Bill Text: FL S0136 | 2020 | Regular Session | Comm Sub


Bill Title: Adoption Benefits

Spectrum: Bipartisan Bill

Status: (Introduced) 2020-02-19 - Laid on Table, refer to CS/CS/HB 61 [S0136 Detail]

Download: Florida-2020-S0136-Comm_Sub.html
       Florida Senate - 2020                              CS for SB 136
       
       
        
       By the Committee on Appropriations; and Senators Bean, Harrell,
       and Perry
       
       
       
       
       576-03163-20                                           2020136c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to adoption benefits; amending s.
    3         409.1664, F.S.; revising the definition of the term
    4         “qualifying adoptive employee” and providing for
    5         retroactive application; defining the terms
    6         “servicemember” and “veteran”; providing that adoptive
    7         servicemembers and veterans are eligible to receive
    8         certain monetary benefits; specifying eligibility
    9         criteria; requiring servicemembers and veterans
   10         seeking a benefit to apply to the Department of
   11         Children and Families; revising construction;
   12         providing for applicability of certain department
   13         rules to servicemembers and veterans; requiring
   14         servicemembers and veterans seeking a benefit to be
   15         registered as a vendor with the state; providing an
   16         effective date.
   17          
   18  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   19  
   20         Section 1. Section 409.1664, Florida Statutes, is amended
   21  to read:
   22         409.1664 Adoption benefits for qualifying adoptive
   23  employees of state agencies, veterans, and servicemembers.—
   24         (1) As used in this section, the term:
   25         (a) “Child within the child welfare system” has the same
   26  meaning as provided in s. 409.166.
   27         (b) “Qualifying adoptive employee” means a full-time or
   28  part-time employee of a state agency, a charter school
   29  established under s. 1002.33, or the Florida Virtual School
   30  established under s. 1002.37, who is not an independent
   31  contractor paid from regular salary appropriations, or otherwise
   32  meets his or her employer’s definition of a regular rather than
   33  temporary employee, and who adopts a child within the child
   34  welfare system pursuant to chapter 63 on or after July 1, 2015.
   35  The term includes instructional personnel, as defined in s.
   36  1012.01, who are employed by the Florida School for the Deaf and
   37  the Blind, and includes other-personal-services employees who
   38  have been continuously employed full time or part time by a
   39  state agency for at least 1 year.
   40         (c) “Servicemember” has the same meaning as in s.
   41  250.01(19).
   42         (d) “State agency” means a branch, department, or agency of
   43  state government for which the Chief Financial Officer processes
   44  payroll requisitions, a state university or Florida College
   45  System institution as defined in s. 1000.21, a school district
   46  unit as defined in s. 1001.30, or a water management district as
   47  defined in s. 373.019.
   48         (e)“Veteran” has the same meaning as in s. 1.01(14).
   49         (2) A qualifying adoptive employee, veteran, or
   50  servicemember who adopts a child within the child welfare system
   51  who has special needs described in s. 409.166(2)(a)2. is
   52  eligible to receive a lump-sum monetary benefit in the amount of
   53  $10,000 per such child, subject to applicable taxes. A
   54  qualifying adoptive employee, veteran, or servicemember who
   55  adopts a child within the child welfare system who does not have
   56  special needs described in s. 409.166(2)(a)2. is eligible to
   57  receive a lump-sum monetary benefit in the amount of $5,000 per
   58  such child, subject to applicable taxes. A qualifying adoptive
   59  employee of a charter school or the Florida Virtual School may
   60  retroactively apply for the monetary benefit provided in this
   61  subsection if such employee was employed by a charter school or
   62  the Florida Virtual School when he or she adopted a child within
   63  the child welfare system pursuant to chapter 63 on or after July
   64  1, 2015. A veteran or servicemember may apply for the monetary
   65  benefit provided in this subsection if he or she is domiciled in
   66  this state and adopts a child within the child welfare system
   67  pursuant to chapter 63 on or after July 1, 2020.
   68         (a) Benefits paid to a qualifying adoptive employee who is
   69  a part-time employee must be prorated based on the qualifying
   70  adoptive employee’s full-time equivalency at the time of
   71  applying for the benefits.
   72         (b) Monetary benefits awarded under this subsection are
   73  limited to one award per adopted child within the child welfare
   74  system.
   75         (c) The payment of a lump-sum monetary benefit for adopting
   76  a child within the child welfare system under this section is
   77  subject to a specific appropriation to the department for such
   78  purpose.
   79         (3) A qualifying adoptive employee must apply to his or her
   80  agency head, or to his or her school director in the case of a
   81  qualifying adoptive employee of a charter school or the Florida
   82  Virtual School, to obtain the monetary benefit provided in
   83  subsection (2). A veteran or servicemember must apply to the
   84  department to obtain the benefit. Applications must be on forms
   85  approved by the department and must include a certified copy of
   86  the final order of adoption naming the applicant as the adoptive
   87  parent. Monetary benefits shall be approved on a first-come,
   88  first-served basis based upon the date that each fully completed
   89  application is received by the department.
   90         (4) This section does not preclude a qualifying adoptive
   91  employee, veteran, or servicemember from receiving adoption
   92  assistance for which he or she may qualify under s. 409.166 or
   93  any other statute that provides financial incentives for the
   94  adoption of children.
   95         (5) Parental leave for a qualifying adoptive employee must
   96  be provided in accordance with the personnel policies and
   97  procedures of his or her employer.
   98         (6) The department may adopt rules to administer this
   99  section. The rules may provide for an application process such
  100  as, but not limited to, an open enrollment period during which
  101  qualifying adoptive employees, veterans, or servicemembers may
  102  apply for monetary benefits under this section.
  103         (7) The Chief Financial Officer shall disburse a monetary
  104  benefit to a qualifying adoptive employee upon the department’s
  105  submission of a payroll requisition. The Chief Financial Officer
  106  shall transfer funds from the department to a state university,
  107  a Florida College System institution, a school district unit, a
  108  charter school, the Florida Virtual School, or a water
  109  management district, as appropriate, to enable payment to the
  110  qualifying adoptive employee through the payroll systems as long
  111  as funds are available for such purpose.
  112         (8) To receive an approved monetary benefit under this
  113  section, a veteran or servicemember must be registered as a
  114  vendor with the state.
  115         (9) Each state agency shall develop a uniform procedure for
  116  informing employees about this benefit and for assisting the
  117  department in making eligibility determinations and processing
  118  applications. Any procedure adopted by a state agency is valid
  119  and enforceable if the procedure does not conflict with the
  120  express terms of this section.
  121         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2020.

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