Florida Senate - 2019                                     SB 112
       By Senator Rodriguez
       37-00201A-19                                           2019112__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to the Small Business Road
    3         Construction Mitigation Grant Program; creating s.
    4         339.28154, F.S.; providing legislative findings;
    5         requiring the Department of Transportation to create a
    6         Small Business Road Construction Mitigation Grant
    7         Program; defining the terms “construction mitigation
    8         zone” and “qualified business”; requiring the
    9         department to disburse grants to qualified businesses
   10         for the purpose of maintaining the businesses during a
   11         road construction project; limiting the amount of each
   12         grant; providing application and eligibility
   13         requirements; requiring the Department of Economic
   14         Opportunity to provide assistance under certain
   15         circumstances; providing for prioritization of awards;
   16         providing that any grant awarded offsets certain civil
   17         damages against the Department of Transportation;
   18         requiring the Department of Transportation to submit a
   19         certain report to the Legislature and initiate
   20         rulemaking by specified dates; providing an effective
   21         date.
   23  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   25         Section 1. Section 339.28154, Florida Statutes, is created
   26  to read:
   27         339.28154Small Business Road Construction Mitigation Grant
   28  Program.—
   29         (1)The Legislature finds that it is in the best interest
   30  of the state to support small businesses that are negatively
   31  impacted by state road construction projects and to mitigate the
   32  negative impacts of such construction on those businesses. While
   33  the benefit of road construction and development by the state
   34  ultimately promotes small business growth, in the short term,
   35  small businesses may experience decreased revenue that may
   36  decrease economic activity, state revenue, and employment.
   37         (2)The department shall create, subject to legislative
   38  appropriation, a Small Business Road Construction Mitigation
   39  Grant Program to provide financial support for qualified
   40  businesses that are impacted by state road construction
   41  projects.
   42         (3)As used in this section, the term:
   43         (a)“Construction mitigation zone” means a geographic area
   44  with a high concentration of qualified businesses which is
   45  designated by the department as being impacted by a department
   46  road construction project.
   47         (b)“Qualified business” means an entity located in a
   48  construction mitigation zone which is engaged in a for-profit
   49  business enterprise and employs up to 40 full-time or part-time
   50  employees.
   51         (4)(a)The department shall disburse grants to qualified
   52  businesses for the purpose of maintaining the businesses during
   53  a road construction project.
   54         (b)The grant to each qualified business may not exceed the
   55  decline in revenue demonstrated by the business or $15,000 per
   56  calendar year, whichever is less.
   57         (c)A qualified business may apply to the department for a
   58  grant only for a construction project lasting 90 days or more.
   59  To be eligible for a grant, the qualified business must
   60  demonstrate in its application a significant decline in revenue,
   61  including timelines connecting the project to such decline in
   62  revenue, in a format and manner prescribed by the department.
   63  The Department of Economic Opportunity shall, upon request and
   64  at no cost to the applicant, assist an applicant in preparing
   65  documentation to demonstrate such decline.
   66         (5)The department shall prioritize the awarding of each
   67  grant on a case-by-case basis using all of the following
   68  criteria:
   69         (a)Rate of decline in revenue.
   70         (b)Duration of construction.
   71         (c)Proximity to construction.
   72         (d)Severity of traffic disruption during construction.
   73         (e)Lack of access to parking during construction.
   74         (f)Lack of access for pedestrian traffic during
   75  construction.
   76         (g)Any other criteria the department determines to be
   77  relevant.
   78         (6)If damages are awarded to a qualified business in a
   79  civil action against the department relating to a road
   80  construction project, any grant received must be applied to
   81  offset those damages.
   82         (7)On or before January 31, 2020, the department shall
   83  submit a report to the President of the Senate and the Speaker
   84  of the House of Representatives detailing best practices and
   85  methods to reduce the negative impacts of state road
   86  construction projects on qualified businesses, including a list
   87  of recommendations.
   88         (8)By August 31, 2019, the department shall initiate
   89  rulemaking to implement this section.
   90         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2019.