Section 288.7015, Florida Statutes 2004
288.7015 Appointment of rules ombudsman; duties.--The Governor shall appoint a rules ombudsman, as defined in s. 288.703, in the Executive Office of the Governor, for considering the impact of agency rules on the state's citizens and businesses. In carrying out duties as provided by law, the ombudsman shall consult with Enterprise Florida, Inc., at which point the office may recommend to improve the regulatory environment of this state. The duties of the rules ombudsman are to:
(1) Carry out the responsibility provided in s. 120.54(2), with respect to small businesses.
(2) Review state agency rules that adversely or disproportionately impact businesses, particularly those relating to small and minority businesses.
(3) Make recommendations on any existing or proposed rules to alleviate unnecessary or disproportionate adverse effects to businesses.
(4)(a) By December 1, 1997, and annually thereafter, submit a report to the Legislature identifying and describing the extent to which rules of state agencies adversely impact trade promotion, economic growth and diversification in Florida, business profitability and viability, and, in particular, the startup of new businesses. The report must specifically identify and describe those agency rules repealed or modified during each calendar year in order to improve the regulatory climate for businesses operating in this state. The report must also identify those proposed rules for review and possible repeal or modification in the next calendar year.
(b) The report must also specifically identify and describe the use and impact of state economic development incentives on minority-owned businesses. The report must detail how many minority-owned businesses received state economic development incentives administered by the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development, including private activity bonds, and the JOBs benefit.
(5) Each state agency shall cooperate fully with the rules ombudsman in identifying such rules. Further, each agency shall take the necessary steps to waive, modify, or otherwise minimize such adverse effects of any such rules. However, nothing in this section authorizes any state agency to waive, modify, provide exceptions to, or otherwise alter any rule that is:
(a) Expressly required to implement or enforce any statutory provision or the express legislative intent thereof;
(b) Designed to protect persons against discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, handicap, or marital status; or
(c) Likely to prevent a significant risk or danger to the public health, the public safety, or the environment of the state.
(6) The modification or waiver of any such rule pursuant to this section must be accomplished in accordance with the provisions of chapter 120.
History.--s. 5, ch. 96-320.