Section 11.70, Florida Statutes 2009
11.70 Legislative Committee on Intergovernmental Relations.--
(1) SHORT TITLE.--This section may be cited as the "Legislative Committee on Intergovernmental Relations Act."
(2) FINDINGS AND PURPOSE.--
(a) The Legislature finds and declares that there is a need for an official body to:
1. Involve local and state officials in an advisory capacity to the executive and legislative branches of state government.
2. Study problems of the intergovernmental aspects of governmental structure, finance, functional performance, and relationships at the local, regional, state, and interstate levels.
3. Recommend solutions to intergovernmental problems.
4. Establish a regular system of reporting to state and local public officials on the progress of Florida and its political subdivisions toward meeting their intergovernmental responsibilities.
5. Encourage and recommend methods of effective and efficient delivery of services at the state and local levels through services integration and combination of complementary services delivery functions.
6. Assume responsibilities for administering, coordinating, or providing intergovernmental services as may be required by the Legislature or Governor.
7. Provide the Legislature, the Governor, and other interested parties with advice on intergovernmental concerns.
(b) It is the purpose of this section to improve coordination and cooperation among state government and local governments, other states, and the Federal Government through the establishment of a Florida Legislative Committee on Intergovernmental Relations.
(3) COMMITTEE CREATED.--There is created the Florida Legislative Committee on Intergovernmental Relations. The committee is composed of 15 members as follows:
(a) Eight legislative members, to include four members of the Senate appointed by the President of the Senate and four members of the House of Representatives appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The terms of the legislative members are for 2 years and must run from the organization of one Legislature to the organization of the next Legislature.
(b) Seven members appointed by the Governor from elected and appointed state and local officials and other interested citizens. The terms of the gubernatorial appointments are for 2 years and must run from general election to general election. The Governor shall make appointments within 20 days after each general election, and the members may be reappointed. The committee may make recommendations to the Governor regarding appointments.
(c) Each member of the committee who is a public officer shall perform the duties of a member of the committee as additional duties required of the member in his or her other official capacity.
(d) The chair and vice chair must be legislators appointed for 1-year terms, with the appointments alternating between the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The chair and vice chair may not be members of the same house of the Legislature. If both the chair and vice chair are absent at any meeting, the voting members present shall elect a temporary chair by a majority vote.
(e) If a representative of the counties or of the municipalities or a legislator ceases to be an officer or member of the unit he or she is appointed to represent, his or her membership on the committee must terminate immediately, and there will be a vacancy in the membership. Within 30 days, such vacancy shall be filled in the manner of the regular appointment, and the person so appointed shall serve only to the end of the unexpired term and until his or her successor is appointed and qualified.
(f) The presiding officers of the Legislature should be guided in their appointments by consideration of the legislators' expertise, interest, and experience, including legislative committee service in the field of intergovernmental relations.
(g) Eight of the members of the committee shall constitute a quorum.
(4) FUNCTIONS AND DUTIES.--The committee is authorized to:
(a) Serve as a forum for the discussion and study of intergovernmental problems.
(b) To the extent not otherwise provided by law, evaluate on a continuous basis the interrelationships among local, regional, state, interstate, and federal agencies in the provision of public services in Florida and, as appropriate, prepare studies and recommendations to improve organizational structure, operational efficiency, allocation of functional responsibilities, delivery of services, and related matters.
(c) Analyze the structure, functions, revenue requirements, and fiscal policies of the state and its political subdivisions; conduct studies of economic, administrative, tax, and revenue matters for all levels of state government; and make recommendations for improvement.
(d) Examine proposed and existing federal and state programs, assess their impact upon this state and its political subdivisions, and provide such assessments and recommendations, when appropriate, to the Legislature, the Governor, the Florida Congressional Delegation, or any other group, public or private, whose activities affect intergovernmental relations.
(e) Encourage and, when appropriate, coordinate studies relating to intergovernmental relations conducted by universities; state, local, and federal agencies; and research and consulting organizations.
(f) Review the recommendations of national commissions studying federal, state, and local government relationships and problems and assess their possible application to this state.
(g) Issue annual reports of its findings and recommendations to be transmitted to the Governor and the presiding officer of each house of the Legislature not less than 60 days before the convening of each regular session of the Legislature. The reports must set forth the reasons and supporting data for each recommendation and must include draft legislation to implement the recommendations. Recommendations regarding economic and taxation issues must be accompanied by supportive analyses of economic data. The committee may issue special or interim reports on specific subjects.
(h) The committee may apply for, contract for, receive, and expend for its purposes any appropriations or grants from the state or its political subdivisions, the Federal Government, or any other source, public or private.
(i) As soon as practicable after the enactment or adoption of any new state program or increase in the level of services rendered in an existing program, which action substantially increases the expenditures of or reduces the revenue or revenue-producing ability of counties or municipalities, the committee shall analyze the action. The committee shall send its analysis and report thereon to the Governor and presiding officers of the Legislature no later than 30 days before the convening of the next regular legislative session. Each analysis must include the committee's recommendation and its identification of new sources of revenue required to fund the increased cost of, or to offset the revenue loss incurred because of, the action.
(j) The committee shall consult with the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives in determining its priorities, and shall provide the standing committees of the Legislature assistance concerning intergovernmental issues.
(5) MEETINGS, HEARINGS, ADVISORY COMMITTEES.--
(a) The committee shall hold meetings at least semiannually at the call of the chair and may meet at other times as necessary. The committee may hold hearings on matters within its purview which are in the public interest. All meetings and hearings must be open to the public and must be conducted in accordance with s. 24(b), Art. I of the State Constitution.
(b) Each officer, board, commission, council, department, or agency of state government and each political subdivision of the state shall, when not inconsistent with any law, rule, or regulation regarding confidentiality, make available all facts, records, information, and data requested by the committee and in all ways cooperate with the committee in carrying out the functions and duties imposed by this section.
(c) The committee may establish advisory committees, the membership of which may or may not be made up, in whole, from members of the committee.
(d) The committee shall adopt rules necessary for its own organization and operation and for that of its staff, consistent with general law and the rules of each house.
(a) The committee shall employ and set the compensation of an executive director, who shall serve at its pleasure. Within available funds, the executive director may employ and set the compensation of professional, technical, legal, or clerical staff as may be necessary, and may remove these personnel. The executive director, with the consent of the committee, may acquire the services of consultants and enter into contracts on behalf of the committee.
(b) The staff of the committee shall be governed by the same rules as are the personnel of the Legislature and shall receive the same rights and benefits accruing to legislative personnel. The committee staff shall be members of the Florida Retirement System, and the committee shall make employer contributions for this purpose.
(c) Upon request of the committee, the Office of Legislative Services is directed to provide office space and equipment as the committee deems necessary.
(a) A member of the committee is not entitled to a salary for duties performed as a member of the committee, except that the members are entitled to reimbursement for per diem and travel expenses in accordance with s. 112.061.
(b) Political subdivisions of the state may appropriate funds to the committee to share in the cost of operations.
(c) Any requests by the Legislature for the performance of specific functions or studies requiring additional staff or expenses beyond the basic annual appropriations must be accompanied by funds for such purposes.
(d) The funding of the committee will be part of the continuing legislative appropriation.
History.--s. 1, ch. 96-311; s. 16, ch. 98-136.