Florida Senate - 2017                                      SB 60
       By Senator Bean
       4-00011A-17                                             201760__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to children obtaining driver licenses;
    3         amending s. 39.4091, F.S.; conforming a provision to
    4         changes made by the act; transferring, renumbering,
    5         and amending s. 409.1454, F.S.; revising legislative
    6         findings; revising a pilot program to make it
    7         permanent; revising the applicability of the program
    8         to children in out-of-home care; authorizing the
    9         program to pay for a child to complete a driver
   10         education program and obtain a driver license or the
   11         related costs of licensure under certain
   12         circumstances; revising the duties of the Department
   13         of Children and Families under the program; deleting
   14         the requirement for an annual report by the department
   15         to the Governor and the Legislature; amending s.
   16         39.6035, F.S.; revising a child’s transition plan to
   17         include options to use in obtaining a driver license
   18         under certain circumstances; amending s. 39.701, F.S.;
   19         revising a required determination made by the court
   20         and a citizen review panel; requiring the department
   21         to include specified information in the social study
   22         report for judicial review under certain
   23         circumstances; amending s. 322.09, F.S.; providing
   24         that a guardian ad litem authorized by a minor’s
   25         caregiver to sign for the minor’s learner’s driver
   26         license does not assume any obligation or liability
   27         for damages; making technical changes; reenacting s.
   28         409.1451(5)(a), F.S., to incorporate the amendment
   29         made to s. 39.6035, F.S., in a reference thereto;
   30         reenacting ss. 322.05(3) and 322.56(8)(a), F.S., to
   31         incorporate the amendment made to s. 322.09, F.S., in
   32         references thereto; providing an effective date.
   34  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   36         Section 1. Present subsection (4) of section 39.4091,
   37  Florida Statutes, is redesignated as subsection (5), and section
   38  409.1454, Florida Statutes, is transferred, renumbered as a new
   39  subsection (4) of section 39.4091, Florida Statutes, and
   40  amended, to read:
   41         39.4091 Participation in childhood activities.—
   44         (a)(1) The Legislature finds that the costs of driver
   45  education, licensure and costs incidental to licensure, and
   46  motor vehicle insurance for a child in licensed out-of-home care
   47  after such child obtains a driver license create creates an
   48  additional barrier to engaging in normal age-appropriate
   49  activities and gaining independence and may limit opportunities
   50  for obtaining employment and completing educational goals. The
   51  Legislature also finds that the completion of an approved driver
   52  education course is necessary to develop safe driving skills.
   53         (b)(2) To the extent that funding is available, the
   54  department shall establish a 3-year pilot program to pay the
   55  cost of driver education, licensure and other costs incidental
   56  to licensure, and motor vehicle insurance for children in
   57  licensed out-of-home care who have successfully completed a
   58  driver education program.
   59         (c)(3) If a caregiver, or an individual or not-for-profit
   60  entity approved by the caregiver, adds a child to his or her
   61  existing insurance policy, the amount paid to the caregiver or
   62  approved purchaser may not exceed the increase in cost
   63  attributable to the addition of the child to the policy.
   64         (d)(4) Payment shall be made to eligible recipients in the
   65  order of eligibility until available funds are exhausted. If a
   66  child determined to be eligible reaches permanency status or
   67  turns 18 years of age, the program may pay for that child to
   68  complete a driver education program and obtain a driver license
   69  for up to 6 months after the date the child reaches permanency
   70  status or 6 months after the date the child turns 18 years of
   71  age. A child continuing in care under s. 39.6251 may be eligible
   72  to have the costs of licensure and costs incidental to licensure
   73  paid if the child demonstrates such costs are creating barriers
   74  for obtaining employment or completing educational goals.
   75         (e)(5) The department shall contract with a not-for-profit
   76  entity whose mission is to support youth aging out of foster
   77  care to develop procedures for operating and administering the
   78  pilot program, including, but not limited to:
   79         1.(a) Determining eligibility, including responsibilities
   80  for the child and caregivers.
   81         2.(b) Developing application and payment forms.
   82         3.(c) Notifying eligible children, caregivers, group homes,
   83  and residential programs of the pilot program.
   84         4.(d) Providing technical assistance to lead agencies,
   85  providers, group homes, and residential programs to support
   86  removing obstacles that prevent children in foster care from
   87  driving.
   88         5. Publicizing the program, engaging in outreach, and
   89  providing incentives to youth participating in the program to
   90  encourage the greatest number of eligible children to obtain
   91  driver licenses.
   92         (6) By July 1, 2015, and annually thereafter for the
   93  duration of the pilot program, the department shall submit a
   94  report to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the
   95  Speaker of the House of Representatives evaluating the success
   96  of and outcomes achieved by the pilot program. The report shall
   97  include a recommendation as to whether the pilot program should
   98  be continued, terminated, or expanded.
   99         Section 2. Subsection (1) of section 39.6035, Florida
  100  Statutes, is amended to read:
  101         39.6035 Transition plan.—
  102         (1) During the 180-day period after a child reaches 17
  103  years of age, the department and the community-based care
  104  provider, in collaboration with the caregiver and any other
  105  individual whom the child would like to include, shall assist
  106  the child in developing a transition plan. The required
  107  transition plan is in addition to standard case management
  108  requirements. The transition plan must address specific options
  109  for the child to use in obtaining services, including housing,
  110  health insurance, education, a driver license, and workforce
  111  support and employment services. The plan must also consider
  112  establishing and maintaining naturally occurring mentoring
  113  relationships and other personal support services. The
  114  transition plan may be as detailed as the child chooses. In
  115  developing the transition plan, the department and the
  116  community-based provider shall:
  117         (a) Provide the child with the documentation required
  118  pursuant to s. 39.701(3); and
  119         (b) Coordinate the transition plan with the independent
  120  living provisions in the case plan and, for a child with
  121  disabilities, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
  122  transition plan.
  123         Section 3. Paragraph (c) of subsection (2) and paragraph
  124  (a) of subsection (3) of section 39.701, Florida Statutes, are
  125  amended to read:
  126         39.701 Judicial review.—
  128  AGE.—
  129         (c) Review determinations.—The court and any citizen review
  130  panel shall take into consideration the information contained in
  131  the social services study and investigation and all medical,
  132  psychological, and educational records that support the terms of
  133  the case plan; testimony by the social services agency, the
  134  parent, the foster parent or legal custodian, the guardian ad
  135  litem or surrogate parent for educational decisionmaking if one
  136  has been appointed for the child, and any other person deemed
  137  appropriate; and any relevant and material evidence submitted to
  138  the court, including written and oral reports to the extent of
  139  their probative value. These reports and evidence may be
  140  received by the court in its effort to determine the action to
  141  be taken with regard to the child and may be relied upon to the
  142  extent of their probative value, even though not competent in an
  143  adjudicatory hearing. In its deliberations, the court and any
  144  citizen review panel shall seek to determine:
  145         1. If the parent was advised of the right to receive
  146  assistance from any person or social service agency in the
  147  preparation of the case plan.
  148         2. If the parent has been advised of the right to have
  149  counsel present at the judicial review or citizen review
  150  hearings. If not so advised, the court or citizen review panel
  151  shall advise the parent of such right.
  152         3. If a guardian ad litem needs to be appointed for the
  153  child in a case in which a guardian ad litem has not previously
  154  been appointed or if there is a need to continue a guardian ad
  155  litem in a case in which a guardian ad litem has been appointed.
  156         4. Who holds the rights to make educational decisions for
  157  the child. If appropriate, the court may refer the child to the
  158  district school superintendent for appointment of a surrogate
  159  parent or may itself appoint a surrogate parent under the
  160  Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and s. 39.0016.
  161         5. The compliance or lack of compliance of all parties with
  162  applicable items of the case plan, including the parents’
  163  compliance with child support orders.
  164         6. The compliance or lack of compliance with a visitation
  165  contract between the parent and the social service agency for
  166  contact with the child, including the frequency, duration, and
  167  results of the parent-child visitation and the reason for any
  168  noncompliance.
  169         7. The frequency, kind, and duration of contacts among
  170  siblings who have been separated during placement, as well as
  171  any efforts undertaken to reunite separated siblings if doing so
  172  is in the best interest of the child.
  173         8. The compliance or lack of compliance of the parent in
  174  meeting specified financial obligations pertaining to the care
  175  of the child, including the reason for failure to comply, if
  176  applicable.
  177         9. Whether the child is receiving safe and proper care
  178  according to s. 39.6012, including, but not limited to, the
  179  appropriateness of the child’s current placement, including
  180  whether the child is in a setting that is as family-like and as
  181  close to the parent’s home as possible, consistent with the
  182  child’s best interests and special needs, and including
  183  maintaining stability in the child’s educational placement, as
  184  documented by assurances from the community-based care provider
  185  that:
  186         a. The placement of the child takes into account the
  187  appropriateness of the current educational setting and the
  188  proximity to the school in which the child is enrolled at the
  189  time of placement.
  190         b. The community-based care agency has coordinated with
  191  appropriate local educational agencies to ensure that the child
  192  remains in the school in which the child is enrolled at the time
  193  of placement.
  194         10. A projected date likely for the child’s return home or
  195  other permanent placement.
  196         11. When appropriate, the basis for the unwillingness or
  197  inability of the parent to become a party to a case plan. The
  198  court and the citizen review panel shall determine if the
  199  efforts of the social service agency to secure party
  200  participation in a case plan were sufficient.
  201         12. For a child who has reached 13 years of age but is not
  202  yet 18 years of age, the adequacy of the child’s preparation for
  203  adulthood and independent living. For a child who is 15 years of
  204  age or older, the court shall determine if appropriate steps are
  205  being taken for the child to obtain a driver license or
  206  learner’s driver license.
  207         13. If amendments to the case plan are required. Amendments
  208  to the case plan must be made under s. 39.6013.
  210         (a) In addition to the review and report required under
  211  paragraphs (1)(a) and (2)(a), respectively, the court shall hold
  212  a judicial review hearing within 90 days after a child’s 17th
  213  birthday. The court shall also issue an order, separate from the
  214  order on judicial review, that the disability of nonage of the
  215  child has been removed pursuant to ss. 743.044, 743.045,
  216  743.046, and 743.047, and for any of these disabilities that the
  217  court finds is in the child’s best interest to remove. The court
  218  shall continue to hold timely judicial review hearings. If
  219  necessary, the court may review the status of the child more
  220  frequently during the year before the child’s 18th birthday. At
  221  each review hearing held under this subsection, in addition to
  222  any information or report provided to the court by the foster
  223  parent, legal custodian, or guardian ad litem, the child shall
  224  be given the opportunity to address the court with any
  225  information relevant to the child’s best interest, particularly
  226  in relation to independent living transition services. The
  227  department shall include in the social study report for judicial
  228  review written verification that the child has:
  229         1. A current Medicaid card and all necessary information
  230  concerning the Medicaid program sufficient to prepare the child
  231  to apply for coverage upon reaching the age of 18, if such
  232  application is appropriate.
  233         2. A certified copy of the child’s birth certificate and,
  234  if the child does not have a valid driver license, a Florida
  235  identification card issued under s. 322.051.
  236         3. A social security card and information relating to
  237  social security insurance benefits if the child is eligible for
  238  those benefits. If the child has received such benefits and they
  239  are being held in trust for the child, a full accounting of
  240  these funds must be provided and the child must be informed as
  241  to how to access those funds.
  242         4. All relevant information related to the Road-to
  243  Independence Program, including, but not limited to, eligibility
  244  requirements, information on participation, and assistance in
  245  gaining admission to the program. If the child is eligible for
  246  the Road-to-Independence Program, he or she must be advised that
  247  he or she may continue to reside with the licensed family home
  248  or group care provider with whom the child was residing at the
  249  time the child attained his or her 18th birthday, in another
  250  licensed family home, or with a group care provider arranged by
  251  the department.
  252         5. An open bank account or the identification necessary to
  253  open a bank account and to acquire essential banking and
  254  budgeting skills.
  255         6. Information on public assistance and how to apply for
  256  public assistance.
  257         7. A clear understanding of where he or she will be living
  258  on his or her 18th birthday, how living expenses will be paid,
  259  and the educational program or school in which he or she will be
  260  enrolled.
  261         8. Information related to the ability of the child to
  262  remain in care until he or she reaches 21 years of age under s.
  263  39.013.
  264         9. A letter providing the dates that the child is under the
  265  jurisdiction of the court.
  266         10. A letter stating that the child is in compliance with
  267  financial aid documentation requirements.
  268         11. The child’s educational records.
  269         12. The child’s entire health and mental health records.
  270         13. The process for accessing his or her case file.
  271         14. A statement encouraging the child to attend all
  272  judicial review hearings occurring after the child’s 17th
  273  birthday.
  274         15. Information on how to obtain a driver license or
  275  learner’s driver license.
  276         Section 4. Subsection (4) of section 322.09, Florida
  277  Statutes, is amended to read:
  278         322.09 Application of minors; responsibility for negligence
  279  or misconduct of minor.—
  280         (4) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (1) and
  281  (2), if a foster parent of a minor who is under the age of 18
  282  years and is in foster care as defined in s. 39.01, an
  283  authorized representative of a residential group home at which
  284  such a minor resides, or the caseworker at the agency at which
  285  the state has placed the minor, or a guardian ad litem
  286  specifically authorized by the minor’s caregiver to sign for a
  287  learner’s driver license signs the minor’s application for a
  288  learner’s driver license, that foster parent, group home
  289  representative, or caseworker, or guardian ad litem does not
  290  assume any obligation or become liable for any damages caused by
  291  the negligence or willful misconduct of the minor by reason of
  292  having signed the application. Before Prior to signing the
  293  application, the caseworker shall notify the foster parent or
  294  other responsible party of his or her intent to sign and verify
  295  the application.
  296         Section 5. For the purpose of incorporating the amendment
  297  made by this act to section 39.6035, Florida Statutes, in a
  298  reference thereto, paragraph (a) of subsection (5) of section
  299  409.1451, Florida Statutes, is reenacted to read:
  300         409.1451 The Road-to-Independence Program.—
  301         (5) PORTABILITY.—The services provided under this section
  302  are portable across county lines and between lead agencies.
  303         (a) The service needs that are identified in the original
  304  or updated transition plan, pursuant to s. 39.6035, shall be
  305  provided by the lead agency where the young adult is currently
  306  residing but shall be funded by the lead agency who initiated
  307  the transition plan.
  308         Section 6. For the purpose of incorporating the amendment
  309  made by this act to section 322.09, Florida Statutes, in a
  310  reference thereto, subsection (3) of section 322.05, Florida
  311  Statutes, is reenacted to read:
  312         322.05 Persons not to be licensed.—The department may not
  313  issue a license:
  314         (3) To a person who is at least 16 years of age but who is
  315  under 18 years of age, unless the parent, guardian, or other
  316  responsible adult meeting the requirements of s. 322.09
  317  certifies that he or she, or another licensed driver 21 years of
  318  age or older, has accompanied the applicant for a total of not
  319  less than 50 hours’ behind-the-wheel experience, of which not
  320  less than 10 hours must be at night. This subsection is not
  321  intended to create a private cause of action as a result of the
  322  certification. The certification is inadmissible for any purpose
  323  in any civil proceeding.
  324         Section 7. For the purpose of incorporating the amendment
  325  made by this act to section 322.09, Florida Statutes, in a
  326  reference thereto, paragraph (a) of subsection (8) of section
  327  322.56, Florida Statutes, is reenacted to read:
  328         322.56 Contracts for administration of driver license
  329  examination.—
  330         (8) The department shall contract with providers of
  331  approved online traffic law and substance abuse education
  332  courses to serve as third-party providers to conduct online, on
  333  behalf of the department, examinations required pursuant to ss.
  334  322.12 and 322.1615 to applicants for Class E learner’s driver
  335  licenses.
  336         (a) The online testing program shall:
  337         1. Use personal questions before the examination, which the
  338  applicant is required to answer during the examination, to
  339  strengthen test security to deter fraud;
  340         2. Require, before the start of the examination, the
  341  applicant’s parent, guardian, or other responsible adult who
  342  meets the requirements of s. 322.09 to provide the third-party
  343  administrator with his or her driver license number and to
  344  certify that the parent, guardian, or responsible adult will
  345  monitor the applicant during the examination; and
  346         3. Require, before issuance by the department of a
  347  learner’s driver license to an applicant who has passed an
  348  online examination, the applicant’s parent, guardian, or other
  349  responsible adult who meets the requirements of s. 322.09 to
  350  certify to the department that he or she monitored the applicant
  351  during the online examination. This certification shall be
  352  similar to the certification required by s. 322.05(3). This
  353  subsection does not preclude the department from continuing to
  354  provide written examinations at driver license facilities.
  355         Section 8. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.