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The Florida Statutes

The 2013 Florida Statutes

Title X
PUBLIC OFFICERS, EMPLOYEES, AND RECORDS
Chapter 112
PUBLIC OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES: GENERAL PROVISIONS
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CHAPTER 112
CHAPTER 112
PUBLIC OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES: GENERAL PROVISIONS
PART I
CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT; RETIREMENT; TRAVEL EXPENSES
(ss. 112.011-112.218)
PART II
INTERCHANGE OF PERSONNEL BETWEEN GOVERNMENTS
(ss. 112.24-112.31)
PART III
CODE OF ETHICS FOR PUBLIC OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES
(ss. 112.311-112.326)
PART IV
SUPPLEMENTAL RETIREMENT ACT FOR RETIRED MEMBERS OF STATE
RETIREMENT SYSTEMS
(ss. 112.351-112.363)
PART V
SUSPENSION, REMOVAL, OR RETIREMENT OF PUBLIC OFFICERS
(ss. 112.40-112.52)
PART VI
LAW ENFORCEMENT AND CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS
(ss. 112.531-112.535)
PART VII
ACTUARIAL SOUNDNESS OF RETIREMENT SYSTEMS
(ss. 112.60-112.67)
PART VIII
FIREFIGHTERS
(ss. 112.80-112.84)
PART I
CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT;
RETIREMENT; TRAVEL EXPENSES
112.011 Disqualification from licensing and public employment based on criminal conviction.
112.0111 Restrictions on the employment of ex-offenders; legislative intent; state agency reporting requirements.
112.021 Florida residence unnecessary.
112.042 Discrimination in county and municipal employment; relief.
112.043 Age discrimination.
112.044 Public employers, employment agencies, labor organizations; discrimination based on age prohibited; exceptions; remedy.
112.0455 Drug-Free Workplace Act.
112.046 Political party committee membership allowed.
112.048 Voluntary retirement with half pay authorized for elective officers of cities or towns; appropriation.
112.05 Retirement; cost-of-living adjustment; employment after retirement.
112.0501 Ratification of certain dual retirements.
112.0515 Retirement or pension rights unaffected by consolidation or merger of governmental agencies.
112.061 Per diem and travel expenses of public officers, employees, and authorized persons.
112.062 Cabinet members; educational and informational travel expenses.
112.063 Reimbursement of county employees for educational expenses.
112.08 Group insurance for public officers, employees, and certain volunteers; physical examinations.
112.0801 Group insurance; participation by retired employees.
112.0804 Health insurance for retirees under the Florida Retirement System; Medicare supplement and fully insured coverage.
112.0805 Employer notice of insurance eligibility to employees who retire.
112.081 Circuit judges, participation.
112.09 Evidence of election to provide insurance.
112.10 Deduction and payment of premiums.
112.11 Participation voluntary.
112.13 Insurance additional to workers’ compensation.
112.14 Purpose and intent of law.
112.151 Group hospitalization insurance for county officers and employees.
112.153 Local governmental group insurance plans; refunds with respect to overcharges by providers.
112.161 Change in position or reclassification; continuance or resumption of membership in retirement system.
112.171 Employee wage deductions.
112.175 Employee wages; withholding to repay educational loan.
112.18 Firefighters and law enforcement or correctional officers; special provisions relative to disability.
112.181 Firefighters, paramedics, emergency medical technicians, law enforcement officers, correctional officers; special provisions relative to certain communicable diseases.
112.1815 Firefighters, paramedics, emergency medical technicians, and law enforcement officers; special provisions for employment-related accidents and injuries.
112.182 “Firefighter rule” abolished.
112.19 Law enforcement, correctional, and correctional probation officers; death benefits.
112.191 Firefighters; death benefits.
112.1913 Effect of ch. 2003-412.
112.1915 Teachers and school administrators; death benefits.
112.193 Law enforcement, correctional, and correctional probation officers’ commemorative service awards.
112.194 Law enforcement and correctional officers’ Medal of Valor.
112.21 Tax-sheltered annuities or custodial accounts for employees of governmental agencies.
112.215 Government employees; deferred compensation program.
112.217 Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles; employees’ benefit fund.
112.218 Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles personnel files; fees for copies.
112.011 Disqualification from licensing and public employment based on criminal conviction.
(1)(a) Except as provided in s. 775.16, a person may not be disqualified from employment by the state, any of its agencies or political subdivisions, or any municipality solely because of a prior conviction for a crime. However, a person may be denied employment by the state, any of its agencies or political subdivisions, or any municipality by reason of the prior conviction for a crime if the crime was a felony or first-degree misdemeanor and directly related to the position of employment sought.
(b) Except as provided in s. 775.16, a person may be denied a license, permit, or certification to pursue, practice, or engage in an occupation, trade, vocation, profession, or business by reason of the prior conviction for a crime if the crime was a felony or first-degree misdemeanor that is directly related to the standards determined by the regulatory authority to be necessary and reasonably related to the protection of the public health, safety, and welfare for the specific occupation, trade, vocation, profession, or business for which the license, permit, or certificate is sought.
(c) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, a state agency may not deny an application for a license, permit, certificate, or employment based solely on the applicant’s lack of civil rights. However, this paragraph does not apply to applications for a license to carry a concealed weapon or firearm under chapter 790.
(2)(a) This section does not apply to any law enforcement or correctional agency.
(b) This section does not apply to the employment practices of any fire department relating to the hiring of firefighters.
(c) This section does not apply to the employment practices of any county or municipality relating to the hiring of personnel for positions deemed to be critical to security or public safety pursuant to ss. 125.5801 and 166.0442.
(3) Any complaint concerning the violation of this section shall be adjudicated in accordance with the procedures set forth in chapter 120 for administrative and judicial review.
History.ss. 1, 2, 3, ch. 71-115; s. 1, ch. 73-109; s. 20, ch. 81-24; s. 30, ch. 88-122; s. 1, ch. 90-266; s. 678, ch. 95-147; s. 3, ch. 2002-169; s. 3, ch. 2011-207; s. 90, ch. 2013-183.
112.0111 Restrictions on the employment of ex-offenders; legislative intent; state agency reporting requirements.
(1) The Legislature declares that a goal of this state is to clearly identify the occupations from which ex-offenders are disqualified based on the nature of their offenses. The Legislature seeks to make employment opportunities available to ex-offenders in a manner that serves to preserve and protect the health, safety, and welfare of the general public, yet encourages them to become productive members of society. To this end, state agencies that exercise regulatory authority are in the best position to identify all restrictions on employment imposed by the agencies or by boards that regulate professions and occupations and are obligated to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the general public by clearly setting forth those restrictions in keeping with standards and protections determined by the agencies to be in the least restrictive manner.
(2) Each state agency, including, but not limited to, those state agencies responsible for professional and occupational regulatory boards, shall ensure the appropriate restrictions necessary to protect the overall health, safety, and welfare of the general public are in place, and by December 31, 2011, and every 4 years thereafter, submit to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives a report that includes:
(a) A list of all agency or board statutes or rules that disqualify from employment or licensure persons who have been convicted of a crime and have completed any incarceration and restitution to which they have been sentenced for such crime.
(b) A determination of whether the disqualifying statutes or rules are readily available to prospective employers and licensees.
(c) The identification and evaluation of alternatives to the disqualifying statutes or rules which protect the health, safety, and welfare of the general public without impeding the gainful employment of ex-offenders.
History.s. 2, ch. 2011-207.
112.021 Florida residence unnecessary.Except as expressly provided by law, there shall be no Florida residence requirement for any person as a condition precedent to employment by any county.
History.s. 3, ch. 69-20; s. 23, ch. 71-355; s. 25, ch. 79-190.
112.042 Discrimination in county and municipal employment; relief.
(1) It is against the public policy of this state for the governing body of any county or municipal agency, board, commission, department, or office, solely because of the race, color, national origin, sex, handicap, or religious creed of any individual, to refuse to hire or employ, to bar, or to discharge from employment such individuals or to otherwise discriminate against such individuals with respect to compensation, hire, tenure, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, if the individual is the most competent and able to perform the services required.
(2)(a) Any person, firm, corporation, association, or other group or body, jointly or severally, who is aggrieved by any decision, regulation, restriction, or resolution adopted by the governing body of any county or municipal agency, board, commission, or department which is an unlawful employment practice under this section may apply to such agency, board, commission, or department at any time for a modification or rescission thereof. If such modification or rescission is refused, any such person, firm, corporation, association or other group or body may, within 30 days after such refusal, but not thereafter, institute original proceedings for relief in the circuit court of the county.
(b) There is no right to apply to the court for relief on account of any order, requirement, decision, determination, or action of any county or municipal officer pursuant to this section unless there has first been an appeal therefrom to the governing agency, board, commission, or department to which such officer is responsible.
(3) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit alternative relief through local civil service systems and boards provided for in s. 14, Art. III of the State Constitution.
History.s. 1, ch. 69-334; s. 2, ch. 84-125.
112.043 Age discrimination.It shall be the public policy of the state that no officer or board, whether state or county, shall discriminate in the employment of any person solely on the basis of age. Persons who apply for employment with the state or any county of the state shall be selected on the basis of training, experience, mental and physical abilities, and other selection criteria established for the position. Unless age restrictions have been specifically established through published specifications for a position, available to the public, the employing authority shall give equal consideration to all applicants, regardless of age.
History.s. 1, ch. 69-141.
112.044 Public employers, employment agencies, labor organizations; discrimination based on age prohibited; exceptions; remedy.
(1) LEGISLATIVE INTENT; PURPOSE.The Legislature finds and declares that in the face of rising productivity and affluence, older workers find themselves disadvantaged, both in their efforts to retain employment and in their efforts to regain employment when displaced from jobs. The setting of arbitrary age limits, irrespective of capability for job performance, has become a common practice, and certain otherwise desirable practices may work to the disadvantage of older persons. In comparison to the incidence of unemployment among younger workers, the incidence of unemployment, especially long-term unemployment with resultant deterioration of skill, morale, and employer acceptability, is high among older workers, whose numbers are great and growing and whose employment problems are grave. In industries affecting commerce, the existence of arbitrary discrimination in employment because of age burdens commerce and the free flow of goods. It is the purpose of this act to promote employment of older persons based on ability rather than age and to prohibit arbitrary age discrimination in employment.
(2) DEFINITIONS.For the purpose of this act:
(a) “Employer” means the state or any county, municipality, or special district or any subdivision or agency thereof. This definition shall not apply to any law enforcement agency or firefighting agency in this state.
(b) “Employment agency” means any person, including any agent thereof, regularly undertaking, with or without compensation, to procure employees for an employer, including state and local employment services receiving federal assistance.
(c) “Employee” means an individual employed by any employer.
(3) PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES; EXCEPTIONS.
(a) Except as provided in paragraph (f), it is unlawful for an employer to:
1. Fail or refuse to hire, discharge or mandatorily retire, or otherwise discriminate against any individual with respect to the compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because of age.
2. Limit, segregate, or classify employees in any way which would deprive, or tend to deprive, any individual of employment opportunities, or otherwise adversely affect an individual’s status as an employee, because of age.
3. Reduce the wage rate of any employee or otherwise alter the terms or conditions of employment in order to comply with this act, unless such a reduction is with the employee’s express or implied consent.
(b) Except as provided in paragraph (f), it is unlawful for an employment agency to fail or refuse to refer for employment, or otherwise to discriminate against, any individual because of age or to classify or refer for employment any individual on the basis of age.
(c) Except as provided in paragraph (f), it is unlawful for a labor organization to:
1. Exclude or expel from its membership, or otherwise discriminate against, any individual because of age.
2. Limit, segregate, or classify its membership, or fail or refuse to refer for employment any individual, in any way which would limit, deprive, or tend to deprive the individual of employment opportunities or which would otherwise adversely affect the individual’s status as an employee or as an applicant for employment solely because of age.
3. Cause or attempt to cause an employer to discriminate against an individual in violation of this section.
(d) It is unlawful:
1. For an employer to discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment;
2. For an employment agency to discriminate against any individual; or
3. For a labor organization to discriminate against any member or applicant for membership,

because such employee, applicant for employment, individual, member, or applicant for membership has opposed any practice made unlawful by this section or because the employee, applicant for employment, individual, member, or applicant for membership has made a charge, testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in an investigation, a proceeding, or litigation under this act.

(e) Except as provided in paragraph (f), it is unlawful for an employer, labor organization, or employment agency to print or publish, or cause to be printed or published, any notice or advertisement relating to:
1. Employment by such employer;
2. Membership in such labor organization or any classification or referral for employment by such labor organization; or
3. Any classification or referral for employment by such employment agency,

which notice or advertisement indicates any preference, limitation, specification, or discrimination based on age.

(f) It is not unlawful for an employer, employment agency, or labor organization to:
1. Take any action otherwise prohibited under paragraph (a), paragraph (b), paragraph (c), or paragraph (e), based on a bona fide occupational qualification reasonably necessary to the normal operation of the particular business.
2. Observe the terms of a bona fide seniority system or any bona fide employee benefit plan, such as a retirement, pension, or insurance plan, which is not a subterfuge to evade the purposes of this act.
3. Discharge or otherwise discipline an individual for good cause.
(4) APPEAL; CIVIL SUIT AUTHORIZED.Any employee of the state who is within the Career Service System established by chapter 110 and who is aggrieved by a violation of this act may appeal to the Public Employees Relations Commission under the conditions and following the procedures prescribed in part II of chapter 447. Any person other than an employee who is within the Career Service System established by chapter 110, or any person employed by the Public Employees Relations Commission, who is aggrieved by a violation of this act may bring a civil action in any court of competent jurisdiction for such legal or equitable relief as will effectuate the purposes of this act.
(5) NOTICE TO BE POSTED.Each employer, employment agency, and labor organization shall post and keep posted in conspicuous places upon its premises notices required by the United States Department of Labor and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
History.ss. 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, ch. 76-208; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 7, ch. 79-7; s. 31, ch. 79-190; s. 4, ch. 81-169; s. 75, ch. 86-163; s. 679, ch. 95-147; s. 5, ch. 2011-213.
112.0455 Drug-Free Workplace Act.
(1) SHORT TITLE.This section shall be known and may be cited as the “Drug-Free Workplace Act.”
(2) PURPOSE.This section is intended to:
(a) Promote the goal of drug-free workplaces within government through fair and reasonable drug-testing methods for the protection of public employees and employers.
(b) Encourage employers to provide employees who have drug use problems with an opportunity to participate in an employee assistance program or an alcohol and drug rehabilitation program.
(c) Provide for confidentiality of testing results.
(3) FINDINGS.The Legislature finds that:
(a) Drug use has serious adverse effects upon a significant portion of the workforce, resulting in billions of dollars of lost productivity each year and posing a threat to the workplace and to public safety and security.
(b) Maintaining a healthy and productive workforce, safe working conditions free from the effects of drugs, and quality products and services is important to employers, employees, and the general public in this state. The Legislature further finds that drug use creates a variety of workplace problems, including increased injury on the job, increased absenteeism, increased financial burden on health and benefit programs, increased workplace theft, decreased employee morale, decreased productivity, and a decline in the quality of products and services.
(c) Certain drug-testing standards are necessary to protect persons participating in workplace drug-testing programs.
(d) In balancing the interests of employers, employees, and the welfare of the general public, the establishment of standards to assure fair and accurate testing for drugs in the workplace is in the best interests of all.
(4) NO LEGAL DUTY TO TEST.All drug testing conducted by employers shall be in conformity with the standards established in this section and all applicable rules promulgated pursuant to this section. However, employers shall not have a legal duty under this section to request an employee or job applicant to undergo drug testing. No testing of employees shall take effect until local drug abuse assistance programs have been identified.
(5) DEFINITIONS.Except where the context otherwise requires, as used in this act:
(a) “Drug” means alcohol, including distilled spirits, wine, malt beverages, and intoxicating liquors; amphetamines; cannabinoids; cocaine; phencyclidine (PCP); hallucinogens; methaqualone; opiates; barbiturates; benzodiazepines; synthetic narcotics; designer drugs; or a metabolite of any of the substances listed herein.
(b) “Drug test” or “test” means any chemical, biological, or physical instrumental analysis administered for the purpose of determining the presence or absence of a drug or its metabolites.
(c) “Initial drug test” means a sensitive, rapid, and reliable procedure to identify negative and presumptive positive specimens. All initial tests must use an immunoassay procedure or an equivalent, or must use a more accurate scientifically accepted method approved by the Agency for Health Care Administration as more accurate technology becomes available in a cost-effective form.
(d) “Confirmation test,” “confirmed test,” or “confirmed drug test” means a second analytical procedure used to identify the presence of a specific drug or metabolite in a specimen. The confirmation test must be different in scientific principle from that of the initial test procedure. This confirmation method must be capable of providing requisite specificity, sensitivity, and quantitative accuracy.
(e) “Chain of custody” refers to the methodology of tracking specified materials or substances for the purpose of maintaining control and accountability from initial collection to final disposition for all such materials or substances and providing for accountability at each stage in handling, testing, storing specimens, and reporting of test results.
(f) “Job applicant” means a person who has applied for a position with an employer and has been offered employment conditioned upon successfully passing a drug test.
(g) “Employee” means a person who works for salary, wages, or other remuneration for an employer.
(h) “Employer” means an agency within state government that employs individuals for salary, wages, or other remuneration.
(i) “Prescription or nonprescription medication” means a drug or medication obtained pursuant to a prescription as defined by s. 893.02 or a medication that is authorized pursuant to federal or state law for general distribution and use without a prescription in the treatment of human diseases, ailments, or injuries.
(j) “Random testing” means a drug test conducted on employees who are selected through the use of a computer-generated random sample of an employer’s employees.
(k) “Reasonable suspicion drug testing” means drug testing based on a belief that an employee is using or has used drugs in violation of the employer’s policy drawn from specific objective and articulable facts and reasonable inferences drawn from those facts in light of experience. Reasonable suspicion drug testing may not be required except upon the recommendation of a supervisor who is at least one level of supervision higher than the immediate supervisor of the employee in question. Among other things, such facts and inferences may be based upon:
1. Observable phenomena while at work, such as direct observation of drug use or of the physical symptoms or manifestations of being under the influence of a drug.
2. Abnormal conduct or erratic behavior while at work or a significant deterioration in work performance.
3. A report of drug use, provided by a reliable and credible source, which has been independently corroborated.
4. Evidence that an individual has tampered with a drug test during employment with the current employer.
5. Information that an employee has caused, or contributed to, an accident while at work.
6. Evidence that an employee has used, possessed, sold, solicited, or transferred drugs while working or while on the employer’s premises or while operating the employer’s vehicle, machinery, or equipment.
(l) “Specimen” means a tissue, hair, or product of the human body capable of revealing the presence of drugs or their metabolites.
(m) “Employee assistance program” means an established program for employee assessment, counseling, and possible referral to an alcohol and drug rehabilitation program.
(n) “Special risk” means employees who are required as a condition of employment to be certified under chapter 633 or chapter 943.
(6) NOTICE TO EMPLOYEES.
(a) Employers with no drug-testing program shall ensure that at least 60 days elapse between a general one-time notice to all employees that a drug-testing program is being implemented and the beginning of actual drug testing. Employers with drug-testing programs in place prior to the effective date of this section are not required to provide a 60-day notice period.
(b) Prior to testing, all employees and job applicants for employment shall be given a written policy statement from the employer which contains:
1. A general statement of the employer’s policy on employee drug use, which shall identify:
a. The types of testing an employee or job applicant may be required to submit to, including reasonable suspicion or other basis; and
b. The actions the employer may take against an employee or job applicant on the basis of a positive confirmed drug test result.
2. A statement advising the employee or job applicant of the existence of this section.
3. A general statement concerning confidentiality.
4. Procedures for employees and job applicants to confidentially report the use of prescription or nonprescription medications both before and after being tested. Additionally, employees and job applicants shall receive notice of the most common medications by brand name or common name, as applicable, as well as by chemical name, which may alter or affect a drug test. A list of such medications shall be developed by the Agency for Health Care Administration.
5. The consequences of refusing to submit to a drug test.
6. Names, addresses, and telephone numbers of employee assistance programs and local alcohol and drug rehabilitation programs.
7. A statement that an employee or job applicant who receives a positive confirmed drug test result may contest or explain the result to the employer within 5 working days after written notification of the positive test result. If an employee or job applicant’s explanation or challenge is unsatisfactory to the employer, the person may contest the drug test result as provided by subsections (14) and (15).
8. A statement informing the employee or job applicant of his or her responsibility to notify the laboratory of any administrative or civil actions brought pursuant to this section.
9. A list of all drugs for which the employer will test, described by brand names or common names, as applicable, as well as by chemical names.
10. A statement regarding any applicable collective bargaining agreement or contract and the right to appeal to the Public Employees Relations Commission.
11. A statement notifying employees and job applicants of their right to consult the testing laboratory for technical information regarding prescription and nonprescription medication.
(c) An employer shall include notice of drug testing on vacancy announcements for those positions where drug testing is required. A notice of the employer’s drug-testing policy shall also be posted in an appropriate and conspicuous location on the employer’s premises, and copies of the policy shall be made available for inspection by the general public during regular business hours in the employer’s personnel office or other suitable locations.
(7) TYPES OF TESTING.Drug testing must be conducted within each agency’s appropriation. An employer may conduct, but is not required to conduct, the following types of drug tests:
(a) Job applicant testing.An employer may require job applicants to submit to a drug test and may use a refusal to submit to a drug test or a positive confirmed drug test as a basis for refusal to hire the job applicant.
(b) Reasonable suspicion.An employer may require an employee to submit to reasonable suspicion drug testing.
(c) Random testing.An employer may conduct random testing once every 3 months. The random sample of employees chosen for testing must be computer-generated by an independent third party. A random sample may not constitute more than 10 percent of the total employee population.
(d) Routine fitness for duty.An employer may require an employee to submit to a drug test if the test is conducted as part of a routinely scheduled employee fitness-for-duty medical examination that is part of the employer’s established policy or that is scheduled routinely for all members of an employment classification or group.
(e) Followup testing.If the employee in the course of employment enters an employee assistance program for drug-related problems, or an alcohol and drug rehabilitation program, the employer may require the employee to submit to a drug test as a followup to such program, and on a quarterly, semiannual, or annual basis for up to 2 years thereafter.
(8) PROCEDURES AND EMPLOYEE PROTECTION.All specimen collection and testing for drugs under this section shall be performed in accordance with the following procedures:
(a) A sample shall be collected with due regard to the privacy of the individual providing the sample, and in a manner reasonably calculated to prevent substitution or contamination of the sample.
(b) Specimen collection shall be documented, and the documentation procedures shall include:
1. Labeling of specimen containers so as to reasonably preclude the likelihood of erroneous identification of test results.
2. A form for the employee or job applicant to provide any information he or she considers relevant to the test, including identification of currently or recently used prescription or nonprescription medication, or other relevant medical information. Such form shall provide notice of the most common medications by brand name or common name, as applicable, as well as by chemical name, which may alter or affect a drug test. The providing of information does not preclude the administration of the drug test, but shall be taken into account in interpreting any positive confirmed results.
(c) Specimen collection, storage, and transportation to the testing site shall be performed in a manner that will reasonably preclude specimen contamination or adulteration.
(d) Each initial and confirmation test conducted under this section, not including the taking or collecting of a specimen to be tested, shall be conducted by a licensed laboratory as described in subsection (12).
(e) A specimen for a drug test may be taken or collected by any of the following persons:
1. A physician, a physician’s assistant, a registered professional nurse, a licensed practical nurse, a nurse practitioner, or a certified paramedic who is present at the scene of an accident for the purpose of rendering emergency medical service or treatment.
2. A qualified person employed by a licensed laboratory.
(f) A person who collects or takes a specimen for a drug test conducted pursuant to this section shall collect an amount sufficient for two drug tests as determined by the Agency for Health Care Administration.
(g) Any drug test conducted or requested by an employer may occur before, during, or immediately after the regular work period of the employee, and shall be deemed to be performed during work time for the purposes of determining compensation and benefits for the employee.
(h) Every specimen that produces a positive confirmed result shall be preserved by the licensed laboratory that conducts the confirmation test for a period of at least 210 days from the time the results of the positive confirmation test are mailed or otherwise delivered to the employer. However, if an employee or job applicant undertakes an administrative or legal challenge to the test result, the employee or job applicant shall notify the laboratory and the sample shall be retained by the laboratory until the case or administrative appeal is settled. During the 180-day period after written notification of a positive test result, the employee or job applicant who has provided the specimen shall be permitted by the employer to have a portion of the specimen retested, at the employee or job applicant’s expense, at another laboratory, licensed and approved by the Agency for Health Care Administration, chosen by the employee or job applicant. The second laboratory must test at equal or greater sensitivity for the drug in question as the first laboratory. The first laboratory that performed the test for the employer is responsible for the transfer of the portion of the specimen to be retested, and for the integrity of the chain of custody during such transfer.
(i) Within 5 working days after receipt of a positive confirmed test result from the testing laboratory, an employer shall inform an employee or job applicant in writing of such positive test result, the consequences of such results, and the options available to the employee or job applicant.
(j) The employer shall provide to the employee or job applicant, upon request, a copy of the test results.
(k) Within 5 working days after receiving notice of a positive confirmed test result, the employee or job applicant may submit information to an employer explaining or contesting the test results, and why the results do not constitute a violation of the employer’s policy.
(l) If an employee or job applicant’s explanation or challenge of the positive test results is unsatisfactory to the employer, a written explanation as to why the employee or job applicant’s explanation is unsatisfactory, along with the report of positive results, shall be provided by the employer to the employee or job applicant. All such documentation shall be kept confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) by the employer pursuant to subsection (11) and shall be retained by the employer for at least 1 year.
(m) An employer may not discharge, discipline, refuse to hire, discriminate against, or request or require rehabilitation of an employee or job applicant on the sole basis of a positive test result that has not been verified by a confirmation test.
(n) Upon successful completion of an employee assistance program or an alcohol and drug rehabilitation program, the employee shall be reinstated to the same or equivalent position that was held prior to such rehabilitation.
(o) An employer may not discharge, discipline, or discriminate against an employee, or refuse to hire a job applicant, on the basis of any prior medical history revealed to the employer pursuant to this section.
(p) An employer who performs drug testing or specimen collection shall use chain-of-custody procedures as established by the Agency for Health Care Administration to ensure proper recordkeeping, handling, labeling, and identification of all specimens to be tested.
(q) An employer shall pay the cost of all drug tests, initial and confirmation, which the employer requires of employees.
(r) An employee or job applicant shall pay the costs of any additional drug tests not required by the employer.
(s) An employer may not discharge, discipline, or discriminate against an employee solely upon voluntarily seeking treatment, while under the employ of the employer, for a drug-related problem if the employee has not previously tested positive for drug use, entered an employee assistance program for drug-related problems, or entered an alcohol and drug rehabilitation program. However, special risk employees may be subject to discharge or disciplinary action when the presence of illicit drugs, pursuant to s. 893.13, is confirmed.
(t) If testing is conducted based on reasonable suspicion, each employer shall promptly detail in writing the circumstances which formed the basis of the determination that reasonable suspicion existed to warrant the testing. A copy of this documentation shall be given to the employee upon request and the original documentation shall be kept confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) by the employer pursuant to subsection (11) and retained by the employer for at least 1 year.
(u) If an employee is unable to participate in outpatient rehabilitation, the employee may be placed on leave status while participating in an employee assistance program or an alcohol and drug rehabilitation program. If placed on leave-without-pay status, the employee shall be permitted to use any accumulated leave credits prior to being placed on leave without pay. Upon successful completion of an employee assistance program or an alcohol and drug rehabilitation program, the employee shall be reinstated to the same or equivalent position that was held prior to such rehabilitation.
(9) CONFIRMATION TESTING.
(a) If an initial drug test is negative, the employer may in its sole discretion and at the employer’s expense seek a confirmation test.
(b) Only licensed laboratories as described in subsection (12) shall conduct confirmation drug tests.
(c) All positive initial tests shall be confirmed using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) or an equivalent or more accurate scientifically accepted method approved by the Agency for Health Care Administration as such technology becomes available in a cost-effective form.
(10) EMPLOYER PROTECTION.
(a) No employee or job applicant whose drug test result is confirmed as positive in accordance with the provisions of this section shall, by virtue of the result alone, be defined as a person with a “handicap” as cited in the 1973 Rehabilitation Act.
(b) An employer who discharges or disciplines an employee or refuses to hire a job applicant in compliance with this section shall be considered to have discharged, disciplined, or refused to hire for cause.
(c) No physician-patient relationship is created between an employee or job applicant and an employer or any person performing or evaluating a drug test, solely by the establishment, implementation, or administration of a drug-testing program.
(d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent an employer from establishing reasonable work rules related to employee possession, use, sale, or solicitation of drugs, including convictions for drug-related offenses, and taking action based upon a violation of any of those rules.
(e) Nothing in this section shall be construed to operate retroactively, and nothing in this section shall abrogate the right of an employer under state law to conduct drug tests prior to January 1, 1990. A drug test conducted by an employer prior to January 1, 1990, is not subject to this section.
(f) If an employee or job applicant refuses to submit to a drug test, the employer shall not be barred from discharging or disciplining the employee, or from refusing to hire the job applicant. However, nothing in this paragraph shall abrogate the rights and remedies of the employee or job applicant as otherwise provided in this section.
(g) An employer who refuses to hire a job applicant based on a positive confirmed drug test result shall not be required to hold the employment position vacant while the job applicant pursues administrative action. However, should the job applicant prevail in the actions, the employer shall provide him or her the opportunity of employment in the next available comparable position.
(h) An employer may discharge or discipline an employee following a first-time positive confirmed drug test result. If the employer does not discharge the employee, the employer may refer the employee to an employee assistance program or an alcohol and drug rehabilitation program in which the employee may participate at the expense of the employee or pursuant to a health insurance plan.
1. If an employer refers an employee to an employee assistance program or an alcohol and drug rehabilitation program, the employer must determine whether the employee is able to safely and effectively perform the job duties assigned to the employee while the employee participates in the employee assistance program or the alcohol and drug rehabilitation program.
2. An employee whose assigned duties require the employee to carry a firearm, work closely with an employee who carries a firearm, perform life-threatening procedures, work with heavy or dangerous machinery, work as a safety inspector, work with children, work with detainees in the correctional system, work with confidential information or documents pertaining to criminal investigations, work with controlled substances, hold a position subject to s. 110.1127, or hold a position in which a momentary lapse in attention could result in injury or death to another person, is deemed unable to safely and effectively perform the job duties assigned to the employee while the employee participates in the employee assistance program or the alcohol and drug rehabilitation program.
3. If an employer refers an employee to an employee assistance program or an alcohol and drug rehabilitation program and the employer determines that the employee is unable, or the employee is deemed unable, to safely and effectively perform the job duties assigned to the employee before he or she completes the employee assistance program or the alcohol and drug rehabilitation program, the employer shall place the employee in a job assignment that the employer determines the employee can safely and effectively perform while participating in the employee assistance program or the alcohol and drug rehabilitation program.
4. If a job assignment in which the employee may safely and effectively perform is unavailable, the employer shall place the employee on leave status while the employee is participating in an employee assistance program or an alcohol and drug rehabilitation program. If placed on leave status without pay, the employee may use accumulated leave credits before being placed on leave without pay.
(i) This section does not prohibit an employer from conducting medical screening or other tests required by any statute, rule, or regulation for the purpose of monitoring exposure of employees to toxic or other unhealthy substances in the workplace or in the performance of job responsibilities. Such screening or tests shall be limited to the specific substances expressly identified in the applicable statute, rule, or regulation, unless prior written consent of the employee is obtained for other tests.
(11) CONFIDENTIALITY.
(a) Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, all information, interviews, reports, statements, memoranda, and drug test results, written or otherwise, received or produced as a result of a drug-testing program are confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution, and may not be used or received in evidence, obtained in discovery, or disclosed in any public or private proceedings, except in accordance with this section.
(b) Employers, laboratories, employee assistance programs, drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs, and their agents may not release any information concerning drug test results obtained pursuant to this section without a written consent form signed voluntarily by the person tested, except where such release is compelled by a hearing officer or a court of competent jurisdiction pursuant to an appeal taken under this section, or where deemed appropriate by a professional or occupational licensing board in a related disciplinary proceeding. The consent form must contain, at a minimum:
1. The name of the person who is authorized to obtain the information.
2. The purpose of the disclosure.
3. The precise information to be disclosed.
4. The duration of the consent.
5. The signature of the person authorizing release of the information.
(c) Information on drug test results shall not be released or used in any criminal proceeding against the employee or job applicant. Information released contrary to this section shall be inadmissible as evidence in any such criminal proceeding.
(d) Nothing herein shall be construed to prohibit certifying bodies of special risk employees from receiving information on positive confirmed drug test results for the purpose of reviewing certification.
(e) Nothing herein shall be construed to prohibit the employer, agent of the employer, or laboratory conducting a drug test from having access to employee drug test information when consulting with legal counsel in connection with actions brought under or related to this section or where the information is relevant to its defense in a civil or administrative matter.
(12) DRUG-TESTING STANDARDS; LABORATORIES.
(a) The requirements of part II of chapter 408 apply to the provision of services that require licensure pursuant to this section and part II of chapter 408 and to entities licensed by or applying for such licensure from the Agency for Health Care Administration pursuant to this section. A license issued by the agency is required in order to operate a laboratory.
(b) A laboratory may analyze initial or confirmation drug specimens only if:
1. The laboratory is licensed and approved by the Agency for Health Care Administration using criteria established by the United States Department of Health and Human Services as general guidelines for modeling the state drug testing program and in accordance with part II of chapter 408. Each applicant for licensure and licensee must comply with all requirements of part II of chapter 408.
2. The laboratory has written procedures to ensure chain of custody.
3. The laboratory follows proper quality control procedures, including, but not limited to:
a. The use of internal quality controls including the use of samples of known concentrations which are used to check the performance and calibration of testing equipment, and periodic use of blind samples for overall accuracy.
b. An internal review and certification process for drug test results, conducted by a person qualified to perform that function in the testing laboratory.
c. Security measures implemented by the testing laboratory to preclude adulteration of specimens and drug test results.
d. Other necessary and proper actions taken to ensure reliable and accurate drug test results.
(c) A laboratory shall disclose to the employer a written test result report within 7 working days after receipt of the sample. All laboratory reports of a drug test result shall, at a minimum, state:
1. The name and address of the laboratory which performed the test and the positive identification of the person tested.
2. Positive results on confirmation tests only, or negative results, as applicable.
3. A list of the drugs for which the drug analyses were conducted.
4. The type of tests conducted for both initial and confirmation tests and the minimum cutoff levels of the tests.
5. Any correlation between medication reported by the employee or job applicant pursuant to subparagraph (8)(b)2. and a positive confirmed drug test result.

No report shall disclose the presence or absence of any drug other than a specific drug and its metabolites listed pursuant to this section.

(d) The laboratory shall submit to the Agency for Health Care Administration a monthly report with statistical information regarding the testing of employees and job applicants. The reports shall include information on the methods of analyses conducted, the drugs tested for, the number of positive and negative results for both initial and confirmation tests, and any other information deemed appropriate by the Agency for Health Care Administration. No monthly report shall identify specific employees or job applicants.
(e) Laboratories shall provide technical assistance to the employer, employee, or job applicant for the purpose of interpreting any positive confirmed test results which could have been caused by prescription or nonprescription medication taken by the employee or job applicant.
(13) RULES.
(a) The Agency for Health Care Administration may adopt additional rules to support this law and part II of chapter 408, using criteria established by the United States Department of Health and Human Services as general guidelines for modeling drug-free workplace laboratories, concerning, but not limited to:
1. Standards for drug-testing laboratory licensing and denial, suspension, and revocation of a license.
2. Urine, hair, blood, and other body specimens and minimum specimen amounts which are appropriate for drug testing, not inconsistent with other provisions established by law.
3. Methods of analysis and procedures to ensure reliable drug-testing results, including standards for initial tests and confirmation tests, not inconsistent with other provisions established by law.
4. Minimum cutoff detection levels for drugs or their metabolites for the purposes of determining a positive test result, not inconsistent with other provisions established by law.
5. Chain-of-custody procedures to ensure proper identification, labeling, and handling of specimens being tested, not inconsistent with other provisions established by law.
6. Retention, storage, and transportation procedures to ensure reliable results on confirmation tests and retests.
7. A list of the most common medications by brand name or common name, as applicable, as well as by chemical name, which may alter or affect a drug test.
(b) The following standards and procedures are established related to hair testing:
1. Hair cutoff levels for initial drug-screening tests.The following initial cutoff levels must be used when screening hair specimens to determine whether they are negative for these drugs or their metabolites:
a. Marijuana: 10 pg/10 mg of hair;
b. Cocaine: 5 ng/10 mg of hair; and
c. Opiate/synthetic narcotics and metabolites: 5 ng/10 mg of hair. For the purpose of this section, opiate and metabolites include the following:
(I) Codeine;
(II) Heroin, monoacetylmorphine (heroin metabolites);
(III) Morphine;
d. Phencyclidine: 3 ng/10 mg of hair; and
e. Amphetamines: 5 ng/10 mg of hair. For the purpose of this section, amphetamines include the following:
(I) Amphetamines;
(II) Methamphetamine;
2. Hair cutoff levels for drug confirmation testing.
a. All specimens identified as positive on the initial test must be confirmed using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS), mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry (MS/MS) at the following cutoff levels for these drugs on their metabolites. All confirmations must be by quantitative analysis.
(I) Marijuana metabolites: 1 pg/10 mg of hair (Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol-0-carboxylic acid).
(II) Cocaine: must be at or above 5 ng/10 mg of hair. Cocaine metabolites if present will be recorded at the following minimum levels:
(A) Benzoylecgonine at 1 ng/10 mg of hair; and
(B) Cocaethlyene at 1 ng/10 mg of hair.
(III) Opiate/synthetic narcotics and metabolites: 5 ng/10 mg of hair; opiate and metabolites include the following:
(A) Codeine;
(B) 6-Monoacetylmorphine (heroin metabolite); and
(C) Morphine.
(IV) Phencyclidine: 3 ng/10 mg of hair.
(V) Amphetamines: 5 ng/10 mg of hair. For the purpose of this section, amphetamines include the following:
(A) Amphetamines; and
(B) Methamphetamines.
b. All hair specimens undergoing confirmation must be decontaminated using a wash procedure which has been published in the peer-reviewed literature which, as a minimum, has an initial 15-minute organic solvent wash followed by multiple (minimum of three) 30-minute aqueous washes.
c. After hair is washed, the drug entrapped in the hair is released either by digestion (chemical or enzymatic) or by multiple solvent extractions. The resulting digest or pooled solvent extracts are then screened and confirmed by approved methods.
d. All confirmation analysis methods must eliminate the melanin fraction of the hair before analysis. If a nondigestion method is used, the laboratory must present published data in the peer-reviewed literature from a large population study which indicates that the method of extraction does not possess a statistically significant hair-color bias.
e. Additional hair samples may be collected to reconfirm the initial report. The recollected sample shall be retested as specified; however, the confirmation analysis must be performed even if the screening test is negative. A second positive report must be made if the drug concentration in the digest by confirmation methods exceeds the limit of quantitation of the testing laboratory’s method. A second test must be offered to anyone disputing a positive hair test result.
3. Hair specimen collection procedures.
a. Designation of collection site.Each drug-testing program shall have one or more designated collection sites which have all necessary personnel, materials, equipment, facilities, and supervision to provide for the collection, security, temporary storage, and shipping or transportation of hair specimens to a licensed drug-testing facility.
b. Security.While security is important with any collection, in the case of hair, only the temporary storage area in the designated collection site needs to be secure.
c. Chain of custody.Chain-of-custody standardized forms shall be properly executed by authorized collection site personnel upon receipt of specimens. Handling and transportation of hair specimens from one authorized individual or place to another shall always be accomplished through chain-of-custody procedures. Every effort shall be made to minimize the number of persons handling specimens.
d. Access to authorized personnel only.The hair collection site need be off limits to unauthorized personnel only during the actual collection of specimens.
e. Privacy.Procedures for collecting hair should be performed on one individual at a time to prevent substitutions or interference with the collection of reliable samples. Procedures must ensure that the hair collection does not infringe on the individual’s privacy.
f. Integrity and identity of specimen.Precautions must be taken to ensure that the root end of a hair specimen is indicated for the laboratory which performs the testing. The maximum length of hair that shall be tested is 3.9 cm distal from the head, which on average represents a 3-month time window. The following minimum precautions must be taken when collecting a hair specimen to ensure that specimens are obtained and correctly identified:
(I) When an individual arrives at the collection site, the collection site personnel shall request the individual to present photo identification. If the individual does not have proper photo identification, the collection site personnel shall contact the supervisor of the individual, the coordinator of the drug testing program, or any other employer official who can positively identify the individual. If the individual’s identity cannot be established, the collection site personnel shall not proceed with the collection.
(II) If the individual fails to arrive at the assigned time, the collection site personnel shall contact the appropriate authority to obtain guidance on the action to be taken.
(III) The collection site personnel shall note any unusual behavior or appearance on the chain-of-custody form.
(IV) Hair shall be cut as close to the scalp or body, excluding the pubic area, as possible. Upon taking the specimen from the individual, the collection site personnel shall determine that it contains approximately 1/2-inch of hair when fanned out on a ruler (about 40 mg of hair).
(V) Both the individual being tested and the collection site personnel shall keep the specimen in view at all times prior to the specimen container being sealed with a tamper-resistant seal and labeled with the individual’s specimen number and other required information.
(VI) The collection site personnel shall label the container which contains the hair with the date, the individual’s specimen number, and any other identifying information provided or required by the drug-testing program.
(VII) The individual shall initial the container for the purpose of certifying that it is the specimen collected from the individual.
(VIII) The collection site personnel shall indicate on the chain-of-custody form all information identifying the specimen. The collection site personnel shall sign the chain-of-custody form next to the identifying information or the chain of custody on the specimen container.
(IX) The individual must be asked to read and sign a statement certifying that the specimen identified as having been collected from the individual is in fact that specimen the individual provided.
(X) The collection site personnel shall complete the chain-of-custody form.
g. Collection control.To the maximum extent possible, collection site personnel shall keep the individual’s specimen container within sight both before and after collection. After the specimen is collected, it must be properly sealed and labeled. An approved chain-of-custody form must be used for maintaining control and accountability of each specimen from the point of collection to final disposition of the specimen. The date and purpose must be documented on an approved chain-of-custody form each time a specimen is handled or transferred, and every individual in the chain must be identified. Every effort must be made to minimize the number of persons handling specimens.
h. Transportation to the testing facility.Collection site personnel shall arrange to transport the collected specimens to the drug-testing facility. The specimens shall be placed in containers which shall be securely sealed to eliminate the possibility of undetected tampering. The collection site personnel shall ensure that the chain-of-custody documentation is sealed separately from the specimen and placed inside the container sealed for transfer to the drug-testing facility.
4. Quality assurance and quality control.
a. Quality assurance.Testing facilities shall have a quality assurance program which encompasses all aspects of the testing process, including, but not limited to, specimen acquisition, chain of custody, security and reporting of results, initial and confirmatory testing, and validation of analytical procedures. Quality assurance procedures shall be designed, implemented, and reviewed to monitor the conduct of each step of the process of testing for drugs.
b. Quality control.
(I) Each analytical run of specimens to be screened shall include:
(A) Hair specimens certified to contain no drug;
(B) Hair specimens fortified with known standards; and
(C) Positive controls with the drug or metabolite at or near the threshold (cutoff).
(II) In addition, with each batch of samples, a sufficient number of standards shall be included to ensure and document the linearity of the assay method over time in the concentration area of the cutoff. After acceptable values are obtained for the known standards, those values must be used to calculate sample data. Implementation of procedures to ensure that carryover does not contaminate the testing of an individual’s specimen must be documented. A minimum of 5 percent of all test samples must be quality control specimens. The testing facility’s quality control samples, prepared from fortified hair samples of determined concentration, must be included in the run and must appear as normal samples to drug-screen testing facility analysis. One percent of each run, with a minimum of at least one sample, must be the testing facility’s own quality control samples.
5.a. Proficiency testing.
(I) Each hair drug-testing facility shall enroll and demonstrate satisfactory performance in a proficiency-testing program established by an independent group.
(II) The drug-testing facility shall maintain records which document the handling, processing, and examination of all proficiency-testing samples for a minimum of 2 years from the date of testing.
(III) The drug-testing facility shall ensure that proficiency-testing samples are analyzed at least three times each year using the same techniques as those employed for unknown specimens.
(IV) The proficiency-testing samples must be included with the routine sample run and tested with the same frequency as unknown samples by the individuals responsible for testing unknown specimens.
(V) The drug-testing facility may not engage in discussions or communications concerning proficiency-testing results with other drug-testing facilities, nor may they send proficiency-testing samples or portions of the samples to another drug-testing facility for analysis.
b. Satisfactory performance.
(I) The drug-testing facility shall maintain an overall testing-event score equivalent to passing proficiency scores for other drug-testing matrices.
(II) Failure to participate in a proficiency-testing event shall result in a score of 0 percent for that testing event.
c. Unsuccessful performance.Failure to achieve satisfactory performance in two consecutive testing events, or two out of three consecutive testing events, is determined to be unsuccessful performance.
(c) The Department of Management Services may adopt rules for all executive branch agencies implementing this section.
(d) The State Courts Administrator may adopt rules for the state courts system implementing this section.
(e) The Justice Administrative Commission may adopt rules on behalf of the state attorneys and public defenders of Florida, the capital collateral regional counsel, and the Judicial Qualifications Commission.
(f) The President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives may adopt rules, policies, or procedures for the employees and members of the legislative branch implementing this section.

This section shall not be construed to eliminate the bargainable rights as provided in the collective bargaining process where applicable.

(14) DISCIPLINE REMEDIES.
(a) An executive branch employee who is disciplined or who is a job applicant for another position and is not hired pursuant to this section, may file an appeal with the Public Employees Relations Commission. Any appeal must be filed within 30 calendar days of receipt by the employee or job applicant of notice of discipline or refusal to hire. The notice shall inform the employee or job applicant of the right to file an appeal, or if available, the right to file a collective bargaining grievance pursuant to s. 447.401. Such appeals shall be resolved pursuant to the procedures established in ss. 447.207(1)-(4), 447.208(2), and 447.503(4) and (5). A hearing on the appeal shall be conducted within 30 days of the filing of the appeal, unless an extension is requested by the employee or job applicant and granted by the commission or an arbitrator.
(b) The commission shall promulgate rules concerning the receipt, processing, and resolution of appeals filed pursuant to this section.
(c) Appeals to the commission shall be the exclusive administrative remedy for any employee who is disciplined or any job applicant who is not hired pursuant to this section, notwithstanding the provisions of chapter 120. However, nothing in this subsection shall affect the right of an employee or job applicant to file a collective bargaining grievance pursuant to s. 447.401 provided that an employee or job applicant may not file both an appeal and a grievance.
(d) An employee or a job applicant who has been disciplined or who has not been hired pursuant to this section must exhaust either the administrative appeal process or collective bargaining grievance-arbitration process.
(e) Upon resolving an appeal filed pursuant to paragraph (c), and finding a violation of this section, the commission may order the following relief:
1. Rescind the disciplinary action, expunge related records from the personnel file of the employee or job applicant and reinstate the employee.
2. Order compliance with paragraph (10)(g).
3. Award back pay and benefits.
4. Award the prevailing employee or job applicant the necessary costs of the appeal, reasonable attorney’s fees, and expert witness fees.
(15) NONDISCIPLINE REMEDIES.
(a) Any person alleging a violation of the provisions of this section, that is not remediable by the commission or an arbitrator pursuant to subsection (14), must institute a civil action for injunctive relief or damages, or both, in a court of competent jurisdiction within 180 days of the alleged violation, or be barred from obtaining the following relief. Relief is limited to:
1. An order restraining the continued violation of this section.
2. An award of the costs of litigation, expert witness fees, reasonable attorney’s fees, and noneconomic damages provided that damages shall be limited to the recovery of damages directly resulting from injury or loss caused by each violation of this section.
(b) Any employer who complies with the provisions of this section shall be without liability from all civil actions arising from any drug testing program or procedure performed in compliance with this section.
(c) Pursuant to any claim alleging a violation of this section, including a claim under this section where it is alleged that an employer’s action with respect to a person was based on an incorrect test result, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the test was valid if the employer complied with the provisions of this section.
(d) No cause of action shall arise in favor of any person based upon the failure of an employer to establish a program or policy for drug testing.
(16) FEDERAL COMPLIANCE.The drug-testing procedures provided in this section do not apply where the specific work performed requires employees or job applicants to be subject to drug testing pursuant to:
(a) Federal regulations that specifically preempt state and local regulation of drug testing with respect to such employees and job applicants;
(b) Federal regulations or requirements enacted or implemented in connection with the operation of federally regulated facilities;
(c) Federal contracts where the drug testing is conducted for safety, or protection of sensitive or proprietary data or national security; or
(d) State agency rules that adopt federal regulations applicable to the interstate component of a federally regulated activity.
(17) LICENSE FEE.Fees from licensure of drug-testing laboratories shall be sufficient to carry out the responsibilities of the Agency for Health Care Administration for the regulation of drug-testing laboratories. In accordance with s. 408.805, applicants and licensees shall pay a fee for each license application submitted under this part, part II of chapter 408, and applicable rules. The fee shall be not less than $16,000 or more than $20,000 per biennium and shall be established by rule.
History.s. 1, ch. 89-173; s. 1, ch. 90-238; s. 25, ch. 90-360; s. 1, ch. 91-201; s. 6, ch. 91-279; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 40, ch. 92-279; s. 55, ch. 92-326; s. 7, ch. 93-129; s. 2, ch. 95-119; s. 680, ch. 95-147; s. 1, ch. 96-289; s. 32, ch. 96-406; s. 7, ch. 98-136; ss. 5, 71, ch. 98-171; s. 53, ch. 2000-349; s. 25, ch. 2001-53; s. 2, ch. 2001-67; s. 148, ch. 2001-277; s. 37, ch. 2004-267; s. 11, ch. 2006-1; s. 7, ch. 2007-217; s. 1, ch. 2007-230; s. 1, ch. 2012-8.
112.046 Political party committee membership allowed.Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an officer or employee of the state or any political subdivision may also serve as a member of the state executive committee or county executive committee of a political party. No person shall be required to resign from public office or employment, nor shall any person be fired or removed from such public office or employment, because of membership on such a committee prior to June 25, 1980.
History.s. 3, ch. 80-207; s. 681, ch. 95-147.
112.048 Voluntary retirement with half pay authorized for elective officers of cities or towns; appropriation.
(1) The intent of the Legislature is to authorize and direct each city and town to provide a system of retirement for elected officials, but it is further the intent that each city or town may determine whether the system will be contributory or noncontributory.
(2)(a) From and after June 3, 1939, whenever any elective officer of any city or town of this state has held any elective office of such city or town for a period of 20 years or more consecutively, or for a period of 20 years or more consecutively, except for one period not exceeding 6 months, such elective officer may voluntarily resign or retire from such elective office with the right to be paid on the officer’s own requisition by such city or town during the remainder of his or her natural life a sum equal to one-half of the full amount of the annual or monthly salary that such city or town was authorized by law to pay said elective officer at the time of resignation or retirement; and such city and town shall appropriate and provide in its annual budget sufficient moneys to meet the requirements of this section when no other plan is available for elected local officials. In cases in which an elective officer during any term of office entered or enters and served or serves in the Armed Forces of the United States during any period during which the United States was or shall be engaged in war and thereafter was or shall be appointed or again elected to the same elective office prior to discharge from such service in the Armed Forces, such time of service in the Armed Forces shall not be construed to be a break in consecutive service and shall be counted in determining the years of consecutive service of such elective officer.
(b) The provisions of this subsection shall not operate to preclude any elected officer from retiring under, and receiving benefits pursuant to, the provisions of this section as it existed prior to October 1, 1973, if such officer had, prior to that date, completed the required 20 years of service or been elected to a term upon the expiration of which he or she completes the required 20 years of service. However, if on October 1, 1973, an elected officer had completed at least 10 of the required 20 years of service, the city or town may elect to provide an annual or monthly retirement salary as provided in this subsection.
(3) Each city or town may by ordinance establish a contributory retirement system for those officials defined in subsection (2). The rules for participation, the amount of the official’s contributions, and the method of appropriation and payment may be determined by ordinance of the city or town.
History.s. 1, ch. 19247, 1939; CGL 1940 Supp. 2998(1); s. 1, ch. 57-805; s. 1, ch. 65-455; s. 1, ch. 72-280; s. 4, ch. 73-129; s. 1, ch. 74-231; s. 1, ch. 84-351; s. 682, ch. 95-147.
Note.Former ss. 165.25, 121.20.
112.05 Retirement; cost-of-living adjustment; employment after retirement.
(1)(a) Whenever any state official or state employee has attained the age of 70 years or more and has served the state as either an official or employee, or both, for as much as 20 consecutive years or more or for an aggregate time of 30 years or more, or whenever any state official or employee, irrespective of age, has served the state as either an official or employee, or both, for 30 consecutive years or more, or for as much as an aggregate of 35 years or more, such official or employee may retire from office as such official or employee with the right to be paid, and shall be paid monthly on his or her own requisition during the remainder of his or her natural life one-half the amount of the average monthly salary received during the last 10 years of such service; and sufficient money to meet the requirements of this section is hereby appropriated out of any moneys in the State Treasury not otherwise appropriated. Provided, that military service in the Armed Forces of the United States shall be computed as a part of the time specified hereinabove as entitling a state official or employee to the benefits of this section. This section shall apply only to persons retired or persons who are on a state payroll June 30, 1953, and remain continuously on a state payroll until eligible to retire. This section shall not affect any state official or employee who has already retired under any retirement act, except that no Cabinet officer qualifying shall receive less than $4,500 per year.
(b)1. Any state official or state employee who, as of January 1, 1976, has served the state as either an official or employee, or both, for 29 consecutive years, irrespective of age, and who has a terminal or critical illness, which illness is certified by two physicians licensed in this state as terminal or critical, shall be eligible for early retirement. The benefits accruing to any such person under this section shall be reduced by five-twelfths of 1 percent for each complete month by which such retirement precedes the 30 years of service required under paragraph (a).
2. Any state official or employee eligible to retire pursuant to the provisions of this paragraph may retire from office as such official or employee with the right to be paid, and shall be paid monthly on his or her own requisition, during the remainder of his or her natural life, one-half the amount of the average monthly salary received during the last 10 years of service, less the actuarial reduction provided for in subparagraph 1.
(c) Upon the death of a retired state officer or employee receiving monthly benefits under this section, the monthly benefits shall be paid through the last day of the month of death and shall terminate on that date.
(2) An annual cost-of-living adjustment shall be made to the monthly benefit payable to retirees who are retired under this section pursuant to the provisions of s. 121.101.
(3) Any person who is retired under this section may be employed by an employer who does not participate in a state-administered retirement system and may receive compensation from such employment without limiting or restricting in any way the retirement benefits payable to such person.
(4)(a) Any person who is retired under this section may be reemployed by any private or public employer after retirement and receive retirement benefits and compensation from his or her employer without limitation, except that no person may receive both a salary from reemployment with any agency participating in the Florida Retirement System and retirement benefits under this chapter for a period of 12 months immediately subsequent to the date of retirement.
(b) Any person to whom the limitation in paragraph (a) applies who violates such reemployment limitation and is reemployed with any agency participating in the Florida Retirement System prior to completion of the 12-month limitation period shall give timely notice of this fact in writing to the employer and to the division; and the person’s retirement benefits shall be suspended for the balance of the 12-month limitation period. Any person employed in violation of this subsection and any employing agency which knowingly employs or appoints such person without notifying the Department of Management Services to suspend retirement benefits shall be jointly and severally liable for reimbursement to the retirement trust fund of any benefits paid during the reemployment limitation period. To avoid liability, such employing agency shall have a written statement from the retiree that he or she is not retired from a state-administered retirement system. Any retirement benefits received by such person while reemployed during this limitation period shall be repaid to the retirement trust fund, and the retirement benefits shall remain suspended until such repayment has been made. Any benefits suspended beyond the reemployment limitation period shall apply toward the repayment of benefits received in violation of the reemployment limitation.
(c) An employer, upon employment of any person who has been retired under a state-administered retirement program, shall pay retirement contributions in an amount equal to the unfunded actuarial accrued liability portion of the employer contribution which would be required for a regular member of the Florida Retirement System.
(d) The limitations of this subsection apply to reemployment in any capacity with an employer as defined in s. 121.021(10), irrespective of the category of funds from which the person is compensated.
History.s. 1, ch. 12293, 1927; CGL 242; s. 1, ch. 17274, 1935; s. 1, ch. 20499, 1941; s. 1, ch. 22828, 1945; ss. 1, chs. 28147, 28148, 1953; s. 1, ch. 74-303; s. 1, ch. 76-212; s. 1, ch. 80-126; s. 2, ch. 80-130; s. 1, ch. 81-307; s. 31, ch. 83-217; s. 19, ch. 84-266; s. 1, ch. 90-274; s. 3, ch. 95-146; s. 683, ch. 95-147; s. 1, ch. 96-368; s. 12, ch. 99-255.
Note.Former s. 121.001.
112.0501 Ratification of certain dual retirements.
(1) Any state employee who was permitted by the Comptroller, as administrator of the retirement provisions of s. 112.05 and chapter 122, to retire under the provisions of both such statutes prior to April 23, 1969, when the Attorney General ruled that such dual retirements are prohibited by s. 122.10(3), as recodified by the Legislature in 1965, shall receive and enjoy the retirement benefits awarded upon retirement, the provisions of s. 122.10(3) to the contrary notwithstanding.
(2) The exceptions granted to state retirees coming under the provisions of subsection (1) shall not apply to any state employee retiring subsequent to November 1, 1970, and the administrator of the Florida Retirement System is hereby directed to establish such rules and procedures as may be necessary to prohibit such dual retirements for members of the Florida Retirement System or any retirement system consolidated therein pursuant to s. 121.011(2).
History.s. 1, ch. 72-202; s. 684, ch. 95-147.
112.0515 Retirement or pension rights unaffected by consolidation or merger of governmental agencies.It is hereby declared to be the policy of this state that in any consolidation or merger of governments or the transfer of functions between units of governments either at the state or local level or between state and local units, the rights of all public employees in any retirement or pension fund shall be fully protected. No consolidation or merger of governments or governmental services, either state or local, accomplished in this state shall diminish or impair the rights of any public employee in any retirement or pension fund or plan which existed at the date of such consolidation or merger and in which the employee was participating, nor shall such consolidation or merger result in any impairment or reduction in benefits or other pension rights accruing to such employee.
History.s. 1, ch. 72-210.
112.061 Per diem and travel expenses of public officers, employees, and authorized persons.
(1) LEGISLATIVE INTENT.To prevent inequities, conflicts, inconsistencies, and lapses in the numerous laws regulating or attempting to regulate travel expenses of public officers, employees, and authorized persons in the state, it is the intent of the Legislature:
(a) To establish standard travel reimbursement rates, procedures, and limitations, with certain justifiable exceptions and exemptions, applicable to all public officers, employees, and authorized persons whose travel is authorized and paid by a public agency.
(b) To preserve the standardization established by this law:
1. The provisions of this section shall prevail over any conflicting provisions in a general law, present or future, to the extent of the conflict; but if any such general law contains a specific exemption from this section, including a specific reference to this section, such general law shall prevail, but only to the extent of the exemption.
2. The provisions of any special or local law, present or future, shall prevail over any conflicting provisions in this section, but only to the extent of the conflict.
(2) DEFINITIONS.For the purposes of this section, the following words shall have the meanings indicated:
(a) Agency or public agencyAny office, department, agency, division, subdivision, political subdivision, board, bureau, commission, authority, district, public body, body politic, county, city, town, village, municipality, or any other separate unit of government created pursuant to law.
(b) Agency head or head of the agencyThe highest policymaking authority of a public agency, as herein defined.
(c) Officer or public officerAn individual who in the performance of his or her official duties is vested by law with sovereign powers of government and who is either elected by the people, or commissioned by the Governor and has jurisdiction extending throughout the state, or any person lawfully serving instead of either of the foregoing two classes of individuals as initial designee or successor.
(d) Employee or public employeeAn individual, whether commissioned or not, other than an officer or authorized person as defined herein, who is filling a regular or full-time authorized position and is responsible to an agency head.
(e) Authorized person
1. A person other than a public officer or employee as defined herein, whether elected or commissioned or not, who is authorized by an agency head to incur travel expenses in the performance of official duties.
2. A person who is called upon by an agency to contribute time and services as consultant or adviser.
3. A person who is a candidate for an executive or professional position.
(f) TravelerA public officer, public employee, or authorized person, when performing authorized travel.
(g) Travel expense, traveling expenses, necessary expenses while traveling, actual expenses while traveling, or words of similar natureThe usual ordinary and incidental expenditures necessarily incurred by a traveler.
(h) Common carrierTrain, bus, commercial airline operating scheduled flights, or rental cars of an established rental car firm.
(i) Travel dayA period of 24 hours consisting of four quarters of 6 hours each.
(j) Travel periodA period of time between the time of departure and time of return.
(k) Class A travelContinuous travel of 24 hours or more away from official headquarters.
(l) Class B travelContinuous travel of less than 24 hours which involves overnight absence from official headquarters.
(m) Class C travelTravel for short or day trips where the traveler is not away from his or her official headquarters overnight.
(n) Foreign travelTravel outside the United States.
(3) AUTHORITY TO INCUR TRAVEL EXPENSES.
(a) All travel must be authorized and approved by the head of the agency, or his or her designated representative, from whose funds the traveler is paid. The head of the agency shall not authorize or approve such a request unless it is accompanied by a signed statement by the traveler’s supervisor stating that such travel is on the official business of the state and also stating the purpose of such travel.
(b) Travel expenses of travelers shall be limited to those expenses necessarily incurred by them in the performance of a public purpose authorized by law to be performed by the agency and must be within the limitations prescribed by this section.
(c) Travel by public officers or employees serving temporarily in behalf of another agency or partly in behalf of more than one agency at the same time, or authorized persons who are called upon to contribute time and services as consultants or advisers, may be authorized by the agency head. Complete explanation and justification must be shown on the travel expense voucher or attached thereto.
(d) Travel expenses of public employees for the sole purpose of taking merit system or other job placement examinations, written or oral, shall not be allowed under any circumstances, except that upon prior written approval of the agency head or his or her designee, candidates for executive or professional positions may be allowed travel expenses pursuant to this section.
(e) Travel expenses of public officers or employees for the purpose of implementing, organizing, directing, coordinating, or administering, or supporting the implementation, organization, direction, coordination, or administration of, activities related to or involving travel to a terrorist state shall not be allowed under any circumstances. For purposes of this section, “terrorist state” is defined as any state, country, or nation designated by the United States Department of State as a state sponsor of terrorism.
(f) The agency head, or a designated representative, may pay by advancement or reimbursement, or a combination thereof, the costs of per diem of travelers for foreign travel at the current rates as specified in the federal publication “Standardized Regulations (Government Civilians, Foreign Areas)” and incidental expenses as provided in this section.
(g) A traveler who becomes sick or injured while away from his or her official headquarters and is therefore unable to perform the official business of the agency may continue to receive subsistence as provided in subsection (6) during this period of illness or injury until such time as he or she is able to perform the official business of the agency or returns to his or her official headquarters, whichever is earlier. Such subsistence may be paid when approved by the agency head or his or her designee.
(h) The State Surgeon General or a designee may authorize travel expenses incidental to the rendering of medical services for and on behalf of clients of the Department of Health. The Department of Health may establish rates lower than the rate provided in this section for these travel expenses.
(4) OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS.The official headquarters of an officer or employee assigned to an office shall be the city or town in which the office is located except that:
(a) The official headquarters of a person located in the field shall be the city or town nearest to the area where the majority of the person’s work is performed, or such other city, town, or area as may be designated by the agency head provided that in all cases such designation must be in the best interests of the agency and not for the convenience of the person.
(b) When any state employee is stationed in any city or town for a period of over 30 continuous workdays, such city or town shall be deemed to be the employee’s official headquarters, and he or she shall not be allowed per diem or subsistence, as provided in this section, after the said period of 30 continuous workdays has elapsed, unless this period of time is extended by the express approval of the agency head or his or her designee.
(c) A traveler may leave his or her assigned post to return home overnight, over a weekend, or during a holiday, but any time lost from regular duties shall be taken as annual leave and authorized in the usual manner. The traveler shall not be reimbursed for travel expenses in excess of the established rate for per diem allowable had he or she remained at his or her assigned post. However, when a traveler has been temporarily assigned away from his or her official headquarters for an approved period extending beyond 30 days, he or she shall be entitled to reimbursement for travel expenses at the established rate of one round trip for each 30-day period actually taken to his or her home in addition to pay and allowances otherwise provided.
(5) COMPUTATION OF TRAVEL TIME FOR REIMBURSEMENT.For purposes of reimbursement and methods of calculating fractional days of travel, the following principles are prescribed:
(a) The travel day for Class A travel shall be a calendar day (midnight to midnight). The travel day for Class B travel shall begin at the same time as the travel period. For Class A and Class B travel, the traveler shall be reimbursed one-fourth of the authorized rate of per diem for each quarter, or fraction thereof, of the travel day included within the travel period. Class A and Class B travel shall include any assignment on official business outside of regular office hours and away from regular places of employment when it is considered reasonable and necessary to stay overnight and for which travel expenses are approved.
(b) A traveler shall not be reimbursed on a per diem basis for Class C travel, but shall receive subsistence as provided in this section, which allowance for meals shall be based on the following schedule:
1. BreakfastWhen travel begins before 6 a.m. and extends beyond 8 a.m.
2. LunchWhen travel begins before 12 noon and extends beyond 2 p.m.
3. DinnerWhen travel begins before 6 p.m. and extends beyond 8 p.m., or when travel occurs during nighttime hours due to special assignment.

No allowance shall be made for meals when travel is confined to the city or town of the official headquarters or immediate vicinity; except assignments of official business outside the traveler’s regular place of employment if travel expenses are approved. The Chief Financial Officer shall establish a schedule for processing Class C travel subsistence payments at least on a monthly basis.

(6) RATES OF PER DIEM AND SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE.For purposes of reimbursement rates and methods of calculation, per diem and subsistence allowances are provided as follows:
(a) All travelers shall be allowed for subsistence when traveling to a convention or conference or when traveling within or outside the state in order to conduct bona fide state business, which convention, conference, or business serves a direct and lawful public purpose with relation to the public agency served by the person attending such meeting or conducting such business, either of the following for each day of such travel at the option of the traveler:
1. Eighty dollars per diem; or
2. If actual expenses exceed $80, the amounts permitted in paragraph (b) for subsistence, plus actual expenses for lodging at a single-occupancy rate to be substantiated by paid bills therefor.

When lodging or meals are provided at a state institution, the traveler shall be reimbursed only for the actual expenses of such lodging or meals, not to exceed the maximum provided for in this subsection.

(b) All travelers shall be allowed the following amounts for subsistence while on Class C travel on official business as provided in paragraph (5)(b):
1. Breakfast..........$6
2. Lunch..........$11
3. Dinner..........$19
(c) No one, whether traveling out of state or in state, shall be reimbursed for any meal or lodging included in a convention or conference registration fee paid by the state.
(7) TRANSPORTATION.
(a) All travel must be by a usually traveled route. In case a person travels by an indirect route for his or her own convenience, any extra costs shall be borne by the traveler; and reimbursement for expenses shall be based only on such charges as would have been incurred by a usually traveled route. The agency head or his or her designee shall designate the most economical method of travel for each trip, keeping in mind the following conditions:
1. The nature of the business.
2. The most efficient and economical means of travel (considering time of the traveler, impact on the productivity of the traveler, cost of transportation, and per diem or subsistence required). When it is more efficient and economical to either the traveler or the agency head, jet service offered by any airline, whether on state contract or not, may be used when the cost is within an approved threshold determined by the agency head or his or her designee.
3. The number of persons making the trip and the amount of equipment or material to be transported.
(b) The Department of Financial Services may provide any form it deems necessary to cover travel requests for traveling on official business and when paid by the state.
(c) Transportation by common carrier when traveling on official business and paid for personally by the traveler, shall be substantiated by a receipt therefor. Federal tax shall not be reimbursable to the traveler unless the state and other public agencies are also required by federal law to pay such tax. In the event transportation other than the most economical class as approved by the agency head is provided by a common carrier on a flight check or credit card, the charges in excess of the most economical class shall be refunded by the traveler to the agency charged with the transportation provided in this manner.
(d)1. The use of privately owned vehicles for official travel in lieu of publicly owned vehicles or common carriers may be authorized by the agency head or his or her designee. Whenever travel is by privately owned vehicle:
a. A traveler shall be entitled to a mileage allowance at a rate of 44.5 cents per mile; or
b. A traveler shall be entitled to the common carrier fare for such travel if determined by the agency head to be more economical.
2. Reimbursement for expenditures related to the operation, maintenance, and ownership of a vehicle shall not be allowed when privately owned vehicles are used on public business and reimbursement is made pursuant to this paragraph, except as provided in subsection (8).
3. All mileage shall be shown from point of origin to point of destination and, when possible, shall be computed on the basis of the current map of the Department of Transportation. Vicinity mileage necessary for the conduct of official business is allowable but must be shown as a separate item on the expense voucher.
(e) Transportation by chartered vehicles when traveling on official business may be authorized by the agency head when necessary or where it is to the advantage of the agency, provided the cost of such transportation does not exceed the cost of transportation by privately owned vehicle pursuant to paragraph (d).
(f) The agency head or his or her designee may grant monthly allowances in fixed amounts for use of privately owned automobiles on official business in lieu of the mileage rate provided in paragraph (d). Allowances granted pursuant to this paragraph shall be reasonable, taking into account the customary use of the automobile, the roads customarily traveled, and whether any of the expenses incident to the operation, maintenance, and ownership of the automobile are paid from funds of the agency or other public funds. Such allowance may be changed at any time, and shall be made on the basis of a signed statement of the traveler, filed before the allowance is granted or changed, and at least annually thereafter. The statement shall show the places and distances for an average typical month’s travel on official business, and the amount that would be allowed under the approved rate per mile for the travel shown in the statement, if payment had been made pursuant to paragraph (d).
(g) No contract may be entered into between a public officer or employee, or any other person, and a public agency, in which a depreciation allowance is used in computing the amount due by the agency to the individual for the use of a privately owned vehicle on official business; provided, any such existing contract shall not be impaired.
(h) No traveler shall be allowed either mileage or transportation expense when gratuitously transported by another person or when transported by another traveler who is entitled to mileage or transportation expense. However, a traveler on a private aircraft shall be reimbursed the actual amount charged and paid for the fare for such transportation up to the cost of a commercial airline ticket for the same flight, even though the owner or pilot of such aircraft is also entitled to transportation expense for the same flight under this subsection.
(8) OTHER EXPENSES.
(a) The following incidental travel expenses of the traveler may be reimbursed:
1. Taxi fare.
2. Ferry fares; and bridge, road, and tunnel tolls.
3. Storage or parking fees.
4. Communication expense.
5. Convention registration fee while attending a convention or conference which will serve a direct public purpose with relation to the public agency served by the person attending such meetings. A traveler may be reimbursed the actual and necessary fees for attending events which are not included in a basic registration fee that directly enhance the public purpose of the participation of the agency in the conference. Such expenses may include, but not be limited to, banquets and other meal functions. It shall be the responsibility of the traveler to substantiate that the charges were proper and necessary. However, any meals or lodging included in the registration fee will be deducted in accordance with the allowances provided in subsection (6).
(b) Other expenses which are not specifically authorized by this section may be approved by the Department of Financial Services pursuant to rules adopted by it. Expenses approved pursuant to this paragraph shall be reported by the Department of Financial Services to the Auditor General annually.
(9) RULES.
(a) The Department of Financial Services shall adopt such rules, including, but not limited to, the general criteria to be used by a state agency to predetermine justification for attendance by state officers and employees and authorized persons at conventions and conferences, and prescribe such forms as are necessary to effectuate the purposes of this section. The department may also adopt rules prescribing the proper disposition and use of promotional items and rebates offered by common carriers and other entities in connection with travel at public expense; however, before adopting such rules, the department shall consult with the appropriation committees of the Legislature.
(b) Each state agency shall adopt such additional specific rules and specific criteria to be used by it to predetermine justification for attendance by state officers and employees and authorized persons at conventions and conferences, not in conflict with the rules of the Department of Financial Services or with the general criteria to be used by a state agency to predetermine justification for attendance by state officers and employees and authorized persons at conventions, as may be necessary to effectuate the purposes of this section.
(10) FRAUDULENT CLAIMS.Claims submitted pursuant to this section shall not be required to be sworn to before a notary public or other officer authorized to administer oaths, but any claim authorized or required to be made under any provision of this section shall contain a statement that the expenses were actually incurred by the traveler as necessary travel expenses in the performance of official duties and shall be verified by a written declaration that it is true and correct as to every material matter; and any person who willfully makes and subscribes any such claim which he or she does not believe to be true and correct as to every material matter, or who willfully aids or assists in, or procures, counsels, or advises the preparation or presentation under the provisions of this section of a claim which is fraudulent or is false as to any material matter, whether or not such falsity or fraud is with the knowledge or consent of the person authorized or required to present such claim, is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. Whoever shall receive an allowance or reimbursement by means of a false claim shall be civilly liable in the amount of the overpayment for the reimbursement of the public fund from which the claim was paid.
(11) TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION AND VOUCHER FORMS.
(a) Authorization forms.The Department of Financial Services shall furnish a uniform travel authorization request form which shall be used by all state officers, employees, and authorized persons when requesting approval for the performance of travel to a convention or conference. The form shall include, but not be limited to, provision for the name of each traveler, purpose of travel, period of travel, estimated cost to the state, and a statement of benefits accruing to the state by virtue of such travel. A copy of the program or agenda of the convention or conference, itemizing registration fees and any meals or lodging included in the registration fee, shall be attached to, and filed with, the copy of the travel authorization request form on file with the agency. The form shall be signed by the traveler and by the traveler’s supervisor stating that the travel is to be incurred in connection with official business of the state. The head of the agency or his or her designated representative shall not authorize or approve such request in the absence of the appropriate signatures. A copy of the travel authorization form shall be attached to, and become a part of, the support of the agency’s copy of the travel voucher.
(b) Voucher forms.
1. The Department of Financial Services shall furnish a uniform travel voucher form which shall be used by all state officers, employees, and authorized persons when submitting travel expense statements for approval and payment. No travel expense statement shall be approved for payment by the Chief Financial Officer unless made on the form prescribed and furnished by the department. The travel voucher form shall provide for, among other things, the purpose of the official travel and a certification or affirmation, to be signed by the traveler, indicating the truth and correctness of the claim in every material matter, that the travel expenses were actually incurred by the traveler as necessary in the performance of official duties, that per diem claimed has been appropriately reduced for any meals or lodging included in the convention or conference registration fees claimed by the traveler, and that the voucher conforms in every respect with the requirements of this section. The original copy of the executed uniform travel authorization request form shall be attached to the uniform travel voucher on file with the respective agency.
2. Statements for travel expenses incidental to the rendering of medical services for and on behalf of clients of the Department of Health shall be on forms approved by the Department of Financial Services.
(12) ADVANCEMENTS.Notwithstanding any of the foregoing restrictions and limitations, an agency head or his or her designee may make, or authorize the making of, advances to cover anticipated costs of travel to travelers. Such advancements may include the costs of subsistence and travel of any person transported in the care or custody of the traveler in the performance of his or her duties.
(13) DIRECT PAYMENT OF EXPENSES BY AGENCY.Whenever an agency requires an employee to incur either Class A or Class B travel on emergency notice to the traveler, such traveler may request the agency to pay his or her expenses for meals and lodging directly to the vendor, and the agency may pay the vendor the actual expenses for meals and lodging during the travel period, limited to an amount not to exceed that authorized pursuant to this section. In emergency situations, the agency head or his or her designee may authorize an increase in the amount paid for a specific meal, provided that the total daily cost of meals does not exceed the total amount authorized for meals each day. The agency head or his or her designee may also grant prior approval for a state agency to make direct payments of travel expenses in other situations that result in cost savings to the state, and such cost savings shall be documented in the voucher submitted to the Chief Financial Officer for the direct payment of travel expenses. The provisions of this subsection shall not be deemed to apply to any legislator or to any employee of the Legislature.
(14) APPLICABILITY TO COUNTIES, COUNTY OFFICERS, DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARDS, SPECIAL DISTRICTS, AND METROPOLITAN PLANNING ORGANIZATIONS.
(a) The following entities may establish rates that vary from the per diem rate provided in paragraph (6)(a), the subsistence rates provided in paragraph (6)(b), or the mileage rate provided in paragraph (7)(d) if those rates are not less than the statutorily established rates that are in effect for the 2005-2006 fiscal year:
1. The governing body of a county by the enactment of an ordinance or resolution;
2. A county constitutional officer, pursuant to s. 1(d), Art. VIII of the State Constitution, by the establishment of written policy;
3. The governing body of a district school board by the adoption of rules;
4. The governing body of a special district, as defined in s. 189.403(1), except those special districts that are subject to s. 166.021(9), by the enactment of a resolution; or
5. Any metropolitan planning organization created pursuant to s. 339.175 or any other separate legal or administrative entity created pursuant to s. 339.175 of which a metropolitan planning organization is a member, by the enactment of a resolution.
(b) Rates established pursuant to paragraph (a) must apply uniformly to all travel by the county, county constitutional officer and entity governed by that officer, district school board, special district, or metropolitan planning organization.
(c) Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, counties, county constitutional officers and entities governed by those officers, district school boards, special districts, and metropolitan planning organizations, other than those subject to s. 166.021(9), remain subject to the requirements of this section.
(15) CLASS C TRAVEL.Moneys appropriated from the State Treasury may not be used to pay per diem or subsistence related to Class C travel.
History.ss. 1, 3, ch. 22830, 1945; ss. 1, 2, 3, ch. 23892, 1947; ss. 1, 3, ch. 25040, 1949; ss. 1, 3, ch. 26910, 1951; s. 1, ch. 28303, 1953; s. 1, ch. 29628, 1955; s. 1, ch. 57-230; s. 1, ch. 61-183; s. 1, ch. 61-43; s. 1, ch. 63-5; s. 1, ch. 63-192; s. 1, ch. 63-122; s. 1, ch. 63-400; ss. 2, 3, ch. 67-371; ss. 1, 2, ch. 67-2206; s. 1, ch. 69-193; s. 1, ch. 69-381; ss. 12, 23, 31, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 65, ch. 71-136; s. 1, ch. 72-213; s. 1, ch. 72-217; s. 1, ch. 72-324; s. 26, ch. 72-404; s. 1, ch. 73-169; s. 1, ch. 74-15; s. 1, ch. 74-246; s. 1, ch. 74-365; ss. 1, 2, ch. 75-33; s. 1, ch. 76-166; s. 2, ch. 76-208; ss. 1, 2, ch. 76-250; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 1, ch. 77-231; ss. 1, 2, ch. 77-437; s. 2, ch. 78-95; s. 51, ch. 79-190; s. 1, ch. 79-205; s. 1, ch. 79-303; s. 1, ch. 79-412; ss. 1, 2, ch. 81-207; ss. 1, 2, ch. 83-307; s. 1, ch. 85-140; s. 1, ch. 87-407; s. 4, ch. 88-235; s. 12, ch. 89-291; s. 18, ch. 91-45; s. 1, ch. 94-139; s. 1403, ch. 95-147; s. 26, ch. 95-312; s. 5, ch. 96-310; s. 43, ch. 96-399; s. 23, ch. 98-136; s. 9, ch. 99-8; s. 7, ch. 99-155; s. 16, ch. 99-399; ss. 48, 53, ch. 2001-254; ss. 46, 79, ch. 2002-402; s. 2, ch. 2003-125; s. 123, ch. 2003-261; s. 49, ch. 2003-399; s. 5, ch. 2004-5; s. 32, ch. 2004-269; s. 23, ch. 2005-71; s. 12, ch. 2006-1; s. 6, ch. 2006-18; ss. 14, 53, ch. 2006-26; s. 1, ch. 2006-41; s. 3, ch. 2006-54; s. 2, ch. 2007-196; s. 6, ch. 2008-6; s. 13, ch. 2008-153; s. 2, ch. 2010-4; s. 4, ch. 2011-143.
112.062 Cabinet members; educational and informational travel expenses.When he or she deems it necessary in order to carry out an official function of office, a member of the Cabinet may incur and be reimbursed for travel expenses pursuant to s. 112.061 for the purpose of educating and informing the public as to the Cabinet member’s official duties.
History.s. 1, ch. 80-212; s. 685, ch. 95-147.
112.063 Reimbursement of county employees for educational expenses.County constitutional officers and county commissioners are authorized to reimburse employees for educational expenses, subject to the following conditions:
(1) The coursework must be designed to enhance the knowledge, skills, and abilities relating to official duties which the employees perform.
(2) The reimbursement of educational expenses in no way obligates the officer or commissioner to grant time off or leave for the taking or completion of such course or program of instruction.
(3) An employee shall not be permitted to utilize any space, personnel, equipment, or supplies of the office by which he or she is employed in the process of fulfilling any of the requirements imposed by the coursework for which he or she is being reimbursed.
(4) The limitations contained in subsections (1)-(3) shall not be construed to apply to any courses offered by or as a part of an educational program sponsored by any state agency for which the constitutional officer or commissioner is obligated to perform duties prescribed by law, or any educational program conducted in furtherance of s. 195.002, if such limitations did not exist prior to July 1, 1990.

Nothing in this section shall be construed as prohibiting employees from receiving otherwise authorized per diem expenses provided for by s. 112.061, nor shall it be construed as prohibiting the payment of wages otherwise due under the provisions of state or federal law.

History.s. 1, ch. 90-80; s. 686, ch. 95-147.
112.08 Group insurance for public officers, employees, and certain volunteers; physical examinations.
(1) As used in this section, the term “local governmental unit” means any county, municipality, community college district, school board, or special district or any county officer listed in s. 1(d), Art. VIII of the State Constitution.
(2)(a) Notwithstanding any general law or special act to the contrary, every local governmental unit is authorized to provide and pay out of its available funds for all or part of the premium for life, health, accident, hospitalization, legal expense, or annuity insurance, or all or any kinds of such insurance, for the officers and employees of the local governmental unit and for health, accident, hospitalization, and legal expense insurance for the dependents of such officers and employees upon a group insurance plan and, to that end, to enter into contracts with insurance companies or professional administrators to provide such insurance. Before entering any contract for insurance, the local governmental unit shall advertise for competitive bids; and such contract shall be let upon the basis of such bids. If a contracting health insurance provider becomes financially impaired as determined by the Office of Insurance Regulation of the Financial Services Commission or otherwise fails or refuses to provide the contracted-for coverage or coverages, the local government may purchase insurance, enter into risk management programs, or contract with third-party administrators and may make such acquisitions by advertising for competitive bids or by direct negotiations and contract. The local governmental unit may undertake simultaneous negotiations with those companies which have submitted reasonable and timely bids and are found by the local governmental unit to be fully qualified and capable of meeting all servicing requirements. Each local governmental unit may self-insure any plan for health, accident, and hospitalization coverage or enter into a risk management consortium to provide such coverage, subject to approval based on actuarial soundness by the Office of Insurance Regulation; and each shall contract with an insurance company or professional administrator qualified and approved by the office to administer such a plan.
(b) In order to obtain approval from the Office of Insurance Regulation of any self-insured plan for health, accident, and hospitalization coverage, each local governmental unit or consortium shall submit its plan along with a certification as to the actuarial soundness of the plan, which certification is prepared by an actuary who is a member of the Society of Actuaries or the American Academy of Actuaries. The Office of Insurance Regulation shall not approve the plan unless it determines that the plan is designed to provide sufficient revenues to pay current and future liabilities, as determined according to generally accepted actuarial principles. After implementation of an approved plan, each local governmental unit or consortium shall annually submit to the Office of Insurance Regulation a report which includes a statement prepared by an actuary who is a member of the Society of Actuaries or the American Academy of Actuaries as to the actuarial soundness of the plan. The report is due 90 days after the close of the fiscal year of the plan. The report shall consist of, but is not limited to:
1. The adequacy of contribution rates in meeting the level of benefits provided and the changes, if any, needed in the contribution rates to achieve or preserve a level of funding deemed adequate to enable payment of the benefit amounts provided under the plan and a valuation of present assets, based on statement value, and prospective assets and liabilities of the plan and the extent of any unfunded accrued liabilities.
2. A plan to amortize any unfunded liabilities and a description of actions taken to reduce unfunded liabilities.
3. A description and explanation of actuarial assumptions.
4. A schedule illustrating the amortization of any unfunded liabilities.
5. A comparative review illustrating the level of funds available to the plan from rates, investment income, and other sources realized over the period covered by the report with the assumptions used.
6. A statement by the actuary that the report is complete and accurate and that in the actuary’s opinion the techniques and assumptions used are reasonable and meet the requirements and intent of this subsection.
7. Other factors or statements as required by the office in order to determine the actuarial soundness of the plan.

All assumptions used in the report shall be based on recognized actuarial principles acceptable to the Office of Insurance Regulation. The office shall review the report and shall notify the administrator of the plan and each entity participating in the plan, as identified by the administrator, of any actuarial deficiencies. Each local governmental unit is responsible for payment of valid claims of its employees that are not paid within 60 days after receipt by the plan administrator or consortium.

(c) Every local governmental unit is authorized to expend funds for preemployment physical examinations and postemployment physical examinations.
(3) Each local governmental unit is authorized to commingle in a common fund, plan, or program all payments for life, health, accident, hospitalization, or annuity insurance or all or any kinds of such insurance whether paid by the local governmental unit, officer or employee, or otherwise. The local governmental unit may determine the portion of the cost, if any, of such fund, plan, or program to be paid by officers or employees of the local governmental unit and fix the amounts to be paid by each such officer or employee as will best serve the public interest.
(4)(a) A local governmental unit may, at its discretion, provide group insurance consistent with the provisions of this section for volunteer or auxiliary firefighters, volunteer or auxiliary law enforcement agents, or volunteer or auxiliary ambulance or emergency service personnel within its jurisdiction. No insurance provided to volunteer personnel shall be used in the computation of workers’ compensation benefits or in the determination of employee status for the purposes of collective bargaining.
(b) Benefits provided under group insurance policies pursuant to paragraph (a) shall not exceed benefits provided to employees under subsection (2) and ss. 112.19 and 112.191.
(5) The Department of Management Services shall initiate and supervise a group insurance program providing death and disability benefits for active members of the Florida Highway Patrol Auxiliary, with coverage beginning July 1, 1978, and purchased from state funds appropriated for that purpose. The Department of Management Services, in cooperation with the Office of Insurance Regulation, shall prepare specifications necessary to implement the program, and the Department of Management Services shall receive bids and award the contract in accordance with general law.
(6) The Financial Services Commission is authorized to adopt rules to carry out the provisions of this section as they pertain to its duties.
(7) All medical records and medical claims records in the custody of a unit of county or municipal government relating to county or municipal employees, former county or municipal employees, or eligible dependents of such employees enrolled in a county or municipal group insurance plan or self-insurance plan shall be kept confidential and are exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1). Such records shall not be furnished to any person other than the employee or the employee’s legal representative, except upon written authorization of the employee, but may be furnished in any civil or criminal action, unless otherwise prohibited by law, upon the issuance of a subpoena from a court of competent jurisdiction and proper notice to the employee or the employee’s legal representative by the party seeking such records.
(8) Patient medical records and medical claims records of water management district employees, former employees, and eligible dependents in the custody or control of the water management district under its group insurance plan established pursuant to s. 373.605 are confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1). Such records shall not be furnished to any person other than the employee or the employee’s legal representative, except upon written authorization of the employee, but may be furnished in any civil or criminal action, unless otherwise prohibited by law, upon the issuance of a subpoena from a court of competent jurisdiction and proper notice to the employee or the employee’s legal representative by the party seeking such records.
History.s. 1, ch. 20852, 1941; s. 1, ch. 69-300; s. 1, ch. 72-338; s. 1, ch. 76-208; s. 1, ch. 77-89; s. 50, ch. 79-40; s. 1, ch. 79-337; s. 67, ch. 79-400; s. 3, ch. 83-292; ss. 1, 2, ch. 84-307; s. 4, ch. 86-180; s. 26, ch. 90-360; s. 41, ch. 92-279; s. 55, ch. 92-326; s. 687, ch. 95-147; s. 33, ch. 96-406; s. 1, ch. 2001-123; s. 124, ch. 2003-261; s. 6, ch. 2004-305; s. 13, ch. 2005-2.
112.0801 Group insurance; participation by retired employees.
(1) Any state agency, county, municipality, special district, community college, or district school board that provides life, health, accident, hospitalization, or annuity insurance, or all of any kinds of such insurance, for its officers and employees and their dependents upon a group insurance plan or self-insurance plan shall allow all former personnel who retired before October 1, 1987, as well as those who retire on or after such date, and their eligible dependents, the option of continuing to participate in the group insurance plan or self-insurance plan. Retirees and their eligible dependents shall be offered the same health and hospitalization insurance coverage as is offered to active employees at a premium cost of no more than the premium cost applicable to active employees. For retired employees and their eligible dependents, the cost of continued participation may be paid by the employer or by the retired employees. To determine health and hospitalization plan costs, the employer shall commingle the claims experience of the retiree group with the claims experience of the active employees; and, for other types of coverage, the employer may commingle the claims experience of the retiree group with the claims experience of active employees. Retirees covered under Medicare may be experience-rated separately from the retirees not covered by Medicare and from active employees if the total premium does not exceed that of the active group and coverage is basically the same as for the active group.
(2) For purposes of this section, “retiree” means any officer or employee who retires under a state retirement system or a state optional annuity or retirement program or is placed on disability retirement and who begins receiving retirement benefits immediately after retirement from employment. In addition to these requirements, any officer or employee who retires under the Florida Retirement System Investment Plan established under part II of chapter 121 is considered a “retired officer or employee” or “retiree” as used in this section if he or she:
(a) Meets the age and service requirements to qualify for normal retirement as set forth in s. 121.021(29); or
(b) Has attained the age specified by s. 72(t)(2)(A)(i) of the Internal Revenue Code and has the years of service required for vesting as set forth in s. 121.021(45).
History.s. 2, ch. 76-151; s. 1, ch. 79-88; s. 1, ch. 80-304; s. 5, ch. 81-103; s. 1, ch. 83-294; s. 1, ch. 87-373; s. 1, ch. 2007-92; s. 1, ch. 2007-100; s. 2, ch. 2011-68.
112.0804 Health insurance for retirees under the Florida Retirement System; Medicare supplement and fully insured coverage.
(1) The Department of Management Services shall solicit competitive bids from state-licensed insurance companies to provide and administer a fully insured Medicare supplement policy for all eligible retirees of a state or local public employer. Such Medicare supplement policy shall meet the provisions of ss. 627.671-627.675. For the purpose of this subsection, “eligible retiree” means any public employee who retired from a state or local public employer who is covered by Medicare, Parts A and B. The Department of Management Services shall authorize one company to offer the Medicare supplement coverage to all eligible retirees. All premiums shall be paid by the retiree.
(2) The Department of Management Services shall solicit competitive bids from state-licensed insurance companies to provide and administer fully insured health insurance coverage for all public employees who retired from a state or local public employer who are not covered by Medicare, Parts A and B. The Department of Management Services may authorize one company to offer such coverage if the proposed benefits and premiums are reasonable. If such coverage is authorized, all premiums shall be paid for by the retiree.
History.s. 1, ch. 85-305; s. 42, ch. 92-279; s. 55, ch. 92-326.
112.0805 Employer notice of insurance eligibility to employees who retire.Any employer who provides insurance coverage under s. 110.123 or s. 112.0801 shall notify those employees who retire of their eligibility to participate in either the same group insurance plan or self-insurance plan as provided in ss. 110.123 and 112.0801, or the insurance coverage as provided by this law.
History.s. 2, ch. 85-305.
112.081 Circuit judges, participation.All circuit judges who, on July 1, 1967, are participating in an insurance program for county employees are hereby deemed to be county employees for the purpose of such participation even though there is no actual cash salary supplement received from the county.
History.s. 4, ch. 67-301.
112.09 Evidence of election to provide insurance.The election to exercise such authority shall be evidenced by resolution, duly recorded in the official minutes, adopted by the board of county commissioners in the case of a county, by the school board, in the case of a school district and by the members of the board, or department head if an individual, in the case of any state department, board or bureau, and by the governing body by resolution or ordinance in the case of any other governmental unit of the State of Florida.
History.s. 2, ch. 20852, 1941; s. 1, ch. 69-300.
112.10 Deduction and payment of premiums.Upon the request in writing of any officer or employee, the proper officials of each and every county, school board, governmental unit, department, board or bureau of the state, are hereby authorized and empowered to deduct from the wages of such officer or employee, periodically, the amount of the premium which such officer or employee has agreed to pay for such insurance, and to pay or remit the same directly to the insurance company issuing such group insurance.
History.s. 3, ch. 20852, 1941; s. 1, ch. 69-300; s. 2, ch. 72-338.
112.11 Participation voluntary.The participation in such group insurance by any officer or employee shall be entirely voluntary at all times. Any officer or employee may, upon any payday, withdraw or retire from such group insurance plan, upon giving the employer written notice thereof and directing the discontinuance of deductions from wages in payment of such premiums.
History.s. 4, ch. 20852, 1941; s. 3, ch. 72-338; s. 688, ch. 95-147.
112.13 Insurance additional to workers’ compensation.The insurance permitted and allowed under this law shall be in addition to, and in no manner in lieu of the provisions of the Workers’ Compensation Law.
History.s. 6, ch. 20852, 1941; s. 51, ch. 79-40.
112.14 Purpose and intent of law.It is hereby declared to be the purpose and intent of this law to make available upon a voluntary participation basis to the several officers and employees aforesaid, the economics, protection and benefits of group insurance not available to each officer and employee as an individual. It is also the purpose and intent of this law to provide authority for the payment of premiums or charges for group insurance for county officers whose compensation is fixed by chapter 145 in addition to the compensation provided in chapter 145.
History.s. 5, ch. 20852, 1941; s. 5, ch. 72-338.
112.151 Group hospitalization insurance for county officers and employees.The governing body of each county in the state is authorized to provide and pay out of its available funds all or part of the premiums for hospitalization insurance coverage for the officers or employees of the county and to enter into contracts with insurance companies to provide such insurance.
History.s. 1, ch. 78-267.
112.153 Local governmental group insurance plans; refunds with respect to overcharges by providers.A participant in a group insurance plan offered by a county, municipality, school board, local governmental unit, and special taxing unit, who discovers that he or she was overcharged by a hospital, physician, clinical lab, and other health care providers, shall receive a refund of 50 percent of any amount recovered as a result of such overcharge, up to a maximum of $1,000 per admission. All such instances of overcharge shall be reported to the Agency for Health Care Administration for action it deems appropriate.
History.s. 4, ch. 83-292; s. 1, ch. 91-48; s. 689, ch. 95-147; s. 9, ch. 97-95.
112.161 Change in position or reclassification; continuance or resumption of membership in retirement system.
(1) Any person who is a participant in any state or county retirement system, who changes his or her position of employment, or who is reclassified so that under any existing law such person would participate in a different retirement system, may continue to participate and come under the same retirement system in which he or she participated or came under before changing positions or being reclassified so long as such person remains in the employ of the state or county and continues to make the contributions required by law. Any person who has changed positions or been reclassified heretofore may come back under and participate in the retirement system to which he or she belonged before such change or reclassification upon payment of all back contributions, plus 3 percent interest per annum, that would have been required by law had he or she continued to participate and come under such system continuously, such election to be made and payment to be made on or before the time of retirement.
(2) The provisions of this section shall supersede any existing law relating to state and county retirement systems or pensions, provided nothing herein shall be construed to apply to State Supreme Court justices, as provided in chapter 25; nor to circuit judges as provided by chapter 38; nor to members of Duval County employees pension fund as provided in chapter 23259, Acts, 1945, as amended by chapter 27520, Acts, 1951, and chapter 27523, Acts, 1951.
History.ss. 1, 2, ch. 57-752; ss. 24, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 690, ch. 95-147.
112.171 Employee wage deductions.
(1) The counties, municipalities, and special districts of the state and the departments, agencies, bureaus, commissions, and officers thereof are authorized and permitted in their sole discretion to make deductions from the salary or wage of any employee or employees in such amount as shall be authorized and requested by such employee or employees and for such purpose as shall be authorized and requested by such employee or employees and shall pay such sums so deducted as directed by such employee or employees.
(2) It is the intent and purpose of this section to vest in the public officers, agencies and commissions herein enumerated the sole power and discretion to approve or disapprove requested deductions and the approval of and making of approved deductions shall not require the approval or making of other requested deductions.
History.s. 1, ch. 59-409; s. 26, ch. 79-190.
112.175 Employee wages; withholding to repay educational loan.
(1)(a) Any person who has received an educational loan made or guaranteed by the state or any of its political subdivisions and who at any time becomes or is an employee of the state or any of its political subdivisions shall be deemed to have agreed as a condition of employment to have consented to voluntary or involuntary withholding of wages to repay such loan. Any such employee who has defaulted or does default on the repayment of such loan shall, within 60 days after service of a notice of default by the agency holding the loan to the employee and the employing agency, establish a loan repayment schedule which shall be agreed to by both the agency holding the loan and the employee for repaying such defaulted loan through payroll deductions. Under no circumstances may an amount in excess of 10 percent per pay period of the pay of such employee be required by the agency holding the loan as part of a repayment schedule or plan. If such employee fails to establish a repayment schedule within the specified period of time or fails to meet the terms and conditions of the agreed to or approved repayment schedule as authorized by this subsection, such employee shall be deemed to have breached an essential condition of employment and shall be deemed to have consented to the involuntary withholding of wages or salary for the repayment of the loan.
(b) No person who is employed by the state or any of its political subdivisions on or after October 1, 1986, may be dismissed for having defaulted on the repayment of an educational loan made or guaranteed by the state or any of its political subdivisions.
(2) The Administration Commission shall adopt rules to implement this section, which shall include, but not be limited to, a standard method of calculating amounts to be withheld from employees who have failed to establish a repayment schedule within the specified period of time or failed to meet the terms and conditions of the agreed to or approved repayment schedule provided for in this section. Such method shall consider the following factors:
(a) The amount of the loan which remains outstanding;
(b) The income of the employee who owes such amount; and
(c) Other factors such as the number of dependents supported by the employee.
History.ss. 1, 2, ch. 86-129; s. 691, ch. 95-147.
112.18 Firefighters and law enforcement or correctional officers; special provisions relative to disability.
(1)(a) Any condition or impairment of health of any Florida state, municipal, county, port authority, special tax district, or fire control district firefighter or any law enforcement officer, correctional officer, or correctional probation officer as defined in s. 943.10(1), (2), or (3) caused by tuberculosis, heart disease, or hypertension resulting in total or partial disability or death shall be presumed to have been accidental and to have been suffered in the line of duty unless the contrary be shown by competent evidence. However, any such firefighter or law enforcement officer must have successfully passed a physical examination upon entering into any such service as a firefighter or law enforcement officer, which examination failed to reveal any evidence of any such condition. Such presumption does not apply to benefits payable under or granted in a policy of life insurance or disability insurance, unless the insurer and insured have negotiated for such additional benefits to be included in the policy contract.
(b)1. For any workers’ compensation claim filed under this section and chapter 440 occurring on or after July 1, 2010, a law enforcement officer, correctional officer, or correctional probation officer as defined in s. 943.10(1), (2), or (3) suffering from tuberculosis, heart disease, or hypertension is presumed not to have incurred such disease in the line of duty as provided in this section if the law enforcement officer, correctional officer, or correctional probation officer:
a. Departed in a material fashion from the prescribed course of treatment of his or her personal physician and the departure is demonstrated to have resulted in a significant aggravation of the tuberculosis, heart disease, or hypertension resulting in disability or increasing the disability or need for medical treatment; or
b. Was previously compensated pursuant to this section and chapter 440 for tuberculosis, heart disease, or hypertension and thereafter sustains and reports a new compensable workers’ compensation claim under this section and chapter 440, and the law enforcement officer, correctional officer, or correctional probation officer has departed in a material fashion from the prescribed course of treatment of an authorized physician for the preexisting workers’ compensation claim and the departure is demonstrated to have resulted in a significant aggravation of the tuberculosis, heart disease, or hypertension resulting in disability or increasing the disability or need for medical treatment.
2. As used in this paragraph, “prescribed course of treatment” means prescribed medical courses of action and prescribed medicines for the specific disease or diseases claimed and as documented in the prescribing physician’s medical records.
3. If there is a dispute as to the appropriateness of the course of treatment prescribed by a physician under sub-subparagraph 1.a. or sub-subparagraph 1.b. or whether a departure in a material fashion from the prescribed course of treatment is demonstrated to have resulted in a significant aggravation of the tuberculosis, heart disease, or hypertension resulting in disability or increasing the disability or need for medical treatment, the law enforcement officer, correctional officer, or correctional probation officer is entitled to seek an independent medical examination pursuant to s. 440.13(5).
4. A law enforcement officer, correctional officer, or correctional probation officer is not entitled to the presumption provided in this section unless a claim for benefits is made prior to or within 180 days after leaving the employment of the employing agency.
(2) This section authorizes each governmental entity specified in subsection (1) to negotiate policy contracts for life and disability insurance to include accidental death benefits or double indemnity coverage which shall include the presumption that any condition or impairment of health of any firefighter, law enforcement officer, or correctional officer caused by tuberculosis, heart disease, or hypertension resulting in total or partial disability or death was accidental and suffered in the line of duty, unless the contrary be shown by competent evidence.
History.s. 1, ch. 65-480; s. 1, ch. 73-125; s. 32, ch. 77-104; s. 692, ch. 95-147; s. 21, ch. 99-392; s. 3, ch. 2002-236; s. 2, ch. 2010-175.
112.181 Firefighters, paramedics, emergency medical technicians, law enforcement officers, correctional officers; special provisions relative to certain communicable diseases.
(1) DEFINITIONS.As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Body fluids” means blood and body fluids containing visible blood and other body fluids to which universal precautions for prevention of occupational transmission of blood-borne pathogens, as established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, apply. For purposes of potential transmission of meningococcal meningitis or tuberculosis, the term “body fluids” includes respiratory, salivary, and sinus fluids, including droplets, sputum, and saliva, mucous, and other fluids through which infectious airborne organisms can be transmitted between persons.
(b) “Emergency rescue or public safety worker” means any person employed full time by the state or any political subdivision of the state as a firefighter, paramedic, emergency medical technician, law enforcement officer, or correctional officer who, in the course of employment, runs a high risk of occupational exposure to hepatitis, meningococcal meningitis, or tuberculosis and who is not employed elsewhere in a similar capacity. However, the term “emergency rescue or public safety worker” does not include any person employed by a public hospital licensed under chapter 395 or any person employed by a subsidiary thereof.
(c) “Hepatitis” means hepatitis A, hepatitis B, hepatitis non-A, hepatitis non-B, hepatitis C, or any other strain of hepatitis generally recognized by the medical community.
(d) “High risk of occupational exposure” means that risk that is incurred because a person subject to the provisions of this section, in performing the basic duties associated with his or her employment:
1. Provides emergency medical treatment in a non-health-care setting where there is a potential for transfer of body fluids between persons;
2. At the site of an accident, fire, or other rescue or public safety operation, or in an emergency rescue or public safety vehicle, handles body fluids in or out of containers or works with or otherwise handles needles or other sharp instruments exposed to body fluids;
3. Engages in the pursuit, apprehension, and arrest of law violators or suspected law violators and, in performing such duties, may be exposed to body fluids; or
4. Is responsible for the custody, and physical restraint when necessary, of prisoners or inmates within a prison, jail, or other criminal detention facility, while on work detail outside the facility, or while being transported and, in performing such duties, may be exposed to body fluids.
(e) “Occupational exposure,” in the case of hepatitis, meningococcal meningitis, or tuberculosis, means an exposure that occurs during the performance of job duties that may place a worker at risk of infection.
(2) PRESUMPTION; ELIGIBILITY CONDITIONS.Any emergency rescue or public safety worker who suffers a condition or impairment of health that is caused by hepatitis, meningococcal meningitis, or tuberculosis, that requires medical treatment, and that results in total or partial disability or death shall be presumed to have a disability suffered in the line of duty, unless the contrary is shown by competent evidence; however, in order to be entitled to the presumption, the emergency rescue or public safety worker must, by written affidavit as provided in s. 92.50, verify by written declaration that, to the best of his or her knowledge and belief:
(a) In the case of a medical condition caused by or derived from hepatitis, he or she has not:
1. Been exposed, through transfer of bodily fluids, to any person known to have sickness or medical conditions derived from hepatitis, outside the scope of his or her employment;
2. Had a transfusion of blood or blood components, other than a transfusion arising out of an accident or injury happening in connection with his or her present employment, or received any blood products for the treatment of a coagulation disorder since last undergoing medical tests for hepatitis, which tests failed to indicate the presence of hepatitis;
3. Engaged in unsafe sexual practices or other high-risk behavior, as identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Surgeon General of the United States, or had sexual relations with a person known to him or her to have engaged in such unsafe sexual practices or other high-risk behavior; or
4. Used intravenous drugs not prescribed by a physician.
(b) In the case of meningococcal meningitis, in the 10 days immediately preceding diagnosis he or she was not exposed, outside the scope of his or her employment, to any person known to have meningococcal meningitis or known to be an asymptomatic carrier of the disease.
(c) In the case of tuberculosis, in the period of time since the worker’s last negative tuberculosis skin test, he or she has not been exposed, outside the scope of his or her employment, to any person known by him or her to have tuberculosis.
(3) IMMUNIZATION.Whenever any standard, medically recognized vaccine or other form of immunization or prophylaxis exists for the prevention of a communicable disease for which a presumption is granted under this section, if medically indicated in the given circumstances pursuant to immunization policies established by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the United States Public Health Service, an emergency rescue or public safety worker may be required by his or her employer to undergo the immunization or prophylaxis unless the worker’s physician determines in writing that the immunization or other prophylaxis would pose a significant risk to the worker’s health. Absent such written declaration, failure or refusal by an emergency rescue or public safety worker to undergo such immunization or prophylaxis disqualifies the worker from the benefits of the presumption.
(4) LIFE AND DISABILITY INSURANCE COVERAGE.This section does not apply to benefits payable under or granted in a noncompulsory policy of life insurance or disability insurance, unless the insurer and insured have negotiated for such additional benefits to be included in the policy contract. However, the state or any political subdivision of the state may negotiate a policy contract for life and disability insurance which includes accidental death benefits or double indemnity coverage for any condition or impairment of health suffered by an emergency rescue or public safety worker, which condition or impairment is caused by a disease described in this section and results in total or partial disability or death.
(5) RECORD OF EXPOSURES.The employing agency shall maintain a record of any known or reasonably suspected exposure of an emergency rescue or public safety worker in its employ to the diseases described in this section and shall immediately notify the employee of such exposure. An emergency rescue or public safety worker shall file an incident or accident report with his or her employer of each instance of known or suspected occupational exposure to hepatitis infection, meningococcal meningitis, or tuberculosis.
(6) REQUIRED MEDICAL TESTS; PREEMPLOYMENT PHYSICAL.In order to be entitled to the presumption provided by this section:
(a) An emergency rescue or public safety worker must, prior to diagnosis, have undergone standard, medically acceptable tests for evidence of the communicable disease for which the presumption is sought, or evidence of medical conditions derived therefrom, which tests fail to indicate the presence of infection. This paragraph does not apply in the case of meningococcal meningitis.
(b) On or after June 15, 1995, an emergency rescue or public safety worker may be required to undergo a preemployment physical examination that tests for and fails to reveal any evidence of hepatitis or tuberculosis.
(7) DISABILITY RETIREMENT.This section does not change the basic requirements for determining eligibility for disability retirement benefits under the Florida Retirement System or any pension plan administered by this state or any political subdivision thereof, except to the extent of affecting the determination as to whether a member was disabled in the line of duty or was otherwise disabled.
History.s. 2, ch. 95-285; s. 2, ch. 96-198; s. 25, ch. 97-95; s. 26, ch. 97-96.
112.1815 Firefighters, paramedics, emergency medical technicians, and law enforcement officers; special provisions for employment-related accidents and injuries.
(1) The term “first responder” as used in this section means a law enforcement officer as defined in s. 943.10, a firefighter as defined in s. 633.102, or an emergency medical technician or paramedic as defined in s. 401.23 employed by state or local government. A volunteer law enforcement officer, firefighter, or emergency medical technician or paramedic engaged by the state or a local government is also considered a first responder of the state or local government for purposes of this section.
(2)(a) For the purpose of determining benefits under this section relating to employment-related accidents and injuries of first responders, the following shall apply:
1. An injury or disease caused by the exposure to a toxic substance is not an injury by accident arising out of employment unless there is a preponderance of the evidence establishing that exposure to the specific substance involved, at the levels to which the first responder was exposed, can cause the injury or disease sustained by the employee.
2. Any adverse result or complication caused by a smallpox vaccination of a first responder is deemed to be an injury by accident arising out of work performed in the course and scope of employment.
3. A mental or nervous injury involving a first responder and occurring as a manifestation of a compensable injury must be demonstrated by clear and convincing evidence. For a mental or nervous injury arising out of the employment unaccompanied by a physical injury involving a first responder, only medical benefits under s. 440.13 shall be payable for the mental or nervous injury. However, payment of indemnity as provided in s. 440.15 may not be made unless a physical injury arising out of injury as a first responder accompanies the mental or nervous injury. Benefits for a first responder are not subject to any limitation on temporary benefits under s. 440.093 or the 1-percent limitation on permanent psychiatric impairment benefits under s. 440.15(3)(c).
(b) In cases involving occupational disease, both causation and sufficient exposure to a specific harmful substance shown to be present in the workplace to support causation shall be proven by a preponderance of the evidence.
(3) Permanent total supplemental benefits received by a first responder whose employer does not participate in the social security program shall not terminate after the first responder attains the age of 62.
(4) For the purposes of this section, the term “occupational disease” means only a disease that arises out of employment as a first responder and is due to causes and conditions that are characteristic of and peculiar to a particular trade, occupation, process, or employment and excludes all ordinary diseases of life to which the general public is exposed, unless the incidence of the disease is substantially higher in the particular trade, occupation, process, or employment than for the general public.
History.s. 1, ch. 2007-87; s. 116, ch. 2013-183.
112.182 “Firefighter rule” abolished.
(1) A firefighter or properly identified law enforcement officer who lawfully enters upon the premises of another in the discharge of his or her duty occupies the status of an invitee. The common-law rule that such a firefighter or law enforcement officer occupies the status of a licensee is hereby abolished.
(2) It is not the intent of this section to increase or diminish the duty of care owed by property owners to invitees. Property owners shall be liable to invitees pursuant to this section only when the property owner negligently fails to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition or negligently fails to correct a dangerous condition of which the property owner either knew or should have known by the use of reasonable care or negligently fails to warn the invitee of a dangerous condition about which the property owner had, or should have had, knowledge greater than that of the invitee.
History.s. 1, ch. 90-308; s. 693, ch. 95-147.
112.19 Law enforcement, correctional, and correctional probation officers; death benefits.
(1) Whenever used in this section, the term:
(a) “Employer” means a state board, commission, department, division, bureau, or agency, or a county, municipality, or other political subdivision of the state, which employs, appoints, or otherwise engages the services of law enforcement, correctional, or correctional probation officers.
(b) “Law enforcement, correctional, or correctional probation officer” means any officer as defined in s. 943.10(14) or employee of the state or any political subdivision of the state, including any law enforcement officer, correctional officer, correctional probation officer, state attorney investigator, or public defender investigator, whose duties require such officer or employee to investigate, pursue, apprehend, arrest, transport, or maintain custody of persons who are charged with, suspected of committing, or convicted of a crime; and the term includes any member of a bomb disposal unit whose primary responsibility is the location, handling, and disposal of explosive devices. The term also includes any full-time officer or employee of the state or any political subdivision of the state, certified pursuant to chapter 943, whose duties require such officer to serve process or to attend a session of a circuit or county court as bailiff.
(c) “Insurance” means insurance procured from a stock company or mutual company or association or exchange authorized to do business as an insurer in this state.
(d) “Fresh pursuit” means the pursuit of a person who has committed or is reasonably suspected of having committed a felony, misdemeanor, traffic infraction, or violation of a county or municipal ordinance. The term does not imply instant pursuit, but pursuit without unreasonable delay.
(2)(a) The sum of $50,000, as adjusted pursuant to paragraph (j), shall be paid as provided in this section when a law enforcement, correctional, or correctional probation officer, while engaged in the performance of the officer’s law enforcement duties, is accidentally killed or receives accidental bodily injury which results in the loss of the officer’s life, provided that such killing is not the result of suicide and that such bodily injury is not intentionally self-inflicted. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, in no case shall the amount payable under this subsection be less than the actual amount stated therein.
(b) The sum of $50,000, as adjusted under paragraph (j), shall be paid as provided in this section if a law enforcement, correctional, or correctional probation officer is accidentally killed as specified in paragraph (a) and the accidental death occurs:
1. As a result of the officer’s response to fresh pursuit;
2. As a result of the officer’s response to what is reasonably believed to be an emergency;
3. At the scene of a traffic accident to which the officer has responded; or
4. While the officer is enforcing what is reasonably believed to be a traffic law or ordinance.

This sum is in addition to any sum provided for in paragraph (a). Notwithstanding any other provision of law, in no case shall the amount payable under this subsection be less than the actual amount stated therein.

(c) If a law enforcement, correctional, or correctional probation officer, while engaged in the performance of the officer’s law enforcement duties, is unlawfully and intentionally killed or dies as a result of such unlawful and intentional act, the sum of $150,000, as adjusted pursuant to paragraph (j), shall be paid as provided in this section. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, in no case shall the amount payable under this subsection be less than the actual amount stated therein.
(d) Such payments, pursuant to the provisions of paragraphs (a), (b), and (c), whether secured by insurance or not, shall be made to the beneficiary designated by such law enforcement, correctional, or correctional probation officer in writing, signed by the officer and delivered to the employer during the officer’s lifetime. If no such designation is made, then it shall be paid to the officer’s surviving child or children and spouse in equal portions, and if there is no surviving child or spouse, then to the officer’s parent or parents. If a beneficiary is not designated and there is no surviving child, spouse, or parent, then it shall be paid to the officer’s estate.
(e) Such payments, pursuant to the provisions of paragraphs (a), (b), and (c), are in addition to any workers’ compensation or pension benefits and are exempt from the claims and demands of creditors of such law enforcement, correctional, or correctional probation officer.
(f) If a full-time law enforcement, correctional, or correctional probation officer who is employed by a state agency is killed in the line of duty as a result of an act of violence inflicted by another person while the officer is engaged in the performance of law enforcement duties or as a result of an assault against the officer under riot conditions, the sum of $1,000 shall be paid, as provided for in paragraph (d), toward the funeral and burial expenses of such officer. Such benefits are in addition to any other benefits which employee beneficiaries and dependents are entitled to under the provisions of the Workers’ Compensation Law or any other state or federal statutes.
(g) Any political subdivision of the state that employs a full-time law enforcement officer as defined in s. 943.10(1) or a full-time correctional officer as defined in s. 943.10(2) who is killed in the line of duty on or after July 1, 1993, as a result of an act of violence inflicted by another person while the officer is engaged in the performance of law enforcement duties or as a result of an assault against the officer under riot conditions shall pay the entire premium of the political subdivision’s health insurance plan for the employee’s surviving spouse until remarried, and for each dependent child of the employee until the child reaches the age of majority or until the end of the calendar year in which the child reaches the age of 25 if:
1. At the time of the employee’s death, the child is dependent upon the employee for support; and
2. The surviving child continues to be dependent for support, or the surviving child is a full-time or part-time student and is dependent for support.
(h)1. Any employer who employs a full-time law enforcement, correctional, or correctional probation officer who, on or after January 1, 1995, suffers a catastrophic injury, as defined in s. 440.02, Florida Statutes 2002, in the line of duty shall pay the entire premium of the employer’s health insurance plan for the injured employee, the injured employee’s spouse, and for each dependent child of the injured employee until the child reaches the age of majority or until the end of the calendar year in which the child reaches the age of 25 if the child continues to be dependent for support, or the child is a full-time or part-time student and is dependent for support. The term “health insurance plan” does not include supplemental benefits that are not part of the basic group health insurance plan. If the injured employee subsequently dies, the employer shall continue to pay the entire health insurance premium for the surviving spouse until remarried, and for the dependent children, under the conditions outlined in this paragraph. However:
a. Health insurance benefits payable from any other source shall reduce benefits payable under this section.
b. It is unlawful for a person to willfully and knowingly make, or cause to be made, or to assist, conspire with, or urge another to make, or cause to be made, any false, fraudulent, or misleading oral or written statement to obtain health insurance coverage as provided under this paragraph. A person who violates this sub-subparagraph commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
c. In addition to any applicable criminal penalty, upon conviction for a violation as described in sub-subparagraph b., a law enforcement, correctional, or correctional probation officer or other beneficiary who receives or seeks to receive health insurance benefits under this paragraph shall forfeit the right to receive such health insurance benefits, and shall reimburse the employer for all benefits paid due to the fraud or other prohibited activity. For purposes of this sub-subparagraph, “conviction” means a determination of guilt that is the result of a plea or trial, regardless of whether adjudication is withheld.
2. In order for the officer, spouse, and dependent children to be eligible for such insurance coverage, the injury must have occurred as the result of the officer’s response to fresh pursuit, the officer’s response to what is reasonably believed to be an emergency, or an unlawful act perpetrated by another. Except as otherwise provided herein, nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to limit health insurance coverage for which the officer, spouse, or dependent children may otherwise be eligible, except that a person who qualifies under this section shall not be eligible for the health insurance subsidy provided under chapter 121, chapter 175, or chapter 185.
(i) The Bureau of Crime Prevention and Training within the Department of Legal Affairs shall adopt rules necessary to implement paragraphs (a), (b), and (c).
(j) Any payments made pursuant to paragraph (a), paragraph (b), or paragraph (c) shall consist of the statutory amount adjusted to reflect price level changes since the effective date of this act. The Bureau of Crime Prevention and Training shall by rule adjust the statutory amount based on the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers published by the United States Department of Labor. Adjustment shall be made July 1 of each year using the most recent month for which data are available at the time of the adjustment.
1(3) If a law enforcement, correctional, or correctional probation officer is accidentally killed as specified in paragraph (2)(b) on or after June 22, 1990, or unlawfully and intentionally killed as specified in paragraph (2)(c) on or after July 1, 1980, the state shall waive certain educational expenses that the child or spouse of the deceased officer incurs while obtaining a career certificate, an undergraduate education, or a postgraduate education. The amount waived by the state shall be an amount equal to the cost of tuition and matriculation and registration fees for a total of 120 credit hours. The child or spouse may attend a state career center, a state community college, or a state university. The child or spouse may attend any or all of the institutions specified in this subsection, on either a full-time or part-time basis. The benefits provided to a child under this subsection shall continue until the child’s 25th birthday. The benefits provided to a spouse under this subsection must commence within 5 years after the death occurs, and entitlement thereto shall continue until the 10th anniversary of that death.
(a) Upon failure of any child or spouse benefited by the provisions of this subsection to comply with the ordinary and minimum requirements of the institution attended, both as to discipline and scholarship, the benefits shall be withdrawn as to the child or spouse and no further moneys may be expended for the child’s or spouse’s benefits so long as such failure or delinquency continues.
(b) Only a student in good standing in his or her respective institution may receive the benefits thereof.
(c) A child or spouse receiving benefits under this subsection must be enrolled according to the customary rules and requirements of the institution attended.
(4)(a) The employer of such law enforcement, correctional, or correctional probation officer is liable for the payment of the sums specified in this section and is deemed self-insured, unless it procures and maintains, or has already procured and maintained, insurance to secure such payments. Any such insurance may cover only the risks indicated in this section, in the amounts indicated in this section, or it may cover those risks and additional risks and may be in larger amounts. Any such insurance shall be placed by such employer only after public bid of such insurance coverage which coverage shall be awarded to the carrier making the lowest best bid.
(b) Payment of benefits to beneficiaries of state employees, or of the premiums to cover the risk, under the provisions of this section shall be paid from existing funds otherwise appropriated to the department employing the law enforcement, correctional, or correctional probation officers.
(5) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules and procedures, and the Board of Governors shall adopt regulations and procedures, as are appropriate and necessary to implement the educational benefits provisions of this section.
(6) Notwithstanding any provision of this section to the contrary, the death benefits provided in paragraphs (2)(c) and (g) shall also be applicable and paid in cases where an officer received bodily injury prior to July 1, 1993, and subsequently died on or after July 1, 1993, as a result of such in-line-of-duty injury attributable to an unlawful and intentional act, or an act of violence inflicted by another, or an assault on the officer under riot conditions. Payment of such benefits shall be in accordance with provisions of this section. Nothing in this provision shall be construed to limit death benefits for which those individuals listed in paragraph (2)(d) may otherwise be eligible.
History.ss. 1, 2, ch. 67-408; ss. 1, 3, ch. 71-301; s. 52, ch. 79-40; s. 1, ch. 87-143; s. 2, ch. 89-22; s. 1, ch. 90-138; s. 1, ch. 92-59; s. 3, ch. 93-149; s. 2, ch. 94-171; s. 1404, ch. 95-147; s. 3, ch. 95-283; s. 3, ch. 96-198; s. 38, ch. 99-2; s. 1, ch. 2002-191; s. 5, ch. 2002-194; s. 1, ch. 2002-232; s. 9, ch. 2003-1; s. 46, ch. 2003-412; ss. 14, 15, ch. 2004-357; ss. 2, 5, 6, ch. 2005-100; s. 8, ch. 2007-217; s. 2, ch. 2010-78; s. 11, ch. 2013-25.
1Note.As amended by s. 1, ch. 2002-191, as amended by s. 14, ch. 2004-357, as reenacted by s. 5, ch. 2005-100. For a description of multiple acts in the same session affecting a statutory provision, see preface to the Florida Statutes, “Statutory Construction.” Subsection (3) was also amended by s. 1, ch. 2002-232, as amended by s. 9, ch. 2003-1, as amended by s. 15, ch. 2004-357, as reenacted by s. 6, ch. 2005-100, and that version reads:

(3) If a law enforcement, correctional, or correctional probation officer is accidentally killed as specified in paragraph (2)(b) on or after June 22, 1990, or unlawfully and intentionally killed as specified in paragraph (2)(c) on or after July 1, 1980, the state shall waive certain educational expenses that children of the deceased officer incur while obtaining a career certificate, an undergraduate education, or a graduate or postbaccalaureate professional degree. The amount waived by the state shall be an amount equal to the cost of tuition, matriculation, and other statutorily authorized fees for a total of 120 credit hours for a career certificate or an undergraduate education. For a child pursuing a graduate or postbaccalaureate professional degree, the amount waived shall equal the cost of matriculation and other statutorily authorized fees incurred while the child continues to fulfill the professional requirements associated with the graduate or postbaccalaureate professional degree program, and eligibility continues until the child’s 29th birthday. The child may attend a state career center, a state community college, or a state university. The child may attend any or all of the institutions specified in this subsection, on either a full-time or part-time basis. For a child pursuing a career certificate or an undergraduate education, the benefits provided under this subsection shall continue to the child until the child’s 25th birthday. To be eligible for the benefits provided under this subsection for enrollment in a graduate or postbaccalaureate professional degree program, the child must be a state resident, as defined in s. 1009.21, at the time of enrollment.

(a) Upon failure of any child benefited by the provisions of this section to comply with the ordinary and minimum requirements of the institution attended, both as to discipline and scholarship, the benefits shall be withdrawn as to the child and no further moneys may be expended for the child’s benefits so long as such failure or delinquency continues.

(b) Only a student in good standing in his or her respective institution may receive the benefits thereof.

(c) A child receiving benefits under this section must be enrolled according to the customary rules and requirements of the institution attended.

112.191 Firefighters; death benefits.
(1) Whenever used in this act:
(a) The term “employer” means a state board, commission, department, division, bureau or agency, or a county, municipality, or other political subdivision of the state.
(b) The term “firefighter” means any full-time duly employed uniformed firefighter employed by an employer, whose primary duty is the prevention and extinguishing of fires, the protection of life and property therefrom, the enforcement of municipal, county, and state fire prevention codes, as well as the enforcement of any law pertaining to the prevention and control of fires, who is certified pursuant to s. 633.408 and who is a member of a duly constituted fire department of such employer or who is a volunteer firefighter.
(c) The term “insurance” means insurance procured from a stock company or mutual company or association or exchange authorized to do business as an insurer in this state.
(2)(a) The sum of $50,000, as adjusted pursuant to paragraph (i), shall be paid as provided in this section when a firefighter, while engaged in the performance of his or her firefighter duties, is accidentally killed or receives accidental bodily injury which subsequently results in the loss of the firefighter’s life, provided that such killing is not the result of suicide and that such bodily injury is not intentionally self-inflicted. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, in no case shall the amount payable under this subsection be less than the actual amount stated therein.
(b) The sum of $50,000, as adjusted pursuant to paragraph (i), shall be paid as provided in this section if a firefighter is accidentally killed as specified in paragraph (a) and the accidental death occurs as a result of the firefighter’s response to what is reasonably believed to be an emergency involving the protection of life or property or the firefighter’s participation in a training exercise. This sum is in addition to any sum provided in paragraph (a). Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the amount payable under this subsection may not be less than the actual amount stated therein.
(c) If a firefighter, while engaged in the performance of his or her firefighter duties, is unlawfully and intentionally killed, is injured by an unlawful and intentional act of another person and dies as a result of such injury, dies as a result of a fire which has been determined to have been caused by an act of arson, or subsequently dies as a result of injuries sustained therefrom, the sum of $150,000, as adjusted pursuant to paragraph (i), shall be paid as provided in this section. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the amount payable under this subsection may not be less than the actual amount stated therein.
(d) Such payments, pursuant to paragraphs (a), (b), and (c), whether secured by insurance or not, shall be made to the beneficiary designated by such firefighter in writing, signed by the firefighter and delivered to the employer during the firefighter’s lifetime. If no such designation is made, then it shall be paid to the firefighter’s surviving child or children and spouse in equal portions, and if there be no surviving child or spouse, then to the firefighter’s parent or parents. If a beneficiary designation is not made and there is no surviving child, spouse, or parent, then it shall be paid to the firefighter’s estate.
(e) Such payments, pursuant to the provisions of paragraphs (a), (b), and (c), shall be in addition to any workers’ compensation or pension benefits and shall be exempt from the claims and demands of creditors of such firefighter.
(f) Any political subdivision of the state that employs a full-time firefighter who is killed in the line of duty on or after July 1, 1993, as a result of an act of violence inflicted by another person while the firefighter is engaged in the performance of firefighter duties, as a result of a fire which has been determined to have been caused by an act of arson, or as a result of an assault against the firefighter under riot conditions shall pay the entire premium of the political subdivision’s health insurance plan for the employee’s surviving spouse until remarried, and for each dependent child of the employee until the child reaches the age of majority or until the end of the calendar year in which the child reaches the age of 25 if:
1. At the time of the employee’s death, the child is dependent upon the employee for support; and
2. The surviving child continues to be dependent for support, or the surviving child is a full-time or part-time student and is dependent for support.
(g)1. Any employer who employs a full-time firefighter who, on or after January 1, 1995, suffers a catastrophic injury, as defined in s. 440.02, Florida Statutes 2002, in the line of duty shall pay the entire premium of the employer’s health insurance plan for the injured employee, the injured employee’s spouse, and for each dependent child of the injured employee until the child reaches the age of majority or until the end of the calendar year in which the child reaches the age of 25 if the child continues to be dependent for support, or the child is a full-time or part-time student and is dependent for support. The term “health insurance plan” does not include supplemental benefits that are not part of the basic group health insurance plan. If the injured employee subsequently dies, the employer shall continue to pay the entire health insurance premium for the surviving spouse until remarried, and for the dependent children, under the conditions outlined in this paragraph. However:
a. Health insurance benefits payable from any other source shall reduce benefits payable under this section.
b. It is unlawful for a person to willfully and knowingly make, or cause to be made, or to assist, conspire with, or urge another to make, or cause to be made, any false, fraudulent, or misleading oral or written statement to obtain health insurance coverage as provided under this paragraph. A person who violates this sub-subparagraph commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
c. In addition to any applicable criminal penalty, upon conviction for a violation as described in sub-subparagraph b., a firefighter or other beneficiary who receives or seeks to receive health insurance benefits under this paragraph shall forfeit the right to receive such health insurance benefits, and shall reimburse the employer for all benefits paid due to the fraud or other prohibited activity. For purposes of this sub-subparagraph, “conviction” means a determination of guilt that is the result of a plea or trial, regardless of whether adjudication is withheld.
2. In order for the firefighter, spouse, and dependent children to be eligible for such insurance coverage, the injury must have occurred as the result of the firefighter’s response to what is reasonably believed to be an emergency involving the protection of life or property, or an unlawful act perpetrated by another. Except as otherwise provided herein, nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to limit health insurance coverage for which the firefighter, spouse, or dependent children may otherwise be eligible, except that a person who qualifies for benefits under this section shall not be eligible for the health insurance subsidy provided under chapter 121, chapter 175, or chapter 185.

Notwithstanding any provision of this section to the contrary, the death benefits provided in paragraphs (b), (c), and (f) shall also be applicable and paid in cases where a firefighter received bodily injury prior to July 1, 1993, and subsequently died on or after July 1, 1993, as a result of such in-line-of-duty injury.

(h) The Division of the State Fire Marshal within the Department of Financial Services shall adopt rules necessary to implement this section.
(i) Any payments made pursuant to paragraph (a), paragraph (b), or paragraph (c) shall consist of the statutory amount adjusted to show price level changes in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers published by the United States Department of Labor since July 1, 2002. The Division of State Fire Marshal, using the most recent month for which Consumer Price Index data is available, shall, on June 15 of each year, calculate and publish on the division’s Internet website the amount resulting from the adjustments to the statutory amounts. The adjusted statutory amounts shall be effective on July 1 of each year.
1(3) If a firefighter is accidentally killed as specified in paragraph (2)(b) on or after June 22, 1990, or unlawfully and intentionally killed as specified in paragraph (2)(c), on or after July 1, 1980, the state shall waive certain educational expenses that the child or spouse of the deceased firefighter incurs while obtaining a career certificate, an undergraduate education, or a postgraduate education. The amount waived by the state shall be an amount equal to the cost of tuition and matriculation and registration fees for a total of 120 credit hours. The child or spouse may attend a state career center, a state community college, or a state university. The child or spouse may attend any or all of the institutions specified in this subsection, on either a full-time or part-time basis. The benefits provided to a child under this subsection shall continue until the child’s 25th birthday. The benefits provided to a spouse under this subsection must commence within 5 years after the death occurs, and entitlement thereto shall continue until the 10th anniversary of that death.
(a) Upon failure of any child or spouse benefited by the provisions of this subsection to comply with the ordinary and minimum requirements of the institution attended, both as to discipline and scholarship, the benefits thereof shall be withdrawn as to the child or spouse and no further moneys expended for the child’s or spouse’s benefits so long as such failure or delinquency continues.
(b) Only students in good standing in their respective institutions shall receive the benefits thereof.
(c) A child or spouse receiving benefits under this subsection must be enrolled according to the customary rules and requirements of the institution attended.
(4)(a) The employer of such firefighter shall be liable for the payment of said sums specified in this section and shall be deemed self-insured, unless it procures and maintains, or has already procured and maintained, insurance to secure such payments. Any such insurance may cover only the risks indicated in this section, in the amounts indicated in this section, or it may cover those risks and additional risks and may be in larger amounts. Any such insurance shall be placed by such employer only after public bid of such insurance coverage which coverage shall be awarded to the carrier making the lowest best bid.
(b) Payment of benefits to beneficiaries of state employees, or of the premiums to cover the risk, under the provisions of this section, shall be paid from existing funds otherwise appropriated for the department.
(5) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules and procedures, and the Board of Governors shall adopt regulations and procedures, as are appropriate and necessary to implement the educational benefits provisions of this section.
History.ss. 1, 2, ch. 67-443; ss. 1, 2, ch. 69-35; s. 7, ch. 69-353; ss. 2, 3, ch. 71-301; s. 1, ch. 78-7; s. 53, ch. 79-40; s. 3, ch. 90-138; s. 2, ch. 92-59; s. 1, ch. 93-149; s. 3, ch. 94-171; s. 1405, ch. 95-147; s. 4, ch. 96-198; s. 39, ch. 99-2; s. 2, ch. 2002-191; s. 6, ch. 2002-194; s. 2, ch. 2002-232; s. 10, ch. 2003-1; s. 125, ch. 2003-261; s. 47, ch. 2003-412; s. 6, ch. 2004-5; ss. 16, 17, ch. 2004-357; s. 9, ch. 2007-217; s. 3, ch. 2010-78; s. 5, ch. 2010-179; ss. 91, 117, ch. 2013-183.
1Note.As amended by s. 2, ch. 2002-191, as amended by s. 16, ch. 2004-357. For a description of multiple acts in the same session affecting a statutory provision, see preface to the Florida Statutes, “Statutory Construction.” Subsection (3) was also amended by s. 2, ch. 2002-232, as amended by s. 10, ch. 2003-1, as amended by s. 17, ch. 2004-357, and that version reads:

(3) If a firefighter is accidentally killed as specified in paragraph (2)(b) on or after June 22, 1990, or unlawfully and intentionally killed as specified in paragraph (2)(c), on or after July 1, 1980, the state shall waive certain educational expenses that children of the deceased firefighter incur while obtaining a career certificate, an undergraduate education, or a graduate or postbaccalaureate professional degree. The amount waived by the state shall be an amount equal to the cost of tuition, matriculation, and other statutorily authorized fees for a total of 120 credit hours for a career certificate or an undergraduate education. For a child pursuing a graduate or postbaccalaureate professional degree, the amount waived shall equal the cost of matriculation and other statutorily authorized fees incurred while the child continues to fulfill the professional requirements associated with the graduate or postbaccalaureate professional degree program, and eligibility continues until the child’s 29th birthday. The child may attend a state career center, a state community college, or a state university. The child may attend any or all of the institutions specified in this subsection, on either a full-time or part-time basis. For a child pursuing a career certificate or an undergraduate education, the benefits provided under this subsection shall continue to such a child until the child’s 25th birthday. To be eligible for the benefits provided under this subsection for enrollment in a graduate or postbaccalaureate professional degree program, the child must be a state resident, as defined in s. 1009.21, at the time of enrollment.

(a) Upon failure of any child benefited by the provisions of this section to comply with the ordinary and minimum requirements of the institution attended, both as to discipline and scholarship, the benefits thereof shall be withdrawn as to the child and no further moneys expended for the child’s benefits so long as such failure or delinquency continues.

(b) Only students in good standing in their respective institutions shall receive the benefits thereof.

(c) All children receiving benefits under this section shall be enrolled according to the customary rules and requirements of the institution attended.

112.1913 Effect of ch. 2003-412.The amendments to ss. 440.02 and 440.15 which are made by this act shall not be construed to affect any determination of disability under s. 112.18, s. 112.181, or s. 112.19.
History.s. 48, ch. 2003-412.
112.1915 Teachers and school administrators; death benefits.Any other provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding:
(1) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Employer” means the district school board.
(b) “Teacher” means any instructional staff personnel as described in s. 1012.01(2).
(c) “School administrator” means any school administrator as described in s. 1012.01(3).
(d) “Teaching duties” means the actual performance of duties required by a teacher’s employment during his or her regularly scheduled working hours or irregular working hours as required or assigned by the employer.
(e) “School administrator duties” means the actual performance of duties required by a school administrator’s employment during his or her regularly scheduled working hours or irregular working hours as required or assigned by the employer.
(f) “Beneficiary” means the person designated by the teacher or school administrator in writing, signed by the teacher or school administrator and delivered to the employer during the teacher’s or school administrator’s lifetime. If a beneficiary is not designated, the beneficiary is the teacher’s or school administrator’s estate.
(2) The benefits described in subsection (3) shall be provided when a teacher or school administrator is killed or injured and dies as a result of an unlawful and intentional act, provided that such killing or injury and death is the result of an act of violence inflicted by another person, and provided that:
(a) Such act is inflicted upon the teacher or school administrator while he or she is engaged in the performance of teaching duties or school administrator duties; or
(b) The motivation for such act is related in whole or in part to the fact that the individual is a teacher or school administrator.
(3) If a teacher or school administrator dies under the conditions in subsection (2), benefits shall be provided as follows:
(a) The sum of $75,000 shall be paid, whether secured by insurance or not, to the beneficiary. The payment shall be in addition to any other insurance, workers’ compensation, or pension benefits or other benefits that teacher or school administrator beneficiaries and dependents are entitled to under state or federal statutes and shall be exempt from the claims and demands of creditors of such teacher or school administrator, pursuant to s. 732.402(2)(d).
(b) The sum of $1,000 shall be paid, whether secured by insurance or not, to the beneficiary toward the funeral and burial expenses of such teacher or school administrator. The payment shall be in addition to any workers’ compensation or pension benefits or other benefits that teacher or school administrator beneficiaries and dependents are entitled to under state or federal statutes and shall be exempt from the claims and demands of creditors of such teacher or school administrator, pursuant to s. 732.402(2)(d).
(c) Payment of the entire health insurance premium for the school district’s health insurance plan shall continue for the teacher’s or school administrator’s surviving spouse until remarried, and for each dependent child of the teacher or school administrator until the child reaches the age of majority or until the end of the calendar year in which the child reaches the age of 25 if:
1. At the time of the teacher’s or school administrator’s death, the child is dependent upon the teacher or school administrator for support; and
2. The surviving child continues to be dependent for support, or the surviving child is a full-time or part-time student and is dependent for support.

The district school board that employed the teacher or school administrator who is killed shall pay the health insurance premiums. The district school board shall report annually to the Department of Education the amount of premiums paid pursuant to this paragraph. The Department of Education shall provide reimbursement to the district for the premium payments.

(d) Waiver of certain educational expenses which children of the deceased teacher or school administrator incur while obtaining a career certificate or an undergraduate education shall be according to conditions set forth in this paragraph. The amount waived by the state shall be an amount equal to the cost of tuition and matriculation and registration fees for a total of 120 credit hours at a university. The child may attend a state career center, a state community college, or a state university. The child may attend any or all of the institutions specified in this paragraph, on either a full-time or part-time basis. The benefits provided under this paragraph shall continue to the child until the child’s 25th birthday.
1. Upon failure of any child benefited by the provisions of this paragraph to comply with the ordinary and minimum requirements of the institution attended, both as to discipline and scholarship, the benefits shall be withdrawn as to the child and no further moneys may be expended for the child’s benefits so long as such failure or delinquency continues.
2. A student who becomes eligible for benefits under the provisions of this paragraph while enrolled in an institution must be in good standing with the institution to receive the benefits provided herein.
3. A child receiving benefits under this paragraph must be enrolled according to the customary rules and requirements of the institution attended.
(4) State funding shall be provided annually in the General Appropriations Act.
History.ss. 2, 5, ch. 2001-180; s. 893, ch. 2002-387; s. 24, ch. 2004-295; s. 18, ch. 2004-357; s. 34, ch. 2012-116.
112.193 Law enforcement, correctional, and correctional probation officers’ commemorative service awards.
(1) For the purposes of this section, the term:
(a) “Employer” means a state board, commission, department, division, bureau, or agency or a county or municipality.
(b) “Law enforcement, correctional, or correctional probation officer” means any full-time, part-time, or auxiliary officer as defined in s. 943.10(14).
(2) Each employer that employs or appoints law enforcement, correctional, or correctional probation officers may present to each such employee who retires under any provision of a state or municipal retirement system, including medical disability retirement, or who is eligible to retire under any such provision but, instead, resigns from one employer to accept an elected public office, one complete uniform including the badge worn by that officer, the officer’s service handgun, if one was issued as part of the officer’s equipment, and an identification card clearly marked “RETIRED.”
(3) Upon the death of a law enforcement, correctional, or correctional probation officer, the employer may present to the spouse or other beneficiary of the officer, upon request, one complete uniform, including the badge worn by the officer. However, if a law enforcement, correctional, or correctional probation officer is killed in the line of duty, the employer may present, upon request, to the spouse or other beneficiary of the officer the officer’s service-issued handgun, if one was issued as part of the officer’s equipment. If the employer is not in possession of the service-issued handgun, the employer may, within its discretion, and upon written request of the spouse or other beneficiary, present a similar handgun. The provisions of this section shall also apply in that instance to a law enforcement or correctional officer who died before May 1, 1993. In addition, the officer’s service handgun may be presented by the employer for any such officer who was killed in the line of duty prior to this act becoming a law.
(4) Each uniform, badge, service handgun, and identification card presented under this section is to commemorate prior service and must be used only in such manner as the employer prescribes by rule. The provisions of this section shall also apply in that instance to a law enforcement officer who died before May 1, 1993.
History.s. 1, ch. 79-335; s. 3, ch. 89-22; s. 1, ch. 93-32; s. 4, ch. 93-149.
112.194 Law enforcement and correctional officers’ Medal of Valor.
(1) Any state board, commission, department, division, bureau, or agency, or any county or municipality that employs or appoints law enforcement officers or correctional officers, as defined in s. 943.10(14), may establish an award program to award a Medal of Valor to any such officer whose actions are extraordinary and expose the officer to peril beyond the call of duty.
(2) The Medal of Valor may include, but is not limited to, a medal authorized to be worn on the officer’s uniform during formal occasions and a commendation bar to be worn on the uniform during normal duty. The amount of funds that may be expended to provide a Medal of Valor shall not exceed $250.
(3) Upon the death of such a law enforcement officer or correctional officer, the employer may present the Medal of Valor posthumously to the officer’s closest living relative.
History.s. 1, ch. 93-1.
112.21 Tax-sheltered annuities or custodial accounts for employees of governmental agencies.A governmental agency, which means any state, county, local, or municipal governmental entity or any unit of government created or established by law, which is qualified under the United States Internal Revenue Code may provide, by written agreement between any such agency and any employee, to reduce the contract salary payable to such employee and, in consideration thereof, to pay an amount equal to the amount of such reduction to an insurance company licensed to do business in Florida; to a credit union, bank, or savings and loan association qualified to do business in Florida; or to a custodial account to be invested in regulated investment company stock to be held in such custodial account, as selected by the employee or employees, notwithstanding any other provision of law, with the concurrence of the employing agency, as premiums on an annuity contract issued in the name of such employee or as payment into a qualified custodial account established pursuant to s. 403(b) of the United States Internal Revenue Code.
(1) Any such annuity contract or custodial account shall be in such form, and be based upon such terms, as will qualify the payments thereon for tax deferment under the United States Internal Revenue Code. Such insurance annuity, savings, or investment products shall be underwritten and offered, in compliance with the applicable federal and state laws and regulations, by persons who are duly authorized by applicable state and federal authorities. All records identifying individual participants in any contract or account under this section and their personal account activities shall be confidential and are exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1).
(2) The amount of such reduction shall not exceed the amount excludable from income under s. 403(b) of the United States Internal Revenue Code and amendments and successor provisions thereto and shall be considered a part of the employee’s salary for all purposes other than federal income taxation.
(3) The purchase of such tax-sheltered annuity or other investment qualified under the United States Internal Revenue Code and not prohibited under the laws of this state for an employee shall impose no liability or responsibility whatsoever on the employing agency except to show that the payments have been remitted for the purposes for which deducted.
History.s. 1, ch. 74-157; s. 1, ch. 76-78; s. 2, ch. 77-295; s. 1, ch. 87-7; s. 27, ch. 90-360; s. 34, ch. 96-406.
112.215 Government employees; deferred compensation program.
(1) This section shall be known and may be cited as the “Government Employees’ Deferred Compensation Plan Act.”
(2) For the purposes of this section, the term “employee” means any person, whether appointed, elected, or under contract, providing services for the state; any state agency or county or other political subdivision of the state; any municipality; any state university board of trustees; or any constitutional county officer under s. 1(d), Art. VIII of the State Constitution for which compensation or statutory fees are paid.
(3) In accordance with a plan of deferred compensation which has been approved as herein provided, the state or any state agency, county, municipality, other political subdivision, or constitutional county officer may, by contract or a collective bargaining agreement, agree with any employee to defer all or any portion of that employee’s otherwise payable compensation and, pursuant to the terms of such approved plan and in such proportions as may be designated or directed under that plan, place such deferred compensation in savings accounts or use the same to purchase fixed or variable life insurance or annuity contracts, securities, evidence of indebtedness, or such other investment products as may have been approved for the purposes of carrying out the objectives of such plan. Such insurance, annuity, savings, or investment products shall be underwritten and offered in compliance with the applicable federal and state laws and regulations by persons who are duly authorized by applicable state and federal authorities.
(4)(a) The Chief Financial Officer, with the approval of the State Board of Administration, shall establish such plan or plans of deferred compensation for state employees, including all such investment vehicles or products incident thereto, as may be available through, or offered by, qualified companies or persons, and may approve one or more such plans for implementation by and on behalf of the state and its agencies and employees.
(b) If the Chief Financial Officer deems it advisable, he or she shall have the power, with the approval of the State Board of Administration, to create a trust or other special funds for the segregation of funds or assets resulting from compensation deferred at the request of employees of the state or its agencies and for the administration of such program.
(c) The Chief Financial Officer, with the approval of the State Board of Administration, may delegate responsibility for administration of the plan to a person the Chief Financial Officer determines to be qualified, compensate such person, and, directly or through such person or pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement, contract with a private corporation or institution to provide such services as may be part of any such plan or as may be deemed necessary or proper by the Chief Financial Officer or such person, including, but not limited to, providing consolidated billing, individual and collective recordkeeping and accountings, asset purchase, control, and safekeeping, and direct disbursement of funds to employees or other beneficiaries. The Chief Financial Officer may authorize a person, private corporation, or institution to make direct disbursement of funds under the plan to an employee or other beneficiary.
(d) In accordance with such approved plan, and upon contract or agreement with an eligible employee, deferrals of compensation may be accomplished by payroll deductions made by the appropriate officer or officers of the state, with such funds being thereafter held and administered in accordance with the plan.
(e) The administrative costs of the deferred compensation plan must be wholly or partially self-funded. Fees for such self-funding of the plan shall be paid by investment providers and may be recouped from their respective plan participants. Such fees shall be deposited in the Deferred Compensation Trust Fund.
(5) Any county, municipality, or other political subdivision of the state may by ordinance, and any constitutional county officer under s. 1(d), Art. VIII of the State Constitution of 1968 may by contract agreement or other documentation constituting approval, adopt and establish for itself and its employees a deferred compensation program. The ordinance shall designate an appropriate official of the county, municipality, or political subdivision to approve and administer a deferred compensation plan or otherwise provide for such approval and administration. The ordinance shall also designate a public official or body to make the determinations provided for in paragraph (6)(b). If a constitutional county officer elects to adopt and establish for that office and its employees a deferred compensation program, the constitutional county officer shall be the appropriate official to make the determinations provided for in this subsection and in paragraph (6)(b).
(6)(a) No deferred compensation plan of the state shall become effective until approved by the State Board of Administration and the Chief Financial Officer is satisfied by opinion from such federal agency or agencies as may be deemed necessary that the compensation deferred thereunder and/or the investment products purchased pursuant to the plan will not be included in the employee’s taxable income under federal or state law until it is actually received by such employee under the terms of the plan, and that such compensation will nonetheless be deemed compensation at the time of deferral for the purposes of social security coverage, for the purposes of the state retirement system, and for any other retirement, pension, or benefit program established by law.
(b) No deferred compensation plan of a county, municipality, other political subdivision, or constitutional county officer shall become effective until the appropriate official or body designated under subsection (5) is satisfied by opinion from such federal agency or agencies as may be deemed necessary that the compensation deferred thereunder and/or the investment products purchased pursuant to the plan will not be included in the employee’s taxable income under federal or state law until it is actually received by such employee under the terms of the plan, and that such compensation will nonetheless be deemed compensation at the time of deferral for the purposes of social security coverage, for the purposes of the retirement system of the appropriate county, municipality, political subdivision, or constitutional county officer, and for any other retirement, pension, or benefit program established by law.
(7) The deferred compensation programs authorized by this section, and any plan approved and adopted as herein provided, shall exist and serve in addition to any other retirement, pension, or benefit systems established by the state or its agencies, counties, municipalities, other political subdivisions, or constitutional county officers and shall not supersede, make inoperative, or reduce any benefits provided by the Florida Retirement System or by another retirement, pension, or benefit program established by law. All records identifying individual participants in any plan under this section and their personal account activities shall be confidential and are exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1).
(8)(a) There is created a Deferred Compensation Advisory Council composed of seven members.
1. One member shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate jointly and shall be an employee of the legislative branch.
2. One member shall be appointed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and shall be an employee of the judicial branch.
3. One member shall be appointed by the chair of the Public Employees Relations Commission and shall be a nonexempt public employee.
4. The remaining four members shall be employed by the executive branch and shall be appointed as follows:
a. One member shall be appointed by the Chancellor of the State University System and shall be an employee of the university system.
b. One member shall be appointed by the Chief Financial Officer and shall be an employee of the Chief Financial Officer.
c. One member shall be appointed by the Governor and shall be an employee of the executive branch.
d. One member shall be appointed by the Executive Director of the State Board of Administration and shall be an employee of the State Board of Administration.
(b) Each member shall serve for a term of 4 years from the date of appointment, except that a vacancy shall be filled by appointment for the remainder of the term.
(c) Members shall elect a chair annually.
(d) The council shall meet at the call of its chair, at the request of a majority of its membership, or at the request of the Chief Financial Officer, but not less than twice a year. The business of the council shall be presented to the council in the form of an agenda. The agenda shall be set by the Chief Financial Officer and shall include items of business requested by the council members.
(e) A majority of the members shall constitute a quorum, and action by a majority of a quorum shall be official.
(f) The council shall make a report of each meeting to the Chief Financial Officer, which shall show the names of the members present and shall include a record of its discussions, recommendations, and actions taken. The Chief Financial Officer shall keep the records of the proceedings of each meeting on file and shall make the records available to any interested person or group.
(g) Members of the council shall serve without compensation but shall be entitled to receive reimbursement for per diem and travel expenses as provided in s. 112.061.
(h) The advisory council shall provide assistance and recommendations to the Chief Financial Officer relating to the provisions of the plan, the insurance or investment options to be offered under the plan, and any other contracts or appointments deemed necessary by the council and the Chief Financial Officer to carry out the provisions of this act. The Chief Financial Officer shall inform the council of the manner in which each council recommendation is being addressed. The Chief Financial Officer shall provide the council, at least annually, a report on the status of the deferred compensation program, including, but not limited to, information on participant enrollment, amount of compensation deferred, total plan assets, product provider performance, and participant satisfaction with the program.
(9) The purchase of any insurance contract or annuity or the investment in another investment option under any plan of deferred compensation provided for in the United States Internal Revenue Code and not prohibited under the laws of this state for an employee shall impose no liability or responsibility whatsoever on the state, county, municipality, other political subdivision, or constitutional county officer, except to show that the payments have been remitted for the purposes for which the compensation has been deferred.
(10)(a) The moneys, pensions, annuities, or other benefits accrued or accruing to any person under the provisions of any plan providing for the deferral of compensation and the accumulated contributions and the cash and securities in the funds created thereunder are hereby exempt from any state, county, or municipal tax. They shall not be subject to execution or attachment or to any legal process whatsoever by a creditor of the employee and shall be unassignable by the employee.
(b)1. There is created in the State Treasury the Deferred Compensation Trust Fund, through which the Chief Financial Officer as trustee shall hold moneys, pensions, annuities, or other benefits accrued or accruing under and pursuant to 26 U.S.C. s. 457 and the deferred compensation plan provided for therein and adopted by this state; and
a. All amounts of compensation deferred thereunder;
b. All property and rights purchased with such amounts; and
c. All income attributable to such amounts, property, or rights.
2. Notwithstanding the mandates of 26 U.S.C. s. 457(b)(6), all of the assets specified in subparagraph 1. shall be held in trust for the exclusive benefit of participants and their beneficiaries as mandated by 26 U.S.C. s. 457(g)(1).
(11) With respect to any funds held pursuant to a deferred compensation plan, any investment option provider that is a bank or savings association and that provides time deposit accounts and certificates of deposit as an investment product to the plan participants may, with the approval of the State Board of Administration for providers in the state plan, or with the approval of the appropriate official or body designated under subsection (5) for a plan of a county, municipality, other political subdivision, or constitutional county officer, be exempt from the provisions of chapter 280 requiring it to be a qualified public depository, provided:
(a) The bank or savings association shall, to the extent that the time deposit accounts or certificates of deposit are not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, deposit or issue collateral with the Chief Financial Officer for all state funds held by it under a deferred compensation plan, or with such other appropriate official for all public funds held by it under a deferred compensation plan of a county, municipality, other political subdivision, or constitutional county officer, in an amount which equals at least 150 percent of all uninsured deferred compensation funds then held.
(b) Said collateral shall be of the kind permitted by s. 280.13 and shall be pledged in the manner provided for by the applicable provisions of chapter 280.

The Chief Financial Officer shall have all the applicable powers provided in ss. 280.04, 280.05, and 280.08 relating to the sale or other disposition of the pledged collateral.

(12) The Chief Financial Officer may adopt any rule necessary to administer and implement this act with respect to deferred compensation plans for state employees.
(13) When permitted by federal law, the plan administrator may provide for a pretax trustee-to-trustee transfer of amounts in a participant’s deferred compensation account for the purchase of prior service credit in a public sector retirement system.
(14) This subsection may not impair an existing contract. In each county that has one or more constitutional county officers, the board of county commissioners and the constitutional county officers shall negotiate a joint deferred compensation program for all their respective employees under s. 163.01. If all parties to the negotiation cannot agree upon a joint deferred compensation program, the provisions of subsection (5) apply.
History.s. 1, ch. 75-295; s. 1, ch. 76-279; s. 1, ch. 82-46; s. 1, ch. 83-43; s. 2, ch. 87-7; ss. 1, 3, 4, ch. 87-35; s. 1, ch. 87-138; s. 1, ch. 89-123; s. 28, ch. 90-360; s. 5, ch. 91-429; s. 694, ch. 95-147; s. 2, ch. 96-216; s. 35, ch. 96-406; s. 1, ch. 97-8; s. 40, ch. 99-2; s. 2, ch. 99-159; s. 40, ch. 2001-43; s. 2, ch. 2001-265; s. 126, ch. 2003-261; ss. 7, 8, ch. 2003-399; s. 3, ch. 2004-41; s. 8, ch. 2004-390.
112.217 Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles; employees’ benefit fund.The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is authorized to adopt rules creating and providing for the operation of an employees’ benefit fund for employees of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. The proceeds of the vending machines located in buildings occupied and used by the department, or such portions thereof as the department by rule may provide, shall be paid into such fund to be used for such benefits and purposes as the department by rule may provide.
History.s. 1, ch. 81-37.
112.218 Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles personnel files; fees for copies.The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is authorized to charge the following fees for copies of its personnel files:
(1) Copies, per page..........$0.50.
(2) Certified copies, per page..........$1.00.

Fees collected pursuant to this section shall be deposited in the General Revenue Fund.

History.s. 1, ch. 82-130.
PART II
INTERCHANGE OF PERSONNEL
BETWEEN GOVERNMENTS
112.24 Intergovernmental interchange of public employees.
112.25 Declaration of policy.
112.26 Definitions.
112.27 Authority to interchange employees.
112.28 Status of employees of this state.
112.29 Travel expenses of employees of this state.
112.30 Status of employees of other governments.
112.31 Travel expenses of employees of other governments.
112.24 Intergovernmental interchange of public employees.To encourage economical and effective utilization of public employees in this state, the temporary assignment of employees among agencies of government, both state and local, and including school districts and public institutions of higher education is authorized under terms and conditions set forth in this section. State agencies, municipalities, and political subdivisions are authorized to enter into employee interchange agreements with other state agencies, the Federal Government, another state, a municipality, or a political subdivision including a school district, or with a public institution of higher education. State agencies are also authorized to enter into employee interchange agreements with private institutions of higher education and other nonprofit organizations under the terms and conditions provided in this section. In addition, the Governor or the Governor and Cabinet may enter into employee interchange agreements with a state agency, the Federal Government, another state, a municipality, or a political subdivision including a school district, or with a public institution of higher learning to fill, subject to the requirements of chapter 20, appointive offices which are within the executive branch of government and which are filled by appointment by the Governor or the Governor and Cabinet. Under no circumstances shall employee interchange agreements be utilized for the purpose of assigning individuals to participate in political campaigns. Duties and responsibilities of interchange employees shall be limited to the mission and goals of the agencies of government.
(1) Details of an employee interchange program shall be the subject of an agreement, which may be extended or modified, between a sending party and a receiving party. State agencies shall report such agreements and any extensions or modifications thereto to the Department of Management Services.
(2) The period of an individual’s assignment or detail under an employee interchange program shall not exceed 2 years. Upon agreement of the sending party and the receiving party and under the same or modified terms, an assignment or detail of 2 years may be extended by 3 months. However, agreements relating to faculty members of the State University System may be extended biennially upon approval by the Department of Management Services. If the appointing agency is the Governor or the Governor and Cabinet, the period of an individual’s assignment or detail under an employee interchange program shall not exceed 2 years plus an extension of 3 months or the number of years left in the term of office of the Governor, whichever is less.
(3) Salary, leave, travel and transportation, and reimbursements for an employee of a sending party that is participating in an interchange program shall be handled as follows:
(a) An employee of a sending party who is participating in an interchange agreement may be considered as on detail to regular work assignments of the sending party or in a leave status from the sending party except that the receiving agency shall pay the salary and benefits of such employee during the time, in excess of 1 week, that the employee is working for the receiving agency. However, an employee of a sending party who is participating in an interchange agreement pursuant to s. 10, chapter 91-429, Laws of Florida, shall be considered as on detail to regular work assignments of the sending party, and the sending party shall reimburse the receiving agency for the salary and benefits and expenses of such employee and any other direct costs of conducting the inspections during the time the employee is working for the receiving agency.
1. If on detail, an employee shall receive the same salary and benefits as if he or she were not on detail and shall remain the employee of the sending party for all purposes except that supervision during the period of detail may be governed by the interchange agreement.
2. If on leave, an employee shall have the same rights, benefits, and obligations as other employees in a leave status subject to exceptions provided in rules for state employees issued by the department or the rules or other decisions of the governing body of the municipality or political subdivision.
(b) The assignment of an employee of a state agency on detail or on leave of absence may be made without reimbursement by the receiving party for the travel and transportation expenses to or from the place of the assignment or for the pay and benefits, or a part thereof, of the employee during the assignment.
(c) If the rate of pay for an employee of an agency of the state on temporary assignment or on leave of absence is less than the rate of pay he or she would have received had the employee continued in his or her regular position, such employee is entitled to receive supplemental pay from the sending party in an amount equal to such difference.
(d) Any employee who participates in an exchange under the terms of this section who suffers disability or death as a result of personal injury arising out of and in the course of an exchange, or sustained in performance of duties in connection therewith, shall be treated, for the purposes of the sending party’s employee compensation program, as an employee who sustained injury in the performance of duty, but shall not receive benefits under such program for any period for which the employee is entitled to, and elects to receive, similar benefits under the receiving party’s employee compensation program.
(e) A sending party in this state may, in accordance with the travel regulations of such party, pay the travel expenses of an employee who is assigned to a receiving party on either detail or leave basis, but shall not pay the travel expenses of such an employee incurred in connection with work assignments at the receiving party. If the assignment or detail will exceed 8 months, travel expenses may include expenses to transport immediate family, household goods, and personal effects to and from the location of the receiving party. If the period of assignment is 3 months or less, the sending party may pay a per diem allowance to the employee on assignment or detail.
(4)(a) When any agency, municipality, or political subdivision of this state acts as a receiving party, an employee of the sending party who is assigned under authority of this section may be given appointments by the receiving party covering the periods of such assignments, with compensation to be paid from the receiving party’s funds, or without compensation, or be considered to be on detail to the receiving party.
(b) Appointments of persons so assigned may be made without regard to the laws or regulations governing the selection of employees of the receiving party.
(c) During the period of an assignment, the employee who is detailed to the receiving party shall not by virtue of such detail be considered an employee of the receiving party, except as provided in paragraph (d), nor shall the employee be paid a wage or salary by the receiving party. The supervision of an employee during the period of the detail may be governed by agreement between the sending party and the receiving party. A detail of an employee to a state agency may be made with or without reimbursement to the sending party by the receiving party for the pay and benefits, or a part thereof, of the employee during the period of the detail.
(d) If the sending party of an employee assigned to an agency, municipality, or political subdivision of this state fails to continue making the employer’s contribution to the retirement, life insurance, and health benefit plans for that employee, the receiving party of this state may make the employer’s contribution covering the period of the assignment or any part thereof.
(e) Any employee of a sending party assigned in this state who suffers disability or death as a result of personal injury arising out of and in the course of such assignment, or sustained in the performance of duties in connection therewith, shall be treated for the purpose of the receiving party’s employee compensation program, as an employee who has sustained injury in the performance of duty, but shall not receive benefits under such program for any period for which he or she elects to receive similar benefits as an employee under the sending party’s employee compensation program.
(f) A receiving party in this state may, in accordance with the travel regulations of such party, pay travel expenses of persons assigned thereto during the period of such assignments on the same basis as if they were regular employees of the receiving party.
(5) An agency may enter into agreements with private institutions of higher education in this state as the sending or receiving party as specified in subsections (3) and (4).
1(6) For the 2013-2014 fiscal year only, the assignment of an employee of a state agency as provided in this section may be made if recommended by the Governor or Chief Justice, as appropriate, and approved by the chairs of the legislative appropriations committees. Such actions shall be deemed approved if neither chair provides written notice of objection within 14 days after receiving notice of the action pursuant to s. 216.177. This subsection expires July 1, 2014.
History.s. 149, ch. 79-190; s. 1, ch. 85-1; s. 2, ch. 88-557; s. 1, ch. 89-315; s. 19, ch. 89-367; s. 43, ch. 92-279; s. 55, ch. 92-326; s. 695, ch. 95-147; s. 33, ch. 96-399; s. 2, ch. 98-331; s. 14, ch. 2008-153; s. 50, ch. 2009-82; s. 57, ch. 2010-153; s. 61, ch. 2011-47; s. 40, ch. 2012-119; s. 39, ch. 2013-41.
1Note.Section 39, ch. 2013-41, amended subsection (6) “[i]n order to implement appropriations for salaries and benefits in the 2013-2014 General Appropriations Act.”
112.25 Declaration of policy.The state recognizes that intergovernmental cooperation is an essential factor in resolving problems affecting this state and that the interchange of personnel between and among governmental agencies at the same or different levels of government is a significant factor in achieving such cooperation.
History.s. 1, ch. 65-524.
112.26 Definitions.For the purposes of this part of chapter 112 the following words and phrases have the meanings ascribed to them in this section.
(1) “Sending agency” means any department or agency of the federal government or a state government which sends any employee thereof to another government agency under this part.
(2) “Receiving agency” means any department or agency of the federal government or a state government which receives an employee of another government under this part.
History.s. 2, ch. 65-524.
112.27 Authority to interchange employees.
(1) Any department, agency, or instrumentality of the state is authorized to participate in a program of interchange of employees with departments, agencies, or instrumentalities of the state, the Federal Government, or another state, as a sending or receiving agency.
(2) The period of individual assignment or detail under an interchange program shall not exceed 12 months, nor shall any person be assigned or detailed for more than 12 months during any 36-month period. Details relating to any matter covered in this part may be the subject of an agreement between the sending and receiving agencies. Elected officials shall not be assigned from a sending agency nor detailed to a receiving agency.
History.s. 3, ch. 65-524; s. 3, ch. 98-331.
112.28 Status of employees of this state.
(1) Employees of a sending agency participating in an exchange of personnel as authorized in s. 112.27 may be considered during such participation to be on detail to regular work assignments of the sending agency.
(2) Employees who are on detail shall be entitled to the same salary and benefits to which they would otherwise be entitled and shall remain employees of the sending agency for all other purposes except that the supervision of their duties during the period of detail may be governed by agreement between the sending agency and the receiving agency.
(3) Any employee who participates in an exchange under the terms of this section who suffers disability or death as a result of personal injury arising out of and in the course of an exchange, or sustained in performance of duties in connection therewith, shall be treated, for the purposes of the sending agency’s employee compensation program, as an employee, as defined in such act, who has sustained such injury in the performance of such duty, but shall not receive benefits under that act for any period for which he or she is entitled to and elects to receive similar benefits under the receiving agency’s employee compensation program.
History.s. 4, ch. 65-524; s. 696, ch. 95-147.
112.29 Travel expenses of employees of this state.A sending agency in this state may, in accordance with the travel regulations of such agency, pay the travel expenses of employees assigned to a receiving agency on either a detail or leave basis, but shall not pay the travel expenses of such employees incurred in connection with their work assignments at the receiving agency. During the period of assignment, the sending agency may pay a per diem allowance to the employee on assignment or detail.
History.s. 5, ch. 65-524.
112.30 Status of employees of other governments.
(1) When any unit of government of this state acts as a receiving agency, employees of the sending agency who are assigned under authority of this part may be considered to be on detail to the receiving agency.
(2) Appointments of persons so assigned may be made without regard to the laws or regulations governing the selection of employees of the receiving agency. Such person shall be in the unclassified service of the state.
(3) Employees who are detailed to the receiving agency shall not by virtue of such detail be considered to be employees thereof, except as provided in subsection (4), nor shall they be paid a salary or wage by the receiving agency during the period of their detail. The supervision of the duties of such employees during the period of detail may be governed by agreement between the sending agency and the receiving agency.
(4) Any employee of a sending agency assigned in this state who suffers disability or death as a result of personal injury arising out of and in the course of such assignment, or sustained in the performance of duties in connection therewith, shall be treated for the purpose of sending agency’s employee compensation program, as an employee, as defined in such act, who has sustained such injury in the performance of such duty, but shall not receive benefits under that act for any period for which he or she elects to receive similar benefits as an employee under the receiving agency’s employee compensation program.
History.s. 6, ch. 65-524; s. 697, ch. 95-147.
112.31 Travel expenses of employees of other governments.A receiving agency in this state may, in accordance with the travel regulations of such agency, pay travel expenses of persons assigned thereto under this part during the period of such assignments on the same basis as if they were regular employees of the receiving agency.
History.s. 7, ch. 65-524.
PART III
CODE OF ETHICS FOR
PUBLIC OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES
112.311 Legislative intent and declaration of policy.
112.312 Definitions.
112.3125 Dual public employment.
112.313 Standards of conduct for public officers, employees of agencies, and local government attorneys.
112.3135 Restriction on employment of relatives.
112.3136 Standards of conduct for officers and employees of entities serving as chief administrative officer of political subdivisions.
112.3142 Ethics training for specified constitutional officers.
112.31425 Qualified blind trusts.
112.3143 Voting conflicts.
112.3144 Full and public disclosure of financial interests.
112.31445 Electronic filing system; full and public disclosure of financial interests.
112.3145 Disclosure of financial interests and clients represented before agencies.
112.31455 Collection methods for unpaid automatic fines for failure to timely file disclosure of financial interests.
112.3146 Public records.
112.3147 Forms.
112.3148 Reporting and prohibited receipt of gifts by individuals filing full or limited public disclosure of financial interests and by procurement employees.
112.31485 Prohibition on gifts involving political committees.
112.3149 Solicitation and disclosure of honoraria.
112.3151 Extensions of time for filing disclosure.
112.316 Construction.
112.317 Penalties.
112.3173 Felonies involving breach of public trust and other specified offenses by public officers and employees; forfeiture of retirement benefits.
112.3175 Remedies; contracts voidable.
112.3185 Additional standards for state agency employees.
112.3187 Adverse action against employee for disclosing information of specified nature prohibited; employee remedy and relief.
112.3188 Confidentiality of information given to the Chief Inspector General, internal auditors, inspectors general, local chief executive officers, or other appropriate local officials.
112.3189 Investigative procedures upon receipt of whistle-blower information from certain state employees.
112.31895 Investigative procedures in response to prohibited personnel actions.
112.31901 Investigatory records.
112.3191 Short title.
112.320 Commission on Ethics; purpose.
112.321 Membership, terms; travel expenses; staff.
112.3213 Legislative intent and purpose.
112.3215 Lobbying before the executive branch or the Constitution Revision Commission; registration and reporting; investigation by commission.
112.32151 Requirements for reinstitution of lobbyist registration after felony conviction.
112.32155 Electronic filing of compensation reports and other information.
112.3217 Contingency fees; prohibitions; penalties.
112.322 Duties and powers of commission.
112.3231 Time limitations.
112.3232 Compelled testimony.
112.324 Procedures on complaints of violations and referrals; public records and meeting exemptions.
112.3241 Judicial review.
112.326 Additional requirements by political subdivisions and agencies not prohibited.
112.311 Legislative intent and declaration of policy.
(1) It is essential to the proper conduct and operation of government that public officials be independent and impartial and that public office not be used for private gain other than the remuneration provided by law. The public interest, therefore, requires that the law protect against any conflict of interest and establish standards for the conduct of elected officials and government employees in situations where conflicts may exist.
(2) It is also essential that government attract those citizens best qualified to serve. Thus, the law against conflict of interest must be so designed as not to impede unreasonably or unnecessarily the recruitment and retention by government of those best qualified to serve. Public officials should not be denied the opportunity, available to all other citizens, to acquire and retain private economic interests except when conflicts with the responsibility of such officials to the public cannot be avoided.
(3) It is likewise essential that the people be free to seek redress of their grievances and express their opinions to all government officials on current issues and past or pending legislative and executive actions at every level of government. In order to preserve and maintain the integrity of the governmental process, it is necessary that the identity, expenditures, and activities of those persons who regularly engage in efforts to persuade public officials to take specific actions, either by direct communication with such officials or by solicitation of others to engage in such efforts, be regularly disclosed to the people.
(4) It is the intent of this act to implement these objectives of protecting the integrity of government and of facilitating the recruitment and retention of qualified personnel by prescribing restrictions against conflicts of interest without creating unnecessary barriers to public service.
(5) It is hereby declared to be the policy of the state that no officer or employee of a state agency or of a county, city, or other political subdivision of the state, and no member of the Legislature or legislative employee, shall have any interest, financial or otherwise, direct or indirect; engage in any business transaction or professional activity; or incur any obligation of any nature which is in substantial conflict with the proper discharge of his or her duties in the public interest. To implement this policy and strengthen the faith and confidence of the people of the state in their government, there is enacted a code of ethics setting forth standards of conduct required of state, county, and city officers and employees, and of officers and employees of other political subdivisions of the state, in the performance of their official duties. It is the intent of the Legislature that this code shall serve not only as a guide for the official conduct of public servants in this state, but also as a basis for discipline of those who violate the provisions of this part.
(6) It is declared to be the policy of the state that public officers and employees, state and local, are agents of the people and hold their positions for the benefit of the public. They are bound to uphold the Constitution of the United States and the State Constitution and to perform efficiently and faithfully their duties under the laws of the federal, state, and local governments. Such officers and employees are bound to observe, in their official acts, the highest standards of ethics consistent with this code and the advisory opinions rendered with respect hereto regardless of personal considerations, recognizing that promoting the public interest and maintaining the respect of the people in their government must be of foremost concern.
History.s. 1, ch. 67-469; s. 1, ch. 69-335; s. 1, ch. 74-177; s. 2, ch. 75-208; s. 698, ch. 95-147.
112.312 Definitions.As used in this part and for purposes of the provisions of s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution, unless the context otherwise requires:
(1) “Advisory body” means any board, commission, committee, council, or authority, however selected, whose total budget, appropriations, or authorized expenditures constitute less than 1 percent of the budget of each agency it serves or $100,000, whichever is less, and whose powers, jurisdiction, and authority are solely advisory and do not include the final determination or adjudication of any personal or property rights, duties, or obligations, other than those relating to its internal operations.
(2) “Agency” means any state, regional, county, local, or municipal government entity of this state, whether executive, judicial, or legislative; any department, division, bureau, commission, authority, or political subdivision of this state therein; or any public school, community college, or state university.
(3) “Breach of the public trust” means a violation of a provision of the State Constitution or this part which establishes a standard of ethical conduct, a disclosure requirement, or a prohibition applicable to public officers or employees in order to avoid conflicts between public duties and private interests, including, without limitation, a violation of s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution or of this part.
(4) “Business associate” means any person or entity engaged in or carrying on a business enterprise with a public officer, public employee, or candidate as a partner, joint venturer, corporate shareholder where the shares of such corporation are not listed on any national or regional stock exchange, or coowner of property.
(5) “Business entity” means any corporation, partnership, limited partnership, company, limited liability company, proprietorship, firm, enterprise, franchise, association, self-employed individual, or trust, whether fictitiously named or not, doing business in this state.
(6) “Candidate” means any person who has filed a statement of financial interest and qualification papers, has subscribed to the candidate’s oath as required by s. 99.021, and seeks by election to become a public officer. This definition expressly excludes a committeeman or committeewoman regulated by chapter 103 and persons seeking any other office or position in a political party.
(7) “Commission” means the Commission on Ethics created by s. 112.320 or any successor to which its duties are transferred.
(8) “Conflict” or “conflict of interest” means a situation in which regard for a private interest tends to lead to disregard of a public duty or interest.
(9) “Corruptly” means done with a wrongful intent and for the purpose of obtaining, or compensating or receiving compensation for, any benefit resulting from some act or omission of a public servant which is inconsistent with the proper performance of his or her public duties.
(10) “Disclosure period” means the taxable year for the person or business entity, whether based on a calendar or fiscal year, immediately preceding the date on which, or the last day of the period during which, the financial disclosure statement required by this part is required to be filed.
(11) “Facts materially related to the complaint at issue” means facts which tend to show a violation of this part or s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution by the alleged violator other than those alleged in the complaint and consisting of separate instances of the same or similar conduct as alleged in the complaint, or which tend to show an additional violation of this part or s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution by the alleged violator which arises out of or in connection with the allegations of the complaint.
(12)(a) “Gift,” for purposes of ethics in government and financial disclosure required by law, means that which is accepted by a donee or by another on the donee’s behalf, or that which is paid or given to another for or on behalf of a donee, directly, indirectly, or in trust for the donee’s benefit or by any other means, for which equal or greater consideration is not given within 90 days, including:
1. Real property.
2. The use of real property.
3. Tangible or intangible personal property.
4. The use of tangible or intangible personal property.
5. A preferential rate or terms on a debt, loan, goods, or services, which rate is below the customary rate and is not either a government rate available to all other similarly situated government employees or officials or a rate which is available to similarly situated members of the public by virtue of occupation, affiliation, age, religion, sex, or national origin.
6. Forgiveness of an indebtedness.
7. Transportation, other than that provided to a public officer or employee by an agency in relation to officially approved governmental business, lodging, or parking.
8. Food or beverage.
9. Membership dues.
10. Entrance fees, admission fees, or tickets to events, performances, or facilities.
11. Plants, flowers, or floral arrangements.
12. Services provided by persons pursuant to a professional license or certificate.
13. Other personal services for which a fee is normally charged by the person providing the services.
14. Any other similar service or thing having an attributable value not already provided for in this section.
(b) “Gift” does not include:
1. Salary, benefits, services, fees, commissions, gifts, or expenses associated primarily with the donee’s employment, business, or service as an officer or director of a corporation or organization.
2. Except as provided in s. 112.31485, contributions or expenditures reported pursuant to chapter 106, contributions or expenditures reported pursuant to federal election law, campaign-related personal services provided without compensation by individuals volunteering their time, or any other contribution or expenditure by a political party or affiliated party committee.
3. An honorarium or an expense related to an honorarium event paid to a person or the person’s spouse.
4. An award, plaque, certificate, or similar personalized item given in recognition of the donee’s public, civic, charitable, or professional service.
5. An honorary membership in a service or fraternal organization presented merely as a courtesy by such organization.
6. The use of a public facility or public property, made available by a governmental agency, for a public purpose.
7. Transportation provided to a public officer or employee by an agency in relation to officially approved governmental business.
8. Gifts provided directly or indirectly by a state, regional, or national organization which promotes the exchange of ideas between, or the professional development of, governmental officials or employees, and whose membership is primarily composed of elected or appointed public officials or staff, to members of that organization or officials or staff of a governmental agency that is a member of that organization.
(c) For the purposes of paragraph (a), “intangible personal property” means property as defined in s. 192.001(11)(b).
(d) For the purposes of paragraph (a), the term “consideration” does not include a promise to pay or otherwise provide something of value unless the promise is in writing and enforceable through the courts.
(13) “Indirect” or “indirect interest” means an interest in which legal title is held by another as trustee or other representative capacity, but the equitable or beneficial interest is held by the person required to file under this part.
(14) “Liability” means any monetary debt or obligation owed by the reporting person to another person, entity, or governmental entity, except for credit card and retail installment accounts, taxes owed unless reduced to a judgment, indebtedness on a life insurance policy owed to the company of issuance, contingent liabilities, or accrued income taxes on net unrealized appreciation. Each liability which is required to be disclosed by s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution shall identify the name and address of the creditor.
(15) “Material interest” means direct or indirect ownership of more than 5 percent of the total assets or capital stock of any business entity. For the purposes of this act, indirect ownership does not include ownership by a spouse or minor child.
(16) “Materially affected” means involving an interest in real property located within the jurisdiction of the official’s agency or involving an investment in a business entity, a source of income or a position of employment, office, or management in any business entity located within the jurisdiction or doing business within the jurisdiction of the official’s agency which is or will be affected in a substantially different manner or degree than the manner or degree in which the public in general will be affected or, if the matter affects only a special class of persons, then affected in a substantially different manner or degree than the manner or degree in which such class will be affected.
(17) “Ministerial matter” means action that a person takes in a prescribed manner in obedience to the mandate of legal authority, without the exercise of the person’s own judgment or discretion as to the propriety of the action taken.
(18) “Parties materially related to the complaint at issue” means any other public officer or employee within the same agency as the alleged violator who has engaged in the same conduct as that alleged in the complaint, or any other public officer or employee who has participated with the alleged violator in the alleged violation as a coconspirator or as an aider and abettor.
(19) “Person or business entities provided a grant or privilege to operate” includes state and federally chartered banks, state and federal savings and loan associations, cemetery companies, insurance companies, mortgage companies, credit unions, small loan companies, alcoholic beverage licensees, pari-mutuel wagering companies, utility companies, and entities controlled by the Public Service Commission or granted a franchise to operate by either a city or county government.
(20) “Purchasing agent” means a public officer or employee having the authority to commit the expenditure of public funds through a contract for, or the purchase of, any goods, services, or interest in real property for an agency, as opposed to the authority to request or requisition a contract or purchase by another person.
(21) “Relative,” unless otherwise specified in this part, means an individual who is related to a public officer or employee as father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, first cousin, nephew, niece, husband, wife, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, stepfather, stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother, stepsister, half brother, half sister, grandparent, great grandparent, grandchild, great grandchild, step grandparent, step great grandparent, step grandchild, step great grandchild, person who is engaged to be married to the public officer or employee or who otherwise holds himself or herself out as or is generally known as the person whom the public officer or employee intends to marry or with whom the public officer or employee intends to form a household, or any other natural person having the same legal residence as the public officer or employee.
(22) “Represent” or “representation” means actual physical attendance on behalf of a client in an agency proceeding, the writing of letters or filing of documents on behalf of a client, and personal communications made with the officers or employees of any agency on behalf of a client.
(23) “Source” means the name, address, and description of the principal business activity of a person or business entity.
(24) “Value of real property” means the most recently assessed value in lieu of a more current appraisal.
History.s. 2, ch. 67-469; ss. 11, 12, ch. 68-35; s. 8, ch. 69-353; s. 2, ch. 74-177; s. 1, ch. 75-196; s. 1, ch. 75-199; s. 3, ch. 75-208; s. 4, ch. 76-18; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 2, ch. 82-98; s. 1, ch. 83-282; s. 2, ch. 90-502; s. 2, ch. 91-85; s. 3, ch. 91-292; s. 699, ch. 95-147; s. 1, ch. 96-328; s. 1, ch. 2000-243; ss. 28, 30, ch. 2011-6; s. 75, ch. 2011-40; HJR 7105, 2011 Regular Session; s. 1, ch. 2013-36.
112.3125 Dual public employment.
(1) As used in this section, the term “public officer” includes any person who is elected to state or local office or, for the period of his or her candidacy, any person who has qualified as a candidate for state or local office.
(2) A public officer may not accept public employment with the state or any of its political subdivisions if the public officer knows, or with the exercise of reasonable care should know, that the position is being offered by the employer for the purpose of gaining influence or other advantage based on the public officer’s office or candidacy.
(3) Any public employment accepted by a public officer must meet all of the following conditions:
(a) The position was already in existence or was created by the employer without the knowledge or anticipation of the public officer’s interest in such position;
(b) The position was publicly advertised;
(c) The public officer was subject to the same application and hiring process as other candidates for the position; and
(d) The public officer meets or exceeds the required qualifications for the position.
(4) A person who was employed by the state or any of its political subdivisions before qualifying as a public officer for his or her current term of office or the next available term of office may continue his or her employment. However, he or she may not accept promotion, advancement, additional compensation, or anything of value that he or she knows, or with the exercise of reasonable care should know, is provided or given as a result of his or her election or position, or that is otherwise inconsistent with the promotion, advancement, additional compensation, or anything of value provided or given an employee who is similarly situated.
(5) This section may not be interpreted as authorizing employment that is otherwise prohibited by law.
History.s. 2, ch. 2013-36.
112.313 Standards of conduct for public officers, employees of agencies, and local government attorneys.
(1) DEFINITION.As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires, the term “public officer” includes any person elected or appointed to hold office in any agency, including any person serving on an advisory body.
(2) SOLICITATION OR ACCEPTANCE OF GIFTS.No public officer, employee of an agency, local government attorney, or candidate for nomination or election shall solicit or accept anything of value to the recipient, including a gift, loan, reward, promise of future employment, favor, or service, based upon any understanding that the vote, official action, or judgment of the public officer, employee, local government attorney, or candidate would be influenced thereby.
(3) DOING BUSINESS WITH ONE’S AGENCY.No employee of an agency acting in his or her official capacity as a purchasing agent, or public officer acting in his or her official capacity, shall either directly or indirectly purchase, rent, or lease any realty, goods, or services for his or her own agency from any business entity of which the officer or employee or the officer’s or employee’s spouse or child is an officer, partner, director, or proprietor or in which such officer or employee or the officer’s or employee’s spouse or child, or any combination of them, has a material interest. Nor shall a public officer or employee, acting in a private capacity, rent, lease, or sell any realty, goods, or services to the officer’s or employee’s own agency, if he or she is a state officer or employee, or to any political subdivision or any agency thereof, if he or she is serving as an officer or employee of that political subdivision. The foregoing shall not apply to district offices maintained by legislators when such offices are located in the legislator’s place of business or when such offices are on property wholly or partially owned by the legislator. This subsection shall not affect or be construed to prohibit contracts entered into prior to:
(a) October 1, 1975.
(b) Qualification for elective office.
(c) Appointment to public office.
(d) Beginning public employment.
(4) UNAUTHORIZED COMPENSATION.No public officer, employee of an agency, or local government attorney or his or her spouse or minor child shall, at any time, accept any compensation, payment, or thing of value when such public officer, employee, or local government attorney knows, or, with the exercise of reasonable care, should know, that it was given to influence a vote or other action in which the officer, employee, or local government attorney was expected to participate in his or her official capacity.
(5) SALARY AND EXPENSES.No public officer shall be prohibited from voting on a matter affecting his or her salary, expenses, or other compensation as a public officer, as provided by law. No local government attorney shall be prevented from considering any matter affecting his or her salary, expenses, or other compensation as the local government attorney, as provided by law.
(6) MISUSE OF PUBLIC POSITION.No public officer, employee of an agency, or local government attorney shall corruptly use or attempt to use his or her official position or any property or resource which may be within his or her trust, or perform his or her official duties, to secure a special privilege, benefit, or exemption for himself, herself, or others. This section shall not be construed to conflict with s. 104.31.
(7) CONFLICTING EMPLOYMENT OR CONTRACTUAL RELATIONSHIP.
(a) No public officer or employee of an agency shall have or hold any employment or contractual relationship with any business entity or any agency which is subject to the regulation of, or is doing business with, an agency of which he or she is an officer or employee, excluding those organizations and their officers who, when acting in their official capacity, enter into or negotiate a collective bargaining contract with the state or any municipality, county, or other political subdivision of the state; nor shall an officer or employee of an agency have or hold any employment or contractual relationship that will create a continuing or frequently recurring conflict between his or her private interests and the performance of his or her public duties or that would impede the full and faithful discharge of his or her public duties.
1. When the agency referred to is that certain kind of special tax district created by general or special law and is limited specifically to constructing, maintaining, managing, and financing improvements in the land area over which the agency has jurisdiction, or when the agency has been organized pursuant to chapter 298, then employment with, or entering into a contractual relationship with, such business entity by a public officer or employee of such agency shall not be prohibited by this subsection or be deemed a conflict per se. However, conduct by such officer or employee that is prohibited by, or otherwise frustrates the intent of, this section shall be deemed a conflict of interest in violation of the standards of conduct set forth by this section.
2. When the agency referred to is a legislative body and the regulatory power over the business entity resides in another agency, or when the regulatory power which the legislative body exercises over the business entity or agency is strictly through the enactment of laws or ordinances, then employment or a contractual relationship with such business entity by a public officer or employee of a legislative body shall not be prohibited by this subsection or be deemed a conflict.
(b) This subsection shall not prohibit a public officer or employee from practicing in a particular profession or occupation when such practice by persons holding such public office or employment is required or permitted by law or ordinance.
(8) DISCLOSURE OR USE OF CERTAIN INFORMATION.A current or former public officer, employee of an agency, or local government attorney may not disclose or use information not available to members of the general public and gained by reason of his or her official position, except for information relating exclusively to governmental practices, for his or her personal gain or benefit or for the personal gain or benefit of any other person or business entity.
(9) POSTEMPLOYMENT RESTRICTIONS; STANDARDS OF CONDUCT FOR LEGISLATORS AND LEGISLATIVE EMPLOYEES.
(a)1. It is the intent of the Legislature to implement by statute the provisions of s. 8(e), Art. II of the State Constitution relating to legislators, statewide elected officers, appointed state officers, and designated public employees.
2. As used in this paragraph:
a. “Employee” means:
(I) Any person employed in the executive or legislative branch of government holding a position in the Senior Management Service as defined in s. 110.402 or any person holding a position in the Selected Exempt Service as defined in s. 110.602 or any person having authority over policy or procurement employed by the Department of the Lottery.
(II) The Auditor General, the director of the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability, the Sergeant at Arms and Secretary of the Senate, and the Sergeant at Arms and Clerk of the House of Representatives.
(III) The executive director and deputy executive director of the Commission on Ethics.
(IV) An executive director, staff director, or deputy staff director of each joint committee, standing committee, or select committee of the Legislature; an executive director, staff director, executive assistant, analyst, or attorney of the Office of the President of the Senate, the Office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Senate Majority Party Office, Senate Minority Party Office, House Majority Party Office, or House Minority Party Office; or any person, hired on a contractual basis, having the power normally conferred upon such persons, by whatever title.
(V) The Chancellor and Vice Chancellors of the State University System; the general counsel to the Board of Governors of the State University System; and the president, provost, vice presidents, and deans of each state university.
(VI) Any person, including an other-personal-services employee, having the power normally conferred upon the positions referenced in this sub-subparagraph.
b. “Appointed state officer” means any member of an appointive board, commission, committee, council, or authority of the executive or legislative branch of state government whose powers, jurisdiction, and authority are not solely advisory and include the final determination or adjudication of any personal or property rights, duties, or obligations, other than those relative to its internal operations.
c. “State agency” means an entity of the legislative, executive, or judicial branch of state government over which the Legislature exercises plenary budgetary and statutory control.
3.a. No member of the Legislature, appointed state officer, or statewide elected officer shall personally represent another person or entity for compensation before the government body or agency of which the individual was an officer or member for a period of 2 years following vacation of office. No member of the Legislature shall personally represent another person or entity for compensation during his or her term of office before any state agency other than judicial tribunals or in settlement negotiations after the filing of a lawsuit.
b. For a period of 2 years following vacation of office, a former member of the Legislature may not act as a lobbyist for compensation before an executive branch agency, agency official, or employee. The terms used in this sub-subparagraph have the same meanings as provided in s. 112.3215.
4. An agency employee, including an agency employee who was employed on July 1, 2001, in a Career Service System position that was transferred to the Selected Exempt Service System under chapter 2001-43, Laws of Florida, may not personally represent another person or entity for compensation before the agency with which he or she was employed for a period of 2 years following vacation of position, unless employed by another agency of state government.
5. Any person violating this paragraph shall be subject to the penalties provided in s. 112.317 and a civil penalty of an amount equal to the compensation which the person receives for the prohibited conduct.
6. This paragraph is not applicable to:
a. A person employed by the Legislature or other agency prior to July 1, 1989;
b. A person who was employed by the Legislature or other agency on July 1, 1989, whether or not the person was a defined employee on July 1, 1989;
c. A person who was a defined employee of the State University System or the Public Service Commission who held such employment on December 31, 1994;
d. A person who has reached normal retirement age as defined in s. 121.021(29), and who has retired under the provisions of chapter 121 by July 1, 1991; or
e. Any appointed state officer whose term of office began before January 1, 1995, unless reappointed to that office on or after January 1, 1995.
(b) In addition to the provisions of this part which are applicable to legislators and legislative employees by virtue of their being public officers or employees, the conduct of members of the Legislature and legislative employees shall be governed by the ethical standards provided in the respective rules of the Senate or House of Representatives which are not in conflict herewith.
(10) EMPLOYEES HOLDING OFFICE.
(a) No employee of a state agency or of a county, municipality, special taxing district, or other political subdivision of the state shall hold office as a member of the governing board, council, commission, or authority, by whatever name known, which is his or her employer while, at the same time, continuing as an employee of such employer.
(b) The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to any person holding office in violation of such provisions on the effective date of this act. However, such a person shall surrender his or her conflicting employment prior to seeking reelection or accepting reappointment to office.
(11) PROFESSIONAL AND OCCUPATIONAL LICENSING BOARD MEMBERS.No officer, director, or administrator of a Florida state, county, or regional professional or occupational organization or association, while holding such position, shall be eligible to serve as a member of a state examining or licensing board for the profession or occupation.
(12) EXEMPTION.The requirements of subsections (3) and (7) as they pertain to persons serving on advisory boards may be waived in a particular instance by the body which appointed the person to the advisory board, upon a full disclosure of the transaction or relationship to the appointing body prior to the waiver and an affirmative vote in favor of waiver by two-thirds vote of that body. In instances in which appointment to the advisory board is made by an individual, waiver may be effected, after public hearing, by a determination by the appointing person and full disclosure of the transaction or relationship by the appointee to the appointing person. In addition, no person shall be held in violation of subsection (3) or subsection (7) if:
(a) Within a city or county the business is transacted under a rotation system whereby the business transactions are rotated among all qualified suppliers of the goods or services within the city or county.
(b) The business is awarded under a system of sealed, competitive bidding to the lowest or best bidder and:
1. The official or the official’s spouse or child has in no way participated in the determination of the bid specifications or the determination of the lowest or best bidder;
2. The official or the official’s spouse or child has in no way used or attempted to use the official’s influence to persuade the agency or any personnel thereof to enter such a contract other than by the mere submission of the bid; and
3. The official, prior to or at the time of the submission of the bid, has filed a statement with the Commission on Ethics, if the official is a state officer or employee, or with the supervisor of elections of the county in which the agency has its principal office, if the official is an officer or employee of a political subdivision, disclosing the official’s interest, or the interest of the official’s spouse or child, and the nature of the intended business.
(c) The purchase or sale is for legal advertising in a newspaper, for any utilities service, or for passage on a common carrier.
(d) An emergency purchase or contract which would otherwise violate a provision of subsection (3) or subsection (7) must be made in order to protect the health, safety, or welfare of the citizens of the state or any political subdivision thereof.
(e) The business entity involved is the only source of supply within the political subdivision of the officer or employee and there is full disclosure by the officer or employee of his or her interest in the business entity to the governing body of the political subdivision prior to the purchase, rental, sale, leasing, or other business being transacted.
(f) The total amount of the transactions in the aggregate between the business entity and the agency does not exceed $500 per calendar year.
(g) The fact that a county or municipal officer or member of a public board or body, including a district school officer or an officer of any district within a county, is a stockholder, officer, or director of a bank will not bar such bank from qualifying as a depository of funds coming under the jurisdiction of any such public board or body, provided it appears in the records of the agency that the governing body of the agency has determined that such officer or member of a public board or body has not favored such bank over other qualified banks.
(h) The transaction is made pursuant to s. 1004.22 or s. 1004.23 and is specifically approved by the president and the chair of the university board of trustees. The chair of the university board of trustees shall submit to the Governor and the Legislature by March 1 of each year a report of the transactions approved pursuant to this paragraph during the preceding year.
(i) The public officer or employee purchases in a private capacity goods or services, at a price and upon terms available to similarly situated members of the general public, from a business entity which is doing business with his or her agency.
(j) The public officer or employee in a private capacity purchases goods or services from a business entity which is subject to the regulation of his or her agency and:
1. The price and terms of the transaction are available to similarly situated members of the general public; and
2. The officer or employee makes full disclosure of the relationship to the agency head or governing body prior to the transaction.
(13) COUNTY AND MUNICIPAL ORDINANCES AND SPECIAL DISTRICT AND SCHOOL DISTRICT RESOLUTIONS REGULATING FORMER OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES.The governing body of any county or municipality may adopt an ordinance and the governing body of any special district or school district may adopt a resolution providing that an appointed county, municipal, special district, or school district officer or a county, municipal, special district, or school district employee may not personally represent another person or entity for compensation before the government body or agency of which the individual was an officer or employee for a period of 2 years following vacation of office or termination of employment, except for the purposes of collective bargaining. Nothing in this section may be construed to prohibit such ordinance or resolution.
(14) LOBBYING BY FORMER LOCAL OFFICERS; PROHIBITION.A person who has been elected to any county, municipal, special district, or school district office may not personally represent another person or entity for compensation before the government body or agency of which the person was an officer for a period of 2 years after vacating that office. For purposes of this subsection:
(a) The “government body or agency” of a member of a board of county commissioners consists of the commission, the chief administrative officer or employee of the county, and their immediate support staff.
(b) The “government body or agency” of any other county elected officer is the office or department headed by that officer, including all subordinate employees.
(c) The “government body or agency” of an elected municipal officer consists of the governing body of the municipality, the chief administrative officer or employee of the municipality, and their immediate support staff.
(d) The “government body or agency” of an elected special district officer is the special district.
(e) The “government body or agency” of an elected school district officer is the school district.
(15) ADDITIONAL EXEMPTION.No elected public officer shall be held in violation of subsection (7) if the officer maintains an employment relationship with an entity which is currently a tax-exempt organization under s. 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code and which contracts with or otherwise enters into a business relationship with the officer’s agency and:
(a) The officer’s employment is not directly or indirectly compensated as a result of such contract or business relationship;
(b) The officer has in no way participated in the agency’s decision to contract or to enter into the business relationship with his or her employer, whether by participating in discussion at the meeting, by communicating with officers or employees of the agency, or otherwise; and
(c) The officer abstains from voting on any matter which may come before the agency involving the officer’s employer, publicly states to the assembly the nature of the officer’s interest in the matter from which he or she is abstaining, and files a written memorandum as provided in s. 112.3143.
(16) LOCAL GOVERNMENT ATTORNEYS.
(a) For the purposes of this section, “local government attorney” means any individual who routinely serves as the attorney for a unit of local government. The term shall not include any person who renders legal services to a unit of local government pursuant to contract limited to a specific issue or subject, to specific litigation, or to a specific administrative proceeding. For the purposes of this section, “unit of local government” includes, but is not limited to, municipalities, counties, and special districts.
(b) It shall not constitute a violation of subsection (3) or subsection (7) for a unit of local government to contract with a law firm, operating as either a partnership or a professional association, or in any combination thereof, or with a local government attorney who is a member of or is otherwise associated with the law firm, to provide any or all legal services to the unit of local government, so long as the local government attorney is not a full-time employee or member of the governing body of the unit of local government. However, the standards of conduct as provided in subsections (2), (4), (5), (6), and (8) shall apply to any person who serves as a local government attorney.
(c) No local government attorney or law firm in which the local government attorney is a member, partner, or employee shall represent a private individual or entity before the unit of local government to which the local government attorney provides legal services. A local government attorney whose contract with the unit of local government does not include provisions that authorize or mandate the use of the law firm of the local government attorney to complete legal services for the unit of local government shall not recommend or otherwise refer legal work to that attorney’s law firm to be completed for the unit of local government.
(17) BOARD OF GOVERNORS AND BOARDS OF TRUSTEES.No citizen member of the Board of Governors of the State University System, nor any citizen member of a board of trustees of a local constituent university, shall have or hold any employment or contractual relationship as a legislative lobbyist requiring annual registration and reporting pursuant to s. 11.045.
History.s. 3, ch. 67-469; s. 2, ch. 69-335; ss. 10, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 3, ch. 74-177; ss. 4, 11, ch. 75-208; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 1, ch. 77-349; s. 4, ch. 82-98; s. 2, ch. 83-26; s. 6, ch. 83-282; s. 14, ch. 85-80; s. 12, ch. 86-145; s. 1, ch. 88-358; s. 1, ch. 88-408; s. 3, ch. 90-502; s. 3, ch. 91-85; s. 4, ch. 91-292; s. 1, ch. 92-35; s. 1, ch. 94-277; s. 1406, ch. 95-147; s. 3, ch. 96-311; s. 34, ch. 96-318; s. 41, ch. 99-2; s. 29, ch. 2001-266; s. 20, ch. 2002-1; s. 894, ch. 2002-387; s. 2, ch. 2005-285; s. 2, ch. 2006-275; s. 10, ch. 2007-217; s. 16, ch. 2011-34; s. 3, ch. 2013-36.
112.3135 Restriction on employment of relatives.
(1) In this section, unless the context otherwise requires:
(a) “Agency” means:
1. A state agency, except an institution under the jurisdiction of the Board of Governors of the State University System;
2. An office, agency, or other establishment in the legislative branch;
3. An office, agency, or other establishment in the judicial branch;
4. A county;
5. A city; and
6. Any other political subdivision of the state, except a district school board or community college district.
(b) “Collegial body” means a governmental entity marked by power or authority vested equally in each of a number of colleagues.
(c) “Public official” means an officer, including a member of the Legislature, the Governor, and a member of the Cabinet, or an employee of an agency in whom is vested the authority by law, rule, or regulation, or to whom the authority has been delegated, to appoint, employ, promote, or advance individuals or to recommend individuals for appointment, employment, promotion, or advancement in connection with employment in an agency, including the authority as a member of a collegial body to vote on the appointment, employment, promotion, or advancement of individuals.
(d) “Relative,” for purposes of this section only, with respect to a public official, means an individual who is related to the public official as father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, first cousin, nephew, niece, husband, wife, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, stepfather, stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother, stepsister, half brother, or half sister.
(2)(a) A public official may not appoint, employ, promote, or advance, or advocate for appointment, employment, promotion, or advancement, in or to a position in the agency in which the official is serving or over which the official exercises jurisdiction or control any individual who is a relative of the public official. An individual may not be appointed, employed, promoted, or advanced in or to a position in an agency if such appointment, employment, promotion, or advancement has been advocated by a public official, serving in or exercising jurisdiction or control over the agency, who is a relative of the individual or if such appointment, employment, promotion, or advancement is made by a collegial body of which a relative of the individual is a member. However, this subsection shall not apply to appointments to boards other than those with land-planning or zoning responsibilities in those municipalities with less than 35,000 population. This subsection does not apply to persons serving in a volunteer capacity who provide emergency medical, firefighting, or police services. Such persons may receive, without losing their volunteer status, reimbursements for the costs of any training they get relating to the provision of volunteer emergency medical, firefighting, or police services and payment for any incidental expenses relating to those services that they provide.
(b) Mere approval of budgets shall not be sufficient to constitute “jurisdiction or control” for the purposes of this section.
(3) An agency may prescribe regulations authorizing the temporary employment, in the event of an emergency as defined in s. 252.34, of individuals whose employment would be otherwise prohibited by this section.
(4) Legislators’ relatives may be employed as pages or messengers during legislative sessions.
History.ss. 1, 2, 3, ch. 69-341; ss. 15, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 70, ch. 72-221; s. 3, ch. 83-334; s. 1, ch. 89-67; s. 4, ch. 90-502; s. 2, ch. 94-277; s. 1407, ch. 95-147; s. 1, ch. 98-160; s. 42, ch. 99-2; s. 11, ch. 2007-217; s. 47, ch. 2011-142.
Note.Former s. 116.111.
112.3136 Standards of conduct for officers and employees of entities serving as chief administrative officer of political subdivisions.The officers, directors, and chief executive officer of a corporation, partnership, or other business entity that is serving as the chief administrative or executive officer or employee of a political subdivision, and any business entity employee who is acting as the chief administrative or executive officer or employee of the political subdivision, for the purposes of the following sections, are public officers and employees who are subject to the following standards of conduct of this part:
(1) Section 112.313, and their “agency” is the political subdivision that they serve; however, the contract under which the business entity serves as chief executive or administrative officer of the political subdivision is not deemed to violate s. 112.313(3) or (7).
(2) Section 112.3145, as a “local officer.”
(3) Sections 112.3148 and 112.3149, as a “reporting individual.”
History.s. 1, ch. 2009-126.
112.3142 Ethics training for specified constitutional officers.
(1) As used in this section, the term “constitutional officers” includes the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, the Attorney General, the Chief Financial Officer, the Commissioner of Agriculture, state attorneys, public defenders, sheriffs, tax collectors, property appraisers, supervisors of elections, clerks of the circuit court, county commissioners, district school board members, and superintendents of schools.
(2)(a) All constitutional officers must complete 4 hours of ethics training annually that addresses, at a minimum, s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution, the Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees, and the public records and public meetings laws of this state. This requirement may be satisfied by completion of a continuing legal education class or other continuing professional education class, seminar, or presentation if the required subjects are covered.
(b) The commission shall adopt rules establishing minimum course content for the portion of an ethics training class that addresses s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution and the Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees.
(3) Each house of the Legislature shall provide for ethics training pursuant to its rules.
History.s. 4, ch. 2013-36.
112.31425 Qualified blind trusts.
(1) The Legislature finds that if a public officer creates a trust and does not control the interests held by the trust, his or her official actions will not be influenced or appear to be influenced by private considerations.
(2) If a public officer holds a beneficial interest in a qualified blind trust as described in this section, he or she does not have a conflict of interest prohibited under s. 112.313(3) or (7) or a voting conflict of interest under s. 112.3143 with regard to matters pertaining to that interest.
(3) The public officer may not attempt to influence or exercise any control over decisions regarding the management of assets in a qualified blind trust. The public officer or any person having a beneficial interest in the qualified blind trust may not make any effort to obtain information with respect to the holdings of the trust, including obtaining a copy of any trust tax return filed or any information relating thereto, except as otherwise provided in this section.
(4) Except for communications that consist solely of requests for distributions of cash or other unspecified assets of the trust, the public officer or the person who has a beneficial interest may not have any direct or indirect communication with the trustee with respect to the trust, unless such communication is in writing and relates only to:
(a) A distribution from the trust which does not specify the source or assets within the trust from which the distribution is to be made in cash or in kind;
(b) The general financial interests and needs of the public officer or the person who has a beneficial interest, including, but not limited to, an interest in maximizing income or long-term capital gain;
(c) A notification of the trustee of a law or regulation subsequently applicable to the public officer which prohibits the officer from holding an asset and directs that the asset not be held by the trust; or
(d) A direction to the trustee to sell all of an asset initially placed in the trust by the public officer which, in the determination of the public officer, creates a conflict of interest or the appearance thereof due to the subsequent assumption of duties by the public officer.
(5) The public officer shall report the beneficial interest in the qualified blind trust and its value as an asset on his or her financial disclosure form, if the value is required to be disclosed. The public officer shall report the blind trust as a primary source of income on his or her financial disclosure forms and its amount, if the amount of income is required to be disclosed. The public officer is not required to report as a secondary source of income any source of income to the blind trust.
(6) In order to constitute a qualified blind trust, the trust established by the public officer must meet the following requirements:
(a) The appointed trustee must be a bank, trust company, or other institutional fiduciary or an individual who is an attorney, certified public accountant, broker, or investment advisor. If the trustee is an individual or if the trustee is a bank, trust company, or other institutional fiduciary, the individual responsible for managing the trust may not be:
1. The public officer’s spouse, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, brother, sister, parent-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, aunt, uncle, or first cousin, or the spouse of any such person;
2. A person who is an elected or appointed public officer or a public employee;
3. A person who has been appointed to serve in an agency by the public officer or by a public officer or public employee supervised by the public officer; or
4. A business associate or principal of the public officer.
(b) All assets in the trust must be free of any restrictions with respect to their transfer or sale. The trust may not contain investments or assets the transfer of which by the trustee is improbable or impractical without the public officer’s knowledge.
(c) The trust agreement must:
1. Contain a statement that its purpose is to remove from the grantor control and knowledge of investment of trust assets so that conflicts between the grantor’s responsibilities as a public officer and his or her private interests are eliminated.
2. Give the trustee complete discretion to manage the trust, including, but not limited to, the power to dispose of and acquire trust assets without consulting or notifying the covered public officer or the person having a beneficial interest in the trust.
3. Prohibit communication between the trustee and the public officer, or the person who has a beneficial interest in the trust, concerning the holdings or sources of income of the trust, except amounts of cash value or net income or loss, if such report does not identify any asset or holding, or except as provided in this section.
4. Provide that the trust tax return is prepared by the trustee or his or her designee and that any information relating thereto is not disclosed to the public officer or to the person who has a beneficial interest, except as provided in this section.
5. Permit the trustee to notify the public officer of the date of disposition and value at disposition of any original investment or interest in real property to the extent required by federal tax law so that the information can be reported on the public officer’s applicable tax returns.
6. Prohibit the trustee from disclosing to the public officer or the person who has a beneficial interest any information concerning replacement assets to the trust, except for the minimum tax information necessary to enable the public official to complete an individual tax return required by law.
(d) Within 5 business days after the agreement is executed, the public officer shall file with the commission a notice setting forth:
1. The date that the agreement is executed.
2. The name and address of the trustee.
3. The acknowledgment by the trustee that he or she has agreed to serve as trustee.
4. A certification by the trustee on a form prescribed by the commission that the trust meets all of the requirements of this section. In lieu of said certification, the public officer may file a copy of the trust agreement.
5. A complete list of assets placed in the trust that the public officer would be required to disclose pursuant to s. 112.3144 or s. 112.3145.
(7) If the trust is revoked while the covered public official is a public officer, or if the covered public official learns of any replacement assets that have been added to the trust, the covered public official shall file an amendment to his or her most recent financial disclosure statement. The amendment shall be filed no later than 60 days after the date of revocation or the addition of the replacement assets. The covered public official shall disclose the previously unreported pro rata share of the trust’s interests in investments or income deriving from any such investments. For purposes of this section, any replacement asset that becomes known to the covered public official shall thereafter be treated as though it were an original asset of the trust.
History.s. 5, ch. 2013-36.
112.3143 Voting conflicts.
(1) As used in this section:
(a) “Principal by whom retained” means an individual or entity, other than an agency as defined in s. 112.312(2), that for compensation, salary, pay, consideration, or similar thing of value, has permitted or directed another to act for the individual or entity, and includes, but is not limited to, one’s client, employer, or the parent, subsidiary, or sibling organization of one’s client or employer.
(b) “Public officer” includes any person elected or appointed to hold office in any agency, including any person serving on an advisory body.
(c) “Relative” means any father, mother, son, daughter, husband, wife, brother, sister, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, or daughter-in-law.
(d) “Special private gain or loss” means an economic benefit or harm that would inure to the officer, his or her relative, business associate, or principal, unless the measure affects a class that includes the officer, his or her relative, business associate, or principal, in which case, at least the following factors must be considered when determining whether a special private gain or loss exists:
1. The size of the class affected by the vote.
2. The nature of the interests involved.
3. The degree to which the interests of all members of the class are affected by the vote.
4. The degree to which the officer, his or her relative, business associate, or principal receives a greater benefit or harm when compared to other members of the class.

The degree to which there is uncertainty at the time of the vote as to whether there would be any economic benefit or harm to the public officer, his or her relative, business associate, or principal and, if so, the nature or degree of the economic benefit or harm must also be considered.

(2)(a) A state public officer may not vote on any matter that the officer knows would inure to his or her special private gain or loss. Any state public officer who abstains from voting in an official capacity upon any measure that the officer knows would inure to the officer’s special private gain or loss, or who votes in an official capacity on a measure that he or she knows would inure to the special private gain or loss of any principal by whom the officer is retained or to the parent organization or subsidiary of a corporate principal by which the officer is retained other than an agency as defined in s. 112.312(2); or which the officer knows would inure to the special private gain or loss of a relative or business associate of the public officer, shall make every reasonable effort to disclose the nature of his or her interest as a public record in a memorandum filed with the person responsible for recording the minutes of the meeting, who shall incorporate the memorandum in the minutes. If it is not possible for the state public officer to file a memorandum before the vote, the memorandum must be filed with the person responsible for recording the minutes of the meeting no later than 15 days after the vote.
(b) A member of the Legislature may satisfy the disclosure requirements of this section by filing a disclosure form created pursuant to the rules of the member’s respective house if the member discloses the information required by this subsection.
(3)(a) No county, municipal, or other local public officer shall vote in an official capacity upon any measure which would inure to his or her special private gain or loss; which he or she knows would inure to the special private gain or loss of any principal by whom he or she is retained or to the parent organization or subsidiary of a corporate principal by which he or she is retained, other than an agency as defined in s. 112.312(2); or which he or she knows would inure to the special private gain or loss of a relative or business associate of the public officer. Such public officer shall, prior to the vote being taken, publicly state to the assembly the nature of the officer’s interest in the matter from which he or she is abstaining from voting and, within 15 days after the vote occurs, disclose the nature of his or her interest as a public record in a memorandum filed with the person responsible for recording the minutes of the meeting, who shall incorporate the memorandum in the minutes.
(b) However, a commissioner of a community redevelopment agency created or designated pursuant to s. 163.356 or s. 163.357, or an officer of an independent special tax district elected on a one-acre, one-vote basis, is not prohibited from voting, when voting in said capacity.
(4) No appointed public officer shall participate in any matter which would inure to the officer’s special private gain or loss; which the officer knows would inure to the special private gain or loss of any principal by whom he or she is retained or to the parent organization or subsidiary of a corporate principal by which he or she is retained; or which he or she knows would inure to the special private gain or loss of a relative or business associate of the public officer, without first disclosing the nature of his or her interest in the matter.
(a) Such disclosure, indicating the nature of the conflict, shall be made in a written memorandum filed with the person responsible for recording the minutes of the meeting, prior to the meeting in which consideration of the matter will take place, and shall be incorporated into the minutes. Any such memorandum shall become a public record upon filing, shall immediately be provided to the other members of the agency, and shall be read publicly at the next meeting held subsequent to the filing of this written memorandum.
(b) In the event that disclosure has not been made prior to the meeting or that any conflict is unknown prior to the meeting, the disclosure shall be made orally at the meeting when it becomes known that a conflict exists. A written memorandum disclosing the nature of the conflict shall then be filed within 15 days after the oral disclosure with the person responsible for recording the minutes of the meeting and shall be incorporated into the minutes of the meeting at which the oral disclosure was made. Any such memorandum shall become a public record upon filing, shall immediately be provided to the other members of the agency, and shall be read publicly at the next meeting held subsequent to the filing of this written memorandum.
(c) For purposes of this subsection, the term “participate” means any attempt to influence the decision by oral or written communication, whether made by the officer or at the officer’s direction.
(5) If disclosure of specific information would violate confidentiality or privilege pursuant to law or rules governing attorneys, a public officer, who is also an attorney, may comply with the disclosure requirements of this section by disclosing the nature of the interest in such a way as to provide the public with notice of the conflict.
(6) Whenever a public officer or former public officer is being considered for appointment or reappointment to public office, the appointing body shall consider the number and nature of the memoranda of conflict previously filed under this section by said officer.
History.s. 6, ch. 75-208; s. 2, ch. 84-318; s. 1, ch. 84-357; s. 2, ch. 86-148; s. 5, ch. 91-85; s. 3, ch. 94-277; s. 1408, ch. 95-147; s. 43, ch. 99-2; s. 6, ch. 2013-36.
112.3144 Full and public disclosure of financial interests.
1(1) An officer who is required by s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution to file a full and public disclosure of his or her financial interests for any calendar or fiscal year shall file that disclosure with the Florida Commission on Ethics.
(2) A person who is required, pursuant to s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution, to file a full and public disclosure of financial interests and who has filed a full and public disclosure of financial interests for any calendar or fiscal year shall not be required to file a statement of financial interests pursuant to s. 112.3145(2) and (3) for the same year or for any part thereof notwithstanding any requirement of this part. When a candidate has qualified for office, the qualifying officer shall forward an electronic copy of the full and public disclosure of financial interests to the commission no later than July 1. The electronic copy of the full and public disclosure of financial interests satisfies the annual disclosure requirement of this section. A candidate who does not qualify until after the annual full and public disclosure has been filed pursuant to this section shall file a copy of his or her disclosure with the officer before whom he or she qualifies.
(3) For purposes of full and public disclosure under s. 8(a), Art. II of the State Constitution, the following items, if not held for investment purposes and if valued at over $1,000 in the aggregate, may be reported in a lump sum and identified as “household goods and personal effects”:
(a) Jewelry;
(b) Collections of stamps, guns, and numismatic properties;
(c) Art objects;
(d) Household equipment and furnishings;
(e) Clothing;
(f) Other household items; and
(g) Vehicles for personal use.
(4)(a) With respect to reporting, on forms prescribed under this section, assets valued in excess of $1,000 which the reporting individual holds jointly with another person, the amount reported shall be based on the reporting individual’s legal percentage of ownership in the property. However, assets that are held jointly, with right of survivorship, must be reported at 100 percent of the value of the asset. For purposes of this subsection, a reporting individual is deemed to own a percentage of a partnership which is equal to the reporting individual’s interest in the capital or equity of the partnership.
(b)1. With respect to reporting liabilities valued in excess of $1,000 on forms prescribed under this section for which the reporting individual is jointly and severally liable, the amount reported shall be based on the reporting individual’s percentage of liability rather than the total amount of the liability. However, liability for a debt that is secured by property owned by the reporting individual but that is held jointly, with right of survivorship, must be reported at 100 percent of the total amount owed.
2. A separate section of the form shall be created to provide for the reporting of the amounts of joint and several liability of the reporting individual not otherwise reported in subparagraph 1.
(5) Forms for compliance with the full and public disclosure requirements of s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution shall be created by the Commission on Ethics. The commission shall give notice of disclosure deadlines and delinquencies and distribute forms in the following manner:
(a) Not later than May 1 of each year, the commission shall prepare a current list of the names and addresses of and the offices held by every person required to file full and public disclosure annually by s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution, or other state law. In compiling the list, the commission shall be assisted by each unit of government in providing at the request of the commission the name, address, and name of the office held by each public official within the respective unit of government.
(b) Not later than 30 days before July 1 of each year, the commission shall mail a copy of the form prescribed for compliance with full and public disclosure and a notice of the filing deadline to each person on the mailing list.
(c) Not later than 30 days after July 1 of each year, the commission shall determine which persons on the mailing list have failed to file full and public disclosure and shall send delinquency notices by certified mail to such persons. Each notice shall state that a grace period is in effect until September 1 of the current year.
(d) Statements must be filed not later than 5 p.m. of the due date. However, any statement that is postmarked by the United States Postal Service by midnight of the due date is deemed to have been filed in a timely manner, and a certificate of mailing obtained from and dated by the United States Postal Service at the time of the mailing, or a receipt from an established courier company which bears a date on or before the due date, constitutes proof of mailing in a timely manner.
(e) Any person who is required to file full and public disclosure of financial interests and whose name is on the commission’s mailing list but who fails to timely file is assessed a fine of $25 per day for each day late up to a maximum of $1,500; however this $1,500 limitation on automatic fines does not limit the civil penalty that may be imposed if the statement is filed more than 60 days after the deadline and a complaint is filed, as provided in s. 112.324. The commission must provide by rule the grounds for waiving the fine and the procedures by which each person whose name is on the mailing list and who is determined to have not filed in a timely manner will be notified of assessed fines and may appeal. The rule must provide for and make specific the following:
1. The amount of the fine due is based upon the earliest of the following:
a. When a statement is actually received by the office.
b. When the statement is postmarked.
c. When the certificate of mailing is dated.
d. When the receipt from an established courier company is dated.
2. Upon receipt of the disclosure statement or upon accrual of the maximum penalty, whichever occurs first, the commission shall determine the amount of the fine which is due and shall notify the delinquent person. The notice must include an explanation of the appeal procedure under subparagraph 3. Such fine must be paid within 30 days after the notice of payment due is transmitted, unless appeal is made to the commission pursuant to subparagraph 3. The moneys shall be deposited into the General Revenue Fund.
3. Any reporting person may appeal or dispute a fine, based upon unusual circumstances surrounding the failure to file on the designated due date, and may request and is entitled to a hearing before the commission, which may waive the fine in whole or in part for good cause shown. Any such request must be made within 30 days after the notice of payment due is transmitted. In such a case, the reporting person must, within the 30-day period, notify the person designated to review the timeliness of reports in writing of his or her intention to bring the matter before the commission.
(f) Any person subject to the annual filing of full and public disclosure under s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution, or other state law, whose name is not on the commission’s mailing list of persons required to file full and public disclosure is not subject to the fines or penalties provided in this part for failure to file full and public disclosure in any year in which the omission occurred, but nevertheless is required to file the disclosure statement.
(g) The notification requirements and fines of this subsection do not apply to candidates or to the first filing required of any person appointed to elective constitutional office or other position required to file full and public disclosure, unless the person’s name is on the commission’s notification list and the person received notification from the commission. The appointing official shall notify such newly appointed person of the obligation to file full and public disclosure by July 1. The notification requirements and fines of this subsection do not apply to the final filing provided for in subsection (6).
(h) Notwithstanding any provision of chapter 120, any fine imposed under this subsection which is not waived by final order of the commission and which remains unpaid more than 60 days after the notice of payment due or more than 60 days after the commission renders a final order on the appeal must be submitted to the Department of Financial Services as a claim, debt, or other obligation owed to the state, and the department shall assign the collection of such fine to a collection agent as provided in s. 17.20.
(6) Each person required to file full and public disclosure of financial interests shall file a final disclosure statement within 60 days after leaving his or her public position for the period between January 1 of the year in which the person leaves and the last day of office or employment, unless within the 60-day period the person takes another public position requiring financial disclosure under s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution, or is otherwise required to file full and public disclosure for the final disclosure period. The head of the agency of each person required to file full and public disclosure for the final disclosure period shall notify such persons of their obligation to file the final disclosure and may designate a person to be responsible for the notification requirements of this subsection.
(7)(a) The commission shall treat an amended full and public disclosure of financial interests that is filed prior to September 1 of the current year as the original filing, regardless of whether a complaint has been filed. If a complaint pertaining to the current year alleges a failure to properly and accurately disclose any information required by this section or if a complaint filed pertaining to a previous reporting period within the preceding 5 years alleges a failure to properly and accurately disclose any information required to be disclosed by this section, the commission may immediately follow complaint procedures in s. 112.324. However, if a complaint filed after August 25 alleges an immaterial, inconsequential, or de minimis error or omission, the commission may not take any action on the complaint, other than notifying the filer of the complaint. The filer must be given 30 days to file an amended full and public disclosure of financial interests correcting any errors. If the filer does not file an amended full and public disclosure of financial interests within 30 days after the commission sends notice of the complaint, the commission may continue with proceedings pursuant to s. 112.324.
(b) For purposes of the final full and public disclosure of financial interests, the commission shall treat a new final full and public disclosure of financial interests as the original filing if filed within 60 days after the original filing, regardless of whether a complaint has been filed. If, more than 60 days after a final full and public disclosure of financial interests is filed, a complaint is filed alleging a complete omission of any information required to be disclosed by this section, the commission may immediately follow the complaint procedures in s. 112.324. However, if the complaint alleges an immaterial, inconsequential, or de minimis error or omission, the commission may not take any action on the complaint, other than notifying the filer of the complaint. The filer must be given 30 days to file a new final full and public disclosure of financial interests correcting any errors. If the filer does not file a new final full and public disclosure of financial interests within 30 days after the commission sends notice of the complaint, the commission may continue with proceedings pursuant to s. 112.324.
(c) For purposes of this section, an error or omission is immaterial, inconsequential, or de minimis if the original filing provided sufficient information for the public to identify potential conflicts of interest.
(8)(a) An individual required to file a disclosure pursuant to this section may have the disclosure prepared by an attorney in good standing with The Florida Bar or by a certified public accountant licensed under chapter 473. After preparing a disclosure form, the attorney or certified public accountant must sign the form indicating that he or she prepared the form in accordance with this section and the instructions for completing and filing the disclosure forms and that, upon his or her reasonable knowledge and belief, the disclosure is true and correct. If a complaint is filed alleging a failure to disclose information required by this section, the commission shall determine whether the information was disclosed to the attorney or certified public accountant. The failure of the attorney or certified public accountant to accurately transcribe information provided by the individual required to file is not a violation of this section.
(b) An elected officer or candidate who chooses to use an attorney or a certified public accountant to prepare his or her disclosure may pay for the services of the attorney or certified public accountant from funds in an office account created pursuant to s. 106.141 or, during a year that the individual qualifies for election to public office, the candidate’s campaign depository pursuant to s. 106.021.
(9) The commission shall adopt rules and forms specifying how a person who is required to file full and public disclosure of financial interests may amend his or her disclosure statement to report information that was not included on the form as originally filed. If the amendment is the subject of a complaint filed under this part, the commission and the proper disciplinary official or body shall consider as a mitigating factor when considering appropriate disciplinary action the fact that the amendment was filed before any complaint or other inquiry or proceeding, while recognizing that the public was deprived of access to information to which it was entitled.
History.s. 1, ch. 82-98; s. 3, ch. 88-358; s. 19, ch. 91-45; s. 4, ch. 94-277; s. 1409, ch. 95-147; s. 2, ch. 2000-243; s. 30, ch. 2000-258; s. 127, ch. 2003-261; s. 3, ch. 2006-275; s. 7, ch. 2013-36.
1Note.As created by s. 30, ch. 2000-258. Subsection (1), as created by s. 2, ch. 2000-243, reads:

(1) A person who is required, pursuant to s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution, to file a full and public disclosure of financial interests for any calendar or fiscal year shall file the disclosure with the Florida Commission on Ethics.

112.31445 Electronic filing system; full and public disclosure of financial interests.
(1) As used in this section, the term “electronic filing system” means an Internet system for recording and reporting full and public disclosure of financial interests or any other form that is required pursuant to s. 112.3144.
(2) Beginning with the 2012 filing year, all full and public disclosures of financial interests filed with the commission pursuant to s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution or s. 112.3144 must be scanned and made publicly available by the commission through a searchable Internet database.
(3) By December 1, 2015, the commission shall submit a proposal to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives for a mandatory electronic filing system. The proposal must, at a minimum:
(a) Provide for access through the Internet.
(b) Establish a procedure to make filings available in a searchable format that is accessible by an individual using standard web-browsing software.
(c) Provide for direct completion of the full and public disclosure of financial interests forms as well as upload such information using software approved by the commission.
(d) Provide a secure method that prevents unauthorized access to electronic filing system functions.
(e) Provide a method for an attorney or certified public accountant licensed in this state to sign the disclosure form to indicate that he or she prepared the form in accordance with s. 112.3144 and the instructions for completing and filing the disclosure form and that, upon his or her reasonable knowledge and belief, the form is true and correct.
(f) Address whether additional statutory or rulemaking authority is necessary for implementation of the system, and must include, at a minimum, the following elements: alternate filing procedures to be used in the event that the commission’s electronic filing system is inoperable, issuance of an electronic receipt via electronic mail indicating and verifying to the individual who submitted the full and public disclosure of financial interests form that the form has been filed, and a determination of the feasibility and necessity of including statements of financial interests filed pursuant to s. 112.3145 in the proposed system.
History.s. 8, ch. 2013-36.
112.3145 Disclosure of financial interests and clients represented before agencies.
(1) For purposes of this section, unless the context otherwise requires, the term:
(a) “Local officer” means:
1. Every person who is elected to office in any political subdivision of the state, and every person who is appointed to fill a vacancy for an unexpired term in such an elective office.
2. Any appointed member of any of the following boards, councils, commissions, authorities, or other bodies of any county, municipality, school district, independent special district, or other political subdivision of the state:
a. The governing body of the political subdivision, if appointed;
b. A community college or junior college district board of trustees;
c. A board having the power to enforce local code provisions;
d. A planning or zoning board, board of adjustment, board of appeals, community redevelopment agency board, or other board having the power to recommend, create, or modify land planning or zoning within the political subdivision, except for citizen advisory committees, technical coordinating committees, and such other groups who only have the power to make recommendations to planning or zoning boards;
e. A pension board or retirement board having the power to invest pension or retirement funds or the power to make a binding determination of one’s entitlement to or amount of a pension or other retirement benefit; or
f. Any other appointed member of a local government board who is required to file a statement of financial interests by the appointing authority or the enabling legislation, ordinance, or resolution creating the board.
3. Any person holding one or more of the following positions: mayor; county or city manager; chief administrative employee of a county, municipality, or other political subdivision; county or municipal attorney; finance director of a county, municipality, or other political subdivision; chief county or municipal building code inspector; county or municipal water resources coordinator; county or municipal pollution control director; county or municipal environmental control director; county or municipal administrator, with power to grant or deny a land development permit; chief of police; fire chief; municipal clerk; district school superintendent; community college president; district medical examiner; or purchasing agent having the authority to make any purchase exceeding the threshold amount provided for in s. 287.017 for CATEGORY ONE, on behalf of any political subdivision of the state or any entity thereof.
(b) “Specified state employee” means:
1. Public counsel created by chapter 350, an assistant state attorney, an assistant public defender, a criminal conflict and civil regional counsel, an assistant criminal conflict and civil regional counsel, a full-time state employee who serves as counsel or assistant counsel to any state agency, the Deputy Chief Judge of Compensation Claims, a judge of compensation claims, an administrative law judge, or a hearing officer.
2. Any person employed in the office of the Governor or in the office of any member of the Cabinet if that person is exempt from the Career Service System, except persons employed in clerical, secretarial, or similar positions.
3. The State Surgeon General or each appointed secretary, assistant secretary, deputy secretary, executive director, assistant executive director, or deputy executive director of each state department, commission, board, or council; unless otherwise provided, the division director, assistant division director, deputy director, bureau chief, and assistant bureau chief of any state department or division; or any person having the power normally conferred upon such persons, by whatever title.
4. The superintendent or institute director of a state mental health institute established for training and research in the mental health field or the warden or director of any major state institution or facility established for corrections, training, treatment, or rehabilitation.
5. Business managers, purchasing agents having the power to make any purchase exceeding the threshold amount provided for in s. 287.017 for CATEGORY ONE, finance and accounting directors, personnel officers, or grants coordinators for any state agency.
6. Any person, other than a legislative assistant exempted by the presiding officer of the house by which the legislative assistant is employed, who is employed in the legislative branch of government, except persons employed in maintenance, clerical, secretarial, or similar positions.
7. Each employee of the Commission on Ethics.
(c) “State officer” means:
1. Any elected public officer, excluding those elected to the United States Senate and House of Representatives, not covered elsewhere in this part and any person who is appointed to fill a vacancy for an unexpired term in such an elective office.
2. An appointed member of each board, commission, authority, or council having statewide jurisdiction, excluding a member of an advisory body.
3. A member of the Board of Governors of the State University System or a state university board of trustees, the Chancellor and Vice Chancellors of the State University System, and the president of a state university.
4. A member of the judicial nominating commission for any district court of appeal or any judicial circuit.
(2)(a) A person seeking nomination or election to a state or local elective office shall file a statement of financial interests together with, and at the same time he or she files, qualifying papers. When a candidate has qualified for office prior to the deadline to file an annual statement of financial interests, the statement of financial interests that is filed with the candidate’s qualifying papers shall be deemed to satisfy the annual disclosure requirement of this section. The qualifying officer must record that the statement of financial interests was timely filed. However, if a candidate does not qualify until after the annual statement of financial interests has been filed, the candidate may file a copy of his or her statement with the qualifying officer.
(b) Each state or local officer and each specified state employee shall file a statement of financial interests no later than July 1 of each year. Each state officer, local officer, and specified state employee shall file a final statement of financial interests within 60 days after leaving his or her public position for the period between January 1 of the year in which the person leaves and the last day of office or employment, unless within the 60-day period the person takes another public position requiring financial disclosure under this section or s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution or otherwise is required to file full and public disclosure or a statement of financial interests for the final disclosure period. Each state or local officer who is appointed and each specified state employee who is employed shall file a statement of financial interests within 30 days from the date of appointment or, in the case of a specified state employee, from the date on which the employment begins, except that any person whose appointment is subject to confirmation by the Senate shall file prior to confirmation hearings or within 30 days from the date of appointment, whichever comes first.
(c) State officers and specified state employees shall file their statements of financial interests with the Commission on Ethics. Local officers shall file their statements of financial interests with the supervisor of elections of the county in which they permanently reside. Local officers who do not permanently reside in any county in the state shall file their statements of financial interests with the supervisor of elections of the county in which their agency maintains its headquarters. Persons seeking to qualify as candidates for local public office shall file their statements of financial interests with the officer before whom they qualify.
(3) The statement of financial interests for state officers, specified state employees, local officers, and persons seeking to qualify as candidates for state or local office shall be filed even if the reporting person holds no financial interests requiring disclosure, in which case the statement shall be marked “not applicable.” Otherwise, the statement of financial interests shall include, at the filer’s option, either:
(a)1. All sources of income in excess of 5 percent of the gross income received during the disclosure period by the person in his or her own name or by any other person for his or her use or benefit, excluding public salary. However, this shall not be construed to require disclosure of a business partner’s sources of income. The person reporting shall list such sources in descending order of value with the largest source first;
2. All sources of income to a business entity in excess of 10 percent of the gross income of a business entity in which the reporting person held a material interest and from which he or she received an amount which was in excess of 10 percent of his or her gross income during the disclosure period and which exceeds $1,500. The period for computing the gross income of the business entity is the fiscal year of the business entity which ended on, or immediately prior to, the end of the disclosure period of the person reporting;
3. The location or description of real property in this state, except for residences and vacation homes, owned directly or indirectly by the person reporting, when such person owns in excess of 5 percent of the value of such real property, and a general description of any intangible personal property worth in excess of 10 percent of such person’s total assets. For the purposes of this paragraph, indirect ownership does not include ownership by a spouse or minor child; and
4. Every individual liability that equals more than the reporting person’s net worth; or
(b)1. All sources of gross income in excess of $2,500 received during the disclosure period by the person in his or her own name or by any other person for his or her use or benefit, excluding public salary. However, this shall not be construed to require disclosure of a business partner’s sources of income. The person reporting shall list such sources in descending order of value with the largest source first;
2. All sources of income to a business entity in excess of 10 percent of the gross income of a business entity in which the reporting person held a material interest and from which he or she received gross income exceeding $5,000 during the disclosure period. The period for computing the gross income of the business entity is the fiscal year of the business entity which ended on, or immediately prior to, the end of the disclosure period of the person reporting;
3. The location or description of real property in this state, except for residence and vacation homes, owned directly or indirectly by the person reporting, when such person owns in excess of 5 percent of the value of such real property, and a general description of any intangible personal property worth in excess of $10,000. For the purpose of this paragraph, indirect ownership does not include ownership by a spouse or minor child; and
4. Every liability in excess of $10,000.

A person filing a statement of financial interests shall indicate on the statement whether he or she is using the method specified in paragraph (a) or paragraph (b).

(4) Each elected constitutional officer, state officer, local officer, and specified state employee shall file a quarterly report of the names of clients represented for a fee or commission, except for appearances in ministerial matters, before agencies at his or her level of government. For the purposes of this part, agencies of government shall be classified as state-level agencies or agencies below state level. Each local officer shall file such report with the supervisor of elections of the county in which the officer is principally employed or is a resident. Each state officer, elected constitutional officer, and specified state employee shall file such report with the commission. The report shall be filed only when a reportable representation is made during the calendar quarter and shall be filed no later than the last day of each calendar quarter, for the previous calendar quarter. Representation before any agency shall be deemed to include representation by such officer or specified state employee or by any partner or associate of the professional firm of which he or she is a member and of which he or she has actual knowledge. For the purposes of this subsection, the term “representation before any agency” does not include appearances before any court or the Deputy Chief Judge of Compensation Claims or judges of compensation claims or representations on behalf of one’s agency in one’s official capacity. Such term does not include the preparation and filing of forms and applications merely for the purpose of obtaining or transferring a license based on a quota or a franchise of such agency or a license or operation permit to engage in a profession, business, or occupation, so long as the issuance or granting of such license, permit, or transfer does not require substantial discretion, a variance, a special consideration, or a certificate of public convenience and necessity.
(5) Each elected constitutional officer and each candidate for such office, any other public officer required pursuant to s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution to file a full and public disclosure of his or her financial interests, and each state officer, local officer, specified state employee, and candidate for elective public office who is or was during the disclosure period an officer, director, partner, proprietor, or agent, other than a resident agent solely for service of process, of, or owns or owned during the disclosure period a material interest in, any business entity which is granted a privilege to operate in this state shall disclose such facts as a part of the disclosure form filed pursuant to s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution or this section, as applicable. The statement shall give the name, address, and principal business activity of the business entity and shall state the position held with such business entity or the fact that a material interest is owned and the nature of that interest.
(6) Forms for compliance with the disclosure requirements of this section and a current list of persons subject to disclosure shall be created by the commission and provided to each supervisor of elections. The commission and each supervisor of elections shall give notice of disclosure deadlines and delinquencies and distribute forms in the following manner:
(a)1. Not later than May 1 of each year, the commission shall prepare a current list of the names and addresses of, and the offices or positions held by, every state officer, local officer, and specified employee. In compiling the list, the commission shall be assisted by each unit of government in providing, at the request of the commission, the name, address, and name of agency of, and the office or position held by, each state officer, local officer, or specified state employee within the respective unit of government.
2. Not later than May 15 of each year, the commission shall provide each supervisor of elections with a current mailing list of all local officers required to file with such supervisor of elections.
(b) Not later than 30 days before July 1 of each year, the commission and each supervisor of elections, as appropriate, shall mail a copy of the form prescribed for compliance with subsection (3) and a notice of all applicable disclosure forms and filing deadlines to each person required to file a statement of financial interests.
(c) Not later than 30 days after July 1 of each year, the commission and each supervisor of elections shall determine which persons required to file a statement of financial interests in their respective offices have failed to do so and shall send delinquency notices by certified mail, return receipt requested, to these persons. Each notice shall state that a grace period is in effect until September 1 of the current year; that no investigative or disciplinary action based upon the delinquency will be taken by the agency head or commission if the statement is filed by September 1 of the current year; that, if the statement is not filed by September 1 of the current year, a fine of $25 for each day late will be imposed, up to a maximum penalty of $1,500; for notices sent by a supervisor of elections, that he or she is required by law to notify the commission of the delinquency; and that, if upon the filing of a sworn complaint the commission finds that the person has failed to timely file the statement within 60 days after September 1 of the current year, such person will also be subject to the penalties provided in s. 112.317.
(d) No later than November 15 of each year, the supervisor of elections in each county shall certify to the commission a list of the names and addresses of, and the offices or positions held by, all persons who have failed to timely file the required statements of financial interests. The certification must include the earliest of the dates described in subparagraph (f)1. The certification shall be on a form prescribed by the commission and shall indicate whether the supervisor of elections has provided the disclosure forms and notice as required by this subsection to all persons named on the delinquency list.
(e) Statements must be filed not later than 5 p.m. of the due date. However, any statement that is postmarked by the United States Postal Service by midnight of the due date is deemed to have been filed in a timely manner, and a certificate of mailing obtained from and dated by the United States Postal Service at the time of the mailing, or a receipt from an established courier company which bears a date on or before the due date, constitutes proof of mailing in a timely manner.
(f) Any person who is required to file a statement of financial interests and whose name is on the commission’s mailing list but who fails to timely file is assessed a fine of $25 per day for each day late up to a maximum of $1,500; however, this $1,500 limitation on automatic fines does not limit the civil penalty that may be imposed if the statement is filed more than 60 days after the deadline and a complaint is filed, as provided in s. 112.324. The commission must provide by rule the grounds for waiving the fine and procedures by which each person whose name is on the mailing list and who is determined to have not filed in a timely manner will be notified of assessed fines and may appeal. The rule must provide for and make specific the following:
1. The amount of the fine due is based upon the earliest of the following:
a. When a statement is actually received by the office.
b. When the statement is postmarked.
c. When the certificate of mailing is dated.
d. When the receipt from an established courier company is dated.
2. For a specified state employee or a state officer, upon receipt of the disclosure statement by the commission or upon accrual of the maximum penalty, whichever occurs first, and for a local officer upon receipt by the commission of the certification from the local officer’s supervisor of elections pursuant to paragraph (d), the commission shall determine the amount of the fine which is due and shall notify the delinquent person. The notice must include an explanation of the appeal procedure under subparagraph 3. The fine must be paid within 30 days after the notice of payment due is transmitted, unless appeal is made to the commission pursuant to subparagraph 3. The moneys are to be deposited into the General Revenue Fund.
3. Any reporting person may appeal or dispute a fine, based upon unusual circumstances surrounding the failure to file on the designated due date, and may request and is entitled to a hearing before the commission, which may waive the fine in whole or in part for good cause shown. Any such request must be made within 30 days after the notice of payment due is transmitted. In such a case, the reporting person must, within the 30-day period, notify the person designated to review the timeliness of reports in writing of his or her intention to bring the matter before the commission.
(g) Any state officer, local officer, or specified employee whose name is not on the mailing list of persons required to file an annual statement of financial interests is not subject to the penalties provided in s. 112.317 or the fine provided in this section for failure to timely file a statement of financial interests in any year in which the omission occurred, but nevertheless is required to file the disclosure statement.
(h) The notification requirements and fines of this subsection do not apply to candidates or to the first or final filing required of any state officer, specified employee, or local officer as provided in paragraph (2)(b).
(i) Notwithstanding any provision of chapter 120, any fine imposed under this subsection which is not waived by final order of the commission and which remains unpaid more than 60 days after the notice of payment due or more than 60 days after the commission renders a final order on the appeal must be submitted to the Department of Financial Services as a claim, debt, or other obligation owed to the state, and the department shall assign the collection of such a fine to a collection agent as provided in s. 17.20.
(7)(a) The appointing official or body shall notify each newly appointed local officer, state officer, or specified state employee, not later than the date of appointment, of the officer’s or employee’s duty to comply with the disclosure requirements of this section. The agency head of each employing agency shall notify each newly employed local officer or specified state employee, not later than the day of employment, of the officer’s or employee’s duty to comply with the disclosure requirements of this section. The appointing official or body or employing agency head may designate a person to be responsible for the notification requirements of this paragraph.
(b) The agency head of the agency of each local officer, state officer, or specified state employee who is required to file a statement of financial interests for the final disclosure period shall notify such persons of their obligation to file the final disclosure and may designate a person to be responsible for the notification requirements of this paragraph.
(8) A public officer who has filed a disclosure for any calendar or fiscal year shall not be required to file a second disclosure for the same year or any part thereof, notwithstanding any requirement of this act, except that any public officer who qualifies as a candidate for public office shall file a copy of the disclosure with the officer before whom he or she qualifies as a candidate at the time of qualification.
(9)(a) The commission shall treat an amended statement of financial interests that is filed prior to September 1 of the current year as the original filing, regardless of whether a complaint has been filed. If a complaint pertaining to the current year alleges a failure to properly and accurately disclose any information required by this section or if a complaint filed pertaining to a previous reporting period within the preceding 5 years alleges a failure to properly and accurately disclose any information required to be disclosed by this section, the commission may immediately follow complaint procedures in s. 112.324. However, if a complaint filed after August 25 alleges an immaterial, inconsequential, or de minimis error or omission, the commission may not take any action on the complaint, other than notifying the filer of the complaint. The filer must be given 30 days to file an amended statement of financial interests correcting any errors. If the filer does not file an amended statement of financial interests within 30 days after the commission sends notice of the complaint, the commission may continue with proceedings pursuant to s. 112.324.
(b) For purposes of the final statement of financial interests, the commission shall treat a new final statement of financial interests as the original filing, if filed within 60 days of the original filing regardless of whether a complaint has been filed. If, more than 60 days after a final statement of financial interests is filed, a complaint is filed alleging a complete omission of any information required to be disclosed by this section, the commission may immediately follow the complaint procedures in s. 112.324. However, if the complaint alleges an immaterial, inconsequential, or de minimis error or omission, the commission may not take any action on the complaint other than notifying the filer of the complaint. The filer must be given 30 days to file a new final statement of financial interests correcting any errors. If the filer does not file a new final statement of financial interests within 30 days after the commission sends notice of the complaint, the commission may continue with proceedings pursuant to s. 112.324.
(c) For purposes of this section, an error or omission is immaterial, inconsequential, or de minimis if the original filing provided sufficient information for the public to identify potential conflicts of interest.
(10)(a) An individual required to file a disclosure pursuant to this section may have the disclosure prepared by an attorney in good standing with The Florida Bar or by a certified public accountant licensed under chapter 473. After preparing a disclosure form, the attorney or certified public accountant must sign the form indicating that he or she prepared the form in accordance with this section and the instructions for completing and filing the disclosure forms and that, upon his or her reasonable knowledge and belief, the disclosure is true and correct. If a complaint is filed alleging a failure to disclose information required by this section, the commission shall determine whether the information was disclosed to the attorney or certified public accountant. The failure of the attorney or certified public accountant to accurately transcribe information provided by the individual who is required to file the disclosure does not constitute a violation of this section.
(b) An elected officer or candidate who chooses to use an attorney or a certified public accountant to prepare his or her disclosure may pay for the services of the attorney or certified public accountant from funds in an office account created pursuant to s. 106.141 or, during a year that the individual qualifies for election to public office, the candidate’s campaign depository pursuant to s. 106.021.
(11) The commission shall adopt rules and forms specifying how a state officer, local officer, or specified state employee may amend his or her statement of financial interests to report information that was not included on the form as originally filed. If the amendment is the subject of a complaint filed under this part, the commission and the proper disciplinary official or body shall consider as a mitigating factor when considering appropriate disciplinary action the fact that the amendment was filed before any complaint or other inquiry or proceeding, while recognizing that the public was deprived of access to information to which it was entitled.
History.s. 5, ch. 74-177; ss. 2, 6, ch. 75-196; s. 2, ch. 76-18; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 63, ch. 77-175; s. 54, ch. 79-40; s. 3, ch. 82-98; s. 2, ch. 83-128; ss. 2, 5, ch. 83-282; s. 3, ch. 84-318; s. 1, ch. 88-316; s. 1, ch. 90-169; s. 5, ch. 90-502; s. 27, ch. 91-46; s. 6, ch. 91-85; s. 6, ch. 91-292; ss. 5, 13, ch. 94-277; s. 3, ch. 94-340; s. 1410, ch. 95-147; s. 14, ch. 96-410; s. 31, ch. 97-286; s. 17, ch. 99-399; s. 2, ch. 2000-161; s. 3, ch. 2000-243; s. 31, ch. 2000-258; s. 23, ch. 2000-372; s. 3, ch. 2001-91; s. 2, ch. 2001-282; s. 128, ch. 2003-261; s. 4, ch. 2006-275; s. 12, ch. 2007-217; s. 7, ch. 2008-6; s. 9, ch. 2013-36.
112.31455 Collection methods for unpaid automatic fines for failure to timely file disclosure of financial interests.
(1) Before referring any unpaid fine accrued pursuant to s. 112.3144(5) or s. 112.3145(6) to the Department of Financial Services, the commission shall attempt to determine whether the individual owing such a fine is a current public officer or current public employee. If so, the commission may notify the Chief Financial Officer or the governing body of the appropriate county, municipality, or special district of the total amount of any fine owed to the commission by such individual.
(a) After receipt and verification of the notice from the commission, the Chief Financial Officer or the governing body of the county, municipality, or special district shall begin withholding the lesser of 10 percent or the maximum amount allowed under federal law from any salary-related payment. The withheld payments shall be remitted to the commission until the fine is satisfied.
(b) The Chief Financial Officer or the governing body of the county, municipality, or special district may retain an amount of each withheld payment, as provided in s. 77.0305, to cover the administrative costs incurred under this section.
(2) If the commission determines that the individual who is the subject of an unpaid fine accrued pursuant to s. 112.3144(5) or s. 112.3145(6) is no longer a public officer or public employee or if the commission is unable to determine whether the individual is a current public officer or public employee, the commission may, 6 months after the order becomes final, seek garnishment of any wages to satisfy the amount of the fine, or any unpaid portion thereof, pursuant to chapter 77. Upon recording the order imposing the fine with the clerk of the circuit court, the order shall be deemed a judgment for purposes of garnishment pursuant to chapter 77.
(3) The commission may refer unpaid fines to the appropriate collection agency, as directed by the Chief Financial Officer, to utilize any collection methods provided by law. Except as expressly limited by this section, any other collection methods authorized by law are allowed.
(4) Action may be taken to collect any unpaid fine imposed by ss. 112.3144 and 112.3145 within 20 years after the date the final order is rendered.
History.s. 10, ch. 2013-36.
112.3146 Public records.The statements required by ss. 112.313, 112.3145, 112.3148, and 112.3149 shall be public records within the meaning of s. 119.01.
History.s. 6, ch. 74-177; s. 6, ch. 90-502; s. 7, ch. 91-85.
112.3147 Forms.Except as otherwise provided, all information required to be furnished by ss. 112.313, 112.3143, 112.3144, 112.3145, 112.3148, and 112.3149 and by s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution shall be on forms prescribed by the Commission on Ethics.
History.s. 7, ch. 74-177; s. 3, ch. 76-18; s. 7, ch. 90-502; s. 8, ch. 91-85; s. 12, ch. 2000-243; s. 5, ch. 2006-275; s. 11, ch. 2013-36.
112.3148 Reporting and prohibited receipt of gifts by individuals filing full or limited public disclosure of financial interests and by procurement employees.
(1) The provisions of this section do not apply to gifts solicited or accepted by a reporting individual or procurement employee from a relative.
(2) As used in this section:
(a) “Immediate family” means any parent, spouse, child, or sibling.
(b)1. “Lobbyist” means any natural person who, for compensation, seeks, or sought during the preceding 12 months, to influence the governmental decisionmaking of a reporting individual or procurement employee or his or her agency or seeks, or sought during the preceding 12 months, to encourage the passage, defeat, or modification of any proposal or recommendation by the reporting individual or procurement employee or his or her agency.
2. With respect to an agency that has established by rule, ordinance, or law a registration process for persons seeking to influence decisionmaking or to encourage the passage, defeat, or modification of any proposal or recommendation by such agency or an employee or official of the agency, the term “lobbyist” includes only a person who is required to be registered as a lobbyist in accordance with such rule, ordinance, or law or who was during the preceding 12 months required to be registered as a lobbyist in accordance with such rule, ordinance, or law. At a minimum, such a registration system must require the registration of, or must designate, persons as “lobbyists” who engage in the same activities as require registration to lobby the Legislature pursuant to s. 11.045.
(c) “Person” includes individuals, firms, associations, joint ventures, partnerships, estates, trusts, business trusts, syndicates, fiduciaries, corporations, and all other groups or combinations.
(d) “Reporting individual” means any individual, including a candidate upon qualifying, who is required by law, pursuant to s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution or s. 112.3145, to file full or limited public disclosure of his or her financial interests or any individual who has been elected to, but has yet to officially assume the responsibilities of, public office. For purposes of implementing this section, the “agency” of a reporting individual who is not an officer or employee in public service is the agency to which the candidate seeks election, or in the case of an individual elected to but yet to formally take office, the agency in which the individual has been elected to serve.
(e) “Procurement employee” means any employee of an officer, department, board, commission, council, or agency of the executive branch or judicial branch of state government who has participated in the preceding 12 months through decision, approval, disapproval, recommendation, preparation of any part of a purchase request, influencing the content of any specification or procurement standard, rendering of advice, investigation, or auditing or in any other advisory capacity in the procurement of contractual services or commodities as defined in s. 287.012, if the cost of such services or commodities exceeds or is expected to exceed $10,000 in any fiscal year.
(f) “Vendor” means a business entity doing business directly with an agency, such as renting, leasing, or selling any realty, goods, or services.
(3) A reporting individual or procurement employee is prohibited from soliciting any gift from a vendor doing business with the reporting individual’s or procurement employee’s agency, a political committee as defined in s. 106.011, or a lobbyist who lobbies the reporting individual’s or procurement employee’s agency, or the partner, firm, employer, or principal of such lobbyist, where such gift is for the personal benefit of the reporting individual or procurement employee, another reporting individual or procurement employee, or any member of the immediate family of a reporting individual or procurement employee.
(4) A reporting individual or procurement employee or any other person on his or her behalf is prohibited from knowingly accepting, directly or indirectly, a gift from a vendor doing business with the reporting individual’s or procurement employee’s agency, a political committee as defined in s. 106.011, or a lobbyist who lobbies the reporting individual’s or procurement employee’s agency, or directly or indirectly on behalf of the partner, firm, employer, or principal of a lobbyist, if he or she knows or reasonably believes that the gift has a value in excess of $100; however, such a gift may be accepted by such person on behalf of a governmental entity or a charitable organization. If the gift is accepted on behalf of a governmental entity or charitable organization, the person receiving the gift shall not maintain custody of the gift for any period of time beyond that reasonably necessary to arrange for the transfer of custody and ownership of the gift.
(5)(a) A vendor doing business with the reporting individual’s or procurement employee’s agency; a political committee as defined in s. 106.011; a lobbyist who lobbies a reporting individual’s or procurement employee’s agency; the partner, firm, employer, or principal of a lobbyist; or another on behalf of the lobbyist or partner, firm, principal, or employer of the lobbyist is prohibited from giving, either directly or indirectly, a gift that has a value in excess of $100 to the reporting individual or procurement employee or any other person on his or her behalf; however, such person may give a gift having a value in excess of $100 to a reporting individual or procurement employee if the gift is intended to be transferred to a governmental entity or a charitable organization.
(b) However, a person who is regulated by this subsection, who is not regulated by subsection (6), and who makes, or directs another to make, an individual gift having a value in excess of $25, but not in excess of $100, other than a gift that the donor knows will be accepted on behalf of a governmental entity or charitable organization, must file a report on the last day of each calendar quarter for the previous calendar quarter in which a reportable gift is made. The report shall be filed with the Commission on Ethics, except with respect to gifts to reporting individuals of the legislative branch, in which case the report shall be filed with the Office of Legislative Services. The report must contain a description of each gift, the monetary value thereof, the name and address of the person making such gift, the name and address of the recipient of the gift, and the date such gift is given. In addition, if a gift is made which requires the filing of a report under this subsection, the donor must notify the intended recipient at the time the gift is made that the donor, or another on his or her behalf, will report the gift under this subsection. Under this paragraph, a gift need not be reported by more than one person or entity.
(6)(a) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (5), an entity of the legislative or judicial branch, a department or commission of the executive branch, a water management district created pursuant to s. 373.069, South Florida Regional Transportation Authority, a county, a municipality, an airport authority, or a school board may give, either directly or indirectly, a gift having a value in excess of $100 to any reporting individual or procurement employee if a public purpose can be shown for the gift; and a direct-support organization specifically authorized by law to support a governmental entity may give such a gift to a reporting individual or procurement employee who is an officer or employee of such governmental entity.
(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (4), a reporting individual or procurement employee may accept a gift having a value in excess of $100 from an entity of the legislative or judicial branch, a department or commission of the executive branch, a water management district created pursuant to s. 373.069, South Florida Regional Transportation Authority, a county, a municipality, an airport authority, or a school board if a public purpose can be shown for the gift; and a reporting individual or procurement employee who is an officer or employee of a governmental entity supported by a direct-support organization specifically authorized by law to support such governmental entity may accept such a gift from such direct-support organization.
(c) No later than March 1 of each year, each governmental entity or direct-support organization specifically authorized by law to support a governmental entity which has given a gift to a reporting individual or procurement employee under paragraph (a) shall provide the reporting individual or procurement employee with a statement of each gift having a value in excess of $100 given to such reporting individual or procurement employee by the governmental entity or direct-support organization during the preceding calendar year. Such report shall contain a description of each gift, the date on which the gift was given, and the value of the total gifts given by the governmental entity or direct-support organization to the reporting individual or procurement employee during the calendar year for which the report is made. A governmental entity may provide a single report to the reporting individual or procurement employee of gifts provided by the governmental entity and any direct-support organization specifically authorized by law to support such governmental entity.
(d) No later than July 1 of each year, each reporting individual or procurement employee shall file a statement listing each gift having a value in excess of $100 received by the reporting individual or procurement employee, either directly or indirectly, from a governmental entity or a direct-support organization specifically authorized by law to support a governmental entity. The statement shall list the name of the person providing the gift, a description of the gift, the date or dates on which the gift was given, and the value of the total gifts given during the calendar year for which the report is made. The reporting individual or procurement employee shall attach to the statement any report received by him or her in accordance with paragraph (c), which report shall become a public record when filed with the statement of the reporting individual or procurement employee. The reporting individual or procurement employee may explain any differences between the report of the reporting individual or procurement employee and the attached reports. The annual report filed by a reporting individual shall be filed with the financial disclosure statement required by either s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution or s. 112.3145, as applicable to the reporting individual. The annual report filed by a procurement employee shall be filed with the Commission on Ethics. The report filed by a reporting individual or procurement employee who left office or employment during the calendar year covered by the report shall be filed by July 1 of the year after leaving office or employment at the same location as his or her final financial disclosure statement or, in the case of a former procurement employee, with the Commission on Ethics.
(7)(a) The value of a gift provided to a reporting individual or procurement employee shall be determined using actual cost to the donor, less taxes and gratuities, except as otherwise provided in this subsection, and, with respect to personal services provided by the donor, the reasonable and customary charge regularly charged for such service in the community in which the service is provided shall be used. If additional expenses are required as a condition precedent to eligibility of the donor to purchase or provide a gift and such expenses are primarily for the benefit of the donor or are of a charitable nature, such expenses shall not be included in determining the value of the gift.
(b) Compensation provided by the donee to the donor, if provided within 90 days after receipt of the gift, shall be deducted from the value of the gift in determining the value of the gift.
(c) If the actual gift value attributable to individual participants at an event cannot be determined, the total costs shall be prorated among all invited persons, whether or not they are reporting individuals or procurement employees.
(d) Transportation shall be valued on a round-trip basis unless only one-way transportation is provided. Round-trip transportation expenses shall be considered a single gift. Transportation provided in a private conveyance shall be given the same value as transportation provided in a comparable commercial conveyance.
(e) Lodging provided on consecutive days shall be considered a single gift. Lodging in a private residence shall be valued at the per diem rate provided in s. 112.061(6)(a)1. less the meal allowance rate provided in s. 112.061(6)(b).
(f) Food and beverages which are not consumed at a single sitting or meal and which are provided on the same calendar day shall be considered a single gift, and the total value of all food and beverages provided on that date shall be considered the value of the gift. Food and beverage consumed at a single sitting or meal shall be considered a single gift, and the value of the food and beverage provided at that sitting or meal shall be considered the value of the gift.
(g) Membership dues paid to the same organization during any 12-month period shall be considered a single gift.
(h) Entrance fees, admission fees, or tickets shall be valued on the face value of the ticket or fee, or on a daily or per event basis, whichever is greater.
(i) Except as otherwise specified in this section, a gift shall be valued on a per occurrence basis.
(j) The value of a gift provided to several individuals may be attributed on a pro rata basis among all of the individuals. If the gift is food, beverage, entertainment, or similar items, provided at a function for more than 10 people, the value of the gift to each individual shall be the total value of the items provided divided by the number of persons invited to the function, unless the items are purchased on a per person basis, in which case the value of the gift to each person is the per person cost.
(k) The value of a gift of an admission ticket shall not include that portion of the cost which represents a charitable contribution, if the gift is provided by the charitable organization.
(8)(a) Each reporting individual or procurement employee shall file a statement with the Commission on Ethics not later than the last day of each calendar quarter, for the previous calendar quarter, containing a list of gifts which he or she believes to be in excess of $100 in value, if any, accepted by him or her, for which compensation was not provided by the donee to the donor within 90 days of receipt of the gift to reduce the value to $100 or less, except the following:
1. Gifts from relatives.
2. Gifts prohibited by subsection (4) or s. 112.313(4).
3. Gifts otherwise required to be disclosed by this section.
(b) The statement shall include:
1. A description of the gift, the monetary value of the gift, the name and address of the person making the gift, and the dates thereof. If any of these facts, other than the gift description, are unknown or not applicable, the report shall so state.
2. A copy of any receipt for such gift provided to the reporting individual or procurement employee by the donor.
(c) The statement may include an explanation of any differences between the reporting individual’s or procurement employee’s statement and the receipt provided by the donor.
(d) The reporting individual’s or procurement employee’s statement shall be sworn to by such person as being a true, accurate, and total listing of all such gifts.
(e) Statements must be filed not later than 5 p.m. of the due date. However, any statement that is postmarked by the United States Postal Service by midnight of the due date is deemed to have been filed in a timely manner, and a certificate of mailing obtained from and dated by the United States Postal Service at the time of the mailing, or a receipt from an established courier company, which bears a date on or before the due date constitutes proof of mailing in a timely manner.
(f) If a reporting individual or procurement employee has not received any gifts described in paragraph (a) during a calendar quarter, he or she is not required to file a statement under this subsection for that calendar quarter.
(9) A person, other than a lobbyist regulated under s. 11.045, who violates the provisions of subsection (5) commits a noncriminal infraction, punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 and by a prohibition on lobbying, or employing a lobbyist to lobby, before the agency of the reporting individual or procurement employee to which the gift was given in violation of subsection (5), for a period of not more than 24 months. The state attorney, or an agency, if otherwise authorized, may initiate an action to impose or recover a fine authorized under this section or to impose or enforce a limitation on lobbying provided in this section.
(10) A member of the Legislature may request an advisory opinion from the general counsel of the house of which he or she is a member as to the application of this section to a specific situation. The general counsel shall issue the opinion within 10 days after receiving the request. The member of the Legislature may reasonably rely on such opinion.
History.s. 2, ch. 89-380; s. 8, ch. 90-502; s. 9, ch. 91-85; s. 7, ch. 91-292; s. 6, ch. 94-277; s. 1411, ch. 95-147; s. 2, ch. 96-328; s. 8, ch. 98-136; s. 4, ch. 2000-243; s. 32, ch. 2000-258; s. 8, ch. 2003-159; s. 6, ch. 2006-275; s. 4, ch. 2012-51; s. 12, ch. 2013-36; s. 29, ch. 2013-37; s. 3, ch. 2013-235.
112.31485 Prohibition on gifts involving political committees.
(1)(a) For purposes of this section, the term “gift” means any purchase, payment, distribution, loan, advance, transfer of funds, or disbursement of money or anything of value that is not primarily related to contributions, expenditures, or other political activities authorized pursuant to chapter 106.
(b) For purposes of this section, the term “immediate family” means any parent, spouse, child, or sibling.
(2)(a) A reporting individual or procurement employee or a member of his or her immediate family is prohibited from soliciting or knowingly accepting, directly or indirectly, any gift from a political committee.
(b) A political committee is prohibited from giving, directly or indirectly, any gift to a reporting individual or procurement employee or a member of his or her immediate family.
(3) Any person who violates this section is subject to a civil penalty equal to three times the amount of the gift. Such penalty is in addition to the penalties provided in s. 112.317 and shall be paid to the General Revenue Fund of the state. A reporting individual or procurement employee or a member of his or her immediate family who violates this section is personally liable for payment of the treble penalty. Any agent or person acting on behalf of a political committee who gives a prohibited gift is personally liable for payment of the treble penalty.
History.s. 13, ch. 2013-36.
112.3149 Solicitation and disclosure of honoraria.
(1) As used in this section:
(a) “Honorarium” means a payment of money or anything of value, directly or indirectly, to a reporting individual or procurement employee, or to any other person on his or her behalf, as consideration for:
1. A speech, address, oration, or other oral presentation by the reporting individual or procurement employee, regardless of whether presented in person, recorded, or broadcast over the media.
2. A writing by the reporting individual or procurement employee, other than a book, which has been or is intended to be published.

The term “honorarium” does not include the payment for services related to employment held outside the reporting individual’s or procurement employee’s public position which resulted in the person becoming a reporting individual or procurement employee, any ordinary payment or salary received in consideration for services related to the reporting individual’s or procurement employee’s public duties, a campaign contribution reported pursuant to chapter 106, or the payment or provision of actual and reasonable transportation, lodging, and food and beverage expenses related to the honorarium event, including any event or meeting registration fee, for a reporting individual or procurement employee and spouse.

(b) “Person” includes individuals, firms, associations, joint ventures, partnerships, estates, trusts, business trusts, syndicates, fiduciaries, corporations, and all other groups or combinations.
(c) “Reporting individual” means any individual who is required by law, pursuant to s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution or s. 112.3145, to file a full or limited public disclosure of his or her financial interests.
(d)1. “Lobbyist” means any natural person who, for compensation, seeks, or sought during the preceding 12 months, to influence the governmental decisionmaking of a reporting individual or procurement employee or his or her agency or seeks, or sought during the preceding 12 months, to encourage the passage, defeat, or modification of any proposal or recommendation by the reporting individual or procurement employee or his or her agency.
2. With respect to an agency that has established by rule, ordinance, or law a registration process for persons seeking to influence decisionmaking or to encourage the passage, defeat, or modification of any proposal or recommendation by such agency or an employee or official of the agency, the term “lobbyist” includes only a person who is required to be registered as a lobbyist in accordance with such rule, ordinance, or law or who was during the preceding 12 months required to be registered as a lobbyist in accordance with such rule, ordinance, or law. At a minimum, such a registration system must require the registration of, or must designate, persons as “lobbyists” who engage in the same activities as require registration to lobby the Legislature pursuant to s. 11.045.
(e) “Procurement employee” means any employee of an officer, department, board, commission, council, or agency of the executive branch or judicial branch of state government who has participated in the preceding 12 months through decision, approval, disapproval, recommendation, preparation of any part of a purchase request, influencing the content of any specification or procurement standard, rendering of advice, investigation, or auditing or in any other advisory capacity in the procurement of contractual services or commodities as defined in s. 287.012, if the cost of such services or commodities exceeds $10,000 in any fiscal year.
(f) “Vendor” means a business entity doing business directly with an agency, such as renting, leasing, or selling any realty, goods, or services.
(2) A reporting individual or procurement employee is prohibited from soliciting an honorarium which is related to the reporting individual’s or procurement employee’s public office or duties.
(3) A reporting individual or procurement employee is prohibited from knowingly accepting an honorarium from a political committee, as defined in s. 106.011, from a vendor doing business with the reporting individual’s or procurement employee’s agency, from a lobbyist who lobbies the reporting individual’s or procurement employee’s agency, or from the employer, principal, partner, or firm of such a lobbyist.
(4) A political committee, as defined in s. 106.011, a vendor doing business with the reporting individual’s or procurement employee’s agency, a lobbyist who lobbies a reporting individual’s or procurement employee’s agency, or the employer, principal, partner, or firm of such a lobbyist is prohibited from giving an honorarium to a reporting individual or procurement employee.
(5) A person who is prohibited by subsection (4) from paying an honorarium to a reporting individual or procurement employee, but who provides a reporting individual or procurement employee, or a reporting individual or procurement employee and his or her spouse, with expenses related to an honorarium event, shall provide to the reporting individual or procurement employee, no later than 60 days after the honorarium event, a statement listing the name and address of the person providing the expenses, a description of the expenses provided each day, and the total value of the expenses provided for the honorarium event.
(6) A reporting individual or procurement employee who receives payment or provision of expenses related to any honorarium event from a person who is prohibited by subsection (4) from paying an honorarium to a reporting individual or procurement employee shall publicly disclose on an annual statement the name, address, and affiliation of the person paying or providing the expenses; the amount of the honorarium expenses; the date of the honorarium event; a description of the expenses paid or provided on each day of the honorarium event; and the total value of the expenses provided to the reporting individual or procurement employee in connection with the honorarium event. The annual statement of honorarium expenses shall be filed by July 1 of each year for those expenses received during the previous calendar year. The reporting individual or procurement employee shall attach to the annual statement a copy of each statement received by him or her in accordance with subsection (5) regarding honorarium expenses paid or provided during the calendar year for which the annual statement is filed. The attached statement shall become a public record upon the filing of the annual report. The annual statement of a reporting individual shall be filed with the financial disclosure statement required by either s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution or s. 112.3145, as applicable to the reporting individual. The annual statement of a procurement employee shall be filed with the Commission on Ethics. The statement filed by a reporting individual or procurement employee who left office or employment during the calendar year covered by the statement shall be filed by July 1 of the year after leaving office or employment at the same location as his or her final financial disclosure statement or, in the case of a former procurement employee, with the Commission on Ethics.
(7) A person, other than a lobbyist regulated under s. 11.045, who violates the provisions of subsection (4) commits a noncriminal infraction, punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 and by a prohibition on lobbying, or employing a lobbyist to lobby, before the agency of the reporting individual or procurement employee to whom the honorarium was paid in violation of subsection (4), for a period of not more than 24 months. The state attorney, or an agency, if otherwise authorized, may initiate an action to impose or recover a fine authorized under this section or to impose or enforce a limitation on lobbying provided in this section.
(8) A member of the Legislature may request an advisory opinion from the general counsel of the house of which he or she is a member as to the application of this section to a specific situation. The general counsel shall issue the opinion within 10 days after receiving the request. The member of the Legislature may reasonably rely on such opinion.
History.s. 9, ch. 90-502; s. 7, ch. 94-277; s. 1412, ch. 95-147; s. 5, ch. 2000-243; s. 33, ch. 2000-258; s. 7, ch. 2006-275; s. 14, ch. 2013-36; s. 30, ch. 2013-37.
112.3151 Extensions of time for filing disclosure.The Commission on Ethics may grant, for good cause, on an individual basis, an extension of time for filing of any disclosure required under the provisions of this part or s. 8(a), Art. II of the State Constitution. However, no extension may extend the filing deadline to a date within 20 days before a primary election. The commission may delegate to its chair the authority to grant any extension of time which the commission itself may grant under this section; however, no extension of time granted by the chair may exceed 45 days. Extensions of time granted under this section shall be exempt from the provisions of chapter 120.
History.s. 4, ch. 83-282; s. 700, ch. 95-147.
112.316 Construction.It is not the intent of this part, nor shall it be construed, to prevent any officer or employee of a state agency or county, city, or other political subdivision of the state or any legislator or legislative employee from accepting other employment or following any pursuit which does not interfere with the full and faithful discharge by such officer, employee, legislator, or legislative employee of his or her duties to the state or the county, city, or other political subdivision of the state involved.
History.s. 6, ch. 67-469; s. 2, ch. 69-335; s. 701, ch. 95-147.
112.317 Penalties.
(1) Any violation of this part, including, but not limited to, failure to file disclosures required by this part or violation of any standard of conduct imposed by this part, or any violation of s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution, in addition to any criminal penalty or other civil penalty involved, under applicable constitutional and statutory procedures, constitutes grounds for, and may be punished by, one or more of the following:
(a) In the case of a public officer:
1. Impeachment.
2. Removal from office.
3. Suspension from office.
4. Public censure and reprimand.
5. Forfeiture of no more than one-third of his or her salary per month for no more than 12 months.
6. A civil penalty not to exceed $10,000.
7. Restitution of any pecuniary benefits received because of the violation committed. The commission may recommend that the restitution penalty be paid to the agency of which the public officer was a member or to the General Revenue Fund.
(b) In the case of an employee or a person designated as a public officer by this part who otherwise would be deemed to be an employee:
1. Dismissal from employment.
2. Suspension from employment for not more than 90 days without pay.
3. Demotion.
4. Reduction in his or her salary level.
5. Forfeiture of no more than one-third salary per month for no more than 12 months.
6. A civil penalty not to exceed $10,000.
7. Restitution of any pecuniary benefits received because of the violation committed. The commission may recommend that the restitution penalty be paid to the agency by which the public employee was employed, or of which the officer was deemed to be an employee, or to the General Revenue Fund.
8. Public censure and reprimand.
(c) In the case of a candidate who violates this part or s. 8(a) and (i), Art. II of the State Constitution:
1. Disqualification from being on the ballot.
2. Public censure.
3. Reprimand.
4. A civil penalty not to exceed $10,000.
(d) In the case of a former public officer or employee who has violated a provision applicable to former officers or employees or whose violation occurred before the officer’s or employee’s leaving public office or employment:
1. Public censure and reprimand.
2. A civil penalty not to exceed $10,000.
3. Restitution of any pecuniary benefits received because of the violation committed. The commission may recommend that the restitution penalty be paid to the agency of the public officer or employee or to the General Revenue Fund.
(e) In the case of a person who is subject to the standards of this part, other than a lobbyist or lobbying firm under s. 112.3215 for a violation of s. 112.3215, but who is not a public officer or employee:
1. Public censure and reprimand.
2. A civil penalty not to exceed $10,000.
3. Restitution of any pecuniary benefits received because of the violation committed. The commission may recommend that the restitution penalty be paid to the agency of the person or to the General Revenue Fund.
(2) In any case in which the commission finds a violation of this part or of s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution and the proper disciplinary official or body under s. 112.324 imposes a civil penalty or restitution penalty, the Attorney General shall bring a civil action to recover such penalty. No defense may be raised in the civil action to enforce the civil penalty or order of restitution that could have been raised by judicial review of the administrative findings and recommendations of the commission by certiorari to the district court of appeal. The Attorney General shall collect any costs, attorney fees, expert witness fees, or other costs of collection incurred in bringing the action.
(3) The penalties prescribed in this part shall not be construed to limit or to conflict with:
(a) The power of either house of the Legislature to discipline its own members or impeach a public officer.
(b) The power of agencies to discipline officers or employees.
(4) Any violation of this part or of s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution by a public officer constitutes malfeasance, misfeasance, or neglect of duty in office within the meaning of s. 7, Art. IV of the State Constitution.
(5) By order of the Governor, upon recommendation of the commission, any elected municipal officer who violates this part or s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution may be suspended from office and the office filled by appointment for the period of suspension. The suspended officer may at any time before removal be reinstated by the Governor. The Senate may, in proceedings prescribed by law, remove from office, or reinstate, the suspended official, and for such purpose the Senate may be convened in special session by its President or by a majority of its membership.
(6) In any case in which the commission finds probable cause to believe that a complainant has committed perjury in regard to any document filed with, or any testimony given before, the commission, it shall refer such evidence to the appropriate law enforcement agency for prosecution and taxation of costs.
(7) In any case in which the commission determines that a person has filed a complaint against a public officer or employee with a malicious intent to injure the reputation of such officer or employee by filing the complaint with knowledge that the complaint contains one or more false allegations or with reckless disregard for whether the complaint contains false allegations of fact material to a violation of this part, the complainant shall be liable for costs plus reasonable attorney fees incurred in the defense of the person complained against, including the costs and reasonable attorney fees incurred in proving entitlement to and the amount of costs and fees. If the complainant fails to pay such costs and fees voluntarily within 30 days following such finding by the commission, the commission shall forward such information to the Department of Legal Affairs, which shall bring a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction to recover the amount of such costs and fees awarded by the commission.
History.s. 7, ch. 67-469; s. 1, ch. 70-144; s. 2, ch. 74-176; s. 8, ch. 74-177; s. 2, ch. 75-199; s. 7, ch. 75-208; s. 5, ch. 82-98; s. 10, ch. 90-502; s. 10, ch. 91-85; s. 8, ch. 94-277; s. 1413, ch. 95-147; s. 1, ch. 95-354; s. 13, ch. 2000-151; s. 8, ch. 2006-275; s. 2, ch. 2009-126; s. 15, ch. 2013-36.
112.3173 Felonies involving breach of public trust and other specified offenses by public officers and employees; forfeiture of retirement benefits.
(1) INTENT.It is the intent of the Legislature to implement the provisions of s. 8(d), Art. II of the State Constitution.
(2) DEFINITIONS.As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires, the term:
(a) “Conviction” and “convicted” mean an adjudication of guilt by a court of competent jurisdiction; a plea of guilty or of nolo contendere; a jury verdict of guilty when adjudication of guilt is withheld and the accused is placed on probation; or a conviction by the Senate of an impeachable offense.
(b) “Court” means any state or federal court of competent jurisdiction which is exercising its jurisdiction to consider a proceeding involving the alleged commission of a specified offense.
(c) “Public officer or employee” means an officer or employee of any public body, political subdivision, or public instrumentality within the state.
(d) “Public retirement system” means any retirement system or plan to which the provisions of part VII of this chapter apply.
(e) “Specified offense” means:
1. The committing, aiding, or abetting of an embezzlement of public funds;
2. The committing, aiding, or abetting of any theft by a public officer or employee from his or her employer;
3. Bribery in connection with the employment of a public officer or employee;
4. Any felony specified in chapter 838, except ss. 838.15 and 838.16;
5. The committing of an impeachable offense;
6. The committing of any felony by a public officer or employee who, willfully and with intent to defraud the public or the public agency for which the public officer or employee acts or in which he or she is employed of the right to receive the faithful performance of his or her duty as a public officer or employee, realizes or obtains, or attempts to realize or obtain, a profit, gain, or advantage for himself or herself or for some other person through the use or attempted use of the power, rights, privileges, duties, or position of his or her public office or employment position; or
7. The committing on or after October 1, 2008, of any felony defined in s. 800.04 against a victim younger than 16 years of age, or any felony defined in chapter 794 against a victim younger than 18 years of age, by a public officer or employee through the use or attempted use of power, rights, privileges, duties, or position of his or her public office or employment position.
(3) FORFEITURE.Any public officer or employee who is convicted of a specified offense committed prior to retirement, or whose office or employment is terminated by reason of his or her admitted commission, aid, or abetment of a specified offense, shall forfeit all rights and benefits under any public retirement system of which he or she is a member, except for the return of his or her accumulated contributions as of the date of termination.
(4) NOTICE.
(a) The clerk of a court in which a proceeding involving a specified offense is being conducted against a public officer or employee shall furnish notice of the proceeding to the Commission on Ethics after the state attorney advises the clerk that the defendant is a public officer or employee and that the defendant is alleged to have committed a specified offense. Such notice is sufficient if it is in the form of a copy of the indictment, information, or other document containing the charges. In addition, if a verdict of guilty is returned by a jury or by the court trying the case without a jury, or a plea of guilty or of nolo contendere is entered in the court by the public officer or employee, the clerk shall furnish a copy thereof to the Commission on Ethics.
(b) The Secretary of the Senate shall furnish to the Commission on Ethics notice of any proceeding of impeachment being conducted by the Senate. In addition, if such trial results in conviction, the Secretary of the Senate shall furnish notice of the conviction to the commission.
(c) The employer of any member whose office or employment is terminated by reason of his or her admitted commission, aid, or abetment of a specified offense shall forward notice thereof to the commission.
(d) The Commission on Ethics shall forward any notice and any other document received by it pursuant to this subsection to the governing body of the public retirement system of which the public officer or employee is a member or from which the public officer or employee may be entitled to receive a benefit. When called on by the Commission on Ethics, the Department of Management Services shall assist the commission in identifying the appropriate public retirement system.
(5) FORFEITURE DETERMINATION.
(a) Whenever the official or board responsible for paying benefits under a public retirement system receives notice pursuant to subsection (4), or otherwise has reason to believe that the rights and privileges of any person under such system are required to be forfeited under this section, such official or board shall give notice and hold a hearing in accordance with chapter 120 for the purpose of determining whether such rights and privileges are required to be forfeited. If the official or board determines that such rights and privileges are required to be forfeited, the official or board shall order such rights and privileges forfeited.
(b) Any order of forfeiture of retirement system rights and privileges is appealable to the district court of appeal.
(c) The payment of retirement benefits ordered forfeited, except payments drawn from nonemployer contributions to the retiree’s account, shall be stayed pending an appeal as to a felony conviction. If such conviction is reversed, no retirement benefits shall be forfeited. If such conviction is affirmed, retirement benefits shall be forfeited as ordered in this section.
(d) If any person’s rights and privileges under a public retirement system are forfeited pursuant to this section and that person has received benefits from the system in excess of his or her accumulated contributions, such person shall pay back to the system the amount of the benefits received in excess of his or her accumulated contributions. If he or she fails to pay back such amount, the official or board responsible for paying benefits pursuant to the retirement system or pension plan may bring an action in circuit court to recover such amount, plus court costs.
(6) FORFEITURE NONEXCLUSIVE.
(a) The forfeiture of retirement rights and privileges pursuant to this section is supplemental to any other forfeiture requirements provided by law.
(b) This section does not preclude or otherwise limit the Commission on Ethics in conducting under authority of other law an independent investigation of a complaint which it may receive against a public officer or employee involving a specified offense.
History.s. 14, ch. 84-266; s. 4, ch. 90-301; s. 44, ch. 92-279; s. 55, ch. 92-326; s. 22, ch. 94-249; s. 1414, ch. 95-147; s. 13, ch. 99-255; s. 3, ch. 2008-108; s. 14, ch. 2012-100.
112.3175 Remedies; contracts voidable.
(1) Any contract that has been executed in violation of this part is voidable:
(a) By any party to the contract.
(b) In any circuit court, by any appropriate action, by:
1. The commission.
2. The Attorney General.
3. Any citizen materially affected by the contract and residing in the jurisdiction represented by the officer or agency entering into such contract.
(2) Any contract that has been executed in violation of this part is presumed void with respect to any former employee or former public official of a state agency and is voidable with respect to any private sector third party who employs or retains in any capacity such former agency employee or former public official.
History.s. 8, ch. 75-208; s. 2, ch. 2001-266.
112.3185 Additional standards for state agency employees.
(1) For the purposes of this section:
(a) “Contractual services” shall be defined as set forth in chapter 287.
(b) “Agency” means any state officer, department, board, commission, or council of the executive or judicial branch of state government and includes the Public Service Commission.
(2) An agency employee who participates through decision, approval, disapproval, recommendation, preparation of any part of a purchase request, influencing the content of any specification or procurement standard, rendering of advice, investigation, or auditing or in any other advisory capacity in the procurement of contractual services may not become or be, while an agency employee, the employee of a person contracting with the agency by whom the employee is employed.
(3) An agency employee may not, after retirement or termination, have or hold any employment or contractual relationship with any business entity other than an agency in connection with any contract in which the agency employee participated personally and substantially through decision, approval, disapproval, recommendation, rendering of advice, or investigation while an officer or employee. When the agency employee’s position is eliminated and his or her duties are performed by the business entity, this subsection does not prohibit him or her from employment or contractual relationship with the business entity if the employee’s participation in the contract was limited to recommendation, rendering of advice, or investigation and if the agency head determines that the best interests of the state will be served thereby and provides prior written approval for the particular employee.
(4) An agency employee may not, within 2 years after retirement or termination, have or hold any employment or contractual relationship with any business entity other than an agency in connection with any contract for contractual services which was within his or her responsibility while an employee. If the agency employee’s position is eliminated and his or her duties are performed by the business entity, this subsection may be waived by the agency head through prior written approval for a particular employee if the agency head determines that the best interests of the state will be served thereby.
(5) The sum of money paid to a former agency employee during the first year after the cessation of his or her responsibilities, by the agency with whom he or she was employed, for contractual services provided to the agency, shall not exceed the annual salary received on the date of cessation of his or her responsibilities. This subsection may be waived by the agency head for a particular contract if the agency head determines that such waiver will result in significant time or cost savings for the state.
(6) An agency employee acting in an official capacity may not directly or indirectly procure contractual services for his or her own agency from any business entity of which a relative is an officer, partner, director, or proprietor or in which the officer or employee or his or her spouse or child, or any combination of them, has a material interest.
(7) A violation of any provision of this section is punishable in accordance with s. 112.317.
(8) This section is not applicable to any employee of the Public Service Commission who was so employed on or before December 31, 1994.
History.s. 6, ch. 82-196; s. 32, ch. 83-217; s. 2, ch. 90-268; s. 11, ch. 90-502; s. 9, ch. 94-277; s. 1415, ch. 95-147; s. 9, ch. 2006-275.
112.3187 Adverse action against employee for disclosing information of specified nature prohibited; employee remedy and relief.
(1) SHORT TITLE.Sections 112.3187-112.31895 may be cited as the “Whistle-blower’s Act.”
(2) LEGISLATIVE INTENT.It is the intent of the Legislature to prevent agencies or independent contractors from taking retaliatory action against an employee who reports to an appropriate agency violations of law on the part of a public employer or independent contractor that create a substantial and specific danger to the public’s health, safety, or welfare. It is further the intent of the Legislature to prevent agencies or independent contractors from taking retaliatory action against any person who discloses information to an appropriate agency alleging improper use of governmental office, gross waste of funds, or any other abuse or gross neglect of duty on the part of an agency, public officer, or employee.
(3) DEFINITIONS.As used in this act, unless otherwise specified, the following words or terms shall have the meanings indicated:
(a) “Agency” means any state, regional, county, local, or municipal government entity, whether executive, judicial, or legislative; any official, officer, department, division, bureau, commission, authority, or political subdivision therein; or any public school, community college, or state university.
(b) “Employee” means a person who performs services for, and under the control and direction of, or contracts with, an agency or independent contractor for wages or other remuneration.
(c) “Adverse personnel action” means the discharge, suspension, transfer, or demotion of any employee or the withholding of bonuses, the reduction in salary or benefits, or any other adverse action taken against an employee within the terms and conditions of employment by an agency or independent contractor.
(d) “Independent contractor” means a person, other than an agency, engaged in any business and who enters into a contract, including a provider agreement, with an agency.
(e) “Gross mismanagement” means a continuous pattern of managerial abuses, wrongful or arbitrary and capricious actions, or fraudulent or criminal conduct which may have a substantial adverse economic impact.
(4) ACTIONS PROHIBITED.
(a) An agency or independent contractor shall not dismiss, discipline, or take any other adverse personnel action against an employee for disclosing information pursuant to the provisions of this section.
(b) An agency or independent contractor shall not take any adverse action that affects the rights or interests of a person in retaliation for the person’s disclosure of information under this section.
(c) The provisions of this subsection shall not be applicable when an employee or person discloses information known by the employee or person to be false.
(5) NATURE OF INFORMATION DISCLOSED.The information disclosed under this section must include:
(a) Any violation or suspected violation of any federal, state, or local law, rule, or regulation committed by an employee or agent of an agency or independent contractor which creates and presents a substantial and specific danger to the public’s health, safety, or welfare.
(b) Any act or suspected act of gross mismanagement, malfeasance, misfeasance, gross waste of public funds, suspected or actual Medicaid fraud or abuse, or gross neglect of duty committed by an employee or agent of an agency or independent contractor.
(6) TO WHOM INFORMATION DISCLOSED.The information disclosed under this section must be disclosed to any agency or federal government entity having the authority to investigate, police, manage, or otherwise remedy the violation or act, including, but not limited to, the Office of the Chief Inspector General, an agency inspector general or the employee designated as agency inspector general under s. 112.3189(1) or inspectors general under s. 20.055, the Florida Commission on Human Relations, and the whistle-blower’s hotline created under s. 112.3189. However, for disclosures concerning a local governmental entity, including any regional, county, or municipal entity, special district, community college district, or school district or any political subdivision of any of the foregoing, the information must be disclosed to a chief executive officer as defined in s. 447.203(9) or other appropriate local official.
(7) EMPLOYEES AND PERSONS PROTECTED.This section protects employees and persons who disclose information on their own initiative in a written and signed complaint; who are requested to participate in an investigation, hearing, or other inquiry conducted by any agency or federal government entity; who refuse to participate in any adverse action prohibited by this section; or who initiate a complaint through the whistle-blower’s hotline or the hotline of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the Department of Legal Affairs; or employees who file any written complaint to their supervisory officials or employees who submit a complaint to the Chief Inspector General in the Executive Office of the Governor, to the employee designated as agency inspector general under s. 112.3189(1), or to the Florida Commission on Human Relations. The provisions of this section may not be used by a person while he or she is under the care, custody, or control of the state correctional system or, after release from the care, custody, or control of the state correctional system, with respect to circumstances that occurred during any period of incarceration. No remedy or other protection under ss. 112.3187-112.31895 applies to any person who has committed or intentionally participated in committing the violation or suspected violation for which protection under ss. 112.3187-112.31895 is being sought.
(8) REMEDIES.
(a) Any employee of or applicant for employment with any state agency, as the term “state agency” is defined in s. 216.011, who is discharged, disciplined, or subjected to other adverse personnel action, or denied employment, because he or she engaged in an activity protected by this section may file a complaint, which complaint must be made in accordance with s. 112.31895. Upon receipt of notice from the Florida Commission on Human Relations of termination of the investigation, the complainant may elect to pursue the administrative remedy available under s. 112.31895 or bring a civil action within 180 days after receipt of the notice.
(b) Within 60 days after the action prohibited by this section, any local public employee protected by this section may file a complaint with the appropriate local governmental authority, if that authority has established by ordinance an administrative procedure for handling such complaints or has contracted with the Division of Administrative Hearings under s. 120.65 to conduct hearings under this section. The administrative procedure created by ordinance must provide for the complaint to be heard by a panel of impartial persons appointed by the appropriate local governmental authority. Upon hearing the complaint, the panel must make findings of fact and conclusions of law for a final decision by the local governmental authority. Within 180 days after entry of a final decision by the local governmental authority, the public employee who filed the complaint may bring a civil action in any court of competent jurisdiction. If the local governmental authority has not established an administrative procedure by ordinance or contract, a local public employee may, within 180 days after the action prohibited by this section, bring a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction. For the purpose of this paragraph, the term “local governmental authority” includes any regional, county, or municipal entity, special district, community college district, or school district or any political subdivision of any of the foregoing.
(c) Any other person protected by this section may, after exhausting all available contractual or administrative remedies, bring a civil action in any court of competent jurisdiction within 180 days after the action prohibited by this section.
(9) RELIEF.In any action brought under this section, the relief must include the following:
(a) Reinstatement of the employee to the same position held before the adverse action was commenced, or to an equivalent position or reasonable front pay as alternative relief.
(b) Reinstatement of the employee’s full fringe benefits and seniority rights, as appropriate.
(c) Compensation, if appropriate, for lost wages, benefits, or other lost remuneration caused by the adverse action.
(d) Payment of reasonable costs, including attorney’s fees, to a substantially prevailing employee, or to the prevailing employer if the employee filed a frivolous action in bad faith.
(e) Issuance of an injunction, if appropriate, by a court of competent jurisdiction.
(f) Temporary reinstatement to the employee’s former position or to an equivalent position, pending the final outcome on the complaint, if an employee complains of being discharged in retaliation for a protected disclosure and if a court of competent jurisdiction or the Florida Commission on Human Relations, as applicable under s. 112.31895, determines that the disclosure was not made in bad faith or for a wrongful purpose or occurred after an agency’s initiation of a personnel action against the employee which includes documentation of the employee’s violation of a disciplinary standard or performance deficiency. This paragraph does not apply to an employee of a municipality.
(10) DEFENSES.It shall be an affirmative defense to any action brought pursuant to this section that the adverse action was predicated upon grounds other than, and would have been taken absent, the employee’s or person’s exercise of rights protected by this section.
(11) EXISTING RIGHTS.Sections 112.3187-112.31895 do not diminish the rights, privileges, or remedies of an employee under any other law or rule or under any collective bargaining agreement or employment contract; however, the election of remedies in s. 447.401 also applies to whistle-blower actions.
History.ss. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, ch. 86-233; s. 1, ch. 91-285; s. 12, ch. 92-316; s. 1, ch. 93-57; s. 702, ch. 95-147; s. 1, ch. 95-153; s. 15, ch. 96-410; s. 20, ch. 99-333; s. 2, ch. 2002-400.
1112.3188 Confidentiality of information given to the Chief Inspector General, internal auditors, inspectors general, local chief executive officers, or other appropriate local officials.
(1) The name or identity of any individual who discloses in good faith to the Chief Inspector General or an agency inspector general, a local chief executive officer, or other appropriate local official information that alleges that an employee or agent of an agency or independent contractor:
(a) Has violated or is suspected of having violated any federal, state, or local law, rule, or regulation, thereby creating and presenting a substantial and specific danger to the public’s health, safety, or welfare; or
(b) Has committed an act of gross mismanagement, malfeasance, misfeasance, gross waste of public funds, or gross neglect of duty

may not be disclosed to anyone other than a member of the Chief Inspector General’s, agency inspector general’s, internal auditor’s, local chief executive officer’s, or other appropriate local official’s staff without the written consent of the individual, unless the Chief Inspector General, internal auditor, agency inspector general, local chief executive officer, or other appropriate local official determines that: the disclosure of the individual’s identity is necessary to prevent a substantial and specific danger to the public’s health, safety, or welfare or to prevent the imminent commission of a crime; or the disclosure is unavoidable and absolutely necessary during the course of the audit, evaluation, or investigation.

(2)(a) Except as specifically authorized by s. 112.3189, all information received by the Chief Inspector General or an agency inspector general or information produced or derived from fact-finding or other investigations conducted by the Florida Commission on Human Relations or the Department of Law Enforcement is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) if the information is being received or derived from allegations as set forth in paragraph (1)(a) or paragraph (1)(b), and an investigation is active.
(b) All information received by a local chief executive officer or appropriate local official or information produced or derived from fact-finding or investigations conducted pursuant to the administrative procedure established by ordinance by a local government as authorized by s. 112.3187(8)(b) is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution, if the information is being received or derived from allegations as set forth in paragraph (1)(a) or paragraph (1)(b) and an investigation is active.
(c) Information deemed confidential under this section may be disclosed by the Chief Inspector General, agency inspector general, local chief executive officer, or other appropriate local official receiving the information if the recipient determines that the disclosure of the information is absolutely necessary to prevent a substantial and specific danger to the public’s health, safety, or welfare or to prevent the imminent commission of a crime. Information disclosed under this subsection may be disclosed only to persons who are in a position to prevent the danger to the public’s health, safety, or welfare or to prevent the imminent commission of a crime based on the disclosed information.
1. An investigation is active under this section if:
a. It is an ongoing investigation or inquiry or collection of information and evidence and is continuing with a reasonable, good faith anticipation of resolution in the foreseeable future; or
b. All or a portion of the matters under investigation or inquiry are active criminal intelligence information or active criminal investigative information as defined in s. 119.011.
2. Notwithstanding sub-subparagraph 1.a., an investigation ceases to be active when:
a. The written report required under s. 112.3189(9) has been sent by the Chief Inspector General to the recipients named in s. 112.3189(9);
b. It is determined that an investigation is not necessary under s. 112.3189(5); or
c. A final decision has been rendered by the local government or by the Division of Administrative Hearings pursuant to s. 112.3187(8)(b).
3. Notwithstanding paragraphs (a), (b), and this paragraph, information or records received or produced under this section which are otherwise confidential under law or exempt from disclosure under chapter 119 retain their confidentiality or exemption.
4. Any person who willfully and knowingly discloses information or records made confidential under this subsection commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
History.s. 6, ch. 90-247; s. 1, ch. 91-150; s. 3, ch. 91-285; s. 2, ch. 93-57; s. 1, ch. 95-136; s. 2, ch. 95-153; s. 1, ch. 95-166; ss. 36, 37, ch. 96-406; s. 21, ch. 99-333.
1Note.As amended by s. 1, ch. 95-166, s. 2, ch. 95-153, and s. 36, ch. 96-406; this version of paragraph (2)(a) was also amended by s. 21, ch. 99-333. For a description of multiple acts in the same session affecting a statutory provision, see preface to the Florida Statutes, “Statutory Construction.” This section was also amended by s. 1, ch. 95-136, and s. 37, ch. 96-406, and that version reads:

112.3188 Confidentiality of information given to the Chief Inspector General and agency inspectors general.

(1) The identity of any individual who discloses in good faith to the Chief Inspector General or an agency inspector general information that alleges that an employee or agent of an agency or independent contractor has violated or is suspected of having violated any federal, state, or local law, rule, or regulation, thereby creating and presenting a substantial and specific danger to the public’s health, safety, or welfare or has committed or is suspected of having committed an act of gross mismanagement, malfeasance, misfeasance, gross waste of public funds, or gross neglect of duty is exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution and shall not be disclosed to anyone other than a member of the Chief Inspector General’s or agency inspector general’s staff without the written consent of the individual, unless the Chief Inspector General or agency inspector general determines that:

(a) The disclosure of the individual’s identity is necessary to prevent a substantial and specific danger to the public’s health, safety, or welfare or to prevent the imminent commission of a crime, provided that such information is disclosed only to persons who are in a position to prevent the danger to the public’s health, safety, or welfare or to prevent the imminent commission of a crime;

(b) The disclosure of the individual’s identity is unavoidable and absolutely necessary during the course of the inquiry or investigation; or

(c) The disclosure of the individual’s identity is authorized as a result of the individual consenting in writing to attach general comments signed by such individual to the final report required pursuant to s. 112.3189(6)(b).

(2)(a) Except as specifically authorized by s. 112.3189 and except as provided in subsection (1), all information received by the Chief Inspector General or an agency inspector general or information produced or derived from fact-finding or other investigations conducted by the Department of Legal Affairs, the Office of the Public Counsel, or the Department of Law Enforcement is confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution for an initial period of not more than 30 days during which time a determination is made whether an investigation is required pursuant to s. 112.3189(5)(a) and, if an investigation is determined to be required, until the investigation is closed or ceases to be active. For the purposes of this subsection, an investigation is active while such investigation is being conducted with a reasonable good faith belief that it may lead to the filing of administrative, civil, or criminal charges. An investigation does not cease to be active so long as the Chief Inspector General or the agency inspector general is proceeding with reasonable dispatch and there is a good faith belief that action may be initiated by the Chief Inspector General or agency inspector general or other administrative or law enforcement agency. Except for active criminal intelligence or criminal investigative information as defined in s. 119.011, and except as otherwise provided in this section, all information obtained pursuant to this subsection shall become available to the public when the investigation is closed or ceases to be active. An investigation is closed or ceases to be active when the final report required pursuant to s. 112.3189(9) has been sent by the Chief Inspector General to the recipients specified in s. 112.3189(9)(c).

(b) Information deemed confidential under this subsection may be disclosed by the Chief Inspector General or agency inspector general receiving the information if the Chief Inspector General or agency inspector general determines that the disclosure of the information is absolutely necessary to prevent a substantial and specific danger to the public’s health, safety, or welfare or to prevent the imminent commission of a crime, and such information may be disclosed only to persons who are in a position to prevent the danger to the public’s health, safety, or welfare or to prevent the imminent commission of a crime based on the disclosed information.

(3) Information or records obtained under this section which are otherwise confidential under law or exempt from disclosure shall retain their confidentiality or exemption.

(4) Any person who willfully and knowingly discloses information or records made confidential under this section commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

112.3189 Investigative procedures upon receipt of whistle-blower information from certain state employees.
(1) This section only applies to the disclosure of information as described in s. 112.3187(5) by an employee or former employee of, or an applicant for employment with, a state agency, as the term “state agency” is defined in s. 216.011, to the Office of the Chief Inspector General of the Executive Office of the Governor or to the agency inspector general. If an agency does not have an inspector general, the head of the state agency, as defined in s. 216.011, shall designate an employee to receive information described in s. 112.3187(5). For purposes of this section and s. 112.3188 only, the employee designated by the head of the state agency shall be deemed an agency inspector general.
(2) To facilitate the receipt of information described in subsection (1), the Chief Inspector General shall maintain an in-state toll-free whistle-blower’s hotline and shall circulate among the various state agencies an advisory for all employees which indicates the existence of the toll-free number and its purpose and provides an address to which written whistle-blower information may be forwarded.
(3) When a person alleges information described in s. 112.3187(5), the Chief Inspector General or agency inspector general actually receiving such information shall within 20 days of receiving such information determine:
(a) Whether the information disclosed is the type of information described in s. 112.3187(5).
(b) Whether the source of the information is a person who is an employee or former employee of, or an applicant for employment with, a state agency, as defined in s. 216.011.
(c) Whether the information actually disclosed demonstrates reasonable cause to suspect that an employee or agent of an agency or independent contractor has violated any federal, state, or local law, rule, or regulation, thereby creating and presenting a substantial and specific danger to the public’s health, safety, or welfare, or has committed an act of gross mismanagement, malfeasance, misfeasance, gross waste of public funds, or gross neglect of duty.
(4) If the Chief Inspector General or agency inspector general under subsection (3) determines that the information disclosed is not the type of information described in s. 112.3187(5), or that the source of the information is not a person who is an employee or former employee of, or an applicant for employment with, a state agency, as defined in s. 216.011, or that the information disclosed does not demonstrate reasonable cause to suspect that an employee or agent of an agency or independent contractor has violated any federal, state, or local law, rule, or regulation, thereby creating and presenting a substantial and specific danger to the public’s health, safety, or welfare, or has committed an act of gross mismanagement, malfeasance, misfeasance, gross waste of public funds, or gross neglect of duty, the Chief Inspector General or agency inspector general shall notify the complainant of such fact and copy and return, upon request of the complainant, any documents and other materials that were provided by the complainant.
(5)(a) If the Chief Inspector General or agency inspector general under subsection (3) determines that the information disclosed is the type of information described in s. 112.3187(5), that the source of the information is from a person who is an employee or former employee of, or an applicant for employment with, a state agency, as defined in s. 216.011, and that the information disclosed demonstrates reasonable cause to suspect that an employee or agent of an agency or independent contractor has violated any federal, state, or local law, rule, or regulation, thereby creating a substantial and specific danger to the public’s health, safety, or welfare, or has committed an act of gross mismanagement, malfeasance, misfeasance, gross waste of public funds, or gross neglect of duty, the Chief Inspector General or agency inspector general making such determination shall then conduct an investigation, unless the Chief Inspector General or the agency inspector general determines, within 30 days after receiving the allegations from the complainant, that such investigation is unnecessary. For purposes of this subsection, the Chief Inspector General or the agency inspector general shall consider the following factors, but is not limited to only the following factors, when deciding whether the investigation is not necessary:
1. The gravity of the disclosed information compared to the time and expense of an investigation.
2. The potential for an investigation to yield recommendations that will make state government more efficient and effective.
3. The benefit to state government to have a final report on the disclosed information.
4. Whether the alleged whistle-blower information primarily concerns personnel practices that may be investigated under chapter 110.
5. Whether another agency may be conducting an investigation and whether any investigation under this section could be duplicative.
6. The time that has elapsed between the alleged event and the disclosure of the information.
(b) If the Chief Inspector General or agency inspector general determines under paragraph (a) that an investigation is not necessary, the Chief Inspector General or agency inspector general making such determination shall:
1. Copy and return, upon request of the complainant, any documents and other materials provided by the individual who made the disclosure.
2. Inform in writing the head of the state agency for the agency inspector general making the determination that the investigation is not necessary and the individual who made the disclosure of the specific reasons why an investigation is not necessary and why the disclosure will not be further acted on under this section.
(6) The agency inspector general may conduct an investigation pursuant to paragraph (5)(a) only if the person transmitting information to the agency inspector general is an employee or former employee of, or an applicant for employment with, the agency inspector general’s agency. The agency inspector general shall:
(a) Conduct an investigation with respect to the information and any related matters.
(b) Submit to the complainant and the Chief Inspector General, within 60 days after the date on which a determination to conduct an investigation is made under paragraph (5)(a), a final written report that sets forth the agency inspector general’s findings, conclusions, and recommendations, except as provided under subsection (11). The complainant shall be advised in writing by the agency head that the complainant may submit to the Chief Inspector General and agency inspector general comments on the final report within 20 days of the date of the report and that such comments will be attached to the final report.
(7) If the Chief Inspector General decides an investigation should be conducted pursuant to paragraph (5)(a), the Chief Inspector General shall either:
(a) Promptly transmit to the appropriate head of the state agency the information with respect to which the determination to conduct an investigation was made, and such agency head shall conduct an investigation and submit to the Chief Inspector General a final written report that sets forth the agency head’s findings, conclusions, and recommendations; or
(b)1. Conduct an investigation with respect to the information and any related matters; and
2. Submit to the complainant within 60 days after the date on which a determination to conduct an investigation is made under paragraph (5)(a), a final written report that sets forth the Chief Inspector General’s findings, conclusions, and recommendations, except as provided under subsection (11). The complainant shall be advised in writing by the Chief Inspector General that the complainant may submit to the Chief Inspector General comments on the final report within 20 days of the date of the report and that such comments will be attached to the final report.
(c) The Chief Inspector General may require an agency head to conduct an investigation under paragraph (a) only if the information was transmitted to the Chief Inspector General by:
1. An employee or former employee of, or an applicant for employment with, the agency that the information concerns; or
2. An employee who obtained the information in connection with the performance of the employee’s duties and responsibilities.
(8) Final reports required under this section must be reviewed and signed by the person responsible for conducting the investigation (agency inspector general, agency head, or Chief Inspector General) and must include:
(a) A summary of the information with respect to which the investigation was initiated.
(b) A description of the conduct of the investigation.
(c) A summary of any evidence obtained from the investigation.
(d) A listing of any violation or apparent violation of any law, rule, or regulation.
(e) A description of any action taken or planned as a result of the investigation, such as:
1. A change in an agency rule, regulation, or practice.
2. The restoration of an aggrieved employee.
3. A disciplinary action against an employee.
4. The referral to the Department of Law Enforcement of any evidence of a criminal violation.
(9)(a) A report required of the agency head under paragraph (7)(a) shall be submitted to the Chief Inspector General and the complainant within 60 days after the agency head receives the complaint from the Chief Inspector General, except as provided under subsection (11). The complainant shall be advised in writing by the agency head that the complainant may submit to the Chief Inspector General comments on the report within 20 days of the date of the report and that such comments will be attached to the final report.
(b) Upon receiving a final report required under this section, the Chief Inspector General shall review the report and determine whether the report contains the information required by subsection (8). If the report does not contain the information required by subsection (8), the Chief Inspector General shall determine why and note the reasons on an addendum to the final report.
(c) The Chief Inspector General shall transmit any final report under this section, any comments provided by the complainant, and any appropriate comments or recommendations by the Chief Inspector General to the Governor, the Legislative Auditing Committee, the investigating agency, and the Chief Financial Officer.
(d) If the Chief Inspector General does not receive the report of the agency head within the time prescribed in paragraph (a), the Chief Inspector General may conduct the investigation in accordance with paragraph (7)(b) or request that another agency inspector general conduct the investigation in accordance with subsection (6) and shall report the complaint to the Governor, to the Joint Legislative Auditing Committee, and to the investigating agency, together with a statement noting the failure of the agency head to file the required report.
(10) For any time period set forth in subsections (3), (6), (7), and (9), such time period may be extended in writing by the Chief Inspector General for good cause shown.
(11) If an investigation under this section produces evidence of a criminal violation, the report shall not be transmitted to the complainant, and the agency head or agency inspector general shall notify the Chief Inspector General and the Department of Law Enforcement.
History.s. 13, ch. 92-316; s. 3, ch. 93-57; s. 129, ch. 2003-261; s. 17, ch. 2011-34.
112.31895 Investigative procedures in response to prohibited personnel actions.
(1)(a) If a disclosure under s. 112.3187 includes or results in alleged retaliation by an employer, the employee or former employee of, or applicant for employment with, a state agency, as defined in s. 216.011, that is so affected may file a complaint alleging a prohibited personnel action, which complaint must be made by filing a written complaint with the Office of the Chief Inspector General in the Executive Office of the Governor or the Florida Commission on Human Relations, no later than 60 days after the prohibited personnel action.
(b) Within three working days after receiving a complaint under this section, the office or officer receiving the complaint shall acknowledge receipt of the complaint and provide copies of the complaint and any other preliminary information available concerning the disclosure of information under s. 112.3187 to each of the other parties named in paragraph (a), which parties shall each acknowledge receipt of such copies to the complainant.
(2) FACT FINDING.The Florida Commission on Human Relations shall:
(a) Receive any allegation of a personnel action prohibited by s. 112.3187, including a proposed or potential action, and conduct informal fact finding regarding any allegation under this section, to the extent necessary to determine whether there are reasonable grounds to believe that a prohibited personnel action under s. 112.3187 has occurred, is occurring, or is to be taken.
(b) Notify the complainant, within 15 days after receiving a complaint, that the complaint has been received by the department.
(c) Within 90 days after receiving the complaint, provide the agency head and the complainant with a fact-finding report that may include recommendations to the parties or proposed resolution of the complaint. The fact-finding report shall be presumed admissible in any subsequent or related administrative or judicial review.
(3) CORRECTIVE ACTION AND TERMINATION OF INVESTIGATION.
(a) The Florida Commission on Human Relations, in accordance with this act and for the sole purpose of this act, is empowered to:
1. Receive and investigate complaints from employees alleging retaliation by state agencies, as the term “state agency” is defined in s. 216.011.
2. Protect employees and applicants for employment with such agencies from prohibited personnel practices under s. 112.3187.
3. Petition for stays and petition for corrective actions, including, but not limited to, temporary reinstatement.
4. Recommend disciplinary proceedings pursuant to investigation and appropriate agency rules and procedures.
5. Coordinate with the Chief Inspector General in the Executive Office of the Governor and the Florida Commission on Human Relations to receive, review, and forward to appropriate agencies, legislative entities, or the Department of Law Enforcement disclosures of a violation of any law, rule, or regulation, or disclosures of gross mismanagement, malfeasance, misfeasance, nonfeasance, neglect of duty, or gross waste of public funds.
6. Review rules pertaining to personnel matters issued or proposed by the Department of Management Services, the Public Employees Relations Commission, and other agencies, and, if the Florida Commission on Human Relations finds that any rule or proposed rule, on its face or as implemented, requires the commission of a prohibited personnel practice, provide a written comment to the appropriate agency.
7. Investigate, request assistance from other governmental entities, and, if appropriate, bring actions concerning, allegations of retaliation by state agencies under subparagraph 1.
8. Administer oaths, examine witnesses, take statements, issue subpoenas, order the taking of depositions, order responses to written interrogatories, and make appropriate motions to limit discovery, pursuant to investigations under subparagraph 1.
9. Intervene or otherwise participate, as a matter of right, in any appeal or other proceeding arising under this section before the Public Employees Relations Commission or any other appropriate agency, except that the Florida Commission on Human Relations must comply with the rules of the commission or other agency and may not seek corrective action or intervene in an appeal or other proceeding without the consent of the person protected under ss. 112.3187-112.31895.
10. Conduct an investigation, in the absence of an allegation, to determine whether reasonable grounds exist to believe that a prohibited action or a pattern of prohibited action has occurred, is occurring, or is to be taken.
(b) Within 15 days after receiving a complaint that a person has been discharged from employment allegedly for disclosing protected information under s. 112.3187, the Florida Commission on Human Relations shall review the information and determine whether temporary reinstatement is appropriate under s. 112.3187(9)(f). If the Florida Commission on Human Relations so determines, it shall apply for an expedited order from the appropriate agency or circuit court for the immediate reinstatement of the employee who has been discharged subsequent to the disclosure made under s. 112.3187, pending the issuance of the final order on the complaint.
(c) The Florida Commission on Human Relations shall notify a complainant of the status of the investigation and any action taken at such times as the commission considers appropriate.
(d) If the Florida Commission on Human Relations is unable to conciliate a complaint within 60 days after receipt of the fact-finding report, the Florida Commission on Human Relations shall terminate the investigation. Upon termination of any investigation, the Florida Commission on Human Relations shall notify the complainant and the agency head of the termination of the investigation, providing a summary of relevant facts found during the investigation and the reasons for terminating the investigation. A written statement under this paragraph is presumed admissible as evidence in any judicial or administrative proceeding but is not admissible without the consent of the complainant.
(e)1. The Florida Commission on Human Relations may request an agency or circuit court to order a stay, on such terms as the court requires, of any personnel action for 45 days if the Florida Commission on Human Relations determines that reasonable grounds exist to believe that a prohibited personnel action has occurred, is occurring, or is to be taken. The Florida Commission on Human Relations may request that such stay be extended for appropriate periods of time.
2. If, in connection with any investigation, the Florida Commission on Human Relations determines that reasonable grounds exist to believe that a prohibited action has occurred, is occurring, or is to be taken which requires corrective action, the Florida Commission on Human Relations shall report the determination together with any findings or recommendations to the agency head and may report that determination and those findings and recommendations to the Governor and the Chief Financial Officer. The Florida Commission on Human Relations may include in the report recommendations for corrective action to be taken.
3. If, after 20 days, the agency does not implement the recommended action, the Florida Commission on Human Relations shall terminate the investigation and notify the complainant of the right to appeal under subsection (4), or may petition the agency for corrective action under this subsection.
4. If the Florida Commission on Human Relations finds, in consultation with the individual subject to the prohibited action, that the agency has implemented the corrective action, the commission shall file such finding with the agency head, together with any written comments that the individual provides, and terminate the investigation.
(f) If the Florida Commission on Human Relations finds that there are no reasonable grounds to believe that a prohibited personnel action has occurred, is occurring, or is to be taken, the commission shall terminate the investigation.
(g)1. If, in connection with any investigation under this section, it is determined that reasonable grounds exist to believe that a criminal violation has occurred which has not been previously reported, the Florida Commission on Human Relations shall report this determination to the Department of Law Enforcement and to the state attorney having jurisdiction over the matter.
2. If an alleged criminal violation has been reported, the Florida Commission on Human Relations shall confer with the Department of Law Enforcement and the state attorney before proceeding with the investigation of the prohibited personnel action and may defer the investigation pending completion of the criminal investigation and proceedings. The Florida Commission on Human Relations shall inform the complainant of the decision to defer the investigation and, if appropriate, of the confidentiality of the investigation.
(h) If, in connection with any investigation under this section, the Florida Commission on Human Relations determines that reasonable grounds exist to believe that a violation of a law, rule, or regulation has occurred, other than a criminal violation or a prohibited action under this section, the commission may report such violation to the head of the agency involved. Within 30 days after the agency receives the report, the agency head shall provide to the commission a certification that states that the head of the agency has personally reviewed the report and indicates what action has been or is to be taken and when the action will be completed.
(i) During any investigation under this section, disciplinary action may not be taken against any employee of a state agency, as the term “state agency” is defined in s. 216.011, for reporting an alleged prohibited personnel action that is under investigation, or for reporting any related activity, or against any employee for participating in an investigation without notifying the Florida Commission on Human Relations.
(j) The Florida Commission on Human Relations may also petition for an award of reasonable attorney’s fees and expenses from a state agency, as the term “state agency” is defined in s. 216.011, pursuant to s. 112.3187(9).
(4) RIGHT TO APPEAL.
(a) Not more than 60 days after receipt of a notice of termination of the investigation from the Florida Commission on Human Relations, the complainant may file, with the Public Employees Relations Commission, a complaint against the employer-agency regarding the alleged prohibited personnel action. The Public Employees Relations Commission shall have jurisdiction over such complaints under ss. 112.3187 and 447.503(4) and (5).
(b) Judicial review of any final order of the commission shall be as provided in s. 120.68.
History.s. 14, ch. 92-316; s. 4, ch. 93-57; s. 703, ch. 95-147; s. 22, ch. 99-333; s. 130, ch. 2003-261.
112.31901 Investigatory records.
(1) If certified pursuant to subsection (2), an investigatory record of the Chief Inspector General within the Executive Office of the Governor or of the employee designated by an agency head as the agency inspector general under s. 112.3189 is exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution until the investigation ceases to be active, or a report detailing the investigation is provided to the Governor or the agency head, or 60 days from the inception of the investigation for which the record was made or received, whichever first occurs. Investigatory records are those records that are related to the investigation of an alleged, specific act or omission or other wrongdoing, with respect to an identifiable person or group of persons, based on information compiled by the Chief Inspector General or by an agency inspector general, as named under the provisions of s. 112.3189, in the course of an investigation. An investigation is active if it is continuing with a reasonable, good faith anticipation of resolution and with reasonable dispatch.
(2) The Governor, in the case of the Chief Inspector General, or agency head, in the case of an employee designated as the agency inspector general under s. 112.3189, may certify that such investigatory records require an exemption to protect the integrity of the investigation or avoid unwarranted damage to an individual’s good name or reputation. The certification must specify the nature and purpose of the investigation and shall be kept with the exempt records and made public when the records are made public.
(3) This section does not apply to whistle-blower investigations conducted pursuant to ss. 112.3187, 112.3188, 112.3189, and 112.31895.
History.s. 4, ch. 93-405; s. 35, ch. 95-398; s. 38, ch. 2005-251; s. 13, ch. 2006-1.
Note.Former s. 119.07(6)(w).
112.3191 Short title.This act shall be known and cited as “The John J. Savage Memorial Act of 1974.”
History.s. 1, ch. 74-176.
112.320 Commission on Ethics; purpose.There is created a Commission on Ethics, the purpose of which is to serve as guardian of the standards of conduct for the officers and employees of the state, and of a county, city, or other political subdivision of the state, as defined in this part, and to serve as the independent commission provided for in s. 8(f), Art. II of the State Constitution.
History.s. 2, ch. 74-176; s. 11, ch. 91-85.
112.321 Membership, terms; travel expenses; staff.
(1) The commission shall be composed of nine members. Five of these members shall be appointed by the Governor, no more than three of whom shall be from the same political party, subject to confirmation by the Senate. One member appointed by the Governor shall be a former city or county official and may be a former member of a local planning or zoning board which has only advisory duties. Two members shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and two members shall be appointed by the President of the Senate. Neither the Speaker of the House of Representatives nor the President of the Senate shall appoint more than one member from the same political party. Of the nine members of the Commission, no more than five members shall be from the same political party at any one time. No member may hold any public employment. An individual who qualifies as a lobbyist pursuant to s. 11.045 or s. 112.3215 or pursuant to any local government charter or ordinance may not serve as a member of the commission, except that this prohibition does not apply to an individual who is a member of the commission on July 1, 2006, until the expiration of his or her current term. A member of the commission may not lobby any state or local governmental entity as provided in s. 11.045 or s. 112.3215 or as provided by any local government charter or ordinance, except that this prohibition does not apply to an individual who is a member of the commission on July 1, 2006, until the expiration of his or her current term. All members shall serve 2-year terms. A member may not serve more than two full terms in succession. Any member of the commission may be removed for cause by majority vote of the Governor, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
(2) The members of the commission shall elect a chair from their number, who shall serve for a 1-year term and may not succeed himself or herself as chair.
(3) Members of the commission shall receive no salary but shall receive travel and per diem as provided in s. 112.061.
(4) In accordance with the uniform personnel, job classification, and pay plan adopted with the approval of the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives and administered by the Office of Legislative Services, the commission shall employ an executive director and shall provide the executive director with necessary office space, assistants, and secretaries. Within the above uniform plan, decisions relating to hiring, promotion, demotion, and termination of commission employees shall be made by the commission or, if so delegated by the commission, by its executive director.
History.s. 2, ch. 74-176; s. 3, ch. 75-199; s. 6, ch. 82-98; s. 1, ch. 86-148; s. 3, ch. 88-29; s. 2, ch. 91-49; s. 704, ch. 95-147; s. 24, ch. 98-136; s. 6, ch. 2000-243; s. 10, ch. 2006-275.
112.3213 Legislative intent and purpose.The Legislature finds that the operation of open and responsible government requires the fullest opportunity to be afforded to the people to petition their government for the redress of grievances and to express freely their opinions on executive branch action. Further, the Legislature finds that preservation of the integrity of the governmental decisionmaking process is essential to the continued functioning of an open government. Therefore, in order to preserve and maintain the integrity of the process and to better inform citizens of the efforts to influence executive branch action, the Legislature finds it necessary to require the public disclosure of the identity, expenditures, and activities of certain persons who attempt to influence actions of the executive branch in the areas of policy and procurement.
History.s. 5, ch. 93-121.
112.3215 Lobbying before the executive branch or the Constitution Revision Commission; registration and reporting; investigation by commission.
(1) For the purposes of this section:
(a) “Agency” means the Governor, Governor and Cabinet, or any department, division, bureau, board, commission, or authority of the executive branch. In addition, “agency” shall mean the Constitution Revision Commission as provided by s. 2, Art. XI of the State Constitution.
(b) “Agency official” or “employee” means any individual who is required by law to file full or limited public disclosure of his or her financial interests.
(c) “Compensation” means a payment, distribution, loan, advance, reimbursement, deposit, salary, fee, retainer, or anything of value provided or owed to a lobbying firm, directly or indirectly, by a principal for any lobbying activity.
(d) “Expenditure” means a payment, distribution, loan, advance, reimbursement, deposit, or anything of value made by a lobbyist or principal for the purpose of lobbying. The term “expenditure” does not include contributions or expenditures reported pursuant to chapter 106 or contributions or expenditures reported pursuant to federal election law, campaign-related personal services provided without compensation by individuals volunteering their time, any other contribution or expenditure made by or to a political party or an affiliated party committee, or any other contribution or expenditure made by an organization that is exempt from taxation under 26 U.S.C. s. 527 or s. 501(c)(4).
(e) “Fund” means the Executive Branch Lobby Registration Trust Fund.
(f) “Lobbies” means seeking, on behalf of another person, to influence an agency with respect to a decision of the agency in the area of policy or procurement or an attempt to obtain the goodwill of an agency official or employee. “Lobbies” also means influencing or attempting to influence, on behalf of another, the Constitution Revision Commission’s action or nonaction through oral or written communication or an attempt to obtain the goodwill of a member or employee of the Constitution Revision Commission.
(g) “Lobbying firm” means a business entity, including an individual contract lobbyist, that receives or becomes entitled to receive any compensation for the purpose of lobbying, where any partner, owner, officer, or employee of the business entity is a lobbyist.
(h) “Lobbyist” means a person who is employed and receives payment, or who contracts for economic consideration, for the purpose of lobbying, or a person who is principally employed for governmental affairs by another person or governmental entity to lobby on behalf of that other person or governmental entity. “Lobbyist” does not include a person who is:
1. An attorney, or any person, who represents a client in a judicial proceeding or in a formal administrative proceeding conducted pursuant to chapter 120 or any other formal hearing before an agency, board, commission, or authority of this state.
2. An employee of an agency or of a legislative or judicial branch entity acting in the normal course of his or her duties.
3. A confidential informant who is providing, or wishes to provide, confidential information to be used for law enforcement purposes.
4. A person who lobbies to procure a contract pursuant to chapter 287 which contract is less than the threshold for CATEGORY ONE as provided in s. 287.017.
(i) “Principal” means the person, firm, corporation, or other entity which has employed or retained a lobbyist.
(2) The Executive Branch Lobby Registration Trust Fund is hereby created within the commission to be used for the purpose of funding any office established to administer the registration of lobbyists lobbying an agency, including the payment of salaries and other expenses. The trust fund is not subject to the service charge to General Revenue provisions of chapter 215. All annual registration fees collected pursuant to this section shall be deposited into such fund.
(3) A person may not lobby an agency until such person has registered as a lobbyist with the commission. Such registration shall be due upon initially being retained to lobby and is renewable on a calendar year basis thereafter. Upon registration the person shall provide a statement signed by the principal or principal’s representative that the registrant is authorized to represent the principal. The principal shall also identify and designate its main business on the statement authorizing that lobbyist pursuant to a classification system approved by the commission. The registration shall require each lobbyist to disclose, under oath, the following information:
(a) Name and business address;
(b) The name and business address of each principal represented;
(c) His or her area of interest;
(d) The agencies before which he or she will appear; and
(e) The existence of any direct or indirect business association, partnership, or financial relationship with any employee of an agency with which he or she lobbies, or intends to lobby, as disclosed in the registration.
(4) The annual lobbyist registration fee shall be set by the commission by rule, not to exceed $40 for each principal represented.
(5)(a)1. Each lobbying firm shall file a compensation report with the commission for each calendar quarter during any portion of which one or more of the firm’s lobbyists were registered to represent a principal. The report shall include the:
a. Full name, business address, and telephone number of the lobbying firm;
b. Name of each of the firm’s lobbyists; and
c. Total compensation provided or owed to the lobbying firm from all principals for the reporting period, reported in one of the following categories: $0; $1 to $49,999; $50,000 to $99,999; $100,000 to $249,999; $250,000 to $499,999; $500,000 to $999,999; $1 million or more.
2. For each principal represented by one or more of the firm’s lobbyists, the lobbying firm’s compensation report shall also include the:
a. Full name, business address, and telephone number of the principal; and
b. Total compensation provided or owed to the lobbying firm for the reporting period, reported in one of the following categories: $0; $1 to $9,999; $10,000 to $19,999; $20,000 to $29,999; $30,000 to $39,999; $40,000 to $49,999; or $50,000 or more. If the category “$50,000 or more” is selected, the specific dollar amount of compensation must be reported, rounded up or down to the nearest $1,000.
3. If the lobbying firm subcontracts work from another lobbying firm and not from the original principal:
a. The lobbying firm providing the work to be subcontracted shall be treated as the reporting lobbying firm’s principal for reporting purposes under this paragraph; and
b. The reporting lobbying firm shall, for each lobbying firm identified under subparagraph 2., identify the name and address of the principal originating the lobbying work.
4. The senior partner, officer, or owner of the lobbying firm shall certify to the veracity and completeness of the information submitted pursuant to this paragraph.
(b) For each principal represented by more than one lobbying firm, the commission shall aggregate the reporting-period and calendar-year compensation reported as provided or owed by the principal.
(c) The reporting statements shall be filed no later than 45 days after the end of each reporting period. The four reporting periods are from January 1 through March 31, April 1 through June 30, July 1 through September 30, and October 1 through December 31, respectively. Reporting statements must be filed by electronic means as provided in s. 112.32155.
(d) The commission shall provide by rule the grounds for waiving a fine, the procedures by which a lobbying firm that fails to timely file a report shall be notified and assessed fines, and the procedure for appealing the fines. The rule shall provide for the following:
1. Upon determining that the report is late, the person designated to review the timeliness of reports shall immediately notify the lobbying firm as to the failure to timely file the report and that a fine is being assessed for each late day. The fine shall be $50 per day per report for each late day up to a maximum of $5,000 per late report.
2. Upon receipt of the report, the person designated to review the timeliness of reports shall determine the amount of the fine due based upon the earliest of the following:
a. When a report is actually received by the lobbyist registration and reporting office.
b. When the electronic receipt issued pursuant to s. 112.32155 is dated.
3. Such fine shall be paid within 30 days after the notice of payment due is transmitted by the Lobbyist Registration Office, unless appeal is made to the commission. The moneys shall be deposited into the Executive Branch Lobby Registration Trust Fund.
4. A fine shall not be assessed against a lobbying firm the first time any reports for which the lobbying firm is responsible are not timely filed. However, to receive the one-time fine waiver, all reports for which the lobbying firm is responsible must be filed within 30 days after the notice that any reports have not been timely filed is transmitted by the Lobbyist Registration Office. A fine shall be assessed for any subsequent late-filed reports.
5. Any lobbying firm may appeal or dispute a fine, based upon unusual circumstances surrounding the failure to file on the designated due date, and may request and shall be entitled to a hearing before the commission, which shall have the authority to waive the fine in whole or in part for good cause shown. Any such request shall be made within 30 days after the notice of payment due is transmitted by the Lobbyist Registration Office. In such case, the lobbying firm shall, within the 30-day period, notify the person designated to review the timeliness of reports in writing of his or her intention to bring the matter before the commission.
6. The person designated to review the timeliness of reports shall notify the commission of the failure of a lobbying firm to file a report after notice or of the failure of a lobbying firm to pay the fine imposed. All lobbyist registrations for lobbyists who are partners, owners, officers, or employees of a lobbying firm that fails to timely pay a fine are automatically suspended until the fine is paid or waived, and the commission shall promptly notify all affected principals of each suspension and each reinstatement.
7. Notwithstanding any provision of chapter 120, any fine imposed under this subsection that is not waived by final order of the commission and that remains unpaid more than 60 days after the notice of payment due or more than 60 days after the commission renders a final order on the lobbying firm’s appeal shall be collected by the Department of Financial Services as a claim, debt, or other obligation owed to the state, and the department may assign the collection of such fine to a collection agent as provided in s. 17.20.
(e) Each lobbying firm and each principal shall preserve for a period of 4 years all accounts, bills, receipts, computer records, books, papers, and other documents and records necessary to substantiate compensation. Any documents and records retained pursuant to this section may be subpoenaed for audit by the Legislative Auditing Committee pursuant to s. 11.40, and such subpoena may be enforced in circuit court.
(6)(a) Notwithstanding s. 112.3148, s. 112.3149, or any other provision of law to the contrary, no lobbyist or principal shall make, directly or indirectly, and no agency official, member, or employee shall knowingly accept, directly or indirectly, any expenditure.
(b) No person shall provide compensation for lobbying to any individual or business entity that is not a lobbying firm.
(7) A lobbyist shall promptly send a written statement to the commission canceling the registration for a principal upon termination of the lobbyist’s representation of that principal. Notwithstanding this requirement, the commission may remove the name of a lobbyist from the list of registered lobbyists if the principal notifies the office that a person is no longer authorized to represent that principal.
(8)(a) The commission shall investigate every sworn complaint that is filed with it alleging that a person covered by this section has failed to register, has failed to submit a compensation report, has made a prohibited expenditure, or has knowingly submitted false information in any report or registration required in this section.
(b) All proceedings, the complaint, and other records relating to the investigation are confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution, and any meetings held pursuant to an investigation are exempt from the provisions of s. 286.011(1) and s. 24(b), Art. I of the State Constitution either until the alleged violator requests in writing that such investigation and associated records and meetings be made public or until the commission determines, based on the investigation, whether probable cause exists to believe that a violation has occurred.
(c) The commission shall investigate any lobbying firm, lobbyist, principal, agency, officer, or employee upon receipt of information from a sworn complaint or from a random audit of lobbying reports indicating a possible violation other than a late-filed report.
(d)1. Records relating to an audit conducted pursuant to this section or an investigation conducted pursuant to this section or s. 112.32155 are confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.
2. Any portion of a meeting wherein such investigation or audit is discussed is exempt from s. 286.011 and s. 24(b), Art. I of the State Constitution.
3. The exemptions no longer apply if the lobbying firm requests in writing that such investigation and associated records and meetings be made public or the commission determines there is probable cause that the audit reflects a violation of the reporting laws.
(9) If the commission finds no probable cause to believe that a violation of this section occurred, it shall dismiss the complaint, whereupon the complaint, together with a written statement of the findings of the investigation and a summary of the facts, shall become a matter of public record, and the commission shall send a copy of the complaint, findings, and summary to the complainant and the alleged violator. If, after investigating information from a random audit of lobbying reports, the commission finds no probable cause to believe that a violation of this section occurred, a written statement of the findings of the investigation and a summary of the facts shall become a matter of public record, and the commission shall send a copy of the findings and summary to the alleged violator. If the commission finds probable cause to believe that a violation occurred, it shall report the results of its investigation to the Governor and Cabinet and send a copy of the report to the alleged violator by certified mail. Such notification and all documents made or received in the disposition of the complaint shall then become public records. Upon request submitted to the Governor and Cabinet in writing, any person whom the commission finds probable cause to believe has violated any provision of this section shall be entitled to a public hearing. Such person shall be deemed to have waived the right to a public hearing if the request is not received within 14 days following the mailing of the probable cause notification. However, the Governor and Cabinet may on its own motion require a public hearing and may conduct such further investigation as it deems necessary.
(10) If the Governor and Cabinet find that a violation occurred, 1the Governor and Cabinet may reprimand the violator, censure the violator, or prohibit the violator from lobbying all agencies for a period not to exceed 2 years. If the violator is a lobbying firm, lobbyist, or principal, the Governor and Cabinet may also assess a fine of not more than $5,000 to be deposited in the Executive Branch Lobby Registration Trust Fund.
(11) Any person who is required to be registered or to provide information under this section or under rules adopted pursuant to this section and who knowingly fails to disclose any material fact that is required by this section or by rules adopted pursuant to this section, or who knowingly provides false information on any report required by this section or by rules adopted pursuant to this section, commits a noncriminal infraction, punishable by a fine not to exceed $5,000. Such penalty is in addition to any other penalty assessed by the Governor and Cabinet pursuant to subsection (10).
(12) Any person, when in doubt about the applicability and interpretation of this section to himself or herself in a particular context, may submit in writing the facts of the situation to the commission with a request for an advisory opinion to establish the standard of duty. An advisory opinion shall be rendered by the commission and, until amended or revoked, shall be binding on the conduct of the person who sought the opinion, unless material facts were omitted or misstated in the request.
(13) Agencies shall be diligent to ascertain whether persons required to register pursuant to this section have complied. An agency may not knowingly permit a person who is not registered pursuant to this section to lobby the agency.
(14) Upon discovery of violations of this section an agency or any person may file a sworn complaint with the commission.
(15) The commission shall adopt rules to administer this section, which shall prescribe forms for registration and compensation reports, procedures for registration, and procedures that will prevent disclosure of information that is confidential as provided in this section.
History.s. 2, ch. 89-325; s. 3, ch. 90-268; s. 29, ch. 90-360; s. 5, ch. 91-292; s. 2, ch. 92-35; s. 6, ch. 93-121; s. 705, ch. 95-147; s. 1, ch. 95-357; s. 2, ch. 96-203; s. 38, ch. 96-406; s. 1, ch. 97-12; s. 2, ch. 2000-232; s. 131, ch. 2003-261; ss. 5, 6, ch. 2005-359; s. 1, ch. 2005-361; ss. 12, 13, 14, ch. 2006-275; s. 6, ch. 2010-151; ss. 29, 30, ch. 2011-6; s. 76, ch. 2011-40; s. 1, ch. 2011-178; HJR 7105, 2011 Regular Session; s. 3, ch. 2012-25; s. 16, ch. 2013-36.
1Note.The words “the Governor and Cabinet” were substituted for the word “it” by the editors to improve clarity.
112.32151 Requirements for reinstitution of lobbyist registration after felony conviction.A person convicted of a felony after January 1, 2006, may not be registered as a lobbyist pursuant to s. 112.3215 until the person:
(1) Has been released from incarceration and any postconviction supervision, and has paid all court costs and court-ordered restitution; and
(2) Has had his or her civil rights restored.
History.s. 9, ch. 2005-359; s. 8, ch. 2007-5.
112.32155 Electronic filing of compensation reports and other information.
(1) As used in this section, the term “electronic filing system” means an Internet system for recording and reporting lobbying compensation and other required information by reporting period.
(2) Each lobbying firm who is required to file reports with the Commission on Ethics pursuant to s. 112.3215 must file such reports with the commission by means of the electronic filing system.
(3) A report filed pursuant to this section must be completed and filed through the electronic filing system not later than 11:59 p.m. of the day designated in s. 112.3215. A report not filed by 11:59 p.m. of the day designated is a late-filed report and is subject to the penalties under s. 112.3215(5).
(4) Each report filed pursuant to this section is considered to meet the certification requirements of s. 112.3215(5)(a)4. Persons given a secure sign-on to the electronic filing system are responsible for protecting it from disclosure and are responsible for all filings using such credentials, unless they have notified the commission that their credentials have been compromised.
(5) The electronic filing system must:
(a) Be based on access by means of the Internet.
(b) Be accessible by anyone with Internet access using standard web-browsing software.
(c) Provide for direct entry of compensation report information as well as upload of such information from software authorized by the commission.
(d) Provide a method that prevents unauthorized access to electronic filing system functions.
(6) The commission shall provide by rule procedures to implement and administer this section, including, but not limited to:
(a) Alternate filing procedures in case the electronic filing system is not operable.
(b) The issuance of an electronic receipt to the person submitting the report indicating and verifying the date and time that the report was filed.
(7) The commission shall make all the data filed available on the Internet in an easily understood and accessible format. The Internet website shall also include, but not be limited to, the names and business addresses of lobbyists, lobbying firms, and principals, the affiliations between lobbyists and principals, and the classification system designated and identified by each principal pursuant to s. 112.3215(3).
History.s. 7, ch. 2005-359.
112.3217 Contingency fees; prohibitions; penalties.
(1) “Contingency fee” means a fee, bonus, commission, or nonmonetary benefit as compensation which is dependent or in any way contingent on the enactment, defeat, modification, or other outcome of any specific executive branch action.
(2) No person may, in whole or in part, pay, give, or receive, or agree to pay, give, or receive, a contingency fee. However, this subsection does not apply to claims bills.
(3) Any person who violates this section commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. If such person is a lobbyist, the lobbyist shall forfeit any fee, bonus, commission, or profit received in violation of this section and is subject to the penalties set forth in s. 112.3215. When the fee, bonus, commission, or profit is nonmonetary, the fair market value of the benefit shall be used in determining the amount to be forfeited. All forfeited benefits shall be deposited into the Executive Branch Lobby Registration Trust Fund.
(4) Nothing in this section may be construed to prohibit any salesperson engaging in legitimate state business on behalf of a company from receiving compensation or commission as part of a bona fide contractual arrangement with that company.
History.s. 7, ch. 93-121; s. 9, ch. 2000-336.
112.322 Duties and powers of commission.
(1) It is the duty of the Commission on Ethics to receive and investigate sworn complaints of violation of the code of ethics as established in this part and of any other breach of the public trust, as provided in s. 8(f), Art. II of the State Constitution, including investigation of all facts and parties materially related to the complaint at issue.
(2)(a) Any public officer or employee may request a hearing before the Commission on Ethics to present oral or written testimony in response to allegations that such person violated the code of ethics established in this part or allegations of any other breach of the public trust, as provided in s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution, provided a majority of the commission members present and voting consider that the allegations are of such gravity as to affect the general welfare of the state and the ability of the subject public officer or employee effectively to discharge the duties of the office. If the allegations made against the subject public officer or employee are made under oath, then he or she shall also be required to testify under oath.
(b) Upon completion of any investigation initiated under this subsection, the commission shall make a finding and public report as to whether any provision of the code of ethics has been violated or any other breach of the public trust has been committed by the subject official or employee. In the event that a violation or breach is found to have been committed, the commission shall recommend appropriate action to the agency or official having power to impose any penalty provided by s. 112.317.
(c) All proceedings conducted pursuant to this subsection shall be public meetings within the meaning of chapter 286, and all documents made or received in connection with the commission’s investigation thereof shall be public records within the meaning of chapter 119.
(d) Any response to a request of a public official or employee shall be addressed in the first instance to the official or employee making the request.
(3)(a) Every public officer, candidate for public office, or public employee, when in doubt about the applicability and interpretation of this part or s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution to himself or herself in a particular context, may submit in writing the facts of the situation to the Commission on Ethics with a request for an advisory opinion to establish the standard of public duty. Any public officer or employee who has the power to hire or terminate employees may likewise seek an advisory opinion from the commission as to the application of the provisions of this part or s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution to any such employee or applicant for employment. An advisory opinion shall be rendered by the commission, and each such opinion shall be numbered, dated, and published without naming the person making the request, unless such person consents to the use of his or her name.
(b) Such opinion, until amended or revoked, shall be binding on the conduct of the officer, employee, or candidate who sought the opinion or with reference to whom the opinion was sought, unless material facts were omitted or misstated in the request for the advisory opinion.
(4) The commission has the power to subpoena, audit, and investigate. The commission may subpoena witnesses and compel their attendance and testimony, administer oaths and affirmations, take evidence, and require by subpoena the production of any books, papers, records, or other items relevant to the performance of the duties of the commission or to the exercise of its powers. The commission may delegate to its investigators the authority to administer oaths and affirmations. The commission may delegate the authority to issue subpoenas to its chair, and may authorize its employees to serve any subpoena issued under this section. In the case of a refusal to obey a subpoena issued to any person, the commission may make application to any circuit court of this state which shall have jurisdiction to order the witness to appear before the commission and to produce evidence, if so ordered, or to give testimony touching on the matter in question. Failure to obey the order may be punished by the court as contempt. Witnesses shall be paid mileage and witnesses fees as authorized for witnesses in civil cases, except that a witness who is required to travel outside the county of his or her residence to testify is entitled to per diem and travel expenses at the same rate provided for state employees under s. 112.061, to be paid after the witness appears.
(5) The commission may recommend that the Governor initiate judicial proceedings in the name of the state against any executive or administrative state, county, or municipal officer to enforce compliance with any provision of this part or of s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution or to restrain violations of this part or of s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution, pursuant to s. 1(b), Art. IV of the State Constitution; and the Governor may without further action initiate such judicial proceedings.
(6) The commission is authorized to call upon appropriate agencies of state government for such professional assistance as may be needed in the discharge of its duties. The Department of Legal Affairs shall, upon request, provide legal and investigative assistance to the commission.
(7) The commission may prepare materials designed to assist persons in complying with the provisions of this part and with s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution.
(8) It shall be the further duty of the commission to submit to the Legislature from time to time a report of its work and recommendations for legislation deemed necessary to improve the code of ethics and its enforcement.
(9) The commission is authorized to make such rules not inconsistent with law as are necessary to carry out the duties and authority conferred upon the commission by s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution or by this part. Such rules shall be limited to:
(a) Rules providing for the practices and procedures of the commission.
(b) Rules interpreting the disclosures and prohibitions established by s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution and by this part.
History.s. 2, ch. 74-176; s. 4, ch. 75-199; s. 1, ch. 76-89; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 7, ch. 82-98; s. 33, ch. 89-169; s. 12, ch. 91-85; s. 13, ch. 94-277; s. 1416, ch. 95-147; s. 7, ch. 2000-243; s. 15, ch. 2006-275.
112.3231 Time limitations.
(1) On or after October 1, 1993, all sworn complaints alleging a violation of this part, or of any other breach of the public trust within the jurisdiction of the Commission on Ethics under s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution, shall be filed with the commission within 5 years of the alleged violation or other breach of the public trust.
(2) A violation of this part or any other breach of public trust is committed when every element has occurred or, if the violation or breach of public trust involves a continuing course of conduct, at the time when the course of conduct or the officer’s, employee’s, or candidate’s complicity therein is terminated. Time starts to run on the day after the violation or breach of public trust is committed.
(3) The applicable period of limitation is tolled on the day a sworn complaint against the public officer, employee, or candidate is filed with the Commission on Ethics. If it can be concluded from the face of the complaint that the applicable period of limitation has run, the complaint shall be dismissed and the commission shall issue a public report.
History.s. 13, ch. 91-85; s. 10, ch. 94-277.
112.3232 Compelled testimony.If any person called to give evidence in a commission proceeding shall refuse to give evidence because of a claim of possible self-incrimination, the commission, with the written authorization of the appropriate state attorney, may apply to the chief judge of the appropriate judicial circuit for a judicial grant of immunity ordering the testimony or other evidence of such person notwithstanding his or her objection, but in such case no testimony or other information compelled under the order, or any information directly or indirectly derived from such testimony or other information, may be used against the witness in any criminal proceeding.
History.s. 10, ch. 2000-243.
112.324 Procedures on complaints of violations and referrals; public records and meeting exemptions.
(1) The commission shall investigate an alleged violation of this part or other alleged breach of the public trust within the jurisdiction of the commission as provided in s. 8(f), Art. II of the State Constitution:
(a) Upon a written complaint executed on a form prescribed by the commission and signed under oath 1or affirmation by any person; or
(b) Upon receipt of a written referral of a possible violation of this part or other possible breach of the public trust from the Governor, the Department of Law Enforcement, a state attorney, or a United States Attorney which at least six members of the commission determine is sufficient to indicate a violation of this part or any other breach of the public trust.

Within 5 days after receipt of a complaint by the commission or a determination by at least six members of the commission that the referral received is deemed sufficient, a copy shall be transmitted to the alleged violator.

(2)(a) The complaint and records relating to the complaint or to any preliminary investigation held by the commission or its agents, by a Commission on Ethics and Public Trust established by any county defined in s. 125.011(1) or by any municipality defined in s. 165.031, or by any county or municipality that has established a local investigatory process to enforce more stringent standards of conduct and disclosure requirements as provided in s. 112.326 are confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.
(b) Written referrals and records relating to such referrals held by the commission or its agents, the Governor, the Department of Law Enforcement, or a state attorney, and records relating to any preliminary investigation of such referrals held by the commission or its agents, are confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.
(c) Any portion of a proceeding conducted by the commission, a Commission on Ethics and Public Trust, or a county or municipality that has established such local investigatory process, pursuant to a complaint or preliminary investigation, is exempt from s. 286.011, s. 24(b), Art. I of the State Constitution, and s. 120.525.
(d) Any portion of a proceeding of the commission in which a determination regarding a referral is discussed or acted upon is exempt from s. 286.011 and s. 24(b), Art. I of the State Constitution, and s. 120.525.
(e) The exemptions in paragraphs (a)-(d) apply until:
1. The complaint is dismissed as legally insufficient;
2. The alleged violator requests in writing that such records and proceedings be made public;
3. The commission determines that it will not investigate the referral; or
4. The commission, a Commission on Ethics and Public Trust, or a county or municipality that has established such local investigatory process determines, based on such investigation, whether probable cause exists to believe that a violation has occurred.
(f) A complaint or referral under this part against a candidate in any general, special, or primary election may not be filed nor may any intention of filing such a complaint or referral be disclosed on the day of any such election or within the 30 days immediately preceding the date of the election, unless the complaint or referral is based upon personal information or information other than hearsay.
(g) This subsection is subject to the Open Government Sunset Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand repealed on October 2, 2018, unless reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.
(3) A preliminary investigation shall be undertaken by the commission of each legally sufficient complaint or referral over which the commission has jurisdiction to determine whether there is probable cause to believe that a violation has occurred. If, upon completion of the preliminary investigation, the commission finds no probable cause to believe that this part has been violated or that any other breach of the public trust has been committed, the commission shall dismiss the complaint or referral with the issuance of a public report to the complainant and the alleged violator, stating with particularity its reasons for dismissal. At that time, the complaint or referral and all materials relating to the complaint or referral shall become a matter of public record. If the commission finds from the preliminary investigation probable cause to believe that this part has been violated or that any other breach of the public trust has been committed, it shall so notify the complainant and the alleged violator in writing. Such notification and all documents made or received in the disposition of the complaint or referral shall then become public records. Upon request submitted to the commission in writing, any person who the commission finds probable cause to believe has violated any provision of this part or has committed any other breach of the public trust shall be entitled to a public hearing. Such person shall be deemed to have waived the right to a public hearing if the request is not received within 14 days following the mailing of the probable cause notification required by this subsection. However, the commission may on its own motion, require a public hearing, may conduct such further investigation as it deems necessary, and may enter into such stipulations and settlements as it finds to be just and in the best interest of the state. The commission is without jurisdiction to, and no respondent may voluntarily or involuntarily, enter into a stipulation or settlement which imposes any penalty, including, but not limited to, a sanction or admonition or any other penalty contained in s. 112.317. Penalties shall be imposed only by the appropriate disciplinary authority as designated in this section.
(4) If, in cases pertaining to members of the Legislature, upon completion of a full and final investigation by the commission, the commission finds that there has been a violation of this part or of any provision of s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution, the commission shall forward a copy of the complaint or referral and its findings by certified mail to the President of the Senate or the Speaker of the House of Representatives, whichever is applicable, who shall refer the complaint or referral to the appropriate committee for investigation and action which shall be governed by the rules of its respective house. It is the duty of the committee to report its final action upon the matter to the commission within 90 days of the date of transmittal to the respective house. Upon request of the committee, the commission shall submit a recommendation as to what penalty, if any, should be imposed. In the case of a member of the Legislature, the house in which the member serves has the power to invoke the penalty provisions of this part.
(5) If, in cases against impeachable officers, upon completion of a full and final investigation by the commission, the commission finds that there has been a violation of this part or of any provision of s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution, and the commission finds that the violation may constitute grounds for impeachment, the commission shall forward a copy of the complaint or referral and its findings by certified mail to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, who shall refer the complaint or referral to the appropriate committee for investigation and action which shall be governed by the rules of the House of Representatives. It is the duty of the committee to report its final action upon the matter to the commission within 90 days of the date of transmittal.
(6) If the commission finds that there has been a violation of this part or of any provision of s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution by an impeachable officer other than the Governor, and the commission recommends public censure and reprimand, forfeiture of a portion of the officer’s salary, a civil penalty, or restitution, the commission shall report its findings and recommendation of disciplinary action to the Governor, who has the power to invoke the penalty provisions of this part.
(7) If the commission finds that there has been a violation of this part or of any provision of s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution by the Governor, and the commission recommends public censure and reprimand, forfeiture of a portion of the Governor’s salary, a civil penalty, or restitution, the commission shall report its findings and recommendation of disciplinary action to the Attorney General, who shall have the power to invoke the penalty provisions of this part.
(8) If, in cases other than complaints or referrals against impeachable officers or members of the Legislature, upon completion of a full and final investigation by the commission, the commission finds that there has been a violation of this part or of s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution, it is the duty of the commission to report its findings and recommend appropriate action to the proper disciplinary official or body as follows, and such official or body has the power to invoke the penalty provisions of this part, including the power to order the appropriate elections official to remove a candidate from the ballot for a violation of s. 112.3145 or s. 8(a) and (i), Art. II of the State Constitution:
(a) The President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, jointly, in any case concerning the Public Counsel, members of the Public Service Commission, members of the Public Service Commission Nominating Council, the Auditor General, or the director of the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability.
(b) The Supreme Court, in any case concerning an employee of the judicial branch.
(c) The President of the Senate, in any case concerning an employee of the Senate; the Speaker of the House of Representatives, in any case concerning an employee of the House of Representatives; or the President and the Speaker, jointly, in any case concerning an employee of a committee of the Legislature whose members are appointed solely by the President and the Speaker or in any case concerning an employee of the Public Counsel, Public Service Commission, Auditor General, or Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability.
(d) Except as otherwise provided by this part, the Governor, in the case of any other public officer, public employee, former public officer or public employee, candidate or former candidate, or person who is not a public officer or employee, other than lobbyists and lobbying firms under s. 112.3215 for violations of s. 112.3215.
(e) The President of the Senate or the Speaker of the House of Representatives, whichever is applicable, in any case concerning a former member of the Legislature who has violated a provision applicable to former members or whose violation occurred while a member of the Legislature.
(9) In addition to reporting its findings to the proper disciplinary body or official, the commission shall report these findings to the state attorney or any other appropriate official or agency having authority to initiate prosecution when violation of criminal law is indicated.
(10) Notwithstanding the foregoing procedures of this section, a sworn complaint against any member or employee of the Commission on Ethics for violation of this part or of s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution shall be filed with the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Each presiding officer shall, after determining that there are sufficient grounds for review, appoint three members of their respective bodies to a special joint committee who shall investigate the complaint. The members shall elect a chair from among their number. If the special joint committee finds insufficient evidence to establish probable cause to believe a violation of this part or of s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution has occurred, it shall dismiss the complaint. If, upon completion of its preliminary investigation, the committee finds sufficient evidence to establish probable cause to believe a violation has occurred, the chair thereof shall transmit such findings to the Governor who shall convene a meeting of the Governor, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to take such final action on the complaint as they shall deem appropriate, consistent with the penalty provisions of this part. Upon request of a majority of the Governor, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the special joint committee shall submit a recommendation as to what penalty, if any, should be imposed.
(11)(a) Notwithstanding subsections (1)-(8), the commission may dismiss any complaint or referral at any stage of disposition if it determines that the violation that is alleged or has occurred is a de minimis violation attributable to inadvertent or unintentional error. In determining whether a violation was de minimis, the commission shall consider whether the interests of the public were protected despite the violation. This subsection does not apply to complaints or referrals pursuant to ss. 112.3144 and 112.3145.
(b) For the purposes of this subsection, a de minimis violation is any violation that is unintentional and not material in nature.
(12) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (1)-(8), the commission may, at its discretion, dismiss any complaint or referral at any stage of disposition should it determine that the public interest would not be served by proceeding further, in which case the commission shall issue a public report stating with particularity its reasons for the dismissal.
History.s. 2, ch. 74-176; s. 5, ch. 75-199; s. 3, ch. 83-282; s. 30, ch. 90-360; s. 14, ch. 91-85; s. 11, ch. 94-277; s. 1417, ch. 95-147; s. 2, ch. 95-354; s. 4, ch. 96-311; s. 3, ch. 97-293; s. 14, ch. 2000-151; s. 17, ch. 2000-331; s. 30, ch. 2001-266; s. 1, ch. 2002-186; s. 1, ch. 2005-186; s. 17, ch. 2008-4; s. 3, ch. 2009-126; s. 1, ch. 2010-116; s. 1, ch. 2010-130; s. 18, ch. 2011-34; s. 17, ch. 2013-36; s. 1, ch. 2013-38.
1Note.The word “or” was substituted for the word “of” by the editors to conform to context.
112.3241 Judicial review.Any final action by the commission taken pursuant to this part shall be subject to review in a district court of appeal upon the petition of the party against whom an adverse opinion, finding, or recommendation is made.
History.s. 6, ch. 75-199; s. 4, ch. 84-318.
112.326 Additional requirements by political subdivisions and agencies not prohibited.Nothing in this act shall prohibit the governing body of any political subdivision, by ordinance, or agency, by rule, from imposing upon its own officers and employees additional or more stringent standards of conduct and disclosure requirements than those specified in this part, provided that those standards of conduct and disclosure requirements do not otherwise conflict with the provisions of this part.
History.s. 5, ch. 75-196; s. 12, ch. 94-277.
PART IV
SUPPLEMENTAL RETIREMENT ACT FOR
RETIRED MEMBERS OF STATE
RETIREMENT SYSTEMS
112.351 Short title.
112.352 Definitions.
112.353 Purpose of act.
112.354 Eligibility for supplement.
112.355 Supplement amount.
112.356 Payment of supplement.
112.357 Appropriation.
112.359 Benefits exempt from taxes and execution.
112.360 Amendments.
112.361 Additional and updated supplemental retirement benefits.
112.362 Recomputation of retirement benefits.
112.363 Retiree health insurance subsidy.
112.351 Short title.This act shall be known and cited as the “Florida Supplemental Retirement Act for Retired Members of State Retirement Systems.”
History.s. 1, ch. 67-276.
112.352 Definitions.The following words and phrases as used in this act shall have the following meaning unless a different meaning is required by the context:
(1) “Funds” shall mean the special trust funds in the State Treasury created under each of the retirement laws covered by this act.
(2) “Retired member” shall mean any person who had both attained age 65 and retired prior to January 1, 1966, and is receiving benefits under any of the following systems:
(a) State and County Officers and Employees Retirement System, created by authority of chapter 122.
(b) Supreme Court Justices, District Courts of Appeal Judges and Circuit Judges Retirement System, created by authority of former chapter 123.
(c) Teachers’ Retirement System of the state, created by authority of chapter 238; or
(d) Highway Patrol Pension Trust Fund, created by authority of chapter 321.
(3) “Joint annuitant” means any person named by a retired member under the applicable system to receive any retirement benefits due and payable from the system after the member’s death.
(4) “System” shall mean any of the retirement systems specified in subsection (2).
(5) “Social security benefit” shall mean the monthly primary insurance amount, computed in accordance with the Social Security Act from which is derived the monthly benefit amount, which the retired member is receiving, entitled to receive, or would be entitled to receive upon application to the Social Security Administration, without taking into account any earned income which would cause a reduction in such amount. For purposes of this act, the social security benefit of:
(a) A retired member who is not insured under the Social Security Act shall be zero, and
(b) A deceased retired member who was insured under the Social Security Act shall be the primary insurance amount from which is derived the monthly benefit amount which the member was receiving or entitled to receive in the month immediately preceding his or her date of death.
(6) “Retirement benefit” means the monthly benefit which a retired member or joint annuitant is receiving from a system.
(7) “Department” means the Department of Management Services.
(8) “Base year” means the year in which a retired member actually retired from a system or the year in which the member attained age 65, if later.
History.s. 2, ch. 67-276; ss. 31, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 35, ch. 71-377; s. 1, ch. 73-326; s. 45, ch. 92-279; s. 55, ch. 92-326; s. 706, ch. 95-147; s. 1, ch. 95-154; s. 44, ch. 99-2; s. 14, ch. 99-255.
112.353 Purpose of act.The purpose of this act is to provide a supplement to the monthly retirement benefits being paid to, or with respect to, retired members under the retirement systems specified in s. 112.352(2) and any permanently and totally disabled retired member who became thus disabled in the line of duty and while performing the duties incident to his or her employment, such supplement to be approximately equal to the excess of the increase in social security benefits that the retired member would have received had he or she been covered for maximum benefits under the Social Security Act at age 65 or at date of retirement, whichever is later, over the amount of increase he or she has previously received or is entitled to receive by virtue of coverage under the Social Security Act.
History.s. 3, ch. 67-276; s. 707, ch. 95-147.
112.354 Eligibility for supplement.Each retired member or, if applicable, a joint annuitant, except any person receiving survivor benefits under the teachers’ retirement system of the state in accordance with s. 238.07(18), shall be entitled to receive a supplement computed in accordance with s. 112.355 upon:
(1) Furnishing to the Department of Management Services evidence from the Social Security Administration setting forth the retired member’s social security benefit or certifying the noninsured status of the retired member under the Social Security Act, and
(2) Filing written application with the Department of Management Services for such supplement.
History.s. 4, ch. 67-276; ss. 31, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 73-326; s. 15, ch. 99-255; s. 7, ch. 2010-5.
112.355 Supplement amount.
(1) The supplement amount shall be calculated in the following manner, based on the retired member’s social security benefit and the table of values below:
TABLE OF VALUES
Base YearIIIIIIIV
Prior to 1951$57.00$34.00$58.00$102.00
1951-195233.0024.0069.00113.00
1953-195428.0019.0069.00113.00
1955-195816.0014.0081.00125.00
1959-19659.004.0092.00136.00
(2) The supplement amount for a retired member whose social security benefit is less than $44 shall be equal to (a) minus the product of (b) and (c) where:
(a) Is the value shown in column I of the table of values for the retired member’s base year,
(b) Is the value shown in column II of the table of values for the retired member’s base year, and
(c) Is the retired member’s social security benefit divided by $44, subject to the provisions of subsection (4).
(3) The supplement amount for a retired member whose social security benefit is $44 or more shall be equal to the product of paragraphs (a) and (b) of this subsection where:
(a) Is the difference between the value shown in column I and column II of the table of values for the retired member’s base year, and
(b) Is the value shown in column IV of the table of values for the retired member’s base year minus the retired member’s social security benefit, such difference divided by the value shown in column III of the table of values. In no event shall (b), as calculated in the previous sentence, be less than zero; subject to the provisions of subsection (4).
(4) The supplement amount for any retired member of, if applicable, a joint annuitant, who is receiving a retirement benefit of lesser amount than the normal retirement benefit to which the retired member was entitled at time of retirement because of early retirement or election of an optional form of payment, shall be reduced to an amount equal to the product of paragraphs (a) and (b) of this subsection where:
(a) Is the reduced retirement benefit such member or joint annuitant is receiving divided by the normal retirement benefit to which the retired member was entitled at retirement, and
(b) Is the supplement amount computed in accordance with subsection (2) or subsection (3), whichever is applicable.
(5) The supplement amount calculated in accordance with this section shall be rounded to the nearest dollar.
History.s. 5, ch. 67-276; s. 708, ch. 95-147.
112.356 Payment of supplement.Any supplement due and payable under this act shall be paid by the department or under the direction and control of the department, based on information furnished by the retired member, or a joint annuitant, and the administrator of the system under which retirement benefits are being paid, beginning on the first day of the month coincident with or next following the later of the effective date of this act and the date of approval of the application for supplement by the department, and payable thereafter on the first day of each month in the normal or optional form in which retirement benefits under the applicable system are being paid; provided, however, that if application for supplement is made subsequent to December 31, 1967, not more than 6 retroactive monthly supplements shall be paid.
History.s. 6, ch. 67-276; ss. 31, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 16, ch. 99-255.
112.357 Appropriation.There is hereby appropriated annually from the respective retirement trust fund from which the retired member is receiving his or her normal retirement benefit, an amount necessary to provide the benefits hereunder, and the amount necessary for the effective and efficient administration of this act.
History.s. 7, ch. 67-276; s. 709, ch. 95-147.
112.359 Benefits exempt from taxes and execution.The benefits provided for any person under the provisions of this act are exempt from any state, county or municipal tax of the state and shall not be subject to assignment, execution or attachment or to any legal process whatsoever.
History.s. 9, ch. 67-276.
112.360 Amendments.References in this act to state and federal laws are intended to include such laws as they now exist or may hereafter be amended.
History.s. 10, ch. 67-276.
112.361 Additional and updated supplemental retirement benefits.
(1) SHORT TITLE.This section shall be known and cited as “The 1969 Florida Supplemental Retirement Act.”
(2) DEFINITIONS.As used in this section, unless a different meaning is required by the context:
(a) “Funds” means the special trust funds in the State Treasury created under each of the retirement laws covered by this section.
(b) “Retired member” means any person:
1. Who either:
a. Had both attained age 65 and retired for reasons other than disability prior to January 1, 1968; or
b. Had retired because of disability prior to January 1, 1968, and who, if he or she had been covered under the Social Security Act, would have been eligible for disability benefits under Title II of the Social Security Act; and
2. Who is receiving benefits under any of the following systems:
a. State and County Officers and Employees Retirement System created by authority of chapter 122;
b. Supreme Court Justices, District Courts of Appeal Judges and Circuit Judges Retirement System created by authority of former chapter 123;
c. Teachers’ Retirement System of the state created by authority of chapter 238; or
d. Highway Patrol Pension Trust Fund created by authority of chapter 321.

In addition, “retired member” includes any state official or state employee who retired prior to January 1, 1958, and is receiving benefits by authority of s. 112.05.

(c) “Joint annuitant” means any person named by a retired member under the applicable system to receive any retirement benefits due and payable from the system after his or her death.
(d) “System” means any of the retirement systems specified in paragraph (b), including that pursuant to s. 112.05.
(e) “Social security benefit” means the monthly primary insurance amount, computed in accordance with the Social Security Act, from which is derived the monthly benefit amount which the retired member is receiving, entitled to receive, or would be entitled to receive upon application to the Social Security Administration, without taking into account any earned income which would cause a reduction in such amount. For purposes of this section:
1. The social security benefit of a retired member who is not insured under the Social Security Act shall be zero, and
2. The social security benefit of a deceased retired member who was insured under the Social Security Act shall be the primary insurance amount from which is derived the monthly benefit amount which the member was receiving or entitled to receive in the month immediately preceding his or her date of death.
(f) “Retirement benefit” means the monthly benefit which a retired member or joint annuitant is receiving from a system.
(g) “Department” means the Department of Management Services.
(3) PURPOSE OF SECTION.The purpose of this section is to provide a supplement to the monthly retirement benefits being paid to, or with respect to, retired members under the retirement systems specified in paragraph (2)(b), such supplement to be approximately equal to the excess of the increase in social security benefits that the retired member would have received as a result of the 1967 amendments to the Social Security Act had he or she been covered for maximum benefits under the Social Security Act at age 65 or at date of retirement, whichever is later, over the amount of increase he or she has previously received or is entitled to receive as a result of the 1967 amendments to the Social Security Act by virtue of coverage under the Social Security Act.
(4) ELIGIBILITY FOR SUPPLEMENT.Each retired member or, if applicable, a joint annuitant, except any person receiving survivor’s benefits under the Teachers’ Retirement System of the state in accordance with s. 238.07(18), shall be entitled to receive a supplement computed in accordance with subsection (5), upon:
(a) Furnishing to the department evidence from the Social Security Administration setting forth the retired member’s social security benefit or certifying the noninsured status of the retired member under the Social Security Act, and
(b) Filing written application with the department for such supplement.
(5) SUPPLEMENT AMOUNT.
(a) The supplement amount for any retired member who is receiving the full normal retirement benefit to which the member was entitled at time of retirement shall be equal to $18 minus 11.5 percent of the member’s social security benefit.
(b) The supplement amount for any retired member or, if applicable, a joint annuitant, who is receiving a retirement benefit of lesser amount than the normal retirement benefit to which the retired member was entitled at time of retirement because of early retirement or election of an optional form of payment, shall be reduced to an amount equal to the product of subparagraphs 1. and 2. where:
1. Is the reduced retirement benefit such member or joint annuitant is receiving divided by the normal retirement benefit to which the retired member was entitled at retirement; and
2. Is the supplement amount computed in accordance with paragraph (a) of this subsection.
(c) The supplement amount calculated in accordance with this subsection shall be rounded to the nearest dollar.
(6) PAYMENT OF SUPPLEMENT.Any supplement due and payable under this section shall be paid by the department or under the direction and control of the department, based on information furnished by the retired member, or a joint annuitant, and the administrator of the system under which retirement benefits are being paid, beginning on the first day of the month coincident with or next following the later of:
(a) July 1, 1969, or
(b) The date of approval of the application for supplement by the department,

and payable thereafter on the first day of each month in the normal or optional form in which retirement benefits under the applicable system are being paid. However, no retroactive monthly supplements shall be paid for any period prior to the date specified in this paragraph.

(7) APPROPRIATION.
(a) There is hereby appropriated annually from the respective retirement trust fund from which the retired member is receiving his or her retirement benefit an amount necessary to provide the benefits hereunder and the amount necessary for the effective and efficient administration of this section.
(b) Amounts necessary to provide for benefits and expenses hereunder on behalf of retired members receiving benefits pursuant to s. 112.05 are hereby annually appropriated out of any moneys in the State Treasury not otherwise appropriated which amount out of the general revenue fund shall not exceed $50,000 annually.
(8) BENEFITS EXEMPT FROM TAXES AND EXECUTION.The benefits provided for any person under the provisions of this section are exempt from any state, county, or municipal tax and shall not be subject to assignment, execution, or attachment or to any legal process whatsoever.
(9) AMENDMENTS.References in this section to state and federal laws are intended to include such laws as they now exist or may hereafter be amended.
History.s. 1, ch. 69-126; ss. 31, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 36, ch. 71-377; s. 1, ch. 73-326; s. 46, ch. 92-279; s. 55, ch. 92-326; s. 710, ch. 95-147; s. 2, ch. 95-154; s. 45, ch. 99-2; s. 18, ch. 99-255; s. 8, ch. 2010-5; s. 6, ch. 2013-18.
112.362 Recomputation of retirement benefits.
(1)(a) A member of any state-supported retirement system who retired prior to July 1, 1987, who has not less than 10 years of creditable service, and who is not entitled to the minimum benefit provided for in paragraph (b), upon reaching 65 years of age and upon application to the administrator of his or her retirement system, may have his or her present monthly retirement benefits recomputed and receive a monthly retirement allowance equal to $8 multiplied by the total number of years of creditable service. Effective July 1, 1980, this minimum monthly benefit shall be equal to $10.50 multiplied by the total number of years of creditable service, and thereafter said minimum monthly benefit shall be recomputed as provided in paragraph (5)(a). No present retirement benefits shall be reduced under this computation.
(b) A member of any state-supported retirement system who has already retired under a retirement plan or system which does not require its members to participate in social security pursuant to a modification of the federal-state social security agreement as authorized by the provisions of chapter 650, who is over 65 years of age, and who has more than 15 years of creditable service, upon application to the administrator, may have his or her present monthly retirement benefits recomputed and receive a monthly retirement allowance equal to $8 multiplied by the first 15 years of creditable service and $10 multiplied by every additional year of creditable service thereafter. No present retirement benefits shall be reduced under this computation. The minimum monthly benefit provided by this paragraph shall not apply to any member or the beneficiary of any member who retires after June 30, 1978.
(c) A member of any state-supported retirement system who, during the period July 1, 1975, through June 30, 1976, was on the retired payroll with more than 15 years of creditable service, was over 65 years of age, and was not eligible for the $10 minimum benefit provided by paragraph (b) shall receive the $8 minimum benefit provided by paragraph (a) retroactive to the date such retired person would first have been eligible for the $8 minimum benefit under the provisions of this section, had said section not been amended by chapter 75-242, Laws of Florida. Such retroactive $8 minimum benefit shall also be payable to the beneficiary or surviving spouse of a member who, if living, would have qualified for this retroactive minimum benefit.
(d) A member of any state-supported retirement system who retires on or after July 1, 1987, with at least 10 years of creditable service, having attained normal retirement date shall, upon reaching age 65 and making proper application to the administrator, be eligible to receive the applicable minimum monthly benefit provided by this subsection with the exception that only those years of creditable service accumulated by the member through June 30, 1987, shall be used in the calculation of the minimum monthly benefit amount and that no benefit shall exceed the average monthly compensation of the retiree due to the application of the minimum monthly benefit. All creditable service claimed for periods which occurred prior to July 1, 1987, shall be presumed to have been accumulated as of June 30, 1987, irrespective of the date on which such creditable service is claimed and credited. The minimum monthly benefit provided by this paragraph shall be reduced by the actuarial factor applied to the optional form of benefit under which the benefit is paid. The surviving spouse or beneficiary who is receiving a monthly benefit from a deceased retiree’s account shall be eligible to receive the minimum monthly benefit provided herein at the time the retiree would have been eligible for it had he or she lived, subject to the limitations herein and the appropriate actuarial reductions.
(2)(a) A retired member of any state-supported retirement system who retires prior to July 1, 1987, and who possesses the creditable service requirements contained in paragraph (1)(a) or paragraph (1)(b), or the surviving spouse or beneficiary of said member if such spouse or beneficiary is receiving a retirement benefit, shall, at the time the retiree reaches 65 years of age or would have reached 65 years of age if deceased, and upon proper application to the administrator, have his or her monthly retirement benefit recomputed and may receive a retirement benefit as provided in either paragraph (1)(a) or paragraph (1)(b) and, if a retirement option has been elected by the member, multiplied by the actuarial reduction factor relating to such retirement option and, if the member is deceased, multiplied by the percentage of the benefit payable to the surviving spouse or beneficiary. No present retirement benefits shall be reduced under this computation.
(b) A member of any state-supported retirement system who retires after July 1, 1975, and before July 1, 1987, who is over 65 years of age at the time of his or her retirement may be entitled to the benefit recalculation options provided by either paragraph (1)(a) or paragraph (1)(b).
(3) A member of any state-supported retirement system who has already retired under a retirement plan or system which does not require its members to participate in social security pursuant to a modification of the federal-state social security agreement as authorized by the provisions of chapter 650, who is over 65 years of age, and who has not less than 10 years of creditable service, or the surviving spouse or beneficiary of said member who, if living, would be over 65 years of age, upon application to the administrator, may have his or her present monthly retirement benefits recomputed and receive a monthly retirement allowance equal to $10 multiplied by the total number of years of creditable service. Effective July 1, 1978, this minimum monthly benefit shall be equal to $10.50 multiplied by the total number of years of creditable service, and thereafter said minimum monthly benefit shall be recomputed as provided in paragraph (5)(a). This adjustment shall be made in accordance with subsection (2). No retirement benefits shall be reduced under this computation. Retirees receiving additional benefits under the provisions of this subsection shall also receive the cost-of-living adjustments provided by the appropriate state-supported retirement system for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 1977, and for each fiscal year thereafter. The minimum monthly benefit provided by this 1paragraph shall not apply to any member or the beneficiary of any member who retires after June 30, 1978.
(4)(a) Effective July 1, 1980, any person who retired prior to July 1, 1987, under a state-supported retirement system with not less than 10 years of creditable service and who is not receiving or entitled to receive federal social security benefits shall, upon reaching 65 years of age and upon application to the Department of Management Services, be entitled to receive a minimum monthly benefit equal to $16.50 multiplied by the member’s total number of years of creditable service and adjusted by the actuarial factor applied to the original benefit for optional forms of retirement. Thereafter, the minimum monthly benefit shall be recomputed as provided in paragraph (5)(a). Application for this minimum monthly benefit shall include certification by the retired member that he or she is not receiving and is not entitled to receive social security benefits and shall include written authorization for the Department of Management Services to have access to information from the Federal Social Security Administration concerning the member’s entitlement to or eligibility for social security benefits. The minimum benefit provided by this paragraph shall not be paid unless and until the application requirements of this paragraph are satisfied.
(b) Effective July 1, 1978, the surviving spouse or beneficiary who is receiving or entitled to receive a monthly benefit commencing prior to July 1, 1987, from the account of any deceased retired member who had completed at least 10 years of creditable service shall, at the time such deceased retiree would have reached age 65, if living, and, upon application to the Department of Management Services, be entitled to receive the minimum monthly benefit described in paragraph (a), adjusted by the actuarial factor applied to the optional form of benefit payable to said surviving spouse or beneficiary, provided said person is not receiving or entitled to receive federal social security benefits. Application for this minimum monthly benefit shall include certification by the surviving spouse or beneficiary that he or she is not receiving and is not entitled to receive social security benefits and shall include written authorization for the Department of Management Services to have access to information from the Federal Social Security Administration concerning such person’s entitlement to or eligibility for social security benefits. The minimum benefit provided by this paragraph shall not be paid unless and until the application requirements of this paragraph are satisfied.
(c) The minimum benefits authorized by this subsection shall be payable from the first day of the month following the month during which the retired member becomes or would have become age 65.
(d) A member of any state-supported retirement system who retires on or after July 1, 1987, with at least 10 years of creditable service, having attained normal retirement date shall, upon reaching age 65 and making proper application to the administrator, be eligible to receive the applicable minimum monthly benefit provided by this subsection with the exception that only those years of creditable service accumulated by the member through June 30, 1987, shall be used in the calculation of the minimum monthly benefit amount and that no benefit shall exceed the average monthly compensation of the retiree due to the application of the minimum monthly benefit. All creditable service claimed for periods which occurred prior to July 1, 1987, shall be presumed to have been accumulated as of June 30, 1987, irrespective of the date on which such creditable service is claimed and credited. The minimum monthly benefit provided by this paragraph shall be reduced by the actuarial factor applied to the optional form of benefit under which the benefit is paid. The surviving spouse or beneficiary who is receiving a monthly benefit from a deceased retiree’s account shall be eligible to receive the minimum monthly benefit provided herein at the time the retiree would have been eligible for it had he or she lived, subject to the limitations herein and the appropriate actuarial reductions.
(5)(a) Effective July 1, 1981, the dollar factors used in determining the minimum benefits provided by this section shall be adjusted by an amount derived by multiplying said dollar factors by the percentage change in the average cost-of-living index since the previous July 1, not to exceed 3 percent. Each July 1 thereafter, the adjusted dollar factors used in determining the minimum benefits provided by this section shall continue to be adjusted by an amount derived by multiplying the current adjusted dollar factors by the percentage change in the average cost-of-living index since the previous July 1, not to exceed 3 percent for any annual adjustment.
(b) “Average cost-of-living index” as of any July 1 date means the average of the monthly Consumer Price Index figures for the 12-month period from April 1 through March 31 immediately prior to the adjustment date, relative to the United States as a whole, issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the United States Department of Labor.
(c) Effective July 1, 1987, the adjusted dollar factors used in determining the minimum benefits provided by this section shall be adjusted by a constant 3 percent.
(6) The funds necessary to pay the minimum monthly benefits provided by this section are hereby annually appropriated from the fund from which the original benefits are paid.
(7) A member, or a joint annuitant or other beneficiary, who is receiving a monthly benefit may refuse the application of the minimum benefit adjustment to such benefit.
History.s. 1, ch. 70-224; s. 1, ch. 72-282; ss. 1, 2, 3, ch. 75-242; ss. 1, 2, ch. 76-228; s. 1, ch. 77-241; s. 1, ch. 78-364; s. 6, ch. 79-377; s. 1, ch. 80-242; s. 2, ch. 81-307; s. 3, ch. 85-246; s. 1, ch. 86-137; s. 2, ch. 88-382; s. 711, ch. 95-147; s. 19, ch. 99-255; s. 1, ch. 2000-347.
1Note.Subsection (3) is not divided into paragraphs.
112.363 Retiree health insurance subsidy.
(1) PURPOSE OF SECTION.The purpose of this section is to provide a monthly subsidy payment to retired members of any state-administered retirement system in order to assist such retired members in paying the costs of health insurance.
(2) ELIGIBILITY FOR RETIREE HEALTH INSURANCE SUBSIDY.
(a) A person who is retired under a state-administered retirement system, or a beneficiary who is a spouse or financial dependent entitled to receive benefits under a state-administered retirement system, is eligible for health insurance subsidy payments provided under this section; except that pension recipients under ss. 121.40, 238.07(18)(a), and 250.22, recipients of health insurance coverage under s. 110.1232, or any other special pension or relief act shall not be eligible for such payments.
(b) For purposes of this section, a person is deemed retired from a state-administered retirement system when he or she terminates employment with all employers participating in the Florida Retirement System as described in s. 121.021(39) and:
1. For a member of the investment plan established under part II of chapter 121, the participant meets the age or service requirements to qualify for normal retirement as set forth in s. 121.021(29) and meets the definition of retiree in s. 121.4501(2).
2. For a member of the Florida Retirement System Pension Plan, or any employee who maintains creditable service under the pension plan and the investment plan, the member begins drawing retirement benefits from the pension plan.
(c) Effective July 1, 2001, any person retiring on or after that date as a member of the Florida Retirement System, including a member of the investment plan administered pursuant to part II of chapter 121, must have satisfied the vesting requirements for his or her membership class under the pension plan as administered under part I of chapter 121. However, a person retiring due to disability must qualify for a regular or in-line-of-duty disability benefit as provided in s. 121.091(4) or qualify for a disability benefit under a disability plan established under part II of chapter 121, as appropriate.
(d) Payment of the retiree health insurance subsidy shall be made only after coverage for health insurance for the retiree or beneficiary has been certified in writing to the Department of Management Services. Participation in a former employer’s group health insurance program is not a requirement for eligibility under this section. Coverage issued pursuant to s. 408.9091 is considered health insurance for the purposes of this section.
(e) Participants in the Senior Management Service Optional Annuity Program as provided in s. 121.055(6) and the State University System Optional Retirement Program as provided in s. 121.35 shall not receive the retiree health insurance subsidy provided in this section. The employer of such participant shall pay the contributions required in subsection (8) to the annuity program provided in s. 121.055(6)(d) or s. 121.35(4)(a), as applicable.
(3) RETIREE HEALTH INSURANCE SUBSIDY AMOUNT.
(a) Beginning January 1, 1988, each eligible retiree or a beneficiary who is a spouse or financial dependent thereof shall receive a monthly retiree health insurance subsidy payment equal to the number of years of creditable service, as defined in s. 121.021(17), completed at the time of retirement multiplied by $1; however, no retiree may receive a subsidy payment of more than $30 or less than $10.
(b) Beginning January 1, 1989, each eligible retiree or a beneficiary who is a spouse or financial dependent shall receive a monthly retiree health insurance subsidy payment equal to the number of years of creditable service, as defined in s. 121.021(17), completed at the time of retirement multiplied by $2; however, no retiree may receive a subsidy payment of more than $60 or less than $20.
(c) Beginning January 1, 1991, each eligible retiree or a beneficiary who is a spouse or financial dependent shall receive a monthly retiree health insurance subsidy payment equal to the number of years of creditable service, as defined in s. 121.021(17), completed at the time of retirement multiplied by $3; however, no retiree may receive a subsidy payment of more than $90 or less than $30.
(d) Beginning January 1, 1999, each eligible retiree or, if the retiree is deceased, his or her beneficiary who is receiving a monthly benefit from such retiree’s account and who is a spouse, or a person who meets the definition of joint annuitant in s. 121.021(28), shall receive a monthly retiree health insurance subsidy payment equal to the number of years of creditable service, as defined in s. 121.021(17), completed at the time of retirement multiplied by $5; however, no eligible retiree or such beneficiary may receive a subsidy payment of more than $150 or less than $50. If there are multiple beneficiaries, the total payment must not be greater than the payment to which the retiree was entitled.
(e)1. Beginning July 1, 2001, each eligible retiree of the pension plan of the Florida Retirement System, or, if the retiree is deceased, his or her beneficiary who is receiving a monthly benefit from such retiree’s account and who is a spouse, or a person who meets the definition of joint annuitant in s. 121.021, shall receive a monthly retiree health insurance subsidy payment equal to the number of years of creditable service, as defined in s. 121.021, completed at the time of retirement multiplied by $5; however, no eligible retiree or beneficiary may receive a subsidy payment of more than $150 or less than $30. If there are multiple beneficiaries, the total payment may not be greater than the payment to which the retiree was entitled. The health insurance subsidy amount payable to any person receiving the retiree health insurance subsidy payment on July 1, 2001, may not be reduced solely by operation of this subparagraph.
2. Beginning July 1, 2002, each eligible member of the investment plan of the Florida Retirement System who has met the requirements of this section, or, if the member is deceased, his or her spouse who is the member’s designated beneficiary, shall receive a monthly retiree health insurance subsidy payment equal to the number of years of creditable service, as provided in this subparagraph, completed at the time of retirement, multiplied by $5; however, an eligible retiree or beneficiary may not receive a subsidy payment of more than $150 or less than $30. For purposes of determining a member’s creditable service used to calculate the health insurance subsidy, a member’s years of service credit or fraction thereof shall be based on the member’s work year as defined in s. 121.021(54). Credit must be awarded for a full work year if health insurance subsidy contributions have been made for each month in the member’s work year. In addition, all years of creditable service retained under the Florida Retirement System Pension Plan must be included as creditable service for purposes of this section. Notwithstanding any other provision in this section, the spouse at the time of death is the member’s beneficiary unless such member has designated a different beneficiary subsequent to the member’s most recent marriage.
(4) PAYMENT OF RETIREE HEALTH INSURANCE SUBSIDY.Beginning January 1, 1988, any monthly retiree health insurance subsidy amount due and payable under this section shall be paid to retired members by the Department of Management Services or under the direction and control of the department.
(5) TRUST FUND ESTABLISHED.There is hereby established a trust fund in the state treasury to be entitled the Retiree Health Insurance Subsidy Trust Fund. Said trust fund shall be used to account for all moneys received and disbursed pursuant to this section. Should funding for the retiree health insurance subsidy program fail to provide full benefits for all participants, the benefits may be reduced or canceled at any time.
(6) INVESTMENTS OF THE TRUST FUND.The State Board of Administration created by the authority of the State Constitution shall invest and reinvest the funds of the trust fund in accordance with ss. 215.44-215.53. Costs incurred by the Board of Administration incurring from the provisions of this section shall be deducted from the interest earnings accruing to the trust fund.
(7) ADMINISTRATION OF SYSTEM.The Department of Management Services may adopt such rules and regulations as are necessary for the effective and efficient administration of this section. The cost of administration shall be appropriated from the trust fund.
(8) CONTRIBUTIONS.For purposes of funding the insurance subsidy provided by this section:
(a) Beginning October 1, 1987, the employer of each member of a state-administered retirement plan shall contribute 0.24 percent of gross compensation each pay period.
(b) Beginning January 1, 1989, the employer of each member of a state-administered retirement plan shall contribute 0.48 percent of gross compensation each pay period.
(c) Beginning January 1, 1994, the employer of each member of a state-administered retirement plan shall contribute 0.56 percent of gross compensation each pay period.
(d) Beginning January 1, 1995, the employer of each member of a state-administered retirement plan shall contribute 0.66 percent of gross compensation each pay period.
(e) Beginning July 1, 1998, the employer of each member of a state-administered retirement plan shall contribute 0.94 percent of gross compensation each pay period.
(f) Beginning July 1, 2001, the employer of each member of a state-administered plan shall contribute 1.11 percent of gross compensation each pay period.
(g) Beginning July 1, 2013, the employer of each member of a state-administered plan shall contribute 1.20 percent of gross compensation each pay period.

Such contributions shall be submitted to the Department of Management Services and deposited in the Retiree Health Insurance Subsidy Trust Fund.

(9) BENEFITS.Subsidy payments shall be payable under the retiree health insurance subsidy program only to participants in the program or their beneficiaries, beginning with the month the division receives certification of coverage for health insurance for the eligible retiree or beneficiary. If the division receives such certification at any time during the 6 months after retirement benefits commence, the retiree health insurance subsidy shall be paid retroactive to the effective retirement date. If, however, the division receives such certification 7 or more months after commencement of benefits, the retroactive retiree health insurance subsidy payment will cover a maximum of 6 months. Such subsidy payments shall not be subject to assignment, execution, or attachment or to any legal process whatsoever.
History.s. 4, ch. 87-373; s. 3, ch. 88-382; s. 2, ch. 90-274; s. 47, ch. 92-279; s. 55, ch. 92-326; s. 2, ch. 93-193; s. 2, ch. 94-259; s. 1, ch. 98-413; s. 20, ch. 99-255; s. 18, ch. 2000-169; s. 13, ch. 2001-262; s. 1, ch. 2004-71; s. 1, ch. 2008-32; s. 9, ch. 2010-5; s. 3, ch. 2011-68; s. 1, ch. 2013-53.
PART V
SUSPENSION, REMOVAL, OR
RETIREMENT OF PUBLIC OFFICERS
112.40 Disposition of order of suspension.
112.41 Contents of order of suspension; Senate select committee; special magistrate.
112.42 Period during which grounds may have occurred.
112.43 Prosecution of suspension before Senate.
112.44 Failure to prove charges; payment of attorney’s fees or salary.
112.45 Senate’s report; results of prosecution.
112.46 Period during which suspension will lie.
112.47 Hearing before Senate select committee; notice.
112.48 Suspension when Senate not in session.
112.49 Persons exercising powers and duties of county officers subject to suspension by Governor.
112.50 Governor to retain power to suspend public officers.
112.501 Municipal board members; suspension; removal.
112.51 Municipal officers; suspension; removal from office.
112.52 Removal of a public official when a method is not otherwise provided.
112.40 Disposition of order of suspension.An order of suspension by the Governor, upon its execution, shall be delivered to the Department of State. The department shall forthwith deliver copies by registered mail, or otherwise as it may be advised, to the officer suspended, the Secretary of the Senate, and the Attorney General. The order of suspension shall be effective upon the filing of the same with the department of state. No further communication by the Governor with the Senate shall be necessary to permit the Senate to act.
History.s. 1, ch. 69-277; ss. 10, 35, ch. 69-106.
112.41 Contents of order of suspension; Senate select committee; special magistrate.
(1) The order of the Governor, in suspending any officer pursuant to the provisions of s. 7, Art. IV of the State Constitution, shall specify facts sufficient to advise both the officer and the Senate as to the charges made or the basis of the suspension.
(2) The Senate shall conduct a hearing in the manner prescribed by rules of the Senate adopted for this purpose.
(3) The Senate may provide for a select committee to be appointed by the Senate in accordance with its rules for the purpose of hearing the evidence and making its recommendation to the Senate as to the removal or reinstatement of the suspended officer.
(4) The Senate may, in lieu of the use of a select committee, appoint a special magistrate to receive the evidence and make recommendations to the Senate.
History.s. 2, ch. 69-277; s. 60, ch. 2004-11.
112.42 Period during which grounds may have occurred.The Governor may suspend any officer on any constitutional ground for such suspension that occurred during the existing term of the officer or during the next preceding 4 years.
History.s. 3, ch. 69-277; s. 1, ch. 71-333.
112.43 Prosecution of suspension before Senate.All suspensions heard by the Senate, a select committee, or special magistrate in accordance with rules of the Senate shall be prosecuted by the Governor, the Governor’s legal staff, or an attorney designated by the Governor. Should the Senate, or the select committee appointed by the Senate to hear the evidence and to make recommendations, desire private counsel, either the Senate or the select committee shall be entitled to employ its own counsel for this purpose. Nothing herein shall prevent the Senate or its select committee from making its own investigation and presenting such evidence as its investigation may reveal. The Governor may request the advice of the Department of Legal Affairs relative to the suspension order prior to its issuance by the Governor. Following the issuance of the suspension order, either the Senate or the select committee may request the Department of Legal Affairs to provide counsel for the Senate to advise on questions of law or otherwise advise with the Senate or the select committee, but the Department of Legal Affairs shall not be required to prosecute before the Senate or the committee and shall, pursuant to the terms of this section, act as the legal adviser only.
History.s. 4, ch. 69-277; s. 33, ch. 77-104; s. 712, ch. 95-147; s. 61, ch. 2004-11.
112.44 Failure to prove charges; payment of attorney’s fees or salary.In the event any officer suspended by the Governor shall not be removed by the Senate, the officer shall be reinstated, and the Senate may provide that the county, district, or state, as the case may be, shall pay reasonable attorney’s fees and costs of the reinstated officer upon his or her exoneration; or the Legislature may at any time after such reinstatement provide for the payment from general revenue funds of reasonable attorney’s fees and costs or the salary and emoluments of office from the date of suspension to the date of reinstatement. The appropriation for such fees, costs, and salary and emoluments may be contained in the General Appropriations Act or any other appropriate general act. This part shall constitute sufficient authority for the payment of such attorney’s fees and costs as the officer may reasonably have incurred in his or her own defense.
History.s. 5, ch. 69-277; s. 2, ch. 80-333; s. 713, ch. 95-147.
112.45 Senate’s report; results of prosecution.
(1) The Secretary of the Senate shall, as soon as reasonably possible following the action of the Senate, file with the Department of State a report of the action of the Senate, including an order signed by the President and the Secretary specifying the action taken by the Senate. The action of the Senate shall become effective immediately upon the filing of the order with the Department of State, and the Department of State shall forthwith deliver copies of such order to the Governor, the officer involved, and the governing body of the county, district, or state, as the case may be. Any such order or any certified copy thereof, under the signature of the Secretary of State, may be recorded in the public records of any county in this state.
(2) The date of delivery of the order to the Department of State shall be the effective date of the removal or reinstatement, as the case may be, and, should the official be reinstated, he or she shall be entitled to reimbursement for such pay and emoluments of office from the date of suspension to that date, as though he or she had never been suspended, and the order of the Senate, or a certified copy thereof, shall constitute the authority of the county, district, or state, to make such payment for reimbursement.
History.s. 6, ch. 69-277; ss. 10, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 714, ch. 95-147.
112.46 Period during which suspension will lie.Any officer subject to suspension by the Governor pursuant to the State Constitution shall be subject to such suspension from the date provided by law for such officer to take office whether or not the Governor has executed and delivered the commission of office to the said officer. It is the intent of this part to provide that the formal execution of a commission by the Governor and a delivery thereof to the officer is a ministerial duty not necessary either to the performance of the duties of that officer or to the susceptibility to suspension of that officer. However, nothing in this part shall prohibit or preclude any officer claiming title to any office from seeking a judicial determination of his or her right to such office, regardless of the issuance or nonissuance of a commission to such office.
History.s. 7, ch. 69-277; s. 715, ch. 95-147.
112.47 Hearing before Senate select committee; notice.The Senate shall afford each suspended official a hearing before a select committee or special magistrate, and shall notify such suspended official of the time and place of the hearing sufficiently in advance thereof to afford such official an opportunity fully and adequately to prepare such defenses as the official may be advised are necessary and proper, and all such defenses may be presented by the official or by the official’s attorney. In the furtherance of this provision the Senate shall adopt sufficient procedural rules to afford due process both to the Governor in the presentation of his or her evidence and to the suspended official, but in the absence of such adoption, this section shall afford a full and complete hearing, public in nature, as required by the State Constitution. However, nothing in this part shall prevent either the select committee or the Senate from conducting portions of the hearing in executive session if the Senate rules so provide.
History.s. 8, ch. 69-277; s. 716, ch. 95-147; s. 62, ch. 2004-11.
112.48 Suspension when Senate not in session.The Governor may suspend any officer at any time, whether or not the Senate is in session. However, the Senate need not hear or determine the question of the suspension of the officer during any regular session.
History.s. 9, ch. 69-277.
112.49 Persons exercising powers and duties of county officers subject to suspension by Governor.In the administration of any city-county merger or city-county charter, or any such form of government which provides for the merging of the powers, duties, and functions of any municipal and county governments, any officer, official, or employee of such merged government who exercises the powers and duties of a county officer, whether he or she shall be elected or appointed, shall be deemed to be a county officer and therefore subject to the power of the Governor under the State Constitution to suspend officers. If the charter or other authority under which any city-county merger is accomplished shall provide means for the suspension or removal of such officers, then the power to suspend shall be concurrent in the city-county government and in the Governor.
History.s. 2, ch. 71-333; s. 717, ch. 95-147.
112.50 Governor to retain power to suspend public officers.Whenever any state, county, or municipal officer is made subject to suspension or removal by the terms of any statute or municipal charter, the power of the Governor to suspend officers shall not be affected by such statutory or charter provisions, and the power to suspend shall reside concurrently in the Governor and in the statutory or charter authority.
History.s. 3, ch. 71-333.
112.501 Municipal board members; suspension; removal.
(1) For the purposes of this section, the term “municipal board member” is defined as any person who is appointed or confirmed by the governing body of a municipality to be a member of a board, commission, authority, or council which is created or authorized by general law, special act, or municipal charter.
(2) By resolution specifying facts sufficient to advise a municipal board member as to the basis for his or her suspension or removal and after reasonable notice to the municipal board member and an opportunity for the member to be heard, a governing body of the municipality may:
(a) Suspend or remove from office any municipal board member for malfeasance, misfeasance, neglect of duty, habitual drunkenness, incompetence, or permanent inability to perform his or her official duties.
(b) Suspend from office any municipal board member who is arrested for a felony or for a misdemeanor related to the duties of office or who is indicted or informed against for the commission of any federal felony or misdemeanor or state felony or misdemeanor.
(3) In addition to the authority granted under subsection (2), the governing body of a municipality may remove from office any municipal board member who is convicted of a federal felony or misdemeanor or state felony or misdemeanor. For the purposes of this subsection, any person who pleads guilty or nolo contendere or who is found guilty shall be deemed to have been convicted, notwithstanding a suspension of sentence or a withholding of adjudication.
(4) A suspended municipal board member may, at any time before his or her removal, be reinstated by the governing body of the municipality in its discretion.
(5) The suspension of a municipal board member by the governing body of a municipality creates a temporary vacancy in such office during the suspension. Any temporary vacancy in office created by the suspension of a municipal board member under the provisions of this section shall be filled by a temporary appointment to such office for the period of the suspension, not to extend beyond the term of the suspended municipal board member. Such temporary appointment shall be made in the same manner and by the same authority as provided by law for the filling of a permanent vacancy in such office. If no provision for filling a permanent vacancy in such office is provided by law, special act, or municipal charter, the temporary appointment shall be made by the governing body of the municipality.
(6) No municipal board member who has been suspended from office under this section may perform any official act, duty, or function during his or her suspension; receive any pay or allowance during his or her suspension; or be entitled to any of the emoluments or privileges of his or her office during suspension.
(7) If the municipal board member is acquitted or found not guilty or is otherwise cleared of the charges which were the basis of the arrest, indictment, or information by reason of which he or she was suspended under the provisions of this section, the governing body of the municipality shall forthwith revoke the suspension and restore such municipal board member to office; and the member shall be entitled to and be paid full back pay and other emoluments or allowances to which he or she would have been entitled for the full period of time of the suspension. If, during the suspension, the term of office of the municipal board member expires and a successor is either appointed or confirmed, such back pay, emoluments, or allowances shall only be paid for the duration of the term of office during which the municipal board member was suspended under the provisions of this section, and he or she shall not be reinstated.
(8) This section applies in the absence of a charter provision.
History.s. 1, ch. 84-245; s. 718, ch. 95-147.
112.51 Municipal officers; suspension; removal from office.
(1) By executive order stating the grounds for the suspension and filed with the Secretary of State, the Governor may suspend from office any elected or appointed municipal official for malfeasance, misfeasance, neglect of duty, habitual drunkenness, incompetence, or permanent inability to perform official duties.
(2) Whenever any elected or appointed municipal official is arrested for a felony or for a misdemeanor related to the duties of office or is indicted or informed against for the commission of a federal felony or misdemeanor or state felony or misdemeanor, the Governor has the power to suspend such municipal official from office.
(3) The suspension of such official by the Governor creates a temporary vacancy in such office during the suspension. Any temporary vacancy in office created by suspension of an official under the provisions of this section shall be filled by a temporary appointment to such office for the period of the suspension. Such temporary appointment shall be made in the same manner and by the same authority by which a permanent vacancy in such office is filled as provided by law. If no provision for filling a permanent vacancy in such office is provided by law, the temporary appointment shall be made by the Governor.
(4) No municipal official who has been suspended from office under this section may perform any official act, duty, or function during his or her suspension; receive any pay or allowance during his or her suspension; or be entitled to any of the emoluments or privileges of his or her office during suspension.
(5) If the municipal official is convicted of any of the charges contained in the indictment or information by reason of which he or she was suspended under the provisions of this section, the Governor shall remove such municipal official from office. If a person was selected to fill the temporary vacancy pursuant to subsection (3), that person shall serve the remaining balance, if any, of the removed official’s term of office. Otherwise, any vacancy created by the removal shall be filled as provided by law. For the purposes of this section, any person who pleads guilty or nolo contendere or who is found guilty shall be deemed to have been convicted, notwithstanding a suspension of sentence or a withholding of adjudication.
(6) If the municipal official is acquitted or found not guilty or is otherwise cleared of the charges which were the basis of the arrest, indictment, or information by reason of which he or she was suspended under the provisions of this section, then the Governor shall forthwith revoke the suspension and restore such municipal official to office; and the official shall be entitled to and be paid full back pay and such other emoluments or allowances to which he or she would have been entitled for the full period of time of the suspension. If, during the suspension, the term of office of the municipal official expires and a successor is either appointed or elected, such back pay, emoluments, or allowances shall only be paid for the duration of the term of office during which the municipal official was suspended under the provisions of this section, and he or she shall not be reinstated.
History.s. 1, ch. 67-66; s. 1, ch. 69-256; s. 3, ch. 73-129; s. 2, ch. 84-245; s. 16, ch. 87-224; s. 719, ch. 95-147; s. 50, ch. 2007-30.
Note.Former s. 166.16.
112.52 Removal of a public official when a method is not otherwise provided.
(1) When a method for removal from office is not otherwise provided by the State Constitution or by law, the Governor may by executive order suspend from office an elected or appointed public official, by whatever title known, who is indicted or informed against for commission of any felony, or for any misdemeanor arising directly out of his or her official conduct or duties, and may fill the office by appointment for the period of suspension, not to extend beyond the term.
(2) During the period of the suspension, the public official shall not perform any official act, duty, or function or receive any pay, allowance, emolument, or privilege of office.
(3) If convicted, the public official may be removed from office by executive order of the Governor. For the purpose of this section, any person who pleads guilty or nolo contendere or who is found guilty shall be deemed to have been convicted, notwithstanding the suspension of sentence or the withholding of adjudication.
(4) If the public official is acquitted or found not guilty, or the charges are otherwise dismissed, the Governor shall by executive order revoke the suspension; and the public official shall be entitled to full back pay and such other emoluments or allowances to which he or she would have been entitled had he or she not been suspended.
History.s. 1, ch. 80-333; s. 720, ch. 95-147.
PART VI
LAW ENFORCEMENT AND
CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS
112.531 Definitions.
112.532 Law enforcement officers’ and correctional officers’ rights.
112.533 Receipt and processing of complaints.
112.534 Failure to comply; official misconduct.
112.535 Construction.
112.531 Definitions.As used in this part:
(1) “Law enforcement officer” means any person, other than a chief of police, who is employed full time by any municipality or the state or any political subdivision thereof and whose primary responsibility is the prevention and detection of crime or the enforcement of the penal, traffic, or highway laws of this state; and includes any person who is appointed by the sheriff as a deputy sheriff pursuant to s. 30.07.
(2) “Correctional officer” means any person, other than a warden, who is appointed or employed full time by the state or any political subdivision thereof whose primary responsibility is the supervision, protection, care, custody, or control of inmates within a correctional institution; and includes correctional probation officers, as defined in s. 943.10(3). However, the term “correctional officer” does not include any secretarial, clerical, or professionally trained personnel.
History.s. 1, ch. 74-274; s. 1, ch. 75-41; s. 34, ch. 77-104; s. 1, ch. 82-156; s. 1, ch. 89-223; s. 1, ch. 93-19; s. 3, ch. 2000-161.
112.532 Law enforcement officers’ and correctional officers’ rights.All law enforcement officers and correctional officers employed by or appointed to a law enforcement agency or a correctional agency shall have the following rights and privileges:
(1) RIGHTS OF LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS AND CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS WHILE UNDER INVESTIGATION.Whenever a law enforcement officer or correctional officer is under investigation and subject to interrogation by members of his or her agency for any reason that could lead to disciplinary action, suspension, demotion, or dismissal, the interrogation must be conducted under the following conditions:
(a) The interrogation shall be conducted at a reasonable hour, preferably at a time when the law enforcement officer or correctional officer is on duty, unless the seriousness of the investigation is of such a degree that immediate action is required.
(b) The interrogation shall take place either at the office of the command of the investigating officer or at the office of the local precinct, police unit, or correctional unit in which the incident allegedly occurred, as designated by the investigating officer or agency.
(c) The law enforcement officer or correctional officer under investigation shall be informed of the rank, name, and command of the officer in charge of the investigation, the interrogating officer, and all persons present during the interrogation. All questions directed to the officer under interrogation shall be asked by or through one interrogator during any one investigative interrogation, unless specifically waived by the officer under investigation.
(d) The law enforcement officer or correctional officer under investigation must be informed of the nature of the investigation before any interrogation begins, and he or she must be informed of the names of all complainants. All identifiable witnesses shall be interviewed, whenever possible, prior to the beginning of the investigative interview of the accused officer. The complaint, all witness statements, including all other existing subject officer statements, and all other existing evidence, including, but not limited to, incident reports, GPS locator information, and audio or video recordings relating to the incident under investigation, must be provided to each officer who is the subject of the complaint before the beginning of any investigative interview of that officer. An officer, after being informed of the right to review witness statements, may voluntarily waive the provisions of this paragraph and provide a voluntary statement at any time.
(e) Interrogating sessions shall be for reasonable periods and shall be timed to allow for such personal necessities and rest periods as are reasonably necessary.
(f) The law enforcement officer or correctional officer under interrogation may not be subjected to offensive language or be threatened with transfer, dismissal, or disciplinary action. A promise or reward may not be made as an inducement to answer any questions.
(g) The formal interrogation of a law enforcement officer or correctional officer, including all recess periods, must be recorded on audio tape, or otherwise preserved in such a manner as to allow a transcript to be prepared, and there shall be no unrecorded questions or statements. Upon the request of the interrogated officer, a copy of any recording of the interrogation session must be made available to the interrogated officer no later than 72 hours, excluding holidays and weekends, following said interrogation.
(h) If the law enforcement officer or correctional officer under interrogation is under arrest, or is likely to be placed under arrest as a result of the interrogation, he or she shall be completely informed of all his or her rights before commencing the interrogation.
(i) At the request of any law enforcement officer or correctional officer under investigation, he or she has the right to be represented by counsel or any other representative of his or her choice, who shall be present at all times during the interrogation whenever the interrogation relates to the officer’s continued fitness for law enforcement or correctional service.
(j) Notwithstanding the rights and privileges provided by this part, this part does not limit the right of an agency to discipline or to pursue criminal charges against an officer.
(2) COMPLAINT REVIEW BOARDS.A complaint review board shall be composed of three members: One member selected by the chief administrator of the agency or unit; one member selected by the aggrieved officer; and a third member to be selected by the other two members. Agencies or units having more than 100 law enforcement officers or correctional officers shall utilize a five-member board, with two members being selected by the administrator, two members being selected by the aggrieved officer, and the fifth member being selected by the other four members. The board members shall be law enforcement officers or correctional officers selected from any state, county, or municipal agency within the county. There shall be a board for law enforcement officers and a board for correctional officers whose members shall be from the same discipline as the aggrieved officer. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to sheriffs or deputy sheriffs.
(3) CIVIL SUITS BROUGHT BY LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS OR CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS.Every law enforcement officer or correctional officer shall have the right to bring civil suit against any person, group of persons, or organization or corporation, or the head of such organization or corporation, for damages, either pecuniary or otherwise, suffered during the performance of the officer’s official duties, for abridgment of the officer’s civil rights arising out of the officer’s performance of official duties, or for filing a complaint against the officer which the person knew was false when it was filed. This section does not establish a separate civil action against the officer’s employing law enforcement agency for the investigation and processing of a complaint filed under this part.
(4)(a) NOTICE OF DISCIPLINARY ACTION.—A dismissal, demotion, transfer, reassignment, or other personnel action that might result in loss of pay or benefits or that might otherwise be considered a punitive measure may not be taken against any law enforcement officer or correctional officer unless the law enforcement officer or correctional officer is notified of the action and the reason or reasons for the action before the effective date of the action.
(b) Notwithstanding s. 112.533(2), whenever a law enforcement officer or correctional officer is subject to disciplinary action consisting of suspension with loss of pay, demotion, or dismissal, the officer or the officer’s representative shall, upon request, be provided with a complete copy of the investigative file, including the final investigative report and all evidence, and with the opportunity to address the findings in the report with the employing law enforcement agency before imposing disciplinary action consisting of suspension with loss of pay, demotion, or dismissal. The contents of the complaint and investigation shall remain confidential until such time as the employing law enforcement agency makes a final determination whether or not to issue a notice of disciplinary action consisting of suspension with loss of pay, demotion, or dismissal. This paragraph does not provide law enforcement officers with a property interest or expectancy of continued employment, employment, or appointment as a law enforcement officer.
(5) RETALIATION FOR EXERCISING RIGHTS.No law enforcement officer or correctional officer shall be discharged; disciplined; demoted; denied promotion, transfer, or reassignment; or otherwise discriminated against in regard to his or her employment or appointment, or be threatened with any such treatment, by reason of his or her exercise of the rights granted by this part.
(6) LIMITATIONS PERIOD FOR DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS.
(a) Except as provided in this subsection, disciplinary action, suspension, demotion, or dismissal may not be undertaken by an agency against a law enforcement officer or correctional officer for any act, omission, or other allegation of misconduct if the investigation of the allegation is not completed within 180 days after the date the agency receives notice of the allegation by a person authorized by the agency to initiate an investigation of the misconduct. If the agency determines that disciplinary action is appropriate, it shall complete its investigation and give notice in writing to the law enforcement officer or correctional officer of its intent to proceed with disciplinary action, along with a proposal of the specific action sought, including length of suspension, if applicable. Notice to the officer must be provided within 180 days after the date the agency received notice of the alleged misconduct, except as follows:
1. The running of the limitations period may be tolled for a period specified in a written waiver of the limitation by the law enforcement officer or correctional officer.
2. The running of the limitations period is tolled during the time that any criminal investigation or prosecution is pending in connection with the act, omission, or other allegation of misconduct.
3. If the investigation involves an officer who is incapacitated or otherwise unavailable, the running of the limitations period is tolled during the period of incapacitation or unavailability.
4. In a multijurisdictional investigation, the limitations period may be extended for a period of time reasonably necessary to facilitate the coordination of the agencies involved.
5. The running of the limitations period may be tolled for emergencies or natural disasters during the time period wherein the Governor has declared a state of emergency within the jurisdictional boundaries of the concerned agency.
6. The running of the limitations period is tolled during the time that the officer’s compliance hearing proceeding is continuing beginning with the filing of the notice of violation and a request for a hearing and ending with the written determination of the compliance review panel or upon the violation being remedied by the agency.
(b) An investigation against a law enforcement officer or correctional officer may be reopened, notwithstanding the limitations period for commencing disciplinary action, demotion, or dismissal, if:
1. Significant new evidence has been discovered that is likely to affect the outcome of the investigation.
2. The evidence could not have reasonably been discovered in the normal course of investigation or the evidence resulted from the predisciplinary response of the officer.

Any disciplinary action resulting from an investigation that is reopened pursuant to this paragraph must be completed within 90 days after the date the investigation is reopened.

History.s. 2, ch. 74-274; s. 2, ch. 82-156; s. 2, ch. 93-19; s. 721, ch. 95-147; s. 1, ch. 98-249; s. 1, ch. 2000-184; s. 1, ch. 2003-149; s. 3, ch. 2005-100; s. 1, ch. 2007-110; s. 1, ch. 2009-200.
112.533 Receipt and processing of complaints.
(1)(a) Every law enforcement agency and correctional agency shall establish and put into operation a system for the receipt, investigation, and determination of complaints received by such agency from any person, which shall be the procedure for investigating a complaint against a law enforcement and correctional officer and for determining whether to proceed with disciplinary action or to file disciplinary charges, notwithstanding any other law or ordinance to the contrary. When law enforcement or correctional agency personnel assigned the responsibility of investigating the complaint prepare an investigative report or summary, regardless of form, the person preparing the report shall, at the time the report is completed:
1. Verify pursuant to s. 92.525 that the contents of the report are true and accurate based upon the person’s personal knowledge, information, and belief.
2. Include the following statement, sworn and subscribed to pursuant to s. 92.525:

“I, the undersigned, do hereby swear, under penalty of perjury, that, to the best of my personal knowledge, information, and belief, I have not knowingly or willfully deprived, or allowed another to deprive, the subject of the investigation of any of the rights contained in ss. 112.532 and 112.533, Florida Statutes.”

The requirements of subparagraphs 1. and 2. shall be completed prior to the determination as to whether to proceed with disciplinary action or to file disciplinary charges. This subsection does not preclude the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission from exercising its authority under chapter 943.

(b)1. Any political subdivision that initiates or receives a complaint against a law enforcement officer or correctional officer must within 5 business days forward the complaint to the employing agency of the officer who is the subject of the complaint for review or investigation.
2. For purposes of this paragraph, the term “political subdivision” means a separate agency or unit of local government created or established by law or ordinance and the officers thereof and includes, but is not limited to, an authority, board, branch, bureau, city, commission, consolidated government, county, department, district, institution, metropolitan government, municipality, office, officer, public corporation, town, or village.
(2)(a) A complaint filed against a law enforcement officer or correctional officer with a law enforcement agency or correctional agency and all information obtained pursuant to the investigation by the agency of the complaint is confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) until the investigation ceases to be active, or until the agency head or the agency head’s designee provides written notice to the officer who is the subject of the complaint, either personally or by mail, that the agency has either:
1. Concluded the investigation with a finding not to proceed with disciplinary action or to file charges; or
2. Concluded the investigation with a finding to proceed with disciplinary action or to file charges.

Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions, the officer who is the subject of the complaint, along with legal counsel or any other representative of his or her choice, may review the complaint and all statements regardless of form made by the complainant and witnesses and all existing evidence, including, but not limited to, incident reports, analyses, GPS locator information, and audio or video recordings relating to the investigation, immediately before beginning the investigative interview. All statements, regardless of form, provided by a law enforcement officer or correctional officer during the course of a complaint investigation of that officer shall be made under oath pursuant to s. 92.525. Knowingly false statements given by a law enforcement officer or correctional officer under investigation may subject the law enforcement officer or correctional officer to prosecution for perjury. If a witness to a complaint is incarcerated in a correctional facility and may be under the supervision of, or have contact with, the officer under investigation, only the names and written statements of the complainant and nonincarcerated witnesses may be reviewed by the officer under investigation immediately prior to the beginning of the investigative interview.

(b) This subsection does not apply to any public record which is exempt from public disclosure pursuant to chapter 119. For the purposes of this subsection, an investigation shall be considered active as long as it is continuing with a reasonable, good faith anticipation that an administrative finding will be made in the foreseeable future. An investigation shall be presumed to be inactive if no finding is made within 45 days after the complaint is filed.
(c) Notwithstanding other provisions of this section, the complaint and information shall be available to law enforcement agencies, correctional agencies, and state attorneys in the conduct of a lawful criminal investigation.
(3) A law enforcement officer or correctional officer has the right to review his or her official personnel file at any reasonable time under the supervision of the designated records custodian. A law enforcement officer or correctional officer may attach to the file a concise statement in response to any items included in the file identified by the officer as derogatory, and copies of such items must be made available to the officer.
(4) Any person who is a participant in an internal investigation, including the complainant, the subject of the investigation and the subject’s legal counsel or a representative of his or her choice, the investigator conducting the investigation, and any witnesses in the investigation, who willfully discloses any information obtained pursuant to the agency’s investigation, including, but not limited to, the identity of the officer under investigation, the nature of the questions asked, information revealed, or documents furnished in connection with a confidential internal investigation of an agency, before such complaint, document, action, or proceeding becomes a public record as provided in this section commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. However, this subsection does not limit a law enforcement or correctional officer’s ability to gain access to information under paragraph (2)(a). Additionally, a sheriff, police chief, or other head of a law enforcement agency, or his or her designee, is not precluded by this section from acknowledging the existence of a complaint and the fact that an investigation is underway.
History.s. 3, ch. 74-274; s. 3, ch. 82-156; s. 1, ch. 82-405; s. 1, ch. 83-136; s. 1, ch. 87-59; s. 2, ch. 89-223; s. 1, ch. 90-32; s. 31, ch. 90-360; s. 3, ch. 93-19; s. 722, ch. 95-147; s. 39, ch. 96-406; s. 2, ch. 98-249; s. 2, ch. 2000-184; s. 2, ch. 2003-149; s. 33, ch. 2004-335; s. 42, ch. 2005-251; s. 2, ch. 2007-110; s. 1, ch. 2007-118; s. 2, ch. 2009-200.
112.534 Failure to comply; official misconduct.
(1) If any law enforcement agency or correctional agency, including investigators in its internal affairs or professional standards division, or an assigned investigating supervisor, intentionally fails to comply with the requirements of this part, the following procedures apply. For purposes of this section, the term “law enforcement officer” or “correctional officer” includes the officer’s representative or legal counsel, except in application of paragraph (d).
(a) The law enforcement officer or correctional officer shall advise the investigator of the intentional violation of the requirements of this part which is alleged to have occurred. The officer’s notice of violation is sufficient to notify the investigator of the requirements of this part which are alleged to have been violated and the factual basis of each violation.
(b) If the investigator fails to cure the violation or continues the violation after being notified by the law enforcement officer or correctional officer, the officer shall request the agency head or his or her designee be informed of the alleged intentional violation. Once this request is made, the interview of the officer shall cease, and the officer’s refusal to respond to further investigative questions does not constitute insubordination or any similar type of policy violation.
(c) Thereafter, within 3 working days, a written notice of violation and request for a compliance review hearing shall be filed with the agency head or designee which must contain sufficient information to identify the requirements of this part which are alleged to have been violated and the factual basis of each violation. All evidence related to the investigation must be preserved for review and presentation at the compliance review hearing. For purposes of confidentiality, the compliance review panel hearing shall be considered part of the original investigation.
(d) Unless otherwise remedied by the agency before the hearing, a compliance review hearing must be conducted within 10 working days after the request for a compliance review hearing is filed, unless, by mutual agreement of the officer and agency or for extraordinary reasons, an alternate date is chosen. The panel shall review the circumstances and facts surrounding the alleged intentional violation. The compliance review panel shall be made up of three members: one member selected by the agency head, one member selected by the officer filing the request, and a third member to be selected by the other two members. The review panel members shall be law enforcement officers or correctional officers who are active from the same law enforcement discipline as the officer requesting the hearing. Panel members may be selected from any state, county, or municipal agency within the county in which the officer works. The compliance review hearing shall be conducted in the county in which the officer works.
(e) It is the responsibility of the compliance review panel to determine whether or not the investigator or agency intentionally violated the requirements provided under this part. It may hear evidence, review relevant documents, and hear argument before making such a determination; however, all evidence received shall be strictly limited to the allegation under consideration and may not be related to the disciplinary charges pending against the officer. The investigative materials are considered confidential for purposes of the compliance review hearing and determination.
(f) The officer bears the burden of proof to establish that the violation of this part was intentional. The standard of proof for such a determination is by a preponderance of the evidence. The determination of the panel must be made at the conclusion of the hearing, in writing, and filed with the agency head and the officer.
(g) If the alleged violation is sustained as intentional by the compliance review panel, the agency head shall immediately remove the investigator from any further involvement with the investigation of the officer. Additionally, the agency head shall direct an investigation be initiated against the investigator determined to have intentionally violated the requirements provided under this part for purposes of agency disciplinary action. If that investigation is sustained, the sustained allegations against the investigator shall be forwarded to the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission for review as an act of official misconduct or misuse of position.
(2)(a) All the provisions of s. 838.022 shall apply to this part.
(b) The provisions of chapter 120 do not apply to this part.
History.s. 4, ch. 74-274; s. 35, ch. 77-104; s. 1, ch. 78-291; s. 4, ch. 82-156; s. 4, ch. 93-19; s. 3, ch. 2000-184; s. 8, ch. 2003-158; s. 3, ch. 2009-200; s. 5, ch. 2011-4.
112.535 Construction.The provisions of chapter 93-19, Laws of Florida, shall not be construed to restrict or otherwise limit the discretion of the sheriff to take any disciplinary action, without limitation, against a deputy sheriff, including the demotion, reprimand, suspension, or dismissal thereof, nor to limit the right of the sheriff to appoint deputy sheriffs or to withdraw their appointment as provided in chapter 30. Neither shall the provisions of chapter 93-19, Laws of Florida, be construed to grant collective bargaining rights to deputy sheriffs or to provide them with a property interest or continued expectancy in their appointment as a deputy sheriff.
History.s. 6, ch. 93-19.
PART VII
ACTUARIAL SOUNDNESS OF
RETIREMENT SYSTEMS
112.60 Short title.
112.61 Legislative intent.
112.62 Application.
112.625 Definitions.
112.63 Actuarial reports and statements of actuarial impact; review.
112.64 Administration of funds; amortization of unfunded liability.
112.65 Limitation of benefits.
112.656 Fiduciary duties; certain officials included as fiduciaries.
112.658 Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability to determine compliance of the Florida Retirement System.
112.66 General provisions.
112.661 Investment policies.
112.664 Reporting standards for defined benefit retirement plans or systems.
112.665 Duties of Department of Management Services.
112.67 Special acts prohibited.
112.60 Short title.This part may be cited as the “Florida Protection of Public Employee Retirement Benefits Act.”
History.s. 1, ch. 78-170.
112.61 Legislative intent.It is the intent of the Legislature in implementing the provisions of s. 14, Art. X of the State Constitution, relating to governmental retirement systems, that such retirement systems or plans be managed, administered, operated, and funded in such a manner as to maximize the protection of public employee retirement benefits. Inherent in this intent is the recognition that the pension liabilities attributable to the benefits promised public employees be fairly, orderly, and equitably funded by the current, as well as future, taxpayers. Accordingly, except as herein provided, it is the intent of this act to prohibit the use of any procedure, methodology, or assumptions the effect of which is to transfer to future taxpayers any portion of the costs which may reasonably have been expected to be paid by the current taxpayers. Actuarial experience may be used to fund additional benefits, provided that the present value of such benefits does not exceed the net actuarial experience accumulated from all sources of gains and losses. This act hereby establishes minimum standards for the operation and funding of public employee retirement systems and plans.
History.s. 1, ch. 78-170; s. 13, ch. 79-183; s. 1, ch. 83-37; s. 3, ch. 94-259.
112.62 Application.The provisions of this part are applicable to any and all units, agencies, branches, departments, boards, and institutions of state, county, special district, and municipal governments which participate in, operate, or administer a retirement system or plan for public employees, funded in whole or in part by public funds. The provisions of this part supplement and, to the extent there are conflicts, prevail over the provisions of existing laws and local ordinances relating to such retirement systems or plans.
History.s. 1, ch. 78-170.
112.625 Definitions.As used in this act:
(1) “Retirement system or plan” means any employee pension benefit plan supported in whole or in part by public funds, provided such plan is not:
(a) An employee benefit plan described in s. 4(a) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, which is not exempt under s. 4(b)(1) of such act;
(b) A plan which is unfunded and is maintained by an employer primarily for the purpose of providing deferred compensation for a select group of management or highly compensated employees;
(c) A coverage agreement entered into pursuant to s. 218 of the Social Security Act;
(d) An individual retirement account or an individual retirement annuity within the meaning of s. 408, or a retirement bond within the meaning of s. 409, of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954;
(e) A plan described in s. 401(d) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954; or
(f) An individual account consisting of an annuity contract described in s. 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954.
(2) “Plan administrator” means the person so designated by the terms of the instrument or instruments, ordinance, or statute under which the plan is operated. If no plan administrator has been designated, the plan sponsor shall be considered the plan administrator.
(3) “Enrolled actuary” means an actuary who is enrolled under Subtitle C of Title III of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 and who is a member of the Society of Actuaries or the American Academy of Actuaries.
(4) “Benefit increase” means a change or amendment in the plan design or benefit structure which results in increased benefits for plan members or beneficiaries.
(5) “Governmental entity” means the state, for the Florida Retirement System, and the county, municipality, special district, or district school board which is the employer of the member of a local retirement system or plan.
(6) “Pension or retirement benefit” means any benefit, including a disability benefit, paid to a member or beneficiary of a retirement system or plan as defined in subsection (1).
(7) “Statement value” means the value of assets in accordance with s. 302(c)(2) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 and as permitted under regulations prescribed by the Secretary of the Treasury as amended by Pub. L. No. 100-203, as such sections are in effect on August 16, 2006. Assets for which a fair market value is not provided shall be excluded from the assets used in the determination of annual funding cost.
(8) “Named fiduciary,” “board,” or “board of trustees” means the person or persons so designated by the terms of the instrument or instruments, ordinance, or statute under which the plan is operated.
(9) “Plan sponsor” means the local governmental entity that has established or that may establish a local retirement system or plan.
History.s. 14, ch. 79-183; s. 2, ch. 83-37; s. 1, ch. 2000-264; s. 7, ch. 2004-305; s. 1, ch. 2008-139.
112.63 Actuarial reports and statements of actuarial impact; review.
(1) Each retirement system or plan subject to the provisions of this act shall have regularly scheduled actuarial reports prepared and certified by an enrolled actuary. The actuarial report shall consist of, but shall not be limited to, the following:
(a) Adequacy of employer and employee contribution rates in meeting levels of employee benefits provided in the system and changes, if any, needed in such rates to achieve or preserve a level of funding deemed adequate to enable payment through the indefinite future of the benefit amounts prescribed by the system, which shall include a valuation of present assets, based on statement value, and prospective assets and liabilities of the system and the extent of unfunded accrued liabilities, if any.
(b) A plan to amortize any unfunded liability pursuant to s. 112.64 and a description of actions taken to reduce the unfunded liability.
(c) A description and explanation of actuarial assumptions.
(d) A schedule illustrating the amortization of unfunded liabilities, if any.
(e) A comparative review illustrating the actual salary increases granted and the rate of investment return realized over the 3-year period preceding the actuarial report with the assumptions used in both the preceding and current actuarial reports.
(f) A statement by the enrolled actuary that the report is complete and accurate and that in his or her opinion the techniques and assumptions used are reasonable and meet the requirements and intent of this act.

The actuarial cost methods utilized for establishing the amount of the annual actuarial normal cost to support the promised benefits shall only be those methods approved in the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 and as permitted under regulations prescribed by the Secretary of the Treasury.

(2) The frequency of actuarial reports must be at least every 3 years commencing from the last actuarial report of the plan or system or October 1, 1980, if no actuarial report has been issued within the 3-year period prior to October 1, 1979. The results of each actuarial report shall be filed with the plan administrator within 60 days of certification. Thereafter, the results of each actuarial report shall be made available for inspection upon request. Additionally, each retirement system or plan covered by this act which is not administered directly by the Department of Management Services shall furnish a copy of each actuarial report to the Department of Management Services within 60 days after receipt from the actuary. The requirements of this section are supplemental to actuarial valuations necessary to comply with the requirements of s. 218.39.
(3) No unit of local government shall agree to a proposed change in retirement benefits unless the administrator of the system, prior to adoption of the change by the governing body, and prior to the last public hearing thereon, has issued a statement of the actuarial impact of the proposed change upon the local retirement system, consistent with the actuarial review, and has furnished a copy of such statement to the division. Such statement shall also indicate whether the proposed changes are in compliance with s. 14, Art. X of the State Constitution and with s. 112.64.
(4) Upon receipt, pursuant to subsection (2), of an actuarial report, or, pursuant to subsection (3), of a statement of actuarial impact, the Department of Management Services shall acknowledge such receipt, but shall only review and comment on each retirement system’s or plan’s actuarial valuations at least on a triennial basis.
(a) If the department finds that the actuarial valuation is not complete, accurate, or based on reasonable assumptions or otherwise materially fails to satisfy the requirements of this part; requires additional material information necessary to complete its review of the actuarial valuation of a system or plan or material information necessary to satisfy the duties of the department pursuant to s. 112.665(1); or does not receive the actuarial report or statement of actuarial impact, the department shall notify the administrator of the affected retirement system or plan and the affected governmental entity and request appropriate adjustment, the additional material information, or the required report or statement. The notification must inform the administrator and the affected governmental entity of the consequences for failing to comply with the requirements of this subsection.
(b) If, after a reasonable period of time, a satisfactory adjustment is not made or the report, statement, or additional material information is not provided, the department may notify the Department of Revenue and the Department of Financial Services of the noncompliance, and the Department of Revenue and the Department of Financial Services shall withhold any funds not pledged for satisfaction of bond debt service which are payable to the affected governmental entity until the adjustment is made or the report, statement, or additional material information is provided to the department. The Department of Management Services shall specify the date such action is to begin and notify the Department of Revenue, the Department of Financial Services, and the affected governmental entity 30 days before the specified date.
(c) Within 21 days after receipt of the notice, the affected governmental entity may petition the Department of Management Services for a hearing under ss. 120.569 and 120.57. The Department of Revenue and the Department of Financial Services may not be parties to the hearing, but may request to intervene if requested by the Department of Management Services or if the Department of Revenue or the Department of Financial Services determines its interests may be adversely affected by the hearing.
1. If the administrative law judge recommends in favor of the department, the department shall perform an actuarial review, prepare the statement of actuarial impact, or collect the requested material information. The cost to the department of performing the actuarial review, preparing the statement, or collecting the requested material information shall be charged to the affected governmental entity whose employees are covered by the retirement system or plan. If payment is not received by the department within 60 days after the affected governmental entity receives the request for payment, the department shall certify to the Department of Revenue and the Department of Financial Services the amount due, and the Department of Revenue and the Department of Financial Services shall pay such amount to the Department of Management Services from funds not pledged for satisfaction of bond debt service which are payable to the affected governmental entity.
2. If the administrative law judge recommends in favor of the affected governmental entity and the department performs an actuarial review, prepares the statement of actuarial impact, or collects the requested material information, the cost to the department shall be paid by the Department of Management Services.
(d) In the case of an affected special district, the Department of Management Services shall also notify the Department of Economic Opportunity. Upon receipt of notification, the Department of Economic Opportunity shall proceed pursuant to s. 189.421.
1. Failure of a special district to provide a required report or statement, to make appropriate adjustments, or to provide additional material information after the procedures specified in s. 189.421(1) are exhausted shall be deemed final action by the special district.
2. The Department of Management Services may notify the Department of Economic Opportunity of those special districts that failed to come into compliance. Upon receipt of notification, the Department of Economic Opportunity shall proceed pursuant to s. 189.421(4).
(5) Payments made to the fund as required by this chapter shall be based on the normal and past service costs contained in the most recent actuarial valuation, subject to being state-accepted.
(6) Beginning July 1, 1980, each retirement system or plan of a unit of local government shall maintain, in accurate and accessible form, the following information:
(a) For each active and inactive member of the system, a number or other means of identification; date of birth; sex; date of employment; period of credited service, split, if required, between prior service and current service; and occupational classification.
(b) For each active member, current pay rate, cumulative contributions together with accumulated interest, if credited, age at entry into system, and current rate of contribution.
(c) For each inactive member, average final compensation or equivalent and age at which deferred benefit is to begin.
(d) For each retired member and other beneficiary, a number or other means of identification, date of birth, sex, beginning date of benefit, type of retirement and amount of monthly benefit, and type of survivor benefit.
History.s. 1, ch. 78-170; s. 15, ch. 79-183; s. 3, ch. 83-37; s. 48, ch. 92-279; s. 55, ch. 92-326; s. 23, ch. 94-249; s. 1418, ch. 95-147; s. 2, ch. 96-324; s. 16, ch. 96-410; s. 21, ch. 99-255; s. 1, ch. 99-392; s. 31, ch. 2001-266; s. 132, ch. 2003-261; s. 8, ch. 2004-305; s. 14, ch. 2005-2; s. 45, ch. 2011-142; s. 3, ch. 2011-144; s. 1, ch. 2011-216; s. 12, ch. 2013-15; s. 1, ch. 2013-100.
112.64 Administration of funds; amortization of unfunded liability.
(1) Employee contributions shall be deposited in the retirement system or plan at least monthly. Employer contributions shall be deposited at least quarterly; however, any revenues received from any source by an employer which are specifically collected for the purpose of allocation for deposit into a retirement system or plan shall be so deposited within 30 days of receipt by the employer. All employers and employees participating in the Florida Retirement System and other existing retirement systems which are administered by the Department of Management Services shall continue to make contributions at least monthly.
(2) From and after October 1, 1980, for those plans in existence on October 1, 1980, the total contributions to the retirement system or plan shall be sufficient to meet the normal cost of the retirement system or plan and to amortize the unfunded liability, if any, within 40 years; however, nothing contained in this subsection permits any retirement system or plan to amortize its unfunded liabilities over a period longer than that which remains under its current amortization schedule.
(3) For a retirement system or plan which comes into existence after October 1, 1980, the unfunded liability, if any, shall be amortized within 40 years of the first plan year.
(4) The net increase, if any, in unfunded liability under the plan arising from significant plan amendments adopted, changes in actuarial assumptions, changes in funding methods, or actuarial gains or losses shall be amortized within 30 plan years.
(5)(a) If the amortization schedule for unfunded liability is to be based on a contribution derived in whole or in part from a percentage of the payroll of the system or plan membership, the assumption as to payroll growth shall not exceed the average payroll growth for the 10 years prior to the latest actuarial valuation of the system or plan unless a transfer, merger, or consolidation of government functions or services occurs, in which case the assumptions for payroll growth may be adjusted and may be based on the membership of the retirement plan or system subsequent to such transfer, merger, or consolidation.
(b) An unfunded liability amortization schedule that includes a payroll growth assumption and is in existence on September 30, 1996, or is established thereafter, may be continued using the same payroll growth assumption, or one not exceeding the payroll growth assumption established at the start of the schedule, regardless of the actual 10-year average payroll growth rate, provided that:
1. The assumptions underlying the payroll growth rate are consistent with the actuarial assumptions used to determine unfunded liabilities, including, but not limited to, the inflation assumption; and
2. The payroll growth rate is reasonable and consistent with future expectations of payroll growth.
(c) An unfunded liability amortization schedule that does not include a payroll growth assumption and is in existence on September 30, 1996, or is established thereafter, may be continued or modified to include a payroll growth assumption, provided that such assumption does not exceed the 10-year average payroll growth rate as of the actuarial valuation date such change in the amortization schedule commences. Such schedule may be continued thereafter, subject to the reasonable and consistent requirements in paragraph (b).
(6) Nothing contained in this section shall result in the allocation of chapter 175 or chapter 185 premium tax funds to any other retirement system or plan or for any other use than the exclusive purpose of providing retirement benefits for firefighters or police officers.
History.s. 1, ch. 78-170; s. 16, ch. 79-183; s. 2, ch. 84-266; s. 2, ch. 96-368; s. 22, ch. 99-255.
112.65 Limitation of benefits.
(1) ESTABLISHMENT OF PROGRAM.The normal retirement benefit or pension payable to a retiree who becomes a member of any retirement system or plan and who has not previously participated in such plan, on or after January 1, 1980, may not exceed 100 percent of his or her average final compensation. However, this section does not apply to supplemental retirement benefits or to pension increases attributable to cost-of-living increases or adjustments. For the purposes of this section, benefits accruing in individual member accounts established under the investment plan established in part II of chapter 121 are considered supplemental benefits. As used in this section, the term “average final compensation” means the average of the member’s earnings over a period of time which the governmental entity has established by statute, charter, or ordinance.
(2) RESTRICTION.No member of a retirement system or plan covered by this part who is not now a member of such plan shall be allowed to receive a retirement benefit or pension which is in part or in whole based upon any service with respect to which the member is already receiving, or will receive in the future, a retirement benefit or pension from a different employer’s retirement system or plan. This restriction does not apply to social security benefits or federal benefits under chapter 67, Title 10, United States Code.
History.s. 1, ch. 78-170; s. 17, ch. 79-183; s. 4, ch. 88-382; s. 723, ch. 95-147; s. 2, ch. 99-392; s. 1, ch. 2000-169; s. 4, ch. 2011-68.
112.656 Fiduciary duties; certain officials included as fiduciaries.
(1) A fiduciary shall discharge his or her duties with respect to a plan solely in the interest of the participants and beneficiaries for the exclusive purpose of providing benefits to participants and their beneficiaries and defraying reasonable expenses of administering the plan.
(2) Each retirement system or plan shall have one or more named fiduciaries with authority to control and manage the administration and operation of the retirement system or plan. However, the plan administrator, and any officer, trustee, and custodian, and any counsel, accountant, and actuary of the retirement system or plan who is employed on a full-time basis, shall be included as fiduciaries of such system or plan.
(3) A retirement system or plan may purchase insurance for its named fiduciary to cover liability or losses incurred by reason of act or omission of the fiduciary.
History.s. 18, ch. 79-183; s. 724, ch. 95-147.
112.658 Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability to determine compliance of the Florida Retirement System.
(1) The Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability shall determine, through the examination of actuarial reviews, financial statements, and the practices and procedures of the Department of Management Services, the compliance of the Florida Retirement System with the provisions of this act.
(2) The Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability shall employ an independent consulting actuary who is an enrolled actuary as defined in this part to assist in the determination of compliance.
(3) The Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability shall employ the same actuarial standards to monitor the Department of Management Services as the Department of Management Services uses to monitor local governments.
History.s. 18, ch. 79-183; s. 4, ch. 83-37; s. 3, ch. 96-368; s. 23, ch. 99-255.
112.66 General provisions.The following general provisions relating to the operation and administration of any retirement system or plan covered by this part shall be applicable:
(1) The provisions of each retirement system or plan shall be contained in a written summary plan description, to be published on a biennial basis, in a manner calculated to be understood by the average plan participant and sufficiently accurate and comprehensive to apprise participants of their rights and obligations under the plan and which shall include a report of pertinent financial and actuarial information on the solvency and actuarial soundness of the plan. Such summary plan description shall be furnished to a member of the system or plan upon initial employment or participation in such plan and, thereafter, with each new biennial publication by the administrator. The administrator of each plan shall publish the summary plan description not later than 210 days after the end of the plan year in which publication is required. During those years when a complete summary plan description is not published, the administrator of each plan or retirement system shall publish a supplement of changes during the previous year to be furnished to new members of the system upon initial employment or participation in the plan.
(2) The plan description shall contain the following information: the name and type of administration of the plan; the name and address of the person designated as agent for the service of legal process, if such person is not the administrator; the name and address of the administrator; the names, titles, and addresses of any trustee or trustees, if they are persons different from the administrator; a description of the relevant provisions of any applicable collective bargaining agreement; the plan’s requirements respecting eligibility for participation and benefits; a description of the provisions providing for nonforfeitable pension benefits; the circumstances which may result in disqualification, ineligibility, or denial or forfeiture of benefits; the source of financing of the plan and the identity of any organization through which benefits are provided; the date of the end of the plan year and whether the records of the plan are kept on a calendar, policy, or fiscal year basis; the procedures to be followed in presenting claims for benefits under the plan and the remedies available under the plan for the redress of claims which are denied in whole or in part; citations to the relevant provisions of state or local law and regulations governing the establishment, operation, and administration of the plan; a description of those provisions which specify the conditions under which pension benefits become vested pension benefits; and a report of pertinent financial and actuarial information on the solvency and actuarial soundness of the plan.
(3) Each retirement system or plan shall provide for a plan administrator.
(4) Any provision in a legal agreement, contract, or instrument which purports to relieve a fiduciary of a retirement system or plan from responsibility or liability is void as being against public policy.
(5) A civil action may be brought by a member or beneficiary of a retirement system or plan to recover benefits due to him or her under the terms of his or her retirement system or plan, to enforce the member’s or beneficiary’s rights, or to clarify his or her rights to future benefits under the terms of the retirement system or plan.
(6) The governmental entity responsible for the administration and operation of a retirement system or plan may sue or be sued as an entity.
(7) There shall be timely adequate written notice given to any member or beneficiary whose claim for benefits under the terms of his or her retirement system or plan has been denied, setting forth the specific reasons for such denial. Unless otherwise provided by law, the terms of the retirement system or plan shall provide for a full and fair review in those cases when a member or beneficiary has had his or her claim to benefits denied.
(8) The assets and liabilities of a retirement system or plan shall remain under the ultimate control of the governmental unit responsible for the retirement system or plan, unless an irrevocable trust has been or is established for the purpose of managing and controlling the retirement system or plan, in which case the board of trustees shall have ultimate control over the assets and liabilities of the retirement system or plan. Nothing herein shall absolve the governmental unit from being ultimately responsible for the payment of its contribution to a retirement system or plan nor remove from the governmental unit the ultimate authority to adjust benefits consistent with the Florida Statutes and the retirement system or plan; however, nothing contained herein shall be construed to permit the creation of such irrevocable trust except by special act of the Legislature.
(9) The instrument or instruments, ordinance, or statute under which a retirement system or plan operates shall provide that all assets of such retirement system or plan shall be held in trust by the board of trustees or, when an irrevocable trust does not exist, by the governmental entity.
(10) No plan shall discriminate in its benefit formula based on color, national origin, sex, or marital status. Nothing herein shall preclude a plan from actuarially adjusting benefits or offering options based on age, early retirement, or disability.
(11) For noncollectively bargained service earned on or after July 1, 2011, or for service earned under collective bargaining agreements entered into on or after July 1, 2011, when calculating retirement benefits, a defined benefit pension system or plan sponsored by a local government may include up to 300 hours per year of overtime compensation as specified in the plan or collective bargaining agreement, but may not include any payments for accrued unused sick leave or annual leave. For those members whose terms and conditions of employment are collectively bargained, this subsection is effective for the first agreement entered into on or after July 1, 2011. This subsection does not apply to state-administered retirement systems or plans.
(12) An actuarial or cash surplus in any system or plan may not be used for any expenses outside the plan.
(13) A local government sponsor of a retirement system or plan may not reduce contributions required to fund the normal cost. This subsection does not apply to state-administered retirement systems or plans.
(14) The state is not liable for any obligation relating to any current or future shortfall in any local government retirement system or plan.
History.s. 1, ch. 78-170; s. 20, ch. 79-183; s. 3, ch. 90-274; s. 725, ch. 95-147; s. 2, ch. 2011-216; s. 2, ch. 2013-100.
112.661 Investment policies.Investment of the assets of any local retirement system or plan must be consistent with a written investment policy adopted by the board. Such policies shall be structured to maximize the financial return to the retirement system or plan consistent with the risks incumbent in each investment and shall be structured to establish and maintain an appropriate diversification of the retirement system or plan’s assets.
(1) SCOPE.The investment policy shall apply to funds under the control of the board.
(2) INVESTMENT OBJECTIVES.The investment policy shall describe the investment objectives of the board.
(3) PERFORMANCE MEASUREMENT.The investment policy shall specify performance measures as are appropriate for the nature and size of the assets within the board’s custody.
(4) INVESTMENT AND FIDUCIARY STANDARDS.The investment policy shall describe the level of prudence and ethical standards to be followed by the board in carrying out its investment activities with respect to funds described in this section. The board in performing its investment duties shall comply with the fiduciary standards set forth in the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 at 29 U.S.C. s. 1104(a)(1)(A)-(C). In case of conflict with other provisions of law authorizing investments, the investment and fiduciary standards set forth in this section shall prevail.
(5) AUTHORIZED INVESTMENTS.
(a) The investment policy shall list investments authorized by the board. Investments not listed in the investment policy are prohibited. Unless otherwise authorized by law or ordinance, the investment of the assets of any local retirement system or plan covered by this part shall be subject to the limitations and conditions set forth in s. 215.47(1)-(6), (8), (9), (11) and (17).
(b) If a local retirement system or plan has investments that, on October 1, 2000, either exceed the applicable limit or do not satisfy the applicable investment standard, such excess or investment not in compliance with the policy may be continued until such time as it is economically feasible to dispose of such investment. However, no additional investment may be made in the investment category which exceeds the applicable limit, unless authorized by law or ordinance.
(6) MATURITY AND LIQUIDITY REQUIREMENTS.The investment policy shall require that the investment portfolio be structured in such manner as to provide sufficient liquidity to pay obligations as they come due. To that end, the investment policy should direct that, to the extent possible, an attempt will be made to match investment maturities with known cash needs and anticipated cash-flow requirements.
(7) PORTFOLIO COMPOSITION.The investment policy shall establish guidelines for investments and limits on security issues, issuers, and maturities. Such guidelines shall be commensurate with the nature and size of the funds within the custody of the board.
(8) RISK AND DIVERSIFICATION.The investment policy shall provide for appropriate diversification of the investment portfolio. Investments held should be diversified to the extent practicable to control the risk of loss resulting from overconcentration of assets in a specific maturity, issuer, instrument, dealer, or bank through which financial instruments are bought and sold. Diversification strategies within the established guidelines shall be reviewed and revised periodically, as deemed necessary by the board.
(9) EXPECTED ANNUAL RATE OF RETURN.The investment policy shall require that, for each actuarial valuation, the board determine the total expected annual rate of return for the current year, for each of the next several years, and for the long term thereafter. This determination must be filed promptly with the Department of Management Services and with the plan’s sponsor and the consulting actuary. The department shall use this determination only to notify the board, the plan’s sponsor, and consulting actuary of material differences between the total expected annual rate of return and the actuarial assumed rate of return.
(10) THIRD-PARTY CUSTODIAL AGREEMENTS.The investment policy shall provide appropriate arrangements for the holding of assets of the board. Securities should be held with a third party, and all securities purchased by, and all collateral obtained by, the board should be properly designated as an asset of the board. No withdrawal of securities, in whole or in part, shall be made from safekeeping except by an authorized member of the board or the board’s designee. Securities transactions between a broker-dealer and the custodian involving purchase or sale of securities by transfer of money or securities must be made on a “delivery vs. payment” basis, if applicable, to ensure that the custodian will have the security or money, as appropriate, in hand at the conclusion of the transaction.
(11) MASTER REPURCHASE AGREEMENT.The investment policy shall require all approved institutions and dealers transacting repurchase agreements to execute and perform as stated in the Master Repurchase Agreement. All repurchase agreement transactions shall adhere to the requirements of the Master Repurchase Agreement.
(12) BID REQUIREMENT.The investment policy shall provide that the board determine the approximate maturity date based on cash-flow needs and market conditions, analyze and select one or more optimal types of investment, and competitively bid the security in question when feasible and appropriate. Except as otherwise required by law, the most economically advantageous bid must be selected.
(13) INTERNAL CONTROLS.The investment policy shall provide for a system of internal controls and operational procedures. The board shall establish a system of internal controls which shall be in writing and made a part of the board’s operational procedures. The policy shall provide for review of such controls by independent certified public accountants as part of any financial audit periodically required of the board’s unit of local government. The internal controls should be designed to prevent losses of funds which might arise from fraud, error, misrepresentation by third parties, or imprudent actions by the board or employees of the unit of local government.
(14) CONTINUING EDUCATION.The investment policy shall provide for the continuing education of the board members in matters relating to investments and the board’s responsibilities.
(15) REPORTING.The investment policy shall provide for appropriate annual or more frequent reporting of investment activities. To that end, the board shall prepare periodic reports for submission to the governing body of the unit of local government which shall include investments in the portfolio by class or type, book value, income earned, and market value as of the report date. Such reports shall be available to the public.
(16) FILING OF INVESTMENT POLICY.Upon adoption by the board, the investment policy shall be promptly filed with the Department of Management Services and the plan’s sponsor and consulting actuary. The effective date of the investment policy, and any amendment thereto, shall be the 31st calendar day following the filing date with the plan sponsor.
(17) VALUATION OF ILLIQUID INVESTMENTS.The investment policy shall provide for the valuation of illiquid investments for which a generally recognized market is not available or for which there is no consistent or generally accepted pricing mechanism. If those investments are utilized, the investment policy must include the criteria set forth in s. 215.47(6), except that submission to the Investment Advisory Council is not required. The investment policy shall require that, for each actuarial valuation, the board must verify the determination of the fair market value for those investments and ascertain that the determination complies with all applicable state and federal requirements. The investment policy shall require that the board disclose to the Department of Management Services and the plan’s sponsor each such investment for which the fair market value is not provided.
History.s. 2, ch. 2000-264; s. 6, ch. 2009-21.
112.664 Reporting standards for defined benefit retirement plans or systems.
(1) In addition to the other reporting requirements of this part, within 60 days after receipt of the certified actuarial report submitted after the close of the plan year that ends on or after June 30, 2014, and thereafter in each year required under s. 112.63(2), each defined benefit retirement system or plan, excluding the Florida Retirement System, shall prepare and electronically report the following information to the Department of Management Services in a format prescribed by the department:
(a) Annual financial statements that are in compliance with the requirements of the Government Accounting and Standard Board’s Statement No. 67, Financial Reporting for Pension Plans and Statement No. 68, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions, using RP-2000 Combined Healthy Participant Mortality Tables, by gender, with generational projection by Scale AA.
(b) Annual financial statements similar to those required under paragraph (a), but which use an assumed rate of return on investments and an assumed discount rate that are equal to 200 basis points less than the plan’s assumed rate of return.
(c) Information indicating the number of months or years for which the current market value of assets are adequate to sustain the payment of expected retirement benefits as determined in the plan’s latest valuation and under the financial statements prepared pursuant to paragraphs (a) and (b).
(d) Information indicating the recommended contributions to the plan based on the plan’s latest valuation, and the contributions necessary to fund the plan based on financial statements prepared pursuant to paragraphs (a) and (b), stated as an annual dollar value and a percentage of valuation payroll.
(2) Each defined benefit retirement system or plan, excluding the Florida Retirement System, and its plan sponsor:
(a) Shall provide the information required by this section and the funded ratio of the system or plan as determined in the most recent actuarial valuation as part of the disclosures required under s. 166.241(3) and on any website that contains budget information relating to the plan sponsor or actuarial or performance information related to the system or plan.
(b) That has a publicly available website shall provide on that website:
1. The plan’s most recent financial statement and actuarial valuation, including a link to the Division of Retirement Actuarial Summary Fact Sheet for that plan.
2. For the previous 5 years, beginning with 2013, a side-by-side comparison of the plan’s assumed rate of return compared to the actual rate of return, as well as the percentages of cash, equity, bond, and alternative investments in the plan portfolio.
3. Any charts and graphs of the data provided in subparagraphs 1. and 2., presented in a standardized, user-friendly, and easily interpretable format as prescribed by the department.
(3) The plan shall be deemed to be in noncompliance if it has not submitted the required information to the Department of Management Services within 60 days after receipt of the certified actuarial report for the plan year for which the information is required to be submitted to the department.
(a) The Department of Management Services may notify the Department of Revenue and the Department of Financial Services of the noncompliance, and the Department of Revenue and the Department of Financial Services shall withhold any funds not pledged for satisfaction of bond debt service and which are payable to the plan sponsor until the information is provided to the department. The department shall specify the date the withholding is to begin and notify the Department of Revenue, the Department of Financial Services, and the plan sponsor 30 days before the specified date.
(b) Within 21 days after receipt of the notice, the plan sponsor may petition the Department of Management Services for a hearing under ss. 120.569 and 120.57. The Department of Revenue and the Department of Financial Services may not be parties to the hearing, but may request to intervene if requested by the department or if the Department of Revenue or the Department of Financial Services determines its interests may be adversely affected by the hearing.
History.s. 3, ch. 2013-100.
112.665 Duties of Department of Management Services.
(1) The Department of Management Services shall:
(a) Gather, catalog, and maintain complete, computerized data information on all public employee retirement systems or plans in the state based upon a review of audits, reports, and other data pertaining to the systems or plans;
(b) Receive and comment upon all actuarial reviews of retirement systems or plans maintained by units of local government;
(c) Cooperate with local retirement systems or plans on matters of mutual concern and provide technical assistance to units of local government in the assessment and revision of retirement systems or plans;
(d) Annually issue, by January 1, a report to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, which details division activities, findings, and recommendations concerning all governmental retirement systems. The report may include legislation proposed to carry out such recommendations;
(e) Provide a fact sheet for each participating local government defined benefit pension plan which summarizes the plan’s actuarial status. The fact sheet should provide a summary of the plan’s most current actuarial data, minimum funding requirements as a percentage of pay, and a 5-year history of funded ratios. The fact sheet must include a brief explanation of each element in order to maximize the transparency of the local government plans. The fact sheet must also contain the information specified in s. 112.664(1). These documents shall be posted on the department’s website. Plan sponsors that have websites must provide a link to the department’s website;
(f) Annually issue, by January 1, a report to the Special District Information Program of the Department of Economic Opportunity which includes the participation in and compliance of special districts with the local government retirement system provisions in s. 112.63 and the state-administered retirement system provisions specified in part I of chapter 121; and
(g) Adopt reasonable rules to administer this part.
(2) The department may subpoena actuarial witnesses, review books and records, hold hearings, and take testimony. A witness shall have the right to be accompanied by counsel.
History.s. 19, ch. 79-183; s. 7, ch. 84-254; s. 34, ch. 89-169; s. 49, ch. 92-279; s. 55, ch. 92-326; s. 24, ch. 94-249; s. 24, ch. 99-255; s. 14, ch. 2000-169; s. 46, ch. 2011-142; s. 3, ch. 2011-216; s. 4, ch. 2013-100.
112.67 Special acts prohibited.Pursuant to s. 11(a)(21), Art. III of the State Constitution, the Legislature hereby prohibits special laws or general laws of local application in conflict with the requirements of this part.
History.s. 2, ch. 78-170.
PART VIII
FIREFIGHTERS
112.80 Short title.
112.81 Definitions.
112.82 Rights of firefighters.
112.83 Rights of firefighters with respect to civil suits.
112.84 Rights of firefighters nonexclusive.
112.80 Short title.This part may be cited as the “Firefighters’ Bill of Rights.”
History.s. 1, ch. 86-6.
112.81 Definitions.As used in this part:
(1) “Firefighter” means a person who is certified in compliance with s. 633.408 and who is employed solely within the fire department or public safety department of an employing agency as a full-time firefighter whose primary responsibility is the prevention and extinguishment of fires; the protection of life and property; and the enforcement of municipal, county, and state fire prevention codes and laws pertaining to the prevention and control of fires.
(2) “Employing agency” means any municipality or the state or any political subdivision thereof, including authorities and special districts, which employs firefighters.
(3) “Informal inquiry” means a meeting by supervisory or management personnel with a firefighter about whom an allegation of misconduct has come to the attention of such supervisory or management personnel, the purpose of which meeting is to mediate a complaint or discuss the facts to determine whether a formal investigation should be commenced.
(4) “Formal investigation” means the process of investigation ordered by supervisory personnel, after the supervisory personnel have previously determined that the firefighter shall be reprimanded, suspended, or removed, during which the questioning of a firefighter is conducted for the purpose of gathering evidence of misconduct.
(5) “Administrative proceeding” means any nonjudicial hearing which may result in the recommendation, approval, or order of disciplinary action against, or suspension or discharge of, a firefighter.
(6) “Interrogation” means the questioning of a firefighter by an employing agency in connection with a formal investigation or an administrative proceeding but shall not include arbitration or civil service proceedings. Questioning pursuant to an informal inquiry shall not be deemed to be an interrogation.
History.s. 1, ch. 86-6; s. 118, ch. 2013-183.
112.82 Rights of firefighters.Whenever a firefighter is subjected to an interrogation, such interrogation shall be conducted pursuant to the terms of this section.
(1) The interrogation shall take place at the facility where the investigating officer is assigned, or at the facility which has jurisdiction over the place where the incident under investigation allegedly occurred, as designated by the investigating officer.
(2) No firefighter shall be subjected to interrogation without first receiving written notice of sufficient detail of the investigation in order to reasonably apprise the firefighter of the nature of the investigation. The firefighter shall be informed beforehand of the names of all complainants.
(3) All interrogations shall be conducted at a reasonable time of day, preferably when the firefighter is on duty, unless the importance of the interrogation or investigation is of such a nature that immediate action is required.
(4) The firefighter under investigation shall be informed of the name, rank, and unit or command of the officer in charge of the investigation, the interrogators, and all persons present during any interrogation.
(5) Interrogation sessions shall be of reasonable duration and the firefighter shall be permitted reasonable periods for rest and personal necessities.
(6) The firefighter being interrogated shall not be subjected to offensive language or offered any incentive as an inducement to answer any questions.
(7) A complete record of any interrogation shall be made, and if a transcript of such interrogation is made, the firefighter under investigation shall be entitled to a copy without charge. Such record may be electronically recorded.
(8) An employee or officer of an employing agency may represent the agency, and an employee organization may represent any member of a bargaining unit desiring such representation in any proceeding to which this part applies. If a collective bargaining agreement provides for the presence of a representative of the collective bargaining unit during investigations or interrogations, such representative shall be allowed to be present.
(9) No firefighter shall be discharged, disciplined, demoted, denied promotion or seniority, transferred, reassigned, or otherwise disciplined or discriminated against in regard to his or her employment, or be threatened with any such treatment as retaliation for or by reason solely of his or her exercise of any of the rights granted or protected by this part.
History.s. 1, ch. 86-6.
112.83 Rights of firefighters with respect to civil suits.If an agency employing firefighters fails to comply with the requirements of this part, a firefighter employed by such agency who is personally injured by such failure to comply may apply directly to the circuit court of the county wherein such employing agency is headquartered and permanently resides for an injunction to restrain and enjoin such violation of the provisions of this part and to complete the performance of the duties imposed by this part.
History.s. 1, ch. 86-6.
112.84 Rights of firefighters nonexclusive.
(1) The rights of firefighters as set forth in this part shall not be construed to diminish the rights and privileges of firefighters that are guaranteed to all citizens by the Constitution and laws of the United States and of this state or limit the granting of broader rights by other law, ordinance, or rule. These rights include the right to bring suit against any individual, group of persons, association, organization, or corporation for damages, either monetary or otherwise, suffered during the performance of the firefighter’s official duties or for abridgment of the firefighter’s rights, civil or otherwise, arising out of the performance of his or her official duties.
(2) This part is neither designed to abridge nor expand the rights of firefighters to bring civil suits for injuries suffered in the course of their employment as recognized by the courts, nor is it designed to abrogate any common-law or statutory limitation on the rights of recovery.
History.s. 1, ch. 86-6.