Florida Senate - 2014                          SENATOR AMENDMENT
       Bill No. CS for SB 696
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              
                  Floor: WD            .                                
             04/25/2014 05:35 PM       .                                

       Senator Evers moved the following:
    1         Senate Amendment (with title amendment)
    3         Between lines 264 and 265
    4  insert:
    5         Section 9. Section 345.0001, Florida Statutes, is created
    6  to read:
    7         345.0001 Short title.—This act may be cited as the
    8  Northwest Florida Regional Transportation Finance Authority
    9  Act.”
   10         Section 10. Section 345.0002, Florida Statutes, is created
   11  to read:
   12         345.0002 Definitions.—As used in this chapter, the term:
   13         (1)“Agency of the state” means the state and any
   14  department of, or any corporation, agency, or instrumentality
   15  created, designated, or established by, the state.
   16         (2)“Area served” means Escambia County. However, upon a
   17  contiguous county’s consent to inclusion within the area served
   18  by the authority and with the agreement of the authority, the
   19  term shall also include the geographical area of such county
   20  contiguous to Escambia County.
   21         (3)“Authority” means the Northwest Florida Regional
   22  Transportation Finance Authority, a body politic and corporate,
   23  and an agency of the state, established under this chapter.
   24         (4)“Bonds” means the notes, bonds, refunding bonds, or
   25  other evidences of indebtedness or obligations, in temporary or
   26  definitive form, which the authority may issue under this
   27  chapter.
   28         (5)“Department” means the Department of Transportation.
   29         (6)“Division” means the Division of Bond Finance of the
   30  State Board of Administration.
   31         (7)“Federal agency” means the United States, the President
   32  of the United States, and any department of, or any bureau,
   33  corporation, agency, or instrumentality created, designated, or
   34  established by, the United States Government.
   35         (8)“Members” means the governing body of the authority,
   36  and the term “member” means one of the individuals constituting
   37  such governing body.
   38         (9)“Regional system” or “system” means, generally, a
   39  modern system of roads, bridges, causeways, tunnels, and mass
   40  transit services within the area of the authority, with access
   41  limited or unlimited as the authority may determine, and the
   42  buildings and structures and appurtenances and facilities
   43  related to the system, including all approaches, streets, roads,
   44  bridges, and avenues of access for the system.
   45         (10)“Revenues” means the tolls, revenues, rates, fees,
   46  charges, receipts, rentals, contributions, and other income
   47  derived from or in connection with the operation or ownership of
   48  a regional system, including the proceeds of any use and
   49  occupancy insurance on any portion of the system, but excluding
   50  state funds available to the authority and any other municipal
   51  or county funds available to the authority under an agreement
   52  with a municipality or county.
   53         Section 11. Section 345.0003, Florida Statutes, is created
   54  to read:
   55         345.0003 Transportation finance authority; formation;
   56  membership.
   57         (1) Escambia County, as well as any other contiguous
   58  county, may form a regional finance authority for the purposes
   59  of constructing, maintaining, and operating transportation
   60  projects in the northwest region of this state. The authority
   61  shall be governed in accordance with this chapter. An authority
   62  may not be created without the approval of the county commission
   63  of each county that will be a part of the authority.
   64         (2) The governing body of the authority shall consist of a
   65  board of voting members as follows:
   66         (a)The county commission of each county in the area served
   67  by the authority shall appoint two members. Each member must be
   68  a resident of the county from which he or she is appointed and,
   69  if possible, must represent the business and civic interests of
   70  the community.
   71         (b)The Governor shall appoint an equal number of members
   72  to the board as those appointed by each county commission. The
   73  members appointed by the Governor must be residents of the area
   74  served by the authority.
   75         (c)The secretary of the department shall appoint a
   76  district secretary, or his or her designee, for the district
   77  within which the area served by the authority is located.
   78         (3) The term of office of each member shall be for 4 years
   79  or until his or her successor is appointed and qualified.
   80         (4) A member may not hold an elected office during the term
   81  of his or her membership.
   82         (5)A vacancy occurring in the governing body before the
   83  expiration of the member’s term shall be filled for the balance
   84  of the unexpired term by the respective appointing authority in
   85  the same manner as the original appointment.
   86         (6)Before entering upon his or her official duties, each
   87  member must take and subscribe to an oath before an official
   88  authorized by law to administer oaths that he or she will
   89  honestly, faithfully, and impartially perform the duties of his
   90  or her office as a member of the governing body of the authority
   91  and that he or she will not neglect any duties imposed upon him
   92  or her by this chapter.
   93         (7) The Governor may remove from office a member for
   94  misconduct, malfeasance, misfeasance, or nonfeasance in office.
   95         (8)The members of the authority shall designate a chair
   96  from among the membership.
   97         (9)The members shall serve without compensation, but are
   98  entitled to reimbursement for per diem and other expenses in
   99  accordance with s. 112.061 while in performance of their duties.
  100         (10)A majority of the members shall constitute a quorum,
  101  and resolutions enacted or adopted by a vote of a majority of
  102  the members present and voting at any meeting are effective
  103  without publication, posting, or any further action of the
  104  authority.
  105         Section 12. Section 345.0004, Florida Statutes, is created
  106  to read:
  107         345.0004 Powers and duties.
  108         (1)The authority shall plan, develop, finance, construct,
  109  reconstruct, improve, own, operate, and maintain a regional
  110  system in the area served by the authority. The authority may
  111  not exercise these powers with respect to an existing system for
  112  transporting people and goods by any means that is owned by
  113  another entity without the consent of that entity. If the
  114  authority acquires, purchases, or inherits an existing entity,
  115  the authority shall inherit and assume all rights, assets,
  116  appropriations, privileges, and obligations of the existing
  117  entity.
  118         (2)The authority may exercise all powers necessary,
  119  appurtenant, convenient, or incidental to the carrying out of
  120  the purposes of this section, including, but not limited to, the
  121  following rights and powers:
  122         (a)To sue and be sued, implead and be impleaded, and
  123  complain and defend in all courts in its own name.
  124         (b)To adopt and use a corporate seal.
  125         (c)To have the power of eminent domain, including the
  126  procedural powers granted under chapters 73 and 74.
  127         (d)To acquire, purchase, hold, lease as a lessee, and use
  128  any property, real, personal, or mixed, tangible or intangible,
  129  or any interest therein, necessary or desirable for carrying out
  130  the purposes of the authority.
  131         (e)To sell, convey, exchange, lease, or otherwise dispose
  132  of any real or personal property acquired by the authority,
  133  including air rights.
  134         (f)To fix, alter, charge, establish, and collect rates,
  135  fees, rentals, and other charges for the use of any system owned
  136  or operated by the authority, which rates, fees, rentals, and
  137  other charges must be sufficient to comply with any covenants
  138  made with the holders of any bonds issued under this act;
  139  however, such right and power may be assigned or delegated by
  140  the authority to the department.
  141         (g)To borrow money; make and issue negotiable notes,
  142  bonds, refunding bonds, and other evidences of indebtedness or
  143  obligations, in temporary or definitive form, to finance all or
  144  part of the improvement of the authority’s system and
  145  appurtenant facilities, including the approaches, streets,
  146  roads, bridges, and avenues of access for the system and for any
  147  other purpose authorized by this chapter, the bonds to mature no
  148  more than 30 years after the date of the issuance; to secure the
  149  payment of such bonds or any part thereof by a pledge of its
  150  revenues, rates, fees, rentals, or other charges, including
  151  municipal or county funds received by the authority under an
  152  agreement between the authority and a municipality or county;
  153  and, in general, to provide for the security of the bonds and
  154  the rights and remedies of the holders of the bonds. However,
  155  municipal or county funds may not be pledged for the
  156  construction of a project for which a toll is to be charged
  157  unless the anticipated tolls are reasonably estimated by the
  158  governing board of the municipality or county, on the date of
  159  its resolution pledging the funds, to be sufficient to cover the
  160  principal and interest of such obligations during the period
  161  when the pledge of funds is in effect.
  162         1.The authority shall reimburse a municipality or county
  163  for sums spent from municipal or county funds used for the
  164  payment of the bond obligations.
  165         2.If the authority elects to fund or refund bonds issued
  166  by the authority before the maturity of the bonds, the proceeds
  167  of the funding or refunding bonds shall, pending the prior
  168  redemption of the bonds to be funded or refunded, be invested in
  169  direct obligations of the United States, and the outstanding
  170  bonds may be funded or refunded by the issuance of bonds under
  171  this chapter.
  172         (h)To make contracts of every name and nature, including,
  173  but not limited to, partnerships providing for participation in
  174  ownership and revenues, and to execute each instrument necessary
  175  or convenient for the conduct of its business.
  176         (i)Without limitation of the foregoing, to cooperate with,
  177  to borrow money and accept grants from, and to enter into
  178  contracts or other transactions with any federal agency, the
  179  state, or any agency or any other public body of the state.
  180         (j)To employ an executive director, attorney, staff, and
  181  consultants. Upon the request of the authority, the department
  182  shall furnish the services of a department employee to act as
  183  the executive director of the authority.
  184         (k)To enter into joint development agreements.
  185         (l)To accept funds or other property from private
  186  donations.
  187         (m)To act and do things necessary or convenient for the
  188  conduct of its business and the general welfare of the
  189  authority, in order to carry out the powers granted to it by
  190  this act or any other law.
  191         (3)The authority may not pledge the credit or taxing power
  192  of the state or a political subdivision or agency of the state.
  193  Obligations of the authority may not be considered to be
  194  obligations of the state or of any other political subdivision
  195  or agency of the state. Except for the authority, the state or
  196  any political subdivision or agency of the state is not liable
  197  for the payment of the principal of or interest on such
  198  obligations.
  199         (4)The authority may not, other than by consent of the
  200  affected county or an affected municipality, enter into an
  201  agreement that would legally prohibit the construction of a road
  202  by the county or the municipality.
  203         (5)The authority shall comply with the statutory
  204  requirements of general application which relate to the filing
  205  of a report or documentation required by law, including the
  206  requirements of ss. 189.4085, 189.415, 189.417, and 189.418.
  207         Section 13. Section 345.0005, Florida Statutes, is created
  208  to read:
  209         345.0005 Bonds.
  210         (1)Bonds may be issued on behalf of the authority under
  211  the State Bond Act. The authority may also issue bonds in such
  212  principal amount as it deems necessary to provide sufficient
  213  moneys for achieving its corporate purposes, including
  214  construction, reconstruction, improvement, extension, repair,
  215  maintenance, and operation of the system; the cost of
  216  acquisition of all real property; interest on bonds during
  217  construction and for a reasonable period thereafter;
  218  establishment of reserves to secure bonds; and other
  219  expenditures of the authority incident and necessary or
  220  convenient to carry out its corporate purposes and powers.
  221         (2)Bonds issued by the authority under subsection (1)
  222  must:
  223         (a)Be authorized by resolution of the members and bear
  224  such date or dates; mature at such time or times, not exceeding
  225  30 years after their respective dates; bear interest at such
  226  rate or rates, not exceeding the maximum rate fixed by general
  227  law for authorities; be in such denominations; be in such form,
  228  either coupon or fully registered; carry such registration,
  229  exchangeability, and interchangeability privileges; be payable
  230  in such medium of payment and at such place or places; be
  231  subject to such terms of redemption; and be entitled to such
  232  priorities of lien on the revenues and other available moneys as
  233  such resolution or any resolution after the bonds’ issuance
  234  provides.
  235         (b)Be sold at public sale in the same manner provided in
  236  the State Bond Act. Temporary bonds or interim certificates may
  237  be issued to the purchaser or purchasers of such bonds pending
  238  the preparation of definitive bonds and may contain such terms
  239  and conditions as determined by the authority.
  240         (3)A resolution that authorizes bonds may specify
  241  provisions that must be part of the contract with the holders of
  242  the bonds as to:
  243         (a)The pledging of all or any part of the revenues,
  244  available municipal or county funds, or other charges or
  245  receipts of the authority derived from the regional system.
  246         (b)The construction, reconstruction, improvement,
  247  extension, repair, maintenance, and operation of the system, or
  248  any part or parts of the system, and the duties and obligations
  249  of the authority with reference thereto.
  250         (c)Limitations on the purposes to which the proceeds of
  251  the bonds, then or thereafter issued, or of any loan or grant by
  252  any federal agency or the state or any political subdivision of
  253  the state may be applied.
  254         (d)The fixing, charging, establishing, revising,
  255  increasing, reducing, and collecting of tolls, rates, fees,
  256  rentals, or other charges for use of the services and facilities
  257  of the system or any part of the system.
  258         (e)The setting aside of reserves or of sinking funds and
  259  the regulation and disposition of the reserves or sinking funds.
  260         (f)Limitations on the issuance of additional bonds.
  261         (g)The terms of any deed of trust or indenture securing
  262  the bonds, or under which the bonds may be issued.
  263         (h)Any other or additional matters, of like or different
  264  character, which in any way affect the security or protection of
  265  the bonds.
  266         (4)The authority may enter into deeds of trust,
  267  indentures, or other agreements with banks or trust companies
  268  within or without the state, as security for such bonds, and
  269  may, under such agreements, assign and pledge any of the
  270  revenues and other available moneys, including any available
  271  municipal or county funds, under the terms of this chapter. The
  272  deed of trust, indenture, or other agreement may contain
  273  provisions that are customary in such instruments or that the
  274  authority may authorize, including, but without limitation,
  275  provisions that:
  276         (a)Pledge any part of the revenues or other moneys
  277  lawfully available.
  278         (b)Apply funds and safeguard funds on hand or on deposit.
  279         (c)Provide for the rights and remedies of the trustee and
  280  the holders of the bonds.
  281         (d)Provide for the terms of the bonds or for resolutions
  282  authorizing the issuance of the bonds.
  283         (e)Provide for any other or additional matters, of like or
  284  different character, which affect the security or protection of
  285  the bonds.
  286         (5)Bonds issued under this act are negotiable instruments
  287  and have the qualities and incidents of negotiable instruments
  288  under the law merchant and the negotiable instruments law of the
  289  state.
  290         (6) A resolution that authorizes the issuance of authority
  291  bonds and pledges the revenues of the system must require that
  292  revenues of the system be periodically deposited into
  293  appropriate accounts in sufficient sums to pay the costs of
  294  operation and maintenance of the system for the current fiscal
  295  year as set forth in the annual budget of the authority and to
  296  reimburse the department for any unreimbursed costs of operation
  297  and maintenance of the system from prior fiscal years before
  298  revenues of the system are deposited into accounts for the
  299  payment of interest or principal owing or that may become owing
  300  on such bonds.
  301         (7) State funds may not be used or pledged to pay the
  302  principal or interest of any authority bonds, and all such bonds
  303  must contain a statement on their face to this effect.
  304         Section 14. Section 345.0006, Florida Statutes, is created
  305  to read:
  306         345.0006 Remedies of bondholders.
  307         (1)The rights and the remedies granted to authority
  308  bondholders under this chapter are in addition to and not in
  309  limitation of any rights and remedies lawfully granted to such
  310  bondholders by the resolution or indenture providing for the
  311  issuance of bonds, or by any deed of trust, indenture, or other
  312  agreement under which the bonds may be issued or secured. If the
  313  authority defaults in the payment of the principal or interest
  314  on the bonds issued under this chapter after such principal or
  315  interest becomes due, whether at maturity or upon call for
  316  redemption, as provided in the resolution or indenture, and such
  317  default continues for 30 days, or if the authority fails or
  318  refuses to comply with this chapter or any agreement made with,
  319  or for the benefit of, the holders of the bonds, the holders of
  320  25 percent in aggregate principal amount of the bonds then
  321  outstanding are entitled as of right to the appointment of a
  322  trustee to represent such bondholders for the purposes of the
  323  default if the holders of 25 percent in aggregate principal
  324  amount of the bonds then outstanding first gave written notice
  325  to the authority and to the department of their intention to
  326  appoint a trustee.
  327         (2)The trustee and a trustee under a deed of trust,
  328  indenture, or other agreement may, or upon the written request
  329  of the holders of 25 percent or such other percentages specified
  330  in any deed of trust, indenture, or other agreement, in
  331  principal amount of the bonds then outstanding, shall, in any
  332  court of competent jurisdiction, in its own name:
  333         (a)By mandamus or other suit, action, or proceeding at
  334  law, or in equity, enforce all rights of the bondholders,
  335  including the right to require the authority to fix, establish,
  336  maintain, collect, and charge rates, fees, rentals, and other
  337  charges, adequate to carry out any agreement as to, or pledge
  338  of, the revenues, and to require the authority to carry out any
  339  other covenants and agreements with or for the benefit of the
  340  bondholders, and to perform its and their duties under this
  341  chapter.
  342         (b)Bring suit upon the bonds.
  343         (c)By action or suit in equity, require the authority to
  344  account as if it were the trustee of an express trust for the
  345  bondholders.
  346         (d)By action or suit in equity, enjoin any acts or things
  347  that may be unlawful or in violation of the rights of the
  348  bondholders.
  349         (3)A trustee, if appointed under this section or acting
  350  under a deed of trust, indenture, or other agreement, and
  351  regardless of whether all bonds have been declared due and
  352  payable, is entitled to the appointment of a receiver. The
  353  receiver may enter upon and take possession of the system or the
  354  facilities or any part or parts of the system, the revenues, and
  355  other pledged moneys, for and on behalf of and in the name of,
  356  the authority and the bondholders. The receiver may collect and
  357  receive revenues and other pledged moneys in the same manner as
  358  the authority. The receiver shall deposit such revenues and
  359  moneys in a separate account and apply all such revenues and
  360  moneys remaining after allowance for payment of all costs of
  361  operation and maintenance of the system in such manner as the
  362  court directs. In a suit, action, or proceeding by the trustee,
  363  the fees, counsel fees, and expenses of the trustee, and the
  364  receiver, if any, and all costs and disbursements allowed by the
  365  court must be a first charge on any revenues after payment of
  366  the costs of operation and maintenance of the system. The
  367  trustee also has all other powers necessary or appropriate for
  368  the exercise of any functions specifically described in this
  369  section or incident to the representation of the bondholders in
  370  the enforcement and protection of their rights.
  371         (4)A receiver appointed pursuant to this section to
  372  operate and maintain the system or a facility or a part of a
  373  facility may not sell, assign, mortgage, or otherwise dispose of
  374  any of the assets belonging to the authority. The powers of the
  375  receiver are limited to the operation and maintenance of the
  376  system or any facility or part of a facility and to the
  377  collection and application of revenues and other moneys due the
  378  authority, in the name and for and on behalf of the authority
  379  and the bondholders. A holder of bonds or trustee does not have
  380  the right in any suit, action, or proceeding, at law or in
  381  equity, to compel a receiver, or a receiver may not be
  382  authorized or a court may not direct a receiver, to sell,
  383  assign, mortgage, or otherwise dispose of any assets of whatever
  384  kind or character belonging to the authority.
  385         Section 15. Section 345.0007, Florida Statutes, is created
  386  to read:
  387         345.0007 Department to construct, operate, and maintain
  388  facilities.—
  389         (1) The department is the agent of the authority for the
  390  purpose of performing all phases of a project, including, but
  391  not limited to, constructing improvements and extensions to the
  392  system, with the exception of the transit facilities. The
  393  division and the authority shall provide to the department
  394  complete copies of the documents, agreements, resolutions,
  395  contracts, and instruments that relate to the project and shall
  396  request that the department perform the construction work,
  397  including the planning, surveying, design, and actual
  398  construction of the completion of, extensions of, and
  399  improvements to the system. After the issuance of bonds to
  400  finance construction of an improvement or addition to the
  401  system, the division and the authority shall transfer to the
  402  credit of an account of the department in the State Treasury the
  403  necessary funds for construction. The department shall proceed
  404  with construction and use the funds for the purpose authorized
  405  by law for construction of roads and bridges. The authority may
  406  alternatively, with the consent and approval of the department,
  407  elect to appoint a local agency certified by the department to
  408  administer federal aid projects in accordance with federal law
  409  as the authority’s agent for the purpose of performing each
  410  phase of a project.
  411         (2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), the department is the
  412  agent of the authority for the purpose of operating and
  413  maintaining the system, with the exception of transit
  414  facilities. The costs incurred by the department for operation
  415  and maintenance shall be reimbursed from revenues of the system.
  416  The appointment of the department as agent for the authority
  417  does not create an independent obligation on the part of the
  418  department to operate and maintain a system. The authority shall
  419  remain obligated as principal to operate and maintain its
  420  system, and the authority’s bondholders do not have an
  421  independent right to compel the department to operate or
  422  maintain the authority’s system. This appointment does not
  423  preclude the department and the authority from agreeing that
  424  some portions of the system will be operated and maintained by
  425  the authority.
  426         (3)The authority shall fix, alter, charge, establish, and
  427  collect tolls, rates, fees, rentals, and other charges for the
  428  authority’s facilities, as otherwise provided in this chapter.
  429         Section 16. Section 345.0008, Florida Statutes, is created
  430  to read:
  431         345.0008 Department contributions to authority projects.—
  432         (1)The department may, at the request of the authority,
  433  provide for or contribute to the payment of costs of financial
  434  or engineering and traffic feasibility studies and the design,
  435  financing, acquisition, or construction of the authority project
  436  or system, subject to appropriation by the Legislature.
  437         (2) The department may use its engineers and other
  438  personnel, including consulting engineers and traffic engineers,
  439  to conduct the feasibility studies authorized under subsection
  440  (1).
  441         (3) The department may participate in authority-funded
  442  projects that, at a minimum:
  443         (a) Serve national, statewide, or regional functions and
  444  function as part of an integrated regional transportation
  445  system.
  446         (b) Are identified in the capital improvements element of a
  447  comprehensive plan that has been determined to be in compliance
  448  with part II of chapter 163. Further, the project shall be in
  449  compliance with local government comprehensive plan policies
  450  relative to corridor management.
  451         (c) Are consistent with the Strategic Intermodal System
  452  Plan developed under s. 339.64.
  453         (d) Have a commitment for local, regional, or private
  454  financial matching funds as a percentage of the overall project
  455  cost.
  456         (4) Before approval, the department must determine that the
  457  proposed project:
  458         (a) Is in the public’s best interest;
  459         (b) Unless it is on or would directly benefit the State
  460  Highway System, does not require the use of state funds;
  461         (c) Has adequate safeguards in place to ensure that no
  462  additional costs will be imposed on or service disruptions will
  463  affect the traveling public and residents of this state if the
  464  department cancels or defaults on the agreement; and
  465         (d) Has adequate safeguards in place to ensure that the
  466  department and the authority have the opportunity to add
  467  capacity to the proposed project and other transportation
  468  facilities serving similar origins and destinations.
  469         (5) An obligation or expense incurred by the department
  470  under this section is a part of the cost of the authority
  471  project for which the obligation or expense was incurred. The
  472  department may require that money contributed by the department
  473  under this section be repaid from tolls of the project on which
  474  the money was spent, other revenue of the authority, or other
  475  sources of funds.
  476         (6)The department shall receive from the authority a share
  477  of the authority’s net revenues equal to the ratio of the
  478  department’s total contributions to the authority under this
  479  section to the sum of: the department’s total contributions
  480  under this section; contributions by any local government to the
  481  cost of revenue-producing authority projects; and the sale
  482  proceeds of authority bonds after payment of costs of issuance.
  483  For the purpose of this subsection, the net revenues of the
  484  authority are determined by deducting from gross revenues the
  485  payment of debt service, administrative expenses, operations and
  486  maintenance expenses, and all reserves required to be
  487  established under any resolution under which authority bonds are
  488  issued.
  489         Section 17. Section 345.0009, Florida Statutes, is created
  490  to read:
  491         345.0009 Acquisition of lands and property.—
  492         (1)For the purposes of this chapter, the authority may
  493  acquire private or public property and property rights,
  494  including rights of access, air, view, and light, by gift,
  495  devise, purchase, condemnation by eminent domain proceedings, or
  496  transfer from another political subdivision of the state, as the
  497  authority may deem necessary for any of the purposes of this
  498  chapter, including, but not limited to, any lands reasonably
  499  necessary for securing applicable permits, areas necessary for
  500  management of access, borrow pits, drainage ditches, water
  501  retention areas, rest areas, replacement access for landowners
  502  whose access is impaired due to the construction of a facility,
  503  and replacement rights-of-way for relocated rail and utility
  504  facilities; for existing, proposed, or anticipated
  505  transportation facilities on the system or in a transportation
  506  corridor designated by the authority; or for the purposes of
  507  screening, relocation, removal, or disposal of junkyards and
  508  scrap metal processing facilities. Each authority shall also
  509  have the power to condemn any material and property necessary
  510  for such purposes.
  511         (2)The authority shall exercise the right of eminent
  512  domain conferred under this section in the manner provided by
  513  law.
  514         (3)An authority that acquires property for a
  515  transportation facility or in a transportation corridor is not
  516  liable under chapter 376 or chapter 403 for preexisting soil or
  517  groundwater contamination due solely to its ownership. This
  518  section does not affect the rights or liabilities of any past or
  519  future owners of the acquired property or the liability of any
  520  governmental entity for the results of its actions which create
  521  or exacerbate a pollution source. The authority and the
  522  Department of Environmental Protection may enter into
  523  interagency agreements for the performance, funding, and
  524  reimbursement of the investigative and remedial acts necessary
  525  for property acquired by the authority.
  526         Section 18. Section 345.0010, Florida Statutes, is created
  527  to read:
  528         345.0010 Cooperation with other units, boards, agencies,
  529  and individuals.—A county, municipality, drainage district, road
  530  and bridge district, school district, or any other political
  531  subdivision, board, commission, or individual in, or of, the
  532  state may make and enter into a contract, lease, conveyance,
  533  partnership, or other agreement with the authority within the
  534  provisions of this chapter. The authority may make and enter
  535  into contracts, leases, conveyances, partnerships, and other
  536  agreements with any political subdivision, agency, or
  537  instrumentality of the state and any federal agency,
  538  corporation, or individual to carry out the purposes of this
  539  chapter.
  540         Section 19. Section 345.0011, Florida Statutes, is created
  541  to read:
  542         345.0011 Covenant of the state.The state pledges to, and
  543  agrees with, any person, firm, or corporation, or federal or
  544  state agency subscribing to or acquiring the bonds to be issued
  545  by the authority for the purposes of this chapter that the state
  546  will not limit or alter the rights vested by this chapter in the
  547  authority and the department until all bonds at any time issued,
  548  together with the interest thereon, are fully paid and
  549  discharged insofar as the rights vested in the authority and the
  550  department affect the rights of the holders of bonds issued
  551  under this chapter. The state further pledges to, and agrees
  552  with, the United States that if a federal agency constructs or
  553  contributes any funds for the completion, extension, or
  554  improvement of the system, or any parts of the system, the state
  555  will not alter or limit the rights and powers of the authority
  556  and the department in any manner that is inconsistent with the
  557  continued maintenance and operation of the system or the
  558  completion, extension, or improvement of the system, or that
  559  would be inconsistent with the due performance of any agreements
  560  between the authority and any such federal agency, and the
  561  authority and the department shall continue to have and may
  562  exercise all powers granted in this section, so long as the
  563  powers are necessary or desirable to carry out the purposes of
  564  this chapter and the purposes of the United States in the
  565  completion, extension, or improvement of the system, or any part
  566  of the system.
  567         Section 20. Section 345.0012, Florida Statutes, is created
  568  to read:
  569         345.0012 Exemption from taxation.The authority created
  570  under this chapter is for the benefit of the people of the
  571  state, for the increase of their commerce and prosperity, and
  572  for the improvement of their health and living conditions. The
  573  authority performs essential governmental functions under this
  574  chapter, therefore, the authority is not required to pay any
  575  taxes or assessments of any kind or nature upon any property
  576  acquired or used by it for such purposes, or upon any rates,
  577  fees, rentals, receipts, income, or charges received by it.
  578  Also, the bonds issued by the authority, their transfer and the
  579  income from their issuance, including any profits made on the
  580  sale of the bonds, shall be free from taxation by the state or
  581  by any political subdivision, taxing agency, or instrumentality
  582  of the state. The exemption granted by this section does not
  583  apply to any tax imposed by chapter 220 on interest, income, or
  584  profits on debt obligations owned by corporations.
  585         Section 21. Section 345.0013, Florida Statutes, is created
  586  to read:
  587         345.0013 Eligibility for investments and security.—Bonds or
  588  other obligations issued under this chapter are legal
  589  investments for banks, savings banks, trustees, executors,
  590  administrators, and all other fiduciaries, and for all state,
  591  municipal, and other public funds, and are also securities
  592  eligible for deposit as security for all state, municipal, or
  593  other public funds, notwithstanding any other law to the
  594  contrary.
  595         Section 22. Section 345.0014, Florida Statutes, is created
  596  to read:
  597         345.0014 Applicability.—
  598         (1)The powers conferred by this chapter are in addition to
  599  the powers conferred by other law and do not repeal any other
  600  general or special law or local ordinance, but supplement such
  601  other laws in the exercise of the powers provided in this
  602  chapter, and provide a complete method for the exercise of the
  603  powers granted in this chapter. The extension and improvement of
  604  a system, and the issuance of bonds under this chapter to
  605  finance all or part of the cost of such extension or
  606  improvement, may be accomplished upon compliance with this
  607  chapter without regard to or necessity for compliance with the
  608  provisions, limitations, or restrictions contained in any other
  609  general, special, or local law, including, but not limited to,
  610  s. 215.821, and approval of any bonds issued under this act by
  611  the qualified electors or qualified electors who are freeholders
  612  in the state or in any political subdivision of the state is not
  613  required for the issuance of such bonds under this chapter.
  614         (2)This act does not repeal, rescind, or modify any other
  615  law relating to the State Board of Administration, the
  616  Department of Transportation, or the Division of Bond Finance of
  617  the State Board of Administration; however, this chapter
  618  supersedes any other law that is inconsistent with its
  619  provisions, including, but not limited to, s. 215.821.
  621  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
  622  And the title is amended as follows:
  623         Delete line 33
  624  and insert:
  625         authority projects; creating s. 345.0001, F.S.;
  626         creating the Northwest Florida Regional Transportation
  627         Finance Authority; providing a short title; creating
  628         s. 345.0002, F.S.; defining terms; creating s.
  629         345.0003, F.S.; authorizing certain counties to form a
  630         regional finance authority to construct, maintain, or
  631         operate transportation projects in a given region of
  632         the state; providing governance of the authority;
  633         creating s. 345.0004, F.S.; specifying the powers and
  634         duties of a regional transportation finance authority;
  635         limiting the authority’s power with respect to an
  636         existing system; prohibiting the authority from
  637         pledging the credit or taxing power of the state or
  638         any political subdivision or agency of the state;
  639         prohibiting the authority from entering into an
  640         agreement that would prohibit a county or municipality
  641         from constructing a road without the consent of the
  642         county; requiring that the authority comply with
  643         certain reporting and documentation requirements;
  644         creating s. 345.0005, F.S.; authorizing the authority
  645         to issue bonds that meet certain requirements;
  646         requiring that the resolution that authorizes the
  647         issuance of bonds meet certain requirements;
  648         authorizing the authority to enter into security
  649         agreements for issued bonds with a bank or trust
  650         company; providing that issued bonds are negotiable
  651         instruments and have the qualities and incidents of
  652         certain negotiable instruments under the law;
  653         requiring that a resolution authorizing the issuance
  654         of bonds and pledging of revenues of the system
  655         include certain requirements; prohibiting the use or
  656         pledge of state funds to pay principal or interest of
  657         the authority’s bonds; creating s. 345.0006, F.S.;
  658         providing for the rights and remedies granted to
  659         bondholders; authorizing certain actions a trustee may
  660         take on behalf of the bondholders; authorizing the
  661         appointment of a receiver; establishing and limiting
  662         the authority of the receiver; creating s. 345.0007,
  663         F.S.; designating the department as the agent of the
  664         authority for specified purposes; authorizing the
  665         administration and management of projects by the
  666         department; limiting the powers of the department as
  667         an agent; establishing the fiscal responsibilities of
  668         the authority; creating s. 345.0008, F.S.; authorizing
  669         the department to provide for or commit its resources
  670         for the authority project or system, if approved by
  671         the Legislature; authorizing the payment of expenses
  672         incurred by the department on behalf of the authority;
  673         requiring the department to receive a share of the
  674         revenue from the authority; providing calculations for
  675         disbursement of revenues; creating s. 345.0009, F.S.;
  676         authorizing the authority to acquire private or public
  677         property and property rights for a project or plan;
  678         authorizing the authority to exercise the right of
  679         eminent domain; establishing the rights and
  680         liabilities and remedial actions relating to property
  681         acquired for a transportation project or corridor;
  682         creating s. 345.0010, F.S.; authorizing contracts
  683         between governmental entities and the authority;
  684         creating s. 345.0011, F.S.; providing that the state
  685         will not limit or alter the vested rights of a
  686         bondholder with regard to any issued bonds or other
  687         rights relating to the bonds under certain conditions;
  688         creating s. 345.0012, F.S.; relieving the authority’s
  689         obligation to pay certain taxes or assessments for
  690         property acquired or used for certain public purposes
  691         or on revenues received relating to the issuance of
  692         bonds; providing exceptions; creating s. 345.0013,
  693         F.S.; providing that the bonds or obligations issued
  694         are legal investments of specified entities; creating
  695         s. 345.0014, F.S.; providing applicability; amending
  696         s. 373.4137, F.S.;