HB 231

A bill to be entitled
2An act relating to student financial assistance; creating
3s. 1009.893, F.S.; creating the Sure Futures Postgraduate
4Scholarship Program to match private-sector businesses
5that need employees who have advanced degrees with
6students who are seeking advanced degrees and employment;
7establishing the Sure Futures Foundation and a foundation
8board to administer the program; providing membership and
9duties of the foundation board; providing criteria for
10student and corporate partner participation in the
11program; providing that corporate partners shall donate
12funds for scholarships and receive corporate income tax
13credits for amounts donated; providing restrictions on tax
14credits; providing for scholarship conversion to a low-
15interest loan if certain student or employee obligations
16are not met; providing duties of the Department of
17Education and state universities; amending s. 220.02,
18F.S.; adding the new tax credit to the list of allowable
19credits; amending s. 220.13, F.S.; adding the new tax
20credit to the list of state corporate income tax credits
21that must be added to a taxpayer's adjusted federal
22income; providing an appropriation; providing an effective
25Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
27     Section 1.  Section 1009.893, Florida Statutes, is created
28to read:
29     1009.893  Sure Futures Postgraduate Scholarship Program.--
30     (1)  The Sure Futures Postgraduate Scholarship Program is
31created to establish a scholarship program to match private-
32sector businesses that need employees who have advanced degrees
33with students who are seeking both advanced degrees and
34employment. The goals of the program are to provide for a better
35educated workforce by offering students greater access to
36advanced degrees and to recruit and retain Florida's best and
37brightest graduate students by offering them comprehensive
38financial assistance and employment.
39     (2)  The Sure Futures Foundation is established and shall
40seek s. 501(c)(3) Internal Revenue Code designation. The
41foundation shall be governed by the Sure Futures Foundation
42Board, which shall administer the Sure Futures Postgraduate
43Scholarship Program with guidance from the Board of Governors
44and the State Board of Education. Duties of the foundation board
45shall include, but not be limited to:
46     (a)  Adoption of policies and procedures for implementation
47of the program, including approval of corporate partners and
48their scholarship criteria.
49     (b)  Issuance of certificate letters to corporate partners
50acknowledging their eligibility for tax credits against their
51chapter 220 tax liabilities. The letters of certificate shall be
52in a form developed by rule of the Department of Education.
53     (c)  Establishment of a process for approval of printed
54materials, marketing, and advertising.
55     (3)  The foundation board shall be comprised of the
56following members:
57     (a)  The Commissioner of Education as an ex officio member.
58     (b)  The chair of the Board of Governors as an ex officio
60     (c)  Four state university presidents selected by the State
61University Presidents' Association to serve 2-year terms.
62     (d)  Four corporate partners participating in the program,
63recommended by the Commissioner of Education and selected by the
64Governor, to serve 2-year terms.
65     (e)  One graduate student recommended by the Commissioner
66of Education and selected by the Governor to serve a 1-year
69The Commissioner of Education, the chair of the Board of
70Governors, the university presidents, and the corporate partners
71may designate a specific individual to represent them at board
72meetings. The foundation board members shall serve without
73compensation, but are entitled to receive reimbursement for
74travel and per diem expenses incurred in the performance of
75their duties in accordance with s. 112.061. The Department of
76Education shall provide administrative support and staff to the
78     (4)(a)  The following students are eligible to obtain a
79list of Florida corporate partners and the graduate degree
80programs for which the partners are seeking candidates:
81     1.  A student in his or her senior year who is an
82undergraduate student at a state university.
83     2.  A student in his or her senior year who is an
84undergraduate student at an out-of-state university but who
85would otherwise qualify as a resident for purposes of in-state
87     3.  A graduate of a state university who intends to pursue
88a graduate degree program at a state university.
89     (b)  A student shall apply through the program to each
90individual corporate partner using a standard application form.
91A predetermined limit shall be established by the foundation
92board for the maximum number of applications a student may
93submit in a given scholarship cycle.
94     (c)  After the initial candidate screening and interview
95phase, a student selected by a corporate partner shall sign a
96contract agreeing to borrow scholarship funds through the
97program, with a waiver-of-payment provision if a 4-year
98employment obligation is completed. The scholarship shall cover
99tuition, fees, and books for the degree program and room and
100board based on the university dormitory and meal plan rate for
101each year the student is enrolled full time as a graduate
103     (d)  A student must maintain a minimum grade point average
104as determined by the corporate partner.
105     (e)  If a student is unable to take a full course load
106during a summer semester, the student may be required by the
107corporate partner to participate in an internship program.
108     (f)  Upon graduation with an advanced degree, a graduate
109shall begin working for the corporate partner and must remain
110employed in Florida by the partner for a minimum of 4 years as
111stipulated in the contract.
112     (g)  If a student fails to maintain the required grade
113point average or the graduate terminates his or her employment
114before completing the 4-year obligation, a prorated portion of
115the scholarship shall convert to a low-interest loan.
116     (h)  The contract signed by the corporate partner and the
117student shall clearly state the terms of the loan, the company's
118expectations for the student's performance, employment
119requirements, and potential legal remedies if the terms and
120conditions of the contract are not met.
121     (5)(a)  A corporate partner that desires new employees who
122have advanced degrees shall make a monetary contribution to the
123program in amounts equal to the scholarship funds necessary for
124completion of a degree program from which it wishes to draw
125students. Contributions may be made in one lump sum or on an
126annual basis.
127     (b)  A corporate partner may establish criteria, including,
128but not limited to, the degree sought and minimum grade point
129average and extracurricular activity requirements.
130     (c)  A corporate partner may select the state universities
131at which students may enroll or it may allow its scholarships to
132be available for study at any state university.
133     (d)1.  A corporate partner shall receive a credit against
134its corporate income tax liability equal to the amount of the
135contribution. For the first 2 years of the program, the total
136tax credits available to corporate partners shall be limited to
137$10 million per year. Beginning with the third year of the
138program, as more corporate partners participate, the total tax
139credits available to corporate partners shall be increased, as
140specified by the Legislature. Beginning with the sixth year of
141the program, a tax credit shall be 75 percent of a contribution
142and, beginning with the eleventh year of the program, a tax
143credit shall be 50 percent of a contribution.
144     2.  A corporate partner shall submit copies of its
145certificate letter to the Department of Revenue at the time it
146claims a tax credit against its corporate income tax
148     3.  If the corporate partner cannot use the entire tax
149credit in the taxable year or reporting period in which the
150credit is awarded because of insufficient tax liability, any
151excess amount may be carried forward to a succeeding taxable
152year or reporting period, for up to 10 years, at which time the
153credits expire.
154     4.  A corporation that files a Florida consolidated return
155as a member of an affiliated group pursuant to s. 220.131(1) may
156be allowed the credit on a consolidated return basis.
157     5.  A corporation may not convey, assign, or transfer the
158credit authorized by this section to another entity unless all
159of the assets of the corporation are conveyed, assigned, or
160transferred in the same transaction.
161     (e)  If a corporate partner terminates a scholarship
162employee for reasons other than malfeasance, misfeasance, or
163nonfeasance prior to the employee's completion of the 4-year
164obligation, the employee shall not be required to repay the
165scholarship. A corporate partner is encouraged to establish
166protocols to retain an employee prior to his or her termination.
167     (6)(a)  The Office of Student Financial Assistance of the
168Department of Education shall establish a central database of
169corporate partners, the graduate degree programs for which the
170partners are seeking candidates, and student applicants and
171their profiles. The office shall establish a standard
172application for use by all state universities.
173     (b)  On an annual basis, the Department of Education shall
174establish the amount necessary to cover the costs for degree
175programs for which corporate partners may make contributions and
176receive tax credits.
177     (7)  Prepared documentation regarding the program shall be
178made available through the appropriate office at each state
179university. As deemed appropriate by its administration, a state
180university may provide additional information or activities,
181such as providing one-on-one discussions with advisors,
182conducting seminars on the program, or working with companies in
183its service area to create scholarships through the program.
184     (8)  State agencies, local workforce boards, chambers of
185commerce, and Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall be encouraged to
186promote corporate partner and student participation in the
188     (9)  The Department of Education shall adopt rules
189necessary to implement this section, including rules
190establishing application forms and procedures governing the
191certification of eligibility of corporate partners for tax
192credits under this section.
193     (10)  The Department of Education and the Department of
194Revenue shall develop a cooperative agreement to assist each
195other in implementing the tax credits created under this
197     Section 2.  Subsection (8) of section 220.02, Florida
198Statutes, is amended to read:
199     220.02  Legislative intent.--
200     (8)  It is the intent of the Legislature that credits
201against either the corporate income tax or the franchise tax be
202applied in the following order: those enumerated in s. 631.828,
203those enumerated in s. 220.191, those enumerated in s. 220.181,
204those enumerated in s. 220.183, those enumerated in s. 220.182,
205those enumerated in s. 220.1895, those enumerated in s. 221.02,
206those enumerated in s. 220.184, those enumerated in s. 220.186,
207those enumerated in s. 220.1845, those enumerated in s. 220.19,
208those enumerated in s. 220.185, those enumerated in s. 220.187,
209those enumerated in s. 220.192, and those enumerated in s.
210220.193, and those enumerated in s. 1009.893.
211     Section 3.  Paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of section
212220.13, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
213     220.13  "Adjusted federal income" defined.--
214     (1)  The term "adjusted federal income" means an amount
215equal to the taxpayer's taxable income as defined in subsection
216(2), or such taxable income of more than one taxpayer as
217provided in s. 220.131, for the taxable year, adjusted as
219     (a)  Additions.--There shall be added to such taxable
221     1.  The amount of any tax upon or measured by income,
222excluding taxes based on gross receipts or revenues, paid or
223accrued as a liability to the District of Columbia or any state
224of the United States which is deductible from gross income in
225the computation of taxable income for the taxable year.
226     2.  The amount of interest which is excluded from taxable
227income under s. 103(a) of the Internal Revenue Code or any other
228federal law, less the associated expenses disallowed in the
229computation of taxable income under s. 265 of the Internal
230Revenue Code or any other law, excluding 60 percent of any
231amounts included in alternative minimum taxable income, as
232defined in s. 55(b)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code, if the
233taxpayer pays tax under s. 220.11(3).
234     3.  In the case of a regulated investment company or real
235estate investment trust, an amount equal to the excess of the
236net long-term capital gain for the taxable year over the amount
237of the capital gain dividends attributable to the taxable year.
238     4.  That portion of the wages or salaries paid or incurred
239for the taxable year which is equal to the amount of the credit
240allowable for the taxable year under s. 220.181. This
241subparagraph shall expire on the date specified in s. 290.016
242for the expiration of the Florida Enterprise Zone Act.
243     5.  That portion of the ad valorem school taxes paid or
244incurred for the taxable year which is equal to the amount of
245the credit allowable for the taxable year under s. 220.182. This
246subparagraph shall expire on the date specified in s. 290.016
247for the expiration of the Florida Enterprise Zone Act.
248     6.  The amount of emergency excise tax paid or accrued as a
249liability to this state under chapter 221 which tax is
250deductible from gross income in the computation of taxable
251income for the taxable year.
252     7.  That portion of assessments to fund a guaranty
253association incurred for the taxable year which is equal to the
254amount of the credit allowable for the taxable year.
255     8.  In the case of a nonprofit corporation which holds a
256pari-mutuel permit and which is exempt from federal income tax
257as a farmers' cooperative, an amount equal to the excess of the
258gross income attributable to the pari-mutuel operations over the
259attributable expenses for the taxable year.
260     9.  The amount taken as a credit for the taxable year under
261s. 220.1895.
262     10.  Up to nine percent of the eligible basis of any
263designated project which is equal to the credit allowable for
264the taxable year under s. 220.185.
265     11.  The amount taken as a credit for the taxable year
266under s. 220.187.
267     12.  The amount taken as a credit for the taxable year
268under s. 220.192.
269     13.  The amount taken as a credit for the taxable year
270under s. 220.193.
271     14.  The amount taken as a credit for the taxable year
272under s. 1009.893.
273     Section 4.  There is appropriated from nonrecurring general
274revenue a sum not to exceed $200,000 to the Department of
275Education to pay for costs associated with administering the
276Sure Futures Foundation and the Sure Futures Postgraduate
277Scholarship Program.
278     Section 5.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2008.

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