Bill Text: FL S1202 | 2020 | Regular Session | Introduced

Bill Title: Care for Retired Law Enforcement Dogs

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Failed) 2020-03-14 - Died in Appropriations Subcommittee on Criminal and Civil Justice [S1202 Detail]

Download: Florida-2020-S1202-Introduced.html
       Florida Senate - 2020                                    SB 1202
       By Senator Powell
       30-00151-20                                           20201202__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to care for retired law enforcement
    3         dogs; creating s. 943.69, F.S.; providing a short
    4         title; providing legislative findings; defining terms;
    5         creating the Care for Retired Law Enforcement Dogs
    6         Program within the Department of Law Enforcement;
    7         requiring the department to contract with a nonprofit
    8         corporation to administer and manage the program;
    9         providing requirements for the corporation not for
   10         profit; providing requirements for the disbursement of
   11         funds for the veterinary care of eligible retired law
   12         enforcement dogs; placing an annual cap on the amount
   13         of funds available for the care of an eligible retired
   14         law enforcement dog; prohibiting a former handler or
   15         adopter from accumulating unused funds from a current
   16         year for use in a future year; prohibiting a former
   17         handler or adopter from receiving reimbursement if
   18         funds are depleted for the year for which the
   19         reimbursement is sought; requiring the department to
   20         pay to the nonprofit corporation, and authorizing the
   21         nonprofit corporation to use, up to a certain
   22         percentage of appropriated funds for administrative
   23         purposes; requiring the department to adopt rules;
   24         providing an appropriation; providing an effective
   25         date.
   27  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   29         Section 1. Section 943.69, Florida Statutes, is created to
   30  read:
   31         943.69 Care for Retired Law Enforcement Dogs Program.—
   32         (1) SHORT TITLE.—This section may be cited as the “Care for
   33  Retired Law Enforcement Dogs Program Act.”
   34         (2) LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS.—The Legislature finds that:
   35         (a) Law enforcement dogs are an integral part of many law
   36  enforcement efforts statewide, including the apprehension of
   37  suspects through tracking and searching, evidence location, drug
   38  and bomb detection, and search and rescue operations;
   39         (b) Law enforcement agencies agree that the use of law
   40  enforcement dogs is an extremely cost-effective means of crime
   41  control and that these dogs possess skills and abilities that
   42  frequently exceed those of existing technology;
   43         (c) The service of law enforcement dogs is often dangerous
   44  and can expose them to injury at a rate higher than that of
   45  nonservice dogs; and
   46         (d) Law enforcement dogs provide significant contributions
   47  to the residents of this state.
   48         (3) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
   49         (a) “Law enforcement agency” means a lawfully established
   50  state or local public agency having primary responsibility for
   51  the prevention and detection of crime or the enforcement of
   52  penal, traffic, highway, regulatory, game, immigration, postal,
   53  customs, or controlled substance laws.
   54         (b) “Retired law enforcement dog” means a dog that was
   55  previously in the service of or employed by a law enforcement
   56  agency in this state for the principal purpose of aiding in the
   57  detection of criminal activity, enforcement of laws, or
   58  apprehension of offenders and that received certification in
   59  obedience and apprehension work from a certifying organization,
   60  such as the National Police Canine Association, Inc., or other
   61  certifying organization.
   62         (c) “Veterinarian” has the same meaning as provided in s.
   63  474.202.
   64         (d) “Veterinary care” means the practice, by a
   65  veterinarian, of veterinary medicine as defined in s. 474.202.
   66  The term includes annual wellness examinations, vaccinations,
   67  internal and external parasite prevention treatments, testing
   68  and treatment of illnesses and diseases, medications, emergency
   69  care and surgeries, veterinary oncology or other specialty care,
   70  euthanasia, and cremation.
   71         (4) ESTABLISHMENT OF PROGRAM.—The Care for Retired Law
   72  Enforcement Dogs Program is created within the department to
   73  provide a stable funding source for the veterinary care these
   74  dogs receive.
   75         (5) ADMINISTRATION.—The department shall contract with a
   76  nonprofit corporation organized under chapter 617 to administer
   77  and manage the Care for Retired Law Enforcement Dogs Program.
   78  Notwithstanding chapter 287, the department shall select the
   79  nonprofit corporation through a competitive grant award process.
   80  The nonprofit corporation must meet all of the following
   81  criteria:
   82         (a) Be dedicated to the protection or care of retired law
   83  enforcement dogs.
   84         (b) Be exempt from taxation under s. 501(a) of the Internal
   85  Revenue Code as an organization described in s. 501(c)(3) of
   86  that code.
   87         (c) Have maintained such tax-exempt status for at least 5
   88  years.
   89         (d) Agree to be subject to review and audit at the
   90  discretion of the Auditor General in order to ensure accurate
   91  accounting and disbursement of state funds.
   92         (e) Demonstrate the ability to effectively and efficiently
   93  disseminate information and to assist former handlers and
   94  adopters of retired law enforcement dogs in complying with this
   95  section.
   96         (6) FUNDING.—
   97         (a) The nonprofit corporation shall be the disbursing
   98  authority for funds the Legislature appropriates to the
   99  department for the Care for Retired Law Enforcement Dogs
  100  Program. These funds must be disbursed to the former handler or
  101  adopter of a retired law enforcement dog upon receipt of:
  102         1. Valid documentation from the law enforcement agency from
  103  which the dog retired which verifies that the dog was in the
  104  service of or employed by that agency; and
  105         2. A valid invoice from a veterinarian for veterinary care
  106  provided in this state to a retired law enforcement dog and
  107  documentation establishing payment of the invoice by the former
  108  handler or adopter of a retired law enforcement dog.
  109         (b) Annual disbursements to a former handler or adopter to
  110  reimburse him or her for the cost of the retired law enforcement
  111  dog’s veterinary care may not exceed $1,500 per dog. A former
  112  handler or adopter of a retired law enforcement dog may not
  113  accumulate unused funds from a current year for use in a future
  114  year.
  115         (c) A former handler or adopter of a retired law
  116  enforcement dog who seeks reimbursement for veterinary care may
  117  not receive reimbursement if funds appropriated for the Care for
  118  Retired Law Enforcement Dogs Program are depleted in the year
  119  for which the reimbursement is sought.
  120         (7) ADMINISTRATIVE FEES.—The department shall pay to the
  121  nonprofit corporation, and the nonprofit corporation may use, up
  122  to 10 percent of appropriated funds for its administrative
  123  expenses, including salaries and benefits.
  124         (8) RULEMAKING AUTHORITY.—The department shall adopt rules
  125  pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement this section.
  126         Section 2. For the 2020-2021 fiscal year, and each fiscal
  127  year thereafter, the sum of $300,000 in recurring funds is
  128  appropriated from the General Revenue Fund to the Department of
  129  Law Enforcement for the purpose of implementing and
  130  administering the Care for Retired Law Enforcement Dogs Program.
  131         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2020.