Florida Senate - 2021 SB 2010 By Senator Diaz 36-01358-21 20212010__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to foreign influence; creating s. 3 286.101, F.S.; providing definitions; requiring any 4 state agency or political subdivision to disclose 5 certain gifts or grants received from any foreign 6 source to the Department of Financial Services within 7 a specified timeframe; providing an exception; 8 requiring any entity that applies for a certain grant 9 or proposes a certain contract to disclose to a state 10 agency or political subdivision any current or prior 11 interest of, contract with, or grant or gift received 12 from a foreign country of concern under certain 13 circumstances; requiring such entity to provide a copy 14 of such disclosure to the department within a 15 specified timeframe before applying for any grant or 16 proposing any contract; requiring such entity to 17 revise its disclosure within a specified timeframe 18 under certain circumstances; requiring the Department 19 of Management Services to screen certain vendors 20 periodically; requiring certain notification on the 21 online procurement system; requiring the Department of 22 Financial Services to establish and maintain an 23 Internet website to publish the disclosures; 24 authorizing the department to establish an online 25 system for making such disclosures; authorizing the 26 Department of Management Services to coordinate with 27 the Department of Financial Services to establish such 28 online system; requiring the Department of Financial 29 Services to investigate allegations of certain 30 violations under certain circumstances; authorizing 31 the department or specified persons to request certain 32 records; providing for the assessment of fines and 33 penalties under certain circumstances; requiring the 34 department to include and maintain a list of 35 ineligible entities on a certain Internet website; 36 providing that information and records relating to a 37 gift or grant from a foreign source are not 38 confidential or exempt from public records 39 requirements; authorizing rulemaking; creating s. 40 288.860, F.S.; providing definitions; prohibiting 41 certain agencies and entities from participating in 42 agreements with or accepting grants received from 43 foreign countries of concern under certain 44 circumstances; prohibiting such agencies and entities 45 from accepting anything of value as a condition for 46 participation in certain programs or endeavors that 47 promote the language or culture of foreign countries 48 of concern; creating s. 1010.25, F.S.; providing 49 definitions; requiring institutions of higher 50 education to semiannually report to certain entities 51 regarding certain gifts they received directly or 52 indirectly from a foreign source; requiring such 53 institutions to provide certain information regarding 54 such gifts; requiring random inspections or audits of 55 gifts or gift agreements by certain inspectors 56 general; providing requirements for such inspections 57 or audits; requiring the Board of Governors or State 58 Board of Education, as applicable, to sanction 59 institutions that fail to report certain gifts within 60 a specified timeframe; providing for a civil penalty 61 for willful violations; requiring that the proceeds 62 from such penalty be deposited in a specified trust 63 fund; authorizing the Attorney General or Chief 64 Financial Officer to bring a civil action under 65 certain circumstances; providing for attorney fees and 66 costs; providing that information and records relating 67 to a gift from a foreign source are not confidential 68 or exempt from public records requirements; 69 authorizing the Board of Governors and State Board of 70 Education to adopt regulations and rules, 71 respectively; creating s. 1010.35, F.S.; requiring 72 certain state universities and other entities to 73 screen certain foreign applicants before employing 74 such applicants for research or research-related 75 support positions; requiring such applicants to 76 provide additional specified information as part of 77 the application process; requiring the president or 78 chief administrative officer of the state university 79 or entity to designate a research integrity office to 80 verify certain information contained in such 81 applications, search certain public databases, and 82 submit certain information to specified federal 83 agencies; prohibiting the employment of an applicant 84 who fails to make certain disclosures; providing an 85 exception; requiring certain records to be maintained 86 by the research integrity office; requiring such 87 office to report the identity of any applicant who was 88 rejected for employment to certain law enforcement 89 agencies; requiring certain inspectors general or the 90 Auditor General to perform an operational audit by a 91 specified date; creating s. 1010.36, F.S.; requiring 92 certain state universities and other entities to 93 establish an international travel approval and 94 monitoring program; providing requirements for such 95 program; providing requirements for preapproval and 96 screening for foreign travel and foreign employment 97 related activities engaged in by faculty, researchers, 98 and research department staff; requiring state 99 universities and entities to maintain certain records 100 relating to foreign travel and activities for at least 101 10 years; requiring a state university or entity to 102 provide a certain annual report to the Board of 103 Governors or the governing board of the applicable 104 entity and publish such report on its Internet 105 website; requiring the Auditor General to perform, by 106 a specified date, an audit of the institution to 107 ensure compliance as part of the institution’s next 108 scheduled operational audit; providing an effective 109 date. 110 111 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 112 113 Section 1. Section 286.101, Florida Statutes, is created to 114 read: 115 286.101 Foreign gifts and contracts.— 116 (1) As used in this section, the term: 117 (a) “Contract” means any agreement for the direct benefit 118 or use of any party to such agreement, including an agreement 119 for the sale of commodities or services. 120 (b) “Foreign country of concern” means the People’s 121 Republic of China, the Russian Federation, the Islamic Republic 122 of Iran, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Republic 123 of Cuba, the Venezuelan regime of Nicolas Maduro, or the Syrian 124 Arab Republic, including any agency of or any other entity under 125 significant control of such foreign country of concern. 126 (c) “Foreign government” means the government of any 127 country, nation, or group of nations, or any province or other 128 political subdivision of any country or nation, other than the 129 government of the United States or the government of a state or 130 political subdivision, including any agent of such foreign 131 government. 132 (d) “Foreign source” means any of the following: 133 1. A foreign government or an agency of a foreign 134 government. 135 2. A legal entity, governmental or otherwise, created 136 solely under the laws of a foreign state or states. 137 3. An individual who is not a citizen or a national of the 138 United States or a territory or protectorate of the United 139 States. 140 4. An agent, including a subsidiary or an affiliate of a 141 foreign legal entity, acting on behalf of a foreign source. 142 (e) “Gift” means any gift of money or property. 143 (f) “Grant” means a transfer of money for a specified 144 purpose, including a conditional gift. 145 (g) “Interest” in an entity means any direct or indirect 146 investment in or loan to the entity valued at 5 percent or more 147 of the entity’s net worth or any form of direct or indirect 148 control exerting similar or greater influence on the governance 149 of the entity. 150 (h) “State agency” means any agency or unit of state 151 government created or established by law. 152 (2) Any state agency or political subdivision that receives 153 any gift or grant with a value of $50,000 or more from any 154 foreign source shall disclose such gift or grant to the 155 Department of Financial Services within 30 days after receiving 156 such gift or grant. Disclosure is not required if such gift or 157 grant is disclosed under s. 1010.25. 158 (3)(a) Any entity, other than a state agency or political 159 subdivision, that applies to a state agency or political 160 subdivision for a grant or proposes a contract having a value of 161 $100,000 or more, except for a proposal to sell commodities or 162 services through the online procurement program established 163 pursuant to s. 287.057(22), shall disclose to the state agency 164 or political subdivision any current or prior interest of, any 165 contract with, or any grant or gift received from a foreign 166 country of concern if such interest, contract, or grant or gift 167 has a value of $50,000 or more and such interest existed at any 168 time or such contract or grant or gift was received or in force 169 at any time during the previous 5 years. Within 1 year before 170 applying for any grant or proposing any contract, such entity 171 must provide a copy of such disclosure to the Department of 172 Financial Services. 173 (b) From the time a disclosure is made under paragraph (a) 174 through the term of any awarded state grant or contract, the 175 entity must revise its disclosure within 30 days after entering 176 into a contract with or receiving a grant or gift from a foreign 177 country of concern or within 30 days after the acquisition of 178 any interest in the entity by a foreign country of concern. 179 (4) At least once every 5 years, the Department of 180 Management Services shall screen each vendor of commodities or 181 services participating in the online procurement system if such 182 vendor has the capacity to fill an order of $100,000 or more. 183 Screening must be conducted through federal agencies responsible 184 for identifying persons and organizations subject to trade 185 sanctions, embargoes, or other restrictions under federal law. 186 If a vendor is identified as being subject to any such 187 sanctions, embargoes, or other restrictions, the vendor must 188 make the disclosures required under subsection (3) until such 189 restriction expires. A notification regarding the applicability 190 of the disclosure requirement in subsection (3) to the vendor 191 must be included on the online procurement system when 192 applicable. The Department of Management Services must ensure 193 that the disclosures made by vendors using the online 194 procurement system are easily accessible by the system’s 195 participants. 196 (5) The Department of Financial Services must establish and 197 maintain an Internet website to publish the disclosures required 198 under this section. The Department of Financial Services may 199 establish an online system for making such disclosures. The 200 Department of Management Services may coordinate with the 201 Department of Financial Services to establish the online system. 202 (6)(a) Upon receiving a referral from an inspector general 203 or other compliance officer of a state agency or political 204 subdivision or any sworn complaint based upon substantive 205 information and reasonable belief, the Department of Financial 206 Services must investigate an allegation of a violation of this 207 section. 208 (b) The Department of Financial Services, an inspector 209 general, or any other agent or compliance officer authorized by 210 a state agency or political subdivision may request records 211 relevant to any reasonable suspicion of a violation of this 212 section. Such entity must provide the required records within 30 213 days after such request or at a later time agreed to by the 214 investigating state agency or political subdivision. 215 (7)(a) Failure to make a disclosure required under this 216 section or failure to provide records requested under paragraph 217 (6)(b) constitutes a civil violation punishable upon a final 218 order of the Department of Financial Services by an 219 administrative fine of $5,000 for a first violation or $10,000 220 for any subsequent violation. 221 (b) In addition to any fine assessed under paragraph (a), a 222 final order determining a third or subsequent violation by a 223 state agency or political subdivision must include a 224 determination of the identity of the officer responsible for 225 acceptance of the undisclosed grant or gift. Such order must 226 also include a referral by the Department of Financial Services 227 to the Governor or other officer authorized to suspend or remove 228 the officer responsible for acceptance of the undisclosed grant 229 or gift from public office. A copy of such referral must be 230 provided to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the 231 House of Representatives for oversight of such suspension and 232 removal authority. 233 (c) In addition to any fine assessed under paragraph (a), a 234 final order determining a third or subsequent violation by an 235 entity other than a state agency or political subdivision shall 236 automatically disqualify the entity from eligibility for any 237 grant or contract funded by a state agency or any political 238 subdivision until such ineligibility is lifted by the 239 Administration Commission for good cause. The Department of 240 Financial Services shall include and maintain an active and 241 current list of such ineligible entities on the Internet website 242 maintained under subsection (5). 243 (8) Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, 244 information and records relating to a gift or grant from a 245 foreign source are not confidential or exempt from s. 119.07(1) 246 and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. 247 (9)(a) The Department of Management Services may adopt 248 rules necessary to carry out its responsibilities under this 249 section. The rules may identify the federal agencies to be 250 consulted under subsection (4) and the procedure for notifying a 251 vendor of the disclosure requirements under this section when 252 applicable. The Department of Management Services may also adopt 253 rules providing for the application of this section to the 254 online procurement system. 255 (b) The Department of Financial Services may adopt rules 256 necessary to carry out its responsibilities under this section. 257 (c) Any rules necessary to implement this section must be 258 published by December 1, 2021, unless the applicable department 259 head certifies in writing that a delay is necessary and the date 260 by which the proposed rules will be published. Such 261 certification must be published in the Florida Administrative 262 Register and a copy provided to the Joint Administrative 263 Procedures Committee. 264 Section 2. Section 288.860, Florida Statutes, is created to 265 read: 266 288.860 International cultural agreements.— 267 (1) As used in this section, the term: 268 (a) “Foreign country of concern” means the People’s 269 Republic of China, the Russian Federation, the Islamic Republic 270 of Iran, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Republic 271 of Cuba, the Venezuelan regime of Nicolas Maduro, or the Syrian 272 Arab Republic, including any agency of or any other entity under 273 significant control of such foreign country of concern. 274 (b) “Political subdivision” means any entity under the 275 control of or established for the benefit of a political 276 subdivision. 277 (c) “Public school” means any education institution under 278 the supervision of a school district. 279 (d) “State agency” means any agency or unit of state 280 government created or established by law. 281 (e) “State college” means any postsecondary education 282 institution under the supervision of the State Board of 283 Education, including any entity under the control of or 284 established for the benefit of a state college. 285 (f) “State university” means any state university under the 286 supervision of the Board of Governors, including any entity 287 under the control of or established for the benefit of a state 288 university. 289 (2) A state agency, political subdivision, public school, 290 state college, or state university authorized to expend state 291 appropriated funds or levy ad valorem taxes may not participate 292 in any agreement with or accept any grant from a foreign country 293 of concern, or any entity controlled by a foreign country of 294 concern, which establishes a program or other endeavor to 295 promote the language or culture of a foreign country of concern. 296 (3) A state agency, political subdivision, public school, 297 state college, or state university may not accept anything of 298 value conditioned upon participation in a program or other 299 endeavor to promote the language or culture of a foreign country 300 of concern. 301 Section 3. Section 1010.25, Florida Statutes, is created to 302 read: 303 1010.25 Foreign gift reporting.— 304 (1) As used in this section, the term: 305 (a) “Affiliate organization” means any entity under the 306 control of or established for the benefit of an organization 307 required to report under this section, including a direct 308 support organization. 309 (b) “Direct-support organization” has the same meaning as 310 provided in ss. 1004.28(1)(a), 1004.70(1)(a), and 1004.71(1)(a). 311 (c) “Foreign government” means the government of any 312 country, nation, or group of nations, or any province or other 313 political subdivision of any country or nation, other than the 314 government of the United States or the government of a state or 315 political subdivision, including any agent of such foreign 316 government. 317 (d) “Foreign source” means any of the following: 318 1. A foreign government or an agency of a foreign 319 government. 320 2. A legal entity, governmental or otherwise, created 321 solely under the laws of a foreign state or states. 322 3. An individual who is not a citizen or a national of the 323 United States or a territory or protectorate of the United 324 States. 325 4. An agent, including a subsidiary or an affiliate of a 326 foreign legal entity, acting on behalf of a foreign source. 327 (e) “Gift” means any contract, gift, grant, endowment, 328 award, or donation of money or property of any kind, or any 329 combination thereof, including a conditional or an unconditional 330 pledge of such contract, gift, grant, endowment, award, or 331 donation. For purposes of this paragraph, the term “pledge” 332 means a promise, an agreement, or an expressed intention to give 333 a gift. 334 (f) “Institution of higher education” means a state 335 university; an entity listed in subpart B of part II of chapter 336 1004 that has its own governing board; a Florida College System 337 institution; an independent nonprofit college or university that 338 is located in and chartered by the state and grants 339 baccalaureate or higher degrees; any other institution that has 340 a physical presence in the state and is required to report 341 foreign gifts or contracts pursuant to 20 U.S.C. s. 1011f; or an 342 affiliate organization of an institution of higher education. 343 (2) Each institution of higher education must semiannually 344 report, each January 31 and July 31, any gift received directly 345 or indirectly from a foreign source with a value of $50,000 or 346 more during the fiscal year. If a foreign source provides more 347 than one gift directly or indirectly to an institution of higher 348 education in a single fiscal year and the total value of those 349 gifts is $50,000 or more, all gifts received from that foreign 350 source must be reported. For purposes of this subsection, a gift 351 received from a foreign source through an intermediary shall be 352 considered an indirect gift to the institution of higher 353 education. A report required under this subsection must be made 354 to the following entities: 355 (a) The Board of Governors, if the recipient is a state 356 university, an entity listed in subpart B of part II of chapter 357 1004 that has its own governing board, or an affiliate 358 organization. 359 (b) The State Board of Education, if the recipient is any 360 other institution of higher education or an affiliate 361 organization. 362 (3) For each gift subject to the reporting requirement in 363 subsection (2), the institution of higher education must provide 364 the applicable entity all of the following information, unless 365 otherwise prohibited or deemed confidential under federal or 366 state law: 367 (a) The amount of the gift and the date it was received. 368 (b) The contract start and end date if the gift is a 369 contract. 370 (c) The name of the foreign source and, if not a foreign 371 government, the country of citizenship, if known, and the 372 principal residence or domicile of the foreign source. 373 (d)1. A copy of a gift agreement between the foreign source 374 and the institution of higher education, signed by the foreign 375 source and the chief administrative officer of the institution 376 of higher education, or their respective designees, which must 377 include a detailed description of the purpose for which the gift 378 will be used by the institution of higher education, the 379 identification of the persons for whom the gift is explicitly 380 intended to benefit, and any applicable conditions, 381 requirements, restrictions, or terms made a part of the gift 382 regarding the control of curricula, faculty, student admissions, 383 student fees, or contingencies placed upon the institution of 384 higher education to take a specific public position or to award 385 an honorary degree. 386 2. Beginning July 1, 2022, the Inspector General of the 387 Board of Governors or the Inspector General of the Department of 388 Education, as applicable, shall, within existing resources, 389 randomly inspect or audit at least 10 percent of the total 390 number of gifts or gift agreements received from institutions of 391 higher education pursuant to this paragraph during the previous 392 year. The inspection or audit shall examine the extent to which 393 the institution of higher education exercised due diligence with 394 respect to whether the gift was received from a foreign source, 395 as well as the institution of higher education’s compliance with 396 the requirements of this section. 397 3. Upon the request of the Governor, the President of the 398 Senate, or the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the 399 Inspector General of the Board of Governors or the Inspector 400 General of the Department of Education, as applicable, must 401 inspect or audit a gift or gift agreement. 402 (4) The Board of Governors or the State Board of Education, 403 as applicable, shall exercise the authority provided pursuant to 404 s. 1008.322 or s. 1008.32, respectively, to sanction an 405 institution of higher education that fails to report a 406 reportable gift within 60 days after the reporting deadlines 407 established in subsection (2). 408 (5)(a) An institution of higher education that knowingly, 409 willfully, or negligently fails to disclose the information 410 required by this section shall be subject to a civil penalty of 411 105 percent of the amount of the undisclosed gift, payable only 412 from nonstate funds of the institution of higher education or 413 the affiliate organization that received such gift. The 414 recovered funds must be deposited into the General Revenue Fund. 415 The Board of Governors and the State Board of Education, as 416 applicable, may administratively enforce this section and impose 417 the civil penalty as an administrative penalty. 418 (b) In the absence of enforcement by the Board of Governors 419 or the State Board of Education, as applicable, the Attorney 420 General or Chief Financial Officer may bring a civil action to 421 enforce this section. If such action is successful, the Attorney 422 General or Chief Financial Officer, as applicable, is entitled 423 to reasonable attorney fees and costs. 424 (6) Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, 425 information and records relating to a gift from a foreign source 426 are not confidential or exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), 427 Art. I of the State Constitution. 428 (7) The Board of Governors may adopt regulations, and the 429 State Board of Education may adopt rules, to implement this 430 section. 431 Section 4. Section 1010.35, Florida Statutes, is created to 432 read: 433 1010.35 Screening foreign researchers.— 434 (1) Beginning July 1, 2021, each state university or entity 435 listed in subpart B of part II of chapter 1004 that receives 436 state appropriations or state tax revenue and has a research 437 budget of $10 million or more must screen applicants for 438 research or research-related support positions who are citizens 439 of a foreign country and who are not permanent residents of the 440 United States, including graduate and undergraduate students. 441 (2) In addition to satisfying all employment and enrollment 442 qualifications imposed by federal law, the Board of Governors or 443 the governing board of the applicable entity must require a 444 foreign applicant as described in subsection (1) to submit a 445 complete copy of his or her most recently submitted Nonimmigrant 446 Visa Application, DS-160; a complete resume and curriculum 447 vitae, including every institution of higher education attended; 448 all previous employment since the applicant’s 18th birthday; and 449 a list of all published material for which the applicant 450 received credit as an author, a researcher, or otherwise or to 451 which the applicant contributed significant research, writing, 452 or editorial support. For applicants who have been continually 453 employed or enrolled in a postsecondary education institution in 454 the United States for 20 years or more, the resume may, but need 455 not, include employment history before the most recent 20 years. 456 (3) The president or chief administrative officer of the 457 state university or applicable entity shall designate a research 458 integrity office to verify all attendance, employment, 459 publications, and contributions listed in the application 460 required in subsection (2). The research integrity office must 461 search public databases for research publications and 462 presentations and public conflict of interest records to 463 identify any research publication or presentation that may have 464 been omitted from the application. The research integrity office 465 must submit the applicant’s name and other identifying 466 information to the Federal Bureau of Investigation or any 467 federal agency willing to scrutinize such applicant for national 468 security or counterespionage purposes and search any public 469 listings of persons subject to sanctions or restrictions under 470 federal law. 471 (4) The requirements of this section must be completed 472 before employing an applicant described in subsection (1) in any 473 research or research-related support position and before 474 granting such applicant any access to research data or 475 activities or other sensitive data. An applicant may not be 476 employed in any research or research-related support position if 477 he or she fails to disclose a substantial educational, 478 employment, or research-related activity or publication or 479 presentation at the time of submitting the application required 480 in subsection (2), unless the department head, or his or 481 designee, certifies in writing the substance of the 482 nondisclosure and the reasons for disregarding such failure to 483 disclose. A copy of such certification must be kept in the 484 investigative file of the research integrity office and must be 485 submitted to the nearest Federal Bureau of Investigation field 486 office. 487 (5) The research integrity office must report to the 488 nearest Federal Bureau of Investigation field office, and to any 489 law enforcement agency designated by the Governor or the Board 490 of Governors and the governing board of the applicable entity 491 described in subsection (1), the identity of any applicant who 492 was rejected for employment based on the scrutiny required by 493 this section or other security-related screening. 494 (6) By July 1, 2025, the Inspector General of the Board of 495 Governors, the inspector general of an entity described in 496 subsection (1), or the Auditor General must perform an 497 operational audit regarding the implementation of this section. 498 Section 5. Section 1010.36, Florida Statutes, is created to 499 read: 500 1010.36 Foreign travel; research institutions.— 501 (1) By January 1, 2022, each state university or entity 502 listed in subpart B of part II of chapter 1004 that receives 503 state appropriations or state tax revenue and has a research 504 budget of $10 million or more must establish an international 505 travel approval and monitoring program. The program must require 506 preapproval and screening by a research integrity office 507 designated by the president or chief administrative officer of 508 the state university or entity for any foreign travel and 509 foreign employment-related activities engaged in by all faculty, 510 researchers, and research department staff. Such requirement is 511 in addition to any other travel approval process applicable to 512 the state university or entity. 513 (2)(a) Preapproval by the research integrity office must be 514 based on the applicant’s review and acknowledgement of guidance 515 published by the employing state university or entity which 516 relates to countries under sanctions or other restrictions of 517 the state or the United States government, including any federal 518 license requirement; customs rules; export controls; 519 restrictions on taking state university or entity property, 520 including intellectual property, abroad; restrictions on 521 presentations, teaching, and interactions with foreign 522 colleagues; and other subjects important to the research and 523 academic integrity of the state university or entity. 524 (b) Preapproval must be based on the binding commitment of 525 the individual traveler not to violate the state university’s or 526 entity’s limitations on travel and activities abroad and to obey 527 all applicable federal laws. 528 (3) The state university or entity must maintain records of 529 all applications for foreign travel and activities; expenses 530 incurred during such travel and activities, including for 531 travel, food, and lodging; and payments and honoraria received 532 during such travel and activities, including for travel, food, 533 and lodging. The state university or entity must also keep 534 records of all teaching, presentations, and other activities 535 related to the individual traveler’s professional, research, and 536 academic activities undertaken during foreign travel. Such 537 records must be retained for at least 10 years or any longer 538 period of time required by any other applicable state or federal 539 law. 540 (4) The state university or entity must provide an annual 541 report of foreign travel and activities listing individual 542 travelers, foreign locations visited, and foreign institutions 543 visited for presentations, teaching, or research to the Board of 544 Governors or the governing board of the applicable entity and 545 publish such report on its Internet website. 546 (5) Unless an operational audit has been previously 547 submitted by the institution’s inspector general or internal 548 auditor, by January 1, 2022, the Auditor General must perform an 549 audit of the institution to ensure compliance with this section 550 as part of the institution’s next scheduled operational audit. 551 Section 6. This act shall take effect July 1, 2021.