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The Florida Statutes

The 2004 Florida Statutes

Title XXIX
PUBLIC HEALTH
Chapter 394
MENTAL HEALTH
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Section 394.655, Florida Statutes 2004

1394.655  The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Corporation; powers and duties; composition; evaluation and reporting requirements.--

(1)  It is the intent of the Legislature to provide substance abuse and mental health services that are coordinated and consistent throughout the state, that reflect the current state of knowledge regarding quality and effectiveness, and that are responsive to service recipients and the needs of communities in this state. In order to accomplish this intent, there is created a not-for-profit corporation, to be known as the "Florida Substance Abuse and Mental Health Corporation, Inc.," which shall be registered, incorporated, organized, and operated in compliance with chapter 617 and which shall not be a unit or entity of state government. The Florida Substance Abuse and Mental Health Corporation, hereafter referred to as "the corporation," shall be administratively housed within the Department of Children and Family Services. Though the corporation is not subject to the control of the department, the corporation shall work collaboratively with the department to improve the state's mental health and substance abuse systems. As used in this section, "the department" means the Department of Children and Family Services.

(2)  The Legislature finds that public policy and the State Constitution require that the corporation and any committees it forms be subject to the provisions of chapter 119 relating to public records and the provisions of chapter 286 relating to public meetings.

(3)(a)  The Florida Substance Abuse and Mental Health Corporation shall be responsible for oversight of the publicly funded substance abuse and mental health systems and for making policy and resources recommendations which will improve the coordination, quality, and efficiency of the system. Subject to and consistent with direction set by the Legislature, the corporation shall exercise the following responsibilities:

1.  Review and assess the collection and analysis of needs assessment data as described in s. 394.82.

2.  Review and assess the status of the publicly funded mental health and substance abuse systems and recommend policy designed to improve coordination and effectiveness.

3.  Provide mechanisms for substance abuse and mental health stakeholders, including consumers, family members, providers, and advocates to provide input concerning the management of the overall system.

4.  Recommend priorities for service expansion.

5.  Prepare budget recommendations to be submitted to the appropriate departments for consideration in the development of their legislative budget requests and provide copies to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives for their consideration.

6.  Review data regarding the performance of the publicly funded substance abuse and mental health systems.

7.  Make recommendations concerning strategies for improving the performance of the systems.

8.  Review, assess, and forecast substance abuse and mental health manpower needs and work with the department and the educational system to establish policies, consistent with the direction of the Legislature, which will ensure that the state has the personnel it needs to continuously implement and improve its services.

(b)  The corporation shall work with the department and the Agency for Health Care Administration to assure, to the maximum extent possible, that Medicaid and department-funded services are delivered in a coordinated manner, using common service definitions, standards, and accountability mechanisms.

(c)  The corporation shall also work with other agencies of state government which provide, purchase, or fund substance abuse and mental health programs and services in order to work toward fully developed and integrated, when appropriate, substance abuse and mental health systems that reflect current knowledge regarding efficacy and efficiency and use best practices identified within this state or other states.

(d)  The corporation shall develop memoranda of understanding that describe how it will coordinate with other programmatic areas within the department and with other state agencies that deliver or purchase substance abuse or mental health services.

(4)  Unless otherwise prohibited by state or federal law, and pursuant to the agreement provided in the contract required in subsection (5), the department shall provide information requested by the corporation in a reasonable manner that allows for timely review by the corporation for items as set forth in subsection (3) and specified in the contract provided for in subsection (5).

(5)  The corporation and the department must enter into a memorandum of understanding that specifies how the department will consider and respond to the recommendations of the corporation and describes how the department will respond to the corporation's requests for documents, reports, and proposals needed by the corporation in order for it to carry out its responsibilities as described in paragraph (3)(a).

(6)(a)  The corporation shall be comprised of 12 members, each appointed to a 2-year term, with not more than three subsequent reappointments, except that initial legislative appointments shall be for 3-year terms. Four members shall be appointed by the Governor, four members shall be appointed by the President of the Senate, and four members shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

1.  The four members appointed by the Governor must be prominent community or business leaders, two of whom must have experience and interest in substance abuse and two of whom must have experience and interest in mental health.

2.  Of the four members appointed by the President of the Senate, one member must represent the perspective of community-based care under chapter 409, one member must be a former client or family member of a client of a publicly funded mental health program, and two members must be prominent community or business leaders, one of whom must have experience and interest in substance abuse and one of whom must have experience and interest in mental health.

3.  Of the four members appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, one member must be a former client or family member of a client of a publicly funded substance abuse program, one member must represent the perspective of the criminal justice system, and two members must be prominent community or business leaders, one of whom must have experience and interest in substance abuse and one of whom must have experience and interest in mental health. The Secretary of Children and Family Services, or his or her designee, the Secretary of Health Care Administration, or his or her designee, and a representative of local government designated by the Florida Association of Counties shall serve as ex officio members of the corporation.

(b)  The corporation shall be chaired by a member designated by the Governor who may not be a public sector employee.

(c)  Persons who derive their income from resources controlled by the Department of Children and Family Services or the Agency for Health Care Administration may not be members of the corporation.

(d)  The Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall make their respective appointments within 60 days after the effective date of this act.

(e)  A member of the corporation may be removed by the appointing party for cause. Absence from three consecutive meetings shall result in automatic removal. The chairperson of the corporation shall notify the appointing party of such absences.

(f)  The corporation shall develop bylaws that describe how it will conduct its work.

(g)  The corporation shall meet at least quarterly and at other times upon the call of its chair. Corporation meetings may be held via teleconference or other electronic means.

(h)  A majority of the total current membership of the corporation constitutes a quorum of the corporation. The corporation may only meet and take action when a quorum is present.

(i)  Within resources appropriated by the Legislature and other funds available to the corporation, the chairperson of the corporation may appoint advisory committees to address and advise the corporation on particular issues within its scope of responsibility. Members of advisory committees are not subject to the prohibition in paragraph (c).

(j)  Members of the corporation and its committees shall serve without compensation but are entitled to reimbursement for travel and per diem expenses pursuant to s. 112.061.

(k)  Each member of the corporation who is not otherwise required to file a financial disclosure statement pursuant to s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution or s. 112.3144 must file disclosure of financial interests pursuant to s. 112.3145.

(7)  Funds for the corporation shall be appropriated in a special category. The corporation may purchase expert consultation and staff support services necessary to perform its duties from funds appropriated to the department for this purpose. In addition, within resources appropriated to the department for the corporation, the corporation may appoint one employee who shall serve as the liaison between the corporation, the state agencies and organizations with which the corporation contracts or enters into memoranda of agreement. This employee shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the corporation and is an employee of the corporation, not of the state. Provision of other staff support required by the corporation shall be provided by the department as negotiated in the contract developed pursuant to subsection (5).

(8)  The corporation must develop a budget request for its operation and must submit the request to the Governor and the Legislature pursuant to chapter 216 through the secretary of the department.

(9)  The corporation shall provide for an annual financial audit of its financial accounts and records by an independent certified public accountant. The annual audit report shall include a management letter in accordance with s. 11.45 and a detailed supplemental schedule of expenditures for each expenditure category. The annual audit report must be submitted to the Governor, the department, and the Auditor General for review.

(10)  The corporation must annually evaluate and, in December of each year, report to the Legislature and the Governor on the status of the state's publicly funded substance abuse and mental health systems. The corporation's first report must be submitted in December 2004. Each public sector agency that delivers, or contracts for the provision of, substance abuse or mental health services must cooperate with the corporation in the development of this annual evaluation and report. As part of the annual report, the corporation and department shall each certify as to whether the corporation and the department are complying with the terms of the contract required in subsection (5) in a manner that is consistent with the goals and purposes of the corporation and in the best interest of the state.

(11)  This section expires on October 1, 2006, unless reviewed and reenacted by the Legislature before that date.

History.--s. 2, ch. 2003-279.

1Note.--Section 4, ch. 2003-279, provides that:

"By February 1, 2006, the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability and the Auditor General shall jointly conduct an evaluation of the state's substance abuse and mental health systems and its management. The evaluation shall, at a minimum, address the extent to which the corporation has carried out its responsibilities as described in section 394.655(3)(a), Florida Statutes, the degree to which the department and other affected state agencies have cooperated with the corporation as directed in section 394.655, Florida Statutes, and the impact the organizational changes described in sections 20.19(2)(c) and 394.655, Florida Statutes, as created by this act have had on the substance abuse and mental health systems in the following areas:

"1.  The coordination of services delivered or paid for by the various departments involved in delivering or purchasing state funded mental health or substance abuse services.

"2.  The efficiency of service delivery to clients for whom the responsibility for care moves from one department of state government to another.

"3.  The overall quality of publicly funded substance abuse and mental health services and its consistency across departments.

"4.  The use of common evidence-based standards.

"5.  The collection and analysis of common information which describes the services delivered and outcomes achieved for individuals receiving state funded mental health and substance abuse services.

"6.  The satisfaction of service recipients and of Florida's communities with the state funded mental health and substance abuse service delivery system. The evaluation shall commence with the initial operation of the corporation. An initial report and a final report of the evaluation must be submitted to the Governor, President of the Senate, and Speaker of the House of Representatives by February 1, 2005 and 2006, respectively. The final report must include recommendations concerning the future of the corporation and the structure of the state's mental health and substance abuse authority and their placement."


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