(1) There is created the Dr. Philip Benjamin Matching Grant Program for Florida College System Institutions as a single matching gifts program that encompasses the goals originally set out in the Academic Improvement Program, the Scholarship Matching Program, and the Health Care Education Quality Enhancement Challenge Grant. The program shall be administered according to rules of the State Board of Education and used to encourage private support in enhancing Florida College System institutions by providing the Florida College System with the opportunity to receive and match challenge grants. Funds received prior to the effective date of this act for each of the three programs shall be retained in the separate account for which it was designated.
(2) Each Florida College System institution board of trustees receiving state appropriations under this program shall approve each gift to ensure alignment with the unique mission of the Florida College System institution. The board of trustees must link all requests for a state match to the goals and mission statement. The Florida College System Institution Foundation Board receiving state appropriations under this program shall approve each gift to ensure alignment with its goals and mission statement. Funds received from community events and festivals are not eligible for state matching funds under this program.
(3) Upon approval by the Florida College System institution board of trustees and the State Board of Education, the ordering of donations for priority listing of unmatched gifts should be determined by the submitting Florida College System institution.
(4) Each year, eligible contributions received by a Florida College System institution’s foundation or the State Board of Education by February 1 shall be eligible for state matching funds.
(a) Each Florida College System institution board of trustees and, when applicable, the Florida College System Institution Foundation Board, receiving state appropriations under this program shall also certify in an annual report to the State Board of Education the receipt of eligible cash contributions that were previously unmatched by the state. The State Board of Education shall adopt rules providing all Florida College System institutions with an opportunity to apply for excess funds before the awarding of such funds.
(b) Florida College System institutions must submit to the State Board of Education an annual expenditure report tracking the use of all matching funds.
(c) The audit of each foundation receiving state funds from this program must include a certification of accuracy in the amount reported for matching funds.
(5) The matching ratio for donations that are specifically designated to support scholarships, including scholarships for first-generation-in-college students, student loans, or need-based grants shall be $1 of state funds to $1 of local private funds.
(6) Otherwise, funds shall be proportionately allocated to the Florida College System institutions on the basis of matching each $6 of local or private funds with $4 of state funds. To be eligible, a minimum of $4,500 must be raised from private sources.
(7) The Florida College System institution board of trustees, in conjunction with the donor, shall make the determination of whether scholarships established pursuant to this program are endowed.
(8)(a) Funds sufficient to provide the match shall be transferred from the state appropriations to the local Florida College System institution foundation or the statewide Florida College System institution foundation upon notification that a proportionate amount has been received and deposited by a Florida College System institution in its own trust fund.
(b) If state funds appropriated for the program are insufficient to match contributions, the amount allocated shall be reduced in proportion to its share of the total eligible contributions. However, in making proportional reductions, every Florida College System institution shall receive a minimum of $75,000 in state matching funds if its eligible contributions would have generated an amount at least equal to $75,000. All unmet contributions shall be eligible for state matching funds in subsequent fiscal years.
(9) Each Florida College System institution entity shall establish its own matching grant program fund as a depository for the private contributions and matching state funds provided under this section. Florida College System institution foundations are responsible for the maintenance, investment, and administration of their matching grant program funds.
(10) The State Board of Education may receive submissions of requests for matching funds and documentation relating to those requests, may approve requests for matching funds, and may allocate such funds to the Florida College System institutions.
(11) The board of trustees of the Florida College System institution and the State Board of Education are responsible for determining the uses for the proceeds of their respective trust funds. Such use of the proceeds shall include, but not be limited to, expenditure of the funds for:
(a) Scientific and technical equipment.
(b) Scholarships, loans, or need-based grants.
(c) Other activities that will benefit future students as well as students currently enrolled at the Florida College System institution, will improve the quality of education at the Florida College System institution, or will enhance economic development in the community.
(12) Each Florida College System institution shall notify all donors of private funds of a substantial delay in the availability of state matching funds for this program.
(13) Effective July 1, 2011, state matching funds are temporarily suspended for donations received for this program on or after June 30, 2011. Existing eligible donations remain eligible for future matching funds. The program may be restarted after $200 million of the backlog for programs under this section and ss. 1011.32, 1011.94, and 1013.79 have been matched.