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The Florida Statutes

The 2023 Florida Statutes (including Special Session C)

Title IV
Chapter 16
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F.S. 16.617
16.617 Statewide Council on Human Trafficking; creation; membership; duties.
(1) CREATION.There is created the Statewide Council on Human Trafficking within the Department of Legal Affairs. The council is created for the purpose of enhancing the development and coordination of state and local law enforcement and social services responses to fight commercial sexual exploitation as a form of human trafficking and to support victims.
(a) The council shall consist of the following members:
1. The Attorney General, or a designee, who shall serve as chair.
2. The Secretary of Children and Families, or a designee, who shall serve as vice chair.
3. The State Surgeon General, or a designee.
4. The Secretary of Health Care Administration, or a designee.
5. The executive director of the Department of Law Enforcement, or a designee.
6. The Secretary of Juvenile Justice, or a designee.
7. The Commissioner of Education, or a designee.
8. One member of the Senate appointed by the President of the Senate.
9. One member of the House of Representatives appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
10. An elected sheriff appointed by the Attorney General.
11. An elected state attorney appointed by the Attorney General.
12. Two members appointed by the Governor, and two members appointed by the Attorney General, who have professional experience to assist the council in the development of care and treatment options for victims of human trafficking.
(b) Each member shall be appointed to a 4-year term. However, for the purpose of achieving staggered terms, the members initially appointed by the Attorney General, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall each serve a 2-year term. All subsequent appointments shall be for 4-year terms. Any vacancy shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment for the remainder of the unexpired term.
(c) A member may not receive a commission, fee, or financial benefit in connection with serving on the council. Council members may be reimbursed for per diem and travel expenses in accordance with s. 112.061 by the state agency that the member represents. If a member is not affiliated with a state agency, the member shall be reimbursed by the Department of Legal Affairs.
(a) The first meeting of the council shall be held no later than September 1, 2014. Thereafter, the council shall meet at least once each calendar quarter. Meetings may be held via teleconference or other electronic means.
(b) A majority of the members of the council shall constitute a quorum.
(c) The Department of Legal Affairs shall provide the council with staff necessary to assist the council in the performance of its duties.
(d) The council may apply for and accept funds, grants, gifts, and services from the state, the Federal Government or any of its agencies, or any other public or private source for the purpose of defraying costs associated with the annual statewide policy summit.
(4) DUTIES.The council shall:
(a) Develop recommendations for comprehensive programs and services for victims of human trafficking to include recommendations for certification criteria for safe houses and safe foster homes.
(b) Assess the frequency and extent to which social media platforms are used to assist, facilitate, or support human trafficking within this state; establish a process to detect such use on a consistent basis; and make recommendations on how to stop, reduce, or prevent social media platforms from being used for such purposes.
(c) Make recommendations for apprehending and prosecuting traffickers and enhancing coordination of responses.
(d) Annually hold a statewide policy summit in conjunction with an institution of higher learning in this state.
(e) Work with the Department of Children and Families to create and maintain an inventory of human trafficking programs and services in each county, including, but not limited to, awareness programs and victim assistance services, which can be used to determine how to maximize existing resources and address unmet needs and emerging trends.
(f) Develop policy recommendations that advance the duties of the council and further the efforts to combat human trafficking in our state.
(5) REPORT.By October 31 of each year, beginning in 2015, the council shall submit a report to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives summarizing the accomplishments of the council during the preceding fiscal year and making recommendations regarding the development and coordination of state and local law enforcement and social services responses to fight human trafficking and support victims.
History.s. 9, ch. 2014-161; s. 1, ch. 2017-155; s. 1, ch. 2022-168.