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. 44 45 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 46 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. 127 128 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. 184 (8) INTERAGENCY COLLABORATION.— 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.