HB 47

A bill to be entitled
2An act relating to student loans; creating s. 43.45, F.S.;
3providing for a financial assistance program administered
4by the Justice Administrative Commission and the Office of
5the Attorney General to assist a career assistant state
6attorney, assistant public defender, assistant attorney
7general, or assistant statewide prosecutor in the
8repayment of eligible student loans; providing
9definitions; providing elements of the program; requiring
10the administering body to make a payment of a certain
11amount; providing for funding; requiring rulemaking;
12providing an effective date.
14Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
16     Section 1.  Section 43.45, Florida Statutes, is created to
18     43.45  Student loan assistance program; administration.--
19     (1)  The administering body shall implement a student loan
20assistance program for eligible career attorneys. The purpose of
21the program is to provide financial assistance to eligible
22career attorneys for the repayment of eligible student loans.
23     (2)  As used in this section, the term:
24     (a)  "Administering body" means the Justice Administrative
25Commission when the eligible career attorney is employed as an
26assistant state attorney or assistant public defender or the
27Office of the Attorney General when the eligible career attorney
28is employed as an assistant attorney general or assistant
29statewide prosecutor.
30     (b)  "Eligible attorney" means an assistant state attorney,
31assistant public defender, assistant attorney general, or
32assistant statewide prosecutor.
33     (c)  "Eligible career attorney" means an eligible attorney
34who has completed at least 3 years but not more than 12 years of
35continuous service on his or her employment anniversary date.
36However, eligibility for student loan repayment assistance may
37not be lost due to a break in employment of less than 2 weeks
38while an eligible attorney transfers to another employer of
39eligible attorneys.
40     (d)  "Eligible student loan" means a loan that was issued
41pursuant to the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, to an
42eligible career attorney to fund his or her law school education
43and which is not in default.
44     (e)  "Maximum available amount" means, in the event that
45the amount of an appropriation from the General Revenue Fund to
46an administering body is less than the amount necessary to fund
47total payments by the administering body, the amount that
48results from multiplying the percentage of total funding
49appropriated by the payment amount of $3,000 or $5,000 as
50provided in paragraph (3)(b). The percentage of total funding
51appropriated is the amount that results from dividing the amount
52of the appropriation by the amount necessary to fund total
53payments under paragraph (3)(b).
54     (3)  The student loan assistance program shall be
55administered in the following manner:
56     (a)  Within 30 days after the employment anniversary date
57of an individual, the individual may submit to his or her
58employer a certification affidavit on a form authorized by the
59administering body, which certifies that he or she, as of his or
60her last employment anniversary date, is an eligible career
61attorney with one or more eligible student loans. Upon approval
62by the employing state attorney, public defender, Attorney
63General, or statewide prosecutor, the certification affidavit
64shall be submitted to the administering body within 60 days
65following the last employment anniversary date of the eligible
66career attorney.
67     (b)  The administering body that receives a certification
68affidavit for an eligible career attorney having:
69     1.  Three to five years of continuous service shall make a
70payment in the amount of $3,000 or in the maximum available
71amount, whichever is less.
72     2.  Six to twelve years of continuous service shall make a
73payment in the amount of $5,000 or in the maximum available
74amount, whichever is less.
75     (c)  A payment under paragraph (b) shall be made by the
76administering body:
77     1.  For the benefit of the eligible career attorney named
78in the certification affidavit and for the purpose of satisfying
79his or her eligible student loan obligation.
80     2.  To the lender that services the eligible student loan
81between July 1 and July 31 of the next fiscal year following
82receipt of the certification affidavit by the administering
84     3.  For the eligible student loan that has the highest
85current interest rate if the eligible career attorney holds more
86than one eligible student loan.
87     (d)  Payments under paragraph (b) shall cease upon totaling
88$44,000 per eligible career attorney or upon full satisfaction
89of the eligible student loan, whichever occurs first.
90     (4)  The student loan assistance program shall be funded
91annually by an appropriation from the General Revenue Fund to
92the administering body.
93     (5)  The administering body shall adopt rules to administer
94this section.
95     Section 2.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2007.

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