Florida Senate - 2016                                     SB 388
       By Senator Detert
       28-00549-16                                            2016388__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to individuals with disabilities;
    3         requiring the Department of Economic Opportunity, in
    4         consultation with other entities, to create the
    5         Florida Unique Abilities Partner Program; defining
    6         terms; authorizing a business entity to apply to the
    7         department for designation; requiring the department
    8         to consider nominations of business entities for
    9         designation; requiring the department to adopt
   10         procedures for application, nomination, and
   11         designation processes; establishing criteria for a
   12         business entity to be designated as a Florida Unique
   13         Abilities Partner; requiring a business entity to
   14         certify that it continues to meet the established
   15         criteria for designation each year; requiring the
   16         department to remove the designation if a business
   17         entity does not submit yearly certification of
   18         continued eligibility; authorizing a business entity
   19         to discontinue its designated status; requiring the
   20         department, in consultation with the disability
   21         community, to develop a logo for business entities
   22         designated as Florida Unique Abilities Partners;
   23         requiring the department to adopt guidelines and
   24         requirements for the use of the logo; authorizing the
   25         department to allow a designated business entity to
   26         display a logo; prohibiting the use of a logo if a
   27         business entity does not have a current designation;
   28         requiring the department to maintain a website with
   29         specified information; requiring the Agency for
   30         Persons with Disabilities to provide a link on its
   31         website to the department’s website for the program;
   32         requiring the department to provide the Florida
   33         Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation with certain
   34         information; requiring the department and CareerSource
   35         Florida, Inc., to identify employment opportunities
   36         posted by business entities that receive the Florida
   37         Unique Abilities Partner designation on the workforce
   38         information system; requiring a report to the
   39         Legislature; providing report requirements; requiring
   40         the department to adopt rules; amending s. 20.60,
   41         F.S.; revising requirements for the department’s
   42         annual report to conform to changes made by the act;
   43         providing appropriations; providing effective dates.
   45  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   47         Section 1. Florida Unique Abilities Partner Program.—
   48         (1) CREATION AND PURPOSE.—The Department of Economic
   49  Opportunity shall establish the Florida Unique Abilities Partner
   50  Program to designate a business entity as a Florida Unique
   51  Abilities Partner if the business entity demonstrates
   52  commitment, through employment or support, to the independence
   53  of individuals who have a disability. The department shall
   54  consult with the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, the
   55  Division of Vocational Rehabilitation of the Department of
   56  Education, the Division of Blind Services of the Department of
   57  Education, and CareerSource Florida, Inc., in creating the
   58  program.
   59         (2) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
   60         (a) “Department” means the Department of Economic
   61  Opportunity.
   62         (b) “Individuals who have a disability” means persons who
   63  have a physical or intellectual impairment that substantially
   64  limits one or more major life activities, persons who have a
   65  history or record of such an impairment, or persons who are
   66  perceived by others as having such an impairment.
   67         (3) DESIGNATION.—
   68         (a) A business entity may apply to the department to be
   69  designated as a Florida Unique Abilities Partner, based on the
   70  business entity’s achievements in at least one of the following
   71  categories:
   72         1. Employment of individuals who have a disability.
   73         2. Contributions to local or national disability
   74  organizations.
   75         3. Contributions to, or the establishment of, a program
   76  that contributes to the independence of individuals who have a
   77  disability.
   78         (b) As an alternative to application by a business entity,
   79  the department must consider nominations from members of the
   80  community where the business entity is located. The nomination
   81  must identify the business entity’s achievements in at least one
   82  of the categories provided in paragraph (a).
   83         (c) The name, location, and contact information of the
   84  business entity must be included in the business entity’s
   85  application or nomination.
   86         (d) The department shall adopt procedures for the
   87  application, nomination, and designation processes for the
   88  Florida Unique Abilities Partner Program. Designation as a
   89  Florida Unique Abilities Partner does not establish or involve
   90  licensure, does not affect the substantial interests of a party,
   91  and does not constitute a final agency action. The Florida
   92  Unique Abilities Partner Program and designation are not subject
   93  to chapter 120, Florida Statutes.
   94         (4)ELIGIBILITY AND AWARD.—In determining the eligibility
   95  for the designation of a business entity as a Florida Unique
   96  Abilities Partner, the department shall consider, at a minimum,
   97  the following criteria:
   98         (a)For a designation based on an application by a business
   99  entity, the business entity must certify that:
  100         1. It employs at least one individual who has a disability.
  101  Such employees must be residents of this state and must have
  102  been employed by the business entity for at least 9 months
  103  before the business entity’s application for the designation.
  104  The department may not require the employer to provide
  105  personally identifiable information about its employees;
  106         2.It has made contributions to local and national
  107  disability organizations or contributions in support of
  108  individuals who have a disability. Contributions may be
  109  accomplished through financial or in-kind contributions,
  110  including employee volunteer hours. Contributions must be
  111  documented by providing copies of written receipts or letters of
  112  acknowledgment from recipients or donees. A business entity with
  113  100 or fewer employees must make a financial or in-kind
  114  contribution of at least $1,000, and a business entity with more
  115  than 100 employees must make a financial or in-kind contribution
  116  of at least $5,000; or
  117         3. It has established, or has contributed to the
  118  establishment of, a program that contributes to the independence
  119  of individuals who have a disability. Contributions must be
  120  documented by providing copies of written receipts, a summary of
  121  the program, program materials, or letters of acknowledgment
  122  from program participants or volunteers. A business entity with
  123  100 or fewer employees must make a financial or in-kind
  124  contribution of at least $1,000 in the program, and a business
  125  entity with more than 100 employees must make a financial or in
  126  kind contribution of at least $5,000.
  128  A business entity that applies to the department to be
  129  designated as a Florida Unique Abilities Partner shall be
  130  awarded the designation upon meeting the requirements of this
  131  section.
  132         (b) For a designation based upon receipt of a nomination of
  133  a business entity:
  134         1. The department shall determine whether the nominee,
  135  based on the information provided by the nominating person or
  136  entity, meets the requirements of paragraph (a). The department
  137  may request additional information from the nominee.
  138         2. If the nominee meets the requirements, the department
  139  shall provide notice, including the qualification criteria
  140  provided in the nomination, to the nominee regarding the
  141  nominee’s eligibility to be awarded a designation as a Florida
  142  Unique Abilities Partner.
  143         3. The nominee shall be provided 30 days after receipt of
  144  the notice to certify that the information in the notice is true
  145  and accurate and accept the nomination, to provide corrected
  146  information for consideration by the department and indicate an
  147  intention to accept the nomination, or to decline the
  148  nomination. If the nominee accepts the nomination, the
  149  department shall award the designation. The department may not
  150  award the designation if the nominee declines the nomination or
  151  has not accepted the nomination within 30 days of receiving
  152  notice.
  153         (5) ANNUAL CERTIFICATION.—After an initial designation as a
  154  Florida Unique Abilities Partner, a business entity must certify
  155  each year that it continues to meet the criteria for the
  156  designation. If the business entity does not submit the yearly
  157  certification of continued eligibility, the department shall
  158  remove the designation. The business entity may elect to
  159  discontinue its designation status at any time by notifying the
  160  department of such decision.
  161         (6) LOGO DEVELOPMENT.—
  162         (a) The department, in consultation with members of the
  163  disability community, shall develop a logo that identifies a
  164  business entity that is designated as a Florida Unique Abilities
  165  Partner.
  166         (b) The department shall adopt guidelines and requirements
  167  for the use of the logo, including how the logo may be used in
  168  advertising. The department may allow a business entity to
  169  display a Florida Unique Abilities Partner logo upon
  170  designation. A business entity that has not been designated as a
  171  Florida Unique Abilities Partner or has elected to discontinue
  172  its designated status may not display the logo.
  173         (7) WEBSITE.—The department shall maintain a website for
  174  the program. At a minimum, the website must provide a list of
  175  business entities, by county, which currently have the Florida
  176  Unique Abilities Partner designation, updated quarterly;
  177  information regarding the eligibility requirements for the
  178  designation and the method of application or nomination; and
  179  best practices for business entities to facilitate the inclusion
  180  of individuals who have a disability, updated annually. The
  181  website may provide links to the websites of organizations or
  182  other resources that will aid business entities to employ or
  183  support individuals who have a disability.
  185         (a) The Agency for Persons with Disabilities shall provide
  186  a link on its website to the department’s website for the
  187  Florida Unique Abilities Partner Program.
  188         (b) On a quarterly basis, the department shall provide the
  189  Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation with a current
  190  list of all businesses that are designated as Florida Unique
  191  Abilities Partners. The Florida Tourism Industry Marketing
  192  Corporation must consider the Florida Unique Abilities Partner
  193  Program in the development of marketing campaigns, and
  194  specifically in any targeted marketing campaign for individuals
  195  who have a disability or their families.
  196         (c) The department and CareerSource Florida, Inc., shall
  197  identify employment opportunities posted by business entities
  198  that currently have the Florida Unique Abilities Partner
  199  designation on the workforce information system under s.
  200  445.011, Florida Statutes.
  201         (9)REPORT.—
  202         (a) By January 1, 2017, the department shall provide a
  203  report to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the
  204  House of Representatives on the status of the implementation of
  205  this section, including the adoption of rules, development of
  206  the logo, and development of application procedures.
  207         (b) Beginning in 2017 and each year thereafter, the
  208  department’s annual report required under s. 20.60, Florida
  209  Statutes, must describe in detail the progress and use of the
  210  program. At a minimum, the report must include, for the most
  211  recent year: the number of applications and nominations
  212  received; the number of nominations accepted and declined; the
  213  number of designations awarded; annual certifications; the use
  214  of information provided under subsection (8); and any other
  215  information deemed necessary to evaluate the program.
  216         (10) RULES.—The department shall adopt rules to administer
  217  this section.
  218         Section 2. Effective January 1, 2017, paragraph (b) of
  219  subsection (10) of section 20.60, Florida Statutes, is amended
  220  to read:
  221         20.60 Department of Economic Opportunity; creation; powers
  222  and duties.—
  223         (10) The department, with assistance from Enterprise
  224  Florida, Inc., shall, by November 1 of each year, submit an
  225  annual report to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and
  226  the Speaker of the House of Representatives on the condition of
  227  the business climate and economic development in the state.
  228         (b) The report must incorporate annual reports of other
  229  programs, including:
  230         1. The displaced homemaker program established under s.
  231  446.50.
  232         2. Information provided by the Department of Revenue under
  233  s. 290.014.
  234         3. Information provided by enterprise zone development
  235  agencies under s. 290.0056 and an analysis of the activities and
  236  accomplishments of each enterprise zone.
  237         4. The Economic Gardening Business Loan Pilot Program
  238  established under s. 288.1081 and the Economic Gardening
  239  Technical Assistance Pilot Program established under s.
  240  288.1082.
  241         5. A detailed report of the performance of the Black
  242  Business Loan Program and a cumulative summary of quarterly
  243  report data required under s. 288.714.
  244         6. The Rural Economic Development Initiative established
  245  under s. 288.0656.
  246         7. The Florida Unique Abilities Partner Program.
  247         Section 3. For the 2016-2017 fiscal year, the sums of
  248  $100,000 in recurring funds and $100,000 in nonrecurring funds
  249  from the Special Employment Security Administration Trust Fund
  250  are appropriated to the Department of Economic Opportunity, for
  251  the purpose of funding the development, implementation, and
  252  administration of the Florida Unique Abilities Partner Program
  253  created by this act.
  254         Section 4. Except as otherwise expressly provided in this
  255  act, this act shall take effect July 1, 2016.