Section 14.25, Florida Statutes 2004
14.25 Florida State Commission on Hispanic Affairs.--
(1) It is the intent of the Legislature to provide a means by which the state may obtain a comprehensive and ongoing study relating to those citizens of Florida who are of an Hispanic origin. The commission created by this act is not an executive department or agency for purposes of assignment under s. 6 of Art. IV of the State Constitution, nor is it an agency within the legislative intent of chapter 216 or chapter 287.
(2)(a) There is created within the Executive Office of the Governor a Florida State Commission on Hispanic Affairs. The commission shall consist of 15 members appointed by the Governor and broadly representative of the interests and needs of persons in this state who are of Hispanic origin, including, but not limited to, such areas as education, social services, commerce, and general culture and the arts.
(b) The commission shall annually designate one of its members to serve as chairperson. The duties of the chairperson shall include responsibility for the administration of the commission.
(c) Members of the commission shall serve without compensation, but shall be reimbursed for per diem and travel expenses in accordance with s. 112.061.
(d) Members shall serve for terms of 4 years, except that, of those initially appointed, seven shall serve for terms of 2 years and eight shall serve for terms of 4 years. A vacancy shall be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term in the same manner as the original appointment.
(e) The Executive Office of the Governor shall provide administrative support and service to the commission. The commission shall not be subject to control, supervision, or direction by the Executive Office of the Governor.
(f) The commission shall have the authority to employ an executive director and such other personnel as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this section.
(3)(a) The commission shall secure staff assistance and utilize clerical resources, materials, and other support services of the Executive Office of the Governor and other executive agencies and coordinate and consult with existing legislative staff, in order that minimum costs and maximum expertise be achieved.
(b) The commission shall utilize the talents, expertise, and resources within the state, and especially those of the university system, to whatever extent practicable.
(c) The commission may procure information and assistance from the state or any subdivision, municipal corporation, public officer, governmental department, or agency thereof. All agencies, officers, and political subdivisions of the state or municipal corporations shall give the commission all relevant information and reasonable assistance on any matters of research within their knowledge or control. In the case of a refusal to honor a request for information or request to any person, the commission may make application to any circuit court in this state, which shall have jurisdiction to order the witness to appear before the commission or to produce evidence, if so ordered, or to give testimony concerning the matter in question. Failure to obey the order may be punished by the court as contempt.
(d) The commission may apply for and accept funds, grants, gifts, and services from the state, the government of the United States or any of its agencies, or any other public or private source and is authorized to use funds derived from these sources to defray clerical and administrative costs as may be necessary for carrying out the commission's assigned duties.
(4)(a) It is the duty of the commission to carry out an ongoing study on the problems and needs of those citizens of Florida who predominantly speak the Spanish language. The study shall include, but not be limited to, the following areas:
1. A survey of existing programs within the educational system of the state, including such areas as teacher training, resource availability, and transportation of students, with recommendations for the extension and improvement of such programs.
2. A survey of the needs of such persons in the areas of social services and commerce, with recommendations regarding types of family and community services that would be useful in aiding such persons in adapting to, and functioning within, an English-speaking society.
3. A survey of the general cultural and artistic interests and needs of such persons and of the contributions such persons can make to the people of Florida, with recommendations for meeting those needs and fostering and encouraging those interests and contributions.
(b) The commission shall prepare an annual report based on the study carried out under the provisions of paragraph (4)(a), to be presented to the Governor no later than January 1, with copies to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and President of the Senate. The report shall include specific suggestions for necessary legislation and specific recommendations for any necessary administrative or regulatory reform.
History.--ss. 1, 2, 3, 4, ch. 77-233; ss. 1, 2, 3, ch. 78-297; s. 6, ch. 79-190; s. 1, ch. 82-46; s. 2, ch. 83-265; ss. 1, 2, ch. 87-71; s. 5, ch. 91-429.
Note.--Former ss. 13.9964, 13.9965, 13.9966, and 13.9967.