Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 162506
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File Number: 162506 File Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Version: 0 Reference: R-1176-16 Control: County Commission
File Name: ESTABLISHMENT OF A VETERANS COURT Introduced: 11/1/2016
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action:
Agenda Date: 12/6/2016 Agenda Item Number: 11A7
Notes: Title: RESOLUTION COMMENDING THE MILITARY AFFAIRS BOARD ON ITS SUCCESS IN ADVOCATING FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF AND SECURING FUNDING FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF A VETERANS COURT IN THE ELEVENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT IN AND FOR MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA AND ENCOURAGING THE MILITARY AFFAIRS BOARD TO CONTINUE ITS GOOD WORK WITH THE VETERANS COURT, AS WELL AS IN OTHER AREAS OF RESPONSIBILITY IDENTIFIED IN ORDINANCE NO. 12-37; EXPRESSING SUPPORT FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF SUCH A VETERANS COURT; AND URGING THE GOVERNOR AND FLORIDA LEGISLATURE TO PROVIDE FUNDING FOR THE ELEVENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT’S VETERANS COURT
Indexes: VETERANS
Sponsors: Jose "Pepe" Diaz, Prime Sponsor
  Daniella Levine Cava, Co-Sponsor
  Dennis C. Moss, Co-Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

Board of County Commissioners 12/6/2016 11A7 Adopted
REPORT: Commissioner Moss asked to be added as a co-sponsor.

Strategic Planning & Government Operations Cmte 11/10/2016 2B Forwarded to BCC with a favorable recommendation P
REPORT: Assistant County Attorney Jess McCarty read the foregoing proposed resolution into the record. Hearing no questions or comments, the SPGOC proceeded to vote that the foregoing proposed resolution be forwarded to the Board of County Commission with a favorable recommendation, as presented.

County Attorney 11/2/2016 Referred Strategic Planning & Government Operations Cmte 11/10/2016

County Attorney 11/1/2016 Assigned Miguel A. Gonzalez 11/2/2016

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION COMMENDING THE MILITARY AFFAIRS BOARD ON ITS SUCCESS IN ADVOCATING FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF AND SECURING FUNDING FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF A VETERANS COURT IN THE ELEVENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT IN AND FOR MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA AND ENCOURAGING THE MILITARY AFFAIRS BOARD TO CONTINUE ITS GOOD WORK WITH THE VETERANS COURT, AS WELL AS IN OTHER AREAS OF RESPONSIBILITY IDENTIFIED IN ORDINANCE NO. 12-37; EXPRESSING SUPPORT FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF SUCH A VETERANS COURT; AND URGING THE GOVERNOR AND FLORIDA LEGISLATURE TO PROVIDE FUNDING FOR THE ELEVENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT’S VETERANS COURT

BODY

WHEREAS, on May 15, 2012, this Board adopted Ordinance No. 12-37 creating the Military Affairs Board and charging the Military Affairs Board with the responsibility to “[a]dvocate on behalf of military personnel in Miami-Dade County regarding . . . incarceration,” among other things; and
WHEREAS, in furtherance of this mission, the Military Affairs Board, working cooperatively with federal and state partners, initiated and undertook efforts to establish a Veterans Court in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit in and for Miami-Dade County (“Veterans Court”); and
WHEREAS, these federal and state partners included the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, Miami Veterans Health Administration; the Eleventh Judicial Circuit; and the South Florida Behavioral Health Network; and

WHEREAS, the Veterans Court would be modeled after similar courts throughout the nation and would endeavor to provide specialized services tailored to meet veterans’ unique needs, including veteran-on-veteran mentoring, all with the objective of assisting veterans encountering the criminal justice system with their healthy reintegration into civilian life, reduced likelihood of recidivism, and receipt of proper mental health care; and
WHEREAS, the approach to ensuring the success of the Veterans Court was holistic, embracing action by both the Military Affairs Board and this Board, beginning with Resolution No. R-774-14 which this Board adopted on September 3, 2014; and
WHEREAS, Resolution No. R-774-14 resulted in the redesign of the arrest forms used by law enforcement throughout Miami-Dade County to identify veterans at the time of arrest; and
WHEREAS, the Military Affairs Board and this Board also have taken steps to ensure that veterans who are not identified at the time of arrest are identified at the time of booking into the jail, and provided with literature informing them of the benefits available to incarcerated veterans under applicable laws, which this Board adopted on September 3, 2014, through Resolution No. R-773-14; and
WHEREAS, in addition to undertaking efforts to ensure that veterans are identified at the time of arrest or booking, the Military Affairs Board has also endeavored to ensure that the Veterans Court is modeled after the most successful programs in the nation by observing the functioning of those programs and engaging in dialogue with those officials who organize and manage the programs; and

WHEREAS, through these information exchanges, the Military Affairs Board has determined that a mentorship program, designed to work hand-in-hand with the Veterans Court, was crucial to the Veterans Court’s success and, as such, the Military Affairs Board used its broad network within the military community to recruit, and encourage other entities to recruit, volunteers to serve as veteran mentors; and
WHEREAS, the Military Affairs Board has also lent substantial funding support to the creation of the Veterans Court, by committing $75,000 raised through fundraising efforts to be used as the matching component for a grant from the United States Department of Justice, under the authority the Military Affairs Board was granted pursuant to Ordinance No. 12-37; and
WHEREAS, on September 21, 2016, the County was notified that the United States Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance, had approved a $350,000 grant for the establishment of the Veterans Court; and
WHEREAS, in addition to federal and local efforts, this Board would like to urge the Florida Legislature to appropriate state funds to the Miami-Dade County Veterans Court during the 2017 session; and
WHEREAS, during the 2016 session, the Florida Legislature appropriated $2,437,032 in state funds to veterans courts in 13 counties elsewhere in Florida; and
WHEREAS, this Board desires to commend the Military Affairs Board on its successful initiative and encourage the State of Florida to provide state funding to build on the Military Affairs Board’s success,


NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, that this Board:
Section 1. Commends the Military Affairs Board on its success in advocating for the establishment of and securing funding for the implementation of the Veterans Court within the Eleventh Judicial Circuit in and for Miami-Dade County, Florida and encourages the Military Affairs Board to continue its good work with the Veterans Court, as well as in the other areas of responsibility identified in Ordinance No. 12-37.
Section 2. Expresses its support for the establishment of a Veterans Court within the Eleventh Judicial Circuit.
Section 3. Urges the Governor and Florida Legislature to provide funding for the Eleventh Judicial Circuit’s Veterans Court.
Section 4. Directs the Clerk of the Board to transmit a certified copy of this resolution to the Governor, Senate President, House Speaker, the Chair and Members of the Miami-Dade State Legislative Delegation, and the Chief Judge of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit.
Section 5. Directs the County’s state lobbyists to advocate for the funding indicated in Section 3 above, and authorizes and directs the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs to include this item in the 2017 State Legislative Package when it is presented to the Board.



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