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