Florida Senate - 2024                                    SB 1740
       By Senator Garcia
       36-01216-24                                           20241740__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to grants for victims of political
    3         discrimination; creating s. 17.691, F.S.; defining the
    4         term “qualified person”; requiring that a specified
    5         trust fund be used to provide grants to qualified
    6         persons to pay for specified expenses; providing
    7         construction; requiring the Department of Financial
    8         Services to distribute grants in a specified manner;
    9         providing the maximum amount that a qualified person
   10         may receive; requiring the department to adopt rules;
   11         authorizing emergency rulemaking; providing a
   12         contingent effective date.
   14  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   16         Section 1. Section 17.691, Florida Statutes, is created to
   17  read:
   18         17.691Authorized use of Defending Freedom Fighters Trust
   19  Fund.—
   20         (1)For purposes of this section, the term “qualified
   21  person” means a person who:
   22         (a)Meets the presidential eligibility requirements of s.
   23  1, Art. II of the United States Constitution.
   24         (b)Is a legal resident of the state as defined in s.
   25  1009.21(1) or has a valid driver license issued under s. 322.18.
   26         (c)Complies with chapter 106 and federal election law.
   27         (2)Funds from the Defending Freedom Fighters Trust Fund
   28  created under s. 17.69 must be used to provide grants to
   29  qualified persons subject to political discrimination to pay for
   30  legal fees incurred as a result of criminal charges brought by a
   31  U.S. public entity as defined in 31 U.S.C. s. 802.243. For
   32  purposes of this subsection, the department has the sole
   33  authority to determine if a person has been subject to political
   34  discrimination.
   35         (3)The department shall distribute grants to a qualified
   36  person in an efficient manner, prioritizing funding based on the
   37  severity of criminal charges and the causal connection between
   38  the charges and the political affiliation of the qualified
   39  person.
   40         (4)Subject to the availability of funds, a qualified
   41  person may receive up to $5 million under this section.
   42         (5)The department shall adopt rules to administer this
   43  section.
   44         Section 2. The Department of Revenue is authorized, and all
   45  conditions are deemed met, to adopt emergency rules pursuant to
   46  s. 120.54(4), Florida Statutes, for the purpose of implementing
   47  this act.
   48         Section 3. This act shall take effect on the same date that
   49  SB ____or similar legislation takes effect, if such legislation
   50  is adopted in the same legislative session or an extension
   51  thereof and becomes a law.