Florida Senate - 2015                                    SB 1538
       By Senator Simpson
       18-00899A-15                                          20151538__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to a natural gas rebate program;
    3         creating s. 377.811, F.S.; creating the heavy
    4         transportation industry natural gas rebate program
    5         within the Department of Agriculture and Consumer
    6         Services; defining terms; prescribing powers and
    7         duties of the department with respect to the program;
    8         providing rebate eligibility requirements; providing
    9         limits on rebate awards; specifying policies and
   10         procedures for the application process; requiring the
   11         department to adopt rules by a specified date;
   12         requiring the department to publish on its website the
   13         availability of rebate funds; requiring the department
   14         to submit an annual assessment to the Governor, the
   15         Legislature, and the Office of Program Policy Analysis
   16         and Government Accountability by a specified date;
   17         requiring the office to submit a report to the
   18         Governor and the Legislature by a specified date;
   19         providing reporting requirements; providing an
   20         effective date.
   22  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   24         Section 1. Section 377.811, Florida Statutes, is created to
   25  read:
   26         377.811 Heavy transportation industry natural gas rebate
   27  program.—
   28         (1) CREATION AND PURPOSE OF PROGRAM.—A heavy transportation
   29  industry natural gas rebate program is created within the
   30  department for the purpose of helping to reduce transportation
   31  costs in this state and encouraging freight mobility investments
   32  that contribute to the economic growth of the state.
   33         (2) DEFINITIONS.—For purposes of this section, the term:
   34         (a) “Conversion costs” means the excess cost associated
   35  with retrofitting a diesel or gasoline powered locomotive or
   36  ship to a natural gas fuel powered motor vehicle.
   37         (b) “Department” means the Department of Agriculture and
   38  Consumer Services.
   39         (c) “Eligible costs” means the cost of conversion or the
   40  incremental cost incurred by an applicant in connection with an
   41  investment in the conversion, purchase, or lease lasting at
   42  least 5 years, of a locomotive or ship placed into service on or
   43  after January 1, 2015. The term does not include costs for
   44  project development, fueling stations, or other fueling
   45  infrastructure.
   46         (d) “Fleet vehicles” means three or more locomotives or
   47  ships registered in this state and used for commercial business
   48  or governmental purposes.
   49         (e) “Incremental costs” means the excess costs associated
   50  with the purchase or lease of a natural gas fuel powered
   51  locomotive or ship as compared to an equivalent diesel- or
   52  gasoline-powered locomotive or ship.
   53         (f) “Natural gas fuel” means any liquefied petroleum gas
   54  product, compressed natural gas product, or combination thereof
   55  used in a motor vehicle as defined in s. 206.01(23). This term
   56  includes, but is not limited to, all forms of fuel commonly or
   57  commercially known or sold as natural gasoline, butane gas,
   58  propane gas, or any other form of liquefied petroleum gas,
   59  compressed natural gas, or liquefied natural gas. This term does
   60  not include natural gas or liquefied petroleum placed in a
   61  separate tank of a motor vehicle for cooking, heating, water
   62  heating, or electric generation.
   64  department shall award rebates for eligible costs. A rebate may
   65  not exceed 50 percent of the eligible costs of a natural gas
   66  locomotive or ship with a dedicated or bi-fuel natural gas fuel
   67  operating system placed into service on or after January 1,
   68  2015. An applicant is eligible to receive a maximum rebate of
   69  $500,000 per vehicle up to a total of $1,000,000 per fiscal
   70  year. All fuel powered natural gas locomotives and ships
   71  eligible for the rebate must comply with applicable United
   72  States Environmental Protection Agency emission standards.
   73         (4) APPLICATION PROCESS.—
   74         (a) An applicant seeking to obtain a rebate shall submit an
   75  application to the department by a specified date each year as
   76  established by department rule. The application shall require a
   77  complete description of all eligible costs, proof of purchase or
   78  lease of the locomotive or ship for which the applicant is
   79  seeking a rebate, a copy of the vehicle registration
   80  certificate, a description of the total rebate sought by the
   81  applicant, and any other information deemed necessary by the
   82  department. The application form adopted by department rule must
   83  include an affidavit from the applicant certifying that all
   84  information contained in the application is true and correct.
   85         (b) The department shall determine the rebate eligibility
   86  of each applicant in accordance with the requirements of this
   87  section and department rule. The total amount of rebates
   88  allocated to certified applicants in each fiscal year may not
   89  exceed the amount appropriated for the program in the fiscal
   90  year. Rebates shall be allocated to eligible applicants on a
   91  first-come, first-served basis, determined by the date the
   92  application is received, until all appropriated funds for the
   93  fiscal year are expended or the program ends, whichever comes
   94  first. Incomplete applications submitted to the department will
   95  not be accepted and do not secure a place in the first-come,
   96  first-served application process.
   97         (5) RULES.—The department shall adopt rules to implement
   98  and administer this section by January 1, 2016, including rules
   99  relating to the forms required to claim a rebate under this
  100  section, the required documentation and basis for establishing
  101  eligibility for a rebate, procedures and guidelines for claiming
  102  a rebate, and the collection of economic impact data from
  103  applicants.
  104         (6) PUBLICATION.—The department shall determine and publish
  105  on its website on an ongoing basis the amount of available
  106  funding for rebates remaining in each fiscal year.
  107         (7) ANNUAL ASSESSMENT.—By October 1, 2016, and each year
  108  thereafter that the program is funded, the department shall
  109  provide an annual assessment of the use of the rebate program
  110  during the previous fiscal year to the Governor, the President
  111  of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and
  112  the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government
  113  Accountability. The assessment must include, at a minimum, the
  114  following information:
  115         (a) The name of each applicant awarded a rebate under this
  116  section;
  117         (b) The amount of the rebates awarded to each applicant;
  118         (c) The type and description of each eligible locomotive or
  119  ship for which each applicant applied for a rebate; and
  120         (d) The aggregate amount of funding awarded for all
  121  applicants claiming rebates under this section.
  122         (8) REPORT.—By January 31, 2017, the Office of Program
  123  Policy Analysis and Government Accountability shall release a
  124  report reviewing the rebate program to the Governor, the
  125  President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of
  126  Representatives. The review shall include an analysis of the
  127  economic benefits resulting to the state from the program.
  128         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2015.