in office until such delivery.

(5) In any suit, action, or proceeding involving the validity or enforceability of any bond issued under this act, or the security therefor, any such bond reciting in substance that it has been issued by the corporation in connection with any purpose of the act shall be conclusively deemed to have been issued for such purpose, and such purpose shall be conclusively deemed to have been carried out in accordance with the act. The complaint in any action to validate such bonds shall be filed only in the Circuit Court for Leon County. The notice required to be published by s. 75.06 shall be published only in Leon County, and the complaint and order of the circuit court shall be served only on the State Attorney of the Second Judicial Circuit and on the state attorney of each circuit in each county where the public agencies which were initially a party to the interlocal agreement are located. Notice of such proceedings shall be published in the manner and the time required by s. 75.06, in Leon County and in each county where the public agencies which were initially a party to the interlocal agreement are located. Obligations of the corporation pursuant to a loan agreement as described in this subsection may be validated as provided in chapter 75. The validation of at least the first bonds approved by the corporation shall be appealed to the Florida Supreme Court.

(6) The proceeds of any bonds of the corporation may not be used, in any manner, to acquire any building or facility that will be, during the pendency of the financing, used by, occupied by, leased to, or paid for by any state, county, or municipal agency or entity.

(7) Notwithstanding any provision of this section, the corporation in its corporate capacity may, without authorization from a public agency under s. 163.01(7), issue revenue bonds or other evidence of indebtedness under this section to:
(a) Finance the undertaking of any project within the state that promotes renewable energy as defined in s. 366.91 or s. 377.803;

(b) Finance the undertaking of any project within the state that is a project contemplated or allowed under s. 406 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009; or

(c) If permitted by federal law, finance qualifying improvement projects within the state under s. 163.08.

History.—ss. 30, 62, ch. 93-187; s. 1, ch. 93-402; s. 13, ch. 94-136; s. 102, ch. 96-320; s. 6, ch. 2010-139; s. 190, ch. 2011-142.

288.9607 Guaranty of bond issues.—
(1) The corporation may approve or deny, by a majority vote of the membership of the directors, a guaranty of debt service payments for bonds or other indebtedness used to finance any capital project that promotes economic development in the state, including, but not limited to, those capital projects for which revenue bonds are issued under this act, if any such guaranty does not exceed 5 percent of the total aggregate principal amount of bonds or other indebtedness relating to any one capital project. The corporation may also use moneys deposited into the Energy, Technology, and Economic Development Guaranty Fund to satisfy requirements to obtain federal loan guarantees for capital projects authorized pursuant to this section.

(2) Any applicant requesting a guaranty of the corporation under this act must submit a guaranty application, in a form acceptable to the corporation, together with supporting documentation to the corporation as provided in this section.

(3) All applicants which have entered into a guaranty agreement with the corporation shall pay a guaranty premium on such terms and at such rates as the corporation shall determine before the issuance of the guaranty. The corporation may adopt such guaranty premium structures as it deems appropriate, including, without limitation, guaranty premiums which are payable one time upon the issuance of the guaranty or annual premiums payable upon the outstanding principal balance of bonds or other indebtedness that is guaranteed from time to time. The premium payment may be collected by the corporation from any lessee of the project involved, from the applicant, or from any other payee of any loan agreement involved.

(4) All applications for a guaranty must acknowledge that as a condition to the issuance of the guaranty, the corporation may require that the financing must be secured by a mortgage or security interest on the property acquired which will have such priority over other liens on such property as may be required by the corporation, and that the financing must be guaranteed by such person or persons with such ownership interest in the applicant as may be required by the corporation.

(5) Personal financial records, trade secrets, or proprietary information of applicants delivered to or obtained by the corporation shall be confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1).

(6) If the application for a guaranty is approved by the corporation, the corporation and the applicant shall enter into a guaranty agreement. In accordance with the provisions of the guaranty agreement, the corporation guarantees to use the funds on deposit in its Energy, Technology, and Economic Development Guaranty Fund to meet debt service payments on the bonds or indebtedness as they become due, in the event and to the extent that the applicant is unable to meet such payments, or to make similar payments to reimburse any person which has provided credit enhancement for the bonds and which has advanced funds to meet such debt service payments as they become due, if such guaranty of the corporation is limited to 5 percent of the total aggregate principal amount of bonds or other indebtedness relating to any one capital project. The corporation may also use moneys deposited in the Energy, Technology, and Economic Development Guaranty Fund to satisfy requirements to obtain federal loan guarantees for capital projects authorized under this section. If the applicant defaults on debt service payments, the corporation may use funds on deposit in the Energy, Technology, and Economic Development Guaranty Fund to pay insurance, maintenance, and other costs which may be required for the preservation of any capital project or other collateral security for any bond or indebtedness issued to finance a capital project for which debt service payments are guaranteed by the corporation in such manner as may be deemed necessary and advisable by the corporation.

(7) The guaranty is not a general obligation of the corporation or of the state, but is a special obligation, which constitutes the investment of a public trust fund. In no event shall the guaranty constitute an indebtedness of the corporation, the state, or any political subdivision thereof within the meaning of any constitutional or statutory limitation. Each guaranty agreement shall have plainly stated on the face thereof that it has been entered into under the provisions of this act and that it does not constitute an indebtedness of the corporation, the state, or any political subdivision thereof within any constitutional or statutory limitation, and that neither the full faith and credit of the state nor any of its revenues is pledged to meet any of the obligations of the corporation under such guaranty agreement. Each such agreement shall state that the obligation of the corporation under the guaranty shall be limited to the funds available in the Energy, Technology, and Economic Development Guaranty Fund as authorized by this section.

(8) In the event the corporation does not approve the application for a guaranty, the applicant shall be notified in writing of the corporation’s determination that the application not be approved.

(9) The membership of the corporation is authorized and directed to conduct such investigation as it may deem necessary for promulgation of regulations to govern the operation of the guaranty program authorized by this section. The regulations may include such other additional provisions, restrictions, and conditions as the corporation, after its investigation referred to in this subsection, shall determine to be proper to achieve the most effective utilization of the guaranty program. This may include, without limitation, a detailing of the remedies that must be exhausted by bondholders, a trustee acting on their behalf, or other credit provided before calling upon the corporation to perform under its guaranty agreement and the subrogation of other rights of the corporation with reference to the capital project and its operation or the financing in the event the corporation makes payment pursuant to the applicable guaranty agreement. The regulations promulgated by the corporation to govern the operation of the guaranty program may contain specific provisions with respect to the rights of the corporation to enter, take over, and manage all financed properties upon default. These regulations shall be submitted by the corporation to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for approval.

(10) The guaranty program described in this section may be used by the corporation in conjunction with any federal guaranty programs described in s. 406 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. All policies, procedures, and regulations of the guaranty program adopted by the corporation, to the extent such guaranty program of the corporation is used in conjunction with a federal guaranty program described in s. 406 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, must be consistent with s. 406 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

History.—ss. 31, 62, ch. 93-187; s. 1, ch. 93-402; s. 14, ch. 94-136; s. 3, ch. 95-386; s. 103, ch. 96-320; s. 148, ch. 96-406; s. 74, ch. 99-13; s. 70, ch. 99-385; s. 7, ch. 2010-139; s. 502, ch. 2011-142.

288.9608 Creation and funding of the Energy, Technology, and Economic Development Guaranty Fund.—
(1) The corporation shall establish an account known as the Energy, Technology, and Economic Development Guaranty Fund. The corporation may deposit moneys or other cash equivalents into the fund and maintain a balance in the fund, from general revenue funds of the state as are authorized for that purpose or any other designated funding sources not inconsistent with state law.

(2) If the corporation determines that the moneys in the guaranty agreement fund are not sufficient to meet the obligations of the guaranty agreement fund, the corporation is authorized to use the necessary amount of any available moneys that it may have which are not needed for, then or in the foreseeable future, or committed to other authorized functions and purposes of the corporation. Any such moneys so used may be reimbursed out of the guaranty agreement fund if and when there are moneys therein available for the purpose.

(3) The determination of when additional moneys will be needed for the guaranty agreement fund, the amounts that will be needed, and the availability or unavailability of other moneys shall be made solely by the corporation in the exercise of its discretion.

History.—ss. 32, 62, ch. 93-187; s. 1, ch. 93-402; s. 234, ch. 95-148; s. 104, ch. 96-320; s. 8, ch. 2010-139.

288.9609 Bonds as legal investments.—All banks, trust companies, bankers, savings banks and institutions, building and loan associations, savings and loan associations, investment companies, and other persons carrying on a banking and investment business; all insurance companies, insurance associations, and other persons carrying on an insurance business; and all executors, administrators, curators, trustees, and other fiduciaries may legally invest any sinking funds, moneys, or other funds belonging to them or within their control in any bonds or other obligations issued by the corporation. Such bonds and obligations shall be authorized security for all public deposits. It is the purpose of this section to authorize all persons, political subdivisions, and officers, public and private, to use any funds owned or controlled by them for the purchase of any such bonds or other obligations. Nothing contained in this section with regard to legal investments shall be construed as relieving any person of any duty of exercising reasonable care in selecting securities.
History.—ss. 33, 62, ch. 93-187; s. 1, ch. 93-402; s. 9, ch. 2010-139.

288.9610 Annual reports of Florida Development Finance Corporation.—On or before 90 days after the close of the Florida Development Finance Corporation’s fiscal year, the corporation shall submit to the Governor, the Legislature, the Auditor General, and the governing body of each public entity with which it has entered into an interlocal agreement a complete and detailed report setting forth:
(1) The results of any audit conducted pursuant to s. 11.45.

(2) The activities, operations, and accomplishments of the Florida Development Finance Corporation, including the number of businesses assisted by the corporation.

(3) Its assets, liabilities, income, and operating expenses at the end of its most recent fiscal year, including a description of all of its outstanding revenue bonds.

History.—ss. 34, 62, ch. 93-187; s. 1, ch. 93-402; s. 39, ch. 2002-1; s. 46, ch. 2004-305; s. 74, ch. 2010-102; s. 10, ch. 2010-139.

288.9614 Authorized programs.—Enterprise Florida, Inc., may take any action that it deems necessary to achieve the purposes of this act in partnership with private enterprises, public agencies, and other organizations, including, but not limited to, efforts to address the long-term debt needs of small-sized and medium-sized firms, to address the needs of microenterprises, to expand availability of venture capital, and to increase international trade and export finance opportunities for firms critical to achieving the purposes of this act.
History.—s. 38, ch. 93-187; s. 108, ch. 96-320; s. 41, ch. 97-278; s. 42, ch. 99-251.

PART XI
CAPITAL FORMATION

288.9621 Short title.

288.9622 Findings and intent.

288.9623 Definitions.

288.9624 Florida Opportunity Fund; creation; duties.

288.9625 Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research.

288.96255 Florida Technology Seed Capital Fund; creation; duties.

288.9626 Exemptions from public records and public meetings requirements for the Florida Opportunity Fund.

288.9627 Exemptions from public records and public meetings requirements for the Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research.

288.9621 Short title.—Sections 288.9621-288.9625 may be cited as the “Florida Capital Formation Act.”
History.—s. 1, ch. 2007-189.

288.9622 Findings and intent.—
(1) The Legislature finds and declares that there is a need to increase the availability of seed capital and early stage venture equity capital for emerging companies in the state, including, without limitation, enterprises in life sciences, information technology, advanced manufacturing processes, aviation and aerospace, and homeland security and defense, as well as other strategic technologies.

(2) It is the intent of the Legislature that ss. 288.9621-288.9625 serve to mobilize private investment in a broad variety of venture capital partnerships in diversified industries and geographies; retain private sector investment criteria focused on rate of return; use the services of highly qualified managers in the venture capital industry regardless of location; facilitate the organization of the Florida Opportunity Fund as an investor in seed and early stage businesses, infrastructure projects, venture capital funds, and angel funds; and precipitate capital investment and extensions of credit to and in the Florida Opportunity Fund.

(3) It is the intent of the Legislature to mobilize venture equity capital for investment in such a manner as to result in a significant potential to create new businesses and jobs in this state that are based on high growth potential technologies, products, or services and that will further diversify the economy of this state.

(4) It is the intent of the Legislature that an institute be created to mentor, market, and attract capital to such commercialization ventures throughout the state.

History.—s. 1, ch. 2007-189; s. 25, ch. 2009-51.

288.9623 Definitions.—As used in ss. 288.9621-288.9625:
(1) “Board” means the board of directors of the Florida Opportunity Fund.

(2) “Fund” means the Florida Opportunity Fund.

History.—s. 1, ch. 2007-189.

288.9624 Florida Opportunity Fund; creation; duties.—

(1)(a) Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall facilitate the creation of the Florida Opportunity Fund, a private, not-for-profit corporation organized and operated under chapter 617. Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall be the fund’s sole shareholder or member. The fund is not a public corporation or instrumentality of the state. The fund shall manage its business affairs and conduct business consistent with its organizational documents and the purposes set forth in this section. Notwithstanding the powers granted under chapter 617, the corporation may not amend, modify, or repeal a bylaw or article of incorporation without the express written consent of Enterprise Florida, Inc.

(b) The board of directors of the Florida Opportunity Fund shall have five members, appointed by vote of the board of directors of Enterprise Florida, Inc. Board members shall serve terms as provided in the fund’s organizational documents. Within 90 days before an anticipated vacancy by expiration of the term of a board member, the board of directors of the fund shall submit a list of three eligible nominees, which may include the incumbent, to the board of directors of Enterprise Florida, Inc. The board of directors of Enterprise Florida, Inc., may appoint a board member from the nominee list or may request and appoint from a new list of three nominees not included on the previous list.

(c) The persons appointed to the board of directors shall include persons who have expertise in the area of the selection and supervision of early stage investment managers or in the fiduciary management of investment funds and other areas of expertise as considered appropriate.

(d) Members of the board are subject to any restrictions on conflicts of interest specified in the organizational documents and may not have an interest in any venture capital investment selected by the fund under ss. 288.9621-288.9624.

(e) Members of the board shall serve without compensation, but members, the president of the board, and other board employees may be reimbursed for all reasonable, necessary, and actual expenses as determined and approved by the board pursuant to s. 112.061.

(f) The fund shall have all powers granted under its organizational documents and shall indemnify members to the broadest extent permissible under the laws of this state.

(2) Upon organization, the board shall conduct a national solicitation for investment plan proposals from qualified venture capital investment managers for the raising and investing of capital by the Florida Opportunity Fund. Any proposed investment plan must address the applicant’s level of experience, quality of management, investment philosophy and process, provability of success in fundraising, prior investment fund results, and plan for achieving the purposes of ss. 288.9621-288.9624. The board shall select only venture capital investment managers having demonstrated expertise in the management of and investment in companies.

(3) The board is responsible for negotiating the terms of a contract with the Florida Opportunity Fund investment manager; executing the contract with the selected venture capital investment fund manager on behalf of the Florida Opportunity Fund; managing the business affairs of the Florida Opportunity Fund, such as accounting, audit, insurance, and related requirements; soliciting and negotiating the terms of, contracting for, and receiving investment capital and loan proceeds with the assistance of the investment manager; receiving investment returns; paying investors and debtors; and reinvesting the investment returns in the fund in order to provide additional venture capital investments designed to result in a significant potential to create new businesses and jobs in this state and further diversify the economy of this state.

(4) For the purpose of mobilizing investment in a broad variety of Florida-based, new technology companies and generating a return sufficient to continue reinvestment, the fund shall:
(a) Invest in seed and early stage venture capital funds that have experienced managers or management teams with demonstrated experience, expertise, and a successful history in the investment of venture capital funds, focusing on opportunities in this state. The fund also may make direct investments, including loans, in individual businesses and infrastructure projects. While not precluded from investing in venture capital funds that have investments outside this state, the fund must require a venture capital fund to show a record of successful investment in this state, to be based in this state, or to have an office in this state staffed with a full-time, professional venture investment executive in order to be eligible for investment.

(b) Negotiate for investment capital or loan proceeds from private, institutional, or banking sources.

(c) Negotiate any and all terms and conditions for its investments.

(d) Invest only in funds, businesses, and infrastructure projects that have raised capital from other sources so that the amount invested in such funds, businesses, or infrastructure projects is at least twice the amount invested by the fund. Direct investments must be made in Florida infrastructure projects or businesses that are Florida-based or have significant business activities in Florida and operate in technology sectors that are strategic to Florida, including, but not limited to, enterprises in life sciences, information technology, advanced manufacturing processes, aviation and aerospace, and homeland security and defense, as well as other strategic technologies.

(e) Form or operate other entities and accept additional funds from other public and private sources to further its purpose.

The Opportunity Fund may not use its original legislative appropriation of $29.5 million for direct investments, including loans, in businesses or infrastructure projects, or for any purpose not specified in chapter 2007-189, Laws of Florida.

(5) By December 1 of each year, the board shall issue an annual report concerning the activities conducted by the fund to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The annual report, at a minimum, must include:
(a) An accounting of the amount of investments disbursed by the fund and the progress of the fund, including the progress of business and infrastructure projects that have been provided direct investment by the fund.

(b) A description of the benefits to this state resulting from the fund, including the number of businesses created, associated industries started, the number of jobs created, and the growth of related research projects.

(c) Independently audited financial statements, including statements that show receipts and expenditures during the preceding fiscal year for personnel, administration, and operational costs of the fund.

History.—s. 1, ch. 2007-189; s. 26, ch. 2009-51; s. 191, ch. 2011-142.

288.9625 Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research.—There is established at a public university or research center in this state the Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research.
(1) The institute shall be a not-for-profit corporation registered, incorporated, and operated in accordance with chapter 617.

(2) The purpose of the institute is to assist in the commercialization of products developed by the research and development activities of an innovation business, as defined in s. 288.1089; a publicly supported college, university, or research institute; or any other publicly supported organization in this state. The institute shall fulfill its purpose in the best interests of the state. The institute:
(a) Is a corporation primarily acting as an instrumentality of the state pursuant to s. 768.28(2), for the purposes of sovereign immunity;

(b) Is not an agency within the meaning of s. 20.03(11);

(c) Is subject to the open records and meetings requirements of s. 24, Art. I of the State Constitution, chapter 119, and s. 286.011;

(d) Is not subject to the provisions of chapter 287;

(e) Shall be governed by the code of ethics for public officers and employees as set forth in part III of chapter 112;

(f) May create corporate subsidiaries;

(g) Shall support existing commercialization efforts at state universities; and

(h) May not supplant, replace, or direct existing technology transfer operations or other commercialization programs, including incubators and accelerators.

(3) The articles of incorporation of the institute must be approved in a written agreement with the department. The agreement and the articles of incorporation shall:
(a) Provide that the institute shall provide equal employment opportunities for all persons regardless of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, handicap, or marital status;

(b) Provide that the institute is subject to the public records and meeting requirements of s. 24, Art. I of the State Constitution;

(c) Provide that all officers, directors, and employees of the institute shall be governed by the code of ethics for public officers and employees as set forth in part III of chapter 112;

(d) Provide that members of the board of directors of the institute are responsible for the prudent use of all public and private funds and that they will ensure that the use of funds is in accordance with all applicable laws, bylaws, and contractual requirements; and

(e) Provide that the fiscal year of the institute is from July 1 to June 30.

(4) The affairs of the institute shall be managed by a board of directors who shall serve without compensation. Each director shall have only one vote. The chair of the board of directors shall be selected by a majority vote of the directors, a quorum being present. The board of directors shall consist of the following five members:
(a) The executive director of the department, or the director’s designee.

(b) The president of the university where the institute is located or the president’s designee unless multiple universities jointly sponsor the institute, in which case the presidents of the sponsoring universities shall agree upon a designee.

(c) Three directors appointed by the Governor to 3-year staggered terms, to which the directors may be reappointed.

(5) The board of directors shall provide a copy of the institute’s annual report to the Governor, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the president of the university at which the institute is located.

(6) The department, the president and the board of trustees of the university where the institute is located, the Auditor General, and the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability may require and receive from the institute or its independent auditor any detail or supplemental data relative to the operation of the institute.

(7)(a) To be eligible for assistance, the company or organization attempting to commercialize its product must be accepted by the institute before receiving the institute’s assistance.

(b) The institute shall receive recommendations from any publicly supported organization that a company that is commercializing the research, technology, or patents from a qualifying publicly supported organization should be accepted into the institute.

(c) The institute shall thereafter review the business plans and technology information of each such recommended company. If accepted, the institute shall mentor the company, develop marketing information on the company, and use its resources to attract capital investment into the company, as well as bring other resources to the company which may foster its effective management, growth, capitalization, technology protection, or marketing or business success.

(8) The institute shall:
(a) Maintain a centralized location to showcase companies and their technologies and products;

(b) Develop an efficient process to inventory and publicize companies and products that have been accepted by the institute for commercialization;

(c) Routinely communicate with private investors and venture capital organizations regarding the investment opportunities in its showcased companies;

(d) Facilitate meetings between prospective investors and eligible organizations in the institute;

(e) Hire full-time staff who understand relevant technologies needed to market companies to the angel investors and venture capital investment community; and

(f) Develop cooperative relationships with publicly supported organizations all of which work together to provide resources or special knowledge that is likely to be helpful to institute companies.

(9) The institute may not develop or accrue any ownership, royalty, patent, or other such rights over or interest in companies or products in the institute except in connection with financing provided directly to client companies and shall maintain the confidentiality of proprietary information.

(10) The institute may not charge for services provided to state universities and affiliated organizations, community colleges, or state agencies; however, the institute may deliver and charge for services to private companies and affiliated organizations if providing a service does not interfere with the core mission of the institute. The institute may not use its capital in support of private companies or affiliated organizations whose products were not developed by research and development activities of a publicly supported college, university, or research institute, or any other organization.

(11) By December 1 of each year, the institute shall issue an annual report concerning its activities to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The report shall include the following:
(a) Information on any assistance provided by the institute to an innovation business, as defined in s. 288.1089; a publicly supported college, university, or research institute; or any other publicly supported organization in the state.

(b) A description of the benefits to this state resulting from the institute, including the number of businesses created, associated industries started, the number of jobs created, and the growth of related projects.

(c) Independently audited financial statements, including statements that show receipts and expenditures during the preceding fiscal year for personnel, administration, and operational costs of the institute.

History.—s. 1, ch. 2007-189; s. 31, ch. 2010-147; s. 192, ch. 2011-142; s. 1, ch. 2013-120; s. 20, ch. 2014-18.

288.96255 Florida Technology Seed Capital Fund; creation; duties.—
(1) The Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research shall create the Florida Technology Seed Capital Fund as a corporate subsidiary. The purpose of the fund is to foster greater private-sector investment funding, to encourage seed-stage investments in start-up companies, and to advise companies about how to restructure existing management, operation, or production to attract advantageous business opportunities. The proceeds of a sale of the equity held by the fund shall be returned to the fund for reinvestment.

(2) The institute shall administer the Florida Technology Seed Capital Fund.

(3) The institute shall employ professionals who have both technical and business expertise to manage fund activity. The institute shall establish an investor advisory board comprised of venture capital professionals and early-stage investors from this and other states who shall advise and guide the fund management and make funding recommendations. Administrative costs paid out of the fund shall be determined by the investor advisory board.

(4) The institute shall use a thorough and detailed process that is modeled after the best practices of the investment industry to evaluate a proposal. In order to approve a company for investment, the institute must consider if:
(a) The company has a strong intellectual property position, a capable management team, readily identifiable paths to market or commercialization, significant job-growth potential, the ability to provide other sources of capital to leverage the state’s investment, and the potential to attract additional funding;

(b) The company has been identified by a publicly funded research institution;

(c) The start-up company is a target industry business as defined in s. 288.106(2);

(d) The company has been identified by an approved private-sector lead investor who has demonstrated due diligence typical of start-up investments in evaluating the potential of the company; and

(e) The advisory board and fund manager have reviewed the company’s proposal and recommended it.

(5)(a) Seed funds may be invested if the institute approves a company and the initial seed-stage investment. The initial seed-stage investment must be at least $50,000, but no more than $300,000. The initial seed-stage investment requires a one-to-one, private-sector match of investment.

(b) Additional seed funds may be invested in a company if approved by the institute. The cumulative total of investment in a single company may not exceed $500,000. Any additional investment amount requires a two-to-one, private-sector match of investment.

(6) The institute may:
(a) Provide a company with value-added support services in the areas of business plan development and strategy, the preparation of investor presentations, and other critical areas identified by the institute to increase its chances for long-term viability and success;

(b) Encourage appropriate investment funds to become preapproved to match investment funds;

(c) Market the attractiveness of the state as an early-stage investment location; and

(d) Collaborate with state economic-development organizations, national associations of seed and angel funds, and other innovation-based associations to create an enhanced state entrepreneurial ecosystem.

(7) The institute shall annually evaluate the activities and results of the funding, taking into consideration that seed investment horizons span from 3 to 7 years.

History.—s. 2, ch. 2013-120.

288.9626 Exemptions from public records and public meetings requirements for the Florida Opportunity Fund.—
(1) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Alternative investment” means an investment or prospective investment through a loan, acquisition of an equity interest, or other investment method by the Florida Opportunity Fund in a private equity fund, venture capital fund, or angel fund; an investment by the Florida Opportunity Fund or an alternative investment in a portfolio company; or an investment through a distribution of securities to its partners or shareholders by an alternative investment vehicle.

(b) “Alternative investment vehicle” means the limited partnership, limited liability company, or similar legal fund structure through which funds of, or funds managed by, the Florida Opportunity Fund are invested in a portfolio company.

(c) “Florida Opportunity Fund” means the Florida Opportunity Fund as defined in s. 288.9623.

(d) “Portfolio company” means a corporation or other issuer, any of whose securities or debt obligations are owned, or are being considered for ownership, by an alternative investment vehicle or the Florida Opportunity Fund and any subsidiary of such corporation or other issuer.

(e) “Portfolio positions” means individual investments in portfolio companies that are made by an alternative investment vehicle or the Florida Opportunity Fund, including information or specific investment terms associated with any portfolio company investment.

(f)1. “Proprietary confidential business information” means information that has been designated by the proprietor when provided to the Florida Opportunity Fund as information that is owned or controlled by a proprietor; that is intended to be and is treated by the proprietor as private, the disclosure of which would harm the business operations of the proprietor and has not been intentionally disclosed by the proprietor unless pursuant to a private agreement that provides that the information will not be released to the public except as required by law or legal process, or pursuant to law or an order of a court or administrative body; and that concerns:
a. Trade secrets as defined in s. 688.002.

b. Information provided to the Florida Opportunity Fund regarding an existing or prospective alternative investment in a private equity fund, venture capital fund, angel fund, or portfolio company that is proprietary to the provider of the information.

c. Financial statements and auditor reports of an alternative investment vehicle or portfolio company, unless publicly released by the alternative investment vehicle or portfolio company.

d. Meeting materials of an alternative investment vehicle or portfolio company relating to financial, operating, or marketing information of the alternative investment vehicle or portfolio company.

e. Information regarding the portfolio positions in which the alternative investment vehicles or Florida Opportunity Fund invest.

f. Capital call and distribution notices to investors or the Florida Opportunity Fund of an alternative investment vehicle.

g. Alternative investment agreements and related records.

h. Information concerning investors, other than the Florida Opportunity Fund, in an alternative investment vehicle or portfolio company.

2. “Proprietary confidential business information” does not include:
a. The name, address, and vintage year of an alternative investment vehicle or Florida Opportunity Fund and the identity of the principals involved in the management of the alternative investment vehicle or Florida Opportunity Fund.

b. The dollar amount of the commitment made by the Florida Opportunity Fund to each alternative investment vehicle since inception, if any.

c. The dollar amount and date of cash contributions made by the Florida Opportunity Fund to each alternative investment vehicle since inception, if any.

d. The dollar amount, on a fiscal-year-end basis, of cash or other fungible distributions received by the Florida Opportunity Fund from each alternative investment vehicle.

e. The dollar amount, on a fiscal-year-end basis, of cash or other fungible distributions received by the Florida Opportunity Fund plus the remaining value of alternative-vehicle assets that are attributable to the Florida Opportunity Fund’s investment in each alternative investment vehicle.

f. The net internal rate of return of each alternative investment vehicle since inception.

g. The investment multiple of each alternative investment vehicle since inception.

h. The dollar amount of the total management fees and costs paid on an annual fiscal-year-end basis by the Florida Opportunity Fund to each alternative investment vehicle.

i. The dollar amount of cash profit received by the Florida Opportunity Fund from each alternative investment vehicle on a fiscal-year-end basis.

(g) “Proprietor” means an alternative investment vehicle or portfolio company in which an alternative investment vehicle or Florida Opportunity Fund invests or which is being considered for investment, or an outside consultant, including the respective authorized officers, employees, agents, or successors in interest, that controls or owns information.

(2) PUBLIC RECORDS EXEMPTION.—
(a) The following records held by the Florida Opportunity Fund are confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution:
1. Materials that relate to methods of manufacture or production, potential trade secrets, or patentable material received, generated, ascertained, or discovered during the course of research or through research projects and that are provided by a proprietor.

2. Information that would identify an investor or potential investor who desires to remain anonymous in projects reviewed by the Florida Opportunity Fund.

3. Proprietary confidential business information regarding alternative investments for 7 years after the termination of the alternative investment.

(b) At the time any record made confidential and exempt by this subsection, or portion thereof, is legally available or subject to public disclosure for any other reason, that record, or portion thereof, shall no longer be confidential and exempt and shall be made available for inspection and copying.

(3) PUBLIC MEETINGS EXEMPTION.—
(a) That portion of a meeting of the board of directors of the Florida Opportunity Fund at which information is discussed which is confidential and exempt under subsection (2) is exempt from s. 286.011 and s. 24(b), Art. I of the State Constitution.

(b) Any exempt portion of a meeting shall be recorded and transcribed. The board of directors shall record the times of commencement and termination of the meeting, all discussion and proceedings, the names of all persons present at any time, and the names of all persons speaking. An exempt portion of any meeting may not be off the record.

(c) A transcript and minutes of exempt portions of meetings are confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.

(4) REQUEST TO INSPECT OR COPY A RECORD.—
(a) Records made confidential and exempt by this section may be released, upon written request, to a governmental entity in the performance of its official duties and responsibilities.

(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (2)(a), a request to inspect or copy a public record that contains proprietary confidential business information shall be granted if the proprietor of the information fails, within a reasonable period of time after the request is received by the Florida Opportunity Fund, to verify the following to the Florida Opportunity Fund through a written declaration in the manner provided by s. 92.525:
1. That the requested record contains proprietary confidential business information and the specific location of such information within the record;

2. If the proprietary confidential business information is a trade secret, a verification that it is a trade secret as defined in s. 688.002;

3. That the proprietary confidential business information is intended to be and is treated by the proprietor as private, is the subject of efforts of the proprietor to maintain its privacy, and is not readily ascertainable or publicly available from any other source; and

4. That the disclosure of the proprietary confidential business information to the public would harm the business operations of the proprietor.

(c)1. Any person may petition a court of competent jurisdiction for an order for the public release of those portions of any record made confidential and exempt by subsection (2).

2. Any action under this subsection must be brought in Orange County, and the petition or other initial pleading shall be served on the Florida Opportunity Fund and, if determinable upon diligent inquiry, on the proprietor of the information sought to be released.

3. In any order for the public release of a record under this subsection, the court shall make a finding that:
a. The record or portion thereof is not a trade secret as defined in s. 688.002;

b. A compelling public interest is served by the release of the record or portions thereof which exceed the public necessity for maintaining the confidentiality of such record; and

c. The release of the record will not cause damage to or adversely affect the interests of the proprietor of the released information, other private persons or business entities, or the Florida Opportunity Fund.

(5) PENALTIES.—Any person who willfully and knowingly violates this section commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

History.—s. 1, ch. 2007-190; s. 1, ch. 2012-223.

288.9627 Exemptions from public records and public meetings requirements for the Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research.—
(1) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research” or “institute” means the institute established by s. 288.9625.

(b)1. “Proprietary confidential business information” means information that has been designated by the proprietor when provided to the institute as information that is owned or controlled by a proprietor; that is intended to be and is treated by the proprietor as private, the disclosure of which would harm the business operations of the proprietor and has not been intentionally disclosed by the proprietor unless pursuant to a private agreement that provides that the information will not be released to the public except as required by law or legal process, or pursuant to law or an order of a court or administrative body; and that concerns:
a. Trade secrets as defined in s. 688.002.

b. Financial statements and internal or external auditor reports of a proprietor corporation, partnership, or person requesting confidentiality under this statute, unless publicly released by the proprietor.

c. Meeting materials related to financial, operating, investment, or marketing information of the proprietor corporation, partnership, or person.

d. Information concerning private investors in the proprietor corporation, partnership, or person.

2. “Proprietary confidential business information” does not include:
a. The identity and primary address of the proprietor’s principals.

b. The dollar amount and date of the financial commitment or contribution made by the institute.

c. The dollar amount, on a fiscal-year-end basis, of cash repayments or other fungible distributions received by the institute from each proprietor.

d. The dollar amount, if any, of the total management fees and costs paid on an annual fiscal-year-end basis by the institute.

(c) “Proprietor” means a corporation, partnership, or person that has applied for or received assistance, financial or otherwise, from the institute and that controls or owns the proprietary confidential business information.

(2) PUBLIC RECORDS EXEMPTION.—
(a) The following records held by the institute are confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution:
1. Materials that relate to methods of manufacture or production, potential trade secrets, or patentable material received, generated, ascertained, or discovered during the course of research or through research projects conducted by universities and other publicly supported organizations in this state and that are provided to the institute by a proprietor.

2. Information that would identify an investor or potential investor who desires to remain anonymous in projects reviewed by the institute for assistance.

3. Any information received from a person from another state or nation or the Federal Government which is otherwise confidential or exempt pursuant to the laws of that state or nation or pursuant to federal law.

4. Proprietary confidential business information for 7 years after the termination of the institute’s financial commitment to the company.

(b) At the time any record made confidential and exempt by this subsection, or portion thereof, is legally available or subject to public disclosure for any other reason, that record, or portion thereof, shall no longer be confidential and exempt and shall be made available for inspection and copying.

(3) PUBLIC MEETINGS EXEMPTION.—
(a) That portion of a meeting of the institute’s board of directors at which information is discussed which is confidential and exempt under subsection (2) is exempt from s. 286.011 and s. 24(b), Art. I of the State Constitution.

(b) Any exempt portion of a meeting shall be recorded and transcribed. The board of directors shall record the times of commencement and termination of the meeting, all discussion and proceedings, the names of all persons present at any time, and the names of all persons speaking. An exempt portion of any meeting may not be off the record.

(c) A transcript and minutes of exempt portions of meetings are confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.

(4) REQUEST TO INSPECT OR COPY A RECORD.—
(a) Records made confidential and exempt by this section may be released, upon written request, to a governmental entity in the performance of its official duties and responsibilities.

(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (2)(a), a request to inspect or copy a public record that contains proprietary confidential business information shall be granted if the proprietor of the information fails, within a reasonable period of time after the request is received by the institute, to verify the following to the institute through a written declaration in the manner provided by s. 92.525:
1. That the requested record contains proprietary confidential business information and the specific location of such information within the record;

2. If the proprietary confidential business information is a trade secret, a verification that it is a trade secret as defined in s. 688.002;

3. That the proprietary confidential business information is intended to be and is treated by the proprietor as private, is the subject of efforts of the proprietor to maintain its privacy, and is not readily ascertainable or publicly available from any other source; and

4. That the disclosure of the proprietary confidential business information to the public would harm the business operations of the proprietor.

(c)1. Any person may petition a court of competent jurisdiction for an order for the public release of those portions of any record made confidential and exempt by subsection (2).

2. Any action under this subsection must be brought in Palm Beach County or Alachua County, and the petition or other initial pleading shall be served on the institute and, if determinable upon diligent inquiry, on the proprietor of the information sought to be released.

3. In any order for the public release of a record under this subsection, the court shall make a finding that:
a. The record or portion thereof is not a trade secret as defined in s. 688.002;

b. A compelling public interest is served by the release of the record or portions thereof which exceed the public necessity for maintaining the confidentiality of such record; and

c. The release of the record will not cause damage to or adversely affect the interests of the proprietor of the released information, other private persons or business entities, or the institute.

(5) PENALTIES.—Any person who willfully and knowingly violates this section commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

History.—s. 2, ch. 2012-223.

PART XII
DEFENSE CONVERSION AND TRANSITION

288.972 Legislative intent.

288.975 Military base reuse plans.

288.976 Military base closure and reuse.

288.977 Military base disposition.

288.980 Military base retention; legislative intent; grants program.

288.985 Exemptions from public records and public meetings requirements.

288.987 Florida Defense Support Task Force.

288.972 Legislative intent.—It is the policy of this state, once the Federal Government has proposed any base closure or has determined that military bases, lands, or installations are to be closed and made available for reuse, to:
(1) Cooperate fully with the Federal Government and community base reuse commissions to ensure prompt effective plans for converting available base lands and facilities to uses which further the affected communities’ welfare.

(2) Conduct, in cooperation with federal and local government agencies, prompt and comprehensive assessments of the economic development, environmental, wildlife conservation, and growth management implications of base closure and reuse for use in making recommendations on land disposition.

(3) Honor, consistent with the state’s responsibility to protect the health, safety, and welfare of its citizens, the affected communities’ plans in regard to base reuse.

(4) Offer to affected communities, to the maximum extent feasible, guidance and technical assistance in formulating plans for the beneficial economic development, environmental resource management, and other use of available base lands.

(5) Provide, to the maximum extent feasible, special assistance and outreach, in the form of counseling, training, and placement services, to workers in this state displaced by defense industry reductions, base closure, and realignments.

(6) Expedite, consistent with the state’s responsibility to protect the environment, manage growth, and fulfill its proprietary responsibilities, all state permitting, planning, and state lands ownership processes related to the closure and reuse of military base lands and facilities.

(7) Actively encourage the Federal Government to provide adequate funding and expeditious action for military base closing and reuse and to provide, consistent with national security laws and authorities, good access to affected military installations and their personnel for the purpose of fulfilling state agency responsibilities.

(8) Coordinate base retention efforts among communities in this state whose military installations are recommended for closure or realignment.

(9) Coordinate the development, maintenance, and analysis of a workforce database to assist workers adversely affected by defense-related activities in their relocation efforts.

History.—s. 3, ch. 94-323; s. 2, ch. 96-348; s. 2, ch. 2012-98; s. 6, ch. 2012-159.

288.975 Military base reuse plans.—
(1) This section contains optional provisions for military base reuse planning in recognition of the importance of ensuring prompt and effective planning for the conversion of military bases designated for closure by the Federal Government to maximize the welfare of impacted local governments and their constituents. While the reuse of these military bases shall provide substantial economic benefits to their host local governments, reuse activities may also have an adverse impact on the public facilities and services of local governments and impact resources and facilities of regional and statewide significance. The intent of this section is to address this unique relationship by providing for an optional military base reuse planning process that supersedes the provisions of chapter 380 pertaining to developments of regional impact and the requirements of part II of chapter 163, except as provided in this section.

(2) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Affected local government” means a local government adjoining the host local government and any other unit of local government that is not a host local government but that is identified in a proposed military base reuse plan as providing, operating, or maintaining one or more public facilities as defined in s. 163.3164 on lands within or serving a military base designated for closure by the Federal Government.

(b) “Affected person” means a host local government; an affected local government; any state, regional, or federal agency; or a person who resides, owns property, or owns or operates a business within the boundaries of a host local government or affected local government.

(c) “Base reuse activities” means development as defined in s. 380.04 on a military base designated for closure or closed by the Federal Government.

(d) “Host local government” means a local government within the jurisdiction of which all or part of a military base designated for closure by the Federal Government is located. This shall not include a county if no part of a military base is located in its unincorporated area.

(e) “Military base” means a military base designated for closure or closed by the Federal Government.

(f) “Regional policy plan” means a strategic regional policy plan that has been adopted by rule by a regional planning council pursuant to s. 186.508.

(g) “State comprehensive plan” means the plan as provided in chapter 187.

(3) No later than 6 months after the designation of a military base for closure by the Federal Government, each host local government shall notify the department in writing, by hand delivery or return receipt requested, as to whether it intends to use the optional provisions provided in this act. If a host local government does not opt to use the provisions of this act, land use planning and regulation pertaining to base reuse activities within those host local governments shall be subject to all applicable statutory requirements, including those contained within chapters 163 and 380.

(4)(a) Military base reuse plans shall contain the following elements: future land use; intergovernmental coordination; transportation, which shall include roads, public transportation, and ports, aviation, and related facilities; capital improvements; coastal management, where applicable; recreation and open space; housing; conservation; and general infrastructure, which shall include potable water, sanitary sewer, solid waste, aquifer recharge, and stormwater management. Each element of the plan shall contain standards to assure compatibility with and minimize impacts on the surrounding community. Each element shall comply with the nonprocedural requirements for such related elements contained in part II of chapter 163 and rules adopted thereunder. The plan shall address each noncontiguous portion of a base specifically.

(b) Military base reuse plans shall identify the need for and plans for provision of the following facilities and services for at least the next 5 years: roads, parking, public transportation, solid waste, drainage, sanitary sewer, potable water, and recreation and open space.

(c) Military base reuse plans shall identify projected impacts to significant regional resources and natural resources of regional significance as identified by applicable regional planning councils in their regional policy plans and the actions that shall be taken to mitigate such impacts.

(d) Data and analyses on which the plans are based shall include, at a minimum, the characteristics of vacant lands, projected use of vacant lands and redevelopment of developed lands, projected population growth, existing and projected public facilities, and projected impacts of base reuse activities on natural resources and those onsite and offsite public facilities and services listed in paragraph (b).

(e) Military base reuse plans may contain additional elements and provisions at the option of the host local government.

(5) At the discretion of the host local government, the provisions of this act may be complied with through the adoption of the military base reuse plan as a separate component of the local government comprehensive plan or through simultaneous amendments to all pertinent portions of the local government comprehensive plan. Once adopted and approved in accordance with this section, the military base reuse plan shall be considered to be part of the host local government’s comprehensive plan and shall be thereafter implemented, amended, and reviewed pursuant to part II of chapter 163.

(6) In the preparation and review of the military base reuse plans, local governments and regional and state agencies shall make every effort to avoid duplicative reviews and to use information and analyses generated by the federal environmental impact statement process and the federal community base reuse plan process.

(7) A military base reuse plan shall be consistent with the comprehensive plan of the host local government and shall not conflict with the comprehensive plan of any affected local governments. A military base reuse plan shall be consistent with the nonprocedural requirements of part II of chapter 163 and rules adopted thereunder, applicable regional policy plans, and the state comprehensive plan.

(8) At the request of a host local government, the department shall coordinate a presubmission workshop concerning a military base reuse plan within the boundaries of the host jurisdiction. Agencies that shall participate in the workshop shall include any affected local governments; the Department of Environmental Protection; the department; the Department of Transportation; the Department of Health; the Department of Children and Families; the Department of Juvenile Justice; the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; the Department of State; the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission; and any applicable water management districts and regional planning councils. The purposes of the workshop shall be to assist the host local government to understand issues of concern to the above listed entities pertaining to the military base site and to identify opportunities for better coordination of planning and review efforts with the information and analyses generated by the federal environmental impact statement process and the federal community base reuse planning process.

(9) If a host local government elects to use the optional provisions of this act, it shall, no later than 12 months after notifying the agencies of its intent pursuant to subsection (3) either:
(a) Send a copy of the proposed military base reuse plan for review to any affected local governments; the Department of Environmental Protection; the department; the Department of Transportation; the Department of Health; the Department of Children and Families; the Department of Juvenile Justice; the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; the Department of State; the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission; and any applicable water management districts and regional planning councils, or

(b) Petition the department for an extension of the deadline for submitting a proposed reuse plan. Such an extension request must be justified by changes or delays in the closure process by the federal Department of Defense or for reasons otherwise deemed to promote the orderly and beneficial planning of the subject military base reuse. The department may grant extensions to the required submission date of the reuse plan.

(10) Within 60 days after receipt of a proposed military base reuse plan, these entities shall review and provide comments to the host local government. The commencement of this review period shall be advertised in newspapers of general circulation within the host local government and any affected local government to allow for public comment. No later than 180 days after receipt and consideration of all comments, and the holding of at least two public hearings, the host local government shall adopt the military base reuse plan. The host local government shall comply with the notice requirements set forth in s. 163.3184(11) to ensure full public participation in this planning process.

(11) Copies of the adopted military base reuse plan shall be forwarded within 10 days after its adoption to any affected local governments and regional and state agencies that submitted comments on the proposed military base reuse plan. In addition, notice shall be published in newspapers of general circulation in the host and any affected local governments. The notice shall state how and where a copy of the plan may be obtained or inspected. Within 45 days after receipt of the adopted military base reuse plan, or 45 days after the publication of the notice of the availability of the adopted plan for review, whichever is later, an affected person who submitted comments on the proposed plan may petition the host local government, challenging the military base reuse plan as not being in compliance with this act or any rule adopted pursuant to this act. The petition shall state each objection, identify its source, and provide a recommended action.

(12) Following receipt of a petition, the petitioning party or parties and the host local government shall seek resolution of the issues in dispute. The issues in dispute shall be resolved as follows:
(a) The petitioning parties and host local government shall have 45 days to resolve the issues in dispute. Other affected parties that submitted comments on the proposed military base reuse plan may be given the opportunity to formally participate in decisions and agreements made in these and subsequent proceedings by mutual consent of the petitioning party and the host local government. A third-party mediator may be used to help resolve the issues in dispute.

(b) If resolution of the dispute cannot be achieved within 45 days, the petitioning parties and host local government may extend such dispute resolution for up to 45 days. If resolution of the dispute cannot be achieved with the above timeframes, the issues in dispute shall be submitted to the state land planning agency. If the issues stem from multiple petitions, the mediation shall be consolidated into a single proceeding. The state land planning agency shall have 45 days to hold informal hearings, if necessary, identify the issues in dispute, prepare a record of the proceedings, and provide recommended solutions to the parties. If the parties fail to implement the recommended solutions within 45 days, the state land planning agency shall submit the matter to the Administration Commission for final action. The report to the Administration Commission shall list each issue in dispute, describe the nature and basis for each dispute, identify the recommended solutions provided to the parties, and make recommendations for actions the Administration Commission should take to resolve the disputed issues.

(c) If the state land planning agency is a party to the dispute, the issues in dispute shall be submitted to a party jointly selected by the state land planning agency and the host local government. The selected party shall comply with the responsibilities placed upon the state land planning agency in this section.

(d) Within 45 days after receiving the report from the state land planning agency, the Administration Commission shall take action to resolve the issues in dispute. In deciding upon a proper resolution, the Administration Commission shall consider the nature of the issues in dispute, any requests for a formal administrative hearing pursuant to chapter 120, the compliance of the parties with this section, the extent of the conflict between the parties, the comparative hardships and the public interest involved. If the Administration Commission incorporates in its final order a term or condition that requires any local government to amend its local government comprehensive plan, the local government shall amend its plan within 60 days after the issuance of the order. A public hearing on such amendment or amendments pursuant to s. 163.3184(11)(b)1. is not required. The final order of the Administration Commission is subject to appeal pursuant to s. 120.68. If the order of the Administration Commission is appealed, the time for the local government to amend its plan shall be tolled during the pendency of any local, state, or federal administrative or judicial proceeding relating to the military base reuse plan.

(13) Following adoption of a military base reuse plan and resolution of any petitions filed pertaining to the plan, base reuse activities shall be exempt from all provisions of chapter 380 pertaining to developments of regional impact.

(14) No later than 150 days following adoption of a military base reuse plan and resolution of any petitions filed pertaining to the plan, the host local government shall adopt new land development regulations or amend existing land development regulations as necessary to fully implement the military base reuse plan. With the exception of the 150-day adoption period, the adoption, review and enforcement of land development regulations pursuant to this section shall be governed by the provisions of ss. 163.3201, 163.3202, 163.3213, and 163.3215.

History.—s. 6, ch. 94-323; s. 116, ch. 96-320; s. 5, ch. 96-348; s. 45, ch. 97-100; s. 24, ch. 98-176; s. 53, ch. 99-8; s. 86, ch. 99-245; s. 61, ch. 2008-4; s. 44, ch. 2011-139; s. 193, ch. 2011-142; s. 16, ch. 2012-99; s. 55, ch. 2014-19.

288.976 Military base closure and reuse.—State agencies and departments shall, consistent with their statutory authorities and responsibility:
(1) Consult with the appropriate federal agencies, local governments, and federally recognized community base reuse commissions as early as possible to coordinate information gathering, issue identification, impact assessment, potential land use options, citizen participation, review timelines, and all other aspects of base closure and reuse approvals. Such agencies shall invite federal and local government representatives to attend any agency preapplication conferences related to military base closure or reuse.

(2) Make every effort to avoid duplicate reviews of impacts and, when possible and appropriate, use information analyses, and recommendations generated by the federal environmental impact statement process and the community base reuse plan process in state planning and permitting reviews.

(3) Be authorized to enter into memorandums of agreement with federal agencies in order to facilitate the coordination of reviews.

(4) Designate a person to serve as the agency coordinator for military base closure and reuse matters and notify the Governor in writing of the designation. The Governor shall notify the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the appropriate community base reuse commission chair, and the commanding officer of the affected installation of the appointment.

History.—s. 7, ch. 94-323.

288.977 Military base disposition.—State agencies or departments having an interest in acquiring or otherwise utilizing property on closed or realigned military bases may apply to acquire or use such property either by utilizing the standard state and local government screening process established in Pub. L. No. 101-510, s. 203, or by applying to a federal agency to use the property as a public benefit conveyance. The agency or department seeking to acquire or use property declared as surplus to the Federal Government by the United States Department of Defense shall provide to the Governor and the appropriate local government or federally recognized community base reuse commission, at the time of application to the Federal Government, a detailed description of the location and of the property as well as the agency’s proposed or anticipated use of the property.
History.—s. 8, ch. 94-323.

288.980 Military base retention; legislative intent; grants program.—

(1)(a) It is the intent of this state to provide the necessary means to assist communities with military installations in supporting and sustaining those installations. It is further the intent to encourage communities to initiate a coordinated program of response and plan of action in advance of future actions of the federal government relating to realignments and closures. It is critical that communities develop and implement strategies to preserve and protect military installations. The Legislature hereby recognizes that the state needs to coordinate all efforts that can support military installations throughout the state. The Legislature, therefore, declares that providing such assistance to support the defense-related initiatives within this section is a public purpose for which public money may be used.

(b) The Florida Defense Alliance, an organization within Enterprise Florida, Inc., is designated as the organization to ensure that Florida, its resident military bases and missions, and its military host communities are in competitive positions as the United States continues its defense realignment and downsizing. The defense alliance shall serve as an overall advisory body for defense-related activity of Enterprise Florida, Inc. The Florida Defense Alliance may receive funding from appropriations made for that purpose administered by the department.

(c) The Legislature finds that encroachment of military installations has been identified by local, state, and federal leaders as a critical threat to protecting, preserving, and enhancing military installations in this state. Encroachment can be detrimental to the current and future missions of military installations due to the incompatible use of adjacent land. The Legislature recognizes the unique need to secure lands that have no conservation value, but may present an encroachment threat to a military installation.

(2)(a) The Military Base Protection Program is created. The functions of the Military Base Protection Program include, but are not limited to:
1. Securing nonconservation lands to serve as a buffer to protect military installations against encroachment; and

2. Supporting local community efforts to engage in service partnerships with military installations.

(b) The department may annually submit a list to the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund of nonconservation lands to acquire, subject to a specific appropriation, through fee simple purchase or through perpetual, less-than-fee interest purchase, for the purpose of buffering a military installation against encroachment. The Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund shall also consider the recommendations of the Florida Defense Support Task Force, created in s. 288.987, when selecting nonconservation lands to purchase for the purpose of securing and protecting a military installation against encroachment. This paragraph does not preclude the acquisition of such lands by local governments through fee simple purchase or through perpetual, less-than-fee interest purchase, for the purpose of buffering a military installation against encroachment.

(c) As used in this subsection, the term “nonconservation lands” means lands not subject to acquisition by the Florida Forever Program.

(d) Funds appropriated to this program may be used to address emergent needs relating to mission sustainment, encroachment reduction or prevention, and base retention. All funds appropriated for the purposes of this program are eligible to be used for matching of federal funds. The department shall coordinate and implement this program.

(3)(a) The department is authorized to award grants on a competitive basis from any funds available to it to support activities related to the Florida Defense Reinvestment Grant Program and the Florida Defense Infrastructure Grant Program.

(b) The term “activities” as used in this section means studies, presentations, analyses, plans, and modeling. For the purposes of the Florida Defense Infrastructure Grant Program, the term “activities” also includes, but is not limited to, construction, land purchases, and easements. Staff salaries are not considered an “activity” for which grant funds may be awarded. Travel costs and costs incidental thereto incurred by a grant recipient shall be considered an “activity” for which grant funds may be awarded.

(c) The department shall require that an applicant:
1. Represent a local government with a military installation or military installations that could be adversely affected by federal actions.

2. Agree to match at least 30 percent of any grant awarded.

3. Prepare a coordinated program or plan of action delineating how the eligible project will be administered and accomplished.

4. Provide documentation describing the potential for changes to the mission of a military installation located in the applicant’s community and the potential impacts such changes will have on the applicant’s community.

(d) In making grant awards the department shall consider, at a minimum, the following factors:
1. The relative value of the particular military installation in terms of its importance to the local and state economy relative to other military installations.

2. The potential job displacement within the local community should the mission of the military installation be changed.

3. The potential impact on industries and technologies which service the military installation.

(4) The Florida Defense Reinvestment Grant Program is established to respond to the need for this state to work in conjunction with defense-dependent communities in developing and implementing strategies and approaches that will help communities support the missions of military installations, and in developing and implementing alternative economic diversification strategies to transition from a defense economy to a nondefense economy. Eligible applicants include defense-dependent counties and cities, and local economic development councils located within such communities. The program shall be administered by the department and grant awards may be provided to support community-based activities that:
(a) Protect existing military installations;

(b) Diversify the economy of a defense-dependent community; or

(c) Develop plans for the reuse of closed or realigned military installations, including any plans necessary for infrastructure improvements needed to facilitate reuse and related marketing activities.

Applications for grants under this subsection must include a coordinated program of work or plan of action delineating how the eligible project will be administered and accomplished, which must include a plan for ensuring close cooperation between civilian and military authorities in the conduct of the funded activities and a plan for public involvement.

(5) The Defense Infrastructure Grant Program is created. The department shall coordinate and implement this program, the purpose of which is to support local infrastructure projects deemed to have a positive impact on the military value of installations within the state. Funds are to be used for projects that benefit both the local community and the military installation. Infrastructure projects to be funded under this program include, but are not limited to, those related to encroachment, transportation and access, utilities, communications, housing, environment, and security. Grant requests will be accepted only from economic development applicants serving in the official capacity of a governing board of a county, municipality, special district, or state agency that will have the authority to maintain the project upon completion. An applicant must represent a community or county in which a military installation is located. There is no limit as to the amount of any grant awarded to an applicant. A match by the county or local community may be required. The program may not be used to fund on-base military construction projects. The department shall establish guidelines to implement the purpose of this subsection.

(6) The department may award nonfederal matching funds specifically appropriated for construction, maintenance, and analysis of a Florida defense workforce database. Such funds will be used to create a registry of worker skills that can be used to match the worker needs of companies that are relocating to this state or to assist workers in relocating to other areas within this state where similar or related employment is available.

(7) Payment of administrative expenses shall be limited to no more than 10 percent of any grants issued pursuant to this section.

(8) The department shall establish guidelines to implement and carry out the purpose and intent of this section.

History.—s. 9, ch. 94-323; s. 117, ch. 96-320; s. 6, ch. 96-348; s. 25, ch. 98-176; s. 101, ch. 99-251; s. 5, ch. 2004-230; s. 194, ch. 2011-142; s. 35, ch. 2012-5; s. 84, ch. 2012-96; s. 3, ch. 2012-98; s. 7, ch. 2012-159; s. 40, ch. 2013-15; s. 2, ch. 2013-222.

288.985 Exemptions from public records and public meetings requirements.—
(1) The following records held by the Florida Defense Support Task Force are exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution:
(a) That portion of a record which relates to strengths and weaknesses of military installations or military missions in this state relative to the selection criteria for the realignment and closure of military bases and missions under any United States Department of Defense base realignment and closure process.

(b) That portion of a record which relates to strengths and weaknesses of military installations or military missions in other states or territories and the vulnerability of such installations or missions to base realignment or closure under the United States Department of Defense base realignment and closure process, and any agreements or proposals to relocate or realign military units and missions from other states or territories.

(c) That portion of a record which relates to the state’s strategy to retain its military bases during any United States Department of Defense base realignment and closure process and any agreements or proposals to relocate or realign military units and missions.

(2)(a) Meetings or portions of meetings of the Florida Defense Support Task Force, or a workgroup of the task force, at which records are presented or discussed that are exempt under subsection (1) are exempt from s. 286.011 and s. 24(b), Art. I of the State Constitution.

(b) Any records generated during those portions of meetings that are exempt under paragraph (a) are exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.

History.—s. 1, ch. 2009-156; s. 6, ch. 2012-98; s. 10, ch. 2012-159; s. 1, ch. 2014-185.

1288.987 Florida Defense Support Task Force.—
(1) The Florida Defense Support Task Force is created.

(2) The mission of the task force is to make recommendations to preserve and protect military installations to support the state’s position in research and development related to or arising out of military missions and contracting, and to improve the state’s military-friendly environment for service members, military dependents, military retirees, and businesses that bring military and base-related jobs to the state.

(3) The task force shall be comprised of the Governor or his or her designee, and 12 members appointed as follows:
(a) Four members appointed by the Governor.

(b) Four members appointed by the President of the Senate.

(c) Four members appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

(d) Appointed members must represent defense-related industries or communities that host military bases and installations. All appointments must be made by August 1, 2011. Members shall serve for a term of 4 years, with the first term ending July 1, 2015. However, if members of the Legislature are appointed to the task force, those members shall serve until the expiration of their legislative term and may be reappointed once. A vacancy shall be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term in the same manner as the initial appointment. All members of the council are eligible for reappointment. A member who serves in the Legislature may participate in all task force activities but may only vote on matters that are advisory.

(4) The President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall each designate one of their appointees to serve as chair of the task force. The chair shall rotate each July 1. The appointee designated by the President of the Senate shall serve as initial chair. If the Governor, instead of his or her designee, participates in the activities of the task force, then the Governor shall serve as chair.

(5) The executive director of the Department of Economic Opportunity, or his or her designee, shall serve as the ex officio, nonvoting executive director of the task force.

(6) The task force shall submit an annual progress report and work plan to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives each February 1.

(7) The department shall contract with the task force for expenditure of appropriated funds, which may be used by the task force for economic and product research and development, joint planning with host communities to accommodate military missions and prevent base encroachment, advocacy on the state’s behalf with federal civilian and military officials, assistance to school districts in providing a smooth transition for large numbers of additional military-related students, job training and placement for military spouses in communities with high proportions of active duty military personnel, and promotion of the state to military and related contractors and employers. The task force may annually spend up to $250,000 of funds appropriated to the department for the task force for staffing and administrative expenses of the task force, including travel and per diem costs incurred by task force members who are not otherwise eligible for state reimbursement.

History.—s. 38, ch. 2011-76; s. 47, ch. 2012-96; s. 7, ch. 2012-98; s. 11, ch. 2012-159; s. 9, ch. 2014-218.

1Note.—Section 35, ch. 2011-76, provides that:“(1) The executive director of the Department of Revenue is authorized, and all conditions are deemed met, to adopt emergency rules under ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54(4), Florida Statutes, for the purpose of implementing this act.
“(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, such emergency rules shall remain in effect for 6 months after the date adopted and may be renewed during the pendency of procedures to adopt permanent rules addressing the subject of the emergency rules.”

PART XIII
NEW MARKETS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM ACT

288.991 Short title.

288.9912 New Markets Development Program; purpose.

288.9913 Definitions.

288.9914 Certification of qualified investments; investment issuance reporting.

288.9915 Use of proceeds from qualified investments; recordkeeping.

288.9916 New markets tax credit.

288.9917 Community development entity reporting after a credit allowance date; certification of tax credit amount.

288.9918 Annual reporting by a community development entity.

288.9919 Audits and examinations; penalties.

288.9920 Recapture and penalties.

288.9921 Rulemaking.

288.9922 Expiration of the New Markets Development Program Act.

1288.991 Short title.—Sections 288.991-288.9922 may be cited as the “New Markets Development Program Act.”
History.—ss. 4, 15, ch. 2009-50.

1Note.—Expires December 31, 2022, pursuant to s. 15, ch. 2009-50.

1288.9912 New Markets Development Program; purpose.—The New Markets Development Program is established to encourage capital investment in rural and urban low-income communities by allowing taxpayers to earn credits against specified taxes by investing in qualified community development entities that make qualified low-income community investments in qualified active low-income community businesses to create and retain jobs.
History.—ss. 5, 15, ch. 2009-50.

1Note.—Expires December 31, 2022, pursuant to s. 15, ch. 2009-50.

1288.9913 Definitions.—As used in ss. 288.991-288.9922, the term:
(1) “Credit allowance date” means:
(a) The date on which a qualified investment is made; and

(b) Each of the six anniversaries of that date.

(2) “Long-term debt security” means a debt instrument issued by a qualified community development entity at par value or a premium which has a maturity date of at least 7 years following the date of its issuance, with no acceleration of repayment, amortization, or prepayment features prior to its original maturity date, except in instances of default.

(3) “Low-income community” means any population census tract within the state where:
(a) The poverty rate of such tract is at least 20 percent; or

(b) In the case of a tract that is:
1. Not located within a metropolitan area, the median family income for such tract does not exceed 80 percent of the statewide median family income; or

2. Located within a metropolitan area, the median family income for such tract does not exceed 80 percent of the greater of the statewide median family income or the metropolitan area median income.

(4) “Purchase price” means the amount of cash paid to a qualified community development entity in exchange for a qualified investment.

(5) “Qualified active low-income community business” means a corporation, including a nonprofit corporation, or partnership that complies with each of the following:

(a)1. Derives at least 50 percent of its total gross income from the active conduct of business within any low-income community for any taxable year.

2. Uses at least 40 percent of its tangible property, whether owned or leased, within any low-income community for any taxable year, which percentage shall be the average value of the tangible property owned or leased and used within a low-income community by the corporation or partnership divided by the average value of the total tangible property owned or leased and used by the corporation or partnership during the taxable year. The value assigned to leased property by the corporation or partnership must be reasonable.

3. Performs at least 40 percent of its services through its employees in a low-income community for any taxable year, which percentage shall be the amount paid by the corporation or partnership for salaries, wages, and benefits to employees in a low-income community divided by the total amount paid by the corporation or partnership for salaries, wages, and benefits during the taxable year.

4. Attributes less than 5 percent of the average of the aggregate unadjusted bases of the property of the entity to collectibles, as defined in 26 U.S.C. s. 408(m)(2), other than collectibles that are held primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of the business for any taxable year.

5. Attributes less than 5 percent of the average of the aggregate unadjusted bases of the property of the entity to nonqualified financial property, as defined in 26 U.S.C. s. 1397C(e), for any taxable year.

A corporation or partnership complies with subparagraph 1. if, as calculated in subparagraph 2., it uses at least 50 percent of its tangible property, whether owned or leased, within any low-income community for any taxable year or if, as calculated in subparagraph 3., the corporation or partnership performs at least 50 percent of its services through its employees in a low-income community for any taxable year.

(b) Is reasonably expected by a qualified community development entity at the time of an investment to continue to satisfy the requirements of paragraphs (a), (c), and (d) for the duration of the investment.

(c) Satisfies the requirements of paragraphs (a) and (b), but does not:
1. Derive or project to derive 15 percent or more of its annual revenue from the rental or sale of real estate, unless the corporation or partnership derives such revenue from the rental of real estate and the primary lessee and user of such real estate is another qualified active low-income community business that is owned or controlled by, or that is under common ownership or control with, such corporation or partnership;

2. Engage predominantly in the development or holding of intangibles for sale or license;

3. Operate a private or commercial golf course, country club, massage parlor, hot tub facility, suntan facility, racetrack, gambling facility, or a store the principal business of which is the sale of alcoholic beverages for consumption off premises; or

4. Engage principally in farming and owns or leases assets the sum of the aggregate unadjusted bases or the fair market value of which exceeds $500,000.

(d) Will create or retain jobs that pay an average wage of at least 115 percent of the federal poverty income guidelines for a family of four.

(6) “Qualified community development entity” means an entity that:

(a)1. Is certified by the Secretary of the United States Department of the Treasury as a qualified community development entity under 26 U.S.C. s. 45D; and

2. Has entered into, or is controlled by an entity that has entered into, an allocation agreement with the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund of the United States Department of the Treasury with respect to tax credits under 26 U.S.C. s. 45D and is authorized to serve businesses in this state under the agreement; or

(b) Is Enterprise Florida, Inc., or an entity created by Enterprise Florida, Inc.

(7) “Qualified investment” means an equity investment in, or a long-term debt security issued by, a qualified community development entity that:
(a) Is issued solely in exchange for cash; and

(b) Is designated by the qualified community development entity as a qualified investment under this paragraph and is approved by the department as a qualified investment.

(8) “Qualified low-income community investment” means a capital or equity investment in, or loan to, any qualified active low-income community business.

History.—ss. 6, 15, ch. 2009-50; s. 39, ch. 2010-147; s. 196, ch. 2011-142.

1Note.—Expires December 31, 2022, pursuant to s. 15, ch. 2009-50.

1288.9914 Certification of qualified investments; investment issuance reporting.—
(1) ELIGIBLE INDUSTRIES.—
(a) The department, in consultation with Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall designate industries using the North American Industry Classification System which are eligible to receive low-income community investments. The designated industries must be those industries that have the greatest potential to create strong positive impacts on or benefits to the state, regional, and local economies.

(b) A qualified community development entity may not make a qualified low-income community investment in a business unless the principal activities of the business are within an eligible industry. The department may waive this limitation if the department determines that the investment will have a positive impact on a community.

(2) APPLICATION.—A qualified community development entity must submit an application to the department to approve a proposed investment as a qualified investment. The application must include:
(a) The name, address, and tax identification number of the qualified community development entity.

(b) Proof of certification as a qualified community development entity under 26 U.S.C. s. 45D.

(c) A copy of an allocation agreement executed by the entity, or its controlling entity, and the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund, which authorizes the entity to serve businesses in this state.

(d) A verified statement by the chief executive officer of the entity that the allocation agreement remains in effect.

(e) A description of the proposed amount, structure, and purchaser of an equity investment or long-term debt security.

(f) The name and tax identification number of any person authorized to claim a tax credit earned as a result of the purchase of the proposed qualified investment.

(g) A detailed explanation of the proposed use of the proceeds from a proposed qualified investment.

(h) A nonrefundable application fee of $1,000, payable to the department.

(i) A statement that the entity will invest only in the industries designated by the department.

(j) The entity’s plans for the development of relationships with community-based organizations, local community development offices and organizations, and economic development organizations. The entity must also explain steps it has taken to implement its plans to develop these relationships.

(k) A statement that the entity will not invest in a qualified active low-income community business unless the business will create or retain jobs that pay an average wage of at least 115 percent of the federal poverty income guidelines for a family of four.

(3) REVIEW.—
(a) The department shall review applications to approve an investment as a qualified investment in the order received. The department shall approve or deny an application within 30 days after receipt.

(b) If the department intends to deny the application, the department shall inform the applicant of the basis of the proposed denial. The applicant shall have 15 days after it receives the notice of the intent to deny the application to submit a revised application to the department. The department shall issue a final order approving or denying the revised application within 30 days after receipt.

2(c) The department may not approve a cumulative amount of qualified investments that may result in the claim of more than $216.34 million in tax credits during the existence of the program or more than $36.6 million in tax credits in a single state fiscal year. However, the potential for a taxpayer to carry forward an unused tax credit may not be considered in calculating the annual limit.

(4) APPROVAL.—
(a) The department shall provide a copy of the final order approving an investment as a qualified investment to the qualified community development entity and to the Department of Revenue. The notice shall include the identity of the taxpayers who are eligible to claim the tax credits and the amount that may be claimed by each taxpayer.

(b) The department shall approve an application for part of the amount of the proposed investment if the amount of tax credits available is insufficient.

(c) If more than one application is found to comply with subsection (3) on the same day and the amount of tax credits available is insufficient for all of the applications, the tax credits available to each applicant shall be in proportion to the proposed purchase price to the total purchase price of all of the proposed investments.

(5) DURATION OF APPROVAL.—The qualified community development entity must issue the qualified investment in exchange for cash within 60 days after it receives the order approving an investment as a qualified investment, otherwise the order is void.

(6) REPORT OF ISSUANCE OF A QUALIFIED INVESTMENT.—The qualified community development entity must provide the department with evidence of the receipt of the cash in exchange for the qualified investment within 30 business days after receipt.

History.—ss. 7, 15, ch. 2009-50; s. 197, ch. 2011-142; s. 16, ch. 2012-32; s. 36, ch. 2013-42; s. 16, ch. 2014-38.

1Note.—Expires December 31, 2022, pursuant to s. 15, ch. 2009-50.

2Note.—Section 25, ch. 2012-32, provides that:“(1) The executive director of the Department of Revenue is authorized, and all conditions are deemed met, to adopt emergency rules under ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54(4), Florida Statutes, for the purpose of implementing this act.
“(2) Notwithstanding any provision of law, such emergency rules shall remain in effect for 6 months after the date adopted and may be renewed during the pendency of procedures to adopt permanent rules addressing the subject of the emergency rules.”

1288.9915 Use of proceeds from qualified investments; recordkeeping.—
2(1) For the period from the issuance of the qualified investment to the 7th anniversary of such issuance, a qualified community development entity may make cash interest payments on a long-term debt security that is a qualified investment, but not in excess of the entity’s cumulative operating income as of the date of the cash interest payment. For purposes of calculating operating income under this section, the interest expense on the security is disregarded.

(2) A qualified community development entity shall keep detailed records showing the use of proceeds from qualified investments to fund qualified low-income community investments.

(3) A qualified active low-income community business, including its affiliates, may not receive more than $10 million in qualified low-income community investments under the New Markets Development Program Act.

History.—ss. 8, 15, ch. 2009-50; s. 17, ch. 2012-32.

1Note.—Expires December 31, 2022, pursuant to s. 15, ch. 2009-50.

2Note.—Section 25, ch. 2012-32, provides that:“(1) The executive director of the Department of Revenue is authorized, and all conditions are deemed met, to adopt emergency rules under ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54(4), Florida Statutes, for the purpose of implementing this act.
“(2) Notwithstanding any provision of law, such emergency rules shall remain in effect for 6 months after the date adopted and may be renewed during the pendency of procedures to adopt permanent rules addressing the subject of the emergency rules.”

1288.9916 New markets tax credit.—
(1) A person or entity that makes a qualified investment earns a vested tax credit pursuant to the New Markets Development Program Act against taxes under s. 220.11 or s. 624.509 equal to 39 percent of the purchase price of the qualified investment. The holder of a qualified investment may claim the tax credit as follows:
(a) The holder may apply 7 percent of the purchase price against its tax liability in the tax year containing the third credit allowance date.

(b) The holder may apply 8 percent of the purchase price against its tax liability in the tax years containing the fourth through seventh credit allowance dates.

(c) A taxpayer may not claim a tax credit in excess of the taxpayer’s tax liability. If the credit granted pursuant to this section is not fully used in any single year because of insufficient tax liability on the part of the taxpayer, the unused amount may be carried forward for a period not to exceed 5 years. The carryover credit may be used in a subsequent year when the tax imposed for such year exceeds the credit for such year, after applying the other credits and unused credit carryovers in the order provided in s. 220.02(8). Carryover credit amounts shall be treated as unused credits for purposes of the transfer of unused credits pursuant to paragraph (2)(b).

(d) An insurance company that is subject to the insurance premium tax under s. 624.509 must apply the tax credit against the insurance premium tax. An insurer that claims a credit against premium tax liability earned by making a qualified investment under this section is not required to pay any additional retaliatory tax levied pursuant to s. 624.5091 as a result of claiming the tax credit. If the credit granted pursuant to this section is not fully used in any single year because of insufficient tax liability on the part of the taxpayer, the unused amount may be carried forward for a period not to exceed 5 years. The carryover credit may be used in a subsequent year when the tax imposed for such year exceeds the credit for such year, after applying the other credits and unused credit carryovers. Carryover credit amounts shall be treated as unused credits for purposes of the transfer of unused credits pursuant to paragraph (2)(b).

(2) A tax credit earned under this section may not be sold or transferred, except as provided in this subsection.
(a) A partner, member, or shareholder of a partnership, limited liability company, S-corporation, or other “pass-through” entity may claim the tax credit pursuant to an agreement among the partners, members, or shareholders. Any change in the allocation of a tax credit under the agreement must be reported to the department and to the Department of Revenue.

(b) Eligibility to claim a tax credit transfers to subsequent purchasers of a qualified investment. Such transfers must be reported to the department and to the Department of Revenue along with the identity, tax identification number, and tax credit amount allocated to a taxpayer pursuant to paragraph (a). The notice of transfer also must state whether unused tax credits are being transferred and the amount of unused tax credits being transferred.

History.—ss. 9, 15, ch. 2009-50; s. 198, ch. 2011-142.

1Note.—Expires December 31, 2022, pursuant to s. 15, ch. 2009-50.

1288.9917 Community development entity reporting after a credit allowance date; certification of tax credit amount.—
(1) A qualified community development entity that has issued a qualified investment shall submit the following to the department within 30 days after each credit allowance date:
(a) A list of all qualified active low-income community businesses in which a qualified low-income community investment was made since the last credit allowance date. The list shall also describe the type and amount of investment in each business and the address of the principal location of each business. The list must be verified by the chief executive officer of the community development entity.

(b) Bank records, wire transfer records, or similar documents that provide evidence of the qualified low-income community investments made since the last credit allowance date.

(c) A verified statement by the chief financial or accounting officer of the community development entity that no redemption or principal repayment was made with respect to the qualified investment since the previous credit allowance date.

(d) Information relating to the recapture of the federal new markets tax credit since the last credit allowance date.

(2) The department shall certify in writing to the qualified community development entity and to the Department of Revenue the amount of the tax credit authorized for each taxpayer eligible to claim the tax credit in the tax year containing the last credit allowance date.

History.—ss. 10, 15, ch. 2009-50; s. 199, ch. 2011-142.

1Note.—Expires December 31, 2022, pursuant to s. 15, ch. 2009-50.

1288.9918 Annual reporting by a community development entity.—
(1) A community development entity that has issued a qualified investment shall submit an annual report to the department by January 31 after the end of each year which includes a credit allowance date. The report shall include information on investments made in the preceding calendar year to include but not be limited to the following:
(a) The identity of the types of industries, identified by the North American Industry Classification System Code, in which qualified low-income community investments were made.

(b) The names of the counties in which the qualified active low-income businesses are located which received qualified low-income community investments.

(c) The number of jobs created and retained by qualified active low-income community businesses receiving qualified low-income community investments, including verification that the average wages paid meet or exceed 115 percent of the federal poverty income guidelines for a family of four.

(d) A description of the relationships that the entity has established with community-based organizations and local community development offices and organizations and a summary of the outcomes resulting from those relationships.

(e) Other information and documentation required by the department to verify continued certification as a qualified community development entity under 26 U.S.C. s. 45D.

(2) By April 30 after the end of each year which includes a credit allowance date, a community development entity shall submit annual financial statements for the preceding tax year, audited by an independent certified public accountant.

History.—ss. 11, 15, ch. 2009-50; s. 200, ch. 2011-142; s. 34, ch. 2013-39; s. 46, ch. 2014-17.

1Note.—Expires December 31, 2022, pursuant to s. 15, ch. 2009-50.

1288.9919 Audits and examinations; penalties.—
(1) AUDITS.—A community development entity that issues an investment approved by the department as a qualified investment shall be deemed a recipient of state financial assistance under s. 215.97, the Florida Single Audit Act. However, an entity that makes a qualified investment or receives a qualified low-income community investment is not a subrecipient for the purposes of s. 215.97.

(2) EXAMINATIONS.—The department may conduct examinations to verify compliance with the New Markets Development Program Act.

History.—ss. 12, 15, ch. 2009-50; s. 201, ch. 2011-142.

1Note.—Expires December 31, 2022, pursuant to s. 15, ch. 2009-50.

1288.9920 Recapture and penalties.—
(1) Notwithstanding s. 95.091, the department shall direct the Department of Revenue, at any time before December 31, 2022, to recapture all or a portion of a tax credit authorized pursuant to the New Markets Development Program Act if one or more of the following occur:
(a) The Federal Government recaptures any portion of the federal new markets tax credit. The recapture by the Department of Revenue shall equal the recapture by the Federal Government.

(b) The qualified community development entity redeems or makes a principal repayment on a qualified investment before the final allowance date. The recapture by the Department of Revenue shall equal the redemption or principal repayment divided by the purchase price and multiplied by the tax credit authorized to a taxpayer for the qualified investment.

(c)1. The qualified community development entity fails to invest at least 85 percent of the purchase price in qualified low-income community investments within 12 months after the issuance of a qualified investment; or

2. The qualified community development entity fails to maintain 85 percent of the purchase price in qualified low-income community investments until the last credit allowance date for a qualified investment.

For the purposes of this paragraph, an investment by a qualified community development entity includes principal recovered from an investment for 12 months after its recovery or principal recovered after the sixth credit allowance date. Principal held for longer than 12 months or recovered before the sixth credit allowance date is not an investment unless it is reinvested in a qualified low-income community investment.

(d) The qualified community development entity fails to provide the department with information, reports, or documentation required by the New Markets Development Program Act.

(e) The department determines that a taxpayer received tax credits to which the taxpayer was not entitled.

(2) The department shall provide notice to the qualified community development entity and the Department of Revenue of a proposed recapture of a tax credit. The entity shall have 6 months following the receipt of the notice to cure a deficiency identified in the notice and avoid recapture. The department shall issue a final order of recapture if the entity fails to cure a deficiency within the 6-month period. The final order of recapture shall be provided to the entity, the Department of Revenue, and a taxpayer otherwise authorized to claim the tax credit. Only one correction is permitted for each qualified equity investment during the 7-year credit period. Recaptured funds shall be deposited into the General Revenue Fund.

(3) An entity that submits fraudulent information to the department is liable for the costs associated with the investigation and prosecution of the fraudulent claim plus a penalty in an amount equal to double the tax credits claimed by investors in the entity’s qualified investments. This penalty is in addition to any other penalty that may be imposed by law.

History.—ss. 13, 15, ch. 2009-50; s. 40, ch. 2010-147; s. 202, ch. 2011-142.

1Note.—Expires December 31, 2022, pursuant to s. 15, ch. 2009-50.

1288.9921 Rulemaking.—The Department of Economic Opportunity and the Department of Revenue may adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to administer ss. 288.991-288.9920.
History.—ss. 14, 15, ch. 2009-50; s. 203, ch. 2011-142.

1Note.—Expires December 31, 2022, pursuant to s. 15, ch. 2009-50.

288.9922 Expiration of the New Markets Development Program Act.—Sections 288.991-288.9921 and this section expire December 31, 2022.
History.—s. 15, ch. 2009-50.

PART XIV
MICROFINANCE PROGRAMS

288.993 Short title.

288.9931 Legislative findings and intent.

288.9932 Definitions.

288.9933 Rulemaking authority.

288.9934 Microfinance Loan Program.

288.9935 Microfinance Guarantee Program.

288.9936 Annual report of the Microfinance Loan Program.

288.9937 Evaluation of programs.

288.993 Short title.—This part may be cited as the “Florida Microfinance Act.”
History.—s. 48, ch. 2014-218.

288.9931 Legislative findings and intent.—The Legislature finds that the ability of entrepreneurs and small businesses to access capital is vital to the overall health and growth of this state’s economy; however, access to capital is limited by the lack of available credit for entrepreneurs and small businesses in this state. The Legislature further finds that entrepreneurs and small businesses could be assisted through the creation of a program that will provide an avenue for entrepreneurs and small businesses in this state to access credit. Additionally, the Legislature finds that business management training, business development training, and technical assistance are necessary to ensure that entrepreneurs and small businesses that receive credit develop the skills necessary to grow and achieve long-term financial stability. The Legislature intends to expand job opportunities for this state’s workforce by expanding access to credit to entrepreneurs and small businesses. Furthermore, the Legislature intends to avoid duplicating existing programs and to coordinate, assist, augment, and improve access to those programs for entrepreneurs and small businesses in this state.
History.—s. 49, ch. 2014-218.

288.9932 Definitions.—As used in this part, the term:
(1) “Applicant” means an entrepreneur or small business that applies to a loan administrator for a microloan.

(2) “Domiciled in this state” means authorized to do business in this state and located in this state.

(3) “Entrepreneur” means an individual residing in this state who desires to assume the risk of organizing, managing, and operating a small business in this state.

(4) “Network” means the Florida Small Business Development Center Network.

(5) “Small business” means a business, regardless of corporate structure, domiciled in this state which employs 25 or fewer people and generated average annual gross revenues of $1.5 million or less per year for the preceding 2 years. For the purposes of this part, the identity of a small business is not affected by name changes or changes in personnel.

History.—s. 50, ch. 2014-218.

288.9933 Rulemaking authority.—The department may adopt rules to implement this part.
History.—s. 51, ch. 2014-218.

288.9934 Microfinance Loan Program.—
(1) PURPOSE.—The Microfinance Loan Program is established in the department to make short-term, fixed-rate microloans in conjunction with business management training, business development training, and technical assistance to entrepreneurs and newly established or growing small businesses for startup costs, working capital, and the acquisition of materials, supplies, furniture, fixtures, and equipment. Participation in the loan program is intended to enable entrepreneurs and small businesses to access private financing upon completing the loan program.

(2) DEFINITION.—As used in this section, the term “loan administrator” means an entity that enters into a contract with the department pursuant to this section to administer the loan program.

(3) REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL.—
(a) By December 1, 2014, the department shall contract with at least one but not more than three entities to administer the loan program for a term of 3 years. The department shall award the contract in accordance with the request for proposal requirements in s. 287.057 to an entity that:
1. Is a corporation registered in this state;

2. Does not offer checking accounts or savings accounts;

3. Demonstrates that its board of directors and managers are experienced in microlending and small business finance and development;

4. Demonstrates that it has the technical skills and sufficient resources and expertise to:
a. Analyze and evaluate applications by entrepreneurs and small businesses applying for microloans;

b. Underwrite and service microloans provided pursuant to this part; and

c. Coordinate the provision of such business management training, business development training, and technical assistance as required by this part;

5. Demonstrates that it has established viable, existing partnerships with public and private nonstate funding sources, economic development agencies, and workforce development and job referral networks; and

6. Demonstrates that it has a plan that includes proposed microlending activities under the loan program, including, but not limited to, the types of entrepreneurs and businesses to be assisted and the size and range of loans the loan administrator intends to make.

(b) To ensure that prospective loan administrators meet the requirements of subparagraphs (a)2.-6., the request for proposal must require submission of the following information:
1. A description of the types of entrepreneurs and small businesses the loan administrator has assisted in the past, and the average size and terms of loans made in the past to such entities;

2. A description of the experience of members of the board of directors and managers in the areas of microlending and small business finance and development;

3. A description of the loan administrator’s underwriting and credit policies and procedures, credit decisionmaking process, monitoring policies and procedures, and collection practices, and samples of any currently used loan documentation;

4. A description of the nonstate funding sources that will be used by the loan administrator in conjunction with the state funds to make microloans pursuant to this section;

5. The loan administrator’s three most recent financial audits or, if no prior audits have been completed, the loan administrator’s three most recent unaudited financial statements; and

6. A conflict of interest statement from the loan administrator’s board of directors certifying that a board member, employee, or agent, or an immediate family member thereof, or any other person connected to or affiliated with the loan administrator, is not receiving or will not receive any type of compensation or remuneration from an entrepreneur or small business that has received or will receive funds from the loan program. The department may waive this requirement for good cause shown. As used in this subparagraph, the term “immediate family” means a parent, child, or spouse, or any other relative by blood, marriage, or adoption, of a board member, employee, or agent of the loan administrator.

(4) CONTRACT AND AWARD OF FUNDS.—
(a) The selected loan administrator must enter into a contract with the department for a term of 3 years to receive state funds for the loan program. Funds appropriated to the program must be reinvested and maintained as a long-term and stable source of funding for the program. The amount of state funds used in any microloan made pursuant to this part may not exceed 50 percent of the total microloan amount. The department shall establish financial performance measures and objectives for the loan program and for the loan administrator in order to maximize the state funds awarded.

(b) State funds may be used only to provide direct microloans to entrepreneurs and small businesses according to the limitations, terms, and conditions provided in this part. Except as provided in subsection (5), state funds may not be used to pay administrative costs, underwriting costs, servicing costs, or any other costs associated with providing microloans, business management training, business development training, or technical assistance.

(c) The loan administrator shall reserve 10 percent of the total award amount from the department to provide microloans pursuant to this part to entrepreneurs and small businesses that employ no more than five people and generate annual gross revenues averaging no more than $250,000 per year for the last 2 years.

(d)1. If the loan program is appropriated funding in a fiscal year, the department shall distribute such funds to the loan administrator within 30 days of the execution of the contract by the department and the loan administrator.

2. The total amount of funding allocated to the loan administrator in a fiscal year may not exceed the amount appropriated for the loan program in the same fiscal year. If the funds appropriated to the loan program in a fiscal year exceed the amount of state funds received by the loan administrator, such excess funds shall revert to the General Revenue Fund.

(e) Within 30 days of executing its contract with the department, the loan administrator must enter into a memorandum of understanding with the network:
1. For the provision of business management training, business development training, and technical assistance to entrepreneurs and small businesses that receive microloans under this part; and

2. To promote the program to underserved entrepreneurs and small businesses.

(f) By September 1, 2014, the department shall review industry best practices and determine the minimum business management training, business development training, and technical assistance that must be provided by the network to achieve the goals of this part.

(g) The loan administrator must meet the requirements of this section, the terms of its contract with the department, and any other applicable state or federal laws to be eligible to receive funds in any fiscal year. The contract with the loan administrator must specify any sanctions for the loan administrator’s failure to comply with the contract or this part.

(5) FEES.—
(a) Except as provided in this section, the department may not charge fees or interest or require collateral from the loan administrator. The department may charge an annual fee or interest of up to 80 percent of the Federal Funds Rate as of the date specified in the contract for state funds received under the loan program. The department shall require as collateral an assignment of the notes receivable of the microloans made by the loan administrator under the loan program.

(b) The loan administrator is entitled to retain a one-time administrative servicing fee of 1 percent of the total award amount to offset the administrative costs of underwriting and servicing microloans made pursuant to this part. This fee may not be charged to or paid by microloan borrowers participating in the loan program. Except as provided in paragraph (7)(c), the loan administrator may not be required to return this fee to the department.

(c) The loan administrator may not charge interest, fees, or costs except as authorized in subsection (9).

(d) Except as provided in subsection (7), the loan administrator is not required to return the interest, fees, or costs authorized under subsection (9).

(6) REPAYMENT OF AWARD FUNDS.—
(a) After collecting interest and any fees or costs permitted under this section in satisfaction of all microloans made pursuant to this part, the loan administrator shall remit to the department the microloan principal collected from all microloans made with state funds received under this part. Repayment of microloan principal to the department may be deferred by the department for a period not to exceed 6 months; however, the loan administrator may not provide a microloan under this part after the contract with the department expires.

(b) If for any reason the loan administrator is unable to make repayments to the department in accordance with the contract, the department may accelerate maturity of the state funds awarded and demand repayment in full. In this event, or if a loan administrator violates this part or the terms of its contract, the loan administrator shall surrender to the department possession of all collateral required pursuant to subsection (5). Any loss or deficiency greater than the value of the collateral may be recovered by the department from the loan administrator.

(c) In the event of a default as specified in the contract, termination of the contract, or violation of this section, the state may, in addition to any other remedy provided by law, bring suit to enforce its interest.

(d) A microloan borrower’s default does not relieve the loan administrator of its obligation to repay an award to the department.

(7) CONTRACT TERMINATION.—
(a) The loan administrator’s contract with the department may be terminated by the department, and the loan administrator required to immediately return all state funds awarded, including any interest, fees, and costs it would otherwise be entitled to retain pursuant to subsection (5) for that fiscal year, upon a finding by the department that:
1. The loan administrator has, within the previous 5 years, participated in a state-funded economic development program in this or any other state and was found to have failed to comply with the requirements of that program;

2. The loan administrator is currently in material noncompliance with any statute, rule, or program administered by the department;

3. The loan administrator or any member of its board of directors, officers, partners, managers, or shareholders has pled no contest to or been found guilty, regardless of whether adjudication was withheld, of any felony or any misdemeanor involving fraud, misrepresentation, or dishonesty;

4. The loan administrator failed to meet or agree to the terms of the contract with the department or failed to meet this part; or

5. The department finds that the loan administrator provided fraudulent or misleading information to the department.

(b) The loan administrator’s contract with the department may be terminated by the department at any time for any reason upon 30 days’ notice by the department. In such a circumstance, the loan administrator shall return all awarded state funds to the department within 60 days of the termination. However, the loan administrator may retain any interest, fees, or costs it has collected pursuant to subsection (5).

(c) The loan administrator’s contract with the department may be terminated by the loan administrator at any time for any reason upon 30 days’ notice by the loan administrator. In such a circumstance, the loan administrator shall return all awarded state funds to the department, including any interest, fees, and costs it has retained or would otherwise be entitled to retain pursuant to subsection (5), within 30 days of the termination.

(8) AUDITS AND REPORTING.—
(a) The loan administrator shall annually submit to the department a financial audit performed by an independent certified public accountant and an operational performance audit for the most recently completed fiscal year. Both audits must indicate whether any material weakness or instances of material noncompliance are indicated in the audit.

(b) The loan administrator shall submit quarterly reports to the department as required by s. 288.9936(3).

(c) The loan administrator shall make its books and records related to the loan program available to the department or its designee for inspection upon reasonable notice.

(9) ELIGIBILITY AND APPLICATION.—
(a) To be eligible for a microloan, an applicant must, at a minimum, be an entrepreneur or small business located in this state.

(b) Microloans may not be made if the direct or indirect purpose or result of granting the microloan would be to:
1. Pay off any creditors of the applicant, including the refund of a debt owed to a small business investment company organized pursuant to 15 U.S.C. s. 681;

2. Provide funds, directly or indirectly, for payment, distribution, or as a microloan to owners, partners, or shareholders of the applicant’s business, except as ordinary compensation for services rendered;

3. Finance the acquisition, construction, improvement, or operation of real property which is, or will be, held primarily for sale or investment;

4. Pay for lobbying activities; or

5. Replenish funds used for any of the purposes specified in subparagraphs 1.-4.

(c) A microloan applicant shall submit a written application in the format prescribed by the loan administrator and shall pay an application fee not to exceed $50 to the loan administrator.

(d) The following minimum terms apply to a microloan made by the loan administrator:
1. The amount of a microloan may not exceed $50,000;

2. A borrower may not receive more than $75,000 per year in total microloans;

3. A borrower may not receive more than two microloans per year and may not receive more than five microloans in any 3-year period;

4. The proceeds of the microloan may be used only for startup costs, working capital, and the acquisition of materials, supplies, furniture, fixtures, and equipment;

5. The period of any microloan may not exceed 1 year;

6. The interest rate may not exceed the prime rate published in the Wall Street Journal as of the date specified in the microloan, plus 1000 basis points;

7. All microloans must be personally guaranteed;

8. The borrower must participate in business management training, business development training, and technical assistance as determined by the loan administrator in the microloan agreement;

9. The borrower shall provide such information as required by the loan administrator, including monthly job creation and financial data, in the manner prescribed by the loan administrator; and

10. The loan administrator may collect fees for late payments which are consistent with standard business lending practices and may recover costs and fees incurred for any collection efforts necessitated by a borrower’s default.

(e) The department may not review microloans made by the loan administrator pursuant to this part before approval of the loan by the loan administrator.

(10) STATEWIDE STRATEGIC PLAN.—In implementing this section, the department shall be guided by the 5-year statewide strategic plan adopted pursuant to s. 20.60(5). The department shall promote and advertise the loan program by, among other things, cooperating with government, nonprofit, and private industry to organize, host, or participate in seminars and other forums for entrepreneurs and small businesses.

(11) STUDY.—By December 31, 2014, the department shall commence or commission a study to identify methods and best practices that will increase access to credit to entrepreneurs and small businesses in this state. The study must also explore the ability of, and limitations on, Florida nonprofit organizations and private financial institutions to expand access to credit to entrepreneurs and small businesses in this state.

(12) CREDIT OF THE STATE.—With the exception of funds appropriated to the loan program by the Legislature, the credit of the state may not be pledged. The state is not liable or obligated in any way for claims on the loan program or against the loan administrator or the department.

History.—s. 52, ch. 2014-218; s. 18, ch. 2015-2.

288.9935 Microfinance Guarantee Program.—
(1) The Microfinance Guarantee Program is established in the department. The purpose of the program is to stimulate access to credit for entrepreneurs and small businesses in this state by providing targeted guarantees to loans made to such entrepreneurs and small businesses. Funds appropriated to the program must be reinvested and maintained as a long-term and stable source of funding for the program.

(2) As used in this section, the term “lender” means a financial institution as defined in s. 655.005.

(3) The department must enter into a contract with Enterprise Florida, Inc., to administer the Microfinance Guarantee Program. In administering the program, Enterprise Florida, Inc., must, at a minimum:
(a) Establish lender and borrower eligibility requirements in addition to those provided in this section;

(b) Determine a reasonable leverage ratio of loan amounts guaranteed to state funds; however, the leverage ratio may not exceed 3 to 1;

(c) Establish reasonable fees and interest;

(d) Promote the program to financial institutions that provide loans to entrepreneurs and small businesses in order to maximize the number of lenders throughout the state which participate in the program;

(e) Enter into a memorandum of understanding with the network to promote the program to underserved entrepreneurs and small businesses;

(f) Establish limits on the total amount of loan guarantees a single lender can receive;

(g) Establish an average loan guarantee amount for loans guaranteed under this section;

(h) Establish a risk-sharing strategy to be employed in the event of a loan failure; and

(i) Establish financial performance measures and objectives for the program in order to maximize the state funds.

(4) Enterprise Florida, Inc., is limited to providing loan guarantees for loans with total loan amounts of at least $50,000 and not more than $250,000. A loan guarantee may not exceed 50 percent of the total loan amount.

(5) Enterprise Florida, Inc., may not guarantee a loan if the direct or indirect purpose or result of the loan would be to:
(a) Pay off any creditors of the applicant, including the refund of a debt owed to a small business investment company organized pursuant to 15 U.S.C. s. 681;

(b) Provide funds, directly or indirectly, for payment, distribution, or as a loan to owners, partners, or shareholders of the applicant’s business, except as ordinary compensation for services rendered;

(c) Finance the acquisition, construction, improvement, or operation of real property which is, or will be, held primarily for sale or investment;

(d) Pay for lobbying activities; or

(e) Replenish funds used for any of the purposes specified in paragraphs (a)-(d).

(6) Enterprise Florida, Inc., may not use funds appropriated from the state for costs associated with administering the guarantee program.

(7) To be eligible to receive a loan guarantee under the Microfinance Guarantee Program, a borrower must, at a minimum:
(a) Be an entrepreneur or small business located in this state;

(b) Employ 25 or fewer people;

(c) Generate average annual gross revenues of $1.5 million or less per year for the last 2 years; and

(d) Meet any additional requirements established by Enterprise Florida, Inc.

(8) By October 1 of each year, Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall submit a complete and detailed annual report to the department for inclusion in the department’s report required under s. 20.60(10). The report must, at a minimum, provide:
(a) A comprehensive description of the program, including an evaluation of its application and guarantee activities, recommendations for change, and identification of any other state programs that overlap with the program;

(b) An assessment of the current availability of and access to credit for entrepreneurs and small businesses in this state;

(c) A summary of the financial and employment results of the entrepreneurs and small businesses receiving loan guarantees, including the number of full-time equivalent jobs created as a result of the guaranteed loans and the amount of wages paid to employees in the newly created jobs;

(d) Industry data about the borrowers, including the six-digit North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code;

(e) The name and location of lenders that receive loan guarantees;

(f) The amount of state funds received by Enterprise Florida, Inc.;

(g) The number of loan guarantee applications received;

(h) The number, duration, location, and amount of guarantees made;

(i) The number and amount of guaranteed loans outstanding, if any;

(j) The number and amount of guaranteed loans with payments overdue, if any;

(k) The number and amount of guaranteed loans in default, if any;

(l) The repayment history of the guaranteed loans made; and

(m) An evaluation of the program’s ability to meet the financial performance measures and objectives specified in subsection (3).

(9) The credit of the state or Enterprise Florida, Inc., may not be pledged except for funds appropriated by law to the Microfinance Guarantee Program. The state is not liable or obligated in any way for claims on the program or against Enterprise Florida, Inc., or the department.

History.—s. 53, ch. 2014-218.

288.9936 Annual report of the Microfinance Loan Program.—
(1) The department shall include in the report required by s. 20.60(10) a complete and detailed annual report on the Microfinance Loan Program. The report must include:
(a) A comprehensive description of the program, including an evaluation of its application and funding activities, recommendations for change, and identification of any other state programs that overlap with the program;

(b) The financial institutions and the public and private organizations and individuals participating in the program;

(c) An assessment of the current availability of and access to credit for entrepreneurs and small businesses in this state;

(d) A summary of the financial and employment results of the entities receiving microloans;

(e) The number of full-time equivalent jobs created as a result of the microloans and the amount of wages paid to employees in the newly created jobs;

(f) The number and location of prospective loan administrators that responded to the department request for proposals;

(g) The amount of state funds received by the loan administrator;

(h) The number of microloan applications received by the loan administrator;

(i) The number, duration, and location of microloans made by the loan administrator, including the aggregate number of microloans made to minority business enterprises if available;

(j) The number and amount of microloans outstanding, if any;

(k) The number and amount of microloans with payments overdue, if any;

(l) The number and amount of microloans in default, if any;

(m) The repayment history of the microloans made;

(n) The repayment history and performance of funding awards;

(o) An evaluation of the program’s ability to meet the financial performance measures and objectives specified in s. 288.9934; and

(p) A description and evaluation of the technical assistance and business management and development training provided by the network pursuant to its memorandum of understanding with the loan administrator.

(2) The department shall submit the report provided to the department from Enterprise Florida, Inc., pursuant to s. 288.9935(8) for inclusion in the department’s annual report required under s. 20.60(10).

(3) The department shall require at least quarterly reports from the loan administrator. The loan administrator’s report must include, at a minimum, the number of microloan applications received, the number of microloans made, the amount and interest rate of each microloan made, the amount of technical assistance or business development and management training provided, the number of full-time equivalent jobs created as a result of the microloans, the amount of wages paid to employees in the newly created jobs, the six-digit North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code associated with the borrower’s business, and the borrower’s locations.

(4) The Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability shall conduct a study to evaluate the effectiveness and the Office of Economic and Demographic Research shall conduct a study to evaluate the return on investment of the State Small Business Credit Initiative operated in this state pursuant to 12 U.S.C. ss. 5701 et seq. The offices shall each submit a report to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives by January 1, 2015.

History.—s. 54, ch. 2014-218; s. 19, ch. 2015-2.

288.9937 Evaluation of programs.—The Office of Economic and Demographic Research shall analyze, evaluate, and determine the economic benefits, as defined in s. 288.005, of the first 3 years of the Microfinance Loan Program and the Microfinance Guarantee Program. The analysis must also evaluate the number of jobs created, the increase or decrease in personal income, and the impact on state gross domestic product from the direct, indirect, and induced effects of the state’s investment. The analysis must also identify any inefficiencies in the programs and provide recommendations for changes to the programs. The office shall submit a report to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives by January 1, 2018. This section expires January 31, 2018.
History.—s. 55, ch. 2014-218.
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