5/2/2008 2:03 PM
Senator Lynn moved the following amendment to amendment (223482):
Senate Amendment (with title amendment)
Between line(s) 1722 and 1723
Section 23. Section 288.0656, Florida Statutes, is amended
288.0656 Rural Economic Development Initiative.--
(1)(a) Recognizing that rural communities and regions
continue to face extraordinary challenges in their efforts to
achieve significant improvements to their economies, specifically
in terms of personal income, job creation, average wages, and
strong tax bases, it is the intent of the Legislature to
encourage and facilitate the location and expansion in such rural
communities of major economic development projects of significant
(b) The Rural Economic Development Initiative, known as
"REDI," is created within the Office of Tourism, Trade, and
Economic Development, and the participation of state and regional
agencies in this initiative is authorized.
(2) As used in this section, the term:
(a) "Catalyst project" means a business locating or
expanding in a rural area of critical economic concern which is
likely to serve as an economic growth opportunity of regional
significance for the growth of a regional target industry
cluster. The project shall provide capital investment of
significant scale which will affect the entire region and will
facilitate the development of high-wage and high-skill jobs.
(b) "Catalyst site" means a parcel or parcels of land
within a rural area of critical economic concern that has been
prioritized by representatives of the jurisdictions within the
rural area of critical economic concern, reviewed by REDI, and
approved by the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic
Development for purposes of locating a catalyst project.
(c)(a) "Economic distress" means conditions affecting the
fiscal and economic viability of a rural community, including
such factors as low per capita income, low per capita taxable
values, high unemployment, high underemployment, low weekly
earned wages compared to the state average, low housing values
compared to the state average, high percentages of the population
receiving public assistance, high poverty levels compared to the
state average, and a lack of year-round stable employment
(d) "Rural area of critical economic concern" means a rural
community, or a region composed of rural communities, designated
by the Governor, which has been adversely affected by an
extraordinary economic event, severe or chronic distress, or a
natural disaster or which presents a unique economic development
opportunity of regional impact.
(e)(b) "Rural community" means:
1. A county with a population of 75,000 or less.
2. A county with a population of 120,000 100,000 or less
that is contiguous to a county with a population of 75,000 or
3. A municipality within a county described in subparagraph
4. An unincorporated federal enterprise community or an
incorporated rural city with a population of 25,000 or less and
an employment base focused on traditional agricultural or
resource-based industries, located in a county not defined as
rural, which has at least three or more of the economic distress
factors identified in paragraph (a) and verified by the Office of
Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development.
For purposes of this paragraph, population shall be determined in
accordance with the most recent official estimate pursuant to s.
(3) REDI shall be responsible for coordinating and focusing
the efforts and resources of state and regional agencies on the
problems which affect the fiscal, economic, and community
viability of Florida's economically distressed rural communities,
working with local governments, community-based organizations,
and private organizations that have an interest in the growth and
development of these communities to find ways to balance
environmental and growth management issues with local needs.
(4) REDI shall review and evaluate the impact of laws
statutes and rules on rural communities and shall work to
minimize any adverse impact and shall undertake outreach and
(5) REDI shall facilitate better access to state resources
by promoting direct access and referrals to appropriate state and
regional agencies and statewide organizations. REDI may undertake
outreach, capacity-building, and other advocacy efforts to
improve conditions in rural communities. These activities may
include sponsorship of conferences and achievement awards.
(6)(a) By August 1 of each year, the head of each of the
following agencies and organizations shall designate a high-level
staff person from within the agency or organization to serve as
the REDI representative for the agency or organization:
1. The Department of Community Affairs.
2. The Department of Transportation.
3. The Department of Environmental Protection.
4. The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
5. The Department of State.
6. The Department of Health.
7. The Department of Children and Family Services.
8. The Department of Corrections.
9. The Agency for Workforce Innovation.
10. The Department of Education.
11. The Department of Juvenile Justice.
12. The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
13. Each water management district.
14. Enterprise Florida, Inc.
15. Workforce Florida, Inc.
16. The Florida Commission on Tourism or VISIT Florida.
17. The Florida Regional Planning Council Association.
18. The Agency for Health Care Administration Florida State
Rural Development Council.
19. The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS).
An alternate for each designee shall also be chosen, and the
names of the designees and alternates shall be sent to the
director of the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic
(b) Each REDI representative must have comprehensive
knowledge of his or her agency's functions, both regulatory and
service in nature, and of the state's economic goals, policies,
and programs. This person shall be the primary point of contact
for his or her agency with REDI on issues and projects relating
to economically distressed rural communities and with regard to
expediting project review, shall ensure a prompt effective
response to problems arising with regard to rural issues, and
shall work closely with the other REDI representatives in the
identification of opportunities for preferential awards of
program funds and allowances and waiver of program requirements
when necessary to encourage and facilitate long-term private
capital investment and job creation.
(c) The REDI representatives shall work with REDI in the
review and evaluation of statutes and rules for adverse impact on
rural communities and the development of alternative proposals to
(d) Each REDI representative shall be responsible for
ensuring that each district office or facility of his or her
agency is informed about the Rural Economic Development
Initiative and for providing assistance throughout the agency in
the implementation of REDI activities.
(7)(a) REDI may recommend to the Governor up to three rural
areas of critical economic concern. A rural area of critical
economic concern must be a rural community, or a region composed
of such, that has been adversely affected by an extraordinary
economic event or a natural disaster or that presents a unique
economic development opportunity of regional impact that will
create more than 1,000 jobs over a 5-year period. The Governor
may by executive order designate up to three rural areas of
critical economic concern which will establish these areas as
priority assignments for REDI as well as to allow the Governor,
acting through REDI, to waive criteria, requirements, or similar
provisions of any economic development incentive. Such incentives
shall include, but not be limited to: the Qualified Target
Industry Tax Refund Program under s. 288.106, the Quick Response
Training Program under s. 288.047, the Quick Response Training
Program for participants in the welfare transition program under
s. 288.047(8), transportation projects under s. 288.063, the
brownfield redevelopment bonus refund under s. 288.107, and the
rural job tax credit program under ss. 212.098 and 220.1895.
(b) Designation as a rural area of critical economic
concern under this subsection shall be contingent upon the
execution of a memorandum of agreement among the Office of
Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development; the governing body of
the county; and the governing bodies of any municipalities to be
included within a rural area of critical economic concern. Such
agreement shall specify the terms and conditions of the
designation, including, but not limited to, the duties and
responsibilities of the county and any participating
municipalities to take actions designed to facilitate the
retention and expansion of existing businesses in the area, as
well as the recruitment of new businesses to the area.
(c) Each rural area of critical economic concern may
designate catalyst projects provided that each catalyst project
is specifically recommended by REDI, identified as a catalyst
project by Enterprise Florida, Inc., and confirmed as a catalyst
project by the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic
Development. All state agencies and departments shall use all
available tools and resources to the extent permissible by law to
promote the creation and development of each catalyst project and
the development of catalyst sites.
(8) REDI shall assist local governments within rural areas
of critical economic concern with comprehensive planning needs
pursuant to s. 163.3184(20) and which implement the provisions of
this section. Such assistance shall reflect a multidisciplinary
approach among all agencies and shall include economic
development and planning objectives.
(a) A local government may request assistance in the
preparation of plan amendments that will stimulate economic
1. The local government must contact the Office of Tourism,
Trade, and Economic Development to request assistance.
2. REDI representatives shall meet with the local
government within 15 days after such request to develop the scope
of assistance that will be provided to assist the development,
transmittal, and adoption of the proposed comprehensive plan
3. As part of the assistance provided, REDI representatives
shall also identify other needed local and developer actions for
approval of the project and recommend a timeline for the local
government and developer which will minimize project delays.
(b) In addition, REDI shall solicit requests each year for
assistance from local governments within a rural area of critical
economic concern to update the future land use element and other
associated elements of the local government's comprehensive plan
to better position the community to respond to economic
development potential within the county or municipality. REDI
shall provide direct assistance to such local governments to
update their comprehensive plans pursuant to this paragraph. At
least one comprehensive planning technical assistance effort
shall be selected each year.
(c) REDI shall develop and annually update a technical
assistance manual based upon experiences learned in providing
direct assistance under this subsection.
(9) As further incentive for development of jobs and
advancement of health care in areas that are both a fiscally
constrained county pursuant to s. 218.67 and a rural area of
critical economic concern as designated by the Governor pursuant
to s. 288.0656, the provisions of Rule 9J-5.006(5), Florida
Administrative Code, regulating sprawl shall not be applicable to
a development of regional impact governed by s. 380.06 if such
development is a multiuse development containing at least three
distinct uses and such development provides a hospital with a
minimum of 70 beds, both of which criteria shall be met within 10
years after receipt of a final development order.
(10)(8) REDI shall submit a report to the Governor, the
President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of
Representatives each year on or before September February 1 on
all REDI activities for the prior fiscal year. This report shall
include a status report on all projects currently being
coordinated through REDI, the number of preferential awards and
allowances made pursuant to this section, the dollar amount of
such awards, and the names of the recipients. The report shall
also include a description of all waivers of program requirements
granted. The report shall also include information as to the
economic impact of the projects coordinated by REDI.
================ T I T L E A M E N D M E N T ================
And the title is amended as follows:
On line 1834 after the semicolon,
amending s. 288.0656, F.S.; providing legislative intent;
revising definitions; providing certain additional review
and action requirements for REDI relating to rural
communities; revising representation on REDI; deleting a
limitation on characterization as a rural area of critical
economic concern; authorizing rural areas of critical
economic concern to designate certain catalyst projects
for certain purposes; providing project requirements;
requiring the initiative to assist local governments with
certain comprehensive planning needs; providing procedures
and requirements for such assistance; revising certain
reporting requirements for REDI; providing for
nonapplication of certain administrative rules to certain
developments of regional impact under certain
4/30/2008 7:14:00 PM CA.7.09295