Florida Senate - 2020 CS for SB 136
By the Committee on Appropriations; and Senators Bean, Harrell,
1 A bill to be entitled
2 An act relating to adoption benefits; amending s.
3 409.1664, F.S.; revising the definition of the term
4 “qualifying adoptive employee” and providing for
5 retroactive application; defining the terms
6 “servicemember” and “veteran”; providing that adoptive
7 servicemembers and veterans are eligible to receive
8 certain monetary benefits; specifying eligibility
9 criteria; requiring servicemembers and veterans
10 seeking a benefit to apply to the Department of
11 Children and Families; revising construction;
12 providing for applicability of certain department
13 rules to servicemembers and veterans; requiring
14 servicemembers and veterans seeking a benefit to be
15 registered as a vendor with the state; providing an
16 effective date.
18 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
20 Section 1. Section 409.1664, Florida Statutes, is amended
21 to read:
22 409.1664 Adoption benefits for qualifying adoptive
23 employees of state agencies, veterans, and servicemembers.—
24 (1) As used in this section, the term:
25 (a) “Child within the child welfare system” has the same
26 meaning as provided in s. 409.166.
27 (b) “Qualifying adoptive employee” means a full-time or
28 part-time employee of a state agency, a charter school
29 established under s. 1002.33, or the Florida Virtual School
30 established under s. 1002.37, who is not an independent
paid from regular salary appropriations, or otherwise
32 meets his or her employer’s definition of a regular rather than
33 temporary employee , and who adopts a child within the child
34 welfare system pursuant to chapter 63 on or after July 1, 2015.
35 The term includes instructional personnel, as defined in s.
36 1012.01, who are employed by the Florida School for the Deaf and
37 the Blind, and includes other-personal-services employees who
38 have been continuously employed full time or part time by a
39 state agency for at least 1 year.
40 (c) “Servicemember” has the same meaning as in s.
42 (d) “State agency” means a branch, department, or agency of
43 state government for which the Chief Financial Officer processes
44 payroll requisitions, a state university or Florida College
45 System institution as defined in s. 1000.21, a school district
46 unit as defined in s. 1001.30, or a water management district as
47 defined in s. 373.019.
48 (e) “Veteran” has the same meaning as in s. 1.01(14).
49 (2) A qualifying adoptive employee, veteran, or
50 servicemember who adopts a child within the child welfare system
51 who has special needs described in s. 409.166(2)(a)2. is
52 eligible to receive a lump-sum monetary benefit in the amount of
53 $10,000 per such child, subject to applicable taxes. A
54 qualifying adoptive employee, veteran, or servicemember who
55 adopts a child within the child welfare system who does not have
56 special needs described in s. 409.166(2)(a)2. is eligible to
57 receive a lump-sum monetary benefit in the amount of $5,000 per
58 such child, subject to applicable taxes. A qualifying adoptive
59 employee of a charter school or the Florida Virtual School may
60 retroactively apply for the monetary benefit provided in this
61 subsection if such employee was employed by a charter school or
62 the Florida Virtual School when he or she adopted a child within
63 the child welfare system pursuant to chapter 63 on or after July
64 1, 2015. A veteran or servicemember may apply for the monetary
65 benefit provided in this subsection if he or she is domiciled in
66 this state and adopts a child within the child welfare system
67 pursuant to chapter 63 on or after July 1, 2020.
68 (a) Benefits paid to a qualifying adoptive employee who is
69 a part-time employee must be prorated based on the qualifying
70 adoptive employee’s full-time equivalency at the time of
71 applying for the benefits.
72 (b) Monetary benefits awarded under this subsection are
73 limited to one award per adopted child within the child welfare
75 (c) The payment of a lump-sum monetary benefit for adopting
76 a child within the child welfare system under this section is
77 subject to a specific appropriation to the department for such
79 (3) A qualifying adoptive employee must apply to his or her
80 agency head, or to his or her school director in the case of a
81 qualifying adoptive employee of a charter school or the Florida
82 Virtual School, to obtain the monetary benefit provided in
83 subsection (2). A veteran or servicemember must apply to the
84 department to obtain the benefit. Applications must be on forms
85 approved by the department and must include a certified copy of
86 the final order of adoption naming the applicant as the adoptive
87 parent. Monetary benefits shall be approved on a first-come,
88 first-served basis based upon the date that each fully completed
89 application is received by the department.
90 (4) This section does not preclude a qualifying adoptive
91 employee, veteran, or servicemember from receiving adoption
92 assistance for which he or she may qualify under s. 409.166 or
93 any other statute that provides financial incentives for the
94 adoption of children.
95 (5) Parental leave for a qualifying adoptive employee must
96 be provided in accordance with the personnel policies and
97 procedures of his or her employer.
98 (6) The department may adopt rules to administer this
99 section. The rules may provide for an application process such
100 as, but not limited to, an open enrollment period during which
101 qualifying adoptive employees, veterans, or servicemembers may
102 apply for monetary benefits under this section.
103 (7) The Chief Financial Officer shall disburse a monetary
104 benefit to a qualifying adoptive employee upon the department’s
105 submission of a payroll requisition. The Chief Financial Officer
106 shall transfer funds from the department to a state university,
107 a Florida College System institution, a school district unit, a
108 charter school, the Florida Virtual School, or a water
109 management district, as appropriate, to enable payment to the
110 qualifying adoptive employee through the payroll systems as long
111 as funds are available for such purpose.
112 (8) To receive an approved monetary benefit under this
113 section, a veteran or servicemember must be registered as a
114 vendor with the state.
115 (9) Each state agency shall develop a uniform procedure for
116 informing employees about this benefit and for assisting the
117 department in making eligibility determinations and processing
118 applications. Any procedure adopted by a state agency is valid
119 and enforceable if the procedure does not conflict with the
120 express terms of this section.
121 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2020.