Online Sunshine Logo
Official Internet Site of the Florida Legislature
September 25, 2023
Text: 'NEW Advanced Legislative Search'
Interpreter Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Go to MyFlorida House
Go to MyFlorida House
Select Year:  
The Florida Statutes

The 2023 Florida Statutes

Title IV
Chapter 20
View Entire Chapter
F.S. 20.60
20.60 Department of Commerce; creation; powers and duties.
(1) There is created the Department of Commerce.
(2) The head of the department is the Secretary of Commerce, who shall be appointed by the Governor, subject to confirmation by the Senate. The secretary shall serve at the pleasure of and report to the Governor and shall serve as the Governor’s chief negotiator for business recruitment and expansion and economic development. The secretary may appoint deputy and assistant secretaries as necessary to aid the secretary in fulfilling his or her statutory obligations.
(3)(a) The following divisions and offices of the Department of Commerce are established:
1. The Division of Economic Development.
2. The Division of Community Development.
3. The Division of Workforce Services.
4. The Division of Finance and Administration.
5. The Division of Information Technology.
6. The Office of the Secretary.
7. The Office of Economic Accountability and Transparency, which shall:
a. Oversee the department’s critical objectives as determined by the secretary and make sure that the department’s key objectives are clearly communicated to the public.
b. Organize department resources, expertise, data, and research to focus on and solve the complex economic challenges facing the state.
c. Provide leadership for the department’s priority issues that require integration of policy, management, and critical objectives from multiple programs and organizations internal and external to the department; and organize and manage external communication on such priority issues.
d. Promote and facilitate key department initiatives to address priority economic issues and explore data and identify opportunities for innovative approaches to address such economic issues.
e. Promote strategic planning for the department.
(b) The secretary:
1. May create offices within the Office of the Secretary and within the divisions established in paragraph (a) to promote efficient and effective operation of the department.
2. Shall appoint a director for each division, who shall directly administer his or her division and be responsible to the secretary.
(4) The purpose of the department is to assist the Governor in working with the Legislature, state agencies, business leaders, and economic development professionals to formulate and implement coherent and consistent policies and strategies designed to promote economic opportunities for all Floridians. The department is the state’s chief agency for business recruitment and expansion and economic development. To accomplish such purposes, the department shall:
(a) Facilitate the direct involvement of the Governor and the Lieutenant Governor in economic development and workforce development projects designed to create, expand, and retain businesses in this state; to recruit business from around the world; to promote the state as a pro-business location for new investment; and to facilitate other job-creating efforts.
(b) Recruit new businesses to this state and promote the expansion of existing businesses by expediting permitting and location decisions, worker placement and training, and incentive awards.
(c) Promote viable, sustainable communities by providing technical assistance and guidance on growth and development issues, grants, and other assistance to local communities.
(d) Ensure that the state’s goals and policies relating to economic development, workforce development, community planning and development, and affordable housing are fully integrated with appropriate implementation strategies.
(e) Manage the activities of public-private partnerships and state agencies in order to avoid duplication and promote coordinated and consistent implementation of programs in areas including, but not limited to, tourism; international trade and investment; business recruitment, creation, retention, and expansion; minority and small business development; defense, space, and aerospace development; rural community development; and the development and promotion of professional and amateur sporting events.
(f) Coordinate with state agencies on the processing of state development approvals or permits to minimize the duplication of information provided by the applicant and the time before approval or disapproval.
(g) Contract with the Florida Sports Foundation to guide, stimulate, and promote the sports industry in this state; to promote the participation of residents of this state in amateur athletic competition; and to promote this state as a host for national and international amateur athletic competitions.
(h) Encourage and oversee the coordination of international trade development efforts of public institutions, business associations, economic development councils, and private industry.
(i) Contract with the direct-support organization created in s. 288.012, to assist with coordination described in paragraph (h); provide services through State of Florida international offices; and assist in developing and carrying out the 5-year statewide strategic plan as it relates to foreign investment, international partnerships, and other international business and trade development.
(j) Support Florida’s defense, space, and aerospace industries, including research and development, and strengthen this state’s existing leadership in defense, space, and aerospace activity and economic growth.
(k) Assist, promote, and enhance economic opportunities for this state’s minority-owned businesses and rural and urban communities.
(l) Contract with the Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation to execute tourism promotion and marketing services, functions, and programs for the state and advise the department on the development of domestic and international tourism marketing campaigns featuring this state.
(5) The divisions within the department have specific responsibilities to achieve the duties, responsibilities, and goals of the department. Specifically:
(a) The Division of Economic Development shall:
1. Analyze and evaluate business prospects identified by the Governor and the secretary.
2. Administer certain tax refund, tax credit, and grant programs created in law. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the department may expend interest earned from the investment of program funds deposited in the Grants and Donations Trust Fund to contract for the administration of those programs, or portions of the programs, assigned to the department by law, by the appropriations process, or by the Governor. Such expenditures shall be subject to review under chapter 216.
3. Develop measurement protocols for the state incentive programs and for the contracted entities which will be used to determine their performance and competitive value to the state. Performance measures, benchmarks, and sanctions must be developed in consultation with the legislative appropriations committees and the appropriate substantive committees, and are subject to the review and approval process provided in s. 216.177. The approved performance measures, standards, and sanctions shall be included and made a part of the strategic plan for contracts entered into for delivery of programs authorized by this section.
4. Develop a 5-year statewide strategic plan. The strategic plan must include, but need not be limited to:
a. Strategies for the promotion of business formation, expansion, recruitment, and retention through aggressive marketing, attraction of venture capital and finance development, domestic trade, international development, and export assistance, which lead to more and better jobs and higher wages for all geographic regions, disadvantaged communities, and populations of the state, including rural areas, minority businesses, and urban core areas.
b. The development of realistic policies and programs to further the economic diversity of the state, its regions, and their associated industrial clusters.
c. Specific provisions for the stimulation of economic development and job creation in rural areas and midsize cities and counties of the state, including strategies for rural marketing and the development of infrastructure in rural areas.
d. Provisions for the promotion of the successful long-term economic development of the state with increased emphasis in market research and information.
e. Plans for the generation of foreign investment in the state which create jobs paying above-average wages and which result in reverse investment in the state, including programs that establish viable overseas markets, assist in meeting the financing requirements of export-ready firms, broaden opportunities for international joint venture relationships, use the resources of academic and other institutions, coordinate trade assistance and facilitation services, and facilitate availability of and access to education and training programs that assure requisite skills and competencies necessary to compete successfully in the global marketplace.
f. The identification of business sectors that are of current or future importance to the state’s economy and to the state’s global business image, and development of specific strategies to promote the development of such sectors.
g. Strategies for talent development necessary in the state to encourage economic development growth, taking into account factors such as the state’s talent supply chain, education and training opportunities, and available workforce.
h. Strategies and plans to support this state’s defense, space, and aerospace industries and the emerging complementary business activities and industries that support the development and growth of defense, space, and aerospace in this state.
5. Update the strategic plan every 5 years.
6. Involve CareerSource Florida, Inc.; direct-support organizations of the department; local governments; the general public; local and regional economic development organizations; other local, state, and federal economic, international, and workforce development entities; the business community; and educational institutions to assist with the strategic plan.
7. Coordinate with the Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation in the development of the 4-year marketing plan pursuant to s. 288.1226(13).
8. Administer and manage relationships, as appropriate, with the entities and programs created pursuant to the Florida Capital Formation Act, ss. 288.9621-288.96255.
(b) The Division of Community Development shall:
1. Assist local governments and their communities in finding creative planning solutions to help them foster vibrant, healthy communities, while protecting the functions of important state resources and facilities.
2. Administer state and federal grant programs as provided by law to provide community development and project planning activities to maintain viable communities, revitalize existing communities, and expand economic development and employment opportunities, including:
a. The Community Services Block Grant Program.
b. The Community Development Block Grant Program in chapter 290.
c. The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program in chapter 409.
d. The Weatherization Assistance Program in chapter 409.
e. The Neighborhood Stabilization Program.
f. The local comprehensive planning process and the development of regional impact process.
g. The Front Porch Florida Initiative through the Office of Urban Opportunity, which is created within the division. The purpose of the office is to administer the Front Porch Florida initiative, a comprehensive, community-based urban core redevelopment program that enables urban core residents to craft solutions to the unique challenges of each designated community.
3. Assist in developing the 5-year statewide strategic plan required by this section.
(c) The Division of Workforce Services shall:
1. Prepare and submit a unified budget request for workforce development in accordance with chapter 216 for, and in conjunction with, the state board as defined in s. 445.002.
2. Ensure that the state appropriately administers federal and state workforce funding by administering plans and policies of the state board as defined in s. 445.002. The operating budget and midyear amendments thereto must be part of such contract.
a. All program and fiscal instructions to local workforce development boards shall emanate from the Department of Commerce pursuant to plans and policies of the state board as defined in s. 445.002, which shall be responsible for all policy directions to the local workforce development boards.
b. Unless otherwise provided by agreement with the state board as defined in s. 445.002, administrative and personnel policies of the Department of Commerce apply.
3. Implement the state’s reemployment assistance program. The Department of Commerce shall ensure that the state appropriately administers the reemployment assistance program pursuant to state and federal law.
4. Assist in developing the 5-year statewide strategic plan required by this section, including identifying education and training programs to ensure that the state has the skilled and competent workforce necessary to attract and grow business in this state and allow them to compete successfully in domestic and global markets.
(6)(a) The Department of Commerce is the administrative agency designated for receipt of federal workforce development grants and other federal funds. The department shall administer the duties and responsibilities assigned by the Governor under each federal grant assigned to the department. The department shall expend each revenue source as provided by federal and state law and as provided in plans developed by and agreements with the state board as defined in s. 445.002. The department may serve as the contract administrator for contracts entered into by the state board under s. 445.004(5).
(b) The Department of Commerce shall serve as the designated agency for purposes of each federal workforce development grant assigned to it for administration. The department shall carry out the duties assigned to it by the Governor, under the terms and conditions of each grant. The department shall have the level of authority and autonomy necessary to be the designated recipient of each federal grant assigned to it and shall disburse such grants pursuant to the plans and policies of the state board as defined in s. 445.002. The secretary may, upon delegation from the Governor and pursuant to agreement with the state board, sign contracts, grants, and other instruments as necessary to execute functions assigned to the department. Notwithstanding other provisions of law, the department shall administer other programs funded by federal or state appropriations, as determined by the Legislature in the General Appropriations Act or other law.
(7) The department may provide or contract for training for employees of administrative entities and case managers of any contracted providers to ensure they have the necessary competencies and skills to provide adequate administrative oversight and delivery of the full array of client services.
(8) The Reemployment Assistance Appeals Commission, authorized by s. 443.012, is not subject to control, supervision, or direction by the department in the performance of its powers and duties but shall receive any and all support and assistance from the department which is required for the performance of its duties.
(9) The secretary shall:
(a) Manage all activities and responsibilities of the department.
(b) Serve as the manager for the state with respect to contracts with Space Florida 1and all applicable direct-support organizations. To accomplish the provisions of this section and applicable provisions of chapters 288 and 331, and notwithstanding the provisions of part I of chapter 287, the secretary shall enter into specific contracts with Space Florida 2and other appropriate direct-support organizations. Such contracts may be for multiyear terms and must include specific performance measures for each year. For purposes of this section, the Institute for Commercialization of Florida Technology is not an appropriate direct-support organization.
(c) Serve as a member of the board of directors of the Florida Development Finance Corporation. The secretary may designate an employee of the department to serve in this capacity.
(10) The department shall, by November 1 of each year, submit an annual report to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives on the condition of the business climate and economic development in the state.
(a) The report must include the identification of problems and a prioritized list of recommendations.
(b) The department shall collect and maintain data on the development and utilization of the international trade development program for inclusion in the report.
(c) The report must incorporate annual reports of other programs, including:
1. A detailed report of the performance of the Black Business Loan Program and a cumulative summary of quarterly report data required under s. 288.714.
2. The Rural Economic Development Initiative established under s. 288.0656.
3. The Florida Unique Abilities Partner Program.
4. A detailed report of the performance of the Florida Development Finance Corporation and a summary of the corporation’s report required under s. 288.9610.
5. Information provided by Space Florida under s. 331.3051 and an analysis of the activities and accomplishments of Space Florida.
(11) The department shall establish annual performance standards for CareerSource Florida, Inc.; the Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation; Space Florida; the Florida Development Finance Corporation; and any other direct-support organization of the department and report annually on how these performance measures are being met in the annual report required under subsection (10).
(12) The department shall have an official seal by which its records, orders, and proceedings are authenticated. The seal shall be judicially noticed.
(13) The department shall administer the role of state government under part I of chapter 421, relating to public housing; chapter 422, relating to housing cooperation law; and chapter 423, tax exemption of housing authorities. The department is the agency of state government responsible for the state’s role in housing and urban development.
History.s. 13, ch. 2011-142; s. 30, ch. 2012-30; s. 1, ch. 2012-96; s. 2, ch. 2013-39; s. 2, ch. 2013-42; s. 3, ch. 2014-17; s. 2, ch. 2015-98; s. 2, ch. 2016-3; s. 1, ch. 2016-216; s. 6, ch. 2017-233; s. 1, ch. 2018-139; s. 1, ch. 2020-30; s. 1, ch. 2021-25; s. 10, ch. 2023-173; s. 1, ch. 2023-200.
1Note.The word “and” was inserted by the editors to facilitate correct interpretation.
2Note.The words “and other” were inserted by the editors to facilitate correct interpretation.