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Senate Bill 2994

Senate Bill sb2994c2

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    Florida Senate - 2004                    CS for CS for SB 2994

    By the Committees on Appropriations; Banking and Insurance;
    and Senator Posey




    309-2673-04

  1                      A bill to be entitled

  2         An act relating to the Department of Financial

  3         Services; creating s. 17.0416, F.S.;

  4         authorizing the Chief Financial Officer to

  5         provide certain services on a fee basis under

  6         certain circumstances; requiring the Department

  7         of Financial Services to deposit fees collected

  8         into the General Revenue Fund; authorizing the

  9         department to recover expenses by a budget

10         amendment; authorizing the department to adopt

11         rules; amending s. 17.16, F.S.; providing that

12         the office of the Chief Financial Officer may

13         have an official seal; amending s. 17.57, F.S.;

14         authorizing the Chief Financial Officer to use

15         reverse repurchase agreements in investment

16         transactions; amending s. 17.59, F.S.; revising

17         collateral safekeeping requirements; amending

18         s. 17.61, F.S.; authorizing entities created

19         under the State Constitution to invest funds;

20         amending s. 20.121, F.S.; providing that the

21         Chief Financial Officer may be referred to as

22         the "Treasurer"; providing that the Department

23         of Financial Services, rather than the Office

24         of Insurance Regulation, is responsible for

25         regulation of insurance adjusters; providing

26         that the Director of the Office of Insurance

27         Regulation may be known as the Commissioner of

28         Insurance Regulation; providing that the

29         Director of the Office of Financial Regulation

30         may be known as the Commissioner of Financial

31         Regulation; amending s. 110.1227, F.S.;

                                  1

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    Florida Senate - 2004                    CS for CS for SB 2994
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 1         providing that the Director of the Office of

 2         Insurance Regulation, rather than the Chief

 3         Financial Officer, shall appoint an actuary to

 4         the Florida Employee Long-Term-Care Plan Board

 5         of Directors; amending s. 112.215, F.S.;

 6         redefining the term "employee" to include any

 7         state university board of trustees; providing

 8         for the Government Employees' Deferred

 9         Compensation Plan to be funded indirectly from

10         fees charged by investment providers to plan

11         participants; replacing the term "plan

12         provider" with the term "investment option

13         provider"; amending s. 215.95, F.S.; revising

14         the membership of the Florida Financial

15         Management Information Board; amending s.

16         215.96, F.S.; revising the membership of the

17         coordinating council to the Florida Financial

18         Management Information Board; extending the

19         date of future repeal of the law requiring the

20         board to facilitate the integration of certain

21         administrative and financial management systems

22         and establishing the Enterprise Resource

23         Planning Integration Task Force; amending s.

24         287.064, F.S.; authorizing the financing of a

25         guaranteed energy performance savings contract

26         pursuant to a master equipment financing

27         agreement; providing certain terms and

28         restrictions; amending s. 408.05, F.S.;

29         providing that the Director of the Office of

30         Insurance Regulation, rather than the Chief

31         Financial Officer, shall appoint an employee to

                                  2

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 1         the State Comprehensive Health Information

 2         System Advisory Council; amending s. 501.212,

 3         F.S.; specifying persons, causes of action, or

 4         activities that are exempt from part II of

 5         chapter 501, F.S., the Deceptive and Unfair

 6         Trade Practice Act; amending s. 516.35, F.S.;

 7         correcting a reference to the agency that

 8         licenses the sale of credit insurance; amending

 9         ss. 624.313, 624.317, 624.501, 626.016,

10         626.112, 626.161, 626.171, 626.181, 626.191,

11         626.211, 626.221, 626.231, 626.241, 626.251,

12         626.261, 626.266, 626.271, 626.281, 626.2817,

13         626.291, 626.301, 626.371, 626.381, 626.431,

14         626.461, 626.471, 626.521, 626.541, 626.551,

15         626.611, 626.621, 626.631, 626.641, 626.661,

16         626.681, 626.691, 626.692, 626.8582, 626.8584,

17         626.859, 626.863, 626.865, 626.866, 626.867,

18         626.869, 626.8695, 626.8696, 626.8697,

19         626.8698, 626.870, 626.871, 626.872, 626.873,

20         626.8732, 626.8734, 626.8736, 626.8738,

21         626.874, 626.878, F.S.; transferring and

22         renumbering s. 627.7012, F.S., as s. 626.879,

23         F.S., and amending such section; making

24         conforming changes to authorize the Department

25         of Financial Services, rather than the Office

26         of Insurance Regulation, to regulate insurance

27         adjusters; amending s. 626.9543, F.S.;

28         specifying that the Department of Financial

29         Services, rather than the former Department of

30         Insurance, administers the Holocaust Victims

31         Insurance Act; amending s. 626.989, F.S.;

                                  3

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    Florida Senate - 2004                    CS for CS for SB 2994
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 1         correcting references to the Bureau of Workers'

 2         Compensation Insurance Fraud with regard to the

 3         required annual report of the Department of

 4         Financial Services related to workers'

 5         compensation fraud; amending s. 627.0628, F.S.;

 6         providing that the Director of the Office of

 7         Insurance, rather than the Chief Financial

 8         Officer, shall appoint an employee of the

 9         office who is an actuary to the Florida

10         Commission on Hurricane Loss Projection

11         Methodology; amending s. 627.6699, F.S.;

12         providing that the Director of the Office of

13         Insurance Regulation, rather than the Chief

14         Financial Officer, shall be a member of the

15         board of the Small Employer Health Reinsurance

16         Program; providing that the transfer of the

17         regulation of adjusters from the Office of

18         Insurance Regulation to the Department of

19         Financial Services does not affect any

20         administrative or judicial action prior to or

21         pending on the effective date of the act;

22         providing that any action approved or

23         authorized by the Financial Services Commission

24         or the Office of Insurance Regulation continues

25         to be effective until the Department of

26         Financial Services otherwise prescribes;

27         providing that the rules of the Financial

28         Services Commission related to adjusters shall

29         become rules of the Department of Financial

30         Services; providing an effective date.

31  

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    Florida Senate - 2004                    CS for CS for SB 2994
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 1  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:

 2  

 3         Section 1.  Section 17.0416, Florida Statutes, is

 4  created to read:

 5         17.0416  Authority to provide services on a fee

 6  basis.--

 7         (1)  The Chief Financial Officer, through the

 8  Department of Financial Services, may provide accounting and

 9  payroll services on a fee basis under contractual agreement

10  with eligible entities, including, but not limited to, state

11  universities, community colleges, units of local government,

12  constitutional officers, and any other person or entity having

13  received any property, funds, or moneys from the state. All

14  funds collected by the department under these contracts shall

15  be deposited into the General Revenue Fund. The department

16  shall request a budget amendment from the Legislative

17  Budgeting Committee to recover the expenses incurred by the

18  department in providing services under these contracts.

19         (2)  The Department of Financial Services may adopt

20  rules necessary to administer this section.

21         Section 2.  Section 17.16, Florida Statutes, is amended

22  to read:

23         17.16  Seal.--The seal of office of the Chief Financial

24  Officer shall have an official seal by which its proceedings

25  are authenticated be the same as the seal heretofore used for

26  that purpose.

27         Section 3.  Subsection (2) of section 17.57, Florida

28  Statutes, is amended to read:

29         17.57  Deposits and investments of state money.--

30         (2)  The Chief Financial Officer shall make funds

31  available to meet the disbursement needs of the state. Funds

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 1  which are not needed for this purpose shall be placed in

 2  qualified public depositories that will pay rates established

 3  by the Chief Financial Officer at levels not less than the

 4  prevailing rate for United States Treasury securities with a

 5  corresponding maturity. In the event money is available for

 6  interest-bearing time deposits or savings accounts as provided

 7  herein and qualified public depositories are unwilling to

 8  accept such money and pay thereon the rates established above,

 9  then such money which qualified public depositories are

10  unwilling to accept shall be invested in:

11         (a)  Direct United States Treasury obligations.

12         (b)  Obligations of the Federal Farm Credit Banks.

13         (c)  Obligations of the Federal Home Loan Bank and its

14  district banks.

15         (d)  Obligations of the Federal Home Loan Mortgage

16  Corporation, including participation certificates.

17         (e)  Obligations guaranteed by the Government National

18  Mortgage Association.

19         (f)  Obligations of the Federal National Mortgage

20  Association.

21         (g)  Commercial paper of prime quality of the highest

22  letter and numerical rating as provided for by at least one

23  nationally recognized rating service.

24         (h)  Time drafts or bills of exchange drawn on and

25  accepted by a commercial bank, otherwise known as "bankers

26  acceptances," which are accepted by a member bank of the

27  Federal Reserve System having total deposits of not less than

28  $400 million or which are accepted by a commercial bank which

29  is not a member of the Federal Reserve System with deposits of

30  not less than $400 million and which is licensed by a state

31  government or the Federal Government, and whose senior debt

                                  6

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 1  issues are rated in one of the two highest rating categories

 2  by a nationally recognized rating service and which are held

 3  in custody by a domestic bank which is a member of the Federal

 4  Reserve System.

 5         (i)  Corporate obligations or corporate master notes of

 6  any corporation within the United States, if the long-term

 7  obligations of such corporation are rated by at least two

 8  nationally recognized rating services in any one of the four

 9  highest classifications. However, if such obligations are

10  rated by only one nationally recognized rating service, then

11  the obligations shall be rated in any one of the two highest

12  classifications.

13         (j)  Obligations of the Student Loan Marketing

14  Association.

15         (k)  Obligations of the Resolution Funding Corporation.

16         (l)  Asset-backed or mortgage-backed securities of the

17  highest credit quality.

18         (m)  Any obligations not previously listed which are

19  guaranteed as to principal and interest by the full faith and

20  credit of the United States Government or are obligations of

21  United States agencies or instrumentalities which are rated in

22  the highest category by a nationally recognized rating

23  service.

24         (n)  Commingled no-load investment funds or no-load

25  mutual funds in which all securities held by the funds are

26  authorized in this subsection.

27         (o)  Money market mutual funds as defined and regulated

28  by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

29         (p)  Obligations of state and local governments rated

30  in any of the four highest classifications by at least two

31  nationally recognized rating services. However, if such

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 1  obligations are rated by only one nationally recognized rating

 2  service, then the obligations shall be rated in any one of the

 3  two highest classifications.

 4         (q)  Derivatives of investment instruments authorized

 5  in paragraphs (a)-(m).

 6         (r)  Covered put and call options on investment

 7  instruments authorized in this subsection for the purpose of

 8  hedging transactions by investment managers to mitigate risk

 9  or to facilitate portfolio management.

10         (s)  Negotiable certificates of deposit issued by

11  financial institutions whose long-term debt is rated in one of

12  the three highest categories by at least two nationally

13  recognized rating services, the investment in which shall not

14  be prohibited by any provision of chapter 280.

15         (t)  Foreign bonds denominated in United States dollars

16  and registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission for

17  sale in the United States, if the long-term obligations of

18  such issuers are rated by at least two nationally recognized

19  rating services in any one of the four highest

20  classifications. However, if such obligations are rated by

21  only one nationally recognized rating service, the obligations

22  shall be rated in any one of the two highest classifications.

23         (u)  Convertible debt obligations of any corporation

24  domiciled within the United States, if the convertible debt

25  issue is rated by at least two nationally recognized rating

26  services in any one of the four highest classifications.

27  However, if such obligations are rated by only one nationally

28  recognized rating service, then the obligations shall be rated

29  in any one of the two highest classifications.

30         (v)  Securities not otherwise described in this

31  subsection. However, not more than 3 percent of the funds

                                  8

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    Florida Senate - 2004                    CS for CS for SB 2994
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 1  under the control of the Chief Financial Officer shall be

 2  invested in securities described in this paragraph.

 3  

 4  These investments may be in varying maturities and may be in

 5  book-entry form. Investments made pursuant to this subsection

 6  may be under repurchase agreement or reverse repurchase

 7  agreement. The Chief Financial Officer may hire registered

 8  investment advisers and other consultants to assist in

 9  investment management and to pay fees directly from investment

10  earnings. Investment securities, proprietary investment

11  services related to contracts, performance evaluation

12  services, investment-related equipment or software used

13  directly to assist investment trading or investment accounting

14  operations including bond calculators, telerates, Bloombergs,

15  special program calculators, intercom systems, and software

16  used in accounting, communications, and trading, and advisory

17  and consulting contracts made under this section are exempt

18  from the provisions of chapter 287.

19         Section 4.  Section 17.59, Florida Statutes, is amended

20  to read:

21         17.59  Safekeeping services.--

22         (1)  The Chief Financial Officer shall administer a

23  collateral management service for all may accept for

24  safekeeping purposes, deposits of cash, securities, and other

25  documents or articles of value from any state agencies agency

26  as defined in s. 216.011, or any county, city, or political

27  subdivision thereof, or other public authority that requires

28  by statute, rule, or contract the deposit or pledge of

29  collateral.

30  

31  

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    Florida Senate - 2004                    CS for CS for SB 2994
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 1         (2)  Eligible collateral listed in s. 17.57 may be

 2  deposited or pledged using the following collateral

 3  arrangements as approved by the Chief Financial Officer:

 4         (a)  Collateral deposited and held by a custodian of

 5  the Chief Financial Officer.

 6         (b)  Collateral pledged to the Chief Financial Officer.

 7         (c)  Securities and articles of value deposited and

 8  held by the Chief Financial Officer.

 9         (d)  Cash deposited in the Treasury Cash Deposit Trust

10  Fund and the Public Deposit Security Trust Fund.

11         (e)  Cash deposited with the Chief Financial Officer as

12  escrow agent.

13         (3)  The Chief Financial Officer may adopt rules for

14  the proper management and maintenance of the collateral

15  management service.

16         (4)(2)  The Chief Financial Officer may, in his or her

17  discretion, establish a fee for processing, servicing, and

18  safekeeping deposits and other documents or articles of value

19  maintained by held in the Chief Financial Officer Officer's

20  vaults as requested by the various entities according to a

21  service-level agreement or as provided for by law. Such fee

22  shall be equivalent to the fee charged by financial

23  institutions for processing, servicing, and safekeeping the

24  same types of deposits and other documents or articles of

25  value.

26         (5)(3)  The Chief Financial Officer shall collect in

27  advance, and persons so served shall pay to the Chief

28  Financial Officer in advance, the miscellaneous charges as

29  described in a service-level agreement. follows:

30         (a)  For copies of documents or records on file with

31  the Chief Financial Officer, per page....................$.50.

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 1         (b)  For each certificate of the Chief Financial

 2  Officer, certified or under the Chief Financial Officer's

 3  seal, authenticating any document or other instrument...$5.00.

 4         (6)(4)  All fees collected for the services described

 5  in this section shall be deposited in the Treasury

 6  Administrative and Investment Trust Fund.

 7         Section 5.  Subsection (1) of section 17.61, Florida

 8  Statutes, is amended to read:

 9         17.61  Chief Financial Officer; powers and duties in

10  the investment of certain funds.--

11         (1)  The Chief Financial Officer shall invest all

12  general revenue funds and all the trust funds and all agency

13  funds of each state agency, and of the judicial branch, as

14  defined in s. 216.011, and may, upon request, invest funds of

15  any statutorily created board, association, or entity created

16  by the State Constitution or by law, except for the funds

17  required to be invested pursuant to ss. 215.44-215.53, by the

18  procedure and in the authorized securities prescribed in s.

19  17.57; for this purpose, the Chief Financial Officer may open

20  and maintain one or more demand and safekeeping accounts in

21  any bank or savings association for the investment and

22  reinvestment and the purchase, sale, and exchange of funds and

23  securities in the accounts. Funds in such accounts used solely

24  for investments and reinvestments shall be considered

25  investment funds and not funds on deposit, and such funds

26  shall be exempt from the provisions of chapter 280. In

27  addition, the securities or investments purchased or held

28  under the provisions of this section and s. 17.57 may be

29  loaned to securities dealers and banks and may be registered

30  by the Chief Financial Officer in the name of a third-party

31  nominee in order to facilitate such loans, provided the loan

                                  11

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    Florida Senate - 2004                    CS for CS for SB 2994
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 1  is collateralized by cash or United States government

 2  securities having a market value of at least 100 percent of

 3  the market value of the securities loaned. The Chief Financial

 4  Officer shall keep a separate account, designated by name and

 5  number, of each fund. Individual transactions and totals of

 6  all investments, or the share belonging to each fund, shall be

 7  recorded in the accounts.

 8         Section 6.  Subsection (1) and paragraph (a) of

 9  subsection (3) of section 20.121, Florida Statutes, are

10  amended to read:

11         20.121  Department of Financial Services.--There is

12  created a Department of Financial Services.

13         (1)  DEPARTMENT HEAD.--The head of the Department of

14  Financial Services is the Chief Financial Officer who may also

15  be known as the Treasurer.

16         (3)  FINANCIAL SERVICES COMMISSION.--Effective January

17  7, 2003, there is created within the Department of Financial

18  Services the Financial Services Commission, composed of the

19  Governor, the Attorney General, the Chief Financial Officer,

20  and the Commissioner of Agriculture, which shall for purposes

21  of this section be referred to as the commission.  Commission

22  members shall serve as agency head of the Financial Services

23  Commission.  The commission shall be a separate budget entity

24  and shall be exempt from the provisions of s. 20.052.

25  Commission action shall be by majority vote consisting of at

26  least three affirmative votes.  The commission shall not be

27  subject to control, supervision, or direction by the

28  Department of Financial Services in any manner, including

29  purchasing, transactions involving real or personal property,

30  personnel, or budgetary matters.

31  

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 1         (a)  Structure.--The major structural unit of the

 2  commission is the office. Each office shall be headed by a

 3  director. The following offices are established:

 4         1.  The Office of Insurance Regulation, which shall be

 5  responsible for all activities concerning insurers and other

 6  risk bearing entities, including licensing, rates, policy

 7  forms, market conduct, claims, adjusters, issuance of

 8  certificates of authority, solvency, viatical settlements,

 9  premium financing, and administrative supervision, as provided

10  under the insurance code or chapter 636. The head of the

11  Office of Insurance Regulation is the Director of the Office

12  of Insurance Regulation, who may also be known as the

13  Commissioner of Insurance Regulation.

14         2.  The Office of Financial Regulation, which shall be

15  responsible for all activities of the Financial Services

16  Commission relating to the regulation of banks, credit unions,

17  other financial institutions, finance companies, and the

18  securities industry.  The head of the office is the Director

19  of the Office of Financial Regulation, who may also be known

20  as the Commissioner of Financial Regulation. The Office of

21  Financial Regulation shall include a Bureau of Financial

22  Investigations, which shall function as a criminal justice

23  agency for purposes of ss. 943.045-943.08 and shall have a

24  separate budget.  The bureau may conduct investigations within

25  or outside this state as the bureau deems necessary to aid in

26  the enforcement of this section. If, during an investigation,

27  the office has reason to believe that any criminal law of this

28  state has or may have been violated, the office shall refer

29  any records tending to show such violation to state or federal

30  law enforcement or prosecutorial agencies and shall provide

31  investigative assistance to those agencies as required.

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 1         Section 7.  Subsection (6) of section 110.1227, Florida

 2  Statutes, is amended to read:

 3         110.1227  Florida Employee Long-Term-Care Plan Act.--

 4         (6)  A Florida Employee Long-Term-Care Plan Board of

 5  Directors is created, composed of nine members who shall serve

 6  2-year terms, to be appointed after May 1, 1999, as follows:

 7         (a)  The secretary of the Department of Elderly Affairs

 8  shall appoint a member who is a plan participant.

 9         (b)  The Director of the Office of Insurance Regulation

10  Chief Financial Officer shall appoint an actuary.

11         (c)  The Attorney General shall appoint an attorney

12  licensed to practice law in this state.

13         (d)  The Governor shall appoint three members from a

14  broad cross-section of the residents of this state.

15         (e)  The Department of Management Services shall

16  appoint a member.

17         (f)  The President of the Senate shall appoint a member

18  of the Senate.

19         (g)  The Speaker of the House of Representatives shall

20  appoint a member of the House of Representatives.

21         Section 8.  Subsection (2) of section 112.215, Florida

22  Statutes, as amended by section 8 of chapter 2003-399, Laws of

23  Florida, is amended, paragraph (e) is added to subsection (4)

24  of that section and subsection (11) of that section is

25  amended, to read:

26         112.215  Government employees; deferred compensation

27  program.--

28         (2)  For the purposes of this section, the term

29  "employee" means any person, whether appointed, elected, or

30  under contract, providing services for the state; any state

31  agency or county or other political subdivision of the state;

                                  14

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 1  any municipality; any state university board of trustees; or

 2  any constitutional county officer under s. 1(d), Art. VIII of

 3  the State Constitution for which compensation or statutory

 4  fees are paid.

 5         (4)

 6         (e)  The administrative costs of the deferred

 7  compensation plan must be wholly or partially self-funded.

 8  Fees for such self-funding of the plan shall be paid by

 9  investment providers and may be recouped from their respective

10  plan participants. Such fees shall be deposited in the

11  Deferred Compensation Trust Fund.

12         (11)  With respect to any funds held pursuant to a

13  deferred compensation plan, any investment option plan

14  provider that which is a bank or savings association and that

15  which provides time deposit accounts and certificates of

16  deposit as an investment product to the plan participants may,

17  with the approval of the State Board of Administration for

18  providers in the state plan, or with the approval of the

19  appropriate official or body designated under subsection (5)

20  for a plan of a county, municipality, other political

21  subdivision, or constitutional county officer, be exempt from

22  the provisions of chapter 280 requiring it to be a qualified

23  public depository, provided:

24         (a)  The bank or savings association shall, to the

25  extent that the time deposit accounts or certificates of

26  deposit are not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance

27  Corporation, deposit or issue collateral with the Chief

28  Financial Officer for all state funds held by it under a

29  deferred compensation plan, or with such other appropriate

30  official for all public funds held by it under a deferred

31  compensation plan of a county, municipality, other political

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 1  subdivision, or constitutional county officer, in an amount

 2  which equals at least 150 percent of all uninsured deferred

 3  compensation funds then held.

 4         (b)  Said collateral shall be of the kind permitted by

 5  s. 280.13 and shall be pledged in the manner provided for by

 6  the applicable provisions of chapter 280.

 7  

 8  The Chief Financial Officer shall have all the applicable

 9  powers provided in ss. 280.04, 280.05, and 280.08 relating to

10  the sale or other disposition of the pledged collateral.

11         Section 9.  Subsection (1) of section 215.95, Florida

12  Statutes, is amended to read:

13         215.95  Financial Management Information Board.--

14         (1)  There is created, as part of the Administration

15  Commission, the Financial Management Information Board.  The

16  board shall be composed of the Governor, the Chief Financial

17  Officer, the Commissioner of Agriculture, and the Attorney

18  General.  The Governor shall be chair of the board.  The

19  Governor or the Chief Financial Officer may call a meeting of

20  the board at any time the need arises.

21         Section 10.  Subsections (2) and (4) of section 215.96,

22  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

23         215.96  Coordinating council and design and

24  coordination staff.--

25         (2)  The coordinating council shall consist of the

26  Chief Financial Officer; the Commissioner of Agriculture; the

27  secretary of the Department of Management Services; the

28  Attorney General; and the Director of Planning and Budgeting,

29  Executive Office of the Governor, or their designees. The

30  Chief Financial Officer, or his or her designee, shall be

31  chair of the coordinating council, and the design and

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 1  coordination staff shall provide administrative and clerical

 2  support to the council and the board. The design and

 3  coordination staff shall maintain the minutes of each meeting

 4  and shall make such minutes available to any interested

 5  person. The Auditor General, the State Courts Administrator,

 6  an executive officer of the Florida Association of State

 7  Agency Administrative Services Directors, and an executive

 8  officer of the Florida Association of State Budget Officers,

 9  or their designees, shall serve without voting rights as ex

10  officio members on the coordinating council. The chair may

11  call meetings of the coordinating council as often as

12  necessary to transact business; however, the coordinating

13  council shall meet at least once a year.  Action of the

14  coordinating council shall be by motion, duly made, seconded

15  and passed by a majority of the coordinating council voting in

16  the affirmative for approval of items that are to be

17  recommended for approval to the Financial Management

18  Information Board.

19         (4)  The Financial Management Information Board,

20  through the coordinating council, shall provide the necessary

21  planning, implementation, and integration policies,

22  coordination procedures, and reporting processes to facilitate

23  the successful and efficient integration of the central

24  administrative and financial management information systems,

25  including the Florida Accounting Information Resource system

26  (FLAIR), Cash Management System (CMS), and FLAIR/CMS

27  replacement project, the payroll system in the Department of

28  Financial Services, the Legislative Appropriations

29  System/Planning and Budgeting Subsystem (LAS/PBS), the State

30  Purchasing System (SPURS) and MyFlorida Marketplace project,

31  the Cooperative Personnel Employment Subsystem (COPES) and the

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 1  PeopleFirst Outsourcing project, and the State Unified Tax

 2  system (SUNTAX).

 3         (a)  To fulfill this role, the coordinating council

 4  shall establish an Enterprise Resource Planning Integration

 5  Task Force, which shall consist of the coordinating council

 6  members plus the Chief Information Officer in the State

 7  Technology Office and the Executive Director or designee in

 8  the Department of Revenue, who shall serve with voting rights

 9  on the task force. The nonvoting ex officio members of the

10  coordinating council shall be nonvoting members of the task

11  force.

12         (b)  The task force shall be established by August 1,

13  2003, and shall remain in existence until the integration

14  goals have been achieved among the FLAIR/CMS Replacement

15  project, SPURS and MyFlorida Marketplace project, COPES and

16  PeopleFirst project, payroll system, LAS/PBS, and SUNTAX

17  system, or until June 30, 2005, whichever is later. The task

18  force shall hold its initial meeting no later than September

19  1, 2003, and shall meet at the call of the chair or at least

20  once every 60 days. In its initial meeting, task force members

21  shall:

22         1.  Adopt a task force charter that identifies major

23  objectives, activities, milestones and deliverables,

24  significant assumptions, and constraints on the task force

25  functions and major stakeholder groups interested in the

26  outcome of the task force.

27         2.  Consider and adopt processes by which information

28  will be collected and business process and technical

29  integration issues will be raised for analysis and

30  recommendation by the task force.

31  

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 1         3.  Elect a member to serve as vice chair. Any vacancy

 2  in the vice chair position shall be filled by similar election

 3  within 30 days after the date the vacancy is effective.

 4         (c)  The coordinating council shall provide

 5  administrative and technical support to the task force as is

 6  reasonably necessary for the task force to effectively and

 7  timely carry out its duties and responsibilities. The cost of

 8  providing such support may be paid from funds appropriated for

 9  the operation of the council or the FLAIR/CMS Replacement

10  project. The task force also may contract for services to

11  obtain specific expertise to analyze, facilitate, and

12  formulate recommendations to address process and technical

13  integration problems that need to be resolved.

14         (d)  Using information and input from project teams and

15  stakeholders responsible for the FLAIR/CMS Replacement

16  project, SPURS and MyFlorida Marketplace project, COPES and

17  PeopleFirst project, payroll system, LAS/PBS, and SUNTAX

18  system, the responsibilities of the task force shall include,

19  but not be limited to:

20         1.  Identifying and documenting central administrative

21  and financial management policies, procedures, and processes

22  that need to be integrated and recommending steps for

23  implementation.

24         2.  Collecting information from the subsystem owners

25  and project teams and developing and publishing a consolidated

26  list of enterprise resource planning functional and technical

27  integration requirements.

28         3.  Publishing integration plans and timelines based on

29  information collected from task force members.

30         4.  Forming committees, workgroups, and teams as

31  provided in subsection (3).

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 1         5.  Developing recommendations for the Financial

 2  Management Information Board which clearly describe any

 3  business or technical problems that need to be addressed, the

 4  options for resolving the problem, and the recommended

 5  actions.

 6         6.  Developing and implementing plans for reporting

 7  status of integration efforts.

 8         (e)  The task force shall provide recommendations to

 9  the Financial Management Information Board for review and

10  approval regarding the technical, procedural, policy, and

11  process requirements and changes that are needed to

12  successfully integrate, implement, and realize the benefits of

13  the enterprise resource planning initiatives associated with

14  the FLAIR/CMS Replacement project, SPURS and MyFlorida

15  Marketplace project, COPES and PeopleFirst project, payroll

16  system, LAS/PBS, and SUNTAX system. The first of these reports

17  should be provided no later than October 3, 2003.

18         (f)  The task force shall monitor, review, and evaluate

19  the progress of the FLAIR/CMS Replacement project, SPURS and

20  MyFlorida Marketplace project, COPES and PeopleFirst project,

21  payroll system, LAS/PBS, and SUNTAX system, in implementing

22  the process and technical integration requirements and changes

23  approved by the Financial Management Information Board and in

24  achieving the necessary integration among the central

25  administrative and financial management information systems

26  represented on the task force. The task force shall prepare

27  and submit quarterly reports to the Executive Office of the

28  Governor, the chairs of the Senate Appropriations Committee

29  and the House Appropriations Committee, and the Financial

30  Management Information Board. Each quarterly report shall

31  identify and describe the technical, procedural, policy, and

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 1  process requirements and changes proposed and adopted by the

 2  board and shall describe the status of the implementation of

 3  these integration efforts, identify any problems, issues, or

 4  risks that require executive-level action, and report actual

 5  costs related to the Enterprise Resource Planning Integration

 6  Task Force.

 7         (g)  By January 15, 2004, and annually thereafter,

 8  until it is disbanded, the Enterprise Resource Planning

 9  Integration Task Force shall report to the Financial

10  Management Information Board, the Speaker of the House of

11  Representatives, and the President of the Senate the results

12  of the task force's monitoring, review, and evaluation of

13  enterprise resource planning integration activities and

14  requirements, and any recommendations for statutory changes to

15  be considered by the Legislature.

16         (h)  This subsection expires July 1, 2008 July 1, 2004.

17         Section 11.  Subsection (10) is added to section

18  287.064, Florida Statutes, to read:

19         287.064  Consolidated financing of deferred-payment

20  purchases.--

21         (10)  Costs incurred pursuant to a guaranteed energy

22  performance savings contract, including the cost of energy

23  conservation measures, each as defined in s. 489.145, may be

24  financed pursuant to a master equipment financing agreement;

25  however, the costs of training, operation, and maintenance may

26  not be financed. The period of time for repayment of the funds

27  drawn pursuant to the master equipment financing agreement

28  under this subsection may exceed 5 years but may not exceed 10

29  years.

30         Section 12.  Paragraph (a) of subsection (8) of section

31  408.05, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

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 1         408.05  State Center for Health Statistics.--

 2         (8)  STATE COMPREHENSIVE HEALTH INFORMATION SYSTEM

 3  ADVISORY COUNCIL.--

 4         (a)  There is established in the agency the State

 5  Comprehensive Health Information System Advisory Council to

 6  assist the center in reviewing the comprehensive health

 7  information system and to recommend improvements for such

 8  system. The council shall consist of the following members:

 9         1.  An employee of the Executive Office of the

10  Governor, to be appointed by the Governor.

11         2.  An employee of the Office of Insurance Regulation

12  Department of Financial Services, to be appointed by the

13  director of the office Chief Financial Officer.

14         3.  An employee of the Department of Education, to be

15  appointed by the Commissioner of Education.

16         4.  Ten persons, to be appointed by the Secretary of

17  Health Care Administration, representing other state and local

18  agencies, state universities, the Florida Association of

19  Business/Health Coalitions, local health councils,

20  professional health-care-related associations, consumers, and

21  purchasers.

22         Section 13.  Subsection (4) of section 501.212, Florida

23  Statutes, is amended and subsection (7) is added to that

24  section, to read:

25         501.212  Application.--This part does not apply to:

26         (4)  Any person or activity regulated under laws

27  administered by:

28         (a)  The Department of Financial Services or the Office

29  of Insurance Regulation of the Financial Services Commission;

30  or

31  

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 1         (b)  Banks and savings and loan associations regulated

 2  by the Office of Financial Regulation of the Financial

 3  Services Commission; or

 4         (c)  Banks or savings and loan associations regulated

 5  by federal agencies; or.

 6         (d)  Any person or activity regulated under the laws

 7  administered by the former Department of Insurance which are

 8  now administered by the Department of Financial Services.

 9         (7)(a)  Causes of action pertaining to commercial real

10  property located in this state if the parties to the action

11  executed a written lease or contract that expressly provides

12  for the process of resolution of any dispute and the award of

13  damages, attorney's fees, and costs, if any; or

14         (b)  Causes of action concerning failure to maintain

15  real property if the Florida Statutes:

16         1.  Require the owner to comply with applicable

17  building, housing, and health codes;

18         2.  Require the owner to maintain buildings and

19  improvements in common areas in a good state of repair and

20  maintenance and maintain the common areas in a good state of

21  appearance, safety, and cleanliness; and

22         3.  Provide a cause of action for failure to maintain

23  the real property and provide legal or equitable remedies,

24  including the award of attorney's fees.

25  

26  However, this subsection does not prohibit the enforcing

27  authority from retaining exclusive jurisdiction to bring any

28  cause of action authorized under s. 501.207 and to seek any

29  civil penalties authorized under s. 501.2075.

30         Section 14.  Subsection (1) of section 516.35, Florida

31  Statutes, is amended to read:

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 1         516.35  Credit insurance must comply with credit

 2  insurance act.--

 3         (1)  Tangible property offered as security may be

 4  reasonably insured against loss for a reasonable term,

 5  considering the circumstances of the loan. If such insurance

 6  is sold at standard rates through a person duly licensed by

 7  the Department of Financial Services Office of Insurance

 8  Regulation of the Financial Services Commission and if the

 9  policy is payable to the borrower or any member of her or his

10  family, it shall not be deemed to be a collateral sale,

11  purchase, or agreement even though a customary mortgagee

12  clause is attached or the licensee is a coassured.

13         Section 15.  Subsection (2) of section 624.313, Florida

14  Statutes, is amended to read:

15         624.313  Publications.--

16         (2)(a)  The department may prepare and have printed and

17  published in pamphlet or book form the following:

18         (a)1.  As needed, questions and answers for the use of

19  persons applying for an examination for licensing as agents

20  for property, casualty, surety, health, and miscellaneous

21  insurers.

22         (b)2.  As needed, questions and answers for the use of

23  persons applying for an examination for licensing as agents

24  for life and health insurers.

25         (c)(b)  The office may prepare and have printed and

26  published in pamphlet or book form, As needed, questions and

27  answers for the use of persons applying for an examination for

28  licensing as adjusters.

29         Section 16.  Subsection (1) and paragraph (a) of

30  subsection (2) of section 624.317, Florida Statutes, are

31  amended to read:

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 1         624.317  Investigation of agents, adjusters,

 2  administrators, service companies, and others.--If it has

 3  reason to believe that any person has violated or is violating

 4  any provision of this code, or upon the written complaint

 5  signed by any interested person indicating that any such

 6  violation may exist:

 7         (1)  The department shall conduct such investigation as

 8  it deems necessary of the accounts, records, documents, and

 9  transactions pertaining to or affecting the insurance affairs

10  of any general agent, surplus line agent, adjuster, managing

11  general agent, insurance agent, customer representative,

12  service representative, or other person subject to its

13  jurisdiction, subject to the requirements of s. 626.601.

14         (2)  The office shall conduct such investigation as it

15  deems necessary of the accounts, records, documents, and

16  transactions pertaining to or affecting the insurance affairs

17  of any:

18         (a)  Adjuster, Administrator, service company, or other

19  person subject to its jurisdiction.

20         Section 17.  Paragraph (d) of subsection (12) of

21  section 624.501, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

22         624.501  Filing, license, appointment, and

23  miscellaneous fees.--The department, commission, or office, as

24  appropriate, shall collect in advance, and persons so served

25  shall pay to it in advance, fees, licenses, and miscellaneous

26  charges as follows:

27         (12)  Adjusters:

28         (d)  Fee to cover actual cost of credit report, when

29  such report must be secured by department office.

30         Section 18.  Subsections (1) and (2) of section

31  626.016, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

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 1         626.016  Powers and duties of department, commission,

 2  and office.--

 3         (1)  The powers and duties of the Chief Financial

 4  Officer and the department specified in this part apply only

 5  with respect to insurance agents, managing general agents,

 6  insurance adjusters, reinsurance intermediaries, viatical

 7  settlement brokers, customer representatives, service

 8  representatives, and agencies.

 9         (2)  The powers and duties of the commission and office

10  specified in this part apply only with respect to insurance

11  adjusters, service companies, administrators, and viatical

12  settlement providers and contracts.

13         Section 19.  Paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of section

14  626.112, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

15         626.112  License and appointment required; agents,

16  customer representatives, adjusters, insurance agencies,

17  service representatives, managing general agents.--

18         (1)(a)  No person may be, act as, or advertise or hold

19  himself or herself out to be an insurance agent, insurance

20  adjuster, or customer representative unless he or she is

21  currently licensed by the department and appointed by an

22  appropriate appointing entity or person one or more insurers.

23  No person may be, act as, or advertise or hold himself or

24  herself out to be an insurance adjuster unless he or she is

25  currently licensed by the office and appointed by one or more

26  insurers.

27         Section 20.  Section 626.161, Florida Statutes, is

28  amended to read:

29         626.161  Licensing forms.--The department shall

30  prescribe and furnish all printed forms required in connection

31  with the application for issuance of and termination of all

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 1  licenses and appointments, except that, with respect to

 2  adjusters, the commission shall prescribe and the office shall

 3  furnish such forms.

 4         Section 21.  Subsection (1), paragraph (f) of

 5  subsection (2), and subsection (5) of section 626.171, Florida

 6  Statutes, are amended to read:

 7         626.171  Application for license.--

 8         (1)  The department or office shall not issue a license

 9  as agent, customer representative, adjuster, insurance agency,

10  service representative, managing general agent, or reinsurance

11  intermediary to any person except upon written application

12  therefor filed with it, qualification therefor, and payment in

13  advance of all applicable fees. Any such application shall be

14  made under the oath of the applicant and be signed by the

15  applicant. Beginning November 1, 2002, the department shall

16  accept the uniform application for nonresident agent

17  licensing. The department may adopt revised versions of the

18  uniform application by rule.

19         (2)  In the application, the applicant shall set forth:

20         (f)  Such other or additional information as the

21  department or office may deem proper to enable it to determine

22  the character, experience, ability, and other qualifications

23  of the applicant to hold himself or herself out to the public

24  as an insurance representative.

25         (5)  An application for a license as an agent, customer

26  representative, adjuster, insurance agency, service

27  representative, managing general agent, or reinsurance

28  intermediary must be accompanied by a set of the individual

29  applicant's fingerprints, or, if the applicant is not an

30  individual, by a set of the fingerprints of the sole

31  proprietor, majority owner, partners, officers, and directors,

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 1  on a form adopted by rule of the department or commission and

 2  accompanied by the fingerprint processing fee set forth in s.

 3  624.501. Fingerprints shall be used to investigate the

 4  applicant's qualifications pursuant to s. 626.201. The

 5  fingerprints shall be taken by a law enforcement agency or

 6  other department-approved entity.

 7         Section 22.  Section 626.181, Florida Statutes, is

 8  amended to read:

 9         626.181  Number of applications for licensure

10  required.--After a license as agent, customer representative,

11  or adjuster has been issued to an individual, the same

12  individual shall not be required to take another examination

13  for a similar license, regardless, in the case of an agent, of

14  the number of insurers to be represented by him or her as

15  agent, unless:

16         (1)  Specifically ordered by the department or office

17  to complete a new application for license; or

18         (2)  During any period of 48 months since the filing of

19  the original license application, such individual was not

20  appointed as an agent, customer representative, or adjuster,

21  unless the failure to be so appointed was due to military

22  service, in which event the period within which a new

23  application is not required may, in the discretion of the

24  department or office, be extended to 12 months following the

25  date of discharge from military service if the military

26  service does not exceed 3 years, but in no event to extend

27  under this clause for a period of more than 6 years from the

28  date of filing of the original application for license.

29         Section 23.  Section 626.191, Florida Statutes, is

30  amended to read:

31  

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 1         626.191  Repeated applications.--The failure of an

 2  applicant to secure a license upon an application shall not

 3  preclude him or her from applying again as many times as

 4  desired, but the department or office shall not give

 5  consideration to or accept any further application by the same

 6  individual for a similar license dated or filed within 30 days

 7  subsequent to the date the department or office denied the

 8  last application, except as provided in s. 626.281.

 9         Section 24.  Section 626.211, Florida Statutes, is

10  amended to read:

11         626.211  Approval, disapproval of application.--

12         (1)  If upon the basis of a completed application for

13  license and such further inquiry or investigation as the

14  department or office may make concerning an applicant the

15  department or office is satisfied that, subject to any

16  examination required to be taken and passed by the applicant

17  for a license, the applicant is qualified for the license

18  applied for and that all pertinent fees have been paid, it

19  shall approve the application.  The department or office shall

20  not deny, delay, or withhold approval of an application due to

21  the fact that it has not received a criminal history report

22  based on the applicant's fingerprints.

23         (2)  Upon approval of an applicant for license as

24  agent, customer representative, or adjuster who is subject to

25  written examination, the department or office shall notify the

26  applicant when and where he or she may take the required

27  examination.

28         (3)  Upon approval of an applicant for license who is

29  not subject to examination, the department or office shall

30  promptly issue the license.

31  

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 1         (4)  If upon the basis of the completed application and

 2  such further inquiry or investigation the department or office

 3  deems the applicant to be lacking in any one or more of the

 4  required qualifications for the license applied for, the

 5  department or office shall disapprove the application and

 6  notify the applicant, stating the grounds of disapproval.

 7         Section 25.  Subsection (1) and paragraphs (a), (c),

 8  (d), (f), (g), and (l) of subsection (2) of section 626.221,

 9  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

10         626.221  Examination requirement; exemptions.--

11         (1)  The department or office shall not issue any

12  license as agent, customer representative, or adjuster to any

13  individual who has not qualified for, taken, and passed to the

14  satisfaction of the department or office a written examination

15  of the scope prescribed in s. 626.241.

16         (2)  However, no such examination shall be necessary in

17  any of the following cases:

18         (a)  An applicant for renewal of appointment as an

19  agent, customer representative, or adjuster, unless the

20  department or office determines that an examination is

21  necessary to establish the competence or trustworthiness of

22  such applicant.

23         (c)  In the discretion of the department or office, an

24  applicant for reinstatement of license or appointment as an

25  agent, customer representative, or adjuster whose license has

26  been suspended within 2 years prior to the date of application

27  or written request for reinstatement.

28         (d)  An applicant who, within 2 years prior to

29  application for license and appointment as an agent, customer

30  representative, or adjuster, was a full-time salaried employee

31  of the department or office and had continuously been such an

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 1  employee with responsible insurance duties for not less than 2

 2  years and who had been a licensee within 2 years prior to

 3  employment by the department or office with the same class of

 4  license as that being applied for.

 5         (f)  A person who has been licensed and appointed as a

 6  public adjuster or independent adjuster, or licensed and

 7  appointed either as an agent or company adjuster as to all

 8  property, casualty, and surety insurances, may be licensed and

 9  appointed as a company adjuster as to any of such insurances,

10  or as an independent adjuster or public adjuster, without

11  additional written examination if an application for

12  appointment is filed with the department office within 48

13  months following the date of cancellation or expiration of the

14  prior appointment.

15         (g)  A person who has been licensed as an adjuster for

16  motor vehicle, property and casualty, workers' compensation,

17  and health insurance may be licensed as such an adjuster

18  without additional written examination if his or her

19  application for appointment is filed with the department

20  office within 48 months after cancellation or expiration of

21  the prior license.

22         (l)  An applicant for license as an adjuster who has

23  the designation of Accredited Claims Adjuster (ACA) from a

24  regionally accredited postsecondary institution in this state,

25  or the designation of Professional Claims Adjuster (PCA) from

26  the Professional Career Institute, whose curriculum has been

27  approved by the department office and whose curriculum

28  includes comprehensive analysis of basic property and casualty

29  lines of insurance and testing at least equal to that of

30  standard department office testing for the all-lines adjuster

31  

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 1  license. The department commission shall adopt rules

 2  establishing standards for the approval of curriculum.

 3         Section 26.  Section 626.231, Florida Statutes, is

 4  amended to read:

 5         626.231  Eligibility for examination.--No person shall

 6  be permitted to take an examination for license until his or

 7  her application for the license has been approved and the

 8  required fees have been received by the department or office

 9  or a person designated by the department or office to

10  administer the examination.

11         Section 27.  Subsection (1) of section 626.241, Florida

12  Statutes, is amended to read:

13         626.241  Scope of examination.--

14         (1)  Each examination for a license as agent, customer

15  representative, or adjuster shall be of such scope as is

16  deemed by the department or office to be reasonably necessary

17  to test the applicant's ability and competence and knowledge

18  of the kinds of insurance and transactions to be handled under

19  the license applied for, of the duties and responsibilities of

20  such a licensee, and of the pertinent provisions of the laws

21  of this state.

22         Section 28.  Subsections (1) and (3) of section

23  626.251, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

24         626.251  Time and place of examination; notice.--

25         (1)  The department or office or a person designated by

26  the department or office shall mail written notice of the time

27  and place of the examination to each applicant for license

28  required to take an examination who will be eligible to take

29  the examination as of the examination date.  The notice shall

30  be so mailed, postage prepaid, and addressed to the applicant

31  at his or her address shown on the application for license or

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 1  at such other address as requested by the applicant in writing

 2  filed with the department or office prior to the mailing of

 3  the notice. Notice shall be deemed given when so mailed.

 4         (3)  The department or office shall make an examination

 5  available to the applicant, to be taken as soon as reasonably

 6  possible after the applicant is eligible therefor.  Any

 7  examination required under this part shall be available in

 8  this state at a designated examination center.

 9         Section 29.  Subsections (1), (2), and (3) of section

10  626.261, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

11         626.261  Conduct of examination.--

12         (1)  The applicant for license shall appear in person

13  and personally take the examination for license at the time

14  and place specified by the department or office or by a person

15  designated by the department or office.

16         (2)  The examination shall be conducted by an employee

17  of the department or office or a person designated by the

18  department or office for that purpose.

19         (3)  The questions propounded shall be as prepared by

20  the department or office, or by a person designated by the

21  department or office for that purpose, consistent with the

22  applicable provisions of this code.

23         Section 30.  Section 626.266, Florida Statutes, is

24  amended to read:

25         626.266  Printing of examinations or related materials

26  to preserve examination security.--A contract let for the

27  development, administration, or grading of examinations or

28  related materials by the department or office pursuant to the

29  various agent, customer representative, or adjuster licensing

30  and examination provisions of this code may include the

31  printing or furnishing of these examinations or related

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 1  materials in order to preserve security. Any such contract

 2  shall be let as a contract for a contractual service pursuant

 3  to s. 287.057.

 4         Section 31.  Subsection (1) of section 626.271, Florida

 5  Statutes, is amended to read:

 6         626.271  Examination fee; determination, refund.--

 7         (1)  Prior to being permitted to take an examination,

 8  each applicant who is subject to examination shall pay to the

 9  department or office or a person designated by the department

10  or office an examination fee.  A separate and additional

11  examination fee shall be payable for each separate class of

12  license applied for, notwithstanding that all such

13  examinations are taken on the same date and at the same place.

14         Section 32.  Section 626.281, Florida Statutes, is

15  amended to read:

16         626.281  Reexamination.--

17         (1)  Any applicant for license who has either:

18         (a)  Taken an examination and failed to make a passing

19  grade, or

20         (b)  Failed to appear for the examination or to take or

21  complete the examination at the time and place specified in

22  the notice of the department or office,

23  

24  may take additional examinations, after filing with the

25  department or office an application for reexamination together

26  with applicable fees.  The failure of an applicant to pass an

27  examination or the failure to appear for the examination or to

28  take or complete the examination does not preclude the

29  applicant from taking subsequent examinations.

30         (2)  The department or office may require any

31  individual whose license as an agent, customer representative,

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 1  or adjuster has expired or has been suspended to pass an

 2  examination prior to reinstating or relicensing the individual

 3  as to any class of license.  The examination fee shall be paid

 4  as to each examination.

 5         Section 33.  Section 626.2817, Florida Statutes, is

 6  amended to read:

 7         626.2817  Regulation of course providers, instructors,

 8  school officials, and monitor groups involved in prelicensure

 9  education for insurance agents and other licensees.--

10         (1)  Any course provider, instructor, school official,

11  or monitor group must be approved by and registered with the

12  department or office before offering prelicensure education

13  courses for insurance agents and other licensees.

14         (2)  The department or commission shall adopt rules

15  establishing standards for the approval, registration,

16  discipline, or removal from registration of course providers,

17  instructors, school officials, and monitor groups. The

18  standards must be designed to ensure that such persons have

19  the knowledge, competence, and integrity to fulfill the

20  educational objectives of the prelicensure requirements of

21  this chapter and chapter 648 and to assure that insurance

22  agents and licensees are competent to engage in the activities

23  authorized under the license.

24         (3)  The department or commission shall adopt rules to

25  establish a process for determining compliance with the

26  prelicensure requirements of this chapter and chapter 648. The

27  department or commission shall adopt rules prescribing the

28  forms necessary to administer the prelicensure requirements.

29         Section 34.  Section 626.291, Florida Statutes, is

30  amended to read:

31         626.291  Denial, issuance of license.--

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 1         (1)  Within 30 days after the applicant has completed

 2  any examination required under s. 626.221, the department or

 3  office or its designee shall provide a score report; and, if

 4  it finds that the applicant has received a passing grade, the

 5  department or office shall within such period notify the

 6  applicant and issue and transmit the license to which such

 7  examination related.  If it finds that the applicant did not

 8  make a passing grade on the examination for a particular

 9  license, the department or office or its designee shall within

10  this period provide notice to the applicant to that effect and

11  of its denial of the license.

12         (2)  As to an applicant for a license for which no

13  examination is required, the department or office shall

14  promptly issue the license applied for as soon as it has

15  approved the application.

16         (3)  The department or office shall not deny, delay, or

17  withhold issuance of a license due to the fact that it has not

18  received a criminal history report based on the applicant's

19  fingerprints.

20         Section 35.  Section 626.301, Florida Statutes, is

21  amended to read:

22         626.301  Form and contents of licenses, in

23  general.--Each license issued by the department or office

24  shall be in such form as the department or commission may

25  designate and contain the licensee's name, lines of authority

26  the licensee is authorized to transact, the licensee's

27  personal identification number, the date of issuance, and any

28  other information the department or commission deems necessary

29  to fully identify the licensee and the authority being

30  granted. The department or commission may by rule require

31  photographs of applicants as a part of the licensing process.

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 1         Section 36.  Subsection (2) of section 626.371, Florida

 2  Statutes, is amended to read:

 3         626.371  Payment of fees, taxes for appointment period

 4  without appointment.--

 5         (2)  If, upon application and qualification for an

 6  initial or renewal appointment and such investigation as the

 7  department or office may make, it appears to the department or

 8  office that an individual who was formerly licensed or is

 9  currently licensed but not properly appointed to represent an

10  insurer or employer and who has been actively engaged or is

11  currently actively engaged as such an appointee, but without

12  being appointed as required, the department or office may, if

13  it finds that such failure to be appointed was an inadvertent

14  error on the part of the insurer or employer so represented,

15  nevertheless issue or authorize the issuance of the

16  appointment as applied for but subject to the condition that,

17  before the appointment is issued, all fees and taxes which

18  would have been due had the applicant been so appointed during

19  such current and prior periods, with applicable fees pursuant

20  to s. 624.501 for such current and prior periods of

21  appointment, shall be paid to the department or office.

22         Section 37.  Subsections (2), (3), and (4) of section

23  626.381, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

24         626.381  Renewal, continuation, reinstatement, or

25  termination of appointment.--

26         (2)  Each appointing entity shall file with the

27  department or office the lists, statements, and information as

28  to appointees whose appointments are being renewed or

29  terminated, accompanied by payment of the applicable renewal

30  fees and taxes as prescribed in s. 624.501, by a date set

31  

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 1  forth by the department or office following the month during

 2  which the appointments will expire.

 3         (3)  Renewal of an appointment which is received by the

 4  department or office or person designated by the department to

 5  administer the appointment process prior to the expiration of

 6  an appointment in the licensee's birth month or license issue

 7  date, whichever applies, may be renewed by the department or

 8  office without penalty and shall be effective as of the first

 9  day of the month succeeding the month in which the appointment

10  would have expired.

11         (4)  Renewal of an appointment which is received by the

12  department or office or person designated by the department to

13  administer the appointment process after the renewal date may

14  be accepted and effectuated by the department or office in its

15  discretion if the appointment, late filing, continuation, and

16  reinstatement fee accompanies the renewal request pursuant to

17  s. 624.501. Late filing fees shall be paid by the appointing

18  entity and may not be charged to the appointee.

19         Section 38.  Subsection (2) of section 626.431, Florida

20  Statutes, is amended to read:

21         626.431  Effect of expiration of license and

22  appointment.--

23         (2)  When a licensee's last appointment for a

24  particular class of insurance has been terminated or not

25  renewed, the department or office must notify the licensee

26  that his or her eligibility for appointment as such an

27  appointee will expire unless he or she is appointed prior to

28  expiration of the 48-month period referred to in subsection

29  (3).

30         Section 39.  Section 626.461, Florida Statutes, is

31  amended to read:

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 1         626.461  Continuation of appointment of agent or other

 2  representative.--Subject to renewal or continuation by the

 3  appointing entity, the appointment of the agent, adjuster,

 4  service representative, customer representative, or managing

 5  general agent shall continue in effect until the person's

 6  license is revoked or otherwise terminated, unless written

 7  notice of earlier termination of the appointment is filed with

 8  the department or office or person designated by the

 9  department to administer the appointment process by either the

10  appointing entity or the appointee.

11         Section 40.  Subsections (2), (3), (4), and (5) of

12  section 626.471, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

13         626.471  Termination of appointment.--

14         (2)  As soon as possible and at all events within 30

15  days after terminating the appointment of an appointee, other

16  than as to an appointment terminated by the appointing

17  entity's failure to continue or renew it, the appointing

18  entity shall file written notice thereof with the department

19  or office, together with a statement that it has given the

20  appointee notice thereof as provided in subsection (1) and

21  shall file with the department or office the reasons and facts

22  involved in such termination as required under s. 626.511.

23         (3)  Upon termination of the appointment of an

24  appointee, whether by failure to renew or continue the

25  appointment, the appointing entity shall:

26         (a)  File with the department or office the information

27  required under s. 626.511.

28         (b)  Subject to the exceptions provided under

29  subsection (1), continue the outstanding contracts transacted

30  by an agent until the expiration date or anniversary date when

31  the policy is a continuous policy with no expiration date.

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 1  This paragraph shall not be construed to prohibit the

 2  cancellation of such contracts when not otherwise prohibited

 3  by law.

 4         (4)  An appointee may terminate the appointment at any

 5  time by giving written or electronic notice thereof to the

 6  appointing entity, department or office, or person designated

 7  by the department to administer the appointment process. The

 8  department shall immediately terminate the appointment and

 9  notify the appointing entity of such termination. Such

10  termination shall be subject to the appointee's contract

11  rights, if any.

12         (5)  Upon receiving notice of termination, the

13  department or office or person designated by the department to

14  administer the appointment process shall terminate the

15  appointment.

16         Section 41.  Subsections (2), (3), and (5) of section

17  626.521, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

18         626.521  Character, credit reports.--

19         (2)  If requested by the department or office, the

20  insurer, manager, general agent, general lines agent, or

21  employer, as the case may be, shall furnish to the department

22  or office on a form adopted and furnished by the department or

23  commission and furnished by the department or office, such

24  information as it may reasonably requires require relative to

25  such individual and investigation.

26         (3)  As to an applicant for an adjuster's or

27  reinsurance intermediary's license who is to be self-employed,

28  the department or office may secure, at the cost of the

29  applicant, a full detailed credit and character report made by

30  an established and reputable independent reporting service

31  relative to the applicant.

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 1         (5)  Information contained in credit or character

 2  reports furnished to or secured by the department or office

 3  under this section is confidential and exempt from the

 4  provisions of s. 119.07(1).

 5         Section 42.  Subsections (1) and (2) of section

 6  626.541, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

 7         626.541  Firm, corporate, and business names; officers;

 8  associates; notice of changes.--

 9         (1)  Any licensed agent or adjuster doing business

10  under a firm or corporate name or under any business name

11  other than his or her own individual name shall, within 30

12  days after the initial transaction of insurance under such

13  business name, file with the department or office, on forms

14  adopted and furnished by the department or commission and

15  furnished by the department or office, a written statement of

16  the firm, corporate, or business name being so used, the

17  address of any office or offices or places of business making

18  use of such name, and the name and social security number of

19  each officer and director of the corporation and of each

20  individual associated in such firm or corporation as to the

21  insurance transactions thereof or in the use of such business

22  name.

23         (2)  In the event of any change of such name, or of any

24  of the officers and directors, or of any of such addresses, or

25  in the personnel so associated, written notice of such change

26  must be filed with the department or office within 30 days by

27  or on behalf of those licensees terminating any such firm,

28  corporate, or business name or continuing to operate

29  thereunder.

30         Section 43.  Section 626.551, Florida Statutes, is

31  amended to read:

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 1         626.551  Notice of change of address, name.--Every

 2  licensee shall notify the department or office in writing

 3  within 60 days after a change of name, residence address,

 4  principal business street address, or mailing address. Any

 5  licensed agent who has moved his or her residence from this

 6  state shall have his or her license and all appointments

 7  immediately terminated by the department or office. Failure to

 8  notify the department or office within the required time

 9  period shall result in a fine not to exceed $250 for the first

10  offense and, for subsequent offenses, a fine of not less than

11  $500 or suspension or revocation of the license pursuant to s.

12  626.611 or s. 626.621.

13         Section 44.  Section 626.611, Florida Statutes, is

14  amended to read:

15         626.611  Grounds for compulsory refusal, suspension, or

16  revocation of agent's, title agency's, adjuster's, customer

17  representative's, service representative's, or managing

18  general agent's license or appointment.--The department or

19  office shall deny an application for, suspend, revoke, or

20  refuse to renew or continue the license or appointment of any

21  applicant, agent, title agency, adjuster, customer

22  representative, service representative, or managing general

23  agent, and it shall suspend or revoke the eligibility to hold

24  a license or appointment of any such person, if it finds that

25  as to the applicant, licensee, or appointee any one or more of

26  the following applicable grounds exist:

27         (1)  Lack of one or more of the qualifications for the

28  license or appointment as specified in this code.

29         (2)  Material misstatement, misrepresentation, or fraud

30  in obtaining the license or appointment or in attempting to

31  obtain the license or appointment.

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 1         (3)  Failure to pass to the satisfaction of the

 2  department or office any examination required under this code.

 3         (4)  If the license or appointment is willfully used,

 4  or to be used, to circumvent any of the requirements or

 5  prohibitions of this code.

 6         (5)  Willful misrepresentation of any insurance policy

 7  or annuity contract or willful deception with regard to any

 8  such policy or contract, done either in person or by any form

 9  of dissemination of information or advertising.

10         (6)  If, as an adjuster, or agent licensed and

11  appointed to adjust claims under this code, he or she has

12  materially misrepresented to an insured or other interested

13  party the terms and coverage of an insurance contract with

14  intent and for the purpose of effecting settlement of claim

15  for loss or damage or benefit under such contract on less

16  favorable terms than those provided in and contemplated by the

17  contract.

18         (7)  Demonstrated lack of fitness or trustworthiness to

19  engage in the business of insurance.

20         (8)  Demonstrated lack of reasonably adequate knowledge

21  and technical competence to engage in the transactions

22  authorized by the license or appointment.

23         (9)  Fraudulent or dishonest practices in the conduct

24  of business under the license or appointment.

25         (10)  Misappropriation, conversion, or unlawful

26  withholding of moneys belonging to insurers or insureds or

27  beneficiaries or to others and received in conduct of business

28  under the license or appointment.

29         (11)  Unlawfully rebating, attempting to unlawfully

30  rebate, or unlawfully dividing or offering to divide his or

31  her commission with another.

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 1         (12)  Having obtained or attempted to obtain, or having

 2  used or using, a license or appointment as agent or customer

 3  representative for the purpose of soliciting or handling

 4  "controlled business" as defined in s. 626.730 with respect to

 5  general lines agents, s. 626.784 with respect to life agents,

 6  and s. 626.830 with respect to health agents.

 7         (13)  Willful failure to comply with, or willful

 8  violation of, any proper order or rule of the department,

 9  commission, or office or willful violation of any provision of

10  this code.

11         (14)  Having been found guilty of or having pleaded

12  guilty or nolo contendere to a felony or a crime punishable by

13  imprisonment of 1 year or more under the law of the United

14  States of America or of any state thereof or under the law of

15  any other country which involves moral turpitude, without

16  regard to whether a judgment of conviction has been entered by

17  the court having jurisdiction of such cases.

18         (15)  Fraudulent or dishonest practice in submitting or

19  aiding or abetting any person in the submission of an

20  application for workers' compensation coverage under chapter

21  440 containing false or misleading information as to employee

22  payroll or classification for the purpose of avoiding or

23  reducing the amount of premium due for such coverage.

24         (16)  Sale of an unregistered security that was

25  required to be registered, pursuant to chapter 517.

26         Section 45.  Section 626.621, Florida Statutes, is

27  amended to read:

28         626.621  Grounds for discretionary refusal, suspension,

29  or revocation of agent's, adjuster's, customer

30  representative's, service representative's, or managing

31  general agent's license or appointment.--The department or

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 1  office may, in its discretion, deny an application for,

 2  suspend, revoke, or refuse to renew or continue the license or

 3  appointment of any applicant, agent, adjuster, customer

 4  representative, service representative, or managing general

 5  agent, and it may suspend or revoke the eligibility to hold a

 6  license or appointment of any such person, if it finds that as

 7  to the applicant, licensee, or appointee any one or more of

 8  the following applicable grounds exist under circumstances for

 9  which such denial, suspension, revocation, or refusal is not

10  mandatory under s. 626.611:

11         (1)  Any cause for which issuance of the license or

12  appointment could have been refused had it then existed and

13  been known to the department or office.

14         (2)  Violation of any provision of this code or of any

15  other law applicable to the business of insurance in the

16  course of dealing under the license or appointment.

17         (3)  Violation of any lawful order or rule of the

18  department, commission, or office.

19         (4)  Failure or refusal, upon demand, to pay over to

20  any insurer he or she represents or has represented any money

21  coming into his or her hands belonging to the insurer.

22         (5)  Violation of the provision against twisting, as

23  defined in s. 626.9541(1)(l).

24         (6)  In the conduct of business under the license or

25  appointment, engaging in unfair methods of competition or in

26  unfair or deceptive acts or practices, as prohibited under

27  part IX of this chapter, or having otherwise shown himself or

28  herself to be a source of injury or loss to the public or

29  detrimental to the public interest.

30         (7)  Willful overinsurance of any property or health

31  insurance risk.

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 1         (8)  Having been found guilty of or having pleaded

 2  guilty or nolo contendere to a felony or a crime punishable by

 3  imprisonment of 1 year or more under the law of the United

 4  States of America or of any state thereof or under the law of

 5  any other country, without regard to whether a judgment of

 6  conviction has been entered by the court having jurisdiction

 7  of such cases.

 8         (9)  If a life agent, violation of the code of ethics.

 9         (10)  Cheating on an examination required for licensure

10  or violating test center or examination procedures published

11  orally, in writing, or electronically at the test site by

12  authorized representatives of the examination program

13  administrator.  Communication of test center and examination

14  procedures must be clearly established and documented.

15         (11)  Failure to inform the department or office in

16  writing within 30 days after pleading guilty or nolo

17  contendere to, or being convicted or found guilty of, any

18  felony or a crime punishable by imprisonment of 1 year or more

19  under the law of the United States or of any state thereof, or

20  under the law of any other country without regard to whether a

21  judgment of conviction has been entered by the court having

22  jurisdiction of the case.

23         (12)  Knowingly aiding, assisting, procuring, advising,

24  or abetting any person in the violation of or to violate a

25  provision of the insurance code or any order or rule of the

26  department, commission, or office.

27         Section 46.  Section 626.631, Florida Statutes, is

28  amended to read:

29         626.631  Procedure for refusal, suspension, or

30  revocation of license.--

31  

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 1         (1)  If any licensee is convicted by a court of a

 2  violation of this code or a felony, the licenses and

 3  appointments of such person shall be immediately revoked by

 4  the department or office. The licensee may subsequently

 5  request a hearing pursuant to ss. 120.569 and 120.57, and the

 6  department or office shall expedite any such requested

 7  hearing. The sole issue at such hearing shall be whether the

 8  revocation should be rescinded because such person was not in

 9  fact convicted of a violation of this code or a felony.

10         (2)  The papers, documents, reports, or evidence of the

11  department or office relative to a hearing for revocation or

12  suspension of a license or appointment pursuant to the

13  provisions of this chapter and chapter 120 are confidential

14  and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) until after the

15  same have been published at the hearing. However, such papers,

16  documents, reports, or items of evidence are subject to

17  discovery in a hearing for revocation or suspension of a

18  license or appointment.

19         Section 47.  Subsections (1) and (2) of section

20  626.641, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

21         626.641  Duration of suspension or revocation.--

22         (1)  The department or office shall, in its order

23  suspending a license or appointment or in its order suspending

24  the eligibility of a person to hold or apply for such license

25  or appointment, specify the period during which the suspension

26  is to be in effect; but such period shall not exceed 2 years.

27  The license, appointment, or eligibility shall remain

28  suspended during the period so specified, subject, however, to

29  any rescission or modification of the order by the department

30  or office, or modification or reversal thereof by the court,

31  prior to expiration of the suspension period.  A license,

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 1  appointment, or eligibility which has been suspended shall not

 2  be reinstated except upon request for such reinstatement; but

 3  the department or office shall not grant such reinstatement if

 4  it finds that the circumstance or circumstances for which the

 5  license, appointment, or eligibility was suspended still exist

 6  or are likely to recur.

 7         (2)  No person or appointee under any license or

 8  appointment revoked by the department or office, nor any

 9  person whose eligibility to hold same has been revoked by the

10  department or office, shall have the right to apply for

11  another license or appointment under this code within 2 years

12  from the effective date of such revocation or, if judicial

13  review of such revocation is sought, within 2 years from the

14  date of final court order or decree affirming the revocation.

15  The department or office shall not, however, grant a new

16  license or appointment or reinstate eligibility to hold such

17  license or appointment if it finds that the circumstance or

18  circumstances for which the eligibility was revoked or for

19  which the previous license or appointment was revoked still

20  exist or are likely to recur; if an individual's license as

21  agent or customer representative or eligibility to hold same

22  has been revoked upon the ground specified in s. 626.611(12),

23  the department or office shall refuse to grant or issue any

24  new license or appointment so applied for.

25         Section 48.  Subsection (2) of section 626.661, Florida

26  Statutes, is amended to read:

27         626.661  Surrender of license.--

28         (2)  This section shall not be deemed to require the

29  surrender to the department or office of any license unless

30  such surrender has been requested by the department or office.

31  

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 1         Section 49.  Subsections (1) and (3) of section

 2  626.681, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

 3         626.681  Administrative fine in lieu of or in addition

 4  to suspension, revocation, or refusal of license, appointment,

 5  or disapproval.--

 6         (1)  Except as to insurance agencies, if the department

 7  or office finds that one or more grounds exist for the

 8  suspension, revocation, or refusal to issue, renew, or

 9  continue any license or appointment issued under this chapter,

10  or disapproval of a continuing education course provider,

11  instructor, school official, or monitor groups, the department

12  or office may, in its discretion, in lieu of or in addition to

13  such suspension or revocation, or in lieu of such refusal, or

14  disapproval, and except on a second offense or when such

15  suspension, revocation, or refusal is mandatory, impose upon

16  the licensee, appointee, course provider, instructor, school

17  official, or monitor group an administrative penalty in an

18  amount up to $500 or, if the department or office has found

19  willful misconduct or willful violation on the part of the

20  licensee, appointee, course provider, instructor, school

21  official, or monitor group up to $3,500. The administrative

22  penalty may, in the discretion of the department or office, be

23  augmented by an amount equal to any commissions received by or

24  accruing to the credit of the licensee or appointee in

25  connection with any transaction as to which the grounds for

26  suspension, revocation, or refusal related.

27         (3)  The department or office may allow the licensee,

28  appointee, or continuing education course provider,

29  instructor, school official, or monitor group a reasonable

30  period, not to exceed 30 days, within which to pay to the

31  department or office the amount of the penalty so imposed. If

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 1  the licensee, appointee, course provider, instructor, school

 2  official, or monitor group fails to pay the penalty in its

 3  entirety to the department or office within the period so

 4  allowed, the license, appointments, approval, or status of

 5  that person shall stand suspended or revoked or issuance,

 6  renewal, or continuation shall be refused, as the case may be,

 7  upon expiration of such period.

 8         Section 50.  Section 626.691, Florida Statutes, is

 9  amended to read:

10         626.691  Probation.--

11         (1)  If the department or office finds that one or more

12  grounds exist for the suspension, revocation, or refusal to

13  renew or continue any license or appointment issued under this

14  part, the department or office may, in its discretion, except

15  when an administrative fine is not permissible under s.

16  626.681 or when such suspension, revocation, or refusal is

17  mandatory, in lieu of or in addition to such suspension or

18  revocation, or in lieu of such refusal, or in connection with

19  any administrative monetary penalty imposed under s. 626.681,

20  place the offending licensee or appointee on probation for a

21  period, not to exceed 2 years, as specified by the department

22  or office in its order.

23         (2)  As a condition to such probation or in connection

24  therewith, the department or office may specify in its order

25  reasonable terms and conditions to be fulfilled by the

26  probationer during the probation period. If during the

27  probation period the department or office has good cause to

28  believe that the probationer has violated a term or condition,

29  it shall suspend, revoke, or refuse to issue, renew, or

30  continue the license or appointment of the probationer, as

31  upon the original grounds referred to in subsection (1).

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 1         Section 51.  Section 626.692, Florida Statutes, is

 2  amended to read:

 3         626.692  Restitution.--If any ground exists for the

 4  suspension, revocation, or refusal of a license or

 5  appointment, the department or office may, in addition to any

 6  other penalty authorized under this chapter, order the

 7  licensee to pay restitution to any person who has been

 8  deprived of money by the licensee's misappropriation,

 9  conversion, or unlawful withholding of moneys belonging to

10  insurers, insureds, beneficiaries, or others.  In no instance

11  shall the amount of restitution required to be paid under this

12  section exceed the amount of money misappropriated, converted,

13  or unlawfully withheld. Nothing in this section limits or

14  restricts a person's right to seek other remedies as provided

15  for by law.

16         Section 52.  Section 626.8582, Florida Statutes, is

17  amended to read:

18         626.8582  "Nonresident public adjuster" defined.--A

19  "nonresident public adjuster" is a person who:

20         (1)  Is not a resident of this state;

21         (2)  Is a currently licensed public adjuster in his or

22  her state of residence for the type or kinds of insurance for

23  which the licensee intends to adjust claims in this state or,

24  if a resident of a state that does not license public

25  adjusters, has passed the department's office's adjuster

26  examination as prescribed in s. 626.8732(1)(b); and

27         (3)  Is a self-employed public adjuster or associated

28  with or employed by a public adjusting firm or other public

29  adjuster.

30         Section 53.  Section 626.8584, Florida Statutes, is

31  amended to read:

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 1         626.8584  "Nonresident independent adjuster"

 2  defined.--A "nonresident independent adjuster" is a person

 3  who:

 4         (1)  Is not a resident of this state;

 5         (2)  Is a currently licensed independent adjuster in

 6  his or her state of residence for the type or kinds of

 7  insurance for which the licensee intends to adjust claims in

 8  this state or, if a resident of a state that does not license

 9  independent adjusters, has passed the department's office's

10  adjuster examination as prescribed in s. 626.8734(1)(b); and

11         (3)  Is a self-employed independent adjuster or

12  associated with or employed by an independent adjusting firm

13  or other independent adjuster.

14         Section 54.  Section 626.859, Florida Statutes, is

15  amended to read:

16         626.859  "Catastrophe" or "emergency" adjuster

17  defined.--A "catastrophe" or "emergency" adjuster is a person

18  who is not a licensed adjuster under this part, but who has

19  been designated and certified to the department office by

20  insurers as qualified to adjust claims, losses, or damages

21  under policies or contracts of insurance issued by such

22  insurer, and whom the department office may license, in the

23  event of a catastrophe or emergency, for the purposes and

24  under the conditions which the department office shall fix and

25  for the period of the emergency as the department office shall

26  determine, to adjust claims, losses, or damages under the

27  policies of insurance issued by the insurers.

28         Section 55.  Subsection (2) of section 626.863, Florida

29  Statutes, is amended to read:

30         626.863  Licensed independent adjusters required;

31  insurers' responsibility.--

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 1         (2)  Before referring any claim or loss, the insurer

 2  shall ascertain from the department office whether the

 3  proposed independent adjuster is currently licensed and

 4  appointed as such. Having once ascertained that a particular

 5  person is so licensed and appointed, the insurer may assume

 6  that he or she will continue to be so licensed and appointed

 7  until the insurer has knowledge, or receives information from

 8  the department office, to the contrary.

 9         Section 56.  Section 626.865, Florida Statutes, is

10  amended to read:

11         626.865  Public adjuster's qualifications, bond.--

12         (1)  The department office shall issue a license to an

13  applicant for a public adjuster's license upon determining

14  that the applicant has paid the applicable fees specified in

15  s. 624.501 and possesses the following qualifications:

16         (a)  Is a natural person at least 18 years of age.

17         (b)  Is a United States citizen or legal alien who

18  possesses work authorization from the United States

19  Immigration and Naturalization Service and a bona fide

20  resident of this state.

21         (c)  Is trustworthy and has such business reputation as

22  would reasonably assure that the applicant will conduct his or

23  her business as insurance adjuster fairly and in good faith

24  and without detriment to the public.

25         (d)  Has had sufficient experience, training, or

26  instruction concerning the adjusting of damages or losses

27  under insurance contracts, other than life and annuity

28  contracts, is sufficiently informed as to the terms and

29  effects of the provisions of those types of insurance

30  contracts, and possesses adequate knowledge of the laws of

31  this state relating to such contracts as to enable and qualify

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 1  him or her to engage in the business of insurance adjuster

 2  fairly and without injury to the public or any member thereof

 3  with whom the applicant may have business as a public

 4  adjuster.

 5         (e)  Has passed any required written examination.

 6         (2)  At the time of application for license as a public

 7  adjuster, the applicant shall file with the department office

 8  a bond executed and issued by a surety insurer authorized to

 9  transact such business in this state, in the amount of

10  $50,000, conditioned for the faithful performance of his or

11  her duties as a public adjuster under the license applied for.

12  The bond shall be in favor of the department office and shall

13  specifically authorize recovery by the department office of

14  the damages sustained in case the licensee is guilty of fraud

15  or unfair practices in connection with his or her business as

16  public adjuster. The aggregate liability of the surety for all

17  such damages shall in no event exceed the amount of the bond.

18  Such bond shall not be terminated unless at least 30 days'

19  written notice is given to the licensee and filed with the

20  department office.

21         Section 57.  Section 626.866, Florida Statutes, is

22  amended to read:

23         626.866  Independent adjuster's qualifications.--The

24  department office shall issue a license to an applicant for an

25  independent adjuster's license upon determining that the

26  applicable license fee specified in s. 624.501 has been paid

27  and that the applicant possesses the following qualifications:

28         (1)  Is a natural person at least 18 years of age.

29         (2)  Is a United States citizen or legal alien who

30  possesses work authorization from the United States

31  

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 1  Immigration and Naturalization Service and a bona fide

 2  resident of this state.

 3         (3)  Is trustworthy and has such business reputation as

 4  would reasonably assure that the applicant will conduct his or

 5  her business as insurance adjuster fairly and in good faith

 6  and without detriment to the public.

 7         (4)  Has had sufficient experience, training, or

 8  instruction concerning the adjusting of damage or loss under

 9  insurance contracts, other than life and annuity contracts, is

10  sufficiently informed as to the terms and the effects of the

11  provisions of such types of contracts, and possesses adequate

12  knowledge of the insurance laws of this state relating to such

13  contracts as to enable and qualify him or her to engage in the

14  business of insurance adjuster fairly and without injury to

15  the public or any member thereof with whom he or she may have

16  relations as an insurance adjuster and to adjust all claims in

17  accordance with the policy or contract and the insurance laws

18  of this state.

19         (5)  Has passed any required written examination.

20         Section 58.  Section 626.867, Florida Statutes, is

21  amended to read:

22         626.867  Company employee adjuster's

23  qualifications.--The department office shall issue a license

24  to an applicant for a company employee adjuster's license upon

25  determining that the applicable license fee specified in s.

26  624.501 has been paid and that the applicant possesses the

27  following qualifications:

28         (1)  Is a natural person at least 18 years of age.

29         (2)  Is a United States citizen or legal alien who

30  possesses work authorization from the United States

31  

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 1  Immigration and Naturalization Service and a bona fide

 2  resident of this state.

 3         (3)  Is trustworthy and has such business reputation as

 4  would reasonably assure that the applicant will conduct his or

 5  her business as insurance adjuster fairly and in good faith

 6  and without detriment to the public.

 7         (4)  Has had sufficient experience, training, or

 8  instruction concerning the adjusting of damage or loss of

 9  risks described in his or her application, is sufficiently

10  informed as to the terms and the effects of the provisions of

11  insurance contracts covering such risks, and possesses

12  adequate knowledge of the insurance laws of this state

13  relating to such insurance contracts as to enable and qualify

14  him or her to engage in such business as insurance adjuster

15  fairly and without injury to the public or any member thereof

16  with whom he or she may have relations as an insurance

17  adjuster and to adjust all claims in accordance with the

18  policy or contract and the insurance laws of this state.

19         (5)  Has passed any required written examination.

20         Section 59.  Paragraph (c) of subsection (4) of section

21  626.869, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

22         626.869  License, adjusters.--

23         (4)

24         (c)  The department Financial Services Commission shall

25  adopt rules necessary to implement and administer the

26  continuing education requirements of this subsection.

27         Section 60.  Subsections (1), (3), (5), (6), and (7) of

28  section 626.8695, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

29         626.8695  Primary adjuster.--

30         (1)  Each person operating an adjusting firm and each

31  location of a multiple location adjusting firm must designate

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 1  a primary adjuster for each such firm or location and must

 2  file with the department office the name of such primary

 3  adjuster and the address of the firm or location where he or

 4  she is the primary adjuster, on a form approved by the

 5  department commission. The designation of the primary adjuster

 6  may be changed at the option of the adjusting firm. Any such

 7  change is effective upon notification to the department

 8  office. Notice of change must be sent to the department office

 9  within 30 days after such change.

10         (3)  The department office may suspend or revoke the

11  license of the primary adjuster if the adjusting firm employs

12  any person who has had a license denied or any person whose

13  license is currently suspended or revoked. However, if a

14  person has been denied a license for failure to pass a

15  required examination, he or she may be employed to perform

16  clerical or administrative functions for which licensure is

17  not required.

18         (5)  The department office may suspend or revoke the

19  license of any adjuster who is employed by a person whose

20  license is currently suspended or revoked.

21         (6)  An adjusting firm location may not conduct the

22  business of insurance unless a primary adjuster is designated.

23  Failure of the person operating the adjusting firm to

24  designate a primary adjuster for the firm, or for each

25  location, as applicable, on a form prescribed by the

26  department commission within 30 days after inception of the

27  firm or change of primary adjuster designation, constitutes

28  grounds for requiring the adjusting firm to obtain an

29  adjusting firm license pursuant to s. 626.8696.

30         (7)  Any adjusting firm may request, on a form

31  prescribed by the department commission, verification from the

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 1  department office of any person's current licensure status.

 2  If a request is mailed to the office within 5 working days

 3  after the date an adjuster is hired, and the department office

 4  subsequently notifies the adjusting firm that an employee's

 5  license is currently suspended, revoked, or has been denied,

 6  the license of the primary adjuster shall not be revoked or

 7  suspended if the unlicensed person is immediately dismissed

 8  from employment as an adjuster with the firm.

 9         Section 61.  Paragraph (e) of subsection (1) and

10  subsection (5) of section 626.8696, Florida Statutes, are

11  amended to read:

12         626.8696  Application for adjusting firm license.--

13         (1)  The application for an adjusting firm license must

14  include:

15         (e)  Any additional information that which the

16  department requires commission may require.

17         (5)  An adjusting firm required to be licensed pursuant

18  to s. 626.8695 must remain so licensed for a period of 3 years

19  from the date of licensure, unless the license is suspended or

20  revoked. The department office may suspend or revoke the

21  adjusting firm's authority to do business for activities

22  occurring during the time the firm is licensed, regardless of

23  whether the licensing period has terminated.

24         Section 62.  Subsections (1), (2), and (3) of section

25  626.8697, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

26         626.8697  Grounds for refusal, suspension, or

27  revocation of adjusting firm license.--

28         (1)  The department office shall deny, suspend, revoke,

29  or refuse to continue the license of any adjusting firm if it

30  finds, as to any adjusting firm or as to any majority owner,

31  partner, manager, director, officer, or other person who

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 1  manages or controls the firm, that any of the following

 2  grounds exist:

 3         (a)  Lack by the firm of one or more of the

 4  qualifications for the license as specified in this code.

 5         (b)  Material misstatement, misrepresentation, or fraud

 6  in obtaining the license or in attempting to obtain the

 7  license.

 8         (2)  The department office may, in its discretion,

 9  deny, suspend, revoke, or refuse to continue the license of

10  any adjusting firm if it finds that any of the following

11  applicable grounds exist with respect to the firm or any

12  owner, partner, manager, director, officer, or other person

13  who is otherwise involved in the operation of the firm:

14         (a)  Any cause for which issuance of the license could

15  have been refused had it then existed and been known to the

16  department office.

17         (b)  Violation of any provision of this code or of any

18  other law applicable to the business of insurance.

19         (c)  Violation of any order or rule of the office or

20  commission.

21         (d)  An owner, partner, manager, director, officer, or

22  other person who manages or controls the firm having been

23  found guilty of or having pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to

24  a felony or a crime punishable by imprisonment of 1 year or

25  more under the laws of the United States or of any state or

26  under the laws of any other country, without regard to whether

27  adjudication was made or withheld by the court.

28         (e)  Failure to inform the department office in writing

29  within 30 days after a pleading by an owner, partner, manager,

30  director, officer, or other person managing or controlling the

31  firm of guilty or nolo contendere to, or being convicted or

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 1  found guilty of, any felony or a crime punishable by

 2  imprisonment of 1 year or more under the laws of the United

 3  States or of any state, or under the laws of any other

 4  country, without regard to whether adjudication was made or

 5  withheld by the court.

 6         (f)  Knowingly aiding, assisting, procuring, advising,

 7  or abetting any person in the violation of or to violate a

 8  provision of the insurance code or any order or rule of the

 9  department, office, or commission.

10         (g)  Knowingly employing any individual in a managerial

11  capacity or in a capacity dealing with the public who is under

12  an order of revocation or suspension issued by the department

13  office.

14         (h)  Committing any of the following acts with such a

15  frequency as to have made the operation of the adjusting firm

16  hazardous to the insurance-buying public or other persons:

17         1.  Misappropriation, conversion, or unlawful or

18  unreasonable withholding of moneys belonging to insurers or

19  insureds or beneficiaries or claimants or to others and

20  received in the conduct of business under the license.

21         2.  Misrepresentation or deception with regard to the

22  business of insurance, dissemination of information, or

23  advertising.

24         3.  Demonstrated lack of fitness or trustworthiness to

25  engage in the business of insurance adjusting arising out of

26  activities related to insurance adjusting or the adjusting

27  firm.

28         (i)  Failure to appoint a primary adjuster.

29         (3)  In lieu of discretionary refusal, suspension, or

30  revocation of an adjusting firm's license, the department

31  office may impose an administrative penalty of up to $1,000

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 1  for each violation or ground provided under this section, not

 2  to exceed an aggregate amount of $10,000 for all violations or

 3  grounds.

 4         Section 63.  Section 626.8698, Florida Statutes, is

 5  amended to read:

 6         626.8698  Disciplinary guidelines for public

 7  adjusters.--The department office may deny, suspend, or revoke

 8  the license of a public adjuster, and administer a fine not to

 9  exceed $5,000 per act, for any of the following:

10         (1)  Violating any provision of this chapter or a rule

11  or order of the office or commission;

12         (2)  Receiving payment or anything of value as a result

13  of an unfair or deceptive practice;

14         (3)  Receiving or accepting any fee, kickback, or other

15  thing of value pursuant to any agreement or understanding,

16  oral or otherwise; entering into a split-fee arrangement with

17  another person who is not a public adjuster; or being

18  otherwise paid or accepting payment for services that have not

19  been performed;

20         (4)  Violating s. 316.066 or s. 817.234;

21         (5)  Soliciting or otherwise taking advantage of a

22  person who is vulnerable, emotional, or otherwise upset as the

23  result of a trauma, accident, or other similar occurrence; or

24         (6)  Violating any ethical rule of the department

25  commission.

26         Section 64.  Subsections (2) and (3) of section

27  626.870, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

28         626.870  Application for license.--

29         (2)  The department commission shall so prepare the

30  form of the application as to elicit and require from the

31  applicant the information necessary to enable the department

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 1  office to determine whether the applicant possesses the

 2  qualifications prerequisite to issuance of the license to the

 3  applicant.

 4         (3)  The department commission may, in its discretion,

 5  require that the application be supplemented by the

 6  certificate or affidavit of such person or persons as it deems

 7  necessary for its determination of the applicant's residence,

 8  business reputation, and reputation for trustworthiness. The

 9  department commission shall prescribe and the office may

10  furnish the forms for such certificates and affidavits.

11         Section 65.  Section 626.871, Florida Statutes, is

12  amended to read:

13         626.871  Reappointment after military service.--The

14  department office may, without requiring a further written

15  examination, issue an appointment as an adjuster to a formerly

16  licensed and appointed adjuster of this state who held a

17  current adjuster's appointment at the time of entering service

18  in the Armed Forces of the United States, subject to the

19  following conditions:

20         (1)  The period of military service must not have been

21  in excess of 3 years;

22         (2)  The application for the appointment must be filed

23  with the department office and the applicable fee paid, within

24  12 months following the date of honorable discharge of the

25  applicant from the military service; and

26         (3)  The new appointment will be of the same type and

27  class as that currently effective at the time the applicant

28  entered military service; but, if such type and class of

29  appointment is not being currently issued under this code, the

30  new appointment shall be of that type and class or classes

31  most closely resembling those of the former appointment.

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 1         Section 66.  Subsections (1) and (5) of section

 2  626.872, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

 3         626.872  Temporary license.--

 4         (1)  The department office may, in its discretion,

 5  issue a temporary license as an independent adjuster or as a

 6  company employee adjuster, subject to the following

 7  conditions:

 8         (a)  The applicant must be an employee of an adjuster

 9  currently licensed by the department office, an employee of an

10  authorized insurer, or an employee of an established adjusting

11  firm or corporation which is supervised by a currently

12  licensed independent adjuster.

13         (b)  The application must be accompanied by a

14  certificate of employment and a report as to the applicant's

15  integrity and moral character on a form prescribed by the

16  department commission and executed by the employer.

17         (c)  The applicant must be a natural person of at least

18  18 years of age, must be a bona fide resident of this state,

19  must be trustworthy, and must have such business reputation as

20  would reasonably assure that the applicant will conduct his or

21  her business as an adjuster fairly and in good faith and

22  without detriment to the public.

23         (d)  The applicant's employer is responsible for the

24  adjustment acts of any licensee under this section.

25         (e)  The applicable license fee specified must be paid

26  before issuance of the temporary license.

27         (f)  The temporary license shall be effective for a

28  period of 1 year, but subject to earlier termination at the

29  request of the employer, or if the licensee fails to take an

30  examination as an independent adjuster or company employee

31  

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 1  adjuster within 6 months after issuance of the temporary

 2  license, or if suspended or revoked by the department office.

 3         (5)  The department office shall not issue a temporary

 4  license as an independent adjuster or as a company employee

 5  adjuster to any individual who has ever held such a license in

 6  this state.

 7         Section 67.  Subsection (1) of section 626.873, Florida

 8  Statutes, is amended to read:

 9         626.873  Nonresident company employee adjusters.--

10         (1)  The department office shall, upon application

11  therefor, issue a license to an applicant for a nonresident

12  adjuster's license upon determining that the applicant has

13  paid the applicable license fees required under s. 624.501

14  and:

15         (a)  Is a currently licensed insurance adjuster in his

16  or her home state, if such state requires a license.

17         (b)  Is an employee of an insurer, or a wholly owned

18  subsidiary of an insurer, admitted to do business in this

19  state.

20         (c)  Has filed a certificate or letter of authorization

21  from the insurance department of his or her home state, if

22  such state requires an adjuster to be licensed, stating that

23  he or she holds a current license or authorization to adjust

24  insurance losses.  Such certificate or authorization must be

25  signed by the insurance commissioner, or his or her deputy, of

26  the adjuster's home state and must reflect whether or not the

27  adjuster has ever had his or her license or authorization in

28  the adjuster's home state suspended or revoked and, if such is

29  the case, the reason for such action.

30         Section 68.  Section 626.8732, Florida Statutes, is

31  amended to read:

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 1         626.8732  Nonresident public adjuster's qualifications,

 2  bond.--

 3         (1)  The department office shall, upon application

 4  therefor, issue a license to an applicant for a nonresident

 5  public adjuster's license upon determining that the applicant

 6  has paid the applicable license fees required under s. 624.501

 7  and:

 8         (a)  Is a natural person at least 18 years of age.

 9         (b)  Has passed to the satisfaction of the department

10  office a written Florida public adjuster's examination of the

11  scope prescribed in s. 626.241(6); however, the requirement

12  for such an examination does not apply to any of the

13  following:

14         1.  An applicant who is licensed as a resident public

15  adjuster in his or her state of residence, when that state

16  requires the passing of a written examination in order to

17  obtain the license and a reciprocal agreement with the

18  appropriate official of that state has been entered into by

19  the department office; or

20         2.  An applicant who is licensed as a nonresident

21  public adjuster in a state other than his or her state of

22  residence when the state of licensure requires the passing of

23  a written examination in order to obtain the license and a

24  reciprocal agreement with the appropriate official of the

25  state of licensure has been entered into by the department

26  office.

27         (c)  Is self-employed as a public adjuster or

28  associated with or employed by a public adjusting firm or

29  other public adjuster. Applicants licensed as nonresident

30  public adjusters under this section must be appointed as such

31  in accordance with the provisions of ss. 626.112 and 626.451.

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 1  Appointment fees in the amount specified in s. 624.501 must be

 2  paid to the department office in advance. The appointment of a

 3  nonresident public adjuster shall continue in force until

 4  suspended, revoked, or otherwise terminated, but subject to

 5  biennial renewal or continuation by the licensee in accordance

 6  with procedures prescribed in s. 626.381 for licensees in

 7  general.

 8         (d)  Is trustworthy and has such business reputation as

 9  would reasonably assure that he or she will conduct his or her

10  business as a nonresident public adjuster fairly and in good

11  faith and without detriment to the public.

12         (e)  Has had sufficient experience, training, or

13  instruction concerning the adjusting of damages or losses

14  under insurance contracts, other than life and annuity

15  contracts; is sufficiently informed as to the terms and

16  effects of the provisions of those types of insurance

17  contracts; and possesses adequate knowledge of the laws of

18  this state relating to such contracts as to enable and qualify

19  him or her to engage in the business of insurance adjuster

20  fairly and without injury to the public or any member thereof

21  with whom he or she may have business as a public adjuster.

22         (2)  The applicant shall furnish the following with his

23  or her application:

24         (a)  A complete set of his or her fingerprints. The

25  applicant's fingerprints must be certified by an authorized

26  law enforcement officer. The department office may not

27  authorize an applicant to take the required examination or

28  issue a nonresident public adjuster's license to the applicant

29  until the department office has received a report from the

30  Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Federal Bureau

31  of Investigation relative to the existence or nonexistence of

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 1  a criminal history report based on the applicant's

 2  fingerprints.

 3         (b)  If currently licensed as a resident public

 4  adjuster in the applicant's state of residence, a certificate

 5  or letter of authorization from the licensing authority of the

 6  applicant's state of residence, stating that the applicant

 7  holds a current or comparable license to act as a public

 8  adjuster. The certificate or letter of authorization must be

 9  signed by the insurance commissioner or his or her deputy or

10  the appropriate licensing official and must disclose whether

11  the adjuster has ever had any license or eligibility to hold

12  any license declined, denied, suspended, revoked, or placed on

13  probation or whether an administrative fine or penalty has

14  been levied against the adjuster and, if so, the reason for

15  the action.

16         (c)  If the applicant's state of residence does not

17  require licensure as a public adjuster and the applicant has

18  been licensed as a resident insurance adjuster, agent, broker,

19  or other insurance representative in his or her state of

20  residence or any other state within the past 3 years, a

21  certificate or letter of authorization from the licensing

22  authority stating that the applicant holds or has held a

23  license to act as such an insurance adjuster, agent, or other

24  insurance representative. The certificate or letter of

25  authorization must be signed by the insurance commissioner or

26  his or her deputy or the appropriate licensing official and

27  must disclose whether or not the adjuster, agent, or other

28  insurance representative has ever had any license or

29  eligibility to hold any license declined, denied, suspended,

30  revoked, or placed on probation or whether an administrative

31  

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 1  fine or penalty has been levied against the adjuster and, if

 2  so, the reason for the action.

 3         (3)  At the time of application for license as a

 4  nonresident public adjuster, the applicant shall file with the

 5  department office a bond executed and issued by a surety

 6  insurer authorized to transact surety business in this state,

 7  in the amount of $50,000, conditioned for the faithful

 8  performance of his or her duties as a nonresident public

 9  adjuster under the license applied for. The bond must be in

10  favor of the department office and must specifically authorize

11  recovery by the department office of the damages sustained if

12  the licensee commits fraud or unfair practices in connection

13  with his or her business as nonresident public adjuster. The

14  aggregate liability of the surety for all the damages may not

15  exceed the amount of the bond. The bond may not be terminated

16  unless at least 30 days' written notice is given to the

17  licensee and filed with the department office.

18         (4)  The usual and customary records pertaining to

19  transactions under the license of a nonresident public

20  adjuster must be retained for at least 3 years after

21  completion of the adjustment and must be made available in

22  this state to the department office upon request. The failure

23  of a nonresident public adjuster to properly maintain records

24  and make them available to the department office upon request

25  constitutes grounds for the immediate suspension of the

26  license issued under this section.

27         (5)  After licensure as a nonresident public adjuster,

28  as a condition of doing business in this state, the licensee

29  must annually on or before January 1, on a form prescribed by

30  the department commission, submit an affidavit certifying that

31  the licensee is familiar with and understands the insurance

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 1  code and rules adopted thereunder and the provisions of the

 2  contracts negotiated or to be negotiated. Compliance with this

 3  filing requirement is a condition precedent to the issuance,

 4  continuation, reinstatement, or renewal of a nonresident

 5  public adjuster's appointment.

 6         Section 69.  Subsections (1), (3), and (4) of section

 7  626.8734, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

 8         626.8734  Nonresident independent adjuster's

 9  qualifications.--

10         (1)  The department office shall, upon application

11  therefor, issue a license to an applicant for a nonresident

12  independent adjuster's license upon determining that the

13  applicant has paid the applicable license fees required under

14  s. 624.501 and:

15         (a)  Is a natural person at least 18 years of age.

16         (b)  Has passed to the satisfaction of the department

17  office a written Florida independent adjuster's examination of

18  the scope prescribed in s. 626.241(6); however, the

19  requirement for the examination does not apply to any of the

20  following:

21         1.  An applicant who is licensed as a resident

22  independent adjuster in his or her state of residence when

23  that state requires the passing of a written examination in

24  order to obtain the license and a reciprocal agreement with

25  the appropriate official of that state has been entered into

26  by the department office; or

27         2.  An applicant who is licensed as a nonresident

28  independent adjuster in a state other than his or her state of

29  residence when the state of licensure requires the passing of

30  a written examination in order to obtain the license and a

31  reciprocal agreement with the appropriate official of the

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 1  state of licensure has been entered into by the department

 2  office.

 3         (c)  Is self-employed or associated with or employed by

 4  an independent adjusting firm or other independent adjuster.

 5  Applicants licensed as nonresident independent adjusters under

 6  this section must be appointed as such in accordance with the

 7  provisions of ss. 626.112 and 626.451. Appointment fees in the

 8  amount specified in s. 624.501 must be paid to the department

 9  office in advance. The appointment of a nonresident

10  independent adjuster shall continue in force until suspended,

11  revoked, or otherwise terminated, but subject to biennial

12  renewal or continuation by the licensee in accordance with

13  procedures prescribed in s. 626.381 for licensees in general.

14         (d)  Is trustworthy and has such business reputation as

15  would reasonably assure that he or she will conduct his or her

16  business as a nonresident independent adjuster fairly and in

17  good faith and without detriment to the public.

18         (e)  Has had sufficient experience, training, or

19  instruction concerning the adjusting of damages or losses

20  under insurance contracts, other than life and annuity

21  contracts; is sufficiently informed as to the terms and

22  effects of the provisions of those types of insurance

23  contracts; and possesses adequate knowledge of the laws of

24  this state relating to such contracts as to enable and qualify

25  him or her to engage in the business of insurance adjuster

26  fairly and without injury to the public or any member thereof

27  with whom he or she may have business as an independent

28  adjuster.

29         (3)  The usual and customary records pertaining to

30  transactions under the license of a nonresident independent

31  adjuster must be retained for at least 3 years after

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 1  completion of the adjustment and must be made available in

 2  this state to the department office upon request. The failure

 3  of a nonresident independent adjuster to properly maintain

 4  records and make them available to the department office upon

 5  request constitutes grounds for the immediate suspension of

 6  the license issued under this section.

 7         (4)  After licensure as a nonresident independent

 8  adjuster, as a condition of doing business in this state, the

 9  licensee must annually on or before January 1, on a form

10  prescribed by the department commission, submit an affidavit

11  certifying that the licensee is familiar with and understands

12  the insurance laws and administrative rules of this state and

13  the provisions of the contracts negotiated or to be

14  negotiated. Compliance with this filing requirement is a

15  condition precedent to the issuance, continuation,

16  reinstatement, or renewal of a nonresident independent

17  adjuster's appointment.

18         Section 70.  Subsection (4) of section 626.8736,

19  Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

20         626.8736  Nonresident independent or public adjusters;

21  service of process.--

22         (4)  Upon receiving the service, the Chief Financial

23  Officer shall forthwith send one of the copies of the process,

24  by registered mail with return receipt requested, to the

25  defendant nonresident independent or public adjuster at his or

26  her last address of record with the department office.

27         Section 71.  Section 626.8738, is amended to read:

28         626.8738  Penalty for violation.--In addition to any

29  other remedy imposed pursuant to this code, any person who

30  acts as a resident or nonresident public adjuster or holds

31  himself or herself out to be a public adjuster to adjust

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 1  claims in this state, without being licensed by the department

 2  office as a public adjuster and appointed as a public

 3  adjuster, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as

 4  provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. Each act in

 5  violation of this section constitutes a separate offense.

 6         Section 72.  Section 626.874, Florida Statutes, is

 7  amended to read:

 8         626.874  Catastrophe or emergency adjusters.--

 9         (1)  In the event of a catastrophe or emergency, the

10  department office may issue a license, for the purposes and

11  under the conditions which it shall fix and for the period of

12  emergency as it shall determine, to persons who are residents

13  or nonresidents of this state, who are at least 18 years of

14  age, who are United States citizens or legal aliens who

15  possess work authorization from the United States Immigration

16  and Naturalization Service, and who are not licensed adjusters

17  under this part but who have been designated and certified to

18  it as qualified to act as adjusters by independent resident

19  adjusters or by an authorized insurer or by a licensed general

20  lines agent to adjust claims, losses, or damages under

21  policies or contracts of insurance issued by such insurers.

22  The fee for the license shall be as provided in s.

23  624.501(12)(c).

24         (2)  If any person not a licensed adjuster who has been

25  permitted to adjust such losses, claims, or damages under the

26  conditions and circumstances set forth in subsection (1),

27  engages in any of the misconduct described in or contemplated

28  by ss. 626.611 and 626.621, the department office, without

29  notice and hearing, shall be authorized to issue its order

30  denying such person the privileges granted under this section;

31  

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 1  and thereafter it shall be unlawful for any such person to

 2  adjust any such losses, claims, or damages in this state.

 3         Section 73.  Section 626.878, Florida Statutes, is

 4  amended to read:

 5         626.878  Rules; code of ethics.--An adjuster shall

 6  subscribe to the code of ethics specified in the rules of the

 7  department commission. The rules shall implement the

 8  provisions of this part and specify the terms and conditions

 9  of contracts, including a right to cancel, and require

10  practices necessary to ensure fair dealing, prohibit conflicts

11  of interest, and ensure preservation of the rights of the

12  claimant to participate in the adjustment of claims.

13         Section 74.  Section 627.7012, Florida Statutes, is

14  transferred, renumbered as section 626.879, Florida Statutes,

15  and amended to read:

16         626.879627.7012  Pools of insurance adjusters.--The

17  department commission may, by rule, establish a pool of

18  qualified insurance adjusters. The rules must provide that, if

19  a hurricane occurs or an emergency is declared, the department

20  office may assign members of the pool to the affected area and

21  that an insurer may request that a member of the pool adjust

22  claims in the assigned area. The rules may not require that an

23  insurer use those adjusters assigned by the department office.

24         Section 75.  Subsection (3) of section 626.9543,

25  Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

26         626.9543  Holocaust victims.--

27         (3)  DEFINITIONS.--For the purpose of this section:

28         (a)  "Department" means the Department of Insurance.

29         (a)(b)  "Holocaust victim" means any person who lost

30  his or her life or property as a result of discriminatory

31  laws, policies, or actions targeted against discrete groups of

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 1  persons between 1920 and 1945, inclusive, in Nazi Germany,

 2  areas occupied by Nazi Germany, or countries allied with Nazi

 3  Germany.

 4         (b)(c)  "Insurance policy" means, but is not limited

 5  to, life insurance, property insurance, or education policies.

 6         (c)(d)  "Legal relationship" means any parent,

 7  subsidiary, or affiliated company with an insurer doing

 8  business in this state.

 9         (d)(e)  "Proceeds" means the face or other payout value

10  of policies and annuities plus reasonable interest to date of

11  payments without diminution for wartime or immediate postwar

12  currency devaluation.

13         Section 76.  Paragraphs (c), (e), and (f) of subsection

14  (9) of section 626.989, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

15         626.989  Investigation by department or Division of

16  Insurance Fraud; compliance; immunity; confidential

17  information; reports to division; division investigator's

18  power of arrest.--

19         (9)  In recognition of the complementary roles of

20  investigating instances of workers' compensation fraud and

21  enforcing compliance with the workers' compensation coverage

22  requirements under chapter 440, the Department of Financial

23  Services shall prepare and submit a joint performance report

24  to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of

25  Representatives by November 1, 2003, and then by January 1 of

26  each year. The annual report must include, but need not be

27  limited to:

28         (c)  The number of investigations undertaken by the

29  Bureau of Workers' Compensation Insurance Fraud office which

30  were not the result of a referral from an insurer or the

31  Division of Workers' Compensation.

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 1         (e)  The number and reasons provided by local

 2  prosecutors or the statewide prosecutor for declining

 3  prosecution of a case presented by the Bureau of Workers'

 4  Compensation Insurance Fraud office by circuit.

 5         (f)  The total number of employees assigned to the

 6  Bureau of Workers' Compensation Insurance Fraud office and the

 7  Division of Workers' Compensation Bureau of Compliance unit

 8  delineated by location of staff assigned; and the number and

 9  location of employees assigned to the Bureau of Workers'

10  Compensation Insurance Fraud office who were assigned to work

11  other types of fraud cases.

12         Section 77.  Subsection (2) of section 627.0628,

13  Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

14         627.0628  Florida Commission on Hurricane Loss

15  Projection Methodology.--

16         (2)  COMMISSION CREATED.--

17         (a)  There is created the Florida Commission on

18  Hurricane Loss Projection Methodology, which is assigned to

19  the State Board of Administration.  For the purposes of this

20  section, the term "commission" means the Florida Commission on

21  Hurricane Loss Projection Methodology. The commission shall be

22  administratively housed within the State Board of

23  Administration, but it shall independently exercise the powers

24  and duties specified in this section.

25         (b)  The commission shall consist of the following 11

26  members:

27         1.  The insurance consumer advocate.

28         2.  The senior employee of the State Board of

29  Administration responsible for operations of the Florida

30  Hurricane Catastrophe Fund.

31  

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 1         3.  The Executive Director of the Citizens Property

 2  Insurance Corporation.

 3         4.  The Director of the Division of Emergency

 4  Management of the Department of Community Affairs.

 5         5.  The actuary member of the Florida Hurricane

 6  Catastrophe Fund Advisory Council.

 7         6.  An employee of the office who is an actuary

 8  responsible for property insurance rate filings and who is

 9  appointed by the director of the office.

10         7.6.  Five Six members appointed by the Chief Financial

11  Officer, as follows:

12         a.  An employee of the office who is an actuary

13  responsible for property insurance rate filings.

14         a.b.  An actuary who is employed full time by a

15  property and casualty insurer which was responsible for at

16  least 1 percent of the aggregate statewide direct written

17  premium for homeowner's insurance in the calendar year

18  preceding the member's appointment to the commission.

19         b.c.  An expert in insurance finance who is a full time

20  member of the faculty of the State University System and who

21  has a background in actuarial science.

22         c.d.  An expert in statistics who is a full time member

23  of the faculty of the State University System and who has a

24  background in insurance.

25         d.e.  An expert in computer system design who is a full

26  time member of the faculty of the State University System.

27         e.f.  An expert in meteorology who is a full time

28  member of the faculty of the State University System and who

29  specializes in hurricanes.

30         (c)  Members designated under subparagraphs (b)1.-5.

31  shall serve on the commission as long as they maintain the

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 1  respective offices designated in subparagraphs (b)1.-5. The

 2  member appointed by the director of the office under

 3  subparagraph (b)6. shall serve on the commission until the end

 4  of the term of office of the director who appointed him or

 5  her, unless removed earlier by the director for cause. Members

 6  appointed by the Chief Financial Officer under subparagraph

 7  (b)7. subparagraph (b)6. shall serve on the commission until

 8  the end of the term of office of the Chief Financial Officer

 9  who appointed them, unless earlier removed by the Chief

10  Financial Officer for cause.  Vacancies on the commission

11  shall be filled in the same manner as the original

12  appointment.

13         (d)  The State Board of Administration shall annually

14  appoint one of the members of the commission to serve as

15  chair.

16         (e)  Members of the commission shall serve without

17  compensation, but shall be reimbursed for per diem and travel

18  expenses pursuant to s. 112.061.

19         (f)  The State Board of Administration shall, as a cost

20  of administration of the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund,

21  provide for travel, expenses, and staff support for the

22  commission.

23         (g)  There shall be no liability on the part of, and no

24  cause of action of any nature shall arise against, any member

25  of the commission, any member of the State Board of

26  Administration, or any employee of the State Board of

27  Administration for any action taken in the performance of

28  their duties under this section. In addition, the commission

29  may, in writing, waive any potential cause of action for

30  negligence of a consultant, contractor, or contract employee

31  engaged to assist the commission.

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 1         Section 78.  Paragraph (b) of subsection (11) of

 2  section 627.6699, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

 3         627.6699  Employee Health Care Access Act.--

 4         (11)  SMALL EMPLOYER HEALTH REINSURANCE PROGRAM.--

 5         (b)1.  The program shall operate subject to the

 6  supervision and control of the board.

 7         2.  Effective upon this act becoming a law, the board

 8  shall consist of the director of the office Chief Financial

 9  Officer or his or her designee, who shall serve as the

10  chairperson, and 13 additional members who are representatives

11  of carriers and insurance agents and are appointed by the

12  director of the office Chief Financial Officer and serve as

13  follows:

14         a.  The director of the office Chief Financial Officer

15  shall include representatives of small employer carriers

16  subject to assessment under this subsection.  If two or more

17  carriers elect to be risk-assuming carriers, the membership

18  must include at least two representatives of risk-assuming

19  carriers; if one carrier is risk-assuming, one member must be

20  a representative of such carrier.  At least one member must be

21  a carrier who is subject to the assessments, but is not a

22  small employer carrier.  Subject to such restrictions, at

23  least five members shall be selected from individuals

24  recommended by small employer carriers pursuant to procedures

25  provided by rule of the commission. Three members shall be

26  selected from a list of health insurance carriers that issue

27  individual health insurance policies. At least two of the

28  three members selected must be reinsuring carriers. Two

29  members shall be selected from a list of insurance agents who

30  are actively engaged in the sale of health insurance.

31  

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 1         b.  A member appointed under this subparagraph shall

 2  serve a term of 4 years and shall continue in office until the

 3  member's successor takes office, except that, in order to

 4  provide for staggered terms, the director of the office Chief

 5  Financial Officer shall designate two of the initial

 6  appointees under this subparagraph to serve terms of 2 years

 7  and shall designate three of the initial appointees under this

 8  subparagraph to serve terms of 3 years.

 9         3.  The director of the office Chief Financial Officer

10  may remove a member for cause.

11         4.  Vacancies on the board shall be filled in the same

12  manner as the original appointment for the unexpired portion

13  of the term.

14         5.  The director of the office Chief Financial Officer

15  may require an entity that recommends persons for appointment

16  to submit additional lists of recommended appointees.

17         Section 79.  The transfer of the regulation of

18  adjusters from the Office of Insurance Regulation to the

19  Department of Financial Services by this act shall not affect

20  the regulation of adjusters in any administrative or judicial

21  action of the Office of Insurance Regulation arising out of or

22  involving the Office of Insurance Regulation before or pending

23  on the effective date of this act, and the Department of

24  Financial Services shall be substituted as a party in interest

25  on any such pending action.

26         Section 80.  Any license, form, or action that was

27  approved or authorized by the Financial Services Commission or

28  the Office of Insurance Regulation which was otherwise

29  lawfully in use before the effective date of this act may

30  continue to be used or be effective as originally authorized

31  

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 1  or permitted, until the Department of Financial Services

 2  otherwise prescribes.

 3         Section 81.  Upon the effective date of this act, the

 4  rules or portions thereof of the Financial Services Commission

 5  which govern the regulation of insurance adjusters shall

 6  become rules or portions thereof of the Department of

 7  Financial Services as is appropriate to the corresponding

 8  regulatory or constitutional function and shall remain in

 9  effect until specifically amended or repealed in the manner

10  provided by law.

11         Section 82.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2004.

12  

13          STATEMENT OF SUBSTANTIAL CHANGES CONTAINED IN
                       COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR
14                          CS for SB 2994

15                                 

16  
      -  Provides an exemption to the Florida Deceptive and Unfair
17       Trade Practice Act pertaining to commercial real property
         and provides an exemption for specific causes of action
18       concerning the failure to maintain real property if the
         Florida Statutes require the owner to comply with
19       specified building codes and provide a cause of action
         for failure to maintain property.
20  
      -  Removes language specifying where state funds are to be
21       deposited if received from the settlement of any action
         or claim by the state against a person.
22  
      -  Continues current law and clarifies that State University
23       System employees are eligible to continue participation
         in the State Deferred Compensation Program.
24  
      -  Provides authority to the Department of Financial
25       Services to contract with entities that receive state
         funds for accounting and payroll services.  Requires all
26       remuneration received to be deposited in the General
         Revenue Fund and the department is to request cost
27       recovery of expenses from the Legislative Budget
         Commission.
28  

29  

30  

31  

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