HB 0249CS


1The Utilities & Telecommunications Committee recommends the
4     Council/Committee Substitute
5     Remove the entire bill and insert:
A bill to be entitled
7An act relating to the Florida 211 Network; amending s.
8408.918, F.S.; requiring the Florida 211 Network to
9provide services in each county and to coordinate services
10with county emergency management agencies during
11disasters; providing requirements for distribution of
12state funds appropriated for such purposes; requiring
13local matching funds; requiring expenditure reports to the
14Florida Alliance of Information and Referral Services, the
15Agency for Health Care Administration, the Governor, and
16the Legislature; defining the term "211 provider";
17providing an appropriation; providing an effective date.
19     WHEREAS, the 2002 Legislature created the "Florida Health
20and Human Services Access Act" in sections 408.911-408.918,
21Florida Statutes, and
22     WHEREAS, the act "authorizes the planning, development,
23and, subject to appropriations, the implementation of a
24statewide Florida 211 Network, which shall serve as the single
25point of coordination for information and referral for health
26and human services" in section 408.918(1), Florida Statutes, and
27     WHEREAS, in order to participate in the Florida 211
28Network, a 211 provider must be certified by the Agency for
29Health Care Administration under section 408.918(2), Florida
30Statutes, and
31     WHEREAS, 211 is the 911 telephone number for nonemergency
32health and human services and for crisis response information,
33is available in 42 counties, and represents 14.7 million people,
34or 82.5 percent of the state's population, and
35     WHEREAS, the Florida Alliance of Information and Referral
36Services is the statewide membership organization in which all
37211 providers participate and which has drafted the Florida 211
38Network business plan identifying the most efficient processes
39by which the Florida 211 Network should expand statewide, and
40     WHEREAS, 211 providers have compiled information on
41thousands of human services programs across the state, and
42     WHEREAS, 211 call centers make it easier for more than 14
43million Floridians to get the information they need to keep them
44out of emergency rooms, off government assistance, out of "deep-
45end" social services programs, safe from abuse, and in stable
46housing, and
47     WHEREAS, 211 call centers also help people find job
48training and assistance, elder care and child care, and before-
49school and after-school care that allow them to stay employed,
51     WHEREAS, during the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons, 211
52call centers provided critically needed support to many
53emergency operations centers, provided information to Floridians
54impacted by hurricanes, were instrumental in identifying unmet
55and emerging needs, and helped mobilize and manage volunteers,
57     WHEREAS, 211 call centers will continue to be a critical
58part of recovery efforts, providing a connection to help for
59people whose lives have been dramatically affected by the 2005
60hurricanes, NOW, THEREFORE,
62Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
64     Section 1.  Section 408.918, Florida Statutes, is amended
65to read:
66     408.918  Florida 211 Network; uniform certification
68     (1)  The Legislature finds that a statewide Florida 211
69Network would be of great benefit to Floridians, particularly in
70times of disaster, and authorizes the planning, development,
71and, subject to appropriations, the implementation of a
72statewide Florida 211 Network, which shall serve as the single
73point of coordination for information and referral for health
74and human services. The objectives for establishing the Florida
75211 Network shall be to:
76     (a)  Provide comprehensive and cost-effective access to
77health and human services information.
78     (b)  Improve access to accurate information by simplifying
79and enhancing state and local health and human services
80information and referral systems and by fostering collaboration
81among information and referral systems, including those serving
82persons with disabilities and special health care needs.
83     (c)  Electronically connect local information and referral
84systems to each other, to service providers, and to consumers of
85information and referral services.
86     (d)  Establish and promote standards for data collection
87and for distributing information among state and local
89     (e)  Promote the use of a common dialing access code and
90the visibility and public awareness of the availability of
91information and referral services.
92     (f)  Provide a management and administrative structure to
93support the Florida 211 Network and establish technical
94assistance, training, and support programs for information and
95referral-service programs.
96     (g)  Test methods for integrating information and referral
97services with local and state health and human services programs
98and for consolidating and streamlining eligibility and case
99management processes.
100     (h)  Provide access to standardized, comprehensive data to
101assist in identifying gaps and needs in health and human
102services programs.
103     (i)  Provide a unified systems plan with a developed
104platform, taxonomy, and standards for data management and
106     (2)  In order to participate in the Florida 211 Network, a
107211 provider must be certified by the Agency for Health Care
108Administration. The agency shall develop criteria for
109certification, as recommended by the Florida Alliance of
110Information and Referral Services, and shall adopt the criteria
111as administrative rules.
112     (a)  If any provider of information and referral services
113or other entity leases a 211 number from a local exchange
114company and is not certified by the agency, the agency shall,
115after consultation with the local exchange company and the
116Public Service Commission, request that the Federal
117Communications Commission direct the local exchange company to
118revoke the use of the 211 number.
119     (b)  The agency shall seek the assistance and guidance of
120the Public Service Commission and the Federal Communications
121Commission in resolving any disputes arising over jurisdiction
122related to 211 numbers.
123     (3)(a)  The Florida 211 Network shall be expanded statewide
124to provide services in each county. Each 211 provider shall
125coordinate with each county emergency management agency in the
126211 service area to determine how the Florida 211 Network may be
127used in the event of a disaster, including how a 211 provider
128will respond with information that is essential to assisting
129individuals during a natural disaster.
130     (b)  To implement the Florida 211 Network business plan,
131the agency shall distribute to the Florida Alliance of
132Information and Referral Services funds appropriated to the
133agency to expand the Florida 211 Network statewide and to
134enhance operations of existing 211 providers. The funds
135distributed to the Florida Alliance of Information and Referral
136Services shall be made available to 211 providers on a matching
137basis, with each 211 provider required to provide $1 for each $1
138provided to that 211 provider from state funds appropriated for
139that purpose. At a minimum, the funds shall be used to achieve
140statewide 211 coverage.
141     (c)1.  No later than December 15, 2006, each 211 provider
142that receives funding under this subsection shall report to the
143Florida Alliance of Information and Referral Services the
144expenditure of the state funds on a form developed by the
146     2.  No later than January 1, 2007, the Florida Alliance of
147Information and Referral Services shall provide a statewide
148report to the agency which includes the individual reports and
149aggregated data provided by the 211 providers.
150     3.  No later than January 15, 2007, the agency shall submit
151a report to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the
152Speaker of the House of Representatives detailing expenditure of
153the funds appropriated to it for the purposes of this
155     (4)  As used in this section, the term "211 provider" means
156an information and referral organization the primary purpose of
157which is to maintain information about human service resources
158in the community, supply descriptive information about the
159agencies or organizations that offer such services, and assist
160consumers in accessing appropriate providers of such services.
161     Section 2.  The sum of $5 million is appropriated for the
1622006-2007 fiscal year from nonrecurring general revenue to the
163Agency for Health Care Administration to fund the statewide
164expansion of the Florida 211 Network to all counties and to
165enhance the operations of existing 211 providers under s.
166408.918, Florida Statutes, as amended by this act. Any funds
167that are not encumbered for the 2006-2007 fiscal year shall
168revert on June 30, 2007, and are reappropriated for the 2007-
1692008 fiscal year for the same purposes.
170     Section 3.  This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.