Florida Senate - 2014                                     SB 146
       By Senator Ring
       29-00062-14                                            2014146__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to student loans; creating s. 43.45,
    3         F.S.; providing definitions; providing for a financial
    4         assistance program administered by the Justice
    5         Administrative Commission and the Office of the
    6         Attorney General to assist a career assistant state
    7         attorney, assistant public defender, assistant
    8         attorney general, or assistant statewide prosecutor in
    9         the repayment of eligible student loans; establishing
   10         provisions for program administration; requiring the
   11         administering body to make a payment of a certain
   12         amount based on the length of employment as an
   13         eligible career attorney; providing for funding;
   14         requiring the Justice Administrative Commission and
   15         the Office of the Attorney General to develop
   16         procedures to administer the program; providing an
   17         effective date.
   19  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   21         Section 1. Section 43.45, Florida Statutes, is created to
   22  read:
   23         43.45 Student loan assistance program; administration.—
   24         (1) As used in this section, the term:
   25         (a) “Administering body” means the:
   26         1. Justice Administrative Commission if the eligible career
   27  attorney is employed as an assistant state attorney or assistant
   28  public defender.
   29         2. Office of the Attorney General if the eligible career
   30  attorney is employed as an assistant attorney general or
   31  assistant statewide prosecutor.
   32         (b) “Eligible attorney” means an assistant state attorney,
   33  assistant public defender, assistant attorney general, or
   34  assistant statewide prosecutor.
   35         (c) “Eligible career attorney” means an eligible attorney
   36  who has completed at least 3 years but not more than 12 years of
   37  continuous service as an eligible attorney, regardless of
   38  whether the eligible attorney had a break in employment of less
   39  than 2 weeks while transferring to another employer of eligible
   40  attorneys.
   41         (d) “Eligible student loan” means a loan that is not in
   42  default and that was issued pursuant to the Higher Education Act
   43  of 1965, 20 U.S.C. ss. 1001 et seq., as amended, to an eligible
   44  career attorney to fund his or her law school education.
   45         (e) “Employment anniversary” means the anniversary of the
   46  date that an eligible career attorney commenced employment as an
   47  eligible attorney.
   48         (f) “Maximum available amount” means a number that shall be
   49  determined if the amount of the appropriation from the General
   50  Revenue Fund to the administering body is less than the amount
   51  necessary to fund total payments owed by the administering body.
   52  The maximum available amount is calculated by dividing the
   53  amount of the appropriation to the administering body by the
   54  amount necessary to fund total payments that the administering
   55  body owes under paragraph (3)(b) and multiplying the result by
   56  the appropriate payment amount in subparagraph (3)(b)1. or 2.
   57         (2) The administering body shall implement a student loan
   58  assistance program for eligible career attorneys. The purpose of
   59  the program is to provide financial assistance to eligible
   60  career attorneys for the repayment of eligible student loans.
   61         (3) The student loan assistance program is administered in
   62  the following manner:
   63         (a) Within 30 days after the employment anniversary of an
   64  eligible career attorney, the eligible career attorney must
   65  submit to his or her employer a certification affidavit on a
   66  form authorized by the administering body, which certifies that
   67  the eligible career attorney, as of his or her last employment
   68  anniversary, is an eligible career attorney with one or more
   69  eligible student loans. If the employer signs the certification
   70  affidavit, the employer shall submit the affidavit to the
   71  administering body within 60 days after the most recent
   72  employment anniversary of the eligible career attorney.
   73         (b) Upon receipt of a certification affidavit, the
   74  administering body shall make a payment of:
   75         1. Three thousand dollars or the maximum available amount,
   76  whichever is less, if the eligible career attorney has at least
   77  3 years, but not more than 6 years, of continuous service.
   78         2. Five thousand dollars or the maximum available amount,
   79  whichever is less, if the eligible career attorney has more than
   80  6 years, but not more than 12 years, of continuous service.
   81         (c) A payment under paragraph (b) shall be made by the
   82  administering body:
   83         1. To the lender of the eligible student loan.
   84         2. Between July 1 and July 31 of the next fiscal year
   85  following receipt of the certification affidavit by the
   86  administering body.
   87         3. For the benefit of the eligible career attorney named in
   88  the certification affidavit and for the purpose of satisfying
   89  his or her eligible student loan obligation.
   90         4. For the eligible student loan that has the highest
   91  current interest rate if the eligible career attorney holds more
   92  than one eligible student loan.
   93         (d) Payments under paragraph (b) cease upon totaling
   94  $44,000 per eligible career attorney or upon full satisfaction
   95  of the eligible student loan, whichever occurs first.
   96         (4) The student loan assistance program may be funded
   97  annually contingent upon a specific appropriation in the General
   98  Appropriations Act for student loan repayment assistance to
   99  eligible assistant state attorneys, assistant public defenders,
  100  assistant attorneys general, and assistant statewide
  101  prosecutors.
  102         (5) The Justice Administrative Commission and the Office of
  103  the Attorney General shall develop procedures to administer this
  104  section.
  105         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2014.