Florida Senate - 2016                                     SB 756
       By Senator Brandes
       22-00775-16                                            2016756__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to the Department of Transportation;
    3         amending s. 311.07, F.S.; increasing the minimum
    4         amount that must be made available annually from the
    5         State Transportation Trust Fund to fund the Florida
    6         Seaport Transportation and Economic Development
    7         Program; amending s. 311.09, F.S.; increasing the
    8         amount per year the department must include in its
    9         annual legislative budget request for the Florida
   10         Seaport Transportation and Economic Development
   11         Program; amending s. 316.003, F.S.; defining the term
   12         “port of entry”; amending s. 316.545, F.S.; providing
   13         a specified penalty for drivers of commercial motor
   14         vehicles who obtain temporary registration permits
   15         entering the state at, or operating on designated
   16         routes to, a port-of-entry location; amending s.
   17         334.044, F.S.; authorizing the department to assume
   18         certain responsibilities under the National
   19         Environmental Policy Act with respect to highway
   20         projects within the state and certain related
   21         responsibilities relating to review or approval of a
   22         highway project; authorizing the department to enter
   23         into certain agreements related to the federal surface
   24         transportation project delivery program under certain
   25         federal law; authorizing the department to adopt
   26         implementing rules; authorizing the department to
   27         adopt certain relevant federal environmental
   28         standards; providing a limited waiver of sovereign
   29         immunity to civil suit in federal court consistent
   30         with certain federal law; creating s. 337.027, F.S.;
   31         authorizing the department to establish a program for
   32         highway projects that assist small businesses;
   33         providing a program purpose; defining the term “small
   34         business”; authorizing the department to adopt rules;
   35         amending s. 338.165, F.S.; removing an option to issue
   36         certain bonds secured by toll revenues collected on
   37         the Beeline-East Expressway and the Navarre Bridge;
   38         amending s. 338.231, F.S.; increasing the number of
   39         years before an inactive prepaid toll account is
   40         presumed unclaimed; creating s. 339.0809, F.S.;
   41         creating a nonprofit corporation to be known as the
   42         “Florida Department of Transportation Financing
   43         Corporation”; defining the term “corporation”;
   44         providing for membership of a governing board of
   45         directors; providing certain powers and duties;
   46         authorizing the corporation to enter into service
   47         contracts with the Department of Transportation
   48         subject to certain requirements; authorizing the
   49         corporation to issue and incur notes, bonds,
   50         certificates of indebtedness, or other obligations or
   51         evidences of indebtedness under certain circumstances;
   52         providing that the fulfillment of the purposes of the
   53         corporation promotes the health, safety, and general
   54         welfare of the people of the state and serves
   55         essential governmental functions and a paramount
   56         public purpose; providing certain exemptions from
   57         taxation and assessments; authorizing the corporation
   58         to validate certain obligations subject to certain
   59         requirements; providing applicability; prohibiting the
   60         benefits and earnings of the corporation from inuring
   61         to any private person; requiring title to all property
   62         owned by the corporation to revert to the state upon
   63         dissolution of the corporation; authorizing the
   64         corporation to contract with the State Board of
   65         Administration to perform certain services;
   66         authorizing the board to contract with others to
   67         provide such services and to recover certain costs;
   68         authorizing the department to enter into a service
   69         contract in conjunction with the issuance of debt
   70         obligations which provides for certain periodic
   71         payments; providing an effective date.
   73  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   75         Section 1. Subsection (2) of section 311.07, Florida
   76  Statutes, is amended to read:
   77         311.07 Florida seaport transportation and economic
   78  development funding.—
   79         (2) A minimum of $25 $15 million per year shall be made
   80  available from the State Transportation Trust Fund to fund the
   81  Florida Seaport Transportation and Economic Development Program.
   82  The Florida Seaport Transportation and Economic Development
   83  Council created in s. 311.09 shall develop guidelines for
   84  project funding. Council staff, the Department of
   85  Transportation, and the Department of Economic Opportunity shall
   86  work in cooperation to review projects and allocate funds in
   87  accordance with the schedule required for the Department of
   88  Transportation to include these projects in the tentative work
   89  program developed pursuant to s. 339.135(4).
   90         Section 2. Subsection (9) of section 311.09, Florida
   91  Statutes, is amended to read:
   92         311.09 Florida Seaport Transportation and Economic
   93  Development Council.—
   94         (9) The Department of Transportation shall include at least
   95  $25 no less than $15 million per year in its annual legislative
   96  budget request for the Florida Seaport Transportation and
   97  Economic Development Program funded under s. 311.07. Such budget
   98  must shall include funding for projects approved by the council
   99  which have been determined by each agency to be consistent. The
  100  department shall include the specific approved Florida Seaport
  101  Transportation and Economic Development Program projects to be
  102  funded under s. 311.07 during the ensuing fiscal year in the
  103  tentative work program developed pursuant to s. 339.135(4). The
  104  total amount of funding to be allocated to Florida Seaport
  105  Transportation and Economic Development Program projects under
  106  s. 311.07 during the successive 4 fiscal years shall also be
  107  included in the tentative work program developed pursuant to s.
  108  339.135(4). The council may submit to the department a list of
  109  approved projects that could be made production-ready within the
  110  next 2 years. The list shall be submitted by the department as
  111  part of the needs and project list prepared pursuant to s.
  112  339.135(2)(b). However, the department shall, upon written
  113  request of the Florida Seaport Transportation and Economic
  114  Development Council, submit work program amendments pursuant to
  115  s. 339.135(7) to the Governor within 10 days after the later of
  116  the date the request is received by the department or the
  117  effective date of the amendment, termination, or closure of the
  118  applicable funding agreement between the department and the
  119  affected seaport, as required to release the funds from the
  120  existing commitment. Notwithstanding s. 339.135(7)(c), any work
  121  program amendment to transfer prior year funds from one approved
  122  seaport project to another seaport project is subject to the
  123  procedures in s. 339.135(7)(d). Notwithstanding any provision of
  124  law to the contrary, the department may transfer unexpended
  125  budget between the seaport projects as identified in the
  126  approved work program amendments.
  127         Section 3. Subsection (94) is added to section 316.003,
  128  Florida Statutes, to read:
  129         316.003 Definitions.—The following words and phrases, when
  130  used in this chapter, shall have the meanings respectively
  131  ascribed to them in this section, except where the context
  132  otherwise requires:
  133         (94) PORT OF ENTRY.—A designated location that allows
  134  drivers of commercial motor vehicles to purchase temporary
  135  registration permits necessary to operate legally within the
  136  state. The locations and the designated routes to such locations
  137  shall be determined by the Department of Transportation.
  138         Section 4. Paragraph (b) of subsection (2) of section
  139  316.545, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  140         316.545 Weight and load unlawful; special fuel and motor
  141  fuel tax enforcement; inspection; penalty; review.—
  142         (2)
  143         (b) The officer or inspector shall inspect the license
  144  plate or registration certificate of the commercial vehicle, as
  145  defined in s. 316.003(66), to determine if its gross weight is
  146  in compliance with the declared gross vehicle weight. If its
  147  gross weight exceeds the declared weight, the penalty shall be 5
  148  cents per pound on the difference between such weights. In those
  149  cases when the commercial vehicle, as defined in s. 316.003(66),
  150  is being operated over the highways of the state with an expired
  151  registration or with no registration from this or any other
  152  jurisdiction or is not registered under the applicable
  153  provisions of chapter 320, the penalty herein shall apply on the
  154  basis of 5 cents per pound on that scaled weight which exceeds
  155  35,000 pounds on laden truck tractor-semitrailer combinations or
  156  tandem trailer truck combinations, 10,000 pounds on laden
  157  straight trucks or straight truck-trailer combinations, or
  158  10,000 pounds on any unladen commercial motor vehicle. A driver
  159  of a commercial motor vehicle entering the state at a designated
  160  port-of-entry location, as defined in s. 316.003(94), or
  161  operating on designated routes to a port-of-entry location, who
  162  obtains a temporary registration permit shall be assessed a
  163  penalty limited to the difference between its gross weight and
  164  the declared gross vehicle weight at 5 cents per pound. If the
  165  license plate or registration has not been expired for more than
  166  90 days, the penalty imposed under this paragraph may not exceed
  167  $1,000. In the case of special mobile equipment as defined in s.
  168  316.003(48), which qualifies for the license tax provided for in
  169  s. 320.08(5)(b), being operated on the highways of the state
  170  with an expired registration or otherwise not properly
  171  registered under the applicable provisions of chapter 320, a
  172  penalty of $75 shall apply in addition to any other penalty
  173  which may apply in accordance with this chapter. A vehicle found
  174  in violation of this section may be detained until the owner or
  175  operator produces evidence that the vehicle has been properly
  176  registered. Any costs incurred by the retention of the vehicle
  177  shall be the sole responsibility of the owner. A person who has
  178  been assessed a penalty pursuant to this paragraph for failure
  179  to have a valid vehicle registration certificate pursuant to the
  180  provisions of chapter 320 is not subject to the delinquent fee
  181  authorized in s. 320.07 if such person obtains a valid
  182  registration certificate within 10 working days after such
  183  penalty was assessed.
  184         Section 5. Subsection (34) is added to section 334.044,
  185  Florida Statutes, to read:
  186         334.044 Department; powers and duties.—The department shall
  187  have the following general powers and duties:
  188         (34) To assume responsibilities of the United States
  189  Department of Transportation with respect to highway projects
  190  within the state under the National Environmental Policy Act of
  191  1969, 42 U.S.C. s. 4321 et seq., and with respect to related
  192  responsibilities for environmental review, consultation, or
  193  other action required under any federal environmental law
  194  pertaining to review or approval of a highway project within the
  195  state. The department may assume responsibilities under 23
  196  U.S.C. s. 327 and enter into one or more agreements, including
  197  memoranda of understanding, with the United States Secretary of
  198  Transportation related to the federal surface transportation
  199  project delivery program for the delivery of highway projects,
  200  as provided by 23 U.S.C. s. 327. The department may adopt rules
  201  to implement this subsection and may adopt relevant federal
  202  environmental standards as the standards for this state for a
  203  program described in this subsection. Sovereign immunity from
  204  civil suit in federal court is waived consistent with 23 U.S.C.
  205  s. 327 and limited to the compliance, discharge, or enforcement
  206  of a responsibility assumed by the department under this
  207  subsection.
  208         Section 6. Section 337.027, Florida Statutes, is created to
  209  read:
  210         337.027 Authority to implement a business development
  211  program.—
  212         (1) The Department of Transportation may establish a
  213  program for highway projects that would assist small businesses.
  214  The purpose of this program is to increase competition, lower
  215  prices, and provide increased support to meet the department’s
  216  future work program. The program may include, but is not limited
  217  to, setting aside contracts, providing preference points for the
  218  use of small businesses, providing special assistance in bidding
  219  and contract completion, waiving bond requirements, and
  220  implementing other strategies that would increase competition.
  221         (2) For purposes of this section, the term “small business”
  222  means a business with average gross receipts of less than $15
  223  million for road and bridge contracts and less than $6.5 million
  224  for professional and nonprofessional services contracts. A
  225  business determines its size by averaging its annual gross
  226  receipts over the last 3 years, including the receipts of an
  227  affiliate as defined in s. 337.165.
  228         (3) The department may adopt rules to implement this
  229  section.
  230         Section 7. Subsection (4) of section 338.165, Florida
  231  Statutes, is amended to read:
  232         338.165 Continuation of tolls.—
  233         (4) Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, pursuant
  234  to s. 11, Art. VII of the State Constitution, and subject to the
  235  requirements of subsection (2), the Department of Transportation
  236  may request the Division of Bond Finance to issue bonds secured
  237  by toll revenues collected on the Alligator Alley, the Sunshine
  238  Skyway Bridge, the Beeline-East Expressway, the Navarre Bridge,
  239  and the Pinellas Bayway to fund transportation projects located
  240  within the county or counties in which the project is located
  241  and contained in the adopted work program of the department.
  242         Section 8. Paragraph (c) of subsection (3) of section
  243  338.231, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  244         338.231 Turnpike tolls, fixing; pledge of tolls and other
  245  revenues.—The department shall at all times fix, adjust, charge,
  246  and collect such tolls and amounts for the use of the turnpike
  247  system as are required in order to provide a fund sufficient
  248  with other revenues of the turnpike system to pay the cost of
  249  maintaining, improving, repairing, and operating such turnpike
  250  system; to pay the principal of and interest on all bonds issued
  251  to finance or refinance any portion of the turnpike system as
  252  the same become due and payable; and to create reserves for all
  253  such purposes.
  254         (3)
  255         (c) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the
  256  contrary, any prepaid toll account of any kind which has
  257  remained inactive for 10 3 years shall be presumed unclaimed and
  258  its disposition shall be handled by the Department of Financial
  259  Services in accordance with all applicable provisions of chapter
  260  717 relating to the disposition of unclaimed property, and the
  261  prepaid toll account shall be closed by the department.
  262         Section 9. Section 339.0809, Florida Statutes, is created
  263  to read:
  264         339.0809 Florida Department of Transportation Financing
  265  Corporation.—
  266         (1) The Florida Department of Transportation Financing
  267  Corporation is created as a nonprofit corporation for the
  268  purpose of financing or refinancing projects for the department
  269  as provided in subsection (5).
  270         (2) When used in this section, the term “corporation” means
  271  the Florida Department of Transportation Financing Corporation.
  272         (3) The corporation shall be governed by a board of
  273  directors consisting of the director of the Office of Policy and
  274  Budget in the Executive Office of the Governor, the director of
  275  the Division of Bond Finance, and the Secretary of
  276  Transportation. The director of the Division of Bond Finance is
  277  the chief executive officer of the corporation and shall direct
  278  and supervise the administrative affairs of the corporation and
  279  shall control, direct, and supervise the operation of the
  280  corporation. The corporation shall have such other officers as
  281  may be determined by the board of directors.
  282         (4) The corporation shall have all of the powers of a
  283  corporate body under the laws of this state to the extent that
  284  they are not inconsistent with or restricted by this section,
  285  including, but not limited to, the power to:
  286         (a) Adopt, amend, and repeal bylaws not inconsistent with
  287  this section.
  288         (b) Sue and be sued.
  289         (c) Adopt and use a common seal.
  290         (d) Acquire, purchase, hold, lease, and convey such real
  291  and personal property as may be proper or expedient to carry out
  292  the purposes of the corporation and this section and to sell,
  293  lease, or otherwise dispose of such property.
  294         (e) Elect or appoint and employ such other officers,
  295  agents, and employees as the corporation deems advisable to
  296  operate and manage the affairs of the corporation, which
  297  officers, agents, and employees may be officers or employees of
  298  the department and the state agencies represented on the board
  299  of directors of the corporation.
  300         (f) Borrow money and issue notes, bonds, certificates of
  301  indebtedness, or other obligations or evidences of indebtedness
  302  necessary to finance or refinance projects as provided in
  303  subsection (5).
  304         (g) Make and execute any and all contracts, trust
  305  agreements, and other instruments and agreements necessary or
  306  convenient to accomplish the purposes of the corporation and
  307  this section.
  308         (h) Select, retain, and employ professionals, contractors,
  309  or agents, which may include the Division of Bond Finance, as
  310  necessary or convenient to enable or assist the corporation in
  311  carrying out the purposes of the corporation and this section.
  312         (i) Take any action necessary or convenient to carry out
  313  the purposes of the corporation and this section and the powers
  314  provided in this section.
  315         (5) The corporation may enter into one or more service
  316  contracts with the department to provide services to the
  317  department in connection with projects approved in the
  318  department’s work program, which approval specifically provides
  319  that the department may enter into a service contract for the
  320  project pursuant to this section. The department may enter into
  321  one or more such service contracts with the corporation and
  322  provide for payments under such contracts, subject to annual
  323  appropriation by the Legislature. The proceeds from such service
  324  contracts may be used for the corporation’s administrative costs
  325  and expenses after the payments specified in subsection (6).
  326  Each service contract may have a term of up to 35 years. In
  327  compliance with s. 287.0641 and other applicable law, the
  328  obligations of the department under such service contracts do
  329  not constitute a general obligation of the state or a pledge of
  330  the full faith and credit or taxing power of the state, and such
  331  obligations are not an obligation of the State Board of
  332  Administration or entities for which it invests funds, other
  333  than the department as provided in this section, but are payable
  334  solely from amounts available in the State Transportation Trust
  335  Fund, subject to annual appropriation. In compliance with this
  336  subsection and s. 287.0582, the service contract must expressly
  337  include the following statement: “The State of Florida’s
  338  performance and obligation to pay under this contract is
  339  contingent upon an annual appropriation by the Legislature.”
  340         (6) The corporation may issue and incur notes, bonds,
  341  certificates of indebtedness, or other obligations or evidences
  342  of indebtedness payable from and secured by amounts payable to
  343  the corporation by the department under a service contract
  344  entered into pursuant to subsection (5) for the purpose of
  345  financing or refinancing projects approved as provided in that
  346  subsection. The duration of any such note, bond, certificate of
  347  indebtedness, or other obligation or evidence of indebtedness
  348  may not exceed 30 annual maturities. The corporation may select
  349  its financing team and issue its obligations through competitive
  350  bidding or negotiated contracts, whichever is most cost
  351  effective. Indebtedness of the corporation does not constitute a
  352  debt or obligation of the state or a pledge of the full faith
  353  and credit or taxing power of the state, but is payable from and
  354  secured by payments made by the department under the service
  355  contract.
  356         (7) The fulfillment of the purposes of the corporation
  357  promotes the health, safety, and general welfare of the people
  358  of the state and serves essential governmental functions and a
  359  paramount public purpose.
  360         (8) The corporation is exempt from taxation and assessments
  361  on its income, property, and assets or revenues acquired,
  362  received, or used in the furtherance of the purposes provided in
  363  this chapter. The obligations of the corporation incurred
  364  pursuant to subsection (6) and the interest and income on such
  365  obligations and all security agreements, letters of credit,
  366  liquidity facilities, or other obligations or instruments
  367  arising out of, entered into in connection with, or given to
  368  secure payment of such obligations are exempt from taxation;
  369  however, such exemption does not apply to any tax imposed under
  370  chapter 220 on the interest, income, or profits on debt
  371  obligations owned by corporations.
  372         (9) The corporation may validate obligations to be incurred
  373  pursuant to subsection (6) and the validity and enforceability
  374  of any service contracts providing for payments pledged to the
  375  payment of such obligations by proceedings under chapter 75. The
  376  validation complaint may be filed only in the Circuit Court of
  377  Leon County. The notice required to be published by s. 75.06
  378  must be published in Leon County, and the complaint and order of
  379  the circuit court may be served only on the State Attorney for
  380  the Second Judicial Circuit. Sections 75.04(2) and 75.06(2) do
  381  not apply to a complaint for validation filed under this
  382  subsection.
  383         (10) The corporation is not a special district for the
  384  purposes of chapter 189 or a unit of local government for the
  385  purposes of part III of chapter 218. The provisions of chapters
  386  120 and 215, except the limitation on the interest rates
  387  provided by s. 215.84, which applies to obligations of the
  388  corporation issued pursuant to this section, and part I of
  389  chapter 287, except ss. 287.0582 and 287.0641, do not apply to
  390  this section, the corporation, the service contracts entered
  391  into pursuant to this section, or debt obligations issued by the
  392  corporation as contemplated in this section.
  393         (11) The benefits and earnings of the corporation may not
  394  inure to the benefit of any private person.
  395         (12) Upon dissolution of the corporation, title to all
  396  property owned by the corporation reverts to the state.
  397         (13) The corporation may contract with the State Board of
  398  Administration to serve as a trustee with respect to debt
  399  obligations issued by the corporation as contemplated by this
  400  section; to hold, administer, and invest proceeds of such debt
  401  obligations and other funds of the corporation; and to perform
  402  other services required by the corporation. The State Board of
  403  Administration may perform such services and may contract with
  404  others to provide all or a part of such services and to recover
  405  its costs and other expenses thereof.
  406         (14) The department may enter into a service contract in
  407  conjunction with the issuance of debt obligations as provided in
  408  this section which provides for periodic payments for debt
  409  service or other amounts payable with respect to debt
  410  obligations, plus any administrative expenses of the
  411  corporation.
  412         Section 10. This act shall take effect July 1, 2016.