HB 1269

A bill to be entitled
2An act relating to nursing home firesafety; amending s.
3633.022, F.S.; requiring nursing homes to be protected by
4certain automatic sprinkler systems; providing a schedule;
5authorizing the Division of State Fire Marshal to grant
6certain time extensions; authorizing the division to adopt
7certain rules; providing for administrative sanctions
8under certain circumstances; requiring adjustments to
9certain provider Medicaid rates for reimbursement for
10Medicaid's portion of costs to meet certain requirements;
11requiring funding for such adjustments to come from
12existing nursing home appropriations; creating s. 633.024,
13F.S.; providing legislative findings and intent; creating
14s. 633.0245, F.S.; authorizing the State Fire Marshal to
15enter into an investment agreement with public
16depositories to establish the State Fire Marshal Nursing
17Home Fire Protection Loan Guarantee Program as a limited
18loan guarantee program to retrofit nursing homes with fire
19protection systems; providing investment and agreement
20limitations; requiring the State Fire Marshal to solicit
21requests for proposals; providing for application
22requirements and procedures; providing for review and
23approval by the State Fire Marshal; providing application
24requirements and procedures for program loans by public
25depositories; providing deadlines and limitations;
26limiting certain claims for loss under certain
27circumstances; providing a definition; authorizing the
28State Fire Marshal to adopt rules; providing an effective
31Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
33     Section 1.  Subsection (4) is added to section 633.022,
34Florida Statutes, to read:
35     633.022  Uniform firesafety standards.--The Legislature
36hereby determines that to protect the public health, safety, and
37welfare it is necessary to provide for firesafety standards
38governing the construction and utilization of certain buildings
39and structures. The Legislature further determines that certain
40buildings or structures, due to their specialized use or to the
41special characteristics of the person utilizing or occupying
42these buildings or structures, should be subject to firesafety
43standards reflecting these special needs as may be appropriate.
44     (4)(a)  Notwithstanding any provision of law to the
45contrary, each nursing home licensed under part II of chapter
46400 shall be protected by an approved, supervised automatic
47sprinkler system in accordance with section 9 of National Fire
48Protection Association, Inc., Life Safety Code, in accordance
49with the following schedule:
50     1.  Each hazardous area of each nursing home shall be
51protected by an approved, supervised automatic sprinkler system
52by no later than December 31, 2007.
53     2.  Each entire nursing home shall be protected by an
54approved, supervised automatic sprinkler system by no later than
55December 31, 2009.
56     (b)  The division may grant up to two 1-year extensions of
57the time limits for compliance in subparagraph (a)2. if the
58division determines that the nursing home has been prevented
59from complying for reasons beyond its control.
60     (c)  The division is authorized to adopt any rule necessary
61for the implementation and enforcement of this subsection. The
62division shall enforce this subsection in accordance with the
63provisions of this chapter, and any nursing home licensed under
64part II of chapter 400 that is in violation of this subsection
65may be subject to administrative sanctions by the division
66pursuant to this chapter.
67     (d)  Adjustments shall be made to the provider Medicaid
68rate to allow reimbursement over a 5-year period for Medicaid's
69Medicaid's portion of the costs incurred to meet the
70requirements of this subsection. Funding for this adjustment
71shall come from existing nursing home appropriations.
72     Section 2.  Section 633.024, Florida Statutes, is created
73to read:
74     633.024  Legislative findings and intent; ensuring
75effective fire protection of vulnerable nursing home residents
76essential; retrofit of existing nursing homes expedited by
77limited state loan guarantee; funding through Insurance
78Regulatory Trust Fund.--
79     (1)  It is the intent of the Legislature to promote the
80essential public purpose of ensuring effective fire protection
81for the safety and welfare of nursing home residents of this
82state who, because of their inability to protect themselves, are
83most vulnerable to catastrophic injury or death in the event of
84a fire. The Legislature finds that this purpose is served by
85requiring the installation of appropriate fire protection
86systems in all nursing home facilities in this state that do not
87currently have fire protection systems in operation for the
88protection of their residents. The Legislature finds that the
89high capital cost of retrofitting appropriate fire protection
90systems at nursing home facilities not originally designed with
91fire protection systems has discouraged the owners and operators
92of such facilities from doing so. The Legislature therefore
93finds that state action to provide a limited state guarantee of
94loans covering these capital costs will expedite the immediate
95installation of fire protection systems at facilities that lack
96such systems and thereby ensure effective protection for those
97nursing home populations that are now most vulnerable to the
98catastrophic effects of fire.
99     (2)  Because the Insurance Regulatory Trust Fund is funded
100by the proceeds of fire insurance premiums written in this
101state, the Legislature finds that it is in the public interest
102for moneys held in the Insurance Regulatory Trust Fund to be
103used to fund the limited loan guarantee program that mobilizes
104private funding for the retrofitting of fire protection systems
105at unprotected nursing homes located in this state.
106     Section 3.  Section 633.0245, Florida Statutes, is created
107to read:
108     633.0245  State Fire Marshal Nursing Home Fire Protection
109Loan Guarantee Program.--
110     (1)  The State Fire Marshal, with the assistance of the
111Division of Treasury of the Department of Financial Services,
112may enter into an investment agreement concerning the investment
113of certain funds held in the Insurance Regulatory Trust Fund for
114the purpose of establishing a limited loan guarantee program to
115be known as the State Fire Marshal Nursing Home Fire Protection
116Loan Guarantee Program. The investment must be limited as
118     (a)  Not more than $4 million of the balance in the
119Insurance Regulatory Trust Fund in any fiscal year may be at
120risk at any time for the purpose of limited loan guarantees.
121     (b)  Such funds at risk at any time may not be used to
122guarantee any limited loan guarantee agreement for a period
123longer than 10 years.
124     (c)  No limited loan guarantee agreement based on invested
125funds may be entered into after December 1, 2005.
126     (2)  The State Fire Marshal may enter into limited loan
127guarantee agreements with one or more financial institutions
128qualified as public depositories in this state. Such agreements
129shall provide a limited guarantee by the State of Florida
130covering no more than 50 percent of the principal sum loaned by
131such financial institution to an eligible nursing home, as
132defined in subsection (10), for the sole purpose of the initial
133installation at such nursing home of a fire protection system,
134as defined in s. 633.021(8), approved by the State Fire Marshal
135as being in compliance with the provisions of s. 633.022 and
136rules adopted under such section.
137     (3)  The State Fire Marshal shall solicit requests for
138proposals from qualified financial institutions willing to fund
139loans to eligible nursing homes for the installation of fire
140protection systems approved by the State Fire Marshal under the
141State Fire Marshal Nursing Home Fire Protection Loan Guarantee
142Program. Each request for proposal shall specify the terms and
143conditions under which the responding institution is prepared to
144make loans under the program, including, but not limited to,
145applicable interest rates, repayment terms, credit policies,
146loan fees, and proposed security interests to be executed by the
147borrower. After evaluation of all requests for proposals, the
148State Fire Marshal shall select one or more responding
149institutions as designated lenders under the program.
150     (4)  The State Fire Marshal shall prescribe by rule an
151application form for participation in the State Fire Marshal
152Nursing Home Fire Protection Loan Guarantee Program to be
153submitted by each eligible nursing home that desires to install
154a fire protection system funded by a loan from a designated
155lender under the program. Nothing in this section shall be
156deemed to require an eligible nursing home to do business with a
157designated lender. At a minimum, the application shall require
158each applicant to provide the following information:
159     (a)  The name and address of the eligible nursing home.
160     (b)  The name and address of the owner of the nursing home
161or, if the owner is a partnership, the name and address of the
162general partner.
163     (c)  The lessee of the nursing home premises, if any.
164     (d)  A complete description of the structure or structures
165where the fire protection system is to be installed, including
166age, physical dimensions, overall square footage, a real extent
167of proposed coverage areas, and other relevant information
168concerning the premises.
169     (e)  Bed capacity of the nursing home, including beds
170eligible for Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement.
171     (f)  A statement regarding the availability to the
172applicant of third-party reimbursement for installation of the
173fire protection system.
174     (g)  The location of closest water mains and fire hydrants,
175if any.
176     (h)  Complete sealed drawings showing the fire protection
177system to be installed.
178     (i)  Cost documentation, with a separate breakdown of cost
179for labor and materials.
180     (j)  Verification of the application by the applicant.
181     (5)  The State Fire Marshal shall evaluate each application
182submitted under this section to determine whether the proposed
183fire protection system is feasible for installation as proposed
184and complies with all applicable firesafety code provisions. An
185application may not be approved without a positive determination
186by the State Fire Marshal under this subsection. If the State
187Fire Marshal is able to determine that the proposed fire
188protection system is feasible and complies with applicable
189firesafety codes, the application shall be approved for
190submission to one or more lenders for funding. If the
191application is insufficient, the State Fire Marshal shall notify
192the applicant in writing and identify areas of deficiency that
193must be corrected in order for the application to be approved.
194     (6)  As soon as practicable after approval, each approved
195application shall be submitted by the State Fire Marshal to one
196or more designated lenders for funding. Upon request of a
197designated lender, an approved applicant shall provide the
198lender with documentation of its credit history and financial
199status. If, after review of the applicant's documentation, a
200lender refuses to fund the application, the lender shall
201promptly notify the applicant and the State Fire Marshal in
202writing of any reasons for its action. If the lender agrees to
203fund the application, the lender shall notify the applicant and
204the State Fire Marshal and schedule a closing date for the loan.
205     (7)  At closing, the applicant shall execute appropriate
206documents necessary to provide the lender and the State Fire
207Marshal with a security interest in the property where the fire
208protection system is to be installed. The State Fire Marshal
209shall then execute a limited loan guarantee in favor of the
210lender guaranteeing no more than 50 percent of the face value of
211the loan.
212     (8)  A designated lender covered by a limited state
213guarantee for a loan under this section is not entitled to file
214a claim for loss pursuant to the guarantee unless all reasonable
215and normal remedies available and customary for lending
216institutions for resolving problems of loan repayments are
217exhausted. If the lender has received collateral security in
218connection with the loan, the lender must first exhaust all
219available remedies against the collateral security.
220     (9)  No application for participation in the State Fire
221Marshal Nursing Home Fire Protection Loan Guarantee Program may
222be accepted by the State Fire Marshal after June 30, 2005.
223     (10)  For purposes of this section, "eligible nursing home"
224home" means a nursing home facility providing nursing
225services as defined in chapter 464 licensed under part II of
226chapter 400
227that is certified by the Agency for Health Care Administration
228to lack an installed fire protection system as defined in s.
230     (11)  The State Fire Marshal may adopt any rules necessary
231to implement the provisions of this section.
232     Section 4.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2004.

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.

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