Florida Senate - 2017                             CS for SB 1592
       By the Committee on Agriculture; and Senators Bean and Baxley
       575-02673-17                                          20171592c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to small food retailers; creating s.
    3         595.430, F.S.; establishing the Healthy Food
    4         Assistance Program within the Department of
    5         Agriculture and Consumer Services; providing a
    6         purpose; requiring the Office of Program Policy
    7         Analysis and Government Accountability to conduct an
    8         independent study evaluating the program’s policy
    9         impact; providing for future repeal and legislative
   10         review; creating s. 595.431, F.S.; providing
   11         definitions; creating s. 595.432, F.S.; requiring the
   12         department to develop guidelines and administer the
   13         program; providing department duties and
   14         responsibilities; providing for funding; creating s.
   15         595.433, F.S.; providing duties and responsibilities
   16         of program administrators; exempting program
   17         administrators from provisions relating to state
   18         procurement of certain property and services;
   19         repealing s. 500.81, F.S., relating to the Healthy
   20         Food Financing Initiative; providing an effective
   21         date.
   23         WHEREAS, overweight children and adults are at greater risk
   24  for numerous adverse health consequences, including type 2
   25  diabetes, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, high
   26  cholesterol, certain cancers, asthma, low self-esteem,
   27  depression, and other debilitating diseases, and
   28         WHEREAS, in Florida, nearly 27 percent of adults were
   29  considered overweight or obese in 2015, and nearly 13 percent of
   30  children were considered overweight and obese in 2011, and
   31         WHEREAS, obese children are at least twice as likely as
   32  non-obese children to become obese adults, and
   33         WHEREAS, obesity-related health conditions have serious
   34  economic costs, and
   35         WHEREAS, annual health care costs from obesity are at least
   36  $190 billion dollars, or 21 percent of the nation’s total health
   37  care spending, and are expected to rise substantially, and
   38         WHEREAS, roughly 40 percent of these costs are paid through
   39  Medicare and Medicaid, meaning that taxpayers pay much of the
   40  cost, and
   41         WHEREAS, Medicare and Medicaid spending would be reduced by
   42  8.5 percent and 11.8 percent, respectively, in the absence of
   43  obesity-related spending, and
   44         WHEREAS, annual medical expenditures in Florida related to
   45  obesity are estimated at $6,675,670,940 with approximately $2.6
   46  billion of this amount paid by Medicare and Medicaid in the
   47  state, and
   48         WHEREAS, many Americans, particularly those in low-income
   49  neighborhoods, rural areas, and communities of color, reside
   50  where adequate access to full-service grocery stores is not
   51  guaranteed, and
   52         WHEREAS, low-income areas have more than twice as many
   53  convenience stores and four times as many small grocery stores
   54  as high-income areas, and
   55         WHEREAS, proximity to convenience stores within a
   56  neighborhood is associated with higher rates of obesity and
   57  diabetes, and
   58         WHEREAS, small food retailers tend to sell few fresh
   59  produce, whole grains, or low-fat dairy products, and
   60         WHEREAS, small food retailers commonly sell highly
   61  processed foods that are high in fat and low in nutrients, and
   62         WHEREAS, small food retailers tend to charge higher prices
   63  for their food as compared to grocery stores and supermarkets,
   64  and
   65         WHEREAS, providing assistance to existing small food
   66  retailers to stock fresh produce and other healthy foods and
   67  promote good nutrition can provide residents with access to
   68  healthier foods, and
   69         WHEREAS, community programs that work with small food
   70  retailers have shown promise in increasing healthy food sales,
   71  improving store offerings, and promoting good nutrition, and
   72         WHEREAS, the program established pursuant to this act is
   73  intended to be a source of funding to provide assistance for
   74  Florida’s small food retailers operating in certain urban and
   75  rural areas so that the retailers sell more fresh fruits and
   76  vegetables and other healthy foods at affordable prices to
   77  neighboring residents in an effort to improve residents’ diets
   78  and health, NOW, THEREFORE,
   80  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   82         Section 1. Section 595.430, Florida Statutes, is created to
   83  read:
   84         595.430Healthy Food Assistance Program.—
   85         (1)There is established within the department the Healthy
   86  Food Assistance Program.
   87         (2)The purpose of the program is to provide a process for
   88  small food retailers to receive assistance for projects that
   89  increase the availability and sales of fresh and nutritious
   90  food, including fresh vegetables, fruits, meats, and seafood in
   91  low-income and moderate-income communities.
   92         (3)The Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government
   93  Accountability shall conduct an independent study to evaluate
   94  the policy impact of placing healthy food in previously
   95  underserved communities.
   96         (4)This section and ss. 595.431-595.433 are repealed June
   97  30, 2020, unless reviewed and saved from repeal through
   98  reenactment by the Legislature.
   99         Section 2. Section 595.431, Florida Statutes, is created to
  100  read:
  101         595.431Definitions.—As used in ss. 595.430-595.433, the
  102  term:
  103         (1)“Low-income community” means a population census tract,
  104  as reported in the most recent United States Census Bureau
  105  American Community Survey, which meets one of the following
  106  criteria:
  107         (a)The poverty rate is at least 20 percent;
  108         (b)In the case of a low-income community located outside a
  109  metropolitan area, the median family income does not exceed 80
  110  percent of the statewide median family income; or
  111         (c)In the case of a low-income community located within a
  112  metropolitan area, the median family income does not exceed 80
  113  percent of the statewide median family income or 80 percent of
  114  the metropolitan area’s median family income, whichever is
  115  greater.
  116         (2)“Moderate-income community” means a population census
  117  tract, as reported in the most recent United States Census
  118  Bureau American Community Survey, in which the median family
  119  income is between 81 percent and 95 percent of the statewide
  120  median family income or metropolitan area’s median family
  121  income.
  122         (3)“Program” means the Healthy Food Assistance Program
  123  established within the department pursuant to s. 595.430.
  124         (4)“Project administrator” means an entity selected by the
  125  department to manage the program to assist small food retailers
  126  in low-income and moderate-income communities in the state.
  127         (5)“Small food retailer” means a small-scale retail store
  128  of less than 3,000 square feet, such as a corner store,
  129  convenience store, neighborhood store, small grocery store, or
  130  bodega, which sells a limited selection of foods and other
  131  products.
  132         Section 3. Section 595.432, Florida Statutes, is created to
  133  read:
  134         595.432Duties and responsibilities of the department.—
  135         (1)The department shall administer the program and develop
  136  guidelines for the operation of the program. The guidelines may
  137  include procedures for granting appropriated funds to a
  138  qualified project administrator to provide assistance to small
  139  food retailers in urban and rural low-income and moderate-income
  140  communities to increase the sales of fresh produce and other
  141  healthy foods.
  142         (2)In administering the program, the department shall:
  143         (a)Establish program administrator eligibility guidelines,
  144  including, but not limited to, the development of an application
  145  process for project administrators and monitoring and
  146  accountability mechanisms for projects receiving assistance
  147  under the program. At a minimum, a project administrator must be
  148  a not-for-profit entity and have demonstrated experience in
  149  developing and implementing strategies for healthy food retail
  150  in small stores.
  151         (b)Establish criteria for a project administrator to use
  152  in determining which projects to select, including, but not
  153  limited to, consideration of the level of need in the area
  154  proposed to be served by the applicant.
  155         (c)Provide materials to a project administrator that
  156  educate consumers on the benefits of healthy eating and
  157  encourage, when possible, buying Fresh From Florida agricultural
  158  products for distribution.
  159         (d)Electronically submit an annual report to the President
  160  of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives
  161  regarding the program, including, but not limited to, projects
  162  funded, project expenditures, the geographic distribution of
  163  funds, program results, and the program’s impact on any health
  164  related initiatives.
  165         (3)The department’s performance and obligation to pay
  166  under this section is contingent upon an annual appropriation by
  167  the Legislature.
  168         Section 4. Section 595.433, Florida Statutes, is created to
  169  read:
  170         595.433Duties and responsibilities of project
  171  administrators.—
  172         (1)A project administrator shall be responsible for
  173  implementing and operating the program. The project
  174  administrator shall:
  175         (a)Establish and administer an application process for
  176  small food retailers to participate in the program. At a
  177  minimum, in order to receive assistance under the program, a
  178  small food retailer must:
  179         1.Be located in a low-income community or moderate-income
  180  community.
  181         2.Accept, or agree to apply to and accept, Supplemental
  182  Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Special Supplemental
  183  Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
  184  benefits.
  185         (b)Promote program availability throughout the state and
  186  undertake efforts to raise funds from other private and public
  187  sources.
  188         (c)Use up to 10 percent of the funds distributed by the
  189  department for administrative and operational costs associated
  190  with operating the program, if such costs are not covered by
  191  other budgets or in-kind resources.
  192         (d)Collect and provide data and other information
  193  quarterly as required by the department.
  194         (e)Establish defined goals, standards, and accountability
  195  mechanisms for eligible project applicants to ensure that the
  196  expenditure of moneys is consistent with the purpose of the
  197  program.
  198         (f)Develop a plan for eligible project applicants by
  199  describing specific goals for increasing the sales of produce
  200  and other healthy foods and educating consumers on the benefits
  201  of healthy eating, including, but not limited to, mechanisms to:
  202         1.Engage communities to support participating small food
  203  retailers.
  204         2.Seek guidance from state, county, or municipal agencies,
  205  private or public universities, cooperative extension services,
  206  community-based organizations, and community members.
  207         (g)Establish standards to assess whether project goals are
  208  met.
  209         (h)Ensure expenditures are appropriate by monitoring the
  210  activities of small food retailers.
  211         (i)Expend funds for each approved project only for the
  212  following purposes:
  213         1.Refrigeration, display shelving, or other equipment that
  214  small food retailers need, up to a maximum of $7,500 per
  215  retailer.
  216         2.Materials and supplies for nutrition education and
  217  healthy food promotion.
  218         3.Initial purchases of healthy foods, including dairy
  219  products, and fresh produce, up to a maximum of $2,000 per
  220  retailer.
  221         (2)For purposes of this section, a project administrator
  222  is not subject to chapter 287.
  223         Section 5. Section 500.81, Florida Statutes, is repealed.
  224         Section 6. This act shall take effect July 1, 2017.