Senate Bill sb2606

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    Florida Senate - 2005                                  SB 2606

    By Senator Crist

    12-1608-05                                              See HB

  1                      A bill to be entitled

  2         An act relating to student financial

  3         assistance; creating s. 1009.893, F.S.;

  4         creating the Sure Futures Postgraduate

  5         Scholarship Program to match private sector

  6         businesses that need employees who have

  7         advanced degrees with students who are seeking

  8         advanced degrees and employment; establishing

  9         the Sure Futures Foundation and a foundation

10         board to administer the program; providing

11         membership and duties of the foundation board;

12         providing criteria for student and corporate

13         partner participation in the program; providing

14         that corporate partners shall donate funds for

15         scholarships and receive tax credits for

16         amounts donated; providing restrictions on tax

17         credits; providing for scholarship conversion

18         to a low-interest loan if certain student or

19         employee obligations are not met; providing

20         duties of the Department of Education and state

21         universities; providing an effective date.


23  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:


25         Section 1.  Section 1009.893, Florida Statutes, is

26  created to read:

27         1009.893  Sure Futures Postgraduate Scholarship

28  Program.--The Sure Futures Postgraduate Scholarship Program is

29  created to establish a scholarship program to match private

30  sector businesses that need employees who have advanced

31  degrees with students who are seeking both advanced degrees


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    Florida Senate - 2005                                  SB 2606
    12-1608-05                                              See HB

 1  and employment. The goals of the program are to provide for a

 2  better educated workforce by offering students greater access

 3  to advanced degrees and to recruit and retain Florida's best

 4  and brightest graduate students by offering them comprehensive

 5  financial assistance and employment.

 6         (1)  The Sure Futures Foundation is established and

 7  shall seek s. 501(c)(3) Internal Revenue Code designation. The

 8  foundation shall be governed by the Sure Futures Foundation

 9  Board which shall administer the Sure Futures Postgraduate

10  Scholarship Program with guidance from the Board of Governors

11  and the State Board of Education. Duties of the foundation

12  board shall include, but not be limited to, adoption of

13  policies and procedures for implementation of the program,

14  approval of corporate partners and their scholarship criteria,

15  and establishment of a process for approval of printed

16  materials, marketing, and advertising. The foundation board

17  shall be comprised of the following members:

18         (a)  The Commissioner of Education as an ex officio

19  member.

20         (b)  The Chair of the Board of Governors as an ex

21  officio member.

22         (c)  Four state university presidents selected by the

23  State University Presidents Association to serve 2-year terms.

24         (d)  Four corporate partners participating in the

25  program, recommended by the Commissioner of Education and

26  selected by the Governor, to serve 2-year terms.

27         (e)  One graduate student recommended by the

28  Commissioner of Education and selected by the Governor to

29  serve a 1-year term.




CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.

    Florida Senate - 2005                                  SB 2606
    12-1608-05                                              See HB

 1  The Commissioner of Education, the Chair of the Board of

 2  Governors, the university presidents, and the corporate

 3  partners may designate a specific individual to represent them

 4  at board meetings.

 5         (2)(a)  The following students are eligible to obtain a

 6  list of Florida corporate partners and the graduate degree

 7  programs for which the partners are seeking candidates:

 8         1.  A student in his or her senior year who is an

 9  undergraduate student at a state university.

10         2.  A student in his or her senior year who is an

11  undergraduate student at an out-of-state university but who

12  would otherwise qualify as a resident for purposes of in-state

13  tuition.

14         3.  A graduate of a state university who intends to

15  pursue a graduate degree program at a state university.

16         (b)  A student shall apply through the program to each

17  individual corporate partner using a standard application

18  form. A predetermined limit shall be established for the

19  maximum number of applications a student may submit in a given

20  scholarship cycle.

21         (c)  After the initial candidate screening and

22  interview phase, a student selected by a corporate partner

23  shall sign a contract agreeing to borrow scholarship funds

24  through the program, with a waiver of payment provision if a

25  4-year employment obligation is completed. The scholarship

26  shall cover tuition, fees, and books for the degree program

27  and room and board based on the university dormitory and meal

28  plan rate for each year the student is enrolled full time as a

29  graduate student.

30         (d)  A student must maintain a minimum grade point

31  average as determined by the corporate partner.


CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.

    Florida Senate - 2005                                  SB 2606
    12-1608-05                                              See HB

 1         (e)  If a student is unable to take a full course load

 2  during a summer semester, the student may be required by the

 3  corporate partner to participate in an internship program.

 4         (f)  Upon graduation with an advanced degree, a

 5  graduate shall begin working for the corporate partner and

 6  must remain employed by the partner for a minimum of 4 years

 7  as stipulated in the contract.

 8         (g)  If a student fails to maintain the required grade

 9  point average or the graduate terminates his or her employment

10  before completing the 4-year obligation, a prorated portion of

11  the scholarship shall convert to a low-interest loan.

12         (3)(a)  A corporate partner that desires new employees

13  who have advanced degrees shall donate funds to the program in

14  amounts equal to the scholarship funds necessary for

15  completion of a degree program from which it wishes to draw

16  students. Donations may be made in one lump sum or on an

17  annual basis.

18         (b)  A corporate partner may establish criteria,

19  including, but not limited to, the degree sought and minimum

20  grade point average and extracurricular activity requirements.

21         (c)  A corporate partner may select the state

22  universities at which students may enroll or it may allow its

23  scholarships to be available for study at any state

24  university.

25         (d)  A corporate partner shall get a credit on its

26  corporate income tax equal to the amount of the donation. For

27  the first 2 years of the program, the total tax credits

28  available to corporate partners shall be limited to $10

29  million per year, minus the costs associated with

30  administering the program. Beginning with the third year of

31  the program, as more corporate partners participate, the total


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    Florida Senate - 2005                                  SB 2606
    12-1608-05                                              See HB

 1  tax credits available to corporate partners shall be

 2  increased. Beginning with the sixth year of the program, a tax

 3  credit shall be 75 percent of a donation and, beginning with

 4  the eleventh year of the program, a tax credit shall be 50

 5  percent of a donation.

 6         (e)  If a corporate partner terminates an employee for

 7  reasons other than malfeasance, misfeasance, or nonfeasance

 8  prior to the employee's completion of the 4-year obligation,

 9  the employee shall not be required to repay the scholarship. A

10  corporate partner is encouraged to establish protocols to

11  retain an employee prior to his or her termination.

12         (4)(a)  The Division of Colleges and Universities of

13  the Department of Education shall establish a central database

14  of corporate partners, the graduate degree programs for which

15  the partners are seeking candidates, and student applicants

16  and their profiles. The division shall establish a standard

17  application for use by all state universities.

18         (b)  On an annual basis, the department shall establish

19  the amount necessary to cover the costs for degree programs

20  for which corporate partners may make donations and receive

21  tax credits.

22         (5)  Prepared documentation regarding the program shall

23  be made available through the appropriate office at each

24  university. As deemed appropriate by a university's

25  administration, a university may provide additional

26  information or activities, such as providing one-on-one

27  discussions with advisors, conducting seminars on the program,

28  or working with companies in its service area to create

29  scholarships through the program.

30         (6)  State agencies, local workforce boards, chambers

31  of commerce, and Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall be encouraged


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    Florida Senate - 2005                                  SB 2606
    12-1608-05                                              See HB

 1  to promote corporate partner and student participation in the

 2  program.

 3         Section 2.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2005.






























CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.