Florida Senate - 2014                          SENATOR AMENDMENT
       Bill No. HB 5601
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              

       Senator Evers moved the following:
    1         Senate Amendment to Amendment (965938) (with title
    2  amendment)
    4         Between lines 1284 and 1285
    5  insert:
    6         Section 21. Section 345.0001, Florida Statutes, is created
    7  to read:
    8         345.0001 Short title.—This act may be cited as the
    9  Northwest Florida Regional Transportation Finance Authority
   10  Act.”
   11         Section 22. Section 345.0002, Florida Statutes, is created
   12  to read:
   13         345.0002 Definitions.—As used in this chapter, the term:
   14         (1)“Agency of the state” means the state and any
   15  department of, or any corporation, agency, or instrumentality
   16  created, designated, or established by, the state.
   17         (2)“Area served” means Escambia County. However, upon a
   18  contiguous county’s consent to inclusion within the area served
   19  by the authority and with the agreement of the authority, the
   20  term shall also include the geographical area of such county
   21  contiguous to Escambia County.
   22         (3)“Authority” means the Northwest Florida Regional
   23  Transportation Finance Authority, a body politic and corporate,
   24  and an agency of the state, established under this chapter.
   25         (4)“Bonds” means the notes, bonds, refunding bonds, or
   26  other evidences of indebtedness or obligations, in temporary or
   27  definitive form, which the authority may issue under this
   28  chapter.
   29         (5)“Department” means the Department of Transportation.
   30         (6)“Division” means the Division of Bond Finance of the
   31  State Board of Administration.
   32         (7)“Federal agency” means the United States, the President
   33  of the United States, and any department of, or any bureau,
   34  corporation, agency, or instrumentality created, designated, or
   35  established by, the United States Government.
   36         (8)“Members” means the governing body of the authority,
   37  and the term “member” means one of the individuals constituting
   38  such governing body.
   39         (9)“Regional system” or “system” means, generally, a
   40  modern system of roads, bridges, causeways, tunnels, and mass
   41  transit services within the area of the authority, with access
   42  limited or unlimited as the authority may determine, and the
   43  buildings and structures and appurtenances and facilities
   44  related to the system, including all approaches, streets, roads,
   45  bridges, and avenues of access for the system.
   46         (10)“Revenues” means the tolls, revenues, rates, fees,
   47  charges, receipts, rentals, contributions, and other income
   48  derived from or in connection with the operation or ownership of
   49  a regional system, including the proceeds of any use and
   50  occupancy insurance on any portion of the system, but excluding
   51  state funds available to the authority and any other municipal
   52  or county funds available to the authority under an agreement
   53  with a municipality or county.
   54         Section 23. Section 345.0003, Florida Statutes, is created
   55  to read:
   56         345.0003 Transportation finance authority; formation;
   57  membership.
   58         (1) Escambia County, as well as any other contiguous
   59  county, may form a regional finance authority for the purposes
   60  of constructing, maintaining, and operating transportation
   61  projects in the northwest region of this state. The authority
   62  shall be governed in accordance with this chapter. An authority
   63  may not be created without the approval of the county commission
   64  of each county that will be a part of the authority.
   65         (2) The governing body of the authority shall consist of a
   66  board of voting members as follows:
   67         (a)The county commission of each county in the area served
   68  by the authority shall appoint two members. Each member must be
   69  a resident of the county from which he or she is appointed and,
   70  if possible, must represent the business and civic interests of
   71  the community.
   72         (b)The Governor shall appoint an equal number of members
   73  to the board as those appointed by each county commission. The
   74  members appointed by the Governor must be residents of the area
   75  served by the authority.
   76         (c)The secretary of the department shall appoint a
   77  district secretary, or his or her designee, for the district
   78  within which the area served by the authority is located.
   79         (3) The term of office of each member shall be for 4 years
   80  or until his or her successor is appointed and qualified.
   81         (4) A member may not hold an elected office during the term
   82  of his or her membership.
   83         (5)A vacancy occurring in the governing body before the
   84  expiration of the member’s term shall be filled for the balance
   85  of the unexpired term by the respective appointing authority in
   86  the same manner as the original appointment.
   87         (6)Before entering upon his or her official duties, each
   88  member must take and subscribe to an oath before an official
   89  authorized by law to administer oaths that he or she will
   90  honestly, faithfully, and impartially perform the duties of his
   91  or her office as a member of the governing body of the authority
   92  and that he or she will not neglect any duties imposed upon him
   93  or her by this chapter.
   94         (7) The Governor may remove from office a member for
   95  misconduct, malfeasance, misfeasance, or nonfeasance in office.
   96         (8)The members of the authority shall designate a chair
   97  from among the membership.
   98         (9)The members shall serve without compensation, but are
   99  entitled to reimbursement for per diem and other expenses in
  100  accordance with s. 112.061 while in performance of their duties.
  101         (10)A majority of the members shall constitute a quorum,
  102  and resolutions enacted or adopted by a vote of a majority of
  103  the members present and voting at any meeting are effective
  104  without publication, posting, or any further action of the
  105  authority.
  106         Section 24. Section 345.0004, Florida Statutes, is created
  107  to read:
  108         345.0004 Powers and duties.
  109         (1)The authority shall plan, develop, finance, construct,
  110  reconstruct, improve, own, operate, and maintain a regional
  111  system in the area served by the authority. The authority may
  112  not exercise these powers with respect to an existing system for
  113  transporting people and goods by any means that is owned by
  114  another entity without the consent of that entity. If the
  115  authority acquires, purchases, or inherits an existing entity,
  116  the authority shall inherit and assume all rights, assets,
  117  appropriations, privileges, and obligations of the existing
  118  entity.
  119         (2)The authority may exercise all powers necessary,
  120  appurtenant, convenient, or incidental to the carrying out of
  121  the purposes of this section, including, but not limited to, the
  122  following rights and powers:
  123         (a)To sue and be sued, implead and be impleaded, and
  124  complain and defend in all courts in its own name.
  125         (b)To adopt and use a corporate seal.
  126         (c)To have the power of eminent domain, including the
  127  procedural powers granted under chapters 73 and 74.
  128         (d)To acquire, purchase, hold, lease as a lessee, and use
  129  any property, real, personal, or mixed, tangible or intangible,
  130  or any interest therein, necessary or desirable for carrying out
  131  the purposes of the authority.
  132         (e)To sell, convey, exchange, lease, or otherwise dispose
  133  of any real or personal property acquired by the authority,
  134  including air rights.
  135         (f)To fix, alter, charge, establish, and collect rates,
  136  fees, rentals, and other charges for the use of any system owned
  137  or operated by the authority, which rates, fees, rentals, and
  138  other charges must be sufficient to comply with any covenants
  139  made with the holders of any bonds issued under this act;
  140  however, such right and power may be assigned or delegated by
  141  the authority to the department.
  142         (g)To borrow money; make and issue negotiable notes,
  143  bonds, refunding bonds, and other evidences of indebtedness or
  144  obligations, in temporary or definitive form, to finance all or
  145  part of the improvement of the authority’s system and
  146  appurtenant facilities, including the approaches, streets,
  147  roads, bridges, and avenues of access for the system and for any
  148  other purpose authorized by this chapter, the bonds to mature no
  149  more than 30 years after the date of the issuance; to secure the
  150  payment of such bonds or any part thereof by a pledge of its
  151  revenues, rates, fees, rentals, or other charges, including
  152  municipal or county funds received by the authority under an
  153  agreement between the authority and a municipality or county;
  154  and, in general, to provide for the security of the bonds and
  155  the rights and remedies of the holders of the bonds. However,
  156  municipal or county funds may not be pledged for the
  157  construction of a project for which a toll is to be charged
  158  unless the anticipated tolls are reasonably estimated by the
  159  governing board of the municipality or county, on the date of
  160  its resolution pledging the funds, to be sufficient to cover the
  161  principal and interest of such obligations during the period
  162  when the pledge of funds is in effect.
  163         1.The authority shall reimburse a municipality or county
  164  for sums spent from municipal or county funds used for the
  165  payment of the bond obligations.
  166         2.If the authority elects to fund or refund bonds issued
  167  by the authority before the maturity of the bonds, the proceeds
  168  of the funding or refunding bonds shall, pending the prior
  169  redemption of the bonds to be funded or refunded, be invested in
  170  direct obligations of the United States, and the outstanding
  171  bonds may be funded or refunded by the issuance of bonds under
  172  this chapter.
  173         (h)To make contracts of every name and nature, including,
  174  but not limited to, partnerships providing for participation in
  175  ownership and revenues, and to execute each instrument necessary
  176  or convenient for the conduct of its business.
  177         (i)Without limitation of the foregoing, to cooperate with,
  178  to borrow money and accept grants from, and to enter into
  179  contracts or other transactions with any federal agency, the
  180  state, or any agency or any other public body of the state.
  181         (j)To employ an executive director, attorney, staff, and
  182  consultants. Upon the request of the authority, the department
  183  shall furnish the services of a department employee to act as
  184  the executive director of the authority.
  185         (k)To enter into joint development agreements.
  186         (l)To accept funds or other property from private
  187  donations.
  188         (m)To act and do things necessary or convenient for the
  189  conduct of its business and the general welfare of the
  190  authority, in order to carry out the powers granted to it by
  191  this act or any other law.
  192         (3)The authority may not pledge the credit or taxing power
  193  of the state or a political subdivision or agency of the state.
  194  Obligations of the authority may not be considered to be
  195  obligations of the state or of any other political subdivision
  196  or agency of the state. Except for the authority, the state or
  197  any political subdivision or agency of the state is not liable
  198  for the payment of the principal of or interest on such
  199  obligations.
  200         (4)The authority may not, other than by consent of the
  201  affected county or an affected municipality, enter into an
  202  agreement that would legally prohibit the construction of a road
  203  by the county or the municipality.
  204         (5)The authority shall comply with the statutory
  205  requirements of general application which relate to the filing
  206  of a report or documentation required by law, including the
  207  requirements of ss. 189.4085, 189.415, 189.417, and 189.418.
  208         Section 25. Section 345.0005, Florida Statutes, is created
  209  to read:
  210         345.0005 Bonds.
  211         (1)Bonds may be issued on behalf of the authority under
  212  the State Bond Act. The authority may also issue bonds in such
  213  principal amount as it deems necessary to provide sufficient
  214  moneys for achieving its corporate purposes, including
  215  construction, reconstruction, improvement, extension, repair,
  216  maintenance, and operation of the system; the cost of
  217  acquisition of all real property; interest on bonds during
  218  construction and for a reasonable period thereafter;
  219  establishment of reserves to secure bonds; and other
  220  expenditures of the authority incident and necessary or
  221  convenient to carry out its corporate purposes and powers.
  222         (2)Bonds issued by the authority under subsection (1)
  223  must:
  224         (a)Be authorized by resolution of the members and bear
  225  such date or dates; mature at such time or times, not exceeding
  226  30 years after their respective dates; bear interest at such
  227  rate or rates, not exceeding the maximum rate fixed by general
  228  law for authorities; be in such denominations; be in such form,
  229  either coupon or fully registered; carry such registration,
  230  exchangeability, and interchangeability privileges; be payable
  231  in such medium of payment and at such place or places; be
  232  subject to such terms of redemption; and be entitled to such
  233  priorities of lien on the revenues and other available moneys as
  234  such resolution or any resolution after the bonds’ issuance
  235  provides.
  236         (b)Be sold at public sale in the same manner provided in
  237  the State Bond Act. Temporary bonds or interim certificates may
  238  be issued to the purchaser or purchasers of such bonds pending
  239  the preparation of definitive bonds and may contain such terms
  240  and conditions as determined by the authority.
  241         (3)A resolution that authorizes bonds may specify
  242  provisions that must be part of the contract with the holders of
  243  the bonds as to:
  244         (a)The pledging of all or any part of the revenues,
  245  available municipal or county funds, or other charges or
  246  receipts of the authority derived from the regional system.
  247         (b)The construction, reconstruction, improvement,
  248  extension, repair, maintenance, and operation of the system, or
  249  any part or parts of the system, and the duties and obligations
  250  of the authority with reference thereto.
  251         (c)Limitations on the purposes to which the proceeds of
  252  the bonds, then or thereafter issued, or of any loan or grant by
  253  any federal agency or the state or any political subdivision of
  254  the state may be applied.
  255         (d)The fixing, charging, establishing, revising,
  256  increasing, reducing, and collecting of tolls, rates, fees,
  257  rentals, or other charges for use of the services and facilities
  258  of the system or any part of the system.
  259         (e)The setting aside of reserves or of sinking funds and
  260  the regulation and disposition of the reserves or sinking funds.
  261         (f)Limitations on the issuance of additional bonds.
  262         (g)The terms of any deed of trust or indenture securing
  263  the bonds, or under which the bonds may be issued.
  264         (h)Any other or additional matters, of like or different
  265  character, which in any way affect the security or protection of
  266  the bonds.
  267         (4)The authority may enter into deeds of trust,
  268  indentures, or other agreements with banks or trust companies
  269  within or without the state, as security for such bonds, and
  270  may, under such agreements, assign and pledge any of the
  271  revenues and other available moneys, including any available
  272  municipal or county funds, under the terms of this chapter. The
  273  deed of trust, indenture, or other agreement may contain
  274  provisions that are customary in such instruments or that the
  275  authority may authorize, including, but without limitation,
  276  provisions that:
  277         (a)Pledge any part of the revenues or other moneys
  278  lawfully available.
  279         (b)Apply funds and safeguard funds on hand or on deposit.
  280         (c)Provide for the rights and remedies of the trustee and
  281  the holders of the bonds.
  282         (d)Provide for the terms of the bonds or for resolutions
  283  authorizing the issuance of the bonds.
  284         (e)Provide for any other or additional matters, of like or
  285  different character, which affect the security or protection of
  286  the bonds.
  287         (5)Bonds issued under this act are negotiable instruments
  288  and have the qualities and incidents of negotiable instruments
  289  under the law merchant and the negotiable instruments law of the
  290  state.
  291         (6) A resolution that authorizes the issuance of authority
  292  bonds and pledges the revenues of the system must require that
  293  revenues of the system be periodically deposited into
  294  appropriate accounts in sufficient sums to pay the costs of
  295  operation and maintenance of the system for the current fiscal
  296  year as set forth in the annual budget of the authority and to
  297  reimburse the department for any unreimbursed costs of operation
  298  and maintenance of the system from prior fiscal years before
  299  revenues of the system are deposited into accounts for the
  300  payment of interest or principal owing or that may become owing
  301  on such bonds.
  302         (7) State funds may not be used or pledged to pay the
  303  principal or interest of any authority bonds, and all such bonds
  304  must contain a statement on their face to this effect.
  305         Section 26. Section 345.0006, Florida Statutes, is created
  306  to read:
  307         345.0006 Remedies of bondholders.
  308         (1)The rights and the remedies granted to authority
  309  bondholders under this chapter are in addition to and not in
  310  limitation of any rights and remedies lawfully granted to such
  311  bondholders by the resolution or indenture providing for the
  312  issuance of bonds, or by any deed of trust, indenture, or other
  313  agreement under which the bonds may be issued or secured. If the
  314  authority defaults in the payment of the principal or interest
  315  on the bonds issued under this chapter after such principal or
  316  interest becomes due, whether at maturity or upon call for
  317  redemption, as provided in the resolution or indenture, and such
  318  default continues for 30 days, or if the authority fails or
  319  refuses to comply with this chapter or any agreement made with,
  320  or for the benefit of, the holders of the bonds, the holders of
  321  25 percent in aggregate principal amount of the bonds then
  322  outstanding are entitled as of right to the appointment of a
  323  trustee to represent such bondholders for the purposes of the
  324  default if the holders of 25 percent in aggregate principal
  325  amount of the bonds then outstanding first gave written notice
  326  to the authority and to the department of their intention to
  327  appoint a trustee.
  328         (2)The trustee and a trustee under a deed of trust,
  329  indenture, or other agreement may, or upon the written request
  330  of the holders of 25 percent or such other percentages specified
  331  in any deed of trust, indenture, or other agreement, in
  332  principal amount of the bonds then outstanding, shall, in any
  333  court of competent jurisdiction, in its own name:
  334         (a)By mandamus or other suit, action, or proceeding at
  335  law, or in equity, enforce all rights of the bondholders,
  336  including the right to require the authority to fix, establish,
  337  maintain, collect, and charge rates, fees, rentals, and other
  338  charges, adequate to carry out any agreement as to, or pledge
  339  of, the revenues, and to require the authority to carry out any
  340  other covenants and agreements with or for the benefit of the
  341  bondholders, and to perform its and their duties under this
  342  chapter.
  343         (b)Bring suit upon the bonds.
  344         (c)By action or suit in equity, require the authority to
  345  account as if it were the trustee of an express trust for the
  346  bondholders.
  347         (d)By action or suit in equity, enjoin any acts or things
  348  that may be unlawful or in violation of the rights of the
  349  bondholders.
  350         (3)A trustee, if appointed under this section or acting
  351  under a deed of trust, indenture, or other agreement, and
  352  regardless of whether all bonds have been declared due and
  353  payable, is entitled to the appointment of a receiver. The
  354  receiver may enter upon and take possession of the system or the
  355  facilities or any part or parts of the system, the revenues, and
  356  other pledged moneys, for and on behalf of and in the name of,
  357  the authority and the bondholders. The receiver may collect and
  358  receive revenues and other pledged moneys in the same manner as
  359  the authority. The receiver shall deposit such revenues and
  360  moneys in a separate account and apply all such revenues and
  361  moneys remaining after allowance for payment of all costs of
  362  operation and maintenance of the system in such manner as the
  363  court directs. In a suit, action, or proceeding by the trustee,
  364  the fees, counsel fees, and expenses of the trustee, and the
  365  receiver, if any, and all costs and disbursements allowed by the
  366  court must be a first charge on any revenues after payment of
  367  the costs of operation and maintenance of the system. The
  368  trustee also has all other powers necessary or appropriate for
  369  the exercise of any functions specifically described in this
  370  section or incident to the representation of the bondholders in
  371  the enforcement and protection of their rights.
  372         (4)A receiver appointed pursuant to this section to
  373  operate and maintain the system or a facility or a part of a
  374  facility may not sell, assign, mortgage, or otherwise dispose of
  375  any of the assets belonging to the authority. The powers of the
  376  receiver are limited to the operation and maintenance of the
  377  system or any facility or part of a facility and to the
  378  collection and application of revenues and other moneys due the
  379  authority, in the name and for and on behalf of the authority
  380  and the bondholders. A holder of bonds or trustee does not have
  381  the right in any suit, action, or proceeding, at law or in
  382  equity, to compel a receiver, or a receiver may not be
  383  authorized or a court may not direct a receiver, to sell,
  384  assign, mortgage, or otherwise dispose of any assets of whatever
  385  kind or character belonging to the authority.
  386         Section 27. Section 345.0007, Florida Statutes, is created
  387  to read:
  388         345.0007 Department to construct, operate, and maintain
  389  facilities.—
  390         (1) The department is the agent of the authority for the
  391  purpose of performing all phases of a project, including, but
  392  not limited to, constructing improvements and extensions to the
  393  system, with the exception of the transit facilities. The
  394  division and the authority shall provide to the department
  395  complete copies of the documents, agreements, resolutions,
  396  contracts, and instruments that relate to the project and shall
  397  request that the department perform the construction work,
  398  including the planning, surveying, design, and actual
  399  construction of the completion of, extensions of, and
  400  improvements to the system. After the issuance of bonds to
  401  finance construction of an improvement or addition to the
  402  system, the division and the authority shall transfer to the
  403  credit of an account of the department in the State Treasury the
  404  necessary funds for construction. The department shall proceed
  405  with construction and use the funds for the purpose authorized
  406  by law for construction of roads and bridges. The authority may
  407  alternatively, with the consent and approval of the department,
  408  elect to appoint a local agency certified by the department to
  409  administer federal aid projects in accordance with federal law
  410  as the authority’s agent for the purpose of performing each
  411  phase of a project.
  412         (2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), the department is the
  413  agent of the authority for the purpose of operating and
  414  maintaining the system, with the exception of transit
  415  facilities. The costs incurred by the department for operation
  416  and maintenance shall be reimbursed from revenues of the system.
  417  The appointment of the department as agent for the authority
  418  does not create an independent obligation on the part of the
  419  department to operate and maintain a system. The authority shall
  420  remain obligated as principal to operate and maintain its
  421  system, and the authority’s bondholders do not have an
  422  independent right to compel the department to operate or
  423  maintain the authority’s system. This appointment does not
  424  preclude the department and the authority from agreeing that
  425  some portions of the system will be operated and maintained by
  426  the authority.
  427         (3)The authority shall fix, alter, charge, establish, and
  428  collect tolls, rates, fees, rentals, and other charges for the
  429  authority’s facilities, as otherwise provided in this chapter.
  430         Section 28. Section 345.0008, Florida Statutes, is created
  431  to read:
  432         345.0008 Department contributions to authority projects.—
  433         (1)The department may, at the request of the authority,
  434  provide for or contribute to the payment of costs of financial
  435  or engineering and traffic feasibility studies and the design,
  436  financing, acquisition, or construction of the authority project
  437  or system, subject to appropriation by the Legislature.
  438         (2) The department may use its engineers and other
  439  personnel, including consulting engineers and traffic engineers,
  440  to conduct the feasibility studies authorized under subsection
  441  (1).
  442         (3) The department may participate in authority-funded
  443  projects that, at a minimum:
  444         (a) Serve national, statewide, or regional functions and
  445  function as part of an integrated regional transportation
  446  system.
  447         (b) Are identified in the capital improvements element of a
  448  comprehensive plan that has been determined to be in compliance
  449  with part II of chapter 163. Further, the project shall be in
  450  compliance with local government comprehensive plan policies
  451  relative to corridor management.
  452         (c) Are consistent with the Strategic Intermodal System
  453  Plan developed under s. 339.64.
  454         (d) Have a commitment for local, regional, or private
  455  financial matching funds as a percentage of the overall project
  456  cost.
  457         (4) Before approval, the department must determine that the
  458  proposed project:
  459         (a) Is in the public’s best interest;
  460         (b) Unless it is on or would directly benefit the State
  461  Highway System, does not require the use of state funds;
  462         (c) Has adequate safeguards in place to ensure that no
  463  additional costs will be imposed on or service disruptions will
  464  affect the traveling public and residents of this state if the
  465  department cancels or defaults on the agreement; and
  466         (d) Has adequate safeguards in place to ensure that the
  467  department and the authority have the opportunity to add
  468  capacity to the proposed project and other transportation
  469  facilities serving similar origins and destinations.
  470         (5) An obligation or expense incurred by the department
  471  under this section is a part of the cost of the authority
  472  project for which the obligation or expense was incurred. The
  473  department may require that money contributed by the department
  474  under this section be repaid from tolls of the project on which
  475  the money was spent, other revenue of the authority, or other
  476  sources of funds.
  477         (6)The department shall receive from the authority a share
  478  of the authority’s net revenues equal to the ratio of the
  479  department’s total contributions to the authority under this
  480  section to the sum of: the department’s total contributions
  481  under this section; contributions by any local government to the
  482  cost of revenue-producing authority projects; and the sale
  483  proceeds of authority bonds after payment of costs of issuance.
  484  For the purpose of this subsection, the net revenues of the
  485  authority are determined by deducting from gross revenues the
  486  payment of debt service, administrative expenses, operations and
  487  maintenance expenses, and all reserves required to be
  488  established under any resolution under which authority bonds are
  489  issued.
  490         Section 29. Section 345.0009, Florida Statutes, is created
  491  to read:
  492         345.0009 Acquisition of lands and property.—
  493         (1)For the purposes of this chapter, the authority may
  494  acquire private or public property and property rights,
  495  including rights of access, air, view, and light, by gift,
  496  devise, purchase, condemnation by eminent domain proceedings, or
  497  transfer from another political subdivision of the state, as the
  498  authority may deem necessary for any of the purposes of this
  499  chapter, including, but not limited to, any lands reasonably
  500  necessary for securing applicable permits, areas necessary for
  501  management of access, borrow pits, drainage ditches, water
  502  retention areas, rest areas, replacement access for landowners
  503  whose access is impaired due to the construction of a facility,
  504  and replacement rights-of-way for relocated rail and utility
  505  facilities; for existing, proposed, or anticipated
  506  transportation facilities on the system or in a transportation
  507  corridor designated by the authority; or for the purposes of
  508  screening, relocation, removal, or disposal of junkyards and
  509  scrap metal processing facilities. Each authority shall also
  510  have the power to condemn any material and property necessary
  511  for such purposes.
  512         (2)The authority shall exercise the right of eminent
  513  domain conferred under this section in the manner provided by
  514  law.
  515         (3)An authority that acquires property for a
  516  transportation facility or in a transportation corridor is not
  517  liable under chapter 376 or chapter 403 for preexisting soil or
  518  groundwater contamination due solely to its ownership. This
  519  section does not affect the rights or liabilities of any past or
  520  future owners of the acquired property or the liability of any
  521  governmental entity for the results of its actions which create
  522  or exacerbate a pollution source. The authority and the
  523  Department of Environmental Protection may enter into
  524  interagency agreements for the performance, funding, and
  525  reimbursement of the investigative and remedial acts necessary
  526  for property acquired by the authority.
  527         Section 30. Section 345.0010, Florida Statutes, is created
  528  to read:
  529         345.0010 Cooperation with other units, boards, agencies,
  530  and individuals.—A county, municipality, drainage district, road
  531  and bridge district, school district, or any other political
  532  subdivision, board, commission, or individual in, or of, the
  533  state may make and enter into a contract, lease, conveyance,
  534  partnership, or other agreement with the authority within the
  535  provisions of this chapter. The authority may make and enter
  536  into contracts, leases, conveyances, partnerships, and other
  537  agreements with any political subdivision, agency, or
  538  instrumentality of the state and any federal agency,
  539  corporation, or individual to carry out the purposes of this
  540  chapter.
  541         Section 31. Section 345.0011, Florida Statutes, is created
  542  to read:
  543         345.0011 Covenant of the state.The state pledges to, and
  544  agrees with, any person, firm, or corporation, or federal or
  545  state agency subscribing to or acquiring the bonds to be issued
  546  by the authority for the purposes of this chapter that the state
  547  will not limit or alter the rights vested by this chapter in the
  548  authority and the department until all bonds at any time issued,
  549  together with the interest thereon, are fully paid and
  550  discharged insofar as the rights vested in the authority and the
  551  department affect the rights of the holders of bonds issued
  552  under this chapter. The state further pledges to, and agrees
  553  with, the United States that if a federal agency constructs or
  554  contributes any funds for the completion, extension, or
  555  improvement of the system, or any parts of the system, the state
  556  will not alter or limit the rights and powers of the authority
  557  and the department in any manner that is inconsistent with the
  558  continued maintenance and operation of the system or the
  559  completion, extension, or improvement of the system, or that
  560  would be inconsistent with the due performance of any agreements
  561  between the authority and any such federal agency, and the
  562  authority and the department shall continue to have and may
  563  exercise all powers granted in this section, so long as the
  564  powers are necessary or desirable to carry out the purposes of
  565  this chapter and the purposes of the United States in the
  566  completion, extension, or improvement of the system, or any part
  567  of the system.
  568         Section 32. Section 345.0012, Florida Statutes, is created
  569  to read:
  570         345.0012 Exemption from taxation.The authority created
  571  under this chapter is for the benefit of the people of the
  572  state, for the increase of their commerce and prosperity, and
  573  for the improvement of their health and living conditions. The
  574  authority performs essential governmental functions under this
  575  chapter, therefore, the authority is not required to pay any
  576  taxes or assessments of any kind or nature upon any property
  577  acquired or used by it for such purposes, or upon any rates,
  578  fees, rentals, receipts, income, or charges received by it.
  579  Also, the bonds issued by the authority, their transfer and the
  580  income from their issuance, including any profits made on the
  581  sale of the bonds, shall be free from taxation by the state or
  582  by any political subdivision, taxing agency, or instrumentality
  583  of the state. The exemption granted by this section does not
  584  apply to any tax imposed by chapter 220 on interest, income, or
  585  profits on debt obligations owned by corporations.
  586         Section 33. Section 345.0013, Florida Statutes, is created
  587  to read:
  588         345.0013 Eligibility for investments and security.—Bonds or
  589  other obligations issued under this chapter are legal
  590  investments for banks, savings banks, trustees, executors,
  591  administrators, and all other fiduciaries, and for all state,
  592  municipal, and other public funds, and are also securities
  593  eligible for deposit as security for all state, municipal, or
  594  other public funds, notwithstanding any other law to the
  595  contrary.
  596         Section 34. Section 345.0014, Florida Statutes, is created
  597  to read:
  598         345.0014 Applicability.—
  599         (1)The powers conferred by this chapter are in addition to
  600  the powers conferred by other law and do not repeal any other
  601  general or special law or local ordinance, but supplement such
  602  other laws in the exercise of the powers provided in this
  603  chapter, and provide a complete method for the exercise of the
  604  powers granted in this chapter. The extension and improvement of
  605  a system, and the issuance of bonds under this chapter to
  606  finance all or part of the cost of such extension or
  607  improvement, may be accomplished upon compliance with this
  608  chapter without regard to or necessity for compliance with the
  609  provisions, limitations, or restrictions contained in any other
  610  general, special, or local law, including, but not limited to,
  611  s. 215.821, and approval of any bonds issued under this act by
  612  the qualified electors or qualified electors who are freeholders
  613  in the state or in any political subdivision of the state is not
  614  required for the issuance of such bonds under this chapter.
  615         (2)This act does not repeal, rescind, or modify any other
  616  law relating to the State Board of Administration, the
  617  Department of Transportation, or the Division of Bond Finance of
  618  the State Board of Administration; however, this chapter
  619  supersedes any other law that is inconsistent with its
  620  provisions, including, but not limited to, s. 215.821.
  622  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
  623  And the title is amended as follows:
  624         Delete line 1448
  625  and insert:
  626         direct written premiums for bail bonds; creating s.
  627         345.0001, F.S.; creating the Northwest Florida
  628         Regional Transportation Finance Authority; providing a
  629         short title; creating s. 345.0002, F.S.; defining
  630         terms; creating s. 345.0003, F.S.; authorizing certain
  631         counties to form a regional finance authority to
  632         construct, maintain, or operate transportation
  633         projects in a given region of the state; providing
  634         governance of the authority; creating s. 345.0004,
  635         F.S.; specifying the powers and duties of a regional
  636         transportation finance authority; limiting the
  637         authority’s power with respect to an existing system;
  638         prohibiting the authority from pledging the credit or
  639         taxing power of the state or any political subdivision
  640         or agency of the state; prohibiting the authority from
  641         entering into an agreement that would prohibit a
  642         county or municipality from constructing a road
  643         without the consent of the county; requiring that the
  644         authority comply with certain reporting and
  645         documentation requirements; creating s. 345.0005,
  646         F.S.; authorizing the authority to issue bonds that
  647         meet certain requirements; requiring that the
  648         resolution that authorizes the issuance of bonds meet
  649         certain requirements; authorizing the authority to
  650         enter into security agreements for issued bonds with a
  651         bank or trust company; providing that issued bonds are
  652         negotiable instruments and have the qualities and
  653         incidents of certain negotiable instruments under the
  654         law; requiring that a resolution authorizing the
  655         issuance of bonds and pledging of revenues of the
  656         system include certain requirements; prohibiting the
  657         use or pledge of state funds to pay principal or
  658         interest of the authority’s bonds; creating s.
  659         345.0006, F.S.; providing for the rights and remedies
  660         granted to bondholders; authorizing certain actions a
  661         trustee may take on behalf of the bondholders;
  662         authorizing the appointment of a receiver;
  663         establishing and limiting the authority of the
  664         receiver; creating s. 345.0007, F.S.; designating the
  665         department as the agent of the authority for specified
  666         purposes; authorizing the administration and
  667         management of projects by the department; limiting the
  668         powers of the department as an agent; establishing the
  669         fiscal responsibilities of the authority; creating s.
  670         345.0008, F.S.; authorizing the department to provide
  671         for or commit its resources for the authority project
  672         or system, if approved by the Legislature; authorizing
  673         the payment of expenses incurred by the department on
  674         behalf of the authority; requiring the department to
  675         receive a share of the revenue from the authority;
  676         providing calculations for disbursement of revenues;
  677         creating s. 345.0009, F.S.; authorizing the authority
  678         to acquire private or public property and property
  679         rights for a project or plan; authorizing the
  680         authority to exercise the right of eminent domain;
  681         establishing the rights and liabilities and remedial
  682         actions relating to property acquired for a
  683         transportation project or corridor; creating s.
  684         345.0010, F.S.; authorizing contracts between
  685         governmental entities and the authority; creating s.
  686         345.0011, F.S.; providing that the state will not
  687         limit or alter the vested rights of a bondholder with
  688         regard to any issued bonds or other rights relating to
  689         the bonds under certain conditions; creating s.
  690         345.0012, F.S.; relieving the authority’s obligation
  691         to pay certain taxes or assessments for property
  692         acquired or used for certain public purposes or on
  693         revenues received relating to the issuance of bonds;
  694         providing exceptions; creating s. 345.0013, F.S.;
  695         providing that the bonds or obligations issued are
  696         legal investments of specified entities; creating s.
  697         345.0014, F.S.; providing applicability; specifying a