(1) The Legislature intends to promote the goals of accountability and proper stewardship by recipients of loan program funds. This section applies to all loan programs established under this chapter.
(2) State funds appropriated for a loan program may be used only by an eligible recipient or loan administrator, and the use of such funds is restricted to the specific state purpose of the loan program, subject to any compensation due to a loan administrator as provided under this chapter. State funds may be awarded directly by the department to an eligible recipient or awarded by the department to a loan administrator. All state funds, including any interest earned, remain state funds unless otherwise stated in the statutory requirements of the loan program.
(3)(a) Upon termination of a loan program by the Legislature or by statute, all appropriated funds shall revert to the General Revenue Fund. The department shall pay the entity for any allowable administrative expenses due to the loan administrator as provided under this chapter, unless otherwise required by law.
(b) Upon termination of a contract between the department and an eligible recipient or loan administrator, all remaining appropriated funds shall revert to the fund from which the appropriation was made. The department shall become the successor entity for any outstanding loans. Except in the case of the termination of a contract for fraud or a finding that the loan administrator was not meeting the terms of the program, the department shall pay the entity for any allowable administrative expenses due to the loan administrator as provided under this chapter.
(c) The eligible recipient or loan administrator to which this subsection applies shall execute all appropriate instruments to reconcile any remaining accounts associated with a terminated loan program or contract. The entity shall execute all appropriate instruments to ensure that the department is authorized to collect all receivables for outstanding loans, including, but not limited to, assignments of promissory notes and mortgages.
(4) An eligible recipient or loan administrator must avoid any potential conflict of interest regarding the use of appropriated funds for a loan program. An eligible recipient or loan administrator or a board member, employee, or agent thereof, or an immediate family member of a board member, employee, or agent, may not have a financial interest in an entity that is awarded a loan under a loan program. A loan may not be made to a person or entity if a conflict of interest exists between the parties involved. As used in this subsection, the term “immediate family” means a parent, spouse, child, sibling, grandparent, or grandchild related by blood or marriage.
(5) In determining eligibility for an entity applying for the award of funds directly by the department or applying for selection as a loan administrator for a loan program, the department shall evaluate each applicant’s business practices, financial stability, and past performance in other state programs, in addition to the loan program’s statutory requirements. Eligibility of an entity applying to be a recipient or loan administrator may be conditionally granted or denied outright if the department determines that the entity is noncompliant with any law, rule, or program requirement.
(6) Recurring use of state funds, including revolving loans or new negotiable instruments, which have been repaid to the loan administrator may be made if the loan program’s statutory structure permits. However, any use of state funds made by a loan administrator remains subject to subsections (2) and (3), and compensation to a loan administrator may not exceed any limitation provided by this chapter.
(7) The Auditor General may conduct audits as provided in s. 11.45 to verify that the appropriations under each loan program are expended by the eligible recipient or loan administrator as required for each program. If the Auditor General determines that the appropriations are not expended as required, the Auditor General shall notify the department, which may pursue recovery of the funds. This section does not prevent the department from pursuing recovery of the appropriated loan program funds when necessary to protect the funds or when authorized by law. (8) The department may adopt rules under ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 as necessary to carry out this section. 1Note.—Section 56, ch. 2014-218, provides that:
“(1) The executive director of the Department of Economic Opportunity is authorized, and all conditions are deemed to be met, to adopt emergency rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54(4), Florida Statutes, for the purpose of implementing this act.
“(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the emergency rules adopted pursuant to subsection (1) remain in effect for 6 months after adoption and may be renewed during the pendency of procedures to adopt permanent rules addressing the subject of the emergency rules.
“(3) This section shall expire October 1, 2015.”