Florida Senate - 2019 SB 1162 By Senator Gainer 2-01787A-19 20191162__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to the Northwest Florida Rural Inland 3 Affected Counties Recovery Fund; creating s. 288.8055, 4 F.S.; providing legislative intent; providing 5 definitions; creating the Northwest Florida Rural 6 Inland Affected Counties Recovery Fund within the 7 Department of Economic Opportunity; requiring certain 8 payments to be appropriated annually to the fund; 9 prohibiting such payments from diminishing funds 10 transferred to the Triumph Gulf Coast Trust Fund; 11 requiring the department to grant awards to 12 organizations and local governments for specified 13 infrastructure projects and workforce programs; 14 requiring the department to establish an application 15 procedure and prioritize projects and programs that 16 meet certain requirements; requiring the department, 17 in consultation with specified entities, to review and 18 certify applications; exempting certain funds from 19 reversion; providing an effective date. 20 21 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 22 23 Section 1. Section 288.8055, Florida Statutes, is created 24 to read: 25 288.8055 Northwest Florida Rural Inland Affected Counties 26 Recovery Fund.— 27 (1) The Legislature recognizes that as a result of the 28 Deepwater Horizon disaster, the rural inland affected counties 29 of Northwest Florida continue to face extraordinary challenges 30 in significantly improving their economies, specifically in 31 terms of household income, job creation, average wages, and 32 strong tax bases. The Legislature also recognizes that this area 33 is designated as a rural area of opportunity by the Governor 34 pursuant to s. 288.0656. Therefore, the Legislature intends to 35 provide a long-term source of funding for economic recovery and 36 enhancement efforts of the rural inland affected counties. 37 (2) As used in this section, the term: 38 (a) “Fund” means the Northwest Florida Rural Inland 39 Affected Counties Recovery Fund created in this section. 40 (b) “Rural inland affected county” means Calhoun County, 41 Gadsden County, Holmes County, Jackson County, Jefferson County, 42 Liberty County, or Washington County. 43 (c) “Settlement agreement” means the agreement entitled 44 “Settlement Agreement Between the Gulf States and the BP 45 Entities with Respect to Economic and Other Claims Arising from 46 the Deepwater Horizon Incident,” which was entered into on 47 October 5, 2015, in the case styled In re: Oil Spill by the Oil 48 Rig “Deepwater Horizon” in the Gulf of Mexico, on April 20, 49 2010, MDL 2179 in the United States District Court for the 50 Eastern District of Louisiana. 51 (3) The Northwest Florida Rural Inland Affected Counties 52 Recovery Fund is created within the department to facilitate the 53 planning, preparation, and financing of infrastructure projects 54 and workforce programs in rural inland affected counties which 55 will encourage job creation, capital investment, and the 56 strengthening and diversification of the economies of such 57 counties by promoting tourism, trade, and economic development. 58 (4) After the transfer of funds to the Triumph Gulf Coast 59 Trust Fund specified in s. 288.8013, five percent of all 60 payments to the state received pursuant to the settlement 61 agreement after July 1, 2019, shall be appropriated annually by 62 the Legislature to the fund. This subsection shall not diminish 63 the funds transferred to the Triumph Gulf Coast Trust Fund. 64 (5) The department shall grant awards to organizations or 65 local governments within the rural inland affected counties for 66 infrastructure projects and workforce programs that meet the 67 priorities for economic recovery, diversification, and 68 enhancement. Awards may be provided for: 69 (a) Local match requirements of s. 288.0655. 70 (b) Infrastructure planning, design, construction, 71 expansion, or maintenance projects that meet such priorities. 72 (c) Infrastructure feasibility studies, design and 73 engineering activities, or other infrastructure planning and 74 preparation activities necessary to induce the relocation or 75 expansion of specific employment opportunities. 76 (d) Grants to support workforce programs that provide 77 participants in the rural inland affected counties with 78 transferable sustainable workforce skills. 79 (e) Grants to the Florida Tourism Industry Marketing 80 Corporation created under s. 288.1226 for the purpose of 81 advertising and promoting tourism and agricultural or 82 agricultural-based products marketed under the “Fresh From 83 Florida” or “From Florida” logos and for promoting 84 infrastructure projects and workforce programs on behalf of the 85 rural inland affected counties. 86 (f) Grants to regionally based economic development 87 organizations representing the rural inland affected counties 88 for the purpose of building the professional capacity of such 89 organizations and providing technical assistance to businesses 90 served by such organizations. 91 (6) The department shall establish an application procedure 92 for awards and a scoring process for the selection of 93 infrastructure projects and workforce programs that have the 94 potential to generate increased economic activity in the rural 95 inland affected counties, giving priority to such projects and 96 programs that: 97 (a) Generate maximum estimated economic benefits, based on 98 tools and models not generally employed by economic input-output 99 analyses, including cost-benefit, return-on-investment, or 100 dynamic scoring techniques, to determine how the long-term 101 economic growth potential of the rural inland affected counties 102 may be enhanced by the award. 103 (b) Increase household income above the national average in 104 the rural inland affected counties. 105 (c) Leverage or further enhance key assets, including K-20 106 educational institutions, research facilities, and military 107 bases, in the rural inland affected counties. 108 (d) Partner with local governments to provide funds, 109 infrastructure, land, or other assistance to the rural inland 110 affected counties. 111 (e) Benefit the environment and economy of the rural inland 112 affected counties. 113 (f) Provide outcome measures. 114 (g) Partner with K-20 educational institutions or school 115 districts located within the rural inland affected counties. 116 (h) Are recommended by the board of county commissioners of 117 the rural inland affected county in which such project or 118 program will be located. 119 (i) Partner with convention and visitor bureaus, tourist 120 development councils, or chambers of commerce located within the 121 rural inland affected counties. 122 (7) Applications for awards shall be submitted to the 123 department. The department, in consultation with Enterprise 124 Florida, Inc., the Florida Tourism Industry Marketing 125 Corporation, the Department of Environmental Protection, and the 126 Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, as 127 appropriate, shall review and certify applications pursuant to 128 s. 288.061. The review shall include an evaluation of the 129 economic benefit of the infrastructure project or workforce 130 program and its long-term viability. The department shall have 131 final approval of any awards provided pursuant to this section. 132 (8) Notwithstanding s. 216.301, funds appropriated for the 133 purposes of this section are not subject to reversion. 134 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2019.