400.0067 State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Council; duties; membership.—
(1) There is created within the Office of State Long-Term Care Ombudsman, the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Council.
(2) The State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Council shall:
(a) Serve as an advisory body to assist the ombudsman in reaching a consensus among local councils on issues affecting residents and impacting the optimal operation of the program.
(b) Serve as an appellate body in receiving from the local councils complaints not resolved at the local level. Any individual member or members of the state council may enter any long-term care facility involved in an appeal, pursuant to the conditions specified in s. 400.0074(2).
(c) Assist the ombudsman to discover, investigate, and determine the existence of abuse or neglect in any long-term care facility, and work with the adult protective services program as required in ss. 415.101-415.113.
(d) Assist the ombudsman in eliciting, receiving, responding to, and resolving complaints made by or on behalf of residents.
(e) Elicit and coordinate state, local, and voluntary organizational assistance for the purpose of improving the care received by residents.
(f) Assist the ombudsman in preparing the annual report described in s. 400.0065.
(3) The State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Council shall be composed of one active local council member elected by each local council plus three at-large members appointed by the Governor.
(a) Each local council shall elect by majority vote a representative from among the council members to represent the interests of the local council on the state council. A local council chair may not serve as the representative of the local council on the state council.
(b)1. The secretary, after consulting with the ombudsman, shall submit to the Governor a list of persons recommended for appointment to the at-large positions on the state council. The list shall not include the name of any person who is currently serving on a local council.
2. The Governor shall appoint three at-large members chosen from the list.
3. If the Governor does not appoint an at-large member to fill a vacant position within 60 days after the list is submitted, the secretary, after consulting with the ombudsman, shall appoint an at-large member to fill that vacant position.
(c)1. All state council members shall serve 3-year terms.
2. A member of the state council may not serve more than two consecutive terms.
3. A local council may recommend removal of its elected representative from the state council by a majority vote. If the council votes to remove its representative, the local council chair shall immediately notify the ombudsman. The secretary shall advise the Governor of the local council’s vote upon receiving notice from the ombudsman.
4. The position of any member missing three state council meetings within a 1-year period without cause may be declared vacant by the ombudsman. The findings of the ombudsman regarding cause shall be final and binding.
5. Any vacancy on the state council shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment.
(d)1. The state council shall elect a chair to serve for a term of 1 year. A chair may not serve more than two consecutive terms.
2. The chair shall select a vice chair from among the members. The vice chair shall preside over the state council in the absence of the chair.
3. The chair may create additional executive positions as necessary to carry out the duties of the state council. Any person appointed to an executive position shall serve at the pleasure of the chair, and his or her term shall expire on the same day as the term of the chair.
4. A chair may be immediately removed from office prior to the expiration of his or her term by a vote of two-thirds of all state council members present at any meeting at which a quorum is present. If a chair is removed from office prior to the expiration of his or her term, a replacement chair shall be chosen during the same meeting in the same manner as described in this paragraph, and the term of the replacement chair shall begin immediately. The replacement chair shall serve for the remainder of the term and is eligible to serve two subsequent consecutive terms.
(e)1. The state council shall meet upon the call of the chair or upon the call of the ombudsman. The council shall meet at least quarterly but may meet more frequently as needed.
2. A quorum shall be considered present if more than 50 percent of all active state council members are in attendance at the same meeting.
3. The state council may not vote on or otherwise make any decisions resulting in a recommendation that will directly impact the state council or any local council, outside of a publicly noticed meeting at which a quorum is present.
(f) Members shall receive no compensation but shall, with approval from the ombudsman, be reimbursed for per diem and travel expenses as provided in s. 112.061.
History.—ss. 5, 30, 31, ch. 93-177; s. 759, ch. 95-148; s. 113, ch. 99-8; s. 209, ch. 99-13; s. 15, ch. 2000-263; s. 11, ch. 2000-305; s. 124, ch. 2000-349; s. 44, ch. 2000-367; s. 22, ch. 2002-223; s. 6, ch. 2006-121.