Bill Text: FL S1404 | 2020 | Regular Session | Comm Sub


Bill Title: Financial Services

Spectrum: Bipartisan Bill

Status: (Introduced) 2020-03-14 - Died on Calendar [S1404 Detail]

Download: Florida-2020-S1404-Comm_Sub.html
       Florida Senate - 2020                      CS for CS for SB 1404
       
       
        
       By the Committees on Appropriations; and Banking and Insurance;
       and Senators Perry and Brandes
       
       
       
       
       576-04568-20                                          20201404c2
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to financial services; amending s.
    3         20.121, F.S.; specifying powers and duties of the
    4         Division of Public Assistance Fraud; amending s.
    5         284.30, F.S.; requiring the State Risk Management
    6         Trust Fund to provide insurance for certain
    7         firefighter cancer-related benefits; amending s.
    8         284.31, F.S.; requiring the Insurance Risk Management
    9         Trust Fund to provide a separate account for certain
   10         firefighter cancer-related benefits; amending s.
   11         284.385, F.S.; specifying a condition that must be met
   12         before such benefits may be paid from the State Risk
   13         Management Trust Fund; creating s. 284.45, F.S.;
   14         prohibiting individuals working for entities covered
   15         by the State Risk Management Trust Fund from engaging
   16         in retaliatory conduct against sexual harassment
   17         victims; defining the term “sexual harassment victim”;
   18         specifying a criminal penalty for the willful and
   19         knowing dissemination of a sexual harassment victim’s
   20         personal identifying information, except under certain
   21         circumstances; specifying protected personal
   22         identifying information; amending s. 497.101, F.S.;
   23         revising provisions relating to membership of the
   24         Board of Funeral, Cemetery, and Consumer Services
   25         within the Department of Financial Services; deleting
   26         a requirement for the department to adopt certain
   27         rules; creating s. 497.1411, F.S.; defining terms;
   28         providing for permanent disqualification of applicants
   29         for licensure under ch. 497, F.S., for certain
   30         offenses; providing for disqualifying periods for
   31         applicants for certain offenses; requiring the board
   32         to adopt rules; providing for calculation of
   33         disqualifying periods; providing conditions for
   34         licensure after completion of a disqualifying period;
   35         specifying the effect of a pardon or clemency;
   36         providing for exemptions from disqualification in
   37         certain circumstances; providing procedures for
   38         consideration of applications for such exemptions;
   39         providing construction; amending s. 497.142, F.S.;
   40         revising criminal history disclosure requirements for
   41         applicants seeking licensure under ch. 497, F.S.;
   42         amending s. 497.157, F.S.; prohibiting persons from
   43         acting as or advertising themselves as being funeral
   44         directors, embalmers, direct disposers, or preneed
   45         sales agents unless they are so licensed; prohibiting
   46         persons from engaging in certain activities requiring
   47         licensure without holding required licenses; revising
   48         the criminal penalty for unlicensed activity; amending
   49         s. 497.159, F.S.; conforming a provision to changes
   50         made by the act; amending s. 552.081, F.S.; revising
   51         the definition of the term “two-component explosives”
   52         for the purpose of regulation by the Division of State
   53         Fire Marshal; amending s. 553.7921, F.S.; authorizing
   54         a contractor repairing certain existing fire alarm
   55         systems to begin work after filing an application for
   56         a required permit but before receiving the permit;
   57         providing construction; amending s. 626.2815, F.S.;
   58         revising continuing education requirements for certain
   59         persons licensed to solicit, sell, or adjust
   60         insurance; amending s. 627.70132, F.S.; decreasing the
   61         timeframe in which a notice of an initial claim for
   62         loss or damage caused by the peril of windstorm or
   63         hurricane must be given to a property insurer;
   64         amending s. 633.102, F.S.; revising the authority of
   65         certain fire protection system contractors to design
   66         and alter certain systems; amending s. 633.136, F.S.;
   67         replacing fire protection agencies in the Fire and
   68         Emergency Incident Information Reporting Program with
   69         fire service providers and defining the term; revising
   70         the composition of the Fire and Emergency Incident
   71         Information System Technical Advisory Panel; amending
   72         s. 633.202, F.S.; extending a deadline for certain
   73         buildings to comply with a minimum radio signal
   74         strength requirement under the Florida Fire Prevention
   75         Code; requiring such buildings to meet certain
   76         conditions by a specified date; revising a condition
   77         that existing apartment buildings must meet by a
   78         specified date; extending the repeal date of
   79         exemptions to the Florida Fire Prevention Code which
   80         authorize doorstep refuse and recycling collection
   81         containers to be in exit access corridors in certain
   82         apartment occupancies under certain circumstances;
   83         creating s. 633.217, F.S.; prohibiting certain acts to
   84         influence a firesafety inspector to violate certain
   85         laws; prohibiting a firesafety inspector from
   86         knowingly and willfully accepting an attempt to
   87         influence him or her to violate certain laws; amending
   88         s. 633.304, F.S.; revising requirements for training
   89         courses for licensees installing or maintaining
   90         certain fire suppression equipment; amending s.
   91         633.402, F.S.; revising the composition of the
   92         Firefighters Employment, Standards, and Training
   93         Council; amending s. 633.416, F.S.; providing that
   94         certain persons serving as volunteer firefighters may
   95         serve as a regular or permanent firefighter for a
   96         limited period, subject to certain restrictions;
   97         amending s. 843.08, F.S.; prohibiting false
   98         personation of personnel or representatives of the
   99         Division of Investigative and Forensic Services;
  100         providing criminal penalties; amending s. 943.045,
  101         F.S.; revising the definition of the term “criminal
  102         justice agency” to include the investigations
  103         component of the department which investigates certain
  104         crimes; amending chapter 2019-140, L.O.F.; extending
  105         the deadline for the Florida Blockchain Task Force to
  106         submit its report to the Governor and the Legislature;
  107         providing effective dates.
  108          
  109  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
  110  
  111         Section 1. Paragraph (f) of subsection (2) of section
  112  20.121, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  113         20.121 Department of Financial Services.—There is created a
  114  Department of Financial Services.
  115         (2) DIVISIONS.—The Department of Financial Services shall
  116  consist of the following divisions and office:
  117         (f) The Division of Public Assistance Fraud, which shall
  118  function as a criminal justice agency for purposes of ss.
  119  943.045-943.08. The division shall conduct investigations
  120  pursuant to s. 414.411 within or outside of this state as it
  121  deems necessary. If, during an investigation, the division has
  122  reason to believe that any criminal law of this state has or may
  123  have been violated, it shall refer any records tending to show
  124  such violation to state or federal law enforcement or
  125  prosecutorial agencies and shall provide investigative
  126  assistance to those agencies as required.
  127         Section 2. Section 284.30, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  128  read:
  129         284.30 State Risk Management Trust Fund; coverages to be
  130  provided.—A state self-insurance fund, designated as the “State
  131  Risk Management Trust Fund,” is created to be set up by the
  132  Department of Financial Services and administered with a program
  133  of risk management, which fund is to provide insurance, as
  134  authorized by s. 284.33, for workers’ compensation, general
  135  liability, fleet automotive liability, federal civil rights
  136  actions under 42 U.S.C. s. 1983 or similar federal statutes,
  137  benefits payable under s. 112.1816(2), and court-awarded
  138  attorney attorney’s fees in other proceedings against the state
  139  except for such awards in eminent domain or for inverse
  140  condemnation or for awards by the Public Employees Relations
  141  Commission. A party to a suit in any court, to be entitled to
  142  have his or her attorney attorney’s fees paid by the state or
  143  any of its agencies, must serve a copy of the pleading claiming
  144  the fees on the Department of Financial Services; and thereafter
  145  the department shall be entitled to participate with the agency
  146  in the defense of the suit and any appeal thereof with respect
  147  to such fees.
  148         Section 3. Section 284.31, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  149  read:
  150         284.31 Scope and types of coverages; separate accounts.—The
  151  Insurance Risk Management Trust Fund shall, unless specifically
  152  excluded by the Department of Financial Services, cover all
  153  departments of the State of Florida and their employees, agents,
  154  and volunteers and shall provide separate accounts for workers’
  155  compensation, general liability, fleet automotive liability,
  156  federal civil rights actions under 42 U.S.C. s. 1983 or similar
  157  federal statutes, benefits payable under s. 112.1816(2), and
  158  court-awarded attorney attorney’s fees in other proceedings
  159  against the state except for such awards in eminent domain or
  160  for inverse condemnation or for awards by the Public Employees
  161  Relations Commission. Unless specifically excluded by the
  162  Department of Financial Services, the Insurance Risk Management
  163  Trust Fund shall provide fleet automotive liability coverage to
  164  motor vehicles titled to the state, or to any department of the
  165  state, when such motor vehicles are used by community
  166  transportation coordinators performing, under contract to the
  167  appropriate department of the state, services for the
  168  transportation disadvantaged under part I of chapter 427. Such
  169  fleet automotive liability coverage shall be primary and shall
  170  be subject to the provisions of s. 768.28 and parts II and III
  171  of chapter 284, and applicable rules adopted thereunder, and the
  172  terms and conditions of the certificate of coverage issued by
  173  the Department of Financial Services.
  174         Section 4. Section 284.385, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  175  read:
  176         284.385 Reporting and handling of claims.—
  177         (1) All departments covered by the State Risk Management
  178  Trust Fund under this part shall immediately report all known or
  179  potential claims to the Department of Financial Services for
  180  handling, except employment complaints which have not been filed
  181  with the Florida Human Relations Commission, Equal Employment
  182  Opportunity Commission, or any similar agency. When deemed
  183  necessary, the Department of Financial Services shall assign or
  184  reassign the claim to counsel. The assigned counsel shall report
  185  regularly to the Department of Financial Services or to the
  186  covered department on the status of any such claims or
  187  litigation as required by the Department of Financial Services.
  188  No such claim shall be compromised or settled for monetary
  189  compensation without the prior approval of the Department of
  190  Financial Services and prior notification to the covered
  191  department. All departments shall cooperate with the Department
  192  of Financial Services in its handling of claims. The Department
  193  of Financial Services and the Department of Management Services,
  194  with the cooperation of the state attorneys and the clerks of
  195  the courts, shall develop a system to coordinate the exchange of
  196  information concerning claims for and against the state, its
  197  agencies, and its subdivisions, to assist in collection of
  198  amounts due to them. The covered department shall have the
  199  responsibility for the settlement of any claim for injunctive or
  200  affirmative relief under 42 U.S.C. s. 1983 or similar federal or
  201  state statutes. The payment of a settlement or judgment for any
  202  claim covered and reported under this part shall be made only
  203  from the State Risk Management Trust Fund.
  204         (2)Benefits provided under s. 112.1816(2) may not be paid
  205  from the fund until each request for any out-of-pocket
  206  deductible, copayment, or coinsurance costs and one-time cash
  207  payout has been validated and approved by the Department of
  208  Management Services.
  209         Section 5. Section 284.45, Florida Statutes, is created to
  210  read:
  211         284.45 Sexual harassment victims.—
  212         (1)An individual working for an entity covered by the
  213  State Risk Management Trust Fund may not engage in retaliatory
  214  conduct of any kind against a sexual harassment victim. As used
  215  in this section, the term “sexual harassment victim” means an
  216  individual employed, or being considered for employment, with an
  217  entity participating in the State Risk Management Trust Fund,
  218  who becomes a victim of workplace sexual harassment through the
  219  course of employment, or while being considered for employment,
  220  with the entity.
  221         (2)The willful and knowing dissemination of personal
  222  identifying information of a sexual harassment victim to any
  223  party other than a governmental entity in furtherance of its
  224  official duties or pursuant to a court order is a misdemeanor of
  225  the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082. For
  226  purposes of this subsection, personal identifying information
  227  includes the name of the sexual harassment victim and his or
  228  her:
  229         (a)Home address;
  230         (b)Home phone number;
  231         (c)Cellular phone number;
  232         (d)E-mail address;
  233         (e)Social media account username or uniform resource
  234  locator (URL); or
  235         (f)Any other information that could reasonably be used to
  236  identify an alleged sexual harassment victim.
  237         Section 6. Subsections (1), (2), (3), (6), and (8) of
  238  section 497.101, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  239         497.101 Board of Funeral, Cemetery, and Consumer Services;
  240  membership; appointment; terms.—
  241         (1) The Board of Funeral, Cemetery, and Consumer Services
  242  is created within the Department of Financial Services and shall
  243  consist of 10 members, 9 of whom shall be appointed by the
  244  Governor from nominations made by the Chief Financial Officer
  245  and confirmed by the Senate. The Chief Financial Officer shall
  246  nominate one to three persons for each of the nine vacancies on
  247  the board, and the Governor shall fill each vacancy on the board
  248  by appointing one of the three persons nominated by the Chief
  249  Financial Officer to fill that vacancy. If the Governor objects
  250  to each of the three nominations for a vacancy, she or he shall
  251  inform the Chief Financial Officer in writing. Upon notification
  252  of an objection by the Governor, the Chief Financial Officer
  253  shall submit one to three additional nominations for that
  254  vacancy until the vacancy is filled. One member must be the
  255  State Health Officer or her or his designee.
  256         (2) Two members of the board shall be funeral directors
  257  licensed under part III of this chapter who are associated with
  258  a funeral establishment. One member of the board shall be a
  259  funeral director licensed under part III of this chapter who is
  260  associated with a funeral establishment licensed under part III
  261  of this chapter that has a valid preneed license issued pursuant
  262  to this chapter and who owns or operates a cinerator facility
  263  approved under chapter 403 and licensed under part VI of this
  264  chapter. Two members of the board shall be persons whose primary
  265  occupation is associated with a cemetery company licensed
  266  pursuant to this chapter. Two Three members of the board shall
  267  be consumers who are residents of the state, have never been
  268  licensed as funeral directors or embalmers, are not connected
  269  with a cemetery or cemetery company licensed pursuant to this
  270  chapter, and are not connected with the death care industry or
  271  the practice of embalming, funeral directing, or direct
  272  disposition. One of the two consumer members shall be at least
  273  60 years of age, and one shall be licensed as a certified public
  274  accountant under chapter 473. One member of the board shall be a
  275  consumer who is a resident of this state; is licensed as a
  276  certified public accountant under chapter 473; has never been
  277  licensed as a funeral director or embalmer; is not a principal
  278  or employee of any licensee licensed under this chapter; and
  279  does not otherwise have control, as defined in s. 497.005, over
  280  any licensee licensed under this chapter. One member of the
  281  board shall be a principal of a monument establishment licensed
  282  under this chapter as a monument builder. One member shall be
  283  the State Health Officer or her or his designee. There shall not
  284  be two or more board members who are principals or employees of
  285  the same company or partnership or group of companies or
  286  partnerships under common control.
  287         (3) Board members shall be appointed for terms of 4 years,
  288  and the State Health Officer shall serve as long as that person
  289  holds that office. The designee of the State Health Officer
  290  shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor. When the terms of
  291  the initial board members expire, the Chief Financial Officer
  292  shall stagger the terms of the successor members as follows: one
  293  funeral director, one cemetery representative, the monument
  294  builder, and one consumer member shall be appointed for terms of
  295  2 years, and the remaining members shall be appointed for terms
  296  of 4 years. All subsequent terms shall be for 4 years.
  297         (6) The headquarters and records of the board shall be in
  298  the Division of Funeral, Cemetery, and Consumer Services of the
  299  Department of Financial Services in the City of Tallahassee. The
  300  board may be contacted through the Division of Funeral,
  301  Cemetery, and Consumer Services of the Department of Financial
  302  Services in the City of Tallahassee. The Chief Financial Officer
  303  shall annually appoint from among the board members a chair and
  304  vice chair of the board. The board shall meet at least every 6
  305  months, and more often as necessary. Special meetings of the
  306  board shall be convened upon the direction of the Chief
  307  Financial Officer. A quorum is necessary for the conduct of
  308  business by the board. Unless otherwise provided by law, a
  309  majority of the board members eligible to vote shall constitute
  310  a quorum for the purpose of conducting its business six board
  311  members shall constitute a quorum for the conduct of the board’s
  312  business.
  313         (8)The department shall adopt rules establishing forms by
  314  which persons may apply for membership on the board and
  315  procedures for applying for such membership. Such forms shall
  316  require disclosure of the existence and nature of all current
  317  and past employments by or contracts with, and direct or
  318  indirect affiliations or interests in, any entity or business
  319  that at any time was licensed by the board or by the former
  320  Board of Funeral and Cemetery Services or the former Board of
  321  Funeral Directors and Embalmers or that is or was otherwise
  322  involved in the death care industry, as specified by department
  323  rule.
  324         Section 7. Section 497.1411, Florida Statutes, is created
  325  to read:
  326         497.1411Disqualification of applicants and licensees;
  327  penalties against licensees; rulemaking.—
  328         (1)For purposes of this section, the term:
  329         (a)“Applicant” means an individual applying for licensure
  330  or relicensure under this chapter, and an officer, a director, a
  331  majority owner, a partner, a manager, or other person who
  332  manages or controls an entity applying for licensure or
  333  relicensure under this chapter.
  334         (b)“Felony of the first degree” and “capital felony”
  335  include all felonies designated as such in this state at the
  336  time of the commission of the offense, as well as any offense in
  337  another jurisdiction that is substantially similar to an offense
  338  so designated in this state.
  339         (c)“Financial services business” means any financial
  340  activity regulated by the department, the Office of Insurance
  341  Regulation, or the Office of Financial Regulation.
  342         (2)An applicant who has been found guilty of or has
  343  pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to any of the following
  344  crimes, regardless of adjudication, is permanently barred from
  345  licensure under this chapter:
  346         (a)A felony of the first degree.
  347         (b)A capital felony.
  348         (c)A felony money laundering offense.
  349         (d)A felony embezzlement.
  350         (3)An applicant who has been found guilty of or has
  351  pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to a crime not included in
  352  subsection (2), regardless of adjudication, is subject to:
  353         (a)A 10-year disqualifying period for all felonies
  354  involving moral turpitude that are not specifically included in
  355  the permanent bar contained in subsection (2).
  356         (b)A 5-year disqualifying period for all felonies to which
  357  neither the permanent bar in subsection (2) nor the 10-year
  358  disqualifying period in paragraph (a) applies.
  359         (c)A 5-year disqualifying period for all misdemeanors
  360  directly related to the financial services business.
  361         (4)The board shall adopt rules to administer this section.
  362  The rules must provide for additional disqualifying periods due
  363  to the commitment of multiple crimes and may include other
  364  factors reasonably related to the applicant’s criminal history.
  365  The rules shall provide for mitigating and aggravating factors.
  366  However, mitigation may not result in a period of
  367  disqualification of less than 5 years and may not mitigate the
  368  disqualifying periods in paragraphs (3)(b) and (c).
  369         (5)For purposes of this section, a disqualifying period
  370  begins upon the applicant’s final release from supervision or
  371  upon completion of the applicant’s criminal sentence. The
  372  department may not issue a license to an applicant unless all
  373  related fines, court costs and fees, and court-ordered
  374  restitution have been paid.
  375         (6)After the disqualifying period has expired, the burden
  376  is on the applicant to demonstrate that he or she has been
  377  rehabilitated, does not pose a risk to the public, is fit and
  378  trustworthy to engage in business regulated by this chapter, and
  379  is otherwise qualified for licensure.
  380         (7)Notwithstanding subsections (2) and (3), an applicant
  381  who has been found guilty of, or has pleaded guilty or nolo
  382  contendere to, a crime in subsection (2) or subsection (3) and
  383  who has subsequently been granted a pardon or the restoration of
  384  civil rights pursuant to chapter 940 and s. 8, Art. IV of the
  385  State Constitution, or a pardon or the restoration of civil
  386  rights under the laws of another jurisdiction with respect to a
  387  conviction in that jurisdiction, is not barred or disqualified
  388  from licensure under this chapter. However, such a pardon or
  389  restoration of civil rights does not require the department to
  390  award such license.
  391         (8)(a)The board may grant an exemption from
  392  disqualification to any person disqualified from licensure under
  393  subsection (3) if:
  394         1.The applicant has paid in full any fee, fine, fund,
  395  lien, civil judgment, restitution, or cost of prosecution
  396  imposed by the court as part of the judgment and sentence for
  397  any disqualifying offense; and
  398         2.At least 5 years have elapsed since the applicant
  399  completed or has been lawfully released from confinement,
  400  supervision, or nonmonetary condition imposed by the court for a
  401  disqualifying offense.
  402         (b)For the board to grant an exemption under this
  403  subsection, the applicant must clearly and convincingly
  404  demonstrate that he or she would not pose a risk to persons or
  405  property if licensed under this chapter, evidence of which must
  406  include, but need not be limited to, facts and circumstances
  407  surrounding the disqualifying offense, the time that has elapsed
  408  since the offense, the nature of the offense and harm caused to
  409  the victim, the applicant’s history before and after the
  410  offense, and any other evidence or circumstances indicating that
  411  the applicant will not present a danger if licensed or
  412  certified.
  413         (c)The board has discretion whether to grant or deny an
  414  exemption under this subsection. The board’s decision is subject
  415  to chapter 120.
  416         (9)The disqualification periods provided in this section
  417  do not apply to the renewal of a license or to a new application
  418  for licensure if the applicant has an active license as of July
  419  1, 2020, and the applicable criminal history was considered by
  420  the board on the prior approval of any active license held by
  421  the applicant. This subsection does not affect any criminal
  422  history disclosure requirement of this chapter.
  423         Section 8. Subsection (9) and paragraph (c) of subsection
  424  (10) of section 497.142, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  425         497.142 Licensing; fingerprinting and criminal background
  426  checks.—
  427         (9) If any applicant under this chapter has been, within
  428  the 10 years preceding the application under this chapter,
  429  convicted or found guilty of, or entered a plea of nolo
  430  contendere to, regardless of adjudication, any crime in any
  431  jurisdiction, the application shall not be deemed complete until
  432  such time as the applicant provides such certified true copies
  433  of the court records evidencing the conviction, finding, or plea
  434  as required by this section or, as the licensing authority may
  435  by rule require.
  436         (10)(c) Crimes to be disclosed are:
  437         1. Any felony or misdemeanor, no matter when committed,
  438  that was directly or indirectly related to or involving any
  439  aspect of the practice or business of funeral directing,
  440  embalming, direct disposition, cremation, funeral or cemetery
  441  preneed sales, funeral establishment operations, cemetery
  442  operations, or cemetery monument or marker sales or
  443  installation.
  444         2. Any misdemeanor, no matter when committed, which was
  445  directly or indirectly related to the financial services
  446  business as defined in s. 497.1411 Any other felony not already
  447  disclosed under subparagraph 1. that was committed within the 20
  448  years immediately preceding the application under this chapter.
  449         3. Any other misdemeanor not already disclosed under
  450  subparagraph 2. subparagraph 1. that was committed within the 5
  451  years immediately preceding the application under this chapter.
  452         Section 9. Present subsections (2) through (5) of section
  453  497.157, Florida Statutes, are redesignated as subsections (4)
  454  through (7), respectively, new subsections (2) and (3) and
  455  subsection (8) are added to that section, and present subsection
  456  (3) of that section is amended, to read:
  457         497.157 Unlicensed practice; remedies concerning violations
  458  by unlicensed persons.—
  459         (2)A person may not be, act as, or advertise or hold
  460  himself or herself out to be a funeral director, embalmer, or
  461  direct disposer unless he or she is currently licensed by the
  462  department.
  463         (3)A person may not be, act as, or advertise or hold
  464  himself or herself out to be a preneed sales agent unless he or
  465  she is currently licensed by the department and appointed by a
  466  preneed main licensee for which they are executing preneed
  467  contracts.
  468         (5)(3) Where the department determines that an emergency
  469  exists regarding any violation of this chapter by any unlicensed
  470  person or entity, the department may issue and serve an
  471  immediate final order upon such unlicensed person or entity, in
  472  accordance with s. 120.569(2)(n). Such an immediate final order
  473  may impose such prohibitions and requirements as are reasonably
  474  necessary to protect the public health, safety, and welfare, and
  475  shall be effective when served.
  476         (a) For the purpose of enforcing such an immediate final
  477  order, the department may file an emergency or other proceeding
  478  in the circuit courts of the state seeking enforcement of the
  479  immediate final order by injunctive or other order of the court.
  480  The court shall issue its injunction or other order enforcing
  481  the immediate final order pending administrative resolution of
  482  the matter under subsection (4) (2), unless the court determines
  483  that such action would work a manifest injustice under the
  484  circumstances. Venue for judicial actions under this paragraph
  485  shall be, at the election of the department, in the courts of
  486  Leon County, or in a county where the respondent resides or has
  487  a place of business.
  488         (b) After serving an immediate final order to cease and
  489  desist upon any person or entity, the department shall within 10
  490  days issue and serve upon the same person or entity an
  491  administrative complaint as set forth in subsection (4) (2),
  492  except that, absent order of a court to the contrary, the
  493  immediate final order shall be effective throughout the pendency
  494  of proceedings under subsection (4) (2).
  495         (8)Any person who is not licensed under this chapter and
  496  who engages in activity requiring licensure under this chapter
  497  commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in
  498  s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
  499         Section 10. Subsection (6) of section 497.159, Florida
  500  Statutes, is amended to read:
  501         497.159 Crimes.—
  502         (6) Any person who is not licensed under this chapter who
  503  engages in activity requiring licensure under this chapter,
  504  commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as
  505  provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
  506         Section 11. Subsection (13) of section 552.081, Florida
  507  Statutes, is amended to read:
  508         552.081 Definitions.—As used in this chapter:
  509         (13) “Two-component explosives” means any two inert
  510  components which, when mixed, become capable of detonation by
  511  any detonator a No. 6 blasting cap, and shall be classified as a
  512  Class “A” explosive when so mixed.
  513         Section 12. Present subsection (2) of section 553.7921,
  514  Florida Statutes, is redesignated as subsection (3), a new
  515  subsection (2) is added to that section, and subsection (1) of
  516  that section is amended, to read:
  517         553.7921 Fire alarm permit application to local enforcement
  518  agency.—
  519         (1) A contractor must file a Uniform Fire Alarm Permit
  520  Application as provided in subsection (3) (2) with the local
  521  enforcement agency and must receive the fire alarm permit
  522  before:
  523         (a) installing or replacing a fire alarm, if the local
  524  enforcement agency requires a plan review for the installation
  525  or replacement; or
  526         (b) Repairing an existing alarm system that was previously
  527  permitted by the local enforcement agency if the local
  528  enforcement agency requires a fire alarm permit for the repair.
  529         (2) If the local enforcement agency requires a fire alarm
  530  permit to repair an existing alarm system that was previously
  531  permitted by the local enforcement agency, a contractor may
  532  begin work after filing a Uniform Fire Alarm Permit Application
  533  as provided in subsection (3). A fire alarm repaired pursuant to
  534  this subsection may not be considered compliant until the
  535  required permit is issued and the local enforcement agency
  536  approves the repair.
  537         Section 13. Effective January 1, 2021, subsection (3) of
  538  section 626.2815, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  539         626.2815 Continuing education requirements.—
  540         (3) Each licensee except a title insurance agent must
  541  complete a 4-hour 5-hour update course every 2 years which is
  542  specific to the license held by the licensee. The course must be
  543  developed and offered by providers and approved by the
  544  department. The content of the course must address all lines of
  545  insurance for which examination and licensure are required and
  546  include the following subject areas: insurance law updates,
  547  ethics for insurance professionals, disciplinary trends and case
  548  studies, industry trends, premium discounts, determining
  549  suitability of products and services, and other similar
  550  insurance-related topics the department determines are relevant
  551  to legally and ethically carrying out the responsibilities of
  552  the license granted. A licensee who holds multiple insurance
  553  licenses must complete an update course that is specific to at
  554  least one of the licenses held. Except as otherwise specified,
  555  any remaining required hours of continuing education are
  556  elective and may consist of any continuing education course
  557  approved by the department under this section.
  558         (a) Except as provided in paragraphs (b), (c), (d), (e),
  559  (i), and (j), each licensee must also complete 20 19 hours of
  560  elective continuing education courses every 2 years.
  561         (b) A licensee who has been licensed for 6 or more years
  562  must also complete a minimum of 16 15 hours of elective
  563  continuing education every 2 years.
  564         (c) A licensee who has been licensed for 25 years or more
  565  and is a CLU or a CPCU or has a Bachelor of Science degree in
  566  risk management or insurance with evidence of 18 or more
  567  semester hours in insurance-related courses must also complete a
  568  minimum of 6 5 hours of elective continuing education courses
  569  every 2 years.
  570         (d) An individual who holds a license as a customer
  571  representative and who is not a licensed life or health agent
  572  must also complete a minimum of 6 5 hours of continuing
  573  education courses every 2 years.
  574         (e) An individual subject to chapter 648 must complete the
  575  4-hour 5-hour update course and a minimum of 10 9 hours of
  576  elective continuing education courses every 2 years.
  577         (f) Elective continuing education courses for public
  578  adjusters must be specifically designed for public adjusters and
  579  approved by the department. Notwithstanding this subsection,
  580  public adjusters for workers’ compensation insurance or health
  581  insurance are not required to take continuing education courses
  582  pursuant to this section.
  583         (g) Excess hours accumulated during any 2-year compliance
  584  period may be carried forward to the next compliance period.
  585         (h) An individual teaching an approved course of
  586  instruction or lecturing at any approved seminar and attending
  587  the entire course or seminar qualifies for the same number of
  588  classroom hours as would be granted to a person taking and
  589  successfully completing such course or seminar. Credit is
  590  limited to the number of hours actually taught unless a person
  591  attends the entire course or seminar. An individual who is an
  592  official of or employed by a governmental entity in this state
  593  and serves as a professor, instructor, or in another position or
  594  office, the duties and responsibilities of which are determined
  595  by the department to require monitoring and review of insurance
  596  laws or insurance regulations and practices, is exempt from this
  597  section.
  598         (i) For compliance periods beginning on or after October 1,
  599  2014, any person who holds a license as a title insurance agent
  600  must complete a minimum of 10 hours of continuing education
  601  credit every 2 years in title insurance and escrow management
  602  specific to this state and approved by the department, which
  603  shall include at least 3 hours of continuing education on the
  604  subject matter of ethics, rules, or compliance with state and
  605  federal regulations relating specifically to title insurance and
  606  closing services.
  607         (j) For a licensee who is an active participant in an
  608  association, 2 hours of elective continuing education credit per
  609  calendar year may be approved by the department, if properly
  610  reported by the association.
  611         Section 14. Section 627.70132, Florida Statutes, is amended
  612  to read:
  613         627.70132 Notice of windstorm or hurricane claim.—An
  614  initial claim under an insurance policy that provides property
  615  insurance, as defined in s. 624.604, for loss or damage caused
  616  by the peril of windstorm or hurricane is barred unless notice
  617  of the initial claim was given to the insurer in accordance with
  618  the terms of the policy within 24 months after the hurricane
  619  first made landfall or the windstorm caused the covered damage.
  620  A claim, supplemental claim, or reopened claim under an
  621  insurance policy that provides property insurance, as defined in
  622  s. 624.604, for loss or damage caused by the peril of windstorm
  623  or hurricane is barred unless notice of the claim, supplemental
  624  claim, or reopened claim was given to the insurer in accordance
  625  with the terms of the policy within 3 years after the hurricane
  626  first made landfall or the windstorm caused the covered damage.
  627  For purposes of this section, the term “supplemental claim” or
  628  “reopened claim” means any additional claim for recovery from
  629  the insurer for losses from the same hurricane or windstorm
  630  which the insurer has previously adjusted pursuant to the
  631  initial claim. This section does not affect any applicable
  632  limitation on civil actions provided in s. 95.11 for claims,
  633  supplemental claims, or reopened claims timely filed under this
  634  section.
  635         Section 15. Subsection (3) of section 633.102, Florida
  636  Statutes, is amended to read:
  637         633.102 Definitions.—As used in this chapter, the term:
  638         (3)(a) “Contractor I” means a contractor whose business
  639  includes the execution of contracts requiring the ability to lay
  640  out, fabricate, install, inspect, alter, repair, and service all
  641  types of fire protection systems, excluding preengineered
  642  systems.
  643         (b) “Contractor II” means a contractor whose business is
  644  limited to the execution of contracts requiring the ability to
  645  lay out, fabricate, install, inspect, alter, repair, and service
  646  water sprinkler systems, water spray systems, foam-water
  647  sprinkler systems, foam-water spray systems, standpipes,
  648  combination standpipes and sprinkler risers, all piping that is
  649  an integral part of the system beginning at the point of service
  650  as defined in this section, sprinkler tank heaters, air lines,
  651  thermal systems used in connection with sprinklers, and tanks
  652  and pumps connected thereto, excluding preengineered systems.
  653         (c) “Contractor III” means a contractor whose business is
  654  limited to the execution of contracts requiring the ability to
  655  fabricate, install, inspect, alter, repair, and service carbon
  656  dioxide systems, foam extinguishing systems, dry chemical
  657  systems, and Halon and other chemical systems, excluding
  658  preengineered systems.
  659         (d) “Contractor IV” means a contractor whose business is
  660  limited to the execution of contracts requiring the ability to
  661  lay out, fabricate, install, inspect, alter, repair, and service
  662  automatic fire sprinkler systems for detached one-family
  663  dwellings, detached two-family dwellings, and mobile homes,
  664  excluding preengineered systems and excluding single-family
  665  homes in cluster units, such as apartments, condominiums, and
  666  assisted living facilities or any building that is connected to
  667  other dwellings. A Contractor IV is limited to the scope of
  668  practice specified in NFPA 13D.
  669         (e) “Contractor V” means a contractor whose business is
  670  limited to the execution of contracts requiring the ability to
  671  fabricate, install, inspect, alter, repair, and service the
  672  underground piping for a fire protection system using water as
  673  the extinguishing agent beginning at the point of service as
  674  defined in this act and ending no more than 1 foot above the
  675  finished floor.
  676  
  677  The definitions in this subsection may not be construed to
  678  include engineers or architects and do not limit or prohibit a
  679  licensed fire protection engineer or architect with fire
  680  protection design experience from designing any type of fire
  681  protection system. A distinction is made between system design
  682  concepts prepared by the design professional and system layout
  683  as defined in this section and typically prepared by the
  684  contractor. However, a person certified as a Contractor I or,
  685  Contractor II, or Contractor IV under this chapter may design
  686  new fire protection systems of 49 or fewer sprinklers;, and may
  687  design the alteration of an existing fire sprinkler system if
  688  the alteration consists of the relocation, addition, or deletion
  689  of not more than 49 or fewer sprinklers, notwithstanding the
  690  size of the existing fire sprinkler system; or may design the
  691  alteration of an existing fire sprinkler system if the
  692  alteration consists of the relocation or deletion of 249 or
  693  fewer sprinklers, notwithstanding the size of the existing fire
  694  sprinkler system, if there is no change of occupancy, as defined
  695  in the Florida Building Code, of the affected areas and there is
  696  no change in the water demand as defined in National Fire
  697  Protection Association publication NFPA 13 “Standard for the
  698  Installation of Sprinkler Systems, and if the occupancy hazard
  699  classification as defined in NFPA 13 is reduced or remains the
  700  same as a result of the alteration. A person certified as a
  701  Contractor I, Contractor II, or Contractor IV may design or
  702  alter a fire protection system, the scope of which complies with
  703  NFPA 13D, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems in
  704  One- and Two-Family Dwellings and Manufactured Homes, as adopted
  705  by the State Fire Marshal, notwithstanding the number of fire
  706  sprinklers. Contractor-developed plans may not be required by
  707  any local permitting authority to be sealed by a registered
  708  professional engineer.
  709         Section 16. Section 633.136, Florida Statutes, is amended
  710  to read:
  711         633.136 Fire and Emergency Incident Information Reporting
  712  Program; duties; fire reports.—
  713         (1)(a) The Fire and Emergency Incident Information
  714  Reporting Program is created within the division. The program
  715  shall:
  716         1. Establish and maintain an electronic communication
  717  system capable of transmitting fire and emergency incident
  718  information to and between fire service providers protection
  719  agencies.
  720         2. Initiate a Fire and Emergency Incident Information
  721  Reporting System that shall be responsible for:
  722         a. Receiving fire and emergency incident information from
  723  fire service providers protection agencies.
  724         b. Preparing and disseminating annual reports to the
  725  Governor, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House
  726  of Representatives, fire service providers protection agencies,
  727  and, upon request, the public. Each report shall include, but
  728  not be limited to, the information listed in the National Fire
  729  Incident Reporting System.
  730         c. Upon request, providing other states and federal
  731  agencies with fire and emergency incident data of this state.
  732         3. Adopt rules to effectively and efficiently implement,
  733  administer, manage, maintain, and use the Fire and Emergency
  734  Incident Information Reporting Program. The rules shall be
  735  considered minimum requirements and shall not preclude a fire
  736  service provider protection agency from implementing its own
  737  requirements which may not conflict with the rules of the
  738  division.
  739         4. By rule, establish procedures and a format for each fire
  740  service provider protection agency to voluntarily monitor its
  741  records and submit reports to the program.
  742         5. Maintain Establish an electronic information database
  743  that is accessible and searchable by fire service providers
  744  protection agencies.
  745         (b) The division shall consult with the Florida Forest
  746  Service of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
  747  and the State Surgeon General of the Department of Health to
  748  coordinate data, ensure accuracy of the data, and limit
  749  duplication of efforts in data collection, analysis, and
  750  reporting.
  751         (2) The Fire and Emergency Incident Information System
  752  Technical Advisory Panel is created within the division. The
  753  panel shall advise, review, and recommend to the State Fire
  754  Marshal with respect to the requirements of this section. The
  755  membership of the panel shall consist of the following 15
  756  members:
  757         (a) The current 13 members of the Firefighters Employment,
  758  Standards, and Training Council as established in s. 633.402.
  759         (b) One member from the Florida Forest Service of the
  760  Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, appointed by
  761  the director of the Florida Forest Service.
  762         (c) One member from the Department of Health, appointed by
  763  the State Surgeon General.
  764         (3) As used in For the purpose of this section, the term
  765  “fire service provider” has the same meaning as in s. 633.102
  766  “fire protection agency” shall be defined by rule by the
  767  division.
  768         Section 17. Subsections (18) and (20) of section 633.202,
  769  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  770         633.202 Florida Fire Prevention Code.—
  771         (18) The authority having jurisdiction shall determine the
  772  minimum radio signal strength for fire department communications
  773  in all new high-rise and existing high-rise buildings. Existing
  774  buildings are not required to comply with minimum radio strength
  775  for fire department communications and two-way radio system
  776  enhancement communications as required by the Florida Fire
  777  Prevention Code until January 1, 2023 2022. However, by January
  778  1, 2022 December 31, 2019, an existing building that is not in
  779  compliance with the requirements for minimum radio strength for
  780  fire department communications must have completed a minimum
  781  radio strength assessment apply for an appropriate permit for
  782  the required installation with the local government agency
  783  having jurisdiction and must demonstrate that the building will
  784  become compliant by January 1, 2023 2022. Existing apartment
  785  buildings are not required to comply until January 1, 2025.
  786  However, existing apartment buildings must have completed a
  787  minimum radio strength assessment are required to apply for the
  788  appropriate permit for the required communications installation
  789  by December 31, 2022.
  790         (20)(a) In apartment occupancies with enclosed corridors
  791  served by interior or exterior exit stairs, doorstep refuse and
  792  recycling collection containers, which stand upright on their
  793  own and do not leak liquids when standing upright, must be
  794  allowed in exit access corridors when all of the following
  795  conditions exist:
  796         1. The maximum doorstep refuse and recycling collection
  797  container size does not exceed 13 gallons.
  798         2. Waste, which is in a doorstep refuse and recycling
  799  collection container, is not placed in the exit access corridors
  800  for single periods exceeding 5 hours.
  801         3. Doorstep refuse and recycling collection containers do
  802  not occupy the exit access corridors for single periods
  803  exceeding 12 hours.
  804         4. Doorstep refuse and recycling collection containers do
  805  not reduce the means of egress width below that required under
  806  NFPA Life Safety Code 101:31, as adopted under the Florida Fire
  807  Prevention Code.
  808         5. Management staff have written policies and procedures in
  809  place and enforce them to ensure compliance with this paragraph,
  810  and, upon request, provide a copy of such policies and
  811  procedures to the authority having jurisdiction.
  812         (b) In apartment occupancies with open-air corridors or
  813  balconies served by exterior exit stairs, doorstep refuse and
  814  recycling collection containers, which stand upright on their
  815  own and do not leak liquids when standing upright, must be
  816  allowed in exit access corridors when all of the following
  817  conditions exist:
  818         1. The maximum doorstep refuse and recycling collection
  819  container size does not exceed 27 gallons.
  820         2. Waste, which is in a doorstep refuse and recycling
  821  collection container, is not placed in the exit access corridors
  822  for single periods exceeding 5 hours.
  823         3. Doorstep refuse and recycling collection containers do
  824  not reduce the means of egress width below that required under
  825  NFPA Life Safety Code 101:31, as adopted under the Florida Fire
  826  Prevention Code.
  827         4. Management staff have written policies and procedures in
  828  place and enforce them to ensure compliance with this paragraph,
  829  and, upon request, provide a copy of such policies and
  830  procedures to the authority having jurisdiction.
  831         (c) The authority having jurisdiction may approve
  832  alternative containers and storage arrangements that are
  833  demonstrated to provide an equivalent level of safety to that
  834  provided under paragraphs (a) and (b).
  835         (d) The authority having jurisdiction shall allow apartment
  836  occupancies a phase-in period until December 31, 2020, to comply
  837  with this subsection.
  838         (e) This subsection is repealed on January 1, 2024 July 1,
  839  2021.
  840         Section 18. Section 633.217, Florida Statutes, is created
  841  to read:
  842         633.217Influencing a firesafety inspector; prohibited
  843  acts.
  844         (1) A person may not influence a firesafety inspector by:
  845         (a) Threatening, coercing, tricking, or attempting to
  846  threaten, coerce, or trick the firesafety inspector into
  847  violating any provision of the Florida Fire Prevention Code, any
  848  rule adopted by the State Fire Marshal, or any provision of this
  849  chapter.
  850         (b) Offering any compensation to the firesafety inspector
  851  to induce a violation of the Florida Fire Prevention Code, any
  852  rule adopted by the State Fire Marshal, or any provision of this
  853  chapter.
  854         (2) A firesafety inspector may not knowingly and willfully
  855  accept an attempt by a person to influence the firesafety
  856  inspector into violating any provision of the Florida Fire
  857  Prevention Code, any rule adopted by the State Fire Marshal, or
  858  any provision of this chapter.
  859         Section 19. Paragraphs (d), (g), and (h) of subsection (4)
  860  of section 633.304, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  861         633.304 Fire suppression equipment; license to install or
  862  maintain.—
  863         (4)
  864         (d) A license of any class may not be issued or renewed by
  865  the division and a license of any class does not remain
  866  operative unless:
  867         1. The applicant has submitted to the State Fire Marshal
  868  evidence of registration as a Florida corporation or evidence of
  869  compliance with s. 865.09.
  870         2. The State Fire Marshal or his or her designee has by
  871  inspection determined that the applicant possesses the equipment
  872  required for the class of license sought. The State Fire Marshal
  873  shall give an applicant a reasonable opportunity to correct any
  874  deficiencies discovered by inspection. To obtain such
  875  inspection, an applicant with facilities located outside this
  876  state must:
  877         a. Provide a notarized statement from a professional
  878  engineer licensed by the applicant’s state of domicile
  879  certifying that the applicant possesses the equipment required
  880  for the class of license sought and that all such equipment is
  881  operable; or
  882         b. Allow the State Fire Marshal or her or his designee to
  883  inspect the facility. All costs associated with the State Fire
  884  Marshal’s inspection must be paid by the applicant. The State
  885  Fire Marshal, in accordance with s. 120.54, may adopt rules to
  886  establish standards for the calculation and establishment of the
  887  amount of costs associated with any inspection conducted by the
  888  State Fire Marshal under this section. Such rules must include
  889  procedures for invoicing and receiving funds in advance of the
  890  inspection.
  891         3. The applicant has submitted to the State Fire Marshal
  892  proof of insurance providing coverage for comprehensive general
  893  liability for bodily injury and property damage, products
  894  liability, completed operations, and contractual liability. The
  895  State Fire Marshal shall adopt rules providing for the amounts
  896  of such coverage, but such amounts may not be less than $300,000
  897  for Class A or Class D licenses, $200,000 for Class B licenses,
  898  and $100,000 for Class C licenses; and the total coverage for
  899  any class of license held in conjunction with a Class D license
  900  may not be less than $300,000. The State Fire Marshal may, at
  901  any time after the issuance of a license or its renewal, require
  902  upon demand, and in no event more than 30 days after notice of
  903  such demand, the licensee to provide proof of insurance, on the
  904  insurer’s form, containing confirmation of insurance coverage as
  905  required by this chapter. Failure, for any length of time, to
  906  provide proof of insurance coverage as required must result in
  907  the immediate suspension of the license until proof of proper
  908  insurance is provided to the State Fire Marshal. An insurer that
  909  provides such coverage shall notify the State Fire Marshal of
  910  any change in coverage or of any termination, cancellation, or
  911  nonrenewal of any coverage.
  912         4. The applicant applies to the State Fire Marshal,
  913  provides proof of experience, and successfully completes a
  914  prescribed training course that includes both written and
  915  practical training offered at by the State Fire College and or
  916  an equivalent course approved by the State Fire Marshal as
  917  applicable to the class of license being sought. This
  918  subparagraph does not apply to any holder of or applicant for a
  919  permit under paragraph (g) or to a business organization or a
  920  governmental entity seeking initial licensure or renewal of an
  921  existing license solely for the purpose of inspecting,
  922  servicing, repairing, marking, recharging, and maintaining fire
  923  extinguishers used and located on the premises of and owned by
  924  such organization or entity.
  925         5. The applicant has a current retestor identification
  926  number that is appropriate for the license for which the
  927  applicant is applying and that is listed with the United States
  928  Department of Transportation.
  929         6. The applicant has passed, with a grade of at least 70
  930  percent, a written examination testing his or her knowledge of
  931  the rules and statutes governing the activities authorized by
  932  the license and demonstrating his or her knowledge and ability
  933  to perform those tasks in a competent, lawful, and safe manner.
  934  Such examination must be developed and administered by the State
  935  Fire Marshal, or his or her designee in accordance with policies
  936  and procedures of the State Fire Marshal. An applicant shall pay
  937  a nonrefundable examination fee of $50 for each examination or
  938  reexamination scheduled. A reexamination may not be scheduled
  939  sooner than 30 days after any administration of an examination
  940  to an applicant. An applicant may not be permitted to take an
  941  examination for any level of license more than a total of four
  942  times during 1 year, regardless of the number of applications
  943  submitted. As a prerequisite to licensure of the applicant, he
  944  or she:
  945         a. Must be at least 18 years of age.
  946         b. Must have 4 years of proven experience as a fire
  947  equipment permittee at a level equal to or greater than the
  948  level of license applied for or have a combination of education
  949  and experience determined to be equivalent thereto by the State
  950  Fire Marshal. Having held a permit at the appropriate level for
  951  the required period constitutes the required experience.
  952         c. Must not have been convicted of a felony or a crime
  953  punishable by imprisonment of 1 year or more under the law of
  954  the United States or of any state thereof or under the law of
  955  any other country. “Convicted” means a finding of guilt or the
  956  acceptance of a plea of guilty or nolo contendere in any federal
  957  or state court or a court in any other country, without regard
  958  to whether a judgment of conviction has been entered by the
  959  court having jurisdiction of the case. If an applicant has been
  960  convicted of any such felony, the applicant is excluded from
  961  licensure for a period of 4 years after expiration of sentence
  962  or final release by the Florida Commission on Offender Review
  963  unless the applicant, before the expiration of the 4-year
  964  period, has received a full pardon or has had her or his civil
  965  rights restored.
  966  
  967  This subparagraph does not apply to any holder of or applicant
  968  for a permit under paragraph (g) or to a business organization
  969  or a governmental entity seeking initial licensure or renewal of
  970  an existing license solely for the purpose of inspecting,
  971  servicing, repairing, marking, recharging, hydrotesting, and
  972  maintaining fire extinguishers used and located on the premises
  973  of and owned by such organization or entity.
  974         (g) A permit of any class may not be issued or renewed to a
  975  person by the division, and a permit of any class does not
  976  remain operative, unless the person has:
  977         1. Submitted a nonrefundable examination fee in the amount
  978  of $50.
  979         2. Successfully completed a training course that includes
  980  both written and practical training offered at by the State Fire
  981  College and or an equivalent course approved by the State Fire
  982  Marshal as applicable to the class of license being sought.
  983         3. Passed, with a grade of at least 70 percent, a written
  984  examination testing his or her knowledge of the rules and
  985  statutes governing the activities authorized by the permit and
  986  demonstrating his or her knowledge and ability to perform those
  987  tasks in a competent, lawful, and safe manner. Such examination
  988  must be developed and administered by the State Fire Marshal in
  989  accordance with the policies and procedures of the State Fire
  990  Marshal. An examination fee must be paid for each examination
  991  scheduled. A reexamination may not be scheduled sooner than 30
  992  days after any administration of an examination to an applicant.
  993  An applicant may not be permitted to take an examination for any
  994  level of permit more than four times during 1 year, regardless
  995  of the number of applications submitted. As a prerequisite to
  996  taking the permit examination, the applicant must be at least 16
  997  years of age.
  998         (h) An applicant for a license or permit under this section
  999  who fails the examination may take it three more times during
 1000  the 1-year period after he or she originally filed an
 1001  application for the examination. If the applicant fails the
 1002  examination within 1 year after the application date and he or
 1003  she seeks to retake the examination, he or she must file a new
 1004  application, pay the application and examination fees, and
 1005  successfully complete a prescribed training course that includes
 1006  both written and practical training offered at by the State Fire
 1007  College and or an equivalent course approved by the State Fire
 1008  Marshal as applicable to the class of license being sought. The
 1009  applicant may not submit a new application within 6 months after
 1010  the date of his or her fourth reexamination. An applicant who
 1011  passes the examination but does not meet the remaining
 1012  qualifications prescribed by law and rule within 1 year after
 1013  the application date must file a new application, pay the
 1014  application and examination fee, successfully complete a
 1015  prescribed training course that includes both written and
 1016  practical training offered at approved by the State Fire College
 1017  and or an equivalent course approved by the State Fire Marshal
 1018  as applicable to the class of license being sought, and pass the
 1019  written examination.
 1020         Section 20. Subsection (1) of section 633.402, Florida
 1021  Statutes, is amended to read:
 1022         633.402 Firefighters Employment, Standards, and Training
 1023  Council; organization; meetings; quorum; compensation; seal;
 1024  special powers; firefighter training.—
 1025         (1) There is created within the department a Firefighters
 1026  Employment, Standards, and Training Council of 15 14 members.
 1027         (a) The members shall be appointed as follows:
 1028         1. Two fire chiefs appointed by the Florida Fire Chiefs
 1029  Association.
 1030         2. Two firefighters, who are not officers, appointed by the
 1031  Florida Professional Firefighters Association.
 1032         3. Two firefighter officers, who are not fire chiefs,
 1033  appointed by the State Fire Marshal.
 1034         4. One individual appointed by the Florida League of
 1035  Cities.
 1036         5. One individual appointed by the Florida Association of
 1037  Counties.
 1038         6. One individual appointed by the Florida Association of
 1039  Special Districts.
 1040         7. One individual appointed by the Florida Fire Marshals’
 1041  and Inspectors’ Association.
 1042         8. One employee of the Florida Forest Service of the
 1043  Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services appointed by the
 1044  director of the Florida Forest Service.
 1045         9. One individual appointed by the State Fire Marshal.
 1046         10. One director or instructor of a state-certified
 1047  firefighting training facility appointed by the State Fire
 1048  Marshal.
 1049         11. One individual The remaining member, who shall be
 1050  appointed by the State Fire Marshal, who may not be a member or
 1051  representative of the firefighting profession or of any local
 1052  government.
 1053         12.One individual from the Department of Health, appointed
 1054  by the Surgeon General.
 1055         (b) To be eligible for appointment as a member under
 1056  subparagraph (a)1., subparagraph (a)2., subparagraph (a)3.,
 1057  subparagraph (a)8., or subparagraph (a)10., a person must have
 1058  had at least 4 years’ experience in the firefighting profession.
 1059  Members shall serve only as long as they continue to meet the
 1060  criteria under which they were appointed, or unless a member has
 1061  failed to appear at three consecutive and properly noticed
 1062  meetings unless excused by the chair.
 1063         Section 21. Subsection (1) of section 633.416, Florida
 1064  Statutes, is amended to read:
 1065         633.416 Firefighter employment and volunteer firefighter
 1066  service; saving clause.—
 1067         (1) A fire service provider may not employ an individual
 1068  to:
 1069         (a) Extinguish fires for the protection of life or property
 1070  or to supervise individuals who perform such services unless the
 1071  individual holds a current and valid Firefighter Certificate of
 1072  Compliance. However, a person who is currently serving as a
 1073  volunteer firefighter and holds a volunteer firefighter
 1074  certificate of completion with a fire service provider, who is
 1075  then employed as a regular or permanent firefighter by such fire
 1076  service provider, may function, for a period of 1 year under the
 1077  direct supervision of an individual holding a valid firefighter
 1078  certificate of compliance, in the same capacity in which he or
 1079  she acted as a volunteer firefighter, provided that he or she
 1080  has completed all training required by the volunteer
 1081  organization. Under no circumstance can this period extend
 1082  beyond 1 year either collectively or consecutively from the
 1083  start of employment to obtain a Firefighter Certificate of
 1084  Compliance; or
 1085         (b) Serve as the administrative and command head of a fire
 1086  service provider for a period in excess of 1 year unless the
 1087  individual holds a current and valid Firefighter Certificate of
 1088  Compliance or Special Certificate of Compliance.
 1089         Section 22. Section 843.08, Florida Statutes, is amended to
 1090  read:
 1091         843.08 False personation.—A person who falsely assumes or
 1092  pretends to be a firefighter, a sheriff, an officer of the
 1093  Florida Highway Patrol, an officer of the Fish and Wildlife
 1094  Conservation Commission, an officer of the Department of
 1095  Environmental Protection, a fire or arson investigator of the
 1096  Department of Financial Services, an officer of the Department
 1097  of Financial Services, any personnel or representative of the
 1098  Division of Investigative and Forensic Services, an officer of
 1099  the Department of Corrections, a correctional probation officer,
 1100  a deputy sheriff, a state attorney or an assistant state
 1101  attorney, a statewide prosecutor or an assistant statewide
 1102  prosecutor, a state attorney investigator, a coroner, a police
 1103  officer, a lottery special agent or lottery investigator, a
 1104  beverage enforcement agent, a school guardian as described in s.
 1105  30.15(1)(k), a security officer licensed under chapter 493, any
 1106  member of the Florida Commission on Offender Review or any
 1107  administrative aide or supervisor employed by the commission,
 1108  any personnel or representative of the Department of Law
 1109  Enforcement, or a federal law enforcement officer as defined in
 1110  s. 901.1505, and takes upon himself or herself to act as such,
 1111  or to require any other person to aid or assist him or her in a
 1112  matter pertaining to the duty of any such officer, commits a
 1113  felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s.
 1114  775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. However, a person who
 1115  falsely personates any such officer during the course of the
 1116  commission of a felony commits a felony of the second degree,
 1117  punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
 1118  If the commission of the felony results in the death or personal
 1119  injury of another human being, the person commits a felony of
 1120  the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s.
 1121  775.083, or s. 775.084.
 1122         Section 23. Paragraph (f) is added to subsection (11) of
 1123  section 943.045, Florida Statutes, to read:
 1124         943.045 Definitions; ss. 943.045-943.08.—The following
 1125  words and phrases as used in ss. 943.045-943.08 shall have the
 1126  following meanings:
 1127         (11) “Criminal justice agency” means:
 1128         (f)The investigations component of the Department of
 1129  Financial Services which investigates the crimes of fraud and
 1130  official misconduct in all public assistance given to residents
 1131  of the state or provided to others by the state.
 1132         Section 24. Effective upon this act becoming a law,
 1133  subsection (3) of section 40 of chapter 2019-140, Laws of
 1134  Florida, is amended to read:
 1135         Section 40. (3) The task force shall submit a report to the
 1136  Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the
 1137  House of Representatives and present its findings to the
 1138  appropriate legislative committees in each house of the
 1139  Legislature by January 31, 2021 within 180 days after the
 1140  initial meeting of the task force. The report must include:
 1141         (a) A general description of the costs and benefits of
 1142  state and local government agencies using blockchain technology.
 1143         (b) Recommendations concerning the feasibility of
 1144  implementing blockchain technology in the state and the best
 1145  approach to finance the cost of implementation.
 1146         (c) Recommendations for specific implementations to be
 1147  developed by relevant state agencies.
 1148         (d) Any draft legislation the task force deems appropriate
 1149  to implement such blockchain technologies.
 1150         (e) Identification of one pilot project that may be
 1151  implemented in the state.
 1152         (f) Any other information deemed relevant by the task
 1153  force.
 1154         Section 25. Except as otherwise expressly provided in this
 1155  act and except for this section, which shall take effect upon
 1156  this act becoming a law, this act shall take effect July 1,
 1157  2020.

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