Florida Senate - 2012                                     SB 152
       By Senator Latvala
       16-00051-12                                            2012152__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to business enterprise opportunities
    3         for wartime veterans; amending s. 295.187, F.S.;
    4         revising legislative intent; renaming and revising the
    5         Florida Service-Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise
    6         Opportunity Act to expand the vendor preference in
    7         state contracting to include certain businesses owned
    8         and operated by wartime veterans or veterans of a
    9         period of war; providing an effective date.
   11  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   13         Section 1. Section 295.187, Florida Statutes, is amended to
   14  read:
   15         295.187 Florida Service-Disabled Veteran Business
   16  Enterprise Opportunity Act.—
   17         (1) SHORT TITLE.—This section may be cited as the “Florida
   18  Service-Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise Opportunity Act.”
   19         (2) INTENT.—It is the intent of the Legislature to rectify
   20  the economic disadvantage of service-disabled veterans, who are
   21  statistically the least likely to be self-employed when compared
   22  to the veteran population as a whole and who have made
   23  extraordinary sacrifices on behalf of the nation, the state, and
   24  the public, by providing opportunities for service-disabled
   25  veteran business enterprises as set forth in this section. The
   26  Legislature also intends to recognize wartime veterans and
   27  veterans of a period of war for their sacrifices as set forth in
   28  this section.
   29         (3) DEFINITIONS.—For the purpose of this section, the term:
   30         (a) “Certified service-disabled veteran business
   31  enterprise” means a business that has been certified by the
   32  Department of Management Services to be a service-disabled
   33  veteran business enterprise as defined in paragraph (c).
   34         (b) “Service-disabled veteran” means a veteran who is a
   35  permanent Florida resident with a service-connected disability
   36  as determined by the United States Department of Veterans
   37  Affairs or who has been terminated from military service by
   38  reason of disability by the United States Department of Defense.
   39         (c) “Service-disabled Veteran business enterprise” means an
   40  independently owned and operated business that:
   41         1. Employs 200 or fewer permanent full-time employees;
   42         2. Together with its affiliates has a net worth of $5
   43  million or less or, if a sole proprietorship, has a net worth of
   44  $5 million or less including both personal and business
   45  investments;
   46         3. Is organized to engage in commercial transactions;
   47         4. Is domiciled in this state;
   48         5. Is at least 51 percent owned by one or more wartime
   49  veterans or service-disabled veterans; and
   50         6. The management and daily business operations of which
   51  are controlled by one or more wartime veterans or service
   52  disabled veterans or, for a service-disabled veteran having with
   53  a permanent and total disability, by the spouse or permanent
   54  caregiver of the veteran.
   55         (d) “Wartime veteran” means:
   56         1. A wartime veteran as defined in s. 1.01(14); or
   57         2. A veteran of a period of war, as used in 38 U.S.C. s.
   58  1521, who served in the active military, naval, or air service:
   59         a. For 90 days or more during a period of war;
   60         b. During a period of war and was discharged or released
   61  from such service for a service-connected disability;
   62         c. For a period of 90 consecutive days or more and such
   63  period began or ended during a period of war; or
   64         d. For an aggregate of 90 days or more in two or more
   65  separate periods of service during more than one period of war.
   66         (4) VENDOR PREFERENCE.—
   67         (a) A state agency, when considering two or more bids,
   68  proposals, or replies for the procurement of commodities or
   69  contractual services, at least one of which is from a certified
   70  service-disabled veteran business enterprise, which that are
   71  equal with respect to all relevant considerations, including
   72  price, quality, and service, shall award such procurement or
   73  contract to the certified service-disabled veteran business
   74  enterprise.
   75         (b) Notwithstanding s. 287.057(11), if a service-disabled
   76  veteran business enterprise entitled to the vendor preference
   77  under this section and one or more businesses entitled to this
   78  preference or another vendor preference provided by law submit
   79  bids, proposals, or replies for procurement of commodities or
   80  contractual services which that are equal with respect to all
   81  relevant considerations, including price, quality, and service,
   82  then the state agency shall award the procurement or contract to
   83  the business having the smallest net worth.
   84         (c) Political subdivisions of the state are encouraged to
   85  offer a similar consideration to businesses certified under this
   86  section.
   88         (a) The application for certification as a service-disabled
   89  veteran business enterprise must, at a minimum, include:
   90         1. The name of the business enterprise applying for
   91  certification and the name of the service-disabled veteran
   92  submitting the application on behalf of the business enterprise.
   93         2. The names of all owners of the business enterprise,
   94  including owners who are wartime veterans, service-disabled
   95  veterans, and owners who are not a wartime veteran or a service
   96  disabled veteran veterans, and the percentage of ownership
   97  interest held by each owner.
   98         3. The names of all persons involved in both the management
   99  and daily operations of the business, including the spouse or
  100  permanent caregiver of a veteran who has with a permanent and
  101  total disability.
  102         4. The service-connected disability rating of all persons
  103  listed under subparagraphs 1., 2., and 3., as applicable, with
  104  supporting documentation from the United States Department of
  105  Veterans Affairs or the United States Department of Defense.
  106         5. Documentation of the wartime service of all persons
  107  listed under subparagraphs 1., 2., and 3., as applicable, from
  108  the United States Department of Veterans Affairs or the United
  109  States Department of Defense.
  110         6.5. The number of permanent full-time employees.
  111         7.6. The location of the business headquarters.
  112         8.7. The total net worth of the business enterprise and its
  113  affiliates. In the case of a sole proprietorship, the net worth
  114  includes personal and business investments.
  115         (b) To maintain certification, a service-disabled veteran
  116  business enterprise shall renew its certification biennially.
  117         (c) The provisions of Chapter 120, relating to application,
  118  denial, and revocation procedures, applies shall apply to
  119  certifications under this section.
  120         (d) A certified service-disabled veteran business
  121  enterprise must notify the Department of Management Services
  122  within 30 business days after any event that may significantly
  123  affect the certification of the business, including, but not
  124  limited to, a change in ownership or change in management and
  125  daily business operations.
  126         (e) The certification of a service-disabled veteran
  127  business enterprise shall be revoked for 12 months if the
  128  Department of Management Services determines that the business
  129  enterprise violated paragraph (d). An owner of a certified
  130  service-disabled veteran business enterprise whose certification
  131  is revoked may is not permitted to reapply for certification
  132  under this section as an owner of any business enterprise during
  133  the 12-month revocation period.
  134         1. During the 12-month revocation period, a service
  135  disabled veteran business enterprise whose certification has
  136  been revoked may bid on state contracts but is not eligible for
  137  any preference available under this section.
  138         2. A service-disabled veteran business enterprise whose
  139  certification has been revoked may apply for certification at
  140  the conclusion of the 12-month revocation period by complying
  141  with requirements applicable to initial certifications.
  143  department shall:
  144         (a) Assist the Department of Management Services in
  145  establishing a certification procedure, which shall be reviewed
  146  biennially and updated as necessary.
  147         (b) Identify eligible service-disabled veteran business
  148  enterprises by any electronic means, including electronic mail
  149  or Internet website, or by any other reasonable means.
  150         (c) Encourage and assist eligible service-disabled veteran
  151  business enterprises to apply for certification under this
  152  section.
  153         (d) Provide information regarding services that are
  154  available from the Office of Veterans’ Business Outreach of the
  155  Florida Small Business Development Center to service-disabled
  156  veteran business enterprises.
  158  department shall:
  159         (a) With assistance from the Department of Veterans’
  160  Affairs, establish a certification procedure, which shall be
  161  reviewed biennially and updated as necessary.
  162         (b) Grant, deny, or revoke the certification of a service
  163  disabled veteran business enterprise under this section.
  164         (c) Maintain an electronic directory of certified service
  165  disabled veteran business enterprises for use by the state,
  166  political subdivisions of the state, and the public.
  167         (8) REPORT.—The Small Business Development Center shall
  168  include in its report required by s. 288.705 the percentage of
  169  certified service-disabled veteran business enterprises using
  170  the statewide contracts register.
  171         (9) RULES.—The Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the
  172  Department of Management Services, as appropriate, may adopt
  173  rules as necessary to administer this section.
  174         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2012.