Online Sunshine Logo
Official Internet Site of the Florida Legislature
April 13, 2024
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 (including Special Session C)

Title XXVII
RAILROADS AND OTHER REGULATED UTILITIES
Chapter 365
USE OF TELEPHONES AND FACSIMILE MACHINES
View Entire Chapter
F.S. 365.173
365.173 Emergency Communications Trust Fund.
(1) REVENUES.
(a) Revenues derived from the fee levied on subscribers under s. 365.172(8) must be paid by the board into the State Treasury on or before the 15th day of each month. Such moneys must be accounted for in a special fund to be designated as the Emergency Communications Trust Fund, a fund created in the Division of Telecommunications, or other office as designated by the Secretary of Management Services.
(b) Revenues derived from the fee levied on prepaid wireless service under s. 365.172(9), less the costs of administering collection of the fee, must be transferred by the Department of Revenue to the Emergency Communications Trust Fund on or before the 25th day of each month following the month of receipt.
(c) For accounting purposes, the Emergency Communications Trust Fund must be segregated into three separate categories:
1. The wireless category;
2. The nonwireless category; and
3. The prepaid wireless category.
(d) All moneys must be invested by the Chief Financial Officer pursuant to s. 17.61. All moneys in such fund are to be expended by the office for the purposes provided in this section and s. 365.172. These funds are not subject to s. 215.20.
(2) DISTRIBUTION AND USE OF FUNDS.As determined by the board pursuant to s. 365.172(8)(f), and subject to any modifications approved by the board pursuant to s. 365.172(6)(a)3. or (8)(g), the moneys in the fund shall be distributed and used only as follows:
(a) Ninety-five percent of the moneys in the wireless category shall be distributed each month to counties, based on the total number of service identifiers in each county, to be used exclusively for payment of authorized expenditures, as specified in s. 365.172(10).
(b) Ninety-six percent of the moneys in the nonwireless category shall be distributed each month to counties based on the total number of service identifiers in each county and shall be used exclusively for payment of authorized expenditures, as specified in s. 365.172(10).
(c) Sixty-one percent of the moneys in the prepaid wireless category shall be distributed each month to counties based on the total amount of fees reported and paid in each county and shall be used exclusively for payment of authorized expenditures, as specified in s. 365.172(10). The moneys from prepaid wireless fees identified as nonspecific in accordance with s. 365.172(9) shall be distributed as determined by the Emergency Communications Board.
(d) Any county that receives funds under paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) shall establish a fund to be used exclusively for the receipt and expenditure of the revenues collected under paragraphs (a), (b), and (c). All fees placed in the fund and any interest accrued shall be used solely for costs described in paragraph (a) and may not be reduced, withheld, or allocated for other purposes. The money collected and interest earned in this fund shall be appropriated for these purposes by the county commissioners and incorporated into the annual county budget. The fund shall be included within the financial audit performed in accordance with s. 218.39. The financial audit shall assure that all emergency communications fee revenues, interest, and emergency communications grant funding are used for payment of authorized expenditures, as specified in s. 365.172(10) and as specified in the Emergency Communications Board grant and special disbursement programs. The board may, in accordance with board rules, withhold future distribution of grant funds or request a return of all or a portion of funds previously awarded based on findings from the financial audit. The county is responsible for all expenditures of revenues distributed from the county emergency communications fund and shall submit the financial audit reports to the board for review. A county may carry forward up to 30 percent of the total funds disbursed to the county by the board during a county fiscal year for expenditures for capital outlay, capital improvements, equipment replacement, or implementation of a hosted system if such expenditures are made for the purposes specified in paragraph (a); however, the 30-percent limitation does not apply to funds disbursed to a county under s. 365.172(6)(a)3., and a county may carry forward any percentage of the funds, except that any grant provided shall continue to be subject to any condition imposed by the board. In order to prevent an excess recovery of costs incurred in providing emergency communications service, a county that receives funds greater than the permissible emergency communications costs described in s. 365.172(10), including the 30-percent carryforward allowance, must return the excess funds to the board to be allocated under s. 365.172(6)(a).
(e) One percent of the moneys in each category of the fund shall be retained by the board to be applied to costs and expenses incurred for the purposes of managing, administering, and overseeing the receipts and disbursements from the fund and other activities as defined in s. 365.172(6). Any funds retained for such purposes in a calendar year which are not applied to such costs and expenses by March 31 of the following year shall be redistributed as determined by the board.
(f) Three percent of the moneys in each category of the fund and an additional 1 percent of the moneys collected in the wireless category shall be used to make monthly distributions to rural counties for the purpose of providing facilities and network and service enhancements and assistance for the emergency communications systems operated by rural counties and for the provision of grants by the office to rural counties for upgrading and replacing emergency communications systems.
(g) Thirty-five percent of the moneys in the prepaid wireless category shall be retained by the board to provide state emergency communications grants to be awarded in accordance with the following order of priority:
1. For all large, medium, and rural counties to upgrade or replace emergency communications systems.
2. For all large, medium, and rural counties to develop and maintain statewide 911 routing, geographic, and management information systems.
3. For all large, medium, and rural counties to develop and maintain next-generation 911 services and equipment.
(h) If the wireless category has funds remaining in it on December 31 after disbursements have been made during the calendar year immediately prior to December 31, the board may disburse the excess funds in the wireless category in accordance with 1s. 365.172(6)(a)3.b.
(3) The Legislature recognizes that the fee authorized under s. 365.172 may not necessarily provide the total funding required for establishing or providing the emergency communications service. It is the intent of the Legislature that all revenue from the fee be used as specified in subsection (2).
History.s. 1, ch. 99-203; s. 50, ch. 2000-158; s. 3, ch. 2001-133; s. 2, ch. 2003-182; s. 379, ch. 2003-261; s. 5, ch. 2005-171; s. 1, ch. 2007-79; s. 2, ch. 2010-50; s. 7, ch. 2011-52; s. 2, ch. 2014-196; s. 24, ch. 2019-118; s. 10, ch. 2020-161; s. 2, ch. 2023-55.
1Note.Section 365.172(6)(a)3.b. was deleted by s. 1, ch. 2023-55, and a new sub-subparagraph (6)(a)3.b., relating to grants available under s. 365.173(2)(g), was added by that law section.