September 18, 2020
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       Florida Senate - 2010                                     SB 644
       
       
       
       By Senator Justice
       
       
       
       
       16-00395A-10                                           2010644__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to the direct-support organization for
    3         the Department of Military Affairs; amending s.
    4         250.115, F.S.; authorizing the direct-support
    5         organization to administer the Soldiers and Airmen
    6         Assistance Program or similar programs; authorizing
    7         the president of the direct-support organization to
    8         appoint all members of the board of directors;
    9         requiring the direct-support organization to submit
   10         its annual budget and financial reports to the
   11         Department of Military Affairs; creating s. 250.116,
   12         F.S.; creating the Soldiers and Airmen Assistance
   13         Program; authorizing the program to provide specified
   14         types of assistance to certain members of the Florida
   15         National Guard and their families; providing for the
   16         review of requests for assistance; requiring the
   17         financial committee of the board of directors of the
   18         direct-support organization for the Department of
   19         Military Affairs to review the financial transactions
   20         of the program quarterly; authorizing the financial
   21         committee of the board of directors to request
   22         additional reviews by the Office of Inspector General;
   23         authorizing the Department of Military Affairs to
   24         adopt rules to administer the Soldiers and Airmen
   25         Assistance Program; providing an effective date.
   26  
   27  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   28  
   29         Section 1. Section 250.115, Florida Statutes, is amended to
   30  read:
   31         250.115 Department of Military Affairs direct-support
   32  organization.—
   33         (1) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
   34         (a) “Direct-support organization” means an organization
   35  that is:
   36         1. A Florida corporation not for profit, incorporated under
   37  chapter 617, and approved by the Department of State.
   38         2. Organized and operated exclusively to raise funds;
   39  request and receive grants, gifts, and bequests of moneys;
   40  acquire, receive, hold, invest, and administer in its own name
   41  securities, funds, or property; administer the Soldiers and
   42  Airmen Assistance Program or similar programs as directed by the
   43  Adjutant General; and make expenditures to or for the direct or
   44  indirect benefit of the Department of Military Affairs or the
   45  Florida National Guard.
   46         3. Determined by the Department of Military Affairs to be
   47  operating in a manner consistent with the goals of the
   48  Department of Military Affairs and the Florida National Guard
   49  and in the best interest of the state. Any organization that is
   50  denied certification by the Adjutant General may not use the
   51  name of the Florida National Guard or the Department of Military
   52  Affairs in any part of its name or its publications.
   53         (b) “Personal services” includes full-time or part-time
   54  personnel as well as payroll processing.
   55         (2) BOARD OF DIRECTORS.—The organization shall be governed
   56  by a board of directors. The Adjutant General, or his or her
   57  designee, shall appoint a president of the board. The board of
   58  directors shall consist of up to 15 members appointed by the
   59  president of the board. Up to 15 additional members may be
   60  appointed by the president of the board of directors. The terms
   61  of office of the members shall be 3 years. Members must be
   62  residents of the state and highly knowledgeable about the United
   63  States military, its service personnel, and its missions. In
   64  making appointments, the board must consider a potential
   65  member’s background in community service. The board may remove
   66  any member for cause and shall fill vacancies that occur.
   67         (3) USE OF PROPERTY.—
   68         (a) The Department of Military Affairs may permit the use
   69  of property, facilities, and personal services of the Department
   70  of Military Affairs by the direct-support organization, subject
   71  to the provisions of this section.
   72         (b) The Department of Military Affairs may prescribe by
   73  rule any condition with which a direct-support organization
   74  organized under this section must comply in order to use
   75  property, facilities, or personal services of the Department of
   76  Military Affairs.
   77         (c) The Department of Military Affairs may not permit the
   78  use of its property, facilities, or personal services by any
   79  direct-support organization organized under this section which
   80  does not provide equal employment opportunities to all persons
   81  regardless of race, color, national origin, gender, age, or
   82  religion.
   83         (4) ACTIVITIES; RESTRICTIONS.—Any transaction or agreement
   84  between the direct-support organization organized pursuant to
   85  this section and another direct-support organization or center
   86  of technology innovation designated under s. 1004.77 must be
   87  approved by the Department of Military Affairs.
   88         (5) ANNUAL BUDGETS AND REPORTS.—The direct-support
   89  organization shall submit to the Department of Military Affairs
   90  its annual budget and financial reports, its federal Internal
   91  Revenue Service Application for Recognition of Exemption form
   92  (Form 1023), and its federal Internal Revenue Service Return of
   93  Organization Exempt from Income Tax form (Form 990).
   94         (6) ANNUAL AUDIT.—The direct-support organization shall
   95  provide for an annual financial audit in accordance with s.
   96  215.981.
   97         Section 2. Section 250.116, Florida Statutes, is created to
   98  read:
   99         250.116Soldiers and Airmen Assistance Program.—
  100         (1) PROGRAM PURPOSE.—The purpose of the program is to
  101  provide financial assistance and services to eligible
  102  servicemembers of the Florida National Guard and eligible
  103  members of their families. The program shall be headed by a
  104  program director appointed by the direct-support organization
  105  authorized under s. 250.115.
  106         (2) FUNDING.—The program shall be implemented through
  107  funding provided by the direct-support organization.
  108         (3)AUTHORIZED ASSISTANCE.—The assistance available under
  109  the program may include:
  110         (a)Housing.—The program may provide housing assistance.
  111  Housing assistance includes assistance with emergency repairs,
  112  renovations, or replacements that are needed for a
  113  servicemember’s primary residential property in order to address
  114  health or safety issues or meet disability needs. Housing
  115  assistance also includes assistance with lease deposits,
  116  mortgage payments, and rent payments.
  117         (b)Living expenses.—The program may provide assistance for
  118  living expenses that are reasonable and necessary to meet basic
  119  needs for eligible members of the Florida National Guard and
  120  eligible members of their families. Living expenses include
  121  expenses for clothing, groceries, utility services, gasoline and
  122  transportation, insurance, and child care that is necessary to
  123  obtain or maintain employment.
  124         (c) Vehicles.—The program may provide assistance for
  125  repairs or short-term rentals required to maintain the primary
  126  vehicle of a servicemember’s family in a safe operating
  127  condition. If a repair will not restore the primary vehicle to a
  128  safe operating condition or if there is no vehicle, assistance
  129  with the purchase of a vehicle may be provided if such a vehicle
  130  is necessary.
  131         (d)Health care.The program may provide assistance for
  132  services that are documented by a medical authority as necessary
  133  for the health and welfare of the individual. Assistance is not
  134  available for elective procedures or medical care that is
  135  covered by insurance.
  136         (e)Other services.—The program may provide assistance for
  137  a service or expense that is not specifically enumerated in this
  138  subsection if the service or expense is reasonable under the
  139  circumstances.
  140         (4) ELIGIBILITY.—Persons eligible for assistance from the
  141  program include:
  142         (a) Servicemembers who are members of the Florida National
  143  Guard who are:
  144         1. On active duty serving in the Global War on Terrorism or
  145  Overseas Contingency Operation or request assistance within 120
  146  days after the termination of orders for such service and return
  147  to home of record.
  148         2. Deployed by the Federal Government and participating in
  149  state operations for homeland defense or request assistance
  150  within 120 days after the termination of orders for such service
  151  and return to home of record.
  152         (b)1. Beneficiaries of an eligible servicemember designated
  153  on the United States Department of Defense Form 93.
  154         2. Individuals demonstrating a financial need for
  155  authorized assistance who are dependents or family members of an
  156  eligible servicemember.
  157         (5)REQUESTS FOR ASSISTANCE; REVIEW; AWARDS.
  158         (a) A request for assistance shall be reviewed and
  159  processed at the local level by an official designated by the
  160  Adjutant General. A recommendation from the local level for
  161  assistance shall be forwarded to the program director of the
  162  direct-support organization for final review and approval.
  163         (b) Requests for assistance shall be reviewed and evaluated
  164  based on the following criteria:
  165         1. The impact of a servicemember’s absence and inability to
  166  assist in home and vehicle repairs or meet other family needs;
  167         2. The economic impact of deployment;
  168         3. The overall financial situation of the applicant;
  169         4. The assistance authorized under the program; and
  170         5. Other relevant information.
  171         (6) QUARTERLY FINANCIAL REVIEW.—The financial committee of
  172  the board of directors of the direct-support organization shall
  173  review financial transactions of the program each quarter. The
  174  financial committee may request the Office of Inspector General
  175  to conduct additional reviews.
  176         (7)RULES.—The Department of Military Affairs may adopt
  177  rules to administer this section.
  178         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2010.

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