(1) The State Fire Marshal, with the assistance of the Division of Treasury of the Department of Financial Services, may enter into an investment agreement concerning the investment of certain funds held in the Insurance Regulatory Trust Fund for the purpose of establishing a limited loan guarantee program to be known as the State Fire Marshal Nursing Home Fire Protection Loan Guarantee Program. The investment must be limited as follows:
(a) Not more than $4 million of the balance in the Insurance Regulatory Trust Fund in any fiscal year may be at risk at any time for the purpose of limited loan guarantees.
(b) Such funds at risk at any time may not be used to guarantee any limited loan guarantee agreement for a period longer than 10 years.
(c) No limited loan guarantee agreement based on invested funds may be entered into after December 1, 2006.
(2) The State Fire Marshal may enter into limited loan guarantee agreements with one or more financial institutions qualified as public depositories in this state. Such agreements shall provide a limited guarantee by the State of Florida covering no more than 50 percent of the principal sum loaned by such financial institution to an eligible nursing home, as defined in subsection (10), for the sole purpose of the initial installation at such nursing home of a fire protection system, as defined in s. 633.021(10), approved by the State Fire Marshal as being in compliance with the provisions of s. 633.022 and rules adopted thereunder.
(3) The State Fire Marshal shall solicit requests for proposals from qualified financial institutions willing to fund loans to eligible nursing homes for the installation of fire protection systems approved by the State Fire Marshal under the State Fire Marshal Nursing Home Fire Protection Loan Guarantee Program. Each request for proposal shall specify the terms and conditions under which the responding institution is prepared to make loans under the program, including, but not limited to, applicable interest rates, repayment terms, credit policies, loan fees, and proposed security interests to be executed by the borrower. After evaluation of all requests for proposals, the State Fire Marshal shall select one or more responding institutions as designated lenders under the program.
(4) The State Fire Marshal shall prescribe by rule an application form for participation in the State Fire Marshal Nursing Home Fire Protection Loan Guarantee Program to be submitted by each eligible nursing home that desires to install a fire protection system funded by a loan from a designated lender under the program. Nothing in this section shall be deemed to require an eligible nursing home to do business with a designated lender. At a minimum, the application shall require each applicant to provide the following information:
(a) The name and address of the eligible nursing home.
(b) The name and address of the owner of the nursing home or, if the owner is a partnership, the name and address of the general partner.
(c) The lessee of the nursing home premises, if any.
(d) A complete description of the structure or structures where the fire protection system is to be installed, including age, physical dimensions, overall square footage, a real extent of proposed coverage areas, and other relevant information concerning the premises.
(e) Bed capacity of the nursing home, including beds eligible for Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement.
(f) A statement regarding the availability to the applicant of third-party reimbursement for installation of the fire protection system.
(g) The location of closest water mains and fire hydrants, if any.
(h) Complete sealed drawings showing the fire protection system to be installed.
(i) Cost documentation, with a separate breakdown of cost for labor and materials.
(j) Verification of the application by the applicant.
(5) The State Fire Marshal shall evaluate each application submitted under this section to determine whether the proposed fire protection system is feasible for installation as proposed and complies with all applicable firesafety code provisions. An application may not be approved without a positive determination by the State Fire Marshal under this subsection. If the State Fire Marshal is able to determine that the proposed fire protection system is feasible and complies with applicable firesafety codes, the application shall be approved for submission to one or more lenders for funding. If the application is insufficient, the State Fire Marshal shall notify the applicant in writing and identify areas of deficiency that must be corrected in order for the application to be approved.
(6) As soon as practicable after approval, each approved application shall be submitted by the State Fire Marshal to one or more designated lenders for funding. Upon request of a designated lender, an approved applicant shall provide the lender with documentation of its credit history and financial status. If, after review of the applicant’s documentation, a lender refuses to fund the application, the lender shall promptly notify the applicant and the State Fire Marshal in writing of any reasons for its action. If the lender agrees to fund the application, the lender shall notify the applicant and the State Fire Marshal and schedule a closing date for the loan.
(7) At closing, the applicant shall execute appropriate documents necessary to provide the lender and the State Fire Marshal with a security interest in the property where the fire protection system is to be installed. The State Fire Marshal shall then execute a limited loan guarantee in favor of the lender guaranteeing no more than 50 percent of the face value of the loan.
(8) A designated lender covered by a limited state guarantee for a loan under this section is not entitled to file a claim for loss pursuant to the guarantee unless all reasonable and normal remedies available and customary for lending institutions for resolving problems of loan repayments are exhausted. If the lender has received collateral security in connection with the loan, the lender must first exhaust all available remedies against the collateral security.
(9) No application for participation in the State Fire Marshal Nursing Home Fire Protection Loan Guarantee Program may be accepted by the State Fire Marshal after July 1, 2009.
(10) For purposes of this section, “eligible nursing home” means a nursing home facility that provides nursing services as defined in chapter 464, is licensed under part II of chapter 400, and is certified by the Agency for Health Care Administration to lack an installed fire protection system as defined in s. 633.021(10).
(11) The State Fire Marshal may adopt any rules necessary to implement the provisions of this section.