Florida Senate - 2012                              CS for SB 100
       By the Committee on Environmental Preservation and Conservation;
       and Senators Siplin and Lynn
       592-03009-12                                           2012100c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to unclaimed deposits held by
    3         utilities; amending s. 717.108, F.S.; requiring that
    4         any unclaimed deposits held by a utility be
    5         transferred to the Department of Economic Opportunity;
    6         requiring that a specified portion of unclaimed
    7         deposits be transferred to the Ecosystem Management
    8         and Restoration Trust Fund in the Department of
    9         Environmental Protection and used to improve the water
   10         quality in Silver Springs; requiring that the
   11         remaining balance of unclaimed deposits be transferred
   12         to the Grants and Donations Trust Fund within the
   13         Department of Economic Opportunity and used to assist
   14         low-income households in meeting the costs of home
   15         heating and cooling bills; providing an effective
   16         date.
   18  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   20         Section 1. Section 717.108, Florida Statutes, is amended to
   21  read:
   22         717.108 Deposits held by utilities.—
   23         (1) Any deposit, including any interest thereon, made by a
   24  subscriber with a utility to secure payment or any sum paid in
   25  advance for utility services to be furnished, less any lawful
   26  charges, that remains unclaimed by the owner for more than 1
   27  year after termination of the services for which the deposit or
   28  advance payment was made is presumed unclaimed.
   29         (2) The unclaimed utility deposits and funds presumed
   30  unclaimed shall be transferred to the Department of Economic
   31  Opportunity.
   32         Section 2. (1) The sum of $500,000 from the unclaimed
   33  utility deposits and funds presumed unclaimed pursuant to s.
   34  717.108, Florida Statutes, shall be transferred from the
   35  Department of Economic Opportunity to the Ecosystem Management
   36  and Restoration Trust Fund of the Department of Environmental
   37  Protection and shall be used for the purpose of improving water
   38  quality in Silver Springs. These funds shall be directed to the
   39  implementation of remediation actions that have the effect of
   40  reducing nitrate loads to the spring. The department shall
   41  coordinate with Marion County in identifying and selecting which
   42  project has the greatest benefit based on estimated nitrate
   43  reductions and consistency with the long-term plans of Marion
   44  County.
   45         (2)The remaining balance of the unclaimed deposits and
   46  funds presumed unclaimed in the Department of Economic
   47  Opportunity shall be transferred to the Grants and Donations
   48  Trust Fund within the department and used to supplement the Low
   49  Income Home Energy Assistance Program for the purpose of
   50  assisting low-income households in meeting the costs of home
   51  heating and cooling bills. These funds shall be administered
   52  through the same local provider agencies that presently
   53  administer the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program.
   54         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2012.