SB 276                                           First Engrossed
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to recognition of military personnel
    3         and veterans; amending s. 265.003, F.S.; creating the
    4         Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame Council within the
    5         Department of Veterans’ Affairs; providing for
    6         membership, terms of members, and organization of the
    7         council; revising provisions relating to nomination of
    8         persons to the Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame;
    9         providing for annual acceptance of nominations by the
   10         council; authorizing the council to establish criteria
   11         for such nominations; creating s. 683.146, F.S.;
   12         designating August 7 of each year as “Purple Heart
   13         Day”; providing an effective date.
   15  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   17         Section 1. Section 265.003, Florida Statutes, is amended to
   18  read:
   19         265.003 Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame.—
   20         (1) It is the intent of the Legislature to recognize and
   21  honor those military veterans who, through their works and lives
   22  during or after military service, have made a significant
   23  contribution to the State of Florida.
   24         (2) There is established the Florida Veterans’ Hall of
   25  Fame.
   26         (a) The Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame is administered by
   27  the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs without
   28  appropriation of state funds.
   29         (b) The Department of Management Services shall set aside
   30  an area on the Plaza Level of the Capitol Building along the
   31  northeast front wall and shall consult with the Department of
   32  Veterans’ Affairs regarding the design and theme of the area.
   33         (c) Each person who is inducted into the Florida Veterans’
   34  Hall of Fame shall have his or her name placed on a plaque
   35  displayed in the designated area of the Capitol Building.
   36         (3)(a) The Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame Council is
   37  created within the Department of Veterans’ Affairs as an
   38  advisory council, as defined in s. 20.03(7), consisting of seven
   39  members who are all honorably discharged veterans, at least four
   40  of whom must be members of a congressionally chartered veterans
   41  service organization. The Governor, the President of the Senate,
   42  the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Attorney
   43  General, the Chief Financial Officer, the Commissioner of
   44  Agriculture, and the executive director of the Department of
   45  Veterans’ Affairs shall each appoint one member. For the
   46  purposes of ensuring staggered terms, the council members
   47  appointed by the Governor, the Attorney General, the Chief
   48  Financial Officer, and the Commissioner of Agriculture shall be
   49  appointed to 4-year terms beginning on January 1 of the year of
   50  appointment, and the council members appointed by the President
   51  of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and
   52  the executive director of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs
   53  shall be appointed to 2-year terms beginning on January 1 of the
   54  year of appointment. After the initial appointments, all
   55  appointees shall be appointed to 4-year terms. A member whose
   56  term expires shall continue to serve on the council until a
   57  replacement is appointed.
   58         (b) The members shall annually elect a chair from among
   59  their number. The council shall meet at the call of the chair,
   60  at the request of the executive director of the Department of
   61  Veterans’ Affairs, or at such times as may be prescribed by the
   62  council. A majority of the members of the council currently
   63  appointed constitutes a quorum, and a meeting may not be held
   64  unless a quorum is present. The affirmative vote of a majority
   65  of the members of the council present is necessary for any
   66  official action by the council.
   67         (c) Members of the council may not receive compensation or
   68  honorarium for their services. Members may be reimbursed for
   69  travel expenses incurred in the performance of their duties, as
   70  provided in s. 112.061, however, no state funds may be used for
   71  this purpose.
   72         (d) The original appointing authority may remove his or her
   73  appointee from the council for misconduct or malfeasance in
   74  office, neglect of duty, incompetence, or permanent inability to
   75  perform official duties or if the member is adjudicated guilty
   76  of a felony.
   77         (4)(3)(a) The Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame Council
   78  Department of Veterans’ Affairs shall annually accept
   79  nominations of persons to be considered for induction into the
   80  Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame and shall then transmit a list of
   81  up to 20 nominees its recommendations to the Department of
   82  Veterans’ Affairs for submission to the Governor and the Cabinet
   83  who will select the nominees to be inducted.
   84         (b) In selecting its nominees for submission making its
   85  recommendations to the Governor and the Cabinet, the Florida
   86  Veterans’ Hall of Fame Council Department of Veterans’ Affairs
   87  shall give preference to veterans who were born in Florida or
   88  adopted Florida as their home state or base of operation and who
   89  have made a significant contribution to the state in civic,
   90  business, public service, or other pursuits.
   91         (5)(4) The Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame Council
   92  Department of Veterans’ Affairs may establish criteria and set
   93  specific time periods for acceptance of nominations and for the
   94  process of selection of nominees for membership and establish a
   95  formal induction ceremony to coincide with the annual
   96  commemoration of Veterans’ Day.
   97         Section 2. Section 683.146, Florida Statutes, is created to
   98  read:
   99         683.146Purple Heart Day.—
  100         (1) August 7 of each year is designated as “Purple Heart
  101  Day.”
  102         (2) The Governor may annually issue a proclamation
  103  designating August 7 as “Purple Heart Day.” Public officials,
  104  schools, private organizations, and all residents of the state
  105  are encouraged to commemorate Purple Heart Day and honor those
  106  wounded or killed while serving in any branch of the United
  107  States Armed Services.
  108         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2012.