(1)(a) It is the intent of this state to provide the necessary means to assist communities with military installations that would be adversely affected by federal base realignment or closure actions. It is further the intent to encourage communities to initiate a coordinated program of response and plan of action in advance of future actions of the federal Base Realignment and Closure Commission. It is critical that closure-vulnerable communities develop such a program to preserve affected military installations. The Legislature hereby recognizes that the state needs to coordinate all efforts that can facilitate the retention of all remaining military installations in the state. The Legislature, therefore, declares that providing such assistance to support the defense-related initiatives within this section is a public purpose for which public money may be used.
(b) The Florida Defense Alliance, an organization within Enterprise Florida, is designated as the organization to ensure that Florida, its resident military bases and missions, and its military host communities are in competitive positions as the United States continues its defense realignment and downsizing. The defense alliance shall serve as an overall advisory body for Enterprise Florida defense-related activity. The Florida Defense Alliance may receive funding from appropriations made for that purpose administered by the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development.
(2)(a) The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development is authorized to award grants from any funds available to it to support activities related to the retention of military installations potentially affected by federal base closure or realignment.
(b) The term “activities” as used in this section means studies, presentations, analyses, plans, and modeling. Staff salaries are not considered an “activity” for which grant funds may be awarded. Travel costs and costs incidental thereto incurred by a grant recipient shall be considered an “activity” for which grant funds may be awarded.
(c) Except for grants issued pursuant to the Florida Military Installation Reuse Planning and Marketing Grant Program as described in paragraph (3)(c), the amount of any grant provided to an applicant may not exceed $250,000. The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall require that an applicant:
1. Represent a local government with a military installation or military installations that could be adversely affected by federal base realignment or closure.
2. Agree to match at least 30 percent of any grant awarded.
3. Prepare a coordinated program or plan of action delineating how the eligible project will be administered and accomplished.
4. Provide documentation describing the potential for realignment or closure of a military installation located in the applicant’s community and the adverse impacts such realignment or closure will have on the applicant’s community.
(d) In making grant awards the office shall consider, at a minimum, the following factors:
1. The relative value of the particular military installation in terms of its importance to the local and state economy relative to other military installations vulnerable to closure.
2. The potential job displacement within the local community should the military installation be closed.
3. The potential adverse impact on industries and technologies which service the military installation.
(3) The Florida Economic Reinvestment Initiative is established to respond to the need for this state and defense-dependent communities in this state to develop alternative economic diversification strategies to lessen reliance on national defense dollars in the wake of base closures and reduced federal defense expenditures and the need to formulate specific base reuse plans and identify any specific infrastructure needed to facilitate reuse. The initiative shall consist of the following three distinct grant programs to be administered by the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development:
(a) The Florida Defense Planning Grant Program, through which funds shall be used to analyze the extent to which the state is dependent on defense dollars and defense infrastructure and prepare alternative economic development strategies. The state shall work in conjunction with defense-dependent communities in developing strategies and approaches that will help communities make the transition from a defense economy to a nondefense economy. Grant awards may not exceed $250,000 per applicant and shall be available on a competitive basis.
(b) The Florida Defense Implementation Grant Program, through which funds shall be made available to defense-dependent communities to implement the diversification strategies developed pursuant to paragraph (a). Eligible applicants include defense-dependent counties and cities, and local economic development councils located within such communities. Grant awards may not exceed $100,000 per applicant and shall be available on a competitive basis. Awards shall be matched on a one-to-one basis.
(c) The Florida Military Installation Reuse Planning and Marketing Grant Program, through which funds shall be used to help counties, cities, and local economic development councils develop and implement plans for the reuse of closed or realigned military installations, including any necessary infrastructure improvements needed to facilitate reuse and related marketing activities.
Applications for grants under this subsection must include a coordinated program of work or plan of action delineating how the eligible project will be administered and accomplished, which must include a plan for ensuring close cooperation between civilian and military authorities in the conduct of the funded activities and a plan for public involvement.
(4) The Defense Infrastructure Grant Program is created. The director of the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall coordinate and implement this program, the purpose of which is to support local infrastructure projects deemed to have a positive impact on the military value of installations within the state. Funds are to be used for projects that benefit both the local community and the military installation. It is not the intent, however, to fund on-base military construction projects. Infrastructure projects to be funded under this program include, but are not limited to, those related to encroachment, transportation and access, utilities, communications, housing, environment, and security. Grant requests will be accepted only from economic development applicants serving in the official capacity of a governing board of a county, municipality, special district, or state agency that will have the authority to maintain the project upon completion. An applicant must represent a community or county in which a military installation is located. There is no limit as to the amount of any grant awarded to an applicant. A match by the county or local community may be required. The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall establish guidelines to implement the purpose of this subsection.
(5)(a) The Defense-Related Business Adjustment Program is hereby created. The Director of the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall coordinate the development of the Defense-Related Business Adjustment Program. Funds shall be available to assist defense-related companies in the creation of increased commercial technology development through investments in technology. Such technology must have a direct impact on critical state needs for the purpose of generating investment-grade technologies and encouraging the partnership of the private sector and government defense-related business adjustment. The following areas shall receive precedence in consideration for funding commercial technology development: law enforcement or corrections, environmental protection, transportation, education, and health care. Travel and costs incidental thereto, and staff salaries, are not considered an “activity” for which grant funds may be awarded.
(b) The office shall require that an applicant:
1. Be a defense-related business that could be adversely affected by federal base realignment or closure or reduced defense expenditures.
2. Agree to match at least 50 percent of any funds awarded by the department in cash or in-kind services. Such match shall be directly related to activities for which the funds are being sought.
3. Prepare a coordinated program or plan delineating how the funds will be administered.
4. Provide documentation describing how defense-related realignment or closure will adversely impact defense-related companies.
(6) The Retention of Military Installations Program is created. The Director of the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall coordinate and implement this program. The sum of $1.2 million is appropriated from the General Revenue Fund for fiscal year 1999-2000 to the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development to implement this program for military installations located in counties with a population greater than 824,000. The funds shall be used to assist military installations potentially affected by federal base closure or realignment in covering current operating costs in an effort to retain the installation in this state. An eligible military installation for this program shall include a provider of simulation solutions for war-fighting experimentation, testing, and training which employs at least 500 civilian and military employees and has been operating in the state for a period of more than 10 years.
(7) The director may award nonfederal matching funds specifically appropriated for construction, maintenance, and analysis of a Florida defense workforce database. Such funds will be used to create a registry of worker skills that can be used to match the worker needs of companies that are relocating to this state or to assist workers in relocating to other areas within this state where similar or related employment is available.
(8) Payment of administrative expenses shall be limited to no more than 10 percent of any grants issued pursuant to this section.
(9) The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall establish guidelines to implement and carry out the purpose and intent of this section.