SB1216 by Negron: An act relating to Children's Services Councils, amending s.125.901, F.S.:
Revises the membership of CSCs boards by adding an additional county commissioner (total membership
goes from 10 to 11 to include 2 county commissioners).
The current structure of CSC: 5 Governor appointees, School Board member, Superintendent of
Schools, Juvenile Judge, County Commissioner, Administrator of Department of Children and
Families; by design allows a voice that is accountable but reflects the roles each member has in regards to
the best interest of the County and children
This combination of governance by state and county elected officials with equal voice and votes for local
business and community leaders has resulted in a long history of CSC accountability, sustained
strategies, and transparency.
Note: Board make-up can vary from that outlined by s.125.901(1)(a) per local act. In the case of the Children’s Trust of
Miami-Dade County, s. 125.901(1)(b), authorizes a 33-member governing board with representation enurmerated.
Requires the governing body of the county to approve the purchase of real estate or the construction of a
building. CSC shall give priority in use of funds to provision of services rather than the purchase of real
estate or the construction of buildings.
Current Statute allows for the use of funds for the purchase of real estate or the construction of a building.
It is important to note that the statute prohibits CSCs from borrowing money to pay for buildings (see
s.125.901(2)(a)(6), F.S.). Also, CSC Boards are subject to Florida Sunshine and Public Record Laws as
well as statutory bidding procedures proscribed under s. 255.20 (1), F. S., ensuring an open and
transparent process for capital facilities planning.
Over the years, each CSC board faced with a decision about how to deal with inadequate facilities have,
in fact, done an analysis of the cost benefit of rental vs. purchase as part of its due diligence
responsibilities. In each case, renting space is more costly to taxpayers within a short time.
CSCs facilities are not just used to house staff they are:
Used as a learning center for parents, child care providers, youth, educators
Regularly utilized by a wide range of local non-profit and government organizations for training and
In some cases sublet at a reduced rate to nonprofit providers
Requires the CSC to submit a tentative budget and proposed millage rate to the governing board of the
county for approval requires governing board of the county to hold public hearings prior to county
All independent CSCs must follow sections of Florida law dealing with local government fiscal matters, most notably
Chapter 218. Statutory requirements govern budget procedures and schedule, setting of millage rates, public notice
(TRIM notices) and public hearings, tax limitations, and qualified bank depositories for cash. CSCs abide by Florida’s
Sunshine Laws. Monthly council meetings, annual budget hearings and any public records are open to all. CSCs also
provide voters with annual reports and updated information online to ensure they are as available, accessible and
accountable as possible.
CSCs must provide an audit, prepared by an independent auditor, to the county and to the Florida
Department of Financial Services timely each year.
Fiscal accountability and oversight are, for all intents and purposes, nearly identical to the statutory
requirements county governments must follow particularly with respect to public hearings.
Bill provides no safeguards that Children’s Services Council funds would be used for their intended
purpose– children's prevention and early intervention services
Requires the governing body of the county to take public testimony and periodically vote on whether to
retain or dissolve the CSC. Notwithstanding that county governing board vote, beginning in 2016 and
every 8 years thereafter, the county shall submit the question of retention or dissolution of the district to
Current law provides voters two avenues for dissolution of a CSC. First, at any time, the county
governing board may pass an ordinance to place the issue before the voters again. Second, the
Legislature may pass a special act to place the question of dissolution before the voters again.
In the case of dissolution of a CSC, which has never taken place, the county government is required to
assume all the obligations and contracts of the CSC
The millage rate would then be subsumed under the county’s 10 mill cap. It is highly unlikely the
programs and services for children would be continued.
Eliminates authority of current Council members which are assigned because of their knowledge of the
needs of children and families
Removes the authority and accountability of local elected officials that exist currently
Unintended Consequences of SB1216:
Loss of Maximized Revenue
o CSC’s throughout the state are drawing down millions of federal dollars that result in the maximization of
local revenue due to its independent status. If CSCMC funds are at risk of being diminished over time it
would impact revenue maximization efforts.
CSCSLC currently draws down over $6 million in State, Federal, Foundation funds
CSCMC currently draws down over $3 million in State, Federal and Foundation funds
Loss of a Safety Net
o CSC’s throughout the state have in many critical circumstances provided funds necessary to sustain
program services to those in need when the State has been unable to continue funding or has reduced its
o CSC’s throughout the state are committed to various levels of monitoring and evaluation that ensure
programs are achieving success with target populations. This includes the commitment to funding
programs that are rooted in practices that have been scientifically proven to be successful. This level of
rigor requires an organizational culture that can support such activities which does not exist in local
o CSC funded programs allows parents to have a safe place for their children while they are at work –
including after school programs and child care
o CSC funds social services providers that employ thousands of individuals.
Loss of Return on Investment
The work of CSCs aims to prevent a host of health, family and educational barriers that burden communities,
states and the nation for a child’s lifetime. More children enter the world alive and healthy.
o Better Birth Outcomes – Healthier Mothers and Healthier Babies
o More children are safe, nurtured and developing normally in quality child care. The added benefit is that
their low-income parents can work, thus keeping them from relying on public funding.
o Fewer children are abused and neglected.
o More children enter the public school system prepared mentally, physically and emotionally ready to
o More children spend out-of-school time with adult supervision rather than alone and engaging in risky
o The need to put children in foster care or detention centers is reduced.