January 21, 2020
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Senate Bill 2994

Senate Bill sb2994e1

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    CS for CS for SB 2994                          First Engrossed



  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.;


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    CS for CS for SB 2994                          First Engrossed



 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


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    CS for CS for SB 2994                          First Engrossed



 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         s. 624.4622, F.S.; providing that a local

10         government self-insurance fund must initially

11         be organized as a commercial self-insurance

12         fund or a group self-insurance fund and, for a

13         specified period, must comply with the

14         requirements for such a fund; providing that a

15         local government self-insurance fund comply

16         with specified provisions relating to financial

17         statements; amending ss. 624.313, 624.317,

18         624.501, 626.016, 626.112, 626.161, 626.171,

19         626.181, 626.191, 626.211, 626.221, 626.231,

20         626.241, 626.251, 626.261, 626.266, 626.271,

21         626.281, 626.2817, 626.291, 626.301, 626.371,

22         626.381, 626.431, 626.461, 626.471, 626.521,

23         626.541, 626.551, 626.611, 626.621, 626.631,

24         626.641, 626.661, 626.681, 626.691, 626.692,

25         626.8582, 626.8584, 626.859, 626.863, 626.865,

26         626.866, 626.867, 626.869, 626.8695, 626.8696,

27         626.8697, 626.8698, 626.870, 626.871, 626.872,

28         626.873, 626.8732, 626.8734, 626.8736,

29         626.8738, 626.874, 626.878, F.S.; transferring

30         and renumbering s. 627.7012, F.S., as s.

31         626.879, F.S., and amending such section;


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    CS for CS for SB 2994                          First Engrossed



 1         making conforming changes to authorize the

 2         Department of Financial Services, rather than

 3         the Office of Insurance Regulation, to regulate

 4         insurance adjusters; amending s. 626.9543,

 5         F.S.; specifying that the Department of

 6         Financial Services, rather than the former

 7         Department of Insurance, administers the

 8         Holocaust Victims Insurance Act; amending s.

 9         626.989, F.S.; correcting references to the

10         Bureau of Workers' Compensation Insurance Fraud

11         with regard to the required annual report of

12         the Department of Financial Services related to

13         workers' compensation fraud; amending s.

14         627.0628, F.S.; providing that the Director of

15         the Office of Insurance, rather than the Chief

16         Financial Officer, shall appoint an employee of

17         the office who is an actuary to the Florida

18         Commission on Hurricane Loss Projection

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

20         providing that the Director of the Office of

21         Insurance Regulation, rather than the Chief

22         Financial Officer, shall be a member of the

23         board of the Small Employer Health Reinsurance

24         Program; providing that the transfer of the

25         regulation of adjusters from the Office of

26         Insurance Regulation to the Department of

27         Financial Services does not affect any

28         administrative or judicial action prior to or

29         pending on the effective date of the act;

30         providing that any action approved or

31         authorized by the Financial Services Commission


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    CS for CS for SB 2994                          First Engrossed



 1         or the Office of Insurance Regulation continues

 2         to be effective until the Department of

 3         Financial Services otherwise prescribes;

 4         providing that the rules of the Financial

 5         Services Commission related to adjusters shall

 6         become rules of the Department of Financial

 7         Services; amending s. 626.99245, F.S.;

 8         providing that the regulation of certain

 9         viatical settlement agreements and providers is

10         within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Office

11         of Insurance Regulation under part X of ch.

12         626; amending s. 494.0025, F.S.; prohibiting

13         the use of the name or logo of a financial

14         institution or its affiliates or subsidiaries

15         under certain circumstances without written

16         consent; amending s. 516.07, F.S.; providing

17         that the use of the name or logo of a financial

18         institution or its affiliates or subsidiaries

19         under certain circumstances without written

20         consent is grounds for denial of license or for

21         disciplinary action; amending s. 520.995, F.S.;

22         providing that the use of the name or logo of a

23         financial institution or its affiliates or

24         subsidiaries under certain circumstances

25         without written consent is grounds for

26         disciplinary action; amending s. 626.9541,

27         F.S.; providing that the deceptive use of a

28         name is an unfair method of competition and an

29         unfair or deceptive act or practice; amending

30         s. 655.005, F.S.; revising certain definitions

31         relating to financial institutions to include


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    CS for CS for SB 2994                          First Engrossed



 1         the term "international branch"; amending s.

 2         655.0322, F.S.; revising the definition of the

 3         term "financial institution" to include an

 4         international branch; amending s. 655.0385,

 5         F.S.; clarifying requirements for notification

 6         of the appointment of an executive director or

 7         equivalent by state financial institutions;

 8         requiring a nonrefundable fee to accompany

 9         notification; amending s. 655.045, F.S.;

10         providing an exemption from audit requirements;

11         amending s. 655.059, F.S.; providing for the

12         inspection and examination of financial

13         institution records and books pursuant to

14         subpoena; providing for reimbursement of

15         reasonable costs and fees for compliance;

16         providing for setting the reimbursement amount

17         when charges are contested; amending s.

18         655.921, F.S.; prohibiting certain out-of-state

19         financial institutions from locating branch

20         offices in the state in order to qualify for

21         certain exempt transactions; deleting

22         provisions relating to authorization of offices

23         in the state; amending s. 655.922, F.S.;

24         clarifying provisions authorizing financial

25         institutions under another state's financial

26         codes to transact business in this state;

27         expanding the names or titles under which only

28         a financial institution may transact business;

29         prohibiting the use of the name or logo of a

30         financial institution or its affiliates or

31         subsidiaries under certain circumstances


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    CS for CS for SB 2994                          First Engrossed



 1         without written consent; requiring the

 2         Financial Services Commission to adopt rules;

 3         amending s. 655.94, F.S.; deleting a

 4         prohibition against certain notary publics

 5         being involved in opening safety deposit boxes

 6         for nonpayment of rent; requiring use of

 7         certified mail instead of registered mail;

 8         amending. s. 658.16, F.S.; providing criteria

 9         for a bank or trust company chartered as a

10         limited liability company to be considered

11         "incorporated" under the financial institutions

12         codes; providing definitions; amending s.

13         658.23, F.S.; correcting terminology; deleting

14         a requirement for a current copy of the bylaws

15         of a bank or trust company to be on file with

16         the Office of Financial Regulation; amending s.

17         658.26, F.S.; providing for state banks to

18         relocate offices upon approval; providing that

19         certain financial institutions may establish or

20         relocate an office upon written notification;

21         providing requirements for notification and a

22         fee; requiring an application for relocation of

23         a main office outside the state; exempting

24         applications from publication in the Florida

25         Administrative Weekly; modifying requirements

26         for applications for branch offices by a bank

27         ineligible for branch notification; deleting a

28         requirement that such applications be published

29         in the Florida Administrative Weekly and be

30         subject to ch. 120, F.S.; requiring a

31         relocation application to be filed with the


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    CS for CS for SB 2994                          First Engrossed



 1         Office of Financial Regulation; providing for a

 2         filing fee, investigations, and restrictions

 3         relating to such applications; amending s.

 4         658.33, F.S.; adding to the list of persons who

 5         must meet certain qualification levels;

 6         providing for a waiver of qualification

 7         requirements; amending s. 658.37, F.S.;

 8         prohibiting an imminently insolvent bank from

 9         paying dividends; amending s. 658.48, F.S.;

10         specifying limitations on making loans and

11         extending credit by a bank declared to be

12         imminently insolvent; amending s. 658.67, F.S.;

13         providing multiple dates for the assessment of

14         the value of property acquisition as security;

15         amending s. 658.73, F.S.; delineating which

16         entities or individuals must pay a fee for a

17         certificate of good standing; amending s.

18         663.16, F.S.; revising definitions to include

19         the term "branch" and to reduce the percentage

20         of voting stock necessary for consideration as

21         control; amending s. 663.304, F.S.; deleting a

22         requirement for reservation of a proposed

23         corporate name with the Department of State;

24         amending s. 665.034, F.S.; revising a

25         percentage designating control of an

26         association; amending s. 674.406, F.S.;

27         reducing the time that banks must retain

28         receipts of items; reducing the time within

29         which one must report unauthorized signatures;

30         providing a time limitation within which to

31         assert claims against a bank for an


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    CS for CS for SB 2994                          First Engrossed



 1         unauthorized endorsement; repealing s. 658.68,

 2         F.S., relating to liquidity requirements for a

 3         state bank; amending s. 627.4133, F.S.;

 4         providing for an effective date of certain

 5         policy cancellations by insureds; amending s.

 6         717.101, F.S.; providing definitions; amending

 7         ss. 717.106, 717.107, 717.109, and 717.116,

 8         F.S.; revising criteria for presuming as

 9         unclaimed certain bank deposits and funds in

10         financial organizations, funds owing under life

11         insurance policies, funds held by business

12         associations, and property held in a

13         safe-deposit box or other safekeeping

14         repository, respectively; amending s. 717.117,

15         F.S.; revising reporting requirements for

16         unclaimed property; presuming certain accounts

17         as unclaimed under certain circumstances;

18         providing that certain intangible property is

19         exempt from being reported as unclaimed

20         property under certain conditions; amending s.

21         717.118, F.S.; providing requirements for

22         notification of apparent owners of unclaimed

23         property; amending s. 717.119, F.S.; revising

24         requirements for delivery of certain unclaimed

25         property; providing penalties for late

26         deliveries; amending s. 717.1201, F.S.;

27         revising certain holder payment and repayment

28         requirements; amending s. 717.122, F.S.;

29         revising certain public sale requirements;

30         authorizing the Department of Financial

31         Services to deduct certain auction fees, costs,


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    CS for CS for SB 2994                          First Engrossed



 1         and expenses; prohibiting actions or

 2         proceedings against the department for certain

 3         decisions relating to auctions of unclaimed

 4         property; specifying that certain sales of

 5         unclaimed property are not subject to the sales

 6         tax; amending s. 717.123, F.S.; increasing a

 7         maximum amount of funds the department may

 8         retain from certain funds received; amending s.

 9         717.124, F.S.; providing additional

10         requirements for filing unclaimed property

11         claims; providing for the return or withdrawal

12         of certain claims under certain circumstances;

13         specifying a time period for department

14         determination of claims; authorizing the

15         department to deny claims under certain

16         circumstances; specifying an exclusive remedy

17         for subsequent claimants; revising requirements

18         for a power of attorney; requiring direct

19         delivery of safe-deposit boxes under certain

20         circumstances; revising payment of fees and

21         costs requirements; creating s. 717.12403,

22         F.S.; providing presumptions for certain

23         unclaimed demand, savings, or checking accounts

24         in financial institutions with more than one

25         beneficiary; creating s. 717.12404, F.S.;

26         providing requirements for claims for property

27         reported in the name of an active or dissolved

28         corporation for which the last annual report is

29         unavailable; creating s. 717.12405, F.S.;

30         providing requirements; for claims by estates;

31         amending s. 717.1241, F.S.; revising


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    CS for CS for SB 2994                          First Engrossed



 1         requirements for remittance of property subject

 2         to conflicting claims; amending s. 717.1242,

 3         F.S.; clarifying legislative intent relating to

 4         filing certain claims; creating s. 717.1244,

 5         F.S.; providing criteria for department

 6         determinations of claims; amending s. 717.126,

 7         F.S.; providing a criterion for proof of

 8         entitlement; specifying venue in certain

 9         unclaimed property actions; creating s.

10         717.1261, F.S.; requiring a death certificate

11         in claiming entitlement to certain unclaimed

12         property; creating s. 717.1262, F.S.; requiring

13         certain court documents in claiming entitlement

14         to certain unclaimed property; amending s.

15         717.1301, F.S.; revising certain fee and

16         expense requirements for investigations or

17         examinations; providing for interest on such

18         amounts under certain circumstances; amending

19         s. 717.1315, F.S.; clarifying a record

20         retention requirement for owner

21         representatives; amending s. 717.132, F.S.;

22         specifying criteria for certain corrective

23         actions; creating s. 717.1322, F.S.; specifying

24         grounds for certain disciplinary actions;

25         providing for certain disciplinary actions;

26         providing penalties; authorizing the department

27         to adopt rules with regard to disciplinary

28         guidelines; creating s. 717.1331, F.S.;

29         providing for department actions against

30         certain lienholders under certain

31         circumstances; creating s. 717.1333, F.S.;


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    CS for CS for SB 2994                          First Engrossed



 1         providing for admitting certain documents into

 2         evidence in certain actions; amending s.

 3         717.134, F.S.; authorizing the department to

 4         impose and collect penalties for failing to

 5         report certain information; authorizing the

 6         department waive such penalties under certain

 7         circumstances; creating s. 717.1341, F.S.;

 8         prohibiting receipt of unentitled unclaimed

 9         property; providing for liability for such

10         property under certain circumstances;

11         authorizing the department to maintain certain

12         civil or administrative actions; providing for

13         fines, costs, and attorney fees; prohibiting

14         filing claims for unentitled unclaimed

15         property; providing criminal penalties;

16         amending s. 717.135, F.S.; revising

17         requirements for agreements to recover certain

18         property; providing an agreement form; creating

19         s. 717.1351, F.S.; providing requirements for

20         acquisition of unclaimed property by certain

21         persons; providing certain contract

22         requirements; providing a contract form;

23         creating s. 717.1400, F.S.; requiring certain

24         licensed persons to register with the

25         department for certain purposes; providing

26         registration requirements; providing for denial

27         of registration under certain circumstances;

28         providing registration limitations; amending s.

29         212.02, F.S.; revising a definition to conform;

30         amending ss. 322.142 and 395.3025, F.S.;

31         providing for disclosure of certain


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    CS for CS for SB 2994                          First Engrossed



 1         confidential information to the department

 2         under certain circumstances; amending s.

 3         723.103, F.S.; authorizing the court, under

 4         specified conditions, to extend the right of

 5         succession to surviving heirs when the decent's

 6         lineage cannot be fully documented because it

 7         includes a Holocaust victim; limiting the

 8         application of statutes of limitation under

 9         certain circumstances; defining the term

10         "Holocaust victim"; providing an effective

11         date.

12  

13  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:

14  

15         Section 1.  Section 17.0416, Florida Statutes, is

16  created to read:

17         17.0416  Authority to provide services on a fee

18  basis.--

19         (1)  The Chief Financial Officer, through the

20  Department of Financial Services, may provide accounting and

21  payroll services on a fee basis under contractual agreement

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

23  universities, community colleges, units of local government,

24  constitutional officers, and any other person or entity having

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

26  funds collected by the department under these contracts shall

27  be deposited into the General Revenue Fund.

28         (2)  The Department of Financial Services may adopt

29  rules necessary to administer this section.

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

31  to read:


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    CS for CS for SB 2994                          First Engrossed



 1         17.16  Seal.--The seal of office of the Chief Financial

 2  Officer shall have an official seal by which its proceedings

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

 4  that purpose.

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

 6  Statutes, is amended to read:

 7         17.57  Deposits and investments of state money.--

 8         (2)  The Chief Financial Officer shall make funds

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

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

11  qualified public depositories that will pay rates established

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

13  prevailing rate for United States Treasury securities with a

14  corresponding maturity. In the event money is available for

15  interest-bearing time deposits or savings accounts as provided

16  herein and qualified public depositories are unwilling to

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

18  then such money which qualified public depositories are

19  unwilling to accept shall be invested in:

20         (a)  Direct United States Treasury obligations.

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

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

23  district banks.

24         (d)  Obligations of the Federal Home Loan Mortgage

25  Corporation, including participation certificates.

26         (e)  Obligations guaranteed by the Government National

27  Mortgage Association.

28         (f)  Obligations of the Federal National Mortgage

29  Association.

30  

31  


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    CS for CS for SB 2994                          First Engrossed



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

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

 3  nationally recognized rating service.

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

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

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

 7  Federal Reserve System having total deposits of not less than

 8  $400 million or which are accepted by a commercial bank which

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

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

11  government or the Federal Government, and whose senior debt

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

13  by a nationally recognized rating service and which are held

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

15  Reserve System.

16         (i)  Corporate obligations or corporate master notes of

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

18  obligations of such corporation are rated by at least two

19  nationally recognized rating services in any one of the four

20  highest classifications. However, if such obligations are

21  rated by only one nationally recognized rating service, then

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

23  classifications.

24         (j)  Obligations of the Student Loan Marketing

25  Association.

26         (k)  Obligations of the Resolution Funding Corporation.

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

28  highest credit quality.

29         (m)  Any obligations not previously listed which are

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

31  credit of the United States Government or are obligations of


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    CS for CS for SB 2994                          First Engrossed



 1  United States agencies or instrumentalities which are rated in

 2  the highest category by a nationally recognized rating

 3  service.

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

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

 6  authorized in this subsection.

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

 8  by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

 9         (p)  Obligations of state and local governments rated

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

11  nationally recognized rating services. However, if such

12  obligations are rated by only one nationally recognized rating

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

14  two highest classifications.

15         (q)  Derivatives of investment instruments authorized

16  in paragraphs (a)-(m).

17         (r)  Covered put and call options on investment

18  instruments authorized in this subsection for the purpose of

19  hedging transactions by investment managers to mitigate risk

20  or to facilitate portfolio management.

21         (s)  Negotiable certificates of deposit issued by

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

23  the three highest categories by at least two nationally

24  recognized rating services, the investment in which shall not

25  be prohibited by any provision of chapter 280.

26         (t)  Foreign bonds denominated in United States dollars

27  and registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission for

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

29  such issuers are rated by at least two nationally recognized

30  rating services in any one of the four highest

31  classifications. However, if such obligations are rated by


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    CS for CS for SB 2994                          First Engrossed



 1  only one nationally recognized rating service, the obligations

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

 3         (u)  Convertible debt obligations of any corporation

 4  domiciled within the United States, if the convertible debt

 5  issue is rated by at least two nationally recognized rating

 6  services in any one of the four highest classifications.

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

 8  recognized rating service, then the obligations shall be rated

 9  in any one of the two highest classifications.

10         (v)  Securities not otherwise described in this

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

12  under the control of the Chief Financial Officer shall be

13  invested in securities described in this paragraph.

14  

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

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

17  may be under repurchase agreement or reverse repurchase

18  agreement. The Chief Financial Officer may hire registered

19  investment advisers and other consultants to assist in

20  investment management and to pay fees directly from investment

21  earnings. Investment securities, proprietary investment

22  services related to contracts, performance evaluation

23  services, investment-related equipment or software used

24  directly to assist investment trading or investment accounting

25  operations including bond calculators, telerates, Bloombergs,

26  special program calculators, intercom systems, and software

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

28  and consulting contracts made under this section are exempt

29  from the provisions of chapter 287.

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

31  to read:


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    CS for CS for SB 2994                          First Engrossed



 1         17.59  Safekeeping services.--

 2         (1)  The Chief Financial Officer shall administer a

 3  collateral management service for all may accept for

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

 5  documents or articles of value from any state agencies agency

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

 7  subdivision thereof, or other public authority that requires

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

 9  collateral.

10         (2)  Eligible collateral listed in s. 17.57 may be

11  deposited or pledged using the following collateral

12  arrangements as approved by the Chief Financial Officer:

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

14  the Chief Financial Officer.

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

16         (c)  Securities and articles of value deposited and

17  held by the Chief Financial Officer.

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

19  Fund and the Public Deposit Security Trust Fund.

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

21  escrow agent.

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

23  the proper management and maintenance of the collateral

24  management service.

25         (4)(2)  The Chief Financial Officer may, in his or her

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

27  safekeeping deposits and other documents or articles of value

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

29  vaults as requested by the various entities according to a

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

31  shall be equivalent to the fee charged by financial


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    CS for CS for SB 2994                          First Engrossed



 1  institutions for processing, servicing, and safekeeping the

 2  same types of deposits and other documents or articles of

 3  value.

 4         (5)(3)  The Chief Financial Officer shall collect in

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

 6  Financial Officer in advance, the miscellaneous charges as

 7  described in a service-level agreement. follows:

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

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

10         (b)  For each certificate of the Chief Financial

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

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

13         (6)(4)  All fees collected for the services described

14  in this section shall be deposited in the Treasury

15  Administrative and Investment Trust Fund.

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

17  Statutes, is amended to read:

18         17.61  Chief Financial Officer; powers and duties in

19  the investment of certain funds.--

20         (1)  The Chief Financial Officer shall invest all

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

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

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

24  any statutorily created board, association, or entity created

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

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

27  procedure and in the authorized securities prescribed in s.

28  17.57; for this purpose, the Chief Financial Officer may open

29  and maintain one or more demand and safekeeping accounts in

30  any bank or savings association for the investment and

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


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    CS for CS for SB 2994                          First Engrossed



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

 2  for investments and reinvestments shall be considered

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

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

 5  addition, the securities or investments purchased or held

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

 7  loaned to securities dealers and banks and may be registered

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

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

10  is collateralized by cash or United States government

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

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

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

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

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

16  recorded in the accounts.

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

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

19  amended to read:

20         20.121  Department of Financial Services.--There is

21  created a Department of Financial Services.

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

23  Financial Services is the Chief Financial Officer who may also

24  be known as the Treasurer.

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

26  7, 2003, there is created within the Department of Financial

27  Services the Financial Services Commission, composed of the

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

29  and the Commissioner of Agriculture, which shall for purposes

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

31  members shall serve as agency head of the Financial Services


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    CS for CS for SB 2994                          First Engrossed



 1  Commission.  The commission shall be a separate budget entity

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

 3  Commission action shall be by majority vote consisting of at

 4  least three affirmative votes.  The commission shall not be

 5  subject to control, supervision, or direction by the

 6  Department of Financial Services in any manner, including

 7  purchasing, transactions involving real or personal property,

 8  personnel, or budgetary matters.

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

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

11  director. The following offices are established:

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

13  responsible for all activities concerning insurers and other

14  risk bearing entities, including licensing, rates, policy

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

16  certificates of authority, solvency, viatical settlements,

17  premium financing, and administrative supervision, as provided

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

19  Office of Insurance Regulation is the Director of the Office

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

21  Commissioner of Insurance Regulation.

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

23  responsible for all activities of the Financial Services

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

25  other financial institutions, finance companies, and the

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

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

28  as the Commissioner of Financial Regulation. The Office of

29  Financial Regulation shall include a Bureau of Financial

30  Investigations, which shall function as a criminal justice

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


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    CS for CS for SB 2994                          First Engrossed



 1  separate budget.  The bureau may conduct investigations within

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

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

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

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

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

 7  law enforcement or prosecutorial agencies and shall provide

 8  investigative assistance to those agencies as required.

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

10  Statutes, is amended to read:

11         110.1227  Florida Employee Long-Term-Care Plan Act.--

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

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

14  2-year terms, to be appointed after May 1, 1999, as follows:

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

16  shall appoint a member who is a plan participant.

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

18  Chief Financial Officer shall appoint an actuary.

19         (c)  The Attorney General shall appoint an attorney

20  licensed to practice law in this state.

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

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

23         (e)  The Department of Management Services shall

24  appoint a member.

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

26  of the Senate.

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

28  appoint a member of the House of Representatives.

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

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

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


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    CS for CS for SB 2994                          First Engrossed



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

 2  amended, to read:

 3         112.215  Government employees; deferred compensation

 4  program.--

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

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

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

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

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

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

11  the State Constitution for which compensation or statutory

12  fees are paid.

13         (4)

14         (e)  The administrative costs of the deferred

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

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

17  investment providers and may be recouped from their respective

18  plan participants. Such fees shall be deposited in the

19  Deferred Compensation Trust Fund.

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

21  deferred compensation plan, any investment option plan

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

23  which provides time deposit accounts and certificates of

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

25  with the approval of the State Board of Administration for

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

27  appropriate official or body designated under subsection (5)

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

29  subdivision, or constitutional county officer, be exempt from

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

31  public depository, provided:


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    CS for CS for SB 2994                          First Engrossed



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

 2  extent that the time deposit accounts or certificates of

 3  deposit are not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance

 4  Corporation, deposit or issue collateral with the Chief

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

 6  deferred compensation plan, or with such other appropriate

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

 8  compensation plan of a county, municipality, other political

 9  subdivision, or constitutional county officer, in an amount

10  which equals at least 150 percent of all uninsured deferred

11  compensation funds then held.

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

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

14  the applicable provisions of chapter 280.

15  

16  The Chief Financial Officer shall have all the applicable

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

18  the sale or other disposition of the pledged collateral.

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

20  Statutes, is amended to read:

21         215.95  Financial Management Information Board.--

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

23  Commission, the Financial Management Information Board.  The

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

25  Officer, the Commissioner of Agriculture, and the Attorney

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

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

28  the board at any time the need arises.

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

30  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

31  


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    CS for CS for SB 2994                          First Engrossed



 1         215.96  Coordinating council and design and

 2  coordination staff.--

 3         (2)  The coordinating council shall consist of the

 4  Chief Financial Officer; the Commissioner of Agriculture; the

 5  secretary of the Department of Management Services; the

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

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

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

 9  chair of the coordinating council, and the design and

10  coordination staff shall provide administrative and clerical

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

12  coordination staff shall maintain the minutes of each meeting

13  and shall make such minutes available to any interested

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

15  an executive officer of the Florida Association of State

16  Agency Administrative Services Directors, and an executive

17  officer of the Florida Association of State Budget Officers,

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

19  officio members on the coordinating council. The chair may

20  call meetings of the coordinating council as often as

21  necessary to transact business; however, the coordinating

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

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

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

25  the affirmative for approval of items that are to be

26  recommended for approval to the Financial Management

27  Information Board.

28         (4)  The Financial Management Information Board,

29  through the coordinating council, shall provide the necessary

30  planning, implementation, and integration policies,

31  coordination procedures, and reporting processes to facilitate


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    CS for CS for SB 2994                          First Engrossed



 1  the successful and efficient integration of the central

 2  administrative and financial management information systems,

 3  including the Florida Accounting Information Resource system

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

 5  replacement project, the payroll system in the Department of

 6  Financial Services, the Legislative Appropriations

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

 8  Purchasing System (SPURS) and MyFlorida Marketplace project,

 9  the Cooperative Personnel Employment Subsystem (COPES) and the

10  PeopleFirst Outsourcing project, and the State Unified Tax

11  system (SUNTAX).

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

13  shall establish an Enterprise Resource Planning Integration

14  Task Force, which shall consist of the coordinating council

15  members plus the Chief Information Officer in the State

16  Technology Office and the Executive Director or designee in

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

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

19  coordinating council shall be nonvoting members of the task

20  force.

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

22  2003, and shall remain in existence until the integration

23  goals have been achieved among the FLAIR/CMS Replacement

24  project, SPURS and MyFlorida Marketplace project, COPES and

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

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

27  force shall hold its initial meeting no later than September

28  1, 2003, and shall meet at the call of the chair or at least

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

30  shall:

31  


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    CS for CS for SB 2994                          First Engrossed



 1         1.  Adopt a task force charter that identifies major

 2  objectives, activities, milestones and deliverables,

 3  significant assumptions, and constraints on the task force

 4  functions and major stakeholder groups interested in the

 5  outcome of the task force.

 6         2.  Consider and adopt processes by which information

 7  will be collected and business process and technical

 8  integration issues will be raised for analysis and

 9  recommendation by the task force.

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

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

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

13         (c)  The coordinating council shall provide

14  administrative and technical support to the task force as is

15  reasonably necessary for the task force to effectively and

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

17  providing such support may be paid from funds appropriated for

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

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

20  obtain specific expertise to analyze, facilitate, and

21  formulate recommendations to address process and technical

22  integration problems that need to be resolved.

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

24  stakeholders responsible for the FLAIR/CMS Replacement

25  project, SPURS and MyFlorida Marketplace project, COPES and

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

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

28  but not be limited to:

29         1.  Identifying and documenting central administrative

30  and financial management policies, procedures, and processes

31  


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    CS for CS for SB 2994                          First Engrossed



 1  that need to be integrated and recommending steps for

 2  implementation.

 3         2.  Collecting information from the subsystem owners

 4  and project teams and developing and publishing a consolidated

 5  list of enterprise resource planning functional and technical

 6  integration requirements.

 7         3.  Publishing integration plans and timelines based on

 8  information collected from task force members.

 9         4.  Forming committees, workgroups, and teams as

10  provided in subsection (3).

11         5.  Developing recommendations for the Financial

12  Management Information Board which clearly describe any

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

14  options for resolving the problem, and the recommended

15  actions.

16         6.  Developing and implementing plans for reporting

17  status of integration efforts.

18         (e)  The task force shall provide recommendations to

19  the Financial Management Information Board for review and

20  approval regarding the technical, procedural, policy, and

21  process requirements and changes that are needed to

22  successfully integrate, implement, and realize the benefits of

23  the enterprise resource planning initiatives associated with

24  the FLAIR/CMS Replacement project, SPURS and MyFlorida

25  Marketplace project, COPES and PeopleFirst project, payroll

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

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

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

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

30  MyFlorida Marketplace project, COPES and PeopleFirst project,

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


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    CS for CS for SB 2994                          First Engrossed



 1  the process and technical integration requirements and changes

 2  approved by the Financial Management Information Board and in

 3  achieving the necessary integration among the central

 4  administrative and financial management information systems

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

 6  and submit quarterly reports to the Executive Office of the

 7  Governor, the chairs of the Senate Appropriations Committee

 8  and the House Appropriations Committee, and the Financial

 9  Management Information Board. Each quarterly report shall

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

11  process requirements and changes proposed and adopted by the

12  board and shall describe the status of the implementation of

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

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

15  costs related to the Enterprise Resource Planning Integration

16  Task Force.

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

18  until it is disbanded, the Enterprise Resource Planning

19  Integration Task Force shall report to the Financial

20  Management Information Board, the Speaker of the House of

21  Representatives, and the President of the Senate the results

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

23  enterprise resource planning integration activities and

24  requirements, and any recommendations for statutory changes to

25  be considered by the Legislature.

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

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

28  287.064, Florida Statutes, to read:

29         287.064  Consolidated financing of deferred-payment

30  purchases.--

31  


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    CS for CS for SB 2994                          First Engrossed



 1         (10)  Costs incurred pursuant to a guaranteed energy

 2  performance savings contract, including the cost of energy

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

 4  financed pursuant to a master equipment financing agreement;

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

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

 7  drawn pursuant to the master equipment financing agreement

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

 9  years.

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

11  408.05, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

12         408.05  State Center for Health Statistics.--

13         (8)  STATE COMPREHENSIVE HEALTH INFORMATION SYSTEM

14  ADVISORY COUNCIL.--

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

16  Comprehensive Health Information System Advisory Council to

17  assist the center in reviewing the comprehensive health

18  information system and to recommend improvements for such

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

20         1.  An employee of the Executive Office of the

21  Governor, to be appointed by the Governor.

22         2.  An employee of the Office of Insurance Regulation

23  Department of Financial Services, to be appointed by the

24  director of the office Chief Financial Officer.

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

26  appointed by the Commissioner of Education.

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

28  Health Care Administration, representing other state and local

29  agencies, state universities, the Florida Association of

30  Business/Health Coalitions, local health councils,

31  


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    CS for CS for SB 2994                          First Engrossed



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

 2  purchasers.

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

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

 5  section, to read:

 6         501.212  Application.--This part does not apply to:

 7         (4)  Any person or activity regulated under laws

 8  administered by:

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

10  of Insurance Regulation of the Financial Services Commission;

11  or

12         (b)  Banks and savings and loan associations regulated

13  by the Office of Financial Regulation of the Financial

14  Services Commission; or

15         (c)  Banks or savings and loan associations regulated

16  by federal agencies; or.

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

18  administered by the former Department of Insurance which are

19  now administered by the Department of Financial Services.

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

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

22  executed a written lease or contract that expressly provides

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

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

25         (b)  Causes of action concerning failure to maintain

26  real property if the Florida Statutes:

27         1.  Require the owner to comply with applicable

28  building, housing, and health codes;

29         2.  Require the owner to maintain buildings and

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

31  


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    CS for CS for SB 2994                          First Engrossed



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

 2  appearance, safety, and cleanliness; and

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

 4  the real property and provide legal or equitable remedies,

 5  including the award of attorney's fees.

 6  

 7  However, this subsection does not affect any action or remedy

 8  concerning residential tenancies covered under part II of

 9  chapter 83, nor does it prohibit the enforcing authority from

10  maintaining exclusive jurisdiction to bring any cause of

11  action authorized under part II of chapter 501.

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

13  Statutes, is amended to read:

14         516.35  Credit insurance must comply with credit

15  insurance act.--

16         (1)  Tangible property offered as security may be

17  reasonably insured against loss for a reasonable term,

18  considering the circumstances of the loan. If such insurance

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

20  the Department of Financial Services Office of Insurance

21  Regulation of the Financial Services Commission and if the

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

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

24  purchase, or agreement even though a customary mortgagee

25  clause is attached or the licensee is a coassured.

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

27  Statutes, is amended to read:

28         624.313  Publications.--

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

30  published in pamphlet or book form the following:

31  


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    CS for CS for SB 2994                          First Engrossed



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

 2  persons applying for an examination for licensing as agents

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

 4  insurers.

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

 6  persons applying for an examination for licensing as agents

 7  for life and health insurers.

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

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

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

11  licensing as adjusters.

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

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

14  amended to read:

15         624.317  Investigation of agents, adjusters,

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

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

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

19  signed by any interested person indicating that any such

20  violation may exist:

21         (1)  The department shall conduct such investigation as

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

23  transactions pertaining to or affecting the insurance affairs

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

25  general agent, insurance agent, customer representative,

26  service representative, or other person subject to its

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

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

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

30  transactions pertaining to or affecting the insurance affairs

31  of any:


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    CS for CS for SB 2994                          First Engrossed



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

 2  person subject to its jurisdiction.

 3         Section 17.  Subsections (3) and (4) are added to

 4  section 624.4622, Florida Statutes, to read:

 5         624.4622  Local government self-insurance funds.--

 6         (3)  Notwithstanding subsection (2), a local government

 7  self-insurance fund created under this section after October

 8  1, 2004, shall initially be subject to the requirements of a

 9  commercial fund under s. 624.4621 and, for the first 5 years

10  of its existence, shall be subject to all the requirements

11  applied to commercial self-insurance funds or to group

12  self-insurance funds, respectively.

13         (4)(a)  A local government self-insurance fund formed

14  after January 1, 2005, shall, for its first 5 fiscal years,

15  file with the office full and true statements of its financial

16  condition, transactions, and affairs. An annual statement

17  covering the preceding fiscal year shall be filed within 60

18  days after the end of the fund's fiscal year and quarterly

19  statements shall be filed within 45 days after each such date.

20  The office may, for good cause, grant an extension of time for

21  filing an annual or quarterly statement. The statements shall

22  contain information generally included in insurers' financial

23  statements prepared in accordance with generally accepted

24  insurance accounting principles and practices and in a form

25  generally used by insurers for financial statements, sworn to

26  by at least two executive officers of the self-insurance fund.

27  The form for financial statements shall be the form currently

28  approved by the National Association of Insurance

29  Commissioners for use by property and casualty insurers.

30         (b)  Each annual statement shall contain a statement of

31  opinion on loss and loss adjustment expense reserves made by a


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 1  member of the American Academy of Actuaries. Workpapers in

 2  support of the statement of opinion must be provided to the

 3  office upon request.

 4         Section 18.  Paragraph (d) of subsection (12) of

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

 6         624.501  Filing, license, appointment, and

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

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

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

10  charges as follows:

11         (12)  Adjusters:

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

13  such report must be secured by department office.

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

15  626.016, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

16         626.016  Powers and duties of department, commission,

17  and office.--

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

19  Officer and the department specified in this part apply only

20  with respect to insurance agents, managing general agents,

21  insurance adjusters, reinsurance intermediaries, viatical

22  settlement brokers, customer representatives, service

23  representatives, and agencies.

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

25  specified in this part apply only with respect to insurance

26  adjusters, service companies, administrators, and viatical

27  settlement providers and contracts.

28         Section 20.  Paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of section

29  626.112, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

30  

31  


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 1         626.112  License and appointment required; agents,

 2  customer representatives, adjusters, insurance agencies,

 3  service representatives, managing general agents.--

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

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

 6  adjuster, or customer representative unless he or she is

 7  currently licensed by the department and appointed by an

 8  appropriate appointing entity or person one or more insurers.

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

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

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

12  insurers.

13         Section 21.  Section 626.161, Florida Statutes, is

14  amended to read:

15         626.161  Licensing forms.--The department shall

16  prescribe and furnish all printed forms required in connection

17  with the application for issuance of and termination of all

18  licenses and appointments, except that, with respect to

19  adjusters, the commission shall prescribe and the office shall

20  furnish such forms.

21         Section 22.  Subsection (1), paragraph (f) of

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

23  Statutes, are amended to read:

24         626.171  Application for license.--

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

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

27  service representative, managing general agent, or reinsurance

28  intermediary to any person except upon written application

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

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

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


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

 2  accept the uniform application for nonresident agent

 3  licensing. The department may adopt revised versions of the

 4  uniform application by rule.

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

 6         (f)  Such other or additional information as the

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

 8  the character, experience, ability, and other qualifications

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

10  as an insurance representative.

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

12  representative, adjuster, insurance agency, service

13  representative, managing general agent, or reinsurance

14  intermediary must be accompanied by a set of the individual

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

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

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

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

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

20  624.501. Fingerprints shall be used to investigate the

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

22  fingerprints shall be taken by a law enforcement agency or

23  other department-approved entity.

24         Section 23.  Section 626.181, Florida Statutes, is

25  amended to read:

26         626.181  Number of applications for licensure

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

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

29  individual shall not be required to take another examination

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

31  


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

 2  agent, unless:

 3         (1)  Specifically ordered by the department or office

 4  to complete a new application for license; or

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

 6  the original license application, such individual was not

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

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

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

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

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

12  date of discharge from military service if the military

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

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

15  date of filing of the original application for license.

16         Section 24.  Section 626.191, Florida Statutes, is

17  amended to read:

18         626.191  Repeated applications.--The failure of an

19  applicant to secure a license upon an application shall not

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

21  desired, but the department or office shall not give

22  consideration to or accept any further application by the same

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

24  subsequent to the date the department or office denied the

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

26         Section 25.  Section 626.211, Florida Statutes, is

27  amended to read:

28         626.211  Approval, disapproval of application.--

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

30  license and such further inquiry or investigation as the

31  department or office may make concerning an applicant the


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 1  department or office is satisfied that, subject to any

 2  examination required to be taken and passed by the applicant

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

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

 5  shall approve the application.  The department or office shall

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

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

 8  based on the applicant's fingerprints.

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

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

11  written examination, the department or office shall notify the

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

13  examination.

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

15  not subject to examination, the department or office shall

16  promptly issue the license.

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

18  such further inquiry or investigation the department or office

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

20  required qualifications for the license applied for, the

21  department or office shall disapprove the application and

22  notify the applicant, stating the grounds of disapproval.

23         Section 26.  Subsection (1) and paragraphs (a), (c),

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

25  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

26         626.221  Examination requirement; exemptions.--

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

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

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

30  satisfaction of the department or office a written examination

31  of the scope prescribed in s. 626.241.


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

 2  any of the following cases:

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

 4  agent, customer representative, or adjuster, unless the

 5  department or office determines that an examination is

 6  necessary to establish the competence or trustworthiness of

 7  such applicant.

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

 9  applicant for reinstatement of license or appointment as an

10  agent, customer representative, or adjuster whose license has

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

12  or written request for reinstatement.

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

14  application for license and appointment as an agent, customer

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

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

17  employee with responsible insurance duties for not less than 2

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

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

20  license as that being applied for.

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

22  public adjuster or independent adjuster, or licensed and

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

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

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

26  or as an independent adjuster or public adjuster, without

27  additional written examination if an application for

28  appointment is filed with the department office within 48

29  months following the date of cancellation or expiration of the

30  prior appointment.

31  


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

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

 3  and health insurance may be licensed as such an adjuster

 4  without additional written examination if his or her

 5  application for appointment is filed with the department

 6  office within 48 months after cancellation or expiration of

 7  the prior license.

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

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

10  regionally accredited postsecondary institution in this state,

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

12  the Professional Career Institute, whose curriculum has been

13  approved by the department office and whose curriculum

14  includes comprehensive analysis of basic property and casualty

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

16  standard department office testing for the all-lines adjuster

17  license. The department commission shall adopt rules

18  establishing standards for the approval of curriculum.

19         Section 27.  Section 626.231, Florida Statutes, is

20  amended to read:

21         626.231  Eligibility for examination.--No person shall

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

23  her application for the license has been approved and the

24  required fees have been received by the department or office

25  or a person designated by the department or office to

26  administer the examination.

27         Section 28.  Subsection (1) of section 626.241, Florida

28  Statutes, is amended to read:

29         626.241  Scope of examination.--

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

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


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 1  deemed by the department or office to be reasonably necessary

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

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

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

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

 6  of this state.

 7         Section 29.  Subsections (1) and (3) of section

 8  626.251, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

 9         626.251  Time and place of examination; notice.--

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

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

12  and place of the examination to each applicant for license

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

22  possible after the applicant is eligible therefor.  Any

23  examination required under this part shall be available in

24  this state at a designated examination center.

25         Section 30.  Subsections (1), (2), and (3) of section

26  626.261, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

27         626.261  Conduct of examination.--

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

29  and personally take the examination for license at the time

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

31  designated by the department or office.


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

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

 3  department or office for that purpose.

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

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

 6  department or office for that purpose, consistent with the

 7  applicable provisions of this code.

 8         Section 31.  Section 626.266, Florida Statutes, is

 9  amended to read:

10         626.266  Printing of examinations or related materials

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

12  development, administration, or grading of examinations or

13  related materials by the department or office pursuant to the

14  various agent, customer representative, or adjuster licensing

15  and examination provisions of this code may include the

16  printing or furnishing of these examinations or related

17  materials in order to preserve security. Any such contract

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

19  to s. 287.057.

20         Section 32.  Subsection (1) of section 626.271, Florida

21  Statutes, is amended to read:

22         626.271  Examination fee; determination, refund.--

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

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

25  department or office or a person designated by the department

26  or office an examination fee.  A separate and additional

27  examination fee shall be payable for each separate class of

28  license applied for, notwithstanding that all such

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

30         Section 33.  Section 626.281, Florida Statutes, is

31  amended to read:


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 1         626.281  Reexamination.--

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

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

 4  grade, or

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

 6  complete the examination at the time and place specified in

 7  the notice of the department or office,

 8  

 9  may take additional examinations, after filing with the

10  department or office an application for reexamination together

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

12  examination or the failure to appear for the examination or to

13  take or complete the examination does not preclude the

14  applicant from taking subsequent examinations.

15         (2)  The department or office may require any

16  individual whose license as an agent, customer representative,

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

18  examination prior to reinstating or relicensing the individual

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

20  as to each examination.

21         Section 34.  Section 626.2817, Florida Statutes, is

22  amended to read:

23         626.2817  Regulation of course providers, instructors,

24  school officials, and monitor groups involved in prelicensure

25  education for insurance agents and other licensees.--

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

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

28  department or office before offering prelicensure education

29  courses for insurance agents and other licensees.

30         (2)  The department or commission shall adopt rules

31  establishing standards for the approval, registration,


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 1  discipline, or removal from registration of course providers,

 2  instructors, school officials, and monitor groups. The

 3  standards must be designed to ensure that such persons have

 4  the knowledge, competence, and integrity to fulfill the

 5  educational objectives of the prelicensure requirements of

 6  this chapter and chapter 648 and to assure that insurance

 7  agents and licensees are competent to engage in the activities

 8  authorized under the license.

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

10  establish a process for determining compliance with the

11  prelicensure requirements of this chapter and chapter 648. The

12  department or commission shall adopt rules prescribing the

13  forms necessary to administer the prelicensure requirements.

14         Section 35.  Section 626.291, Florida Statutes, is

15  amended to read:

16         626.291  Denial, issuance of license.--

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

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

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

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

21  department or office shall within such period notify the

22  applicant and issue and transmit the license to which such

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

24  make a passing grade on the examination for a particular

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

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

27  of its denial of the license.

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

29  examination is required, the department or office shall

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

31  approved the application.


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

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

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

 4  fingerprints.

 5         Section 36.  Section 626.301, Florida Statutes, is

 6  amended to read:

 7         626.301  Form and contents of licenses, in

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

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

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

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

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

13  other information the department or commission deems necessary

14  to fully identify the licensee and the authority being

15  granted. The department or commission may by rule require

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

17         Section 37.  Subsection (2) of section 626.371, Florida

18  Statutes, is amended to read:

19         626.371  Payment of fees, taxes for appointment period

20  without appointment.--

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

22  initial or renewal appointment and such investigation as the

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

24  office that an individual who was formerly licensed or is

25  currently licensed but not properly appointed to represent an

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

27  currently actively engaged as such an appointee, but without

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

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

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

31  nevertheless issue or authorize the issuance of the


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

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

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

 4  such current and prior periods, with applicable fees pursuant

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

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

 7         Section 38.  Subsections (2), (3), and (4) of section

 8  626.381, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

 9         626.381  Renewal, continuation, reinstatement, or

10  termination of appointment.--

11         (2)  Each appointing entity shall file with the

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

13  to appointees whose appointments are being renewed or

14  terminated, accompanied by payment of the applicable renewal

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

16  forth by the department or office following the month during

17  which the appointments will expire.

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

19  department or office or person designated by the department to

20  administer the appointment process prior to the expiration of

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

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

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

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

25  would have expired.

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

27  department or office or person designated by the department to

28  administer the appointment process after the renewal date may

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

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

31  reinstatement fee accompanies the renewal request pursuant to


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

 2  entity and may not be charged to the appointee.

 3         Section 39.  Subsection (2) of section 626.431, Florida

 4  Statutes, is amended to read:

 5         626.431  Effect of expiration of license and

 6  appointment.--

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

 8  particular class of insurance has been terminated or not

 9  renewed, the department or office must notify the licensee

10  that his or her eligibility for appointment as such an

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

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

13  (3).

14         Section 40.  Section 626.461, Florida Statutes, is

15  amended to read:

16         626.461  Continuation of appointment of agent or other

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

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

19  service representative, customer representative, or managing

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

21  license is revoked or otherwise terminated, unless written

22  notice of earlier termination of the appointment is filed with

23  the department or office or person designated by the

24  department to administer the appointment process by either the

25  appointing entity or the appointee.

26         Section 41.  Subsections (2), (3), (4), and (5) of

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

28         626.471  Termination of appointment.--

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

30  days after terminating the appointment of an appointee, other

31  than as to an appointment terminated by the appointing


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

 2  entity shall file written notice thereof with the department

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

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

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

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

 7         (3)  Upon termination of the appointment of an

 8  appointee, whether by failure to renew or continue the

 9  appointment, the appointing entity shall:

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

11  required under s. 626.511.

12         (b)  Subject to the exceptions provided under

13  subsection (1), continue the outstanding contracts transacted

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

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

16  This paragraph shall not be construed to prohibit the

17  cancellation of such contracts when not otherwise prohibited

18  by law.

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

20  time by giving written or electronic notice thereof to the

21  appointing entity, department or office, or person designated

22  by the department to administer the appointment process. The

23  department shall immediately terminate the appointment and

24  notify the appointing entity of such termination. Such

25  termination shall be subject to the appointee's contract

26  rights, if any.

27         (5)  Upon receiving notice of termination, the

28  department or office or person designated by the department to

29  administer the appointment process shall terminate the

30  appointment.

31  


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 1         Section 42.  Subsections (2), (3), and (5) of section

 2  626.521, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

 3         626.521  Character, credit reports.--

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

 5  insurer, manager, general agent, general lines agent, or

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

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

 8  commission and furnished by the department or office, such

 9  information as it may reasonably requires require relative to

10  such individual and investigation.

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

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

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

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

15  an established and reputable independent reporting service

16  relative to the applicant.

17         (5)  Information contained in credit or character

18  reports furnished to or secured by the department or office

19  under this section is confidential and exempt from the

20  provisions of s. 119.07(1).

21         Section 43.  Subsections (1) and (2) of section

22  626.541, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

23         626.541  Firm, corporate, and business names; officers;

24  associates; notice of changes.--

25         (1)  Any licensed agent or adjuster doing business

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

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

28  days after the initial transaction of insurance under such

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

30  adopted and furnished by the department or commission and

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


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

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

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

 4  each officer and director of the corporation and of each

 5  individual associated in such firm or corporation as to the

 6  insurance transactions thereof or in the use of such business

 7  name.

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

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

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

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

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

13  corporate, or business name or continuing to operate

14  thereunder.

15         Section 44.  Section 626.551, Florida Statutes, is

16  amended to read:

17         626.551  Notice of change of address, name.--Every

18  licensee shall notify the department or office in writing

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

20  principal business street address, or mailing address. Any

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

22  state shall have his or her license and all appointments

23  immediately terminated by the department or office. Failure to

24  notify the department or office within the required time

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

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

27  $500 or suspension or revocation of the license pursuant to s.

28  626.611 or s. 626.621.

29         Section 45.  Section 626.611, Florida Statutes, is

30  amended to read:

31  


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 1         626.611  Grounds for compulsory refusal, suspension, or

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

 3  representative's, service representative's, or managing

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

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

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

 7  applicant, agent, title agency, adjuster, customer

 8  representative, service representative, or managing general

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

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

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

12  the following applicable grounds exist:

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

14  license or appointment as specified in this code.

15         (2)  Material misstatement, misrepresentation, or fraud

16  in obtaining the license or appointment or in attempting to

17  obtain the license or appointment.

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

19  department or office any examination required under this code.

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

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

22  prohibitions of this code.

23         (5)  Willful misrepresentation of any insurance policy

24  or annuity contract or willful deception with regard to any

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

26  of dissemination of information or advertising.

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

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

29  materially misrepresented to an insured or other interested

30  party the terms and coverage of an insurance contract with

31  intent and for the purpose of effecting settlement of claim


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

 2  favorable terms than those provided in and contemplated by the

 3  contract.

 4         (7)  Demonstrated lack of fitness or trustworthiness to

 5  engage in the business of insurance.

 6         (8)  Demonstrated lack of reasonably adequate knowledge

 7  and technical competence to engage in the transactions

 8  authorized by the license or appointment.

 9         (9)  Fraudulent or dishonest practices in the conduct

10  of business under the license or appointment.

11         (10)  Misappropriation, conversion, or unlawful

12  withholding of moneys belonging to insurers or insureds or

13  beneficiaries or to others and received in conduct of business

14  under the license or appointment.

15         (11)  Unlawfully rebating, attempting to unlawfully

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

17  her commission with another.

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

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

20  representative for the purpose of soliciting or handling

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

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

23  and s. 626.830 with respect to health agents.

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

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

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

27  this code.

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

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

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

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


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 1  any other country which involves moral turpitude, without

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

 3  the court having jurisdiction of such cases.

 4         (15)  Fraudulent or dishonest practice in submitting or

 5  aiding or abetting any person in the submission of an

 6  application for workers' compensation coverage under chapter

 7  440 containing false or misleading information as to employee

 8  payroll or classification for the purpose of avoiding or

 9  reducing the amount of premium due for such coverage.

10         (16)  Sale of an unregistered security that was

11  required to be registered, pursuant to chapter 517.

12         Section 46.  Section 626.621, Florida Statutes, is

13  amended to read:

14         626.621  Grounds for discretionary refusal, suspension,

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

16  representative's, service representative's, or managing

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

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

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

20  appointment of any applicant, agent, adjuster, customer

21  representative, service representative, or managing general

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

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

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

25  the following applicable grounds exist under circumstances for

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

27  mandatory under s. 626.611:

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

29  appointment could have been refused had it then existed and

30  been known to the department or office.

31  


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

 2  other law applicable to the business of insurance in the

 3  course of dealing under the license or appointment.

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

 5  department, commission, or office.

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

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

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

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

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

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

12  appointment, engaging in unfair methods of competition or in

13  unfair or deceptive acts or practices, as prohibited under

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

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

16  detrimental to the public interest.

17         (7)  Willful overinsurance of any property or health

18  insurance risk.

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

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

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

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

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

24  conviction has been entered by the court having jurisdiction

25  of such cases.

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

27         (10)  Cheating on an examination required for licensure

28  or violating test center or examination procedures published

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

30  authorized representatives of the examination program

31  


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 1  administrator.  Communication of test center and examination

 2  procedures must be clearly established and documented.

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

 4  writing within 30 days after pleading guilty or nolo

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

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

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

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

 9  judgment of conviction has been entered by the court having

10  jurisdiction of the case.

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

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

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

14  department, commission, or office.

15         Section 47.  Section 626.631, Florida Statutes, is

16  amended to read:

17         626.631  Procedure for refusal, suspension, or

18  revocation of license.--

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

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

21  appointments of such person shall be immediately revoked by

22  the department or office. The licensee may subsequently

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

24  department or office shall expedite any such requested

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

26  revocation should be rescinded because such person was not in

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

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

29  department or office relative to a hearing for revocation or

30  suspension of a license or appointment pursuant to the

31  provisions of this chapter and chapter 120 are confidential


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

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

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

 4  discovery in a hearing for revocation or suspension of a

 5  license or appointment.

 6         Section 48.  Subsections (1) and (2) of section

 7  626.641, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

 8         626.641  Duration of suspension or revocation.--

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

10  suspending a license or appointment or in its order suspending

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

12  or appointment, specify the period during which the suspension

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

14  The license, appointment, or eligibility shall remain

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

16  any rescission or modification of the order by the department

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

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

19  appointment, or eligibility which has been suspended shall not

20  be reinstated except upon request for such reinstatement; but

21  the department or office shall not grant such reinstatement if

22  it finds that the circumstance or circumstances for which the

23  license, appointment, or eligibility was suspended still exist

24  or are likely to recur.

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

26  appointment revoked by the department or office, nor any

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

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

29  another license or appointment under this code within 2 years

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

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


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

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

 3  license or appointment or reinstate eligibility to hold such

 4  license or appointment if it finds that the circumstance or

 5  circumstances for which the eligibility was revoked or for

 6  which the previous license or appointment was revoked still

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

 8  agent or customer representative or eligibility to hold same

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

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

11  new license or appointment so applied for.

12         Section 49.  Subsection (2) of section 626.661, Florida

13  Statutes, is amended to read:

14         626.661  Surrender of license.--

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

16  surrender to the department or office of any license unless

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

18         Section 50.  Subsections (1) and (3) of section

19  626.681, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

20         626.681  Administrative fine in lieu of or in addition

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

22  or disapproval.--

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

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

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

26  continue any license or appointment issued under this chapter,

27  or disapproval of a continuing education course provider,

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

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

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

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


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

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

 3  official, or monitor group an administrative penalty in an

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

 5  willful misconduct or willful violation on the part of the

 6  licensee, appointee, course provider, instructor, school

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

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

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

10  accruing to the credit of the licensee or appointee in

11  connection with any transaction as to which the grounds for

12  suspension, revocation, or refusal related.

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

14  appointee, or continuing education course provider,

15  instructor, school official, or monitor group a reasonable

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

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

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

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

20  entirety to the department or office within the period so

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

22  that person shall stand suspended or revoked or issuance,

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

24  upon expiration of such period.

25         Section 51.  Section 626.691, Florida Statutes, is

26  amended to read:

27         626.691  Probation.--

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

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

30  renew or continue any license or appointment issued under this

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


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 1  when an administrative fine is not permissible under s.

 2  626.681 or when such suspension, revocation, or refusal is

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

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

 5  any administrative monetary penalty imposed under s. 626.681,

 6  place the offending licensee or appointee on probation for a

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

 8  or office in its order.

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

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

11  reasonable terms and conditions to be fulfilled by the

12  probationer during the probation period. If during the

13  probation period the department or office has good cause to

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

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

16  continue the license or appointment of the probationer, as

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

18         Section 52.  Section 626.692, Florida Statutes, is

19  amended to read:

20         626.692  Restitution.--If any ground exists for the

21  suspension, revocation, or refusal of a license or

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

23  other penalty authorized under this chapter, order the

24  licensee to pay restitution to any person who has been

25  deprived of money by the licensee's misappropriation,

26  conversion, or unlawful withholding of moneys belonging to

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

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

29  section exceed the amount of money misappropriated, converted,

30  or unlawfully withheld. Nothing in this section limits or

31  


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

 2  for by law.

 3         Section 53.  Section 626.8582, Florida Statutes, is

 4  amended to read:

 5         626.8582  "Nonresident public adjuster" defined.--A

 6  "nonresident public adjuster" is a person who:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

16  adjuster.

17         Section 54.  Section 626.8584, Florida Statutes, is

18  amended to read:

19         626.8584  "Nonresident independent adjuster"

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

21  who:

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

23         (2)  Is a currently licensed independent adjuster in

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

25  insurance for which the licensee intends to adjust claims in

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

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

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

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

30  associated with or employed by an independent adjusting firm

31  or other independent adjuster.


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 1         Section 55.  Section 626.859, Florida Statutes, is

 2  amended to read:

 3         626.859  "Catastrophe" or "emergency" adjuster

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

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

 6  been designated and certified to the department office by

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

 8  under policies or contracts of insurance issued by such

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

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

11  under the conditions which the department office shall fix and

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

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

14  policies of insurance issued by the insurers.

15         Section 56.  Subsection (2) of section 626.863, Florida

16  Statutes, is amended to read:

17         626.863  Licensed independent adjusters required;

18  insurers' responsibility.--

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

20  shall ascertain from the department office whether the

21  proposed independent adjuster is currently licensed and

22  appointed as such. Having once ascertained that a particular

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

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

25  until the insurer has knowledge, or receives information from

26  the department office, to the contrary.

27         Section 57.  Section 626.865, Florida Statutes, is

28  amended to read:

29         626.865  Public adjuster's qualifications, bond.--

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

31  applicant for a public adjuster's license upon determining


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 1  that the applicant has paid the applicable fees specified in

 2  s. 624.501 and possesses the following qualifications:

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

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

 5  possesses work authorization from the United States

 6  Immigration and Naturalization Service and a bona fide

 7  resident of this state.

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

 9  would reasonably assure that the applicant will conduct his or

10  her business as insurance adjuster fairly and in good faith

11  and without detriment to the public.

12         (d)  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 the applicant may have business as a public

22  adjuster.

23         (e)  Has passed any required written examination.

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

25  adjuster, the applicant shall file with the department office

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

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

28  $50,000, conditioned for the faithful performance of his or

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

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

31  specifically authorize recovery by the department office of


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

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

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

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

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

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

 7  department office.

 8         Section 58.  Section 626.866, Florida Statutes, is

 9  amended to read:

10         626.866  Independent adjuster's qualifications.--The

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

12  independent adjuster's license upon determining that the

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

14  and that the applicant possesses the following qualifications:

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

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

17  possesses work authorization from the United States

18  Immigration and Naturalization Service and a bona fide

19  resident of this state.

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

21  would reasonably assure that the applicant will conduct his or

22  her business as insurance adjuster fairly and in good faith

23  and without detriment to the public.

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

25  instruction concerning the adjusting of damage or loss under

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

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

28  provisions of such types of contracts, and possesses adequate

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

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

31  business of insurance adjuster fairly and without injury to


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

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

 3  accordance with the policy or contract and the insurance laws

 4  of this state.

 5         (5)  Has passed any required written examination.

 6         Section 59.  Section 626.867, Florida Statutes, is

 7  amended to read:

 8         626.867  Company employee adjuster's

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

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

11  determining that the applicable license fee specified in s.

12  624.501 has been paid and that the applicant possesses the

13  following qualifications:

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

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

16  possesses work authorization from the United States

17  Immigration and Naturalization Service and a bona fide

18  resident of this state.

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

20  would reasonably assure that the applicant will conduct his or

21  her business as insurance adjuster fairly and in good faith

22  and without detriment to the public.

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

24  instruction concerning the adjusting of damage or loss of

25  risks described in his or her application, is sufficiently

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

27  insurance contracts covering such risks, and possesses

28  adequate knowledge of the insurance laws of this state

29  relating to such insurance contracts as to enable and qualify

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

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


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

 2  adjuster and to adjust all claims in accordance with the

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

 4         (5)  Has passed any required written examination.

 5         Section 60.  Paragraph (c) of subsection (4) of section

 6  626.869, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

 7         626.869  License, adjusters.--

 8         (4)

 9         (c)  The department Financial Services Commission shall

10  adopt rules necessary to implement and administer the

11  continuing education requirements of this subsection.

12         Section 61.  Subsections (1), (3), (5), (6), and (7) of

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

14         626.8695  Primary adjuster.--

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

16  location of a multiple location adjusting firm must designate

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

18  file with the department office the name of such primary

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

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

21  department commission. The designation of the primary adjuster

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

23  change is effective upon notification to the department

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

25  within 30 days after such change.

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

27  license of the primary adjuster if the adjusting firm employs

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

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

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

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


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 1  clerical or administrative functions for which licensure is

 2  not required.

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

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

 5  license is currently suspended or revoked.

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

 7  business of insurance unless a primary adjuster is designated.

 8  Failure of the person operating the adjusting firm to

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

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

11  department commission within 30 days after inception of the

12  firm or change of primary adjuster designation, constitutes

13  grounds for requiring the adjusting firm to obtain an

14  adjusting firm license pursuant to s. 626.8696.

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

16  prescribed by the department commission, verification from the

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

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

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

20  subsequently notifies the adjusting firm that an employee's

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

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

23  suspended if the unlicensed person is immediately dismissed

24  from employment as an adjuster with the firm.

25         Section 62.  Paragraph (e) of subsection (1) and

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

27  amended to read:

28         626.8696  Application for adjusting firm license.--

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

30  include:

31  


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 1         (e)  Any additional information that which the

 2  department requires commission may require.

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

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

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

 6  revoked. The department office may suspend or revoke the

 7  adjusting firm's authority to do business for activities

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

 9  whether the licensing period has terminated.

10         Section 63.  Subsections (1), (2), and (3) of section

11  626.8697, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

12         626.8697  Grounds for refusal, suspension, or

13  revocation of adjusting firm license.--

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

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

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

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

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

19  grounds exist:

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

21  qualifications for the license as specified in this code.

22         (b)  Material misstatement, misrepresentation, or fraud

23  in obtaining the license or in attempting to obtain the

24  license.

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

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

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

28  applicable grounds exist with respect to the firm or any

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

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

31  


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

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

 3  department office.

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

 5  other law applicable to the business of insurance.

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

 7  commission.

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

 9  other person who manages or controls the firm having been

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

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

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

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

14  adjudication was made or withheld by the court.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

22  country, without regard to whether adjudication was made or

23  withheld by the court.

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

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

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

27  department, office, or commission.

28         (g)  Knowingly employing any individual in a managerial

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

30  an order of revocation or suspension issued by the department

31  office.


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

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

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

 4         1.  Misappropriation, conversion, or unlawful or

 5  unreasonable withholding of moneys belonging to insurers or

 6  insureds or beneficiaries or claimants or to others and

 7  received in the conduct of business under the license.

 8         2.  Misrepresentation or deception with regard to the

 9  business of insurance, dissemination of information, or

10  advertising.

11         3.  Demonstrated lack of fitness or trustworthiness to

12  engage in the business of insurance adjusting arising out of

13  activities related to insurance adjusting or the adjusting

14  firm.

15         (i)  Failure to appoint a primary adjuster.

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

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

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

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

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

21  grounds.

22         Section 64.  Section 626.8698, Florida Statutes, is

23  amended to read:

24         626.8698  Disciplinary guidelines for public

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

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

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

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

29  or order of the office or commission;

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

31  of an unfair or deceptive practice;


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

 2  thing of value pursuant to any agreement or understanding,

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

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

 5  otherwise paid or accepting payment for services that have not

 6  been performed;

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

 8         (5)  Soliciting or otherwise taking advantage of a

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

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

11         (6)  Violating any ethical rule of the department

12  commission.

13         Section 65.  Subsections (2) and (3) of section

14  626.870, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

15         626.870  Application for license.--

16         (2)  The department commission shall so prepare the

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

18  applicant the information necessary to enable the department

19  office to determine whether the applicant possesses the

20  qualifications prerequisite to issuance of the license to the

21  applicant.

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

23  require that the application be supplemented by the

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

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

26  business reputation, and reputation for trustworthiness. The

27  department commission shall prescribe and the office may

28  furnish the forms for such certificates and affidavits.

29         Section 66.  Section 626.871, Florida Statutes, is

30  amended to read:

31  


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 1         626.871  Reappointment after military service.--The

 2  department office may, without requiring a further written

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

 4  licensed and appointed adjuster of this state who held a

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

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

 7  following conditions:

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

 9  in excess of 3 years;

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

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

12  12 months following the date of honorable discharge of the

13  applicant from the military service; and

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

15  class as that currently effective at the time the applicant

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

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

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

19  most closely resembling those of the former appointment.

20         Section 67.  Subsections (1) and (5) of section

21  626.872, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

22         626.872  Temporary license.--

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

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

25  company employee adjuster, subject to the following

26  conditions:

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

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

29  authorized insurer, or an employee of an established adjusting

30  firm or corporation which is supervised by a currently

31  licensed independent adjuster.


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 1         (b)  The application must be accompanied by a

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

 3  integrity and moral character on a form prescribed by the

 4  department commission and executed by the employer.

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

 6  18 years of age, must be a bona fide resident of this state,

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

 8  would reasonably assure that the applicant will conduct his or

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

10  without detriment to the public.

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

12  adjustment acts of any licensee under this section.

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

14  before issuance of the temporary license.

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

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

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

18  examination as an independent adjuster or company employee

19  adjuster within 6 months after issuance of the temporary

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

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

22  license as an independent adjuster or as a company employee

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

24  this state.

25         Section 68.  Subsection (1) of section 626.873, Florida

26  Statutes, is amended to read:

27         626.873  Nonresident company employee adjusters.--

28         (1)  The department office shall, upon application

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

30  adjuster's license upon determining that the applicant has

31  


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 1  paid the applicable license fees required under s. 624.501

 2  and:

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

 4  or her home state, if such state requires a license.

 5         (b)  Is an employee of an insurer, or a wholly owned

 6  subsidiary of an insurer, admitted to do business in this

 7  state.

 8         (c)  Has filed a certificate or letter of authorization

 9  from the insurance department of his or her home state, if

10  such state requires an adjuster to be licensed, stating that

11  he or she holds a current license or authorization to adjust

12  insurance losses.  Such certificate or authorization must be

13  signed by the insurance commissioner, or his or her deputy, of

14  the adjuster's home state and must reflect whether or not the

15  adjuster has ever had his or her license or authorization in

16  the adjuster's home state suspended or revoked and, if such is

17  the case, the reason for such action.

18         Section 69.  Section 626.8732, Florida Statutes, is

19  amended to read:

20         626.8732  Nonresident public adjuster's qualifications,

21  bond.--

22         (1)  The department office shall, upon application

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

24  public adjuster's license upon determining that the applicant

25  has paid the applicable license fees required under s. 624.501

26  and:

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

28         (b)  Has passed to the satisfaction of the department

29  office a written Florida public adjuster's examination of the

30  scope prescribed in s. 626.241(6); however, the requirement

31  


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 1  for such an examination does not apply to any of the

 2  following:

 3         1.  An applicant who is licensed as a resident public

 4  adjuster in his or her state of residence, when that state

 5  requires the passing of a written examination in order to

 6  obtain the license and a reciprocal agreement with the

 7  appropriate official of that state has been entered into by

 8  the department office; or

 9         2.  An applicant who is licensed as a nonresident

10  public adjuster in a state other than his or her state of

11  residence when the state of licensure requires the passing of

12  a written examination in order to obtain the license and a

13  reciprocal agreement with the appropriate official of the

14  state of licensure has been entered into by the department

15  office.

16         (c)  Is self-employed as a public adjuster or

17  associated with or employed by a public adjusting firm or

18  other public adjuster. Applicants licensed as nonresident

19  public adjusters under this section must be appointed as such

20  in accordance with the provisions of ss. 626.112 and 626.451.

21  Appointment fees in the amount specified in s. 624.501 must be

22  paid to the department office in advance. The appointment of a

23  nonresident public adjuster shall continue in force until

24  suspended, revoked, or otherwise terminated, but subject to

25  biennial renewal or continuation by the licensee in accordance

26  with procedures prescribed in s. 626.381 for licensees in

27  general.

28         (d)  Is trustworthy and has such business reputation as

29  would reasonably assure that he or she will conduct his or her

30  business as a nonresident public adjuster fairly and in good

31  faith and without detriment to the public.


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 1         (e)  Has had sufficient experience, training, or

 2  instruction concerning the adjusting of damages or losses

 3  under insurance contracts, other than life and annuity

 4  contracts; is sufficiently informed as to the terms and

 5  effects of the provisions of those types of insurance

 6  contracts; and possesses adequate knowledge of the laws of

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

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

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

10  with whom he or she may have business as a public adjuster.

11         (2)  The applicant shall furnish the following with his

12  or her application:

13         (a)  A complete set of his or her fingerprints. The

14  applicant's fingerprints must be certified by an authorized

15  law enforcement officer. The department office may not

16  authorize an applicant to take the required examination or

17  issue a nonresident public adjuster's license to the applicant

18  until the department office has received a report from the

19  Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Federal Bureau

20  of Investigation relative to the existence or nonexistence of

21  a criminal history report based on the applicant's

22  fingerprints.

23         (b)  If currently licensed as a resident public

24  adjuster in the applicant's state of residence, a certificate

25  or letter of authorization from the licensing authority of the

26  applicant's state of residence, stating that the applicant

27  holds a current or comparable license to act as a public

28  adjuster. The certificate or letter of authorization must be

29  signed by the insurance commissioner or his or her deputy or

30  the appropriate licensing official and must disclose whether

31  the adjuster has ever had any license or eligibility to hold


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 1  any license declined, denied, suspended, revoked, or placed on

 2  probation or whether an administrative fine or penalty has

 3  been levied against the adjuster and, if so, the reason for

 4  the action.

 5         (c)  If the applicant's state of residence does not

 6  require licensure as a public adjuster and the applicant has

 7  been licensed as a resident insurance adjuster, agent, broker,

 8  or other insurance representative in his or her state of

 9  residence or any other state within the past 3 years, a

10  certificate or letter of authorization from the licensing

11  authority stating that the applicant holds or has held a

12  license to act as such an insurance adjuster, agent, or other

13  insurance representative. The certificate or letter of

14  authorization must be signed by the insurance commissioner or

15  his or her deputy or the appropriate licensing official and

16  must disclose whether or not the adjuster, agent, or other

17  insurance representative has ever had any license or

18  eligibility to hold any license declined, denied, suspended,

19  revoked, or placed on probation or whether an administrative

20  fine or penalty has been levied against the adjuster and, if

21  so, the reason for the action.

22         (3)  At the time of application for license as a

23  nonresident public adjuster, the applicant shall file with the

24  department office a bond executed and issued by a surety

25  insurer authorized to transact surety business in this state,

26  in the amount of $50,000, conditioned for the faithful

27  performance of his or her duties as a nonresident public

28  adjuster under the license applied for. The bond must be in

29  favor of the department office and must specifically authorize

30  recovery by the department office of the damages sustained if

31  the licensee commits fraud or unfair practices in connection


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 1  with his or her business as nonresident public adjuster. The

 2  aggregate liability of the surety for all the damages may not

 3  exceed the amount of the bond. The bond may not be terminated

 4  unless at least 30 days' written notice is given to the

 5  licensee and filed with the department office.

 6         (4)  The usual and customary records pertaining to

 7  transactions under the license of a nonresident public

 8  adjuster must be retained for at least 3 years after

 9  completion of the adjustment and must be made available in

10  this state to the department office upon request. The failure

11  of a nonresident public adjuster to properly maintain records

12  and make them available to the department office upon request

13  constitutes grounds for the immediate suspension of the

14  license issued under this section.

15         (5)  After licensure as a nonresident public adjuster,

16  as a condition of doing business in this state, the licensee

17  must annually on or before January 1, on a form prescribed by

18  the department commission, submit an affidavit certifying that

19  the licensee is familiar with and understands the insurance

20  code and rules adopted thereunder and the provisions of the

21  contracts negotiated or to be negotiated. Compliance with this

22  filing requirement is a condition precedent to the issuance,

23  continuation, reinstatement, or renewal of a nonresident

24  public adjuster's appointment.

25         Section 70.  Subsections (1), (3), and (4) of section

26  626.8734, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

27         626.8734  Nonresident independent adjuster's

28  qualifications.--

29         (1)  The department office shall, upon application

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

31  independent adjuster's license upon determining that the


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 1  applicant has paid the applicable license fees required under

 2  s. 624.501 and:

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

 4         (b)  Has passed to the satisfaction of the department

 5  office a written Florida independent adjuster's examination of

 6  the scope prescribed in s. 626.241(6); however, the

 7  requirement for the examination does not apply to any of the

 8  following:

 9         1.  An applicant who is licensed as a resident

10  independent adjuster in his or her state of residence when

11  that state requires the passing of a written examination in

12  order to obtain the license and a reciprocal agreement with

13  the appropriate official of that state has been entered into

14  by the department office; or

15         2.  An applicant who is licensed as a nonresident

16  independent adjuster in a state other than his or her state of

17  residence when the state of licensure requires the passing of

18  a written examination in order to obtain the license and a

19  reciprocal agreement with the appropriate official of the

20  state of licensure has been entered into by the department

21  office.

22         (c)  Is self-employed or associated with or employed by

23  an independent adjusting firm or other independent adjuster.

24  Applicants licensed as nonresident independent adjusters under

25  this section must be appointed as such in accordance with the

26  provisions of ss. 626.112 and 626.451. Appointment fees in the

27  amount specified in s. 624.501 must be paid to the department

28  office in advance. The appointment of a nonresident

29  independent adjuster shall continue in force until suspended,

30  revoked, or otherwise terminated, but subject to biennial

31  


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 1  renewal or continuation by the licensee in accordance with

 2  procedures prescribed in s. 626.381 for licensees in general.

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

 4  would reasonably assure that he or she will conduct his or her

 5  business as a nonresident independent adjuster fairly and in

 6  good faith and without detriment to the public.

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

 8  instruction concerning the adjusting of damages or losses

 9  under insurance contracts, other than life and annuity

10  contracts; is sufficiently informed as to the terms and

11  effects of the provisions of those types of insurance

12  contracts; and possesses adequate knowledge of the laws of

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

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

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

16  with whom he or she may have business as an independent

17  adjuster.

18         (3)  The usual and customary records pertaining to

19  transactions under the license of a nonresident independent

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 independent adjuster to properly maintain

24  records and make them available to the department office upon

25  request constitutes grounds for the immediate suspension of

26  the license issued under this section.

27         (4)  After licensure as a nonresident independent

28  adjuster, as a condition of doing business in this state, the

29  licensee must annually on or before January 1, on a form

30  prescribed by the department commission, submit an affidavit

31  certifying that the licensee is familiar with and understands


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 1  the insurance laws and administrative rules of this state and

 2  the provisions of the contracts negotiated or to be

 3  negotiated. Compliance with this filing requirement is a

 4  condition precedent to the issuance, continuation,

 5  reinstatement, or renewal of a nonresident independent

 6  adjuster's appointment.

 7         Section 71.  Subsection (4) of section 626.8736,

 8  Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

 9         626.8736  Nonresident independent or public adjusters;

10  service of process.--

11         (4)  Upon receiving the service, the Chief Financial

12  Officer shall forthwith send one of the copies of the process,

13  by registered mail with return receipt requested, to the

14  defendant nonresident independent or public adjuster at his or

15  her last address of record with the department office.

16         Section 72.  Section 626.8738, is amended to read:

17         626.8738  Penalty for violation.--In addition to any

18  other remedy imposed pursuant to this code, any person who

19  acts as a resident or nonresident public adjuster or holds

20  himself or herself out to be a public adjuster to adjust

21  claims in this state, without being licensed by the department

22  office as a public adjuster and appointed as a public

23  adjuster, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as

24  provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. Each act in

25  violation of this section constitutes a separate offense.

26         Section 73.  Section 626.874, Florida Statutes, is

27  amended to read:

28         626.874  Catastrophe or emergency adjusters.--

29         (1)  In the event of a catastrophe or emergency, the

30  department office may issue a license, for the purposes and

31  under the conditions which it shall fix and for the period of


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 1  emergency as it shall determine, to persons who are residents

 2  or nonresidents of this state, who are at least 18 years of

 3  age, who are United States citizens or legal aliens who

 4  possess work authorization from the United States Immigration

 5  and Naturalization Service, and who are not licensed adjusters

 6  under this part but who have been designated and certified to

 7  it as qualified to act as adjusters by independent resident

 8  adjusters or by an authorized insurer or by a licensed general

 9  lines agent to adjust claims, losses, or damages under

10  policies or contracts of insurance issued by such insurers.

11  The fee for the license shall be as provided in s.

12  624.501(12)(c).

13         (2)  If any person not a licensed adjuster who has been

14  permitted to adjust such losses, claims, or damages under the

15  conditions and circumstances set forth in subsection (1),

16  engages in any of the misconduct described in or contemplated

17  by ss. 626.611 and 626.621, the department office, without

18  notice and hearing, shall be authorized to issue its order

19  denying such person the privileges granted under this section;

20  and thereafter it shall be unlawful for any such person to

21  adjust any such losses, claims, or damages in this state.

22         Section 74.  Section 626.878, Florida Statutes, is

23  amended to read:

24         626.878  Rules; code of ethics.--An adjuster shall

25  subscribe to the code of ethics specified in the rules of the

26  department commission. The rules shall implement the

27  provisions of this part and specify the terms and conditions

28  of contracts, including a right to cancel, and require

29  practices necessary to ensure fair dealing, prohibit conflicts

30  of interest, and ensure preservation of the rights of the

31  claimant to participate in the adjustment of claims.


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 1         Section 75.  Section 627.7012, Florida Statutes, is

 2  transferred, renumbered as section 626.879, Florida Statutes,

 3  and amended to read:

 4         626.879627.7012  Pools of insurance adjusters.--The

 5  department commission may, by rule, establish a pool of

 6  qualified insurance adjusters. The rules must provide that, if

 7  a hurricane occurs or an emergency is declared, the department

 8  office may assign members of the pool to the affected area and

 9  that an insurer may request that a member of the pool adjust

10  claims in the assigned area. The rules may not require that an

11  insurer use those adjusters assigned by the department office.

12         Section 76.  Subsection (3) of section 626.9543,

13  Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

14         626.9543  Holocaust victims.--

15         (3)  DEFINITIONS.--For the purpose of this section:

16         (a)  "Department" means the Department of Insurance.

17         (a)(b)  "Holocaust victim" means any person who lost

18  his or her life or property as a result of discriminatory

19  laws, policies, or actions targeted against discrete groups of

20  persons between 1920 and 1945, inclusive, in Nazi Germany,

21  areas occupied by Nazi Germany, or countries allied with Nazi

22  Germany.

23         (b)(c)  "Insurance policy" means, but is not limited

24  to, life insurance, property insurance, or education policies.

25         (c)(d)  "Legal relationship" means any parent,

26  subsidiary, or affiliated company with an insurer doing

27  business in this state.

28         (d)(e)  "Proceeds" means the face or other payout value

29  of policies and annuities plus reasonable interest to date of

30  payments without diminution for wartime or immediate postwar

31  currency devaluation.


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 1         Section 77.  Paragraphs (c), (e), and (f) of subsection

 2  (9) of section 626.989, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

 3         626.989  Investigation by department or Division of

 4  Insurance Fraud; compliance; immunity; confidential

 5  information; reports to division; division investigator's

 6  power of arrest.--

 7         (9)  In recognition of the complementary roles of

 8  investigating instances of workers' compensation fraud and

 9  enforcing compliance with the workers' compensation coverage

10  requirements under chapter 440, the Department of Financial

11  Services shall prepare and submit a joint performance report

12  to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of

13  Representatives by November 1, 2003, and then by January 1 of

14  each year. The annual report must include, but need not be

15  limited to:

16         (c)  The number of investigations undertaken by the

17  Bureau of Workers' Compensation Insurance Fraud office which

18  were not the result of a referral from an insurer or the

19  Division of Workers' Compensation.

20         (e)  The number and reasons provided by local

21  prosecutors or the statewide prosecutor for declining

22  prosecution of a case presented by the Bureau of Workers'

23  Compensation Insurance Fraud office by circuit.

24         (f)  The total number of employees assigned to the

25  Bureau of Workers' Compensation Insurance Fraud office and the

26  Division of Workers' Compensation Bureau of Compliance unit

27  delineated by location of staff assigned; and the number and

28  location of employees assigned to the Bureau of Workers'

29  Compensation Insurance Fraud office who were assigned to work

30  other types of fraud cases.

31  


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 1         Section 78.  Subsection (4) is added to section

 2  626.99245, Florida Statutes, to read:

 3         626.99245  Conflict of regulation of viaticals.--

 4         (4)  The offer, sale, and purchase of viatical

 5  settlement contracts, and the regulation of viatical

 6  settlement providers shall be within the exclusive

 7  jurisdiction of the Office of Insurance Regulation under the

 8  provisions of part X of chapter 626.

 9         Section 79.  Subsection (2) of section 627.0628,

10  Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

11         627.0628  Florida Commission on Hurricane Loss

12  Projection Methodology.--

13         (2)  COMMISSION CREATED.--

14         (a)  There is created the Florida Commission on

15  Hurricane Loss Projection Methodology, which is assigned to

16  the State Board of Administration.  For the purposes of this

17  section, the term "commission" means the Florida Commission on

18  Hurricane Loss Projection Methodology. The commission shall be

19  administratively housed within the State Board of

20  Administration, but it shall independently exercise the powers

21  and duties specified in this section.

22         (b)  The commission shall consist of the following 11

23  members:

24         1.  The insurance consumer advocate.

25         2.  The senior employee of the State Board of

26  Administration responsible for operations of the Florida

27  Hurricane Catastrophe Fund.

28         3.  The Executive Director of the Citizens Property

29  Insurance Corporation.

30         4.  The Director of the Division of Emergency

31  Management of the Department of Community Affairs.


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 1         5.  The actuary member of the Florida Hurricane

 2  Catastrophe Fund Advisory Council.

 3         6.  An employee of the office who is an actuary

 4  responsible for property insurance rate filings and who is

 5  appointed by the director of the office.

 6         7.6.  Five Six members appointed by the Chief Financial

 7  Officer, as follows:

 8         a.  An employee of the office who is an actuary

 9  responsible for property insurance rate filings.

10         a.b.  An actuary who is employed full time by a

11  property and casualty insurer which was responsible for at

12  least 1 percent of the aggregate statewide direct written

13  premium for homeowner's insurance in the calendar year

14  preceding the member's appointment to the commission.

15         b.c.  An expert in insurance finance who is a full time

16  member of the faculty of the State University System and who

17  has a background in actuarial science.

18         c.d.  An expert in statistics who is a full time member

19  of the faculty of the State University System and who has a

20  background in insurance.

21         d.e.  An expert in computer system design who is a full

22  time member of the faculty of the State University System.

23         e.f.  An expert in meteorology who is a full time

24  member of the faculty of the State University System and who

25  specializes in hurricanes.

26         (c)  Members designated under subparagraphs (b)1.-5.

27  shall serve on the commission as long as they maintain the

28  respective offices designated in subparagraphs (b)1.-5. The

29  member appointed by the director of the office under

30  subparagraph (b)6. shall serve on the commission until the end

31  of the term of office of the director who appointed him or


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 1  her, unless removed earlier by the director for cause. Members

 2  appointed by the Chief Financial Officer under subparagraph

 3  (b)7. subparagraph (b)6. shall serve on the commission until

 4  the end of the term of office of the Chief Financial Officer

 5  who appointed them, unless earlier removed by the Chief

 6  Financial Officer for cause.  Vacancies on the commission

 7  shall be filled in the same manner as the original

 8  appointment.

 9         (d)  The State Board of Administration shall annually

10  appoint one of the members of the commission to serve as

11  chair.

12         (e)  Members of the commission shall serve without

13  compensation, but shall be reimbursed for per diem and travel

14  expenses pursuant to s. 112.061.

15         (f)  The State Board of Administration shall, as a cost

16  of administration of the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund,

17  provide for travel, expenses, and staff support for the

18  commission.

19         (g)  There shall be no liability on the part of, and no

20  cause of action of any nature shall arise against, any member

21  of the commission, any member of the State Board of

22  Administration, or any employee of the State Board of

23  Administration for any action taken in the performance of

24  their duties under this section. In addition, the commission

25  may, in writing, waive any potential cause of action for

26  negligence of a consultant, contractor, or contract employee

27  engaged to assist the commission.

28         Section 80.  Paragraph (b) of subsection (11) of

29  section 627.6699, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

30         627.6699  Employee Health Care Access Act.--

31         (11)  SMALL EMPLOYER HEALTH REINSURANCE PROGRAM.--


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 1         (b)1.  The program shall operate subject to the

 2  supervision and control of the board.

 3         2.  Effective upon this act becoming a law, the board

 4  shall consist of the director of the office Chief Financial

 5  Officer or his or her designee, who shall serve as the

 6  chairperson, and 13 additional members who are representatives

 7  of carriers and insurance agents and are appointed by the

 8  director of the office Chief Financial Officer and serve as

 9  follows:

10         a.  The director of the office Chief Financial Officer

11  shall include representatives of small employer carriers

12  subject to assessment under this subsection.  If two or more

13  carriers elect to be risk-assuming carriers, the membership

14  must include at least two representatives of risk-assuming

15  carriers; if one carrier is risk-assuming, one member must be

16  a representative of such carrier.  At least one member must be

17  a carrier who is subject to the assessments, but is not a

18  small employer carrier.  Subject to such restrictions, at

19  least five members shall be selected from individuals

20  recommended by small employer carriers pursuant to procedures

21  provided by rule of the commission. Three members shall be

22  selected from a list of health insurance carriers that issue

23  individual health insurance policies. At least two of the

24  three members selected must be reinsuring carriers. Two

25  members shall be selected from a list of insurance agents who

26  are actively engaged in the sale of health insurance.

27         b.  A member appointed under this subparagraph shall

28  serve a term of 4 years and shall continue in office until the

29  member's successor takes office, except that, in order to

30  provide for staggered terms, the director of the office Chief

31  Financial Officer shall designate two of the initial


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 1  appointees under this subparagraph to serve terms of 2 years

 2  and shall designate three of the initial appointees under this

 3  subparagraph to serve terms of 3 years.

 4         3.  The director of the office Chief Financial Officer

 5  may remove a member for cause.

 6         4.  Vacancies on the board shall be filled in the same

 7  manner as the original appointment for the unexpired portion

 8  of the term.

 9         5.  The director of the office Chief Financial Officer

10  may require an entity that recommends persons for appointment

11  to submit additional lists of recommended appointees.

12         Section 81.  The transfer of the regulation of

13  adjusters from the Office of Insurance Regulation to the

14  Department of Financial Services by this act shall not affect

15  the regulation of adjusters in any administrative or judicial

16  action of the Office of Insurance Regulation arising out of or

17  involving the Office of Insurance Regulation before or pending

18  on the effective date of this act, and the Department of

19  Financial Services shall be substituted as a party in interest

20  on any such pending action.

21         Section 82.  Any license, form, or action that was

22  approved or authorized by the Financial Services Commission or

23  the Office of Insurance Regulation which was otherwise

24  lawfully in use before the effective date of this act may

25  continue to be used or be effective as originally authorized

26  or permitted, until the Department of Financial Services

27  otherwise prescribes.

28         Section 83.  Upon the effective date of this act, the

29  rules or portions thereof of the Financial Services Commission

30  which govern the regulation of insurance adjusters shall

31  become rules or portions thereof of the Department of


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 1  Financial Services as is appropriate to the corresponding

 2  regulatory or constitutional function and shall remain in

 3  effect until specifically amended or repealed in the manner

 4  provided by law.

 5         Section 84.  Subsection (10) is added to section

 6  494.0025, Florida Statutes, to read:

 7         494.0025  Prohibited practices.--It is unlawful for any

 8  person:

 9         (10)  To use the name or logo of a financial

10  institution, as defined in s. 655.005(1), or its affiliates or

11  subsidiaries when marketing or soliciting existing or

12  prospective customers if such marketing materials are used

13  without the written consent of the financial institution and

14  in a manner that would lead a reasonable person to believe

15  that the material or solicitation originated from, was

16  endorsed by, or is related to or the responsibility of the

17  financial institution or its affiliates or subsidiaries.

18         Section 85.  Paragraph (o) is added to subsection (1)

19  of section 516.07, Florida Statutes, to read:

20         516.07  Grounds for denial of license or for

21  disciplinary action.--

22         (1)  The following acts are violations of this chapter

23  and constitute grounds for denial of an application for a

24  license to make consumer finance loans and grounds for any of

25  the disciplinary actions specified in subsection (2):

26         (o)  Using the name or logo of a financial institution,

27  as defined in s. 655.005(1), or its affiliates or subsidiaries

28  when marketing or soliciting existing or prospective customers

29  if such marketing materials are used without the written

30  consent of the financial institution and in a manner that

31  would lead a reasonable person to believe that the material or


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 1  solicitation originated from, was endorsed by, or is related

 2  to or the responsibility of the financial institution or its

 3  affiliates or subsidiaries.

 4         Section 86.  Paragraph (j) is added to subsection (1)

 5  of section 520.995, Florida Statutes, to read:

 6         520.995  Grounds for disciplinary action.--

 7         (1)  The following acts are violations of this chapter

 8  and constitute grounds for the disciplinary actions specified

 9  in subsection (2):

10         (j)  Using the name or logo of a financial institution,

11  as defined in s. 655.005(1), or its affiliates or subsidiaries

12  when marketing or soliciting existing or prospective customers

13  if such marketing materials are used without the written

14  consent of the financial institution and in a manner that

15  would lead a reasonable person to believe that the material or

16  solicitation originated from, was endorsed by, or is related

17  to or the responsibility of the financial institution or its

18  affiliates or subsidiaries.

19         Section 87.  Paragraph (bb) is added to subsection (1)

20  of section 626.9541, Florida Statutes, to read:

21         626.9541  Unfair methods of competition and unfair or

22  deceptive acts or practices defined.--

23         (1)  UNFAIR METHODS OF COMPETITION AND UNFAIR OR

24  DECEPTIVE ACTS.--The following are defined as unfair methods

25  of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices:

26         (bb)  Deceptive use of name.--Using the name or logo of

27  a financial institution, as defined in s. 655.005(1), or its

28  affiliates or subsidiaries when marketing or soliciting

29  existing or prospective customers if such marketing materials

30  are used without the written consent of the financial

31  institution and in a manner that would lead a reasonable


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 1  person to believe that the material or solicitation originated

 2  from, was endorsed by, or is related to or the responsibility

 3  of the financial institution or its affiliates or

 4  subsidiaries.

 5         Section 88.  Paragraphs (h) and (p) of subsection (1)

 6  of section 655.005, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

 7         655.005  Definitions.--

 8         (1)  As used in the financial institutions codes,

 9  unless the context otherwise requires, the term:

10         (h)  "Financial institution" means a state or federal

11  association, bank, savings bank, trust company, international

12  bank agency, international branch, representative office or

13  international administrative office, or credit union.

14         (p)  "State financial institution" means a

15  state-chartered or state-organized association, bank,

16  investment company, trust company, international bank agency,

17  international branch, international representative office,

18  international administrative office, or credit union.

19         Section 89.  Subsection (1) of section 655.0322,

20  Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

21         655.0322  Prohibited acts and practices; criminal

22  penalties.--

23         (1)  As used in this section, the term "financial

24  institution" means a financial institution as defined in s.

25  655.50 which includes a state trust company, state or national

26  bank, state or federal association, state or federal savings

27  bank, state or federal credit union, Edge Act or agreement

28  corporation, international bank agency, international branch,

29  representative office or administrative office or other

30  business entity as defined by the commission by rule, whether

31  organized under the laws of this state, the laws of another


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 1  state, or the laws of the United States, which institution is

 2  located in this state.

 3         Section 90.  Section 655.0385, Florida Statutes, is

 4  amended to read:

 5         655.0385  Disapproval of directors and executive

 6  officers.--

 7         (1)  Each state financial institution shall notify the

 8  office of the proposed appointment of any individual to the

 9  board of directors or the appointment or employment of any

10  individual as an executive officer or equivalent position at

11  least 60 days before such appointment or employment becomes

12  effective, if the state financial institution:

13         (a)  Has been chartered for less than 2 years;

14         (b)  Has undergone a change in control or conversion

15  within the preceding 2 years. The office may exempt a

16  financial institution from this paragraph if it operates in a

17  safe and sound manner;

18         (c)  Is not in compliance with the minimum capital

19  requirements applicable to such financial institution; or

20         (d)  Is otherwise operating in an unsafe and unsound

21  condition, as determined by the office, on the basis of such

22  financial institution's most recent report of condition or

23  report of examination.

24         (2)  A state financial institution may not appoint any

25  individual to the board of directors, or employ any individual

26  as an executive officer or equivalent position, if the office

27  issues a notice of disapproval with respect to that person.

28         (3)  The office shall issue a notice of disapproval if

29  the competence, experience, character, or integrity of the

30  individual to be appointed or employed indicates that it is

31  not in the best interests of the depositors, the members, or


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 1  the public to permit the individual to be employed by or

 2  associated with the state financial institution.

 3         (4)  Beginning 1 year after opening, each notification

 4  of a proposed appointment of an individual to the board of

 5  directors must be accompanied by a nonrefundable fee of $35.

 6         (5)(4)  The commission may adopt rules to implement

 7  this section.

 8         Section 91.  Subsection (3) of section 655.045, Florida

 9  Statutes, is amended to read:

10         655.045  Examinations, reports, and internal audits;

11  penalty.--

12         (3)(a)  The board of directors of each state financial

13  institution or, in the case of a credit union, the supervisory

14  committee or audit committee shall perform or cause to be

15  performed, within each calendar year, an internal audit of

16  each state financial institution, subsidiary, or service

17  corporation and to file a copy of the report and findings of

18  such audit with the office on a timely basis.  Such internal

19  audit must include such information as the commission by rule

20  requires for that type of institution.

21         (b)  With the approval of the office, the board of

22  directors or, in the case of a credit union, the supervisory

23  committee may elect, in lieu of such periodic audits, to adopt

24  and implement an adequate continuous audit system and

25  procedure which must include full, adequate, and continuous

26  written reports to, and review by, the board of directors or,

27  in the case of a credit union, the supervisory committee,

28  together with written statements of the actions taken thereon

29  and reasons for omissions to take actions, all of which shall

30  be noted in the minutes and filed among the records of the

31  board of directors or, in the case of a credit union, the


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 1  supervisory committee.  If at any time such continuous audit

 2  system and procedure, including the reports and statements,

 3  becomes inadequate, in the judgment of the office, the state

 4  financial institution shall promptly make such changes as may

 5  be required by the office to cause the same to accomplish the

 6  purpose of this section.

 7         (c)  Any de novo state financial institution open less

 8  than 4 months is exempt from the audit requirements of this

 9  section.

10         Section 92.  Subsection (1) of section 655.059, Florida

11  Statutes, is amended to read:

12         655.059  Access to books and records; confidentiality;

13  penalty for disclosure.--

14         (1)  The books and records of a financial institution

15  are confidential and shall be made available for inspection

16  and examination only:

17         (a)  To the office or its duly authorized

18  representative;

19         (b)  To any person duly authorized to act for the

20  financial institution;

21         (c)  To any federal or state instrumentality or agency

22  authorized to inspect or examine the books and records of an

23  insured financial institution;

24         (d)  With respect to an international banking

25  corporation, to the home-country supervisor of the

26  corporation, provided:

27         1.  The supervisor provides advance notice to the

28  office that the supervisor intends to examine the Florida

29  office of the corporation.

30  

31  


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 1         2.  The supervisor confirms to the office that the

 2  purpose of the examination is to ensure the safety and

 3  soundness of the corporation.

 4         3.  The books and records pertaining to customer

 5  deposit, investment, and custodial accounts are not disclosed

 6  to the supervisor.

 7         4.  At any time during the conduct of the examination,

 8  the office reserves the right to have an examiner present or

 9  to participate jointly in the examination.

10  

11  For purposes of this paragraph, "home-country supervisor"

12  means the governmental entity in the corporation's home

13  country with responsibility for the supervision and regulation

14  of the corporation;

15         (e)  As compelled by a court of competent jurisdiction,

16  pursuant to a subpoena issued pursuant to the Florida Rules of

17  Civil or Criminal Procedure or the Federal Rules of Civil

18  Procedure, or pursuant to a subpoena issued in accordance with

19  state or federal law. Prior to the production of the books and

20  records of a financial institution, the party seeking

21  production must reimburse the financial institution for the

22  reasonable costs and fees incurred in compliance with the

23  production. If the parties disagree regarding the amount of

24  reimbursement, the party seeking the records may request the

25  court or agency having jurisdiction to set the amount of

26  reimbursement;

27         (f)  As compelled by legislative subpoena as provided

28  by law, in which case the provisions of s. 655.057 apply;

29         (g)  Pursuant to a subpoena, to any federal or state

30  law enforcement or prosecutorial instrumentality authorized to

31  investigate suspected criminal activity;


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 1         (h)  As authorized by the board of directors of the

 2  financial institution; or

 3         (i)  As provided in subsection (2).

 4         Section 93.  Section 655.921, Florida Statutes, is

 5  amended to read:

 6         655.921  Transaction of business by out-of-state

 7  financial institutions; exempt transactions in the financial

 8  institutions codes.--

 9         (1)  Nothing in the financial institutions codes shall

10  be construed to prohibit a financial institution having its

11  principal place of business outside this state and not

12  operating branches in this state from:

13         (a)  Contracting in this state with any person to

14  acquire from such person a part, or the entire, interest in a

15  loan that such person proposes to make, has heretofore made,

16  or hereafter makes, together with a like interest in any

17  security instrument covering real or personal property in the

18  state proposed to be given or hereafter or heretofore given to

19  such person to secure or evidence such loan.

20         (b)  Entering into mortgage servicing contracts with

21  persons authorized to transact business in this state and

22  enforcing in this state the obligations heretofore or

23  hereafter acquired by it in the transaction of business

24  outside this state or in the transaction of any business

25  authorized by this section.

26         (c)  Acquiring, holding, leasing, mortgaging,

27  contracting with respect to, or otherwise protecting,

28  managing, or conveying property in this state which has

29  heretofore or may hereafter be assigned, transferred,

30  mortgaged, or conveyed to it as security for, or in whole or

31  in part in satisfaction of, a loan or loans made by it or


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 1  obligations acquired by it in the transaction of any business

 2  authorized by this section.

 3         (d)  Making loans or committing to make loans to any

 4  person located in this state and soliciting compensating

 5  deposit balances in connection therewith.

 6         (2)  No such financial institution shall be deemed to

 7  be transacting business in this state, or be required to

 8  qualify so to do, solely by reason of the performance of any

 9  of the acts or business authorized in this section. This

10  section does not authorize or permit any such financial

11  institution to maintain an office within the state.

12         Section 94.  Section 655.922, Florida Statutes, is

13  amended to read:

14         655.922  Banking business by unauthorized persons; use

15  of name.--

16         (1)  No person other than a financial institution

17  authorized to do business in this state pursuant to the

18  financial institutions codes of any state or federal law

19  shall, in this state, engage in the business of soliciting or

20  receiving funds for deposit or of issuing certificates of

21  deposit or of paying checks; and no person shall establish or

22  maintain a place of business in this state for any of the

23  functions, transactions, or purposes mentioned in this

24  subsection.  Any person who violates the provisions of this

25  subsection is guilty of a felony of the third degree,

26  punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s.

27  775.084.  This subsection does not prohibit the issuance or

28  sale by a financial institution of traveler's checks, money

29  orders, or other instruments for the transmission or payment

30  of money, by or through employees or agents of the financial

31  institution off the financial institution's premises.


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 1         (2)  No person other than a financial institution

 2  shall, in this state:

 3         (a)  Transact business under any name or title that

 4  contains the words "bank," "banco," "banque," "banker,"

 5  "banking," "trust company," "savings and loan association,"

 6  "savings bank," or "credit union," or words of similar import,

 7  in any context or in any manner;

 8         (b)  Use any name, word, sign, symbol, or device in any

 9  context or in any manner; or

10         (c)  Circulate or use any letterhead, billhead,

11  circular, paper, or writing of any kind or otherwise advertise

12  or represent in any manner,

13  

14  which indicates or reasonably implies that the business being

15  conducted or advertised is the kind or character of business

16  transacted or conducted by a financial institution or which is

17  likely to lead any person to believe that such business is

18  that of a financial institution; however, the words "bank,"

19  "banker," "banking," "trust company," "savings and loan

20  association," "savings bank," or "credit union," or the plural

21  of any thereof, may be used by, and in the corporate or other

22  name or title of, any company which is or becomes a financial

23  institution holding company pursuant to federal law; any

24  subsidiary of any such financial institution holding company

25  which includes as a part of its name or title all or any part,

26  or abbreviations, of the name or title of the financial

27  institution holding company of which it is a subsidiary; any

28  trade organization or association, whether or not

29  incorporated, functioning for the purpose of promoting the

30  interests of financial institutions or financial institution

31  holding companies, the active members of which are financial


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 1  institutions or financial institution holding companies; and

 2  any international development bank chartered pursuant to part

 3  II of chapter 663.

 4         (3)  No person may use the name or logo of any

 5  financial institution or an affiliate or subsidiary thereof,

 6  or use a name similar to that of a financial institution or an

 7  affiliate or subsidiary thereof, to market or solicit business

 8  from a customer or prospective customer of such institution

 9  if:

10         (a)  The solicitation is done without the written

11  consent of the financial institution or its affiliate or

12  subsidiary; and

13         (b)  A reasonable person would believe that the

14  materials originated from, are endorsed by, or are connected

15  with the financial institution or its affiliates or

16  subsidiaries.

17         (4)(3)  Any court, in a proceeding brought by the

18  office, by any financial institution the principal place of

19  business of which is in this state, or by any other person

20  residing, or whose principal place of business is located, in

21  this state and whose interests are substantially affected

22  thereby, may enjoin any person from violating any of the

23  provisions of this section.  For the purposes of this

24  subsection, the interests of a trade organization or

25  association are deemed to be substantially affected if the

26  interests of any of its members are so affected. In addition,

27  the office may issue and serve upon any person who violates

28  any of the provisions of this section a complaint seeking a

29  cease and desist order in accordance with the procedures and

30  in the manner prescribed by s. 655.033.

31  


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 1         (5)(4)  Nothing in this section shall be construed to

 2  prohibit the lawful establishment or the lawful operations of

 3  a financial institution and nothing in this code shall be

 4  construed to prohibit any advertisement or other activity in

 5  this state by any person if such prohibition would contravene

 6  any applicable federal law which preempts the law of this

 7  state.

 8         (6)  The commission shall adopt rules to administer

 9  this section.

10         Section 95.  Subsection (1) of section 655.94, Florida

11  Statutes, is amended to read:

12         655.94  Special remedies for nonpayment of rent.--

13         (1)  If the rental due on a safe-deposit box has not

14  been paid for 3 months, the lessor may send a notice by

15  certified registered mail to the last known address of the

16  lessee stating that the safe-deposit box will be opened and

17  its contents stored at the expense of the lessee unless

18  payment of the rental is made within 30 days.  If the rental

19  is not paid within 30 days from the mailing of the notice, the

20  box may be opened in the presence of an officer of the lessor

21  and of a notary public who is not a director, officer,

22  employee, or stockholder of the lessor.  The contents shall be

23  sealed in a package by a notary public who shall write on the

24  outside the name of the lessee and the date of the opening.

25  The notary public shall execute a certificate reciting the

26  name of the lessee, the date of the opening of the box, and a

27  list of its contents.  The certificate shall be included in

28  the package, and a copy of the certificate shall be sent by

29  certified registered mail to the last known address of the

30  lessee.  The package shall then be placed in the general

31  vaults of the lessor at a rental not exceeding the rental


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 1  previously charged for the box.  The lessor has a lien on the

 2  package and its contents to the extent of any rental due and

 3  owing plus the actual, reasonable costs of removing the

 4  contents from the safe-deposit box.

 5         Section 96.  Section 658.16, Florida Statutes, is

 6  amended to read:

 7         658.16  Creation of banking or trust corporation.--

 8         (1)  When authorized by the office, as provided herein,

 9  a corporation may be formed under the laws of this state for

10  the purpose of becoming a state bank or a state trust company

11  and conducting a general banking or trust business.

12         (2)  A bank or trust company that is chartered as a

13  limited liability company under the law of any state is deemed

14  to be incorporated under the financial institutions codes if:

15         (a)  The institution is not subject to automatic

16  termination, dissolution, or suspension upon the occurrence of

17  an event including the death, disability, bankruptcy,

18  expulsion, or withdrawal of an owner of the institution, other

19  than the passage of time;

20         (b)  The exclusive authority to manage the institution

21  is vested in a board of managers or directors that is elected

22  or appointed by the owners which operates in substantially the

23  same manner as, and has substantially the same rights, powers,

24  privileges, duties, and responsibilities, as a board of

25  directors of a bank or trust company chartered as a

26  corporation; and

27         (c)  Neither the laws of the state of the institution's

28  organization nor the institution's operating agreement,

29  bylaws, or other organizational documents:

30  

31  


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 1         1.  Provide that an owner of the institution is liable

 2  for the debts, liabilities, or obligations of the institution

 3  in excess of the amount of the owner's investment; or

 4         2.  Require the consent of any other owner of the

 5  institution in order for an owner to transfer an ownership

 6  interest in the institution, including voting rights.

 7         (3)  As used in the financial institutions codes, the

 8  term:

 9         (a)  "Stockholder" or "shareholder" includes an owner

10  of any interest in a bank or trust company chartered as a

11  limited liability company, including a member or participant;

12         (b)  "Director" includes a manager or director of a

13  bank or trust company chartered as a limited liability

14  company, or other person who has, with respect to such a bank

15  or trust company, authority substantially similar to that of a

16  director of a corporation;

17         (c)  "Officer" includes an officer of a bank or trust

18  company chartered as a limited liability company, or other

19  person who has, with respect to such a bank or trust company,

20  authority substantially similar to that of an officer of a

21  corporation;

22         (d)  "Stock," "voting stock," "voting shares," and

23  "voting securities" includes similar ownership interests in a

24  bank or trust company chartered as a limited liability

25  company, including certificates or other evidence of ownership

26  interests;

27         (e)  "Articles of incorporation" or "bylaws" of a bank

28  or trust company chartered as a limited liability company

29  means the institution's articles of organization and operating

30  agreement or other organizational documentation that is

31  substantially similar to that of a corporation;


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 1         (f)  "Par value" of any ownership interest in a bank or

 2  trust company chartered as a limited liability company means

 3  the amount of capital which must be invested for each unit of

 4  ownership; and

 5         (g)  "Dividend" includes distributions of earnings to

 6  the owners of a bank or trust company chartered as a limited

 7  liability company.

 8         Section 97.  Subsection (5) of section 658.23, Florida

 9  Statutes, is amended to read:

10         658.23  Submission of articles of incorporation;

11  contents; form; approval; filing; commencement of corporate

12  existence; bylaws.--

13         (5)  Unless the articles of incorporation provide

14  otherwise, the board of directors shall have authority to

15  adopt or amend bylaws that do not conflict with bylaws that

16  may have been adopted by the stockholders.  The bylaws shall

17  be for the governance government of the bank or trust company,

18  subordinate only to the articles of incorporation and the laws

19  of the United States and of this state. A current copy of the

20  bylaws shall be filed with the office at all times.

21         Section 98.  Section 658.26, Florida Statutes, is

22  amended to read:

23         658.26  Places of transacting business; branches;

24  facilities.--

25         (1)  Any bank or trust company heretofore or hereafter

26  incorporated pursuant to this chapter shall have one main

27  office, which shall be located within the state.

28         (2)(a)  In addition, with the approval of the office

29  and upon such conditions as the commission or office

30  prescribes, any state bank or trust company may establish

31  branches or relocate offices within or outside the state. With


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 1  the approval of the office upon a determination that the

 2  resulting bank or trust company will be of sound financial

 3  condition, any bank or trust company incorporated pursuant to

 4  this chapter may establish branches by merger with any other

 5  bank or trust company.

 6         (b)  As provided by commission rules, a financial

 7  institution operating in a safe and sound manner may establish

 8  or relocate an office by filing a written notice with the

 9  office at least 30 days before opening or relocating that

10  office, without filing an application or paying an application

11  fee. The notification must specify the name and location of

12  the office and effective date of the change. The relocation of

13  a main office to a location outside this state must be by

14  application only.

15         (c)  Applications filed pursuant to this subsection

16  need not be published in the Florida Administrative Weekly,

17  but shall otherwise be subject to chapter 120.

18         (d)(b)  An application to establish for a branch by a

19  bank that is ineligible does not meet the requirements for the

20  branch notification process shall be in writing in such form

21  as the commission prescribes and be supported by such

22  information, data, and records as the commission or office may

23  require to make findings necessary for approval. Applications

24  filed pursuant to this subsection shall not be published in

25  the Florida Administrative Weekly but shall otherwise be

26  subject to the provisions of chapter 120. Upon the filing of

27  an application and a nonrefundable filing fee for the

28  establishment of any branch permitted by paragraph (a), the

29  office shall make an investigation with respect to compliance

30  with the requirements of paragraph (a) and shall investigate

31  


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 1  and consider all factors relevant to such requirements,

 2  including the following:

 3         1.  The sufficiency of capital accounts in relation to

 4  the deposit liabilities of the bank, or in relation to the

 5  number and valuation of fiduciary accounts of the trust

 6  company, including the proposed branch, and the additional

 7  fixed assets, if any, which are proposed for the branch and

 8  its operations, without undue risk to the bank or its

 9  depositors, or undue risk to the trust company or its

10  fiduciary accounts;

11         2.  The sufficiency of earnings and earning prospects

12  of the bank or trust company to support the anticipated

13  expenses and any anticipated operating losses of the branch

14  during its formative or initial years;

15         3.  The sufficiency and quality of management available

16  to operate the branch;

17         4.  The name of the proposed branch to determine if it

18  reasonably identifies the branch as a branch of the main

19  office and is not likely to unduly confuse the public; and

20         5.  Substantial compliance by the applicants with

21  applicable law governing their operations.

22         (e)(c)  A state bank that is not eligible for

23  notification of a branch relocation must file an application

24  in the form required by the commission. Upon the filing of a

25  relocation application and a nonrefundable filing fee, the

26  office shall investigate to determine whether the financial

27  institution has substantially complied with applicable law

28  governing its operations. Additional investments in land,

29  buildings, leases, and leasehold improvements resulting from

30  such relocation must comply with the limitations imposed by s.

31  658.67(7)(a). A main office may not be moved outside this


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 1  state unless the move is expressly authorized by the financial

 2  institutions codes or by federal law. A financial institution

 3  that has been in operation for less than 24 months must

 4  provide evidence that the criteria of s. 658.21(1) will be

 5  met. As provided by commission rule, a financial institution

 6  operating in a safe and sound manner may establish a branch by

 7  filing a written notice with the office at least 30 days

 8  before opening that branch. In such case, the financial

 9  institution need not file a branch application or pay a branch

10  application fee.

11         (3)(a)  An office in this state may be relocated with

12  prior written approval of the office. An application for

13  relocation shall be in writing in such form as the commission

14  prescribes and shall be supported by such information, data,

15  and records as the commission or office may require to make

16  findings necessary for approval.

17         (b)  Applications filed pursuant to this subsection

18  shall not be published in the Florida Administrative Weekly

19  but shall otherwise be subject to the provisions of chapter

20  120. Upon the filing of a relocation application and a

21  nonrefundable filing fee, the office shall investigate to

22  determine substantial compliance by the financial institution

23  with applicable law governing its operations. Additional

24  investments in land, buildings, leases, and leasehold

25  improvements resulting from such relocation shall comply with

26  the limitations imposed by s. 658.67(7)(a). A main office may

27  not be moved outside this state unless expressly authorized by

28  the financial institutions codes or by federal law.

29         (c)  A relocation application filed by a state bank or

30  trust company that is operating in a safe and sound manner

31  which is not denied within 10 working days after receipt shall


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 1  be deemed approved unless the office notifies the financial

 2  institution in writing that the application was not complete.

 3         (d)  In addition to the application required by

 4  paragraph (a), a financial institution whose main office in

 5  this state has been in operation less than 24 months must

 6  provide evidence that the criteria of s. 658.21(1) will be

 7  met.

 8         (f)(e)  A branch office may be closed with 30 days'

 9  prior written notice to the office. The notice shall include

10  any information the commission prescribes by rule.

11         (3)(4)  With prior written notification to the office,

12  any bank may operate facilities which are not physically

13  connected to the main or branch office of the bank, provided

14  that the facilities are situated on the property of the main

15  or branch office or property contiguous thereto. Property

16  which is separated from the main or branch office of a bank by

17  only a street, and one or more walkways and alleyways are

18  determined to be, for purposes of this subsection, contiguous

19  to the property of the main or branch office.

20         (4)(5)  A bank may provide, directly or through a

21  contract with another company, off-premises armored car

22  service to its customers. Armored car services shall not be

23  considered a branch for the purposes of subsection (2).

24         (5)(6)(a)  Any state bank that is a subsidiary of a

25  bank holding company may agree to receive deposits, renew time

26  deposits, close loans, service loans, and receive payments on

27  loans and other obligations, as an agent for an affiliated

28  depository institution.

29         (b)  The term "close loan" does not include the making

30  of a decision to extend credit or the extension of credit.

31  


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 1         (c)  As used in this section, "receive deposits" means

 2  the taking of deposits to be credited to an existing account

 3  and does not include the opening or origination of new deposit

 4  accounts at an affiliated institution by the agent

 5  institution.

 6         (d)  Under this section, affiliated banks may act as

 7  agents for one another regardless of whether the institutions

 8  are located in the same or different states. This section

 9  applies solely to affiliated depository institutions acting as

10  agents, and has no application to agency relationships

11  concerning nondepositories as agent, whether or not affiliated

12  with the depository institution.

13         (e)  In addition, under this section, agent banks may

14  perform ministerial functions for the principal bank making a

15  loan. Ministerial functions include, but are not limited to,

16  such activities as providing loan applications, assembling

17  documents, providing a location for returning documents

18  necessary for making the loan, providing loan account

19  information, and receiving payments. It does not include such

20  loan functions as evaluating applications or disbursing loan

21  funds.

22         Section 99.  Subsection (5) of section 658.33, Florida

23  Statutes, is amended to read:

24         658.33  Directors, number, qualifications; officers.--

25         (5)  The president, or chief executive officer, or any

26  other person, regardless of title, who has equivalent rank or

27  leads the overall operations of a bank or trust company must

28  have had at least 1 year of direct experience as an executive

29  officer, director, or regulator of a financial institution

30  within the last 3 years. This requirement may be waived by the

31  office after considering the overall experience and expertise


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 1  of the proposed officer and the condition of the bank or trust

 2  company, as reflected in the most recent regulatory

 3  examination report and other available data.

 4         Section 100.  Section 658.37, Florida Statutes, is

 5  amended to read:

 6         658.37  Dividends and surplus.--

 7         (1)  The directors of any bank or trust company, after

 8  charging off bad debts, depreciation, and other worthless

 9  assets if any, and making provision for reasonably anticipated

10  future losses on loans and other assets, may quarterly,

11  semiannually, or annually declare a dividend of so much of the

12  aggregate of the net profits of that period combined with its

13  retained net profits of the preceding 2 years as they shall

14  judge expedient, and, with the approval of the office, any

15  bank or trust company may declare a dividend from retained net

16  profits which accrued prior to the preceding 2 years, but each

17  bank or trust company shall, before the declaration of a

18  dividend on its common stock, carry 20 percent of its net

19  profits for such preceding period as is covered by the

20  dividend to its surplus fund, until the same shall at least

21  equal the amount of its common and preferred stock then issued

22  and outstanding. No bank or trust company shall declare any

23  dividend at any time at which its net income from the current

24  year combined with the retained net income from the preceding

25  2 years is a loss or which would cause the capital accounts of

26  the bank or trust company to fall below the minimum amount

27  required by law, regulation, order, or any written agreement

28  with the office or a state or federal regulatory agency. A

29  bank or trust company may, however, split up or divide the

30  issued shares of capital stock into a greater number of shares

31  without increasing or decreasing the capital accounts of the


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 1  bank or trust company, and such shall not be construed to be a

 2  dividend within the meaning of this section.

 3         (2)  A bank that has been determined to be imminently

 4  insolvent may not pay a dividend.

 5         Section 101.  Present subsection (10) of section

 6  658.48, Florida Statutes, is redesignated as subsection (11),

 7  and a new subsection (10) is added to that section, to read:

 8         658.48  Loans.--A state bank may make loans and

 9  extensions of credit, with or without security, subject to the

10  following limitations and provisions:

11         (10)  IMMINENTLY INSOLVENT BANK.--When the office has

12  determined that a state bank is imminently insolvent, the bank

13  may not make any new loans or discounts other than by

14  discounting or purchasing bills of exchange payable at sight.

15         Section 102.  Paragraph (a) of subsection (9) of

16  section 658.67, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

17         658.67  Investment powers and limitations.--A bank may

18  invest its funds, and a trust company may invest its corporate

19  funds, subject to the following definitions, restrictions, and

20  limitations:

21         (9)  ACQUISITIONS OF PROPERTY AS SECURITY.--A bank or

22  trust company may acquire property of any kind to secure,

23  protect, or satisfy a loan or investment previously made in

24  good faith, and such property shall be entered on the books of

25  the bank or trust company and held and disposed of subject to

26  the following conditions and limitations:

27         (a)  The book entry shall be the lesser of the balance

28  of the loan or investment plus acquisition costs and accrued

29  interest or the appraisal value or market value of the

30  property acquired which shall be determined and dated within 1

31  


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 1  year prior to or 90 days after the date of acquisition and in

 2  compliance with s. 655.60.

 3         Section 103.  Subsection (4) of section 658.73, Florida

 4  Statutes, is amended to read:

 5         658.73  Fees and assessments.--

 6         (4)  Any individual or entity other than a financial

 7  institution chartered in this state must Each state bank and

 8  state trust company shall pay to the office $25 for each

 9  "certificate of good standing" certifying that a

10  state-chartered financial institution is licensed to conduct

11  business in this state under the financial institutions codes.

12  All such requests shall be in writing. The office shall waive

13  this fee when the request is by a state or federal regulatory

14  agency or law enforcement agency.

15         Section 104.  Subsections (4) and (7) of section

16  663.16, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

17         663.16  Definitions; ss. 663.17-663.181.--As used in

18  ss. 663.17-663.181, the term:

19         (4)  Except where the context otherwise requires,

20  "international banking corporation" or "corporation" means any

21  international bank agency or branch operating in this state.

22         (7)  "Control" means any person or group of persons

23  acting in concert, directly or indirectly, owning,

24  controlling, or holding the power to vote 25 more than 50

25  percent or more of the voting stock of a company, or having

26  the ability in any manner to elect a majority of directors of

27  a corporation, or otherwise exercising a controlling influence

28  over the management and policies of a corporation as

29  determined by the office.

30         Section 105.  Subsection (1) of section 663.304,

31  Florida Statutes, is amended to read:


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 1         663.304  Application for authority to organize an

 2  international development bank.--

 3         (1)  A written application for authority to organize an

 4  international development bank shall be filed with the office

 5  by the proposed incorporator and shall include:

 6         (a)  The name, residence, and occupation of each

 7  incorporator and proposed director.

 8         (b)  The proposed corporate name and evidence of

 9  reservation of the proposed corporate name with the Department

10  of State.

11         (b)(c)  The total initial capital and the number of

12  shares of capital stock to be authorized.

13         (c)(d)  The location, by street and post-office address

14  and county, of the principal office of the proposed

15  international development bank.

16         (d)(e)  If known, the name and residence of the

17  proposed president and the proposed chief executive officer,

18  if other than the proposed president.

19         (e)(f)  Such detailed financial, business, and

20  biographical information as the commission or office may

21  reasonably require for each proposed director and for the

22  proposed president and the proposed chief executive officer,

23  if other than the president.

24         Section 106.  Paragraph (a) of subsection (4) of

25  section 665.034, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

26         665.034  Acquisition of assets of or control over an

27  association.--

28         (4)  For purposes of this section, a person or group of

29  persons shall be deemed to have control of an association if

30  such person or group of persons:

31  


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 1         (a)  Directly or indirectly, or acting in concert with

 2  one or more persons or through one or more subsidiaries, owns,

 3  controls, holds with powers to vote, or holds proxies

 4  representing more than 25 percent or more of the voting common

 5  stock of such association.

 6         Section 107.  Subsections (2) and (6) of section

 7  674.406, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

 8         674.406  Customer's duty to discover and report

 9  unauthorized signature or alteration.--

10         (2)  If the items are not returned to the customer, the

11  person retaining the items shall either retain the items or,

12  if the items are destroyed, maintain the capacity to furnish

13  legible copies of the items until the expiration of 5 7 years

14  after receipt of the items. A customer may request an item

15  from the bank that paid the item, and that bank must provide

16  in a reasonable time either the item or, if the item has been

17  destroyed or is not otherwise obtainable, a legible copy of

18  the item.

19         (6)  Without regard to care or lack of care of either

20  the customer or the bank, a customer who does not within 180

21  days 1 year after the statement or items are made available to

22  the customer (subsection (1)) discover and report the

23  customer's unauthorized signature on or any alteration on the

24  item or who does not, within 1 year after that time, discover,

25  and report any unauthorized endorsement is precluded from

26  asserting against the bank the unauthorized signature or

27  alteration.  If there is a preclusion under this subsection,

28  the payor bank may not recover for breach of warranty under s.

29  674.2081 with respect to the unauthorized signature or

30  alteration to which the preclusion applies.

31  


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 1         Section 108.  Section 658.68, Florida Statutes, is

 2  repealed.

 3         Section 109.  Subsection (4) is added to section

 4  627.4133, Florida Statutes, to read:

 5         627.4133  Notice of cancellation, nonrenewal, or

 6  renewal premium.--

 7         (4)  Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 440.42(3), if

 8  cancellation of a policy providing coverage for workers'

 9  compensation and employer's liability insurance is requested

10  by the insured, such cancellation shall be effective on the

11  date the carrier sends the notice of cancellation to the

12  insured.

13         Section 110.  Subsection (15) of section 717.101,

14  Florida Statutes, is renumbered as subsection (16) and

15  amended, subsections (5) through (18) are renumbered as

16  subsections (6) through (19), respectively, present subsection

17  (19) is renumbered as subsection (21), and new subsections (5)

18  and (20) are added to that section, to read:

19         717.101  Definitions.--As used in this chapter, unless

20  the context otherwise requires:

21         (5)  "Claimant" means the person on whose behalf a

22  claim is filed.

23         (16)(15)  "Owner" means a depositor in the case of a

24  deposit, a beneficiary in case of a trust or other than a

25  deposit in trust, a claimant, or a payee in the case of other

26  intangible property, or a person having a legal or equitable

27  interest in property subject to this chapter or his or her

28  legal representative.

29         (20)  "Ultimate equitable owner" means a natural person

30  who, directly or indirectly, owns or controls an ownership

31  interest in a corporation, a foreign corporation, an alien


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 1  business organization, or any other form of business

 2  organization, regardless of whether such natural person owns

 3  or controls such ownership interest through one or more

 4  natural persons or one or more proxies, powers of attorney,

 5  nominees, corporations, associations, partnerships, trusts,

 6  joint stock companies, or other entities or devices, or any

 7  combination thereof.

 8         Section 111.  Subsection (1) of section 717.106,

 9  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

10         717.106  Bank deposits and funds in financial

11  organizations.--

12         (1)  Any demand, savings, or matured time deposit with

13  a banking or financial organization, including deposits that

14  are automatically renewable, and any funds paid toward the

15  purchase of shares, a mutual investment certificate, or any

16  other interest in a banking or financial organization is

17  presumed unclaimed unless the owner has, within 5 years:

18         (a)  Increased or decreased the amount of the deposit

19  or presented the passbook or other similar evidence of the

20  deposit for the crediting of interest;

21         (b)  Communicated in writing or by telephone with the

22  banking or financial organization concerning the property;

23         (c)  Otherwise indicated an interest in the property as

24  evidenced by a memorandum or other record on file with the

25  banking or financial organization;

26         (d)  Owned other property to which paragraph (a),

27  paragraph (b), or paragraph (c) is applicable and if the

28  banking or financial organization communicates in writing with

29  the owner with regard to the property that would otherwise be

30  presumed unclaimed under this subsection at the address to

31  


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 1  which communications regarding the other property regularly

 2  are sent; or

 3         (e)  Had another relationship with the banking or

 4  financial organization concerning which the owner has:

 5         1.  Communicated in writing with the banking or

 6  financial organization; or

 7         2.  Otherwise indicated an interest as evidenced by a

 8  memorandum or other record on file with the banking or

 9  financial organization and if the banking or financial

10  organization communicates in writing with the owner with

11  regard to the property that would otherwise be unclaimed under

12  this subsection at the address to which communications

13  regarding the other relationship regularly are sent; or

14         (f)  Received first-class mail from the banking or

15  financial organization or a subsidiary of such banking or

16  financial organization, which was not returned as

17  undeliverable, in the ordinary course of business at the

18  address reflected in the banking or financial organization's

19  records.

20         Section 112.  Subsection (1) of section 717.107,

21  Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

22         717.107  Funds owing under life insurance policies.--

23         (1)  Funds held or owing under any life or endowment

24  insurance policy or annuity contract which has matured or

25  terminated are presumed unclaimed if unclaimed for more than 5

26  years after the funds became due and payable as established

27  from the records of the insurance company holding or owing the

28  funds, but property described in paragraph (3)(b) is presumed

29  unclaimed if such property is not claimed for more than 2

30  years. The amount presumed unclaimed shall include any amount

31  due and payable under s. 627.4615.


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 1         Section 113.  Section 717.109, Florida Statutes, is

 2  amended to read:

 3         717.109  Refunds held by business associations.--Except

 4  as to the extent otherwise provided ordered by law the court

 5  or administrative agency, any sum that a business association

 6  has been ordered to refund by a court or administrative agency

 7  which has been unclaimed by the owner for more than 1 year

 8  after it became payable in accordance with the final

 9  determination or order providing for the refund, regardless of

10  whether the final determination or order requires any person

11  entitled to a refund to make a claim for it, is presumed

12  unclaimed.

13         Section 114.  Section 717.116, Florida Statutes, is

14  amended to read:

15         717.116  Contents of safe-deposit box or other

16  safekeeping repository.--All tangible and intangible property

17  held by a banking or financial organization in a safe-deposit

18  box or any other safekeeping repository in this state in the

19  ordinary course of the holder's business, and proceeds

20  resulting from the sale of the property permitted by law, that

21  has not been claimed by the owner for more than 3 years after

22  the lease or rental period on the box or other repository has

23  expired are presumed unclaimed.

24         Section 115.  Subsections (1), (3), (4), and (7) of

25  section 717.117, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

26         717.117  Report of unclaimed property.--

27         (1)  Every person holding funds or other property,

28  tangible or intangible, presumed unclaimed and subject to

29  custody as unclaimed property under this chapter shall report

30  to the department on such forms as the department may

31  prescribe by rule. In lieu of forms, a report identifying 25


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 1  or more different apparent owners must be submitted by the

 2  holder may submit the required information via electronic

 3  medium as the department may prescribe by rule. The report

 4  must include:

 5         (a)  Except for traveler's checks and money orders, the

 6  name, social security number or taxpayer identification

 7  number, and date of birth, if known, and last known address,

 8  if any, of each person appearing from the records of the

 9  holder to be the owner of any property which is presumed

10  unclaimed and which has a value of $50 or more.

11         (b)  For unclaimed funds which have a value of $50 or

12  more held or owing under any life or endowment insurance

13  policy or annuity contract, the full name, taxpayer

14  identification number or social security number, date of

15  birth, if known, and last known address of the insured or

16  annuitant and of the beneficiary according to records of the

17  insurance company holding or owing the funds.

18         (c)  For all tangible property held in a safe-deposit

19  box or other safekeeping repository, a description of the

20  property and the place where the property is held and may be

21  inspected by the department, and any amounts owing to the

22  holder. Contents of a safe-deposit box or other safekeeping

23  repository which consist of documents or writings of a private

24  nature and which have little or no apparent value shall not be

25  presumed unclaimed.

26         (d)  The nature and identifying number, if any, or

27  description of the property and the amount appearing from the

28  records to be due. Items of value under $50 each may be

29  reported in the aggregate.

30  

31  


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 1         (e)  The date the property became payable, demandable,

 2  or returnable, and the date of the last transaction with the

 3  apparent owner with respect to the property.

 4         (f)  Any person or business association or public

 5  corporation entity holding funds presumed unclaimed and having

 6  a total value of $10 or less may file a zero balance report

 7  for that reporting period. The balance brought forward to the

 8  new reporting period is zero.

 9         (g)  Such other information as the department may

10  prescribe by rule as necessary for the administration of this

11  chapter.

12         (h)  Credit balances, customer overpayments, security

13  deposits, and refunds having a value of less than $10 shall

14  not be presumed unclaimed.

15         (3)  The report must be filed before May 1 of each

16  year. Such report shall apply to the preceding calendar year.

17  If such report is not filed on or before the applicable filing

18  date, the holder shall pay to The department may impose and

19  collect a penalty of $10 per day up to a maximum of for each

20  day the report is delinquent, but such penalty shall not

21  exceed $500 for the failure to timely report or the failure to

22  include in a report information required by this chapter. The

23  penalty shall be remitted to the department within 30 days

24  after the date of the notification to the holder that the

25  penalty is due and owing. As necessary for proper

26  administration of this chapter, the department may waive any

27  penalty due with appropriate justification. On written request

28  by any person required to file a report and upon a showing of

29  good cause, the department may postpone the reporting date.

30  The department must provide information contained in a report

31  filed with the department to any person requesting a copy of


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 1  the report or information contained in a report, to the extent

 2  the information requested is not confidential, within 90 days

 3  after the report has been processed and added to the unclaimed

 4  property data base subsequent to a determination that the

 5  report is accurate and that the reported property is the same

 6  as the remitted property.

 7         (4)  Holders of inactive accounts having a value of $50

 8  or more shall use due diligence to locate apparent owners.

 9         (a)  When an owner's account becomes inactive, the

10  holder shall conduct at least one search for the apparent

11  owner using due diligence. For purposes of this section,

12  except for banks, credit unions, and state or federal savings

13  associations, an account is inactive if 2 years have

14  transpired after the last owner-initiated account activity, if

15  2 years have transpired after the expiration date on the

16  instrument or contract, or if 2 years have transpired since

17  first-class mail has been returned as undeliverable. With

18  respect to banks, credit unions, and state or federal savings

19  associations, an account is inactive if 2 years have

20  transpired after the last owner-initiated account activity and

21  first-class mail has been returned as undeliverable or 2 years

22  after the expiration date on the instrument or contract and

23  first-class mail has been returned as undeliverable.

24         (b)1.  Within 180 days after an account becomes

25  inactive, the holder shall conduct a search to locate the

26  apparent owner of the property. The holder may satisfy such

27  requirement by conducting one annual search for the owners of

28  all accounts which have become inactive during the prior year.

29         (c)2.  Within 30 days after receiving updated address

30  information, the holder shall provide notice by telephone or

31  first-class mail to the current address notifying the apparent


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 1  owner that the holder is in possession of property which is

 2  presumed unclaimed and may be remitted to the department. The

 3  notice shall also provide the apparent owner with the address

 4  or the telephone number of an office where the apparent owner

 5  may claim the property or reestablish the inactive account.

 6         (d)  The account shall be presumed unclaimed if the

 7  holder is not able to contact the apparent owner by telephone,

 8  the first-class mail notice is returned to the holder as

 9  undeliverable, or the apparent owner does not contact the

10  holder in response to the first-class mail notice.

11         (b)  The claim of the apparent owner is not barred by

12  the statute of limitations.

13         (7)(a)  This section does shall not apply to the

14  unclaimed patronage refunds as provided for by contract or

15  through bylaw provisions of entities organized under chapter

16  425.

17         (b)  This section does not apply to intangible property

18  held, issued, or owing by a business association subject to

19  the jurisdiction of the United States Surface Transportation

20  Board or its successor federal agency if the apparent owner of

21  such intangible property is a business association. The holder

22  of such property does not have any obligation to report, to

23  pay, or to deliver such property to the department.

24         Section 116.  Section 717.118, Florida Statutes, is

25  amended to read:

26         717.118  Notification of apparent owners Notice and

27  publication of lists of unclaimed property.--

28         (1)  It is specifically recognized that the state has

29  an obligation to make an effort to notify owners of unclaimed

30  property in a cost-effective manner. In order to provide all

31  the citizens of this state an effective and efficient program


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 1  for the recovery of unclaimed property, the department shall

 2  use cost-effective means to make at least one active attempt

 3  to notify owners of unclaimed property accounts valued at more

 4  than $100 with a reported address or taxpayer identification

 5  number the existence of unclaimed property held by the

 6  department. Such active attempt to notify locate apparent

 7  owners shall include any attempt by the department to directly

 8  contact the owner. Other means of notification, such as

 9  publication of the names of owners in the newspaper, on

10  television, on the Internet, or through other promotional

11  efforts and items in which the department does not directly

12  attempt to contact the owner are expressly declared to be

13  passive attempts. Nothing in this subsection precludes other

14  agencies or entities of state government from notifying owners

15  of the existence of unclaimed property or attempting to notify

16  locate apparent owners of unclaimed property.

17         (2)  The following notification requirements shall

18  apply:

19         (a)  Notifications that are published or televised may

20  consist of the names of apparent owners of unclaimed property,

21  and information regarding recovery of unclaimed property from

22  the department. Such notification may be televised or

23  published in the county in which the last known address of the

24  apparent owner is located or, if the address is unknown, in

25  the county in which the holder has its principal place of

26  business. Published notifications may be in accordance with s.

27  50.011.

28         (b)  Notification provided directly to individual

29  apparent owners shall consist of a description of the property

30  and information regarding recovery of unclaimed property from

31  the department.


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 1         (3)  The department may publish in the notice any items

 2  of more than $100.

 3         (3)(4)  This section is not applicable to sums payable

 4  on traveler's checks, money orders, and other written

 5  instruments presumed unclaimed under s. 717.104.

 6         Section 117.  Subsection (5) of section 717.119,

 7  Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

 8         717.119  Payment or delivery of unclaimed property.--

 9         (5)  All intangible and tangible property held in a

10  safe-deposit box or any other safekeeping repository reported

11  under s. 717.117 shall not be delivered to the department

12  until 120 days after the report due date. The delivery of the

13  property, through the United States mail or any other carrier,

14  shall be insured by the holder at an amount equal to the

15  estimated value of the property. Each package shall be clearly

16  marked on the outside "Deliver Unopened." A holder's

17  safe-deposit box contents shall be delivered to the department

18  in a single shipment. In lieu of a single shipment, holders

19  may provide the department with a single detailed shipping

20  schedule that includes package tracking information for all

21  packages being sent pursuant to this section.

22         (a)  Holders may remit the value of cash and coins

23  found in unclaimed safe-deposit boxes to the department by

24  cashier's check or by electronic funds transfer, unless the

25  cash or coins have a value above face value. The department

26  shall identify by rule those cash and coin items having a

27  numismatic value. Cash and coin items identified as having a

28  numismatic value shall be remitted to the department in their

29  original form.

30         (b)  Any firearm or ammunition found in an unclaimed

31  safe-deposit box or any other safekeeping repository shall be


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 1  delivered by the holder to a law enforcement agency for

 2  disposal. However, the department is authorized to make a

 3  reasonable attempt to ascertain the historical value to

 4  collectors of any firearm that has been delivered to the

 5  department. Any firearm appearing to have historical value to

 6  collectors may be sold by the department pursuant to s.

 7  717.122 to a person having a federal firearms license. Any

 8  firearm which is not sold pursuant to s. 717.122 shall be

 9  delivered by the department to a law enforcement agency in

10  this state for disposal. The department shall not be

11  administratively, civilly, or criminally liable for any

12  firearm delivered by the department to a law enforcement

13  agency in this state for disposal.

14         (c)  If such property is not paid or delivered to the

15  department on or before the applicable payment or delivery

16  date, the holder shall pay to the department a penalty of $10

17  for each safe-deposit box shipment received late, but such

18  penalty shall not exceed $1,000. The penalty shall be $100 for

19  a safe-deposit box shipment container that is late 30 days or

20  less. Thereafter, the penalty shall be $500 for a safe-deposit

21  box shipment container that is late for each additional

22  successive 30-day period. The penalty assessed against a

23  holder for a late safe-deposit box shipment container shall

24  not exceed $4,000 annually. The penalty shall be remitted to

25  the department within 30 days after the date of the

26  notification to the holder that the penalty is due and owing.

27         (d)  The department may waive any penalty due with

28  appropriate justification, as provided by rule.

29         (e)  Upon written request by any person required to

30  deliver safe-deposit box contents, the department may postpone

31  the delivery.


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 1         Section 118.  Subsection (2) of section 717.1201,

 2  Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

 3         717.1201  Custody by state; holder relieved from

 4  liability; reimbursement of holder paying claim; reclaiming

 5  for owner; defense of holder; payment of safe-deposit box or

 6  repository charges.--

 7         (2)  Any holder who has paid money to the department

 8  pursuant to this chapter may make payment to any person

 9  appearing to the holder to be entitled to payment and, upon

10  filing proof of payment and proof that the payee is was

11  entitled thereto, the department shall forthwith repay

12  reimburse the holder for the payment without deduction of any

13  fee or other charges. If repayment reimbursement is sought for

14  a payment made on a negotiable instrument, including a

15  traveler's check or money order, the holder must be repaid

16  reimbursed under this subsection upon filing proof that the

17  instrument was duly presented and that the payee is payment

18  was made to a person who appeared to the holder to be entitled

19  to payment. The holder shall be repaid reimbursed for payment

20  made under this subsection even if the payment was made to a

21  person whose claim was barred under s. 717.129(1).

22         Section 119.  Subsections (1) and (3) of section

23  717.122, Florida Statutes, are amended, and subsection (5) is

24  added to that section, to read:

25         717.122  Public sale of unclaimed property.--

26         (1)  Except as provided in subsection (2), the

27  department after the receipt of unclaimed property shall sell

28  it to the highest bidder at public sale on the Internet or at

29  a specified physical location wherever in the judgment of the

30  department the most favorable market for the property involved

31  exists. The department may decline the highest bid and reoffer


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 1  the property for sale if in the judgment of the department the

 2  bid is insufficient. The department shall have the discretion

 3  to withhold from sale any unclaimed property that the

 4  department deems to be of benefit to the people of the state.

 5  If in the judgment of the department the probable cost of sale

 6  exceeds the value of the property, it need not be offered for

 7  sale and may be disposed of as the department determines

 8  appropriate. Any sale at a specified physical location held

 9  under this section must be preceded by a single publication of

10  notice, at least 3 weeks in advance of sale, in a newspaper of

11  general circulation in the county in which the property is to

12  be sold. The department shall proportionately deduct auction

13  fees, preparation costs, and expenses from the amount posted

14  to the owner's account when safe-deposit box contents are

15  sold. No action or proceeding may be maintained against the

16  department for or on account of any decision to decline the

17  highest bid or withhold any unclaimed property from sale.

18         (3)  Unless the department deems it to be in the public

19  interest to do otherwise, all securities presumed unclaimed

20  and delivered to the department may be sold upon receipt. Any

21  person making a claim pursuant to this chapter is entitled to

22  receive either the securities delivered to the department by

23  the holder, if they still remain in the hands of the

24  department, or the proceeds received from sale, less any

25  amounts deducted pursuant to subsection (2), but no person has

26  any claim under this chapter against the state, the holder,

27  any transfer agent, any registrar, or any other person acting

28  for or on behalf of a holder for any appreciation in the value

29  of the property occurring after delivery by the holder to the

30  state.

31  


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 1         (5)  The sale of unclaimed tangible personal property

 2  is not subject to tax under chapter 212 when such property is

 3  sold by or on behalf of the department pursuant to this

 4  section.

 5         Section 120.  Subsection (1) of section 717.123,

 6  Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

 7         717.123  Deposit of funds.--

 8         (1)  All funds received under this chapter, including

 9  the proceeds from the sale of unclaimed property under s.

10  717.122, shall forthwith be deposited by the department in the

11  Unclaimed Property Trust Fund. The department shall retain,

12  from funds received under this chapter, an amount not

13  exceeding $15 $8 million from which the department shall make

14  prompt payment of claims allowed by the department and shall

15  pay the costs incurred by the department in administering and

16  enforcing this chapter. All remaining funds received by the

17  department under this chapter shall be deposited by the

18  department into the State School Fund.

19         Section 121.  Section 717.124, Florida Statutes, is

20  amended to read:

21         717.124  Unclaimed property claims Filing of claim with

22  department.--

23         (1)  Any person, excluding another state, claiming an

24  interest in any property paid or delivered to the department

25  under this chapter may file with the department a claim on a

26  form prescribed by the department and verified by the claimant

27  or the claimant's representative. The claimant's

28  representative must be an attorney licensed to practice law in

29  this state, a licensed Florida-certified public accountant, or

30  a private investigator licensed under chapter 493. The

31  claimant's representative must be registered with the


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 1  department under this chapter. The claimant, or the claimant's

 2  representative, shall provide the department with a legible

 3  copy of a valid driver's license of the claimant at the time

 4  the original claim form is filed. If the claimant has not been

 5  issued a valid driver's license at the time the original claim

 6  form is filed, the department shall be provided with a legible

 7  copy of a photographic identification of the claimant issued

 8  by the United States or a foreign nation, a state or territory

 9  of the United States or foreign nation, or a political

10  subdivision or agency thereof.  In lieu of photographic

11  identification, a notarized sworn statement by the claimant

12  may be provided which affirms the claimant's identity and

13  states the claimant's full name and address. Any claim filed

14  without the required identification or the sworn statement

15  with the original claim form and the original power of

16  attorney, if applicable, is void.

17         (a)  Within 90 days after receipt of a claim, the

18  department may return any claim that provides for the receipt

19  of fees and costs greater than that permitted under this

20  chapter or that contains any apparent errors or omissions. The

21  department may also request that the claimant or the

22  claimant's representative provide additional information. The

23  department shall retain a copy or electronic image of the

24  claim.

25         (b)  A claimant or the claimant's representative shall

26  be deemed to have withdrawn a claim if no response to the

27  department's request for additional information is received by

28  the department within 60 days after the notification of any

29  apparent errors or omissions.

30         (c)  Within 90 days after receipt of the claim, or the

31  response of the claimant or the claimant's representative to


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 1  the department's request for additional information, whichever

 2  is later, the department shall determine each claim within 90

 3  days after it is filed. Such determination shall contain a

 4  notice of rights provided by ss. 120.569 and 120.57. The

 5  90-day period shall be extended by 60 days if the department

 6  has good cause to need additional time or if the unclaimed

 7  property:

 8         1.  Is owned by a person who has been a debtor in

 9  bankruptcy;

10         2.  Was reported with an address outside of the United

11  States;

12         3.  Is being claimed by a person outside of the United

13  States; or

14         4.  Contains documents filed in support of the claim

15  that are not in the English language and have not been

16  accompanied by an English language translation.

17         (d)  The department shall deny any claim under which

18  the claimant's representative has refused to authorize the

19  department to reduce the fees and costs to the maximum

20  permitted under this chapter.

21         (2)  A claim for a cashier's check or a stock

22  certificate without the original instrument may require an

23  indemnity bond equal to the value of the claim to be provided

24  prior to issue of the stock or payment of the claim by the

25  department.

26         (3)  The department may require an affidavit swearing

27  to the authenticity of the claim, lack of documentation, and

28  an agreement to allow the department to provide the name and

29  address of the claimant to subsequent claimants coming forward

30  with substantiated proof to claim the account. This shall

31  apply to claims equal to or less than $250. The exclusive


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 1  remedy of a subsequent claimant to the property shall be

 2  against the person who received the property from the

 3  department.

 4         (4)(a)  Except as otherwise provided in this chapter,

 5  if a claim is determined in favor of the claimant, the

 6  department shall deliver or pay over to the claimant the

 7  property or the amount the department actually received or the

 8  proceeds if it has been sold by the department, together with

 9  any additional amount required by s. 717.121.

10         (b)(5)(a)  If an owner authorizes an attorney licensed

11  to practice law in this state, Florida-certified public

12  accountant, or private investigator licensed under chapter

13  493, and registered with the department under this chapter,

14  investigative agency which is duly licensed to do business in

15  this state to claim the unclaimed property on the owner's

16  behalf, the department is authorized to make distribution of

17  the property or money in accordance with such power of

18  attorney. The original power of attorney must be executed by

19  the owner and must be filed with the department.

20         (c)(b)1.  Payments of approved claims for unclaimed

21  cash accounts shall be made to the owner after deducting any

22  fees and costs authorized pursuant to a written power of

23  attorney. The contents of a safe-deposit box shall be

24  delivered directly to the claimant notwithstanding any

25  agreement to the contrary.

26         2.  Payments of fees and costs authorized pursuant to a

27  written power of attorney for approved cash claims shall be

28  made or issued forwarded to the law firm employer of the

29  designated attorney licensed to practice law in this state,

30  the public accountancy firm employer of the licensed

31  Florida-certified public accountant, or the designated


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 1  employing private investigative agency licensed by this state.

 2  Such payments shall may be made by electronic funds transfer

 3  and may be made on such periodic schedule as the department

 4  may define by rule, provided the payment intervals do not

 5  exceed 31 days. Payment made to an attorney licensed in this

 6  state, a Florida-certified public accountant, or a private

 7  investigator licensed under chapter 493, operating

 8  individually or as a sole practitioner, shall be to the

 9  attorney, certified public accountant, or private

10  investigator.

11         3.  Payments of approved claims for unclaimed

12  securities and other intangible ownership interests made to an

13  attorney, Florida-certified public accountant, or private

14  investigative agency shall be promptly deposited into a trust

15  or escrow account which is regularly maintained by the

16  attorney, Florida-certified public accountant, or the private

17  investigative agency in a financial institution authorized to

18  accept such deposits and located in this state.

19         (c)  Distribution of unclaimed property by the

20  attorney, Florida-certified public accountant, or private

21  investigative agency to the claimant shall be made within 10

22  days following final credit of the deposit into the trust or

23  escrow account at the financial institution, unless a party to

24  the agreement protests in writing such distribution before it

25  is made.

26         (5)(6)  The department shall not be administratively,

27  civilly, or criminally liable for any property or funds

28  distributed pursuant to this section, provided such

29  distribution is made in good faith.

30         (6)  This section does not supersede the licensing

31  requirements of chapter 493.


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 1         Section 122.  Section 717.12403, Florida Statutes, is

 2  created to read:

 3         717.12403  Unclaimed demand, savings, or checking

 4  account in a financial institution held in the name of more

 5  than one person.--

 6         (1)(a)  If an unclaimed demand, savings, or checking

 7  account in a financial institution is reported as an "and"

 8  account in the name of two or more persons who are not

 9  beneficiaries, it is presumed that each person must claim the

10  account in order for the claim to be approved by the

11  department. This presumption may be rebutted by showing that

12  entitlement to the account has been transferred to another

13  person or by clear and convincing evidence demonstrating that

14  the account should have been reported by the financial

15  institution as an "or" account.

16         (b)  If an unclaimed demand, savings, or checking

17  account in a financial institution is reported as an "and"

18  account and one of the persons on the account is deceased, it

19  is presumed that the account is a survivorship account. This

20  presumption may be rebutted by showing that entitlement to the

21  account has been transferred to another person or by clear and

22  convincing evidence demonstrating that the account is not a

23  survivorship account.

24         (2)  If an unclaimed demand, savings, or checking

25  account in a financial institution is reported as an "or"

26  account in the name of two or more persons who are not

27  beneficiaries, it is presumed that either person listed on the

28  account may claim the entire amount held in the account. This

29  presumption may be rebutted by showing that entitlement to the

30  account has been transferred to another person or by clear and

31  convincing evidence demonstrating that the account should have


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 1  been reported by the financial institution as an "and"

 2  account.

 3         (3)  If an unclaimed demand, savings, or checking

 4  account in a financial institution is reported in the name of

 5  two or more persons who are not beneficiaries without

 6  identifying whether the account is an "and" account or an "or"

 7  account, it is presumed that the account is an "or" account.

 8  This presumption may be rebutted by showing that entitlement

 9  to the account has been transferred to another person or by

10  clear and convincing evidence demonstrating that the account

11  should have been reported by the financial institution as an

12  "and" account.

13         (4)  The department shall be deemed to have made a

14  distribution in good faith if the department remits funds

15  consistent with this section.

16         Section 123.  Section 717.12404, Florida Statutes, is

17  created to read:

18         717.12404  Claims on behalf of a business entity or

19  trust.--

20         (1)  Claims on behalf of an active or dissolved

21  corporation, for which the last annual report is not available

22  from the Department of State through the Internet, must be

23  accompanied by a microfiche copy of the records on file with

24  the Department of State or, if the corporation has not made a

25  corporate filing with the Department of State, an

26  authenticated copy of the last corporate filing identifying

27  the officers and directors from the appropriate authorized

28  official of the state of incorporation. A claim on behalf of a

29  corporation must be made by an officer or director identified

30  on the last corporate filing.

31  


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 1         (2)  Claims on behalf of a dissolved corporation, a

 2  business entity other than an active corporation, or a trust

 3  must include a legible copy of a valid driver's license of the

 4  person acting on behalf of the dissolved corporation, business

 5  entity other than an active corporation, or trust. If the

 6  person has not been issued a valid driver's license, the

 7  department shall be provided with a legible copy of a

 8  photographic identification of the person issued by the United

 9  States or a foreign nation, or a political subdivision or

10  agency thereof. In lieu of photographic identification, a

11  notarized sworn statement by the person may be provided which

12  affirms the person's identity and states the person's full

13  name and address. Any claim filed without the required

14  identification or the sworn statement with the original claim

15  form and the original power of attorney, if applicable, is

16  void.

17         Section 124.  Section 717.12405, Florida Statutes, is

18  created to read:

19         717.12405  Claims by estates.--An estate or any person

20  representing an estate or acting on behalf of an estate may

21  claim unclaimed property only after the heir or legatee of the

22  decedent entitled to the property has been located. Any

23  estate, or any person representing an estate or acting on

24  behalf of an estate, that receives unclaimed property before

25  the heir or legatee of the decedent entitled to the property

26  has been located, is personally liable for the unclaimed

27  property and must immediately return the full amount of the

28  unclaimed property or the value thereof to the department in

29  accordance with s. 717.1341.

30  

31  


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 1         Section 125.  Subsection (1) of section 717.1241,

 2  Florida Statutes, is amended, and subsection (3) is added to

 3  said section, to read:

 4         717.1241  Conflicting claims.--

 5         (1)  When ownership has been established but

 6  conflicting claims have been received by the department, the

 7  property shall be remitted as follows, notwithstanding the

 8  withdrawal of a claim to the:

 9         (a)  As between an owner and an owner's representative:

10         1.  To the person submitting the first claim that is

11  complete or made complete received by the department; or

12         2.  If an owner's claim and an owner's representative's

13  claim are received by the department on the same day and both

14  claims are complete, to the owner;

15         (b)  As between two or more owner's representatives, to

16  the owner's representative who has submitted the first claim

17  that is complete or made complete Owner if an owner's claim

18  and an owner's representative's claim are received by the

19  department on the same day; or

20         (c)  As between two or more owner's representatives

21  whose claims were complete on the same day, to the owner's

22  representative who has agreed to receive the lowest fee. If

23  two or more owner's representatives whose claims were complete

24  on the same day are charging the same lowest fee, the fees

25  shall be divided equally between the owner's representatives

26  Owner's representative who has the earliest dated contract

27  with the owner if claims by two or more owner's

28  representatives are received by the department on the same

29  day.

30         (3)  A claim is complete when entitlement to the

31  unclaimed property has been established.


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 1         Section 126.  Subsection (1) of section 717.1242,

 2  Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

 3         717.1242  Restatement of jurisdiction of the circuit

 4  court sitting in probate and the department.--

 5         (1)  It is and has been the intent of the Legislature

 6  that, pursuant to s. 26.012(2)(b), circuit courts have

 7  jurisdiction of proceedings relating to the settlement of the

 8  estates of decedents and other jurisdiction usually pertaining

 9  to courts of probate. It is and has been the intent of the

10  Legislature that, pursuant to s. 717.124, the department

11  determines the merits of claims for property paid or delivered

12  to the department under this chapter. Consistent with this

13  legislative intent, any estate or beneficiary, as defined in

14  s. 731.201, heir of an estate seeking to obtain property paid

15  or delivered to the department under this chapter must file a

16  claim with the department as provided in s. 717.124.

17         Section 127.  Section 717.1244, Florida Statutes, is

18  created to read:

19         717.1244  Determinations of unclaimed property

20  claims.--In rendering a determination regarding the merits of

21  an unclaimed property claim, the department shall rely on the

22  applicable statutory, regulatory, common, and case law. Agency

23  statements applying the statutory, regulatory, common, and

24  case law to unclaimed property claims are not agency

25  statements subject to s. 120.56(4).

26         Section 128.  Section 717.126, Florida Statutes, is

27  amended to read:

28         717.126  Administrative hearing; burden of proof; proof

29  of entitlement; venue.--

30         (1)  Any person aggrieved by a decision of the

31  department may petition for a hearing as provided in ss.


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 1  120.569 and 120.57. In any proceeding for determination of a

 2  claim to property paid or delivered to the department under

 3  this chapter, the burden shall be upon the claimant to

 4  establish entitlement to the property by a preponderance of

 5  evidence. Having the same name as that reported to the

 6  department is not sufficient, in the absence of other

 7  evidence, to prove entitlement to unclaimed property.

 8         (2)  Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, venue

 9  shall be in Tallahassee, Leon County, Florida. However, upon

10  the request of a party, the presiding officer may, in the

11  presiding officer's discretion, conduct the hearing at an

12  alternative remote video location.

13         Section 129.  Section 717.1261, Florida Statutes, is

14  created to read:

15         717.1261  Death certificates.--Any person who claims

16  entitlement to unclaimed property by means of the death of one

17  or more persons shall file a copy of the death certificate of

18  the decedent or decedents that has been certified as being

19  authentic by the issuing governmental agency.

20         Section 130.  Section 717.1262, Florida Statutes, is

21  created to read:

22         717.1262  Court documents.--Any person who claims

23  entitlement to unclaimed property by reason of a court

24  document shall file a certified copy of the court document

25  with the department.

26         Section 131.  Subsections (1) and (6) of section

27  717.1301, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

28         717.1301  Investigations; examinations; subpoenas.--

29         (1)  The department may make investigations and

30  examinations within or outside this state of claims, reports,

31  and other records within or outside this state as it deems


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 1  necessary to administer and enforce the provisions of this

 2  chapter. In such investigations and examinations the

 3  department may administer oaths, examine witnesses, issue

 4  subpoenas, and otherwise gather evidence. The department may

 5  request any person who has not filed a report under s. 717.117

 6  to file a verified report stating whether or not the person is

 7  holding any unclaimed property reportable or deliverable under

 8  this chapter.

 9         (6)  If an investigation or an examination of the

10  records of any person results in the disclosure of property

11  reportable and deliverable under this chapter, the department

12  may assess the cost of investigation or the examination

13  against the holder at the rate of $100 per 8-hour day for each

14  per investigator or examiner. Such fee shall be calculated on

15  an hourly basis and shall be rounded to the nearest hour. The

16  person shall also pay the travel expense and per diem

17  subsistence allowance provided for state employees in s.

18  112.061. The person shall not be required to pay a per diem

19  fee and expenses of an examination or investigation which

20  shall consume more than 30 worker-days in any one year unless

21  such examination or investigation is due to fraudulent

22  practices of the person, in which case such person shall be

23  required to pay the entire cost regardless of time consumed.

24  The fee shall be remitted to the department within 30 days

25  after the date of the notification that the fee is due and

26  owing. Any person who fails to pay the fee within 30 days

27  after the date of the notification that the fee is due and

28  owing shall pay to the department interest at the rate of 12

29  percent per annum on such fee from the date of the

30  notification.

31  


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 1         Section 132.  Subsection (2) of section 717.1315,

 2  Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

 3         717.1315  Retention of records by owner's

 4  representative.--

 5         (2)  An owner's representative, operating at two or

 6  more places of business in this state, may maintain the books,

 7  accounts, and records of all such offices at any one of such

 8  offices, or at any other office maintained by such owner's

 9  representative, upon the filing of a written notice with the

10  department designating in the written notice the office at

11  which such records are maintained.

12         (3)  An However, the owner's representative shall make

13  all books, accounts, and records available at a convenient

14  location in this state upon request of the department.

15         Section 133.  Subsection (2) of section 717.132,

16  Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

17         717.132  Enforcement; cease and desist orders;

18  administrative fines.--

19         (2)  In addition to any other powers conferred upon it

20  to enforce and administer the provisions of this chapter, the

21  department may issue and serve upon a person an order to cease

22  and desist and to take corrective action whenever the

23  department finds that such person is violating, has violated,

24  or is about to violate any provision of this chapter, any rule

25  or order promulgated under this chapter, or any written

26  agreement entered into with the department. For purposes of

27  this subsection, the term "corrective action" includes

28  refunding excessive charges, requiring a person to return

29  unclaimed property, requiring a holder to remit unclaimed

30  property, and requiring a holder to correct a report that

31  


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 1  contains errors or omissions. Any such order shall contain a

 2  notice of rights provided by ss. 120.569 and 120.57.

 3         Section 134.  Section 717.1322, Florida Statutes, is

 4  created to read:

 5         717.1322  Administrative enforcement.--

 6         (1)  The following acts are violations of this chapter

 7  and constitute grounds for an administrative enforcement

 8  action by the department in accordance with the requirements

 9  of chapter 120:

10         (a)  Failure to comply with any provision of this

11  chapter, any rule or order adopted under this chapter, or any

12  written agreement entered into with the department.

13         (b)  Fraud, misrepresentation, deceit, or gross

14  negligence in any matter within the scope of this chapter.

15         (c)  Fraudulent misrepresentation, circumvention, or

16  concealment of any matter required to be stated or furnished

17  to an owner or apparent owner under this chapter, regardless

18  of reliance by or damage to the owner or apparent owner.

19         (d)  Willful imposition of illegal or excessive charges

20  in any unclaimed property transaction.

21         (e)  False, deceptive, or misleading solicitation or

22  advertising within the scope of this chapter.

23         (f)  Failure to maintain, preserve, and keep available

24  for examination all books, accounts, or other documents

25  required by this chapter, by any rule or order adopted under

26  this chapter, or by any agreement entered into with the

27  department under this chapter.

28         (g)  Refusal to permit inspection of books and records

29  in an investigation or examination by the department or

30  refusal to comply with a subpoena issued by the department

31  under this chapter.


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 1         (h)  Criminal conduct in the course of a person's

 2  business.

 3         (i)  Failure to timely pay any fine imposed or assessed

 4  under this chapter or any rule adopted under this chapter.

 5         (j)  For compensation or gain or in the expectation of

 6  compensation or gain, the filing of a claim for unclaimed

 7  property owned by another unless such person is a registered

 8  attorney licensed to practice law in this state, registered

 9  public accountant certified in this state, or a registered

10  private investigator licensed under chapter 493. This

11  subsection does not apply to a person who has been granted a

12  durable power of attorney to convey and receive all of the

13  real and personal  property of the owner, is the

14  court-appointed guardian of the owner, has been employed as an

15  attorney or qualified representative to contest the

16  department's denial of a claim, has been employed as an

17  attorney or qualified representative to contest the

18  department's denial of a claim, or has been employed as an

19  attorney to probate the estate of the owner or an heir or

20  legatee of the owner.

21         (k)  Failure to authorize the release of records in the

22  possession of a third party after being requested to do so by

23  the department regarding a pending examination or

24  investigation.

25         (l)  Receipt or solicitation of consideration to be

26  paid in advance of the approval of a claim under this chapter.

27         (2)  Upon a finding by the department that any person

28  has committed any of the acts set forth in subsection (1), the

29  department may enter an order:

30         (a)  Revoking or suspending a registration previously

31  granted under this chapter;


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 1         (b)  Placing a registrant or an applicant for a

 2  registration on probation for a period of time and subject to

 3  such conditions as the department may specify;

 4         (c)  Placing permanent restrictions or conditions upon

 5  issuance or maintenance of a registration under this chapter;

 6         (d)  Issuing a reprimand;

 7         (e)  Imposing an administrative fine not to exceed

 8  $2,000 for each such act; or

 9         (f)  Prohibiting any person from being a director,

10  officer, agent, employee, or ultimate equitable owner of a

11  10-percent or greater interest in an employer of a registrant.

12         (3)  A registrant is subject to the disciplinary

13  actions specified in subsection (2) for violations of

14  subsection (1) by an agent or employee of the registrant's

15  employer if the registrant knew or should have known that such

16  agent or employee was violating any provision of this chapter.

17         (4)(a)  The department shall adopt, by rule, and

18  periodically review the disciplinary guidelines applicable to

19  each ground for disciplinary action which may be imposed by

20  the department under this chapter.

21         (b)  The disciplinary guidelines shall specify a

22  meaningful range of designated penalties based upon the

23  severity or repetition of specific offenses, or both. It is

24  the legislative intent that minor violations be distinguished

25  from more serious violations; that such guidelines consider

26  the amount of the claim involved, the complexity of locating

27  the owner, the steps taken to ensure the accuracy of the claim

28  by the person filing the claim, the acts of commission and

29  omission of the ultimate owners in establishing themselves as

30  rightful owners of the funds, the acts of commission or

31  omission of the agent or employee of an employer in the filing


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 1  of the claim, the actual knowledge of the agent, employee,

 2  employer, or owner in the filing of the claim, the departure,

 3  if any, by the agent or employee from the internal controls

 4  and procedures established by the employer with regard to the

 5  filing of a claim, the number of defective claims previously

 6  filed by the agent, employee, employer, or owner; that such

 7  guidelines provide reasonable and meaningful notice of likely

 8  penalties that may be imposed for proscribed conduct; and that

 9  such penalties be consistently applied by the department.

10         (c)  A specific finding of mitigating or aggravating

11  circumstances shall allow the department to impose a penalty

12  other than that provided for in such guidelines. The

13  department shall adopt by rule disciplinary guidelines to

14  designate possible mitigating and aggravating circumstances

15  and the variation and range of penalties permitted for such

16  circumstances. Such mitigating and aggravating circumstances

17  shall also provide for consideration of, and be consistent

18  with, the legislative intent expressed in paragraph (b).

19         (d)  In any proceeding brought under this chapter, the

20  administrative law judge, in recommending penalties in any

21  recommended order, shall follow the penalty guidelines

22  established by the department and shall state in writing any

23  mitigating or aggravating circumstances upon which the

24  recommended penalty is based.

25         (5)  The department may seek any appropriate civil

26  legal remedy available to it by filing a civil action in a

27  court of competent jurisdiction against any person who has,

28  directly or through an owner's representative, wrongfully

29  submitted a claim as the ultimate owner of property and

30  improperly received funds from the department in violation of

31  this chapter.


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 1         Section 135.  Section 717.1331, Florida Statutes, is

 2  created to read:

 3         717.1331  Actions against holders.--The department may

 4  initiate, or cause to be initiated, an action against a holder

 5  to recover unclaimed property. If the department prevails in a

 6  civil or administrative action to recover unclaimed property

 7  initiated by or on behalf of the department, the holder shall

 8  be ordered to pay the department reasonable costs and

 9  attorney's fees.

10         Section 136.  Section 717.1333, Florida Statutes, is

11  created to read:

12         717.1333  Evidence; audit reports; examiner's

13  worksheets, investigative reports, other related

14  documents.--In any proceeding involving a holder under ss.

15  120.569 and 120.57 in which an auditor, examiner, or

16  investigator acting under authority of this chapter is

17  available for cross-examination, any official written report,

18  worksheet, or other related paper, or copy thereof, compiled,

19  prepared, drafted, or otherwise made or received by the

20  auditor, examiner, or investigator, after being duly

21  authenticated by the auditor, examiner, or investigator, may

22  be admitted as competent evidence upon the oath of the

23  auditor, examiner, or investigator that the report, worksheet,

24  or related paper was prepared or received as a result of an

25  audit, examination, or investigation of the books and records

26  of the person audited, examined, or investigated, or the agent

27  thereof.

28         Section 137.  Subsection (5) is added to section

29  717.134, Florida Statutes, to read:

30         717.134  Penalties and interest.--

31  


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 1         (5)  The department may impose and collect a penalty of

 2  $500 per day up to a maximum of $5,000 and 25 percent of the

 3  value of property willfully not reported with all of the

 4  information required by this chapter. Upon a holder's showing

 5  of good cause, the department may waive the penalty or any

 6  portion thereof. If the holder acted in good faith and without

 7  negligence, the department shall waive the penalty provided

 8  herein.

 9         Section 138.  Section 717.1341, Florida Statutes, is

10  created to read:

11         717.1341  Invalid claims, recovery of property,

12  interest and penalties.--

13         (1)(a)  No person shall receive unclaimed property that

14  the person is not entitled to receive. Any person who

15  receives, or assists another person to receive, unclaimed

16  property that the person is not entitled to receive is

17  strictly, jointly, personally, and severally liable for the

18  unclaimed property and shall immediately return the property,

19  or the reasonable value of the property if the property has

20  been damaged or disposed of, to the department plus interest

21  at the rate set annually in accordance with s. 55.03(1).

22  Assisting another person to receive unclaimed property

23  includes executing a claim form on the person's behalf.

24         (b)1.  In the case of stocks or bonds which have been

25  sold, the proceeds from the sale shall be returned to the

26  department plus any dividends or interest received thereon

27  plus an amount equal to the brokerage fee plus interest at a

28  rate set annually in accordance with s. 55.03(1) on the

29  proceeds from the sale of the stocks or bonds, the dividends

30  or interest received, and the brokerage fee.

31  


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 1         2.  In the case of stocks or bonds which have not been

 2  sold, the stocks or bonds and any dividends or interest

 3  received thereon shall be returned to the department, together

 4  with interest on the dividends or interest received, at a rate

 5  set annually in accordance with s. 55.03(1) of the value of

 6  the property.

 7         (2)  The department may maintain a civil or

 8  administrative action:

 9         (a)  To recover unclaimed property that was paid or

10  remitted to a person who was not entitled to the unclaimed

11  property or to offset amounts owed to the department against

12  amounts owed to an owner representative;

13         (b)  Against a person who assists another person in

14  receiving, or attempting to receive, unclaimed property that

15  the person is not entitled to receive; or

16         (c)  Against a person who attempts to receive unclaimed

17  property that the person is not entitled to receive.

18         (3)  If the department prevails in any proceeding under

19  subsection (2), a fine not to exceed three times the value of

20  the property received or sought to be received may be imposed

21  on any person who knowingly, or with reckless disregard or

22  deliberate ignorance of the truth, violated this section. If

23  the department prevails in a civil or administrative

24  proceeding under subsection (2), the person who violated

25  subsection (1) shall be ordered to pay the department

26  reasonable costs and attorney's fees.

27         (4)  No person shall knowingly file, knowingly conspire

28  to file, or knowingly assist in filing, a claim for unclaimed

29  property the person is not entitled to receive. Any person who

30  violates this subsection regarding unclaimed property of an

31  aggregate value:


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 1         (a)  Greater than $50,000, is guilty of a felony of the

 2  first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s.

 3  775.083, or s. 775.084;

 4         (b)  Greater than $10,000 up to $50,000, is guilty of a

 5  felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s.

 6  775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084;

 7         (c)  Greater than $250 up to $10,000, is guilty of a

 8  felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s.

 9  775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084;

10         (d)  Greater than $50 up to $250, is guilty of a

11  misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s.

12  775.082 or s. 775.083; or

13         (e)  Up to $50, is guilty of a misdemeanor of the

14  second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s.

15  775.083.

16         Section 139.  Section 717.135, Florida Statutes, is

17  amended to read:

18         717.135  Agreement to recover locate reported property

19  in the custody of the department.--

20         (1)  All agreements between a claimant's an owner's

21  representative and a claimant an owner for compensation to

22  recover or assist in the recovery of property reported to the

23  department under s. 717.117 shall be in 11-point type or

24  greater and either:

25         (a)  Limit the fees and costs for services for each

26  owner contract to $25 for all contracts relating to unclaimed

27  property with a dollar value below $250. For all contracts

28  relating to unclaimed property with a dollar value of $250 and

29  above, fees shall be limited to 20 15 percent per unclaimed on

30  property account held by the department for 24 months or less

31  and 25 percent on property held by the department for more


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 1  than 24 months. Fees and costs for cash accounts shall be

 2  based on the value of the property at the time the agreement

 3  for recovery is signed by the claimant apparent owner. Fees

 4  and costs for accounts containing securities or other

 5  intangible ownership interests, which securities or interests

 6  are not converted to cash, shall be based on the purchase

 7  price of the security as quoted on a national exchange or

 8  other market on which the property ownership interest is

 9  regularly traded at the time the securities or other ownership

10  interest is remitted to the claimant owner or the claimant's

11  owner's representative. Fees and costs for tangible property

12  or safe-deposit box accounts shall be based on the value of

13  the tangible property or contents of the safe-deposit box at

14  the time the ownership interest is transferred or remitted to

15  the claimant owner or the owner's representative; or

16         (b)  Disclose, on such form as the department shall

17  prescribe by rule, that the property is held by the Bureau of

18  Unclaimed Property of the Department of Financial Services

19  pursuant to this chapter, the person or name of the entity

20  that held the property prior to the property becoming

21  unclaimed, the date of the holder's last contact with the

22  owner, if known, and the approximate value of the property,

23  and identify which of the following categories of unclaimed

24  property the owner's representative is seeking to recover, as

25  reported by the holder:

26         1.  Cash accounts.

27         2.  Stale dated checks.

28         3.  Life insurance or annuity contract assets.

29         4.  Utility deposits.

30         5.  Securities or other interests in business

31  associations.


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 1         6.  Wages.

 2         7.  Accounts receivable.

 3         8.  Contents of safe-deposit boxes.

 4  

 5  Such disclosure shall be on a page signed and dated by the

 6  person asserting entitlement to the unclaimed property.

 7  However, paragraph (1)(a) or (b) this section shall not apply

 8  if probate proceedings must be initiated on behalf of the

 9  claimant for an estate that has never been probated to

10  contracts made in connection with guardianship proceedings or

11  the probate of an estate.

12         (2)(a)  Agreements for recovery of cash accounts shall

13  state the value of the unclaimed property, the unclaimed

14  property account number, and the percentage dollar value of

15  the unclaimed property account to be paid to the claimant

16  owner and shall also state the percentage dollar value of

17  compensation to be paid to the claimant's owner's

18  representative.

19         (b)  Agreements for recovery of accounts containing

20  securities, safe-deposit box accounts, other intangible or

21  tangible ownership interests, or other types of accounts,

22  except cash accounts, shall state the unclaimed property

23  account number, the number of shares of stock, if applicable,

24  the approximate value of the unclaimed property, and the

25  percentage value of compensation to be paid to the claimant's

26  owner's representative.

27         (c)  All disclosures and agreements shall include the

28  name, address, and professional license number of the

29  claimant's owner's representative, and, if available, the

30  taxpayer identification number or social security number,

31  address, and telephone number of the claimant owner. The


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 1  original of all such disclosures and agreements to pay

 2  compensation shall be signed and dated by the claimant owner

 3  of the property and shall be filed by the owner's

 4  representative with the claim form.

 5         (d)  All agreements between a claimant's representative

 6  and a claimant, who is a natural person, trust, or a dissolved

 7  corporation, for compensation to recover or assist in the

 8  recovery of property reported to the department under s.

 9  717.117 must use the following form on 8 and 1/2 inch by 11

10  inch paper or on 8 and 1/2 inch by 14 inch paper with all of

11  the text on one side of the paper and with the other side of

12  the paper left blank; except that, at the option of the owner

13  representative, the department disclosure form may be placed

14  on the reverse side of the agreement. The agreement must be

15  accurately completed and executed. No other writing or

16  information shall be printed on the agreement. The title of

17  the agreement shall be in bold 14-point type and underlined.

18  The rest of the agreement shall be in 10-point type or

19  greater. All unclaimed property accounts claimed must be

20  identified on the agreement. The agreement must state:

21                        RECOVERY AGREEMENT

22  $__________= APPROXIMATE DOLLAR VALUE OF UNCLAIMED PROPERTY

23  NUMBER OF SHARES OF STOCK TO BE RECOVERED (IF

24  APPLICABLE):________

25  PROPERTY ACCOUNT NUMBERS:____________________

26  __________PERCENT TO BE PAID AS COMPENSATION TO THE CLAIMANT'S

27  REPRESENTATIVE

28  $__________= NET AMOUNT TO BE PAID TO CLAIMANT

29  $__________= AMOUNT TO BE PAID TO CLAIMANT'S REPRESENTATIVE

30  

31  


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 1  THIS AGREEMENT is between:

 2  _____________________________________________________________

 3                     (hereinafter, CLAIMANT)

 4  and__________________________________________________________

 5             (hereinafter, CLAIMANT'S REPRESENTATIVE)

 6  who agree to the following:

 7         (1)  As consideration for the research efforts in

 8  locating and identifying assets due to the CLAIMANT and for

 9  assistance in procuring payment of the assets to the CLAIMANT,

10  the CLAIMANT authorizes the government to pay to the

11  CLAIMANT'S REPRESENTATIVE a fee of either:

12         (a)  _______ percent of all assets recovered, or

13         (b)  A flat fee of $ _________ to recover the unclaimed

14  property account identified above.

15  

16  NO FEES ARE TO BE PAID IN ADVANCE.

17         (2)  I have read this agreement and in consideration

18  thereof, do hereby grant the CLAIMANT'S REPRESENTATIVE a

19  limited power of attorney to demand, collect, recover and

20  receive the above compensation from the government in

21  accordance with this agreement.

22         (3)  IT IS HEREBY ACKNOWLEDGED BY ALL PARTIES TO THIS

23  AGREEMENT THAT UNLESS THESE ASSETS ARE RECOVERED, NO FEES, NO

24  COSTS OR CHARGES ARE DUE TO THE CLAIMANT'S REPRESENTATIVE, ITS

25  AGENTS OR ATTORNEYS, AND THIS AGREEMENT WILL BECOME NULL AND

26  VOID.

27  Original Signature of CLAIMANT:______________________________

28  DATE:__________________________

29  CLAIMANT'S Social Security Number or FEID number:____________

30  Make the CLAIMANT'S check payable to:________________________

31  Mail check to this address:__________________________________


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 1  _____________________________________________________________

 2  The CLAIMANT'S telephone number is:__________________________

 3  Original Signature of CLAIMANT'S REPRESENTATIVE:_____________

 4  FEID Number of CLAIMANT'S REPRESENTATIVE:____________________

 5  DATE:________________________

 6  Address of CLAIMANT'S REPRESENTATIVE:________________________

 7  _____________________________________________________________

 8  Telephone number of CLAIMANT'S REPRESENTATIVE:_______________

 9  Professional license number of CLAIMANT'S REPRESENTATIVE:

10  ____________________

11         (e)  All fees, whether expressed as a percentage or as

12  a flat fee, are subject to the limitations and requirements of

13  subsection (1).

14         (3)  As used in this section, "claimant" means the

15  person on whose behalf a claim is filed.

16         (4)  This section does not supersede the licensing

17  requirements of chapter 493.

18         Section 140.  Section 717.1351, Florida Statutes, is

19  created to read:

20         717.1351  Acquisition of unclaimed property.--

21         (1)  A person desiring to acquire ownership or

22  entitlement of property reported to the department under s.

23  717.117 must be an attorney licensed to practice law in this

24  state, a licensed Florida-certified public accountant, a

25  private investigator licensed under chapter 493, or an

26  employer of a licensed private investigator which employer

27  possesses a Class "A" license under chapter 493 and must be

28  registered with the department under this chapter.

29         (2)  All contracts to acquire ownership or entitlement

30  of unclaimed property from the person or persons entitled to

31  


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 1  the unclaimed property must be in 10-point type or greater and

 2  must:

 3         (a)  Have a purchase price that discounts the value of

 4  the unclaimed property at the time the agreement is executed

 5  by the seller at no greater than 20 percent per account held

 6  by the department; or

 7         (b)  Disclose, on such form as the department shall

 8  prescribe by rule, that the property is held by the Bureau of

 9  Unclaimed Property of the Department of Financial Services

10  pursuant to this chapter, the person or name of the entity

11  that held the property prior to the property becoming

12  unclaimed, the date of the holder's last contact with the

13  owner, if known, and the approximate value of the property,

14  and identify which of the following categories of unclaimed

15  property buyer is seeking to purchase as reported by the

16  holder:

17         1.  Cash accounts.

18         2.  Stale dated checks.

19         3.  Life insurance or annuity contract assets.

20         4.  Utility deposits.

21         5. Securities or other interests in business

22  associations.

23         6.  Wages.

24         7.  Accounts receivable.

25         8.  Contents of safe-deposit boxes.

26  

27  Such disclosure shall be on a page signed and dated by the

28  seller of the unclaimed property.

29         (3)  The originals of all such disclosures and

30  agreements to transfer ownership or entitlement to unclaimed

31  property shall be signed and dated by the seller and shall be


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    CS for CS for SB 2994                          First Engrossed



 1  filed with the claim form. The claimant shall provide the

 2  department with a legible copy of a valid driver's license of

 3  the seller at the time the original claim form is filed. If a

 4  seller has not been issued a valid driver's license at the

 5  time the original claim form is filed, the department shall be

 6  provided with a legible copy of a photographic identification

 7  of the seller issued by the United States or a foreign nation,

 8  a state or territory of the United States or foreign nation,

 9  or a political subdivision or agency thereof. In lieu of

10  photographic identification, a notarized sworn statement by

11  the seller may be provided which affirms the seller's identity

12  and states the seller's full name and address. If a claim is

13  filed without the required identification or the sworn

14  statement with the original claim form and the original

15  agreement to acquire ownership or entitlement to the unclaimed

16  property, the claim is void.

17         (4)  Any contract to acquire ownership or entitlement

18  of unclaimed property from the person or persons entitled to

19  the unclaimed property must provide for the purchase price to

20  be remitted to the seller or sellers within 10 days after the

21  execution of the contract by the seller or sellers. The

22  contract must specify the unclaimed property account number,

23  the value of the unclaimed property account, and the number of

24  shares of stock, if applicable. Proof of payment by check must

25  be filed with the department with the claim.

26         (5)  All agreements to purchase unclaimed property from

27  an owner, who is a natural person, a trust, or a dissolved

28  corporation must use the following form on 8 and 1/2 inch by

29  11 inch paper or on 8 and 1/2 inch by 14 inch paper with all

30  of the text on one side of the paper and with the other side

31  of the paper left blank; except that, at the option of the


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 1  owner representative, the department disclosure form may be

 2  placed on the reverse side of the agreement. The agreement

 3  must be accurately completed and executed. No other writing or

 4  information shall be printed on the agreement. The title of

 5  the agreement shall be in bold 14-point type and underlined.

 6  The rest of the agreement shall be in 10-point type or

 7  greater. All unclaimed property accounts to be purchased must

 8  be identified on the agreement. The agreement must state:

 9                        PURCHASE AGREEMENT

10  $__________= APPROXIMATE DOLLAR VALUE OF THE UNCLAIMED

11  PROPERTY

12  PROPERTY ACCOUNT NUMBER(S):____________________

13  NUMBER OF SHARES OF STOCK TO BE RECOVERED (IF

14  APPLICABLE):________

15  __________PERCENT OF UNCLAIMED PROPERTY TO BE PAID TO THE

16  BUYER

17  $__________= NET AMOUNT TO BE PAID TO OWNER

18  $__________= AMOUNT TO BE PAID TO BUYER

19  THIS AGREEMENT is between:

20  _____________________________________________________________

21                       (hereinafter, OWNER)

22  and_________________________________________________________ 

23                       (hereinafter, BUYER)

24  who agree that the OWNER transfers to the BUYER for a purchase

25  price of $________all rights to the above identified unclaimed

26  property accounts.

27  Original Signature of OWNER:____________________DATE:________

28  OWNER'S Social Security Number or FEID number:_______________

29  Within 10 days after the execution of this Purchase Agreement

30  by the Owner, Buyer shall remit the OWNER'S check payable to:

31  _____________________________________________________________


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 1  Mail check to this address:__________________________________

 2  _____________________________________________________________

 3  _____________________________________________________________

 4  The OWNER'S telephone number is:_____________________________

 5  Original Signature of BUYER:_________________________________

 6  FEID Number of BUYER:___________________________DATE:________

 7  Address of BUYER:____________________________________________

 8  _____________________________________________________________

 9  Telephone number of BUYER: __________________________________

10  Professional license number of BUYER:________________________

11         (6)  This section does not supersede the licensing

12  requirements of chapter 493.

13         Section 141.  Section 717.1400, Florida Statutes, is

14  created to read:

15         717.1400  Registration.--

16         (1)  In order to file claims as a claimant's

17  representative, acquire ownership or entitlement to unclaimed

18  property, receive a distribution of fees and costs from the

19  department, and obtain unclaimed property dollar amounts, the

20  number of reported shares of stock, and the last four digits

21  of social security numbers held by the department, a private

22  investigator holding a Class "C" individual license under

23  chapter 493 must register with the department on such form as

24  the department shall prescribe by rule, and verified by the

25  applicant. To register with the department, a private

26  investigator must provide:

27         (a)  A legible copy of the applicant's Class "A"

28  business license under chapter 493 or that of the applicant's

29  employer which holds a Class "A" business license under

30  chapter 493.

31  


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 1         (b)  A legible copy of the applicant's Class "C"

 2  individual license issued under chapter 493.

 3         (c)  The applicant's business address and telephone

 4  number.

 5         (d)  The names of agents or employees, if any, who are

 6  designated to act on behalf of the private investigator

 7  together with a legible copy of their photo-identification

 8  issued by an agency of the United States, or a state, or a

 9  political subdivision thereof.

10         (e)  Sufficient information to enable the department to

11  disburse funds by electronic funds transfer.

12         (f)  The tax identification number of the private

13  investigator's employer which holds a Class "A" business

14  license under chapter 493.

15         (2)  In order to file claims as a claimant's

16  representative, acquire ownership or entitlement to unclaimed

17  property, receive a distribution of fees and costs from the

18  department, and obtain unclaimed property dollar amounts, the

19  number of reported shares of stock, and the last four digits

20  of social security numbers held by the department, a

21  Florida-certified public accountant must register with the

22  department on such form as the department shall prescribe by

23  rule, and must be verified by the applicant. To register with

24  the department a Florida-certified public accountant must

25  provide:

26         (a)  The applicant's Florida Board of Accountancy

27  number.

28         (b)  A legible copy of the applicant's current driver's

29  license showing the full name and current address of such

30  person. If a current driver's license is not available,

31  another form of identification showing full name and current


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    CS for CS for SB 2994                          First Engrossed



 1  address of such person or persons shall be filed with the

 2  department.

 3         (c)  The applicant's business address and telephone

 4  number.

 5         (d)  The names of agents or employees, if any, who are

 6  designated to act on behalf of the Florida-certified public

 7  accountant together with a legible copy of their

 8  photo-identification issued by an agency of the United States,

 9  or a state, or a political subdivision thereof.

10         (e)  Sufficient information to enable the department to

11  disburse funds by electronic funds transfer.

12         (f)  The tax identification number of the accountant's

13  public accounting firm employer.

14         (3)  In order to file claims as a claimant's

15  representative, acquire ownership or entitlement to unclaimed

16  property, receive a distribution of fees and costs from the

17  department, and obtain unclaimed property dollar amounts, the

18  number of reported shares of stock, and the last four digits

19  of social security numbers held by the department, an attorney

20  licensed to practice in this state must register with the

21  department on such form as the department shall prescribe by

22  rule, and must be verified by the applicant. To register with

23  the department, such attorney must provide:

24         (a)  The applicant's Florida Bar number.

25         (b)  A legible copy of the applicant's current driver's

26  license showing the full name and current address of such

27  person. If a current driver's license is not available,

28  another form of identification showing full name and current

29  address of such person or persons shall be filed with the

30  department.

31  


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    CS for CS for SB 2994                          First Engrossed



 1         (c)  The applicant's business address and telephone

 2  number.

 3         (d)  The names of agents or employees, if any, who are

 4  designated to act on behalf of the attorney, together with a

 5  legible copy of their photo-identification issued by an agency

 6  of the United States, or a state, or a political subdivision

 7  thereof.

 8         (e)  Sufficient information to enable the department to

 9  disburse funds by electronic funds transfer.

10         (f)  The tax identification number of the lawyer's

11  employer law firm.

12         (4)  Information and documents already on file with the

13  department prior to the effective date of this provision need

14  not be resubmitted in order to complete the registration.

15         (5)  If a material change in the status of a

16  registration occurs, a registrant must, within 30 days,

17  provide the department with the updated documentation and

18  information in writing. Material changes include, but are not

19  limited to; a designated agent or employee ceasing to act on

20  behalf of the designating person, a surrender, suspension, or

21  revocation of a license, or a license renewal.

22         (a)  If a designated agent or employee ceases to act on

23  behalf of the person who has designated the agent or employee

24  to act on such person's behalf, the designating person must,

25  within 30 days, inform the Bureau of Unclaimed Property in

26  writing of the termination of agency or employment.

27         (b)  If a registrant surrenders the registrant's

28  license or the license is suspended or revoked, the registrant

29  must, within 30 days, inform the bureau in writing of the

30  surrender, suspension, or revocation.

31  


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 1         (c)  If a private investigator's Class "C" individual

 2  license under chapter 493 or a private investigator's

 3  employer's Class "A" business license under chapter 493 is

 4  renewed, the private investigator must provide a copy of the

 5  renewed license to the department within 30 days after the

 6  receipt of the renewed license by the private investigator or

 7  the private investigator's employer.

 8         (6)  A registrant or applicant for registration may not

 9  have a name that might lead another person to conclude that

10  the registrant is affiliated or associated with the United

11  States, or an agency thereof, or a state or an agency or

12  political subdivision of a state. The department shall deny an

13  application for registration or revoke a registration if the

14  applicant or registrant has a name that might lead another

15  person to conclude that the applicant or registrant is

16  affiliated or associated with the United States, or an agency

17  thereof, or a state or an agency or political subdivision of a

18  state. Names that might lead another person to conclude that

19  the applicant or registrant is affiliated or associated with

20  the United States, or an agency thereof, or a state or an

21  agency or political subdivision of a state, include, but are

22  not limited to, the words United States, Florida, state,

23  bureau, division, department, or government.

24         Section 142.  Subsection (2) of section 212.02, Florida

25  Statutes, is amended to read:

26         212.02  Definitions.--The following terms and phrases

27  when used in this chapter have the meanings ascribed to them

28  in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a

29  different meaning:

30         (2)  "Business" means any activity engaged in by any

31  person, or caused to be engaged in by him or her, with the


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    CS for CS for SB 2994                          First Engrossed



 1  object of private or public gain, benefit, or advantage,

 2  either direct or indirect. Except for the sales of any

 3  aircraft, boat, mobile home, or motor vehicle, the term

 4  "business" shall not be construed in this chapter to include

 5  occasional or isolated sales or transactions involving

 6  tangible personal property or services by a person who does

 7  not hold himself or herself out as engaged in business or

 8  sales of unclaimed tangible personal property under s.

 9  717.122, but includes other charges for the sale or rental of

10  tangible personal property, sales of services taxable under

11  this chapter, sales of or charges of admission, communication

12  services, all rentals and leases of living quarters, other

13  than low-rent housing operated under chapter 421, sleeping or

14  housekeeping accommodations in hotels, apartment houses,

15  roominghouses, tourist or trailer camps, and all rentals of or

16  licenses in real property, other than low-rent housing

17  operated under chapter 421, all leases or rentals of or

18  licenses in parking lots or garages for motor vehicles,

19  docking or storage spaces for boats in boat docks or marinas

20  as defined in this chapter and made subject to a tax imposed

21  by this chapter. The term "business" shall not be construed in

22  this chapter to include the leasing, subleasing, or licensing

23  of real property by one corporation to another if all of the

24  stock of both such corporations is owned, directly or through

25  one or more wholly owned subsidiaries, by a common parent

26  corporation; the property was in use prior to July 1, 1989,

27  title to the property was transferred after July 1, 1988, and

28  before July 1, 1989, between members of an affiliated group,

29  as defined in s. 1504(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986,

30  which group included both such corporations and there is no

31  substantial change in the use of the property following the


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    CS for CS for SB 2994                          First Engrossed



 1  transfer of title; the leasing, subleasing, or licensing of

 2  the property was required by an unrelated lender as a

 3  condition of providing financing to one or more members of the

 4  affiliated group; and the corporation to which the property is

 5  leased, subleased, or licensed had sales subject to the tax

 6  imposed by this chapter of not less than $667 million during

 7  the most recent 12-month period ended June 30. Any tax on such

 8  sales, charges, rentals, admissions, or other transactions

 9  made subject to the tax imposed by this chapter shall be

10  collected by the state, county, municipality, any political

11  subdivision, agency, bureau, or department, or other state or

12  local governmental instrumentality in the same manner as other

13  dealers, unless specifically exempted by this chapter.

14         Section 143.  Subsection (4) of section 322.142,

15  Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

16         322.142  Color photographic or digital imaged

17  licenses.--

18         (4)  The department may maintain a film negative or

19  print file. The department shall maintain a record of the

20  digital image and signature of the licensees, together with

21  other data required by the department for identification and

22  retrieval. Reproductions from the file or digital record shall

23  be made and issued only for departmental administrative

24  purposes, for the issuance of duplicate licenses, in response

25  to law enforcement agency requests, or to the Department of

26  Revenue pursuant to an interagency agreement to facilitate

27  service of process in Title IV-D cases, or to the Department

28  of Financial Services pursuant to an interagency agreement to

29  facilitate the location of owners of unclaimed property, the

30  validation of unclaimed property claims, and the

31  


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 1  identification of fraudulent or false claims, and are exempt

 2  from the provisions of s. 119.07(1).

 3         Section 144.  Paragraph (l) is added to subsection (4)

 4  of section 395.3025, Florida Statutes, and subsection (10) of

 5  that section is amended, to read:

 6         395.3025  Patient and personnel records; copies;

 7  examination.--

 8         (4)  Patient records are confidential and must not be

 9  disclosed without the consent of the person to whom they

10  pertain, but appropriate disclosure may be made without such

11  consent to:

12         (l)  The Department of Financial Services, or an agent,

13  employee, or independent contractor of the department who is

14  auditing for unclaimed property pursuant to chapter 717.

15         (10)  The home addresses, telephone numbers, social

16  security numbers, and photographs of employees of any licensed

17  facility who provide direct patient care or security services;

18  the home addresses, telephone numbers, social security

19  numbers, photographs, and places of employment of the spouses

20  and children of such persons; and the names and locations of

21  schools and day care facilities attended by the children of

22  such persons are confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and

23  s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. However, any state

24  or federal agency that is authorized to have access to such

25  information by any provision of law shall be granted such

26  access in the furtherance of its statutory duties,

27  notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection. The

28  Department of Financial Services, or an agent, employee, or

29  independent contractor of the department who is auditing for

30  unclaimed property pursuant to chapter 717, shall be granted

31  access to the name, address, and social security number of any


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    CS for CS for SB 2994                          First Engrossed



 1  employee owed unclaimed property. This subsection is subject

 2  to the Open Government Sunset Review Act of 1995 in accordance

 3  with s. 119.15, and shall stand repealed on October 2, 2004,

 4  unless reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment by

 5  the Legislature.

 6         Section 145.  Section 732.103, Florida Statutes, is

 7  amended to read:

 8         732.103  Share of other heirs.--The part of the

 9  intestate estate not passing to the surviving spouse under s.

10  732.102, or the entire intestate estate if there is no

11  surviving spouse, descends as follows:

12         (1)  To the lineal descendants of the decedent.

13         (2)  If there is no lineal descendant, to the

14  decedent's father and mother equally, or to the survivor of

15  them.

16         (3)  If there is none of the foregoing, to the

17  decedent's brothers and sisters and the descendants of

18  deceased brothers and sisters.

19         (4)  If there is none of the foregoing, the estate

20  shall be divided, one-half of which shall go to the decedent's

21  paternal, and the other half to the decedent's maternal,

22  kindred in the following order:

23         (a)  To the grandfather and grandmother equally, or to

24  the survivor of them.

25         (b)  If there is no grandfather or grandmother, to

26  uncles and aunts and descendants of deceased uncles and aunts

27  of the decedent.

28         (c)  If there is either no paternal kindred or no

29  maternal kindred, the estate shall go to the other kindred who

30  survive, in the order stated above.

31  


                                 165

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    CS for CS for SB 2994                          First Engrossed



 1         (5)  If there is no kindred of either part, the whole

 2  of the property shall go to the kindred of the last deceased

 3  spouse of the decedent as if the deceased spouse had survived

 4  the decedent and then died intestate entitled to the estate.

 5         (6)  If none of the foregoing, and if any of the

 6  descendants of the decedent's great-grandparents were

 7  holocaust victims as defined in s. 626.9543(3)(b), including

 8  such victims in countries cooperating with the discriminatory

 9  policies of Nazi Germany then to the lineal descendants of the

10  great grandparents. The court shall allow any such descendent

11  to meet a reasonable, not unduly restrictive, standard of

12  proof to substantiate his or her lineage. This subsection only

13  applies to escheated property and shall cease to be effective

14  for proceedings filed after December 31, 2004.

15         Section 146.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2004.

16  

17  

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21  

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                                 166

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

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