Florida Senate - 2023 SB 1656 By Senator Stewart 17-01532-23 20231656__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to financial aid for female victims of 3 rape, incest, domestic violence, or human trafficking; 4 amending s. 1009.25, F.S.; providing that certain low 5 income, female students who are pregnant as a result 6 of rape, incest, domestic violence, or human 7 trafficking and who decide to carry the pregnancy to 8 term are exempt from paying specified postsecondary 9 tuition and fees; authorizing the State Board of 10 Education and the Board of Governors to adopt rules 11 and regulations, respectively; creating s. 1009.8963, 12 F.S.; establishing the Academic Success of Pregnant 13 Female Students Who Are Victims of Sexual Abuse Grant 14 Program within the Department of Education; providing 15 the purpose of the program; providing student 16 eligibility requirements; providing for program 17 funding and the disbursement of awards; authorizing 18 the State Board of Education to adopt rules; providing 19 an effective date. 20 21 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 22 23 Section 1. Paragraph (h) is added to subsection (1) of 24 section 1009.25, Florida Statutes, to read: 25 1009.25 Fee exemptions.— 26 (1) The following students are exempt from the payment of 27 tuition and fees, including lab fees, at a school district that 28 provides workforce education programs, Florida College System 29 institution, or state university: 30 (h) Beginning with a female student who has a conception 31 date of January 1, 2023, or thereafter, a female student who is 32 pregnant as a result of rape, incest, domestic violence, or 33 human trafficking, who decides to carry the pregnancy to term, 34 and whose household income level does not exceed 185 percent of 35 the federal poverty level. The State Board of Education may 36 adopt rules and the Board of Governors may adopt regulations 37 regarding documentation and procedures to implement this 38 paragraph. 39 Section 2. Section 1009.8963, Florida Statutes, is created 40 to read: 41 1009.8963 The Academic Success of Pregnant Female Students 42 Who Are Victims of Sexual Abuse Grant Program.—There is 43 established within the Department of Education the Academic 44 Success of Pregnant Female Students Who Are Victims of Sexual 45 Abuse Grant Program. The purpose of the program is to provide 46 funds for child care for low-income, female students who are 47 pregnant as a result of rape, incest, domestic violence, or 48 human trafficking and who decide to carry the pregnancy to term. 49 (1) A student is eligible for the program if she: 50 (a) Is pregnant as a result of rape, incest, domestic 51 violence, or human trafficking; has a conception date of January 52 1, 2023, or thereafter; and decides to carry the pregnancy to 53 term. 54 (b) Has a household income level that does not exceed 185 55 percent of the federal poverty level. 56 (c) Is a Florida resident as described in s. 1009.40 and 57 rules of the State Board of Education. 58 (d) Is enrolled at a school district career center, charter 59 career technical center, Florida College System institution, or 60 state university. 61 (2)(a) Subject to legislative appropriation, the department 62 shall award grants to eligible students on a first-come, first 63 served basis. 64 (b) The amount of a grant award shall be the average cost 65 of a child care provider that holds a Gold Seal Quality Care 66 designation under s. 1002.945 for the county in which the 67 eligible student resides. 68 (c) The department shall disburse grant awards to eligible 69 students at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters. 70 (3) The State Board of Education may adopt rules to 71 implement this section. 72 Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2023.