Florida Senate - 2016                        COMMITTEE AMENDMENT
       Bill No. SB 142
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              
                  Comm: RCS            .                                
                  12/01/2015           .                                

       The Committee on Judiciary (Ring) recommended the following:
    1         Senate Amendment (with title amendment)
    3         Delete everything after the enacting clause
    4  and insert:
    5         Section 1. Section 1009.675, Florida Statutes, is created
    6  to read:
    7         1009.675 For the Greater Good Attorney Student Loan
    8  Repayment Program.—
    9         (1)There is established within the Department of Education
   10  the For the Greater Good Attorney Student Loan Repayment
   11  Program. The primary function of the program is to increase
   12  employment and retention of attorneys in the public sector by
   13  making payments that offset student loans issued or guaranteed
   14  by a state or the Federal Government. The department shall
   15  administer the program.
   16         (2)To be eligible to participate in this program, an
   17  attorney:
   18         (a)Must be a member of The Florida Bar;
   19         (b)Must be employed full time by a local, state, or
   20  federal government;
   21         (c)Must be employed in this state;
   22         (d)Must have completed not more than 10 years of
   23  government service, regardless of whether the attorney had a
   24  break in employment of less than 2 weeks while transferring to
   25  another governmental entity;
   26         (e)Must be earning less than $65,000 in salary as reported
   27  to the Internal Revenue Service;
   28         (f)Must not have received any disciplinary action from The
   29  Florida Bar;
   30         (g) Must have an unsatisfied student loan that was issued
   31  or guaranteed by a state or the Federal Government; and
   32         (h)Is not eligible for any other state, local, or federal
   33  grant or private fund that assists in student loan repayment.
   34         (3)Only loans that are not in default and that were issued
   35  pursuant to the Higher Education Act of 1965, 20 U.S.C. ss. 1001
   36  et seq., as amended, to fund an eligible attorney’s law school
   37  education shall be covered.
   38         (4)From the funds available, the Department of Education
   39  shall make an annual payment as follows:
   40         (a)Three thousand dollars if the attorney has at least 4
   41  years, but not more than 7 years, of continuous government
   42  service.
   43         (b)Five thousand dollars if the attorney has more than 7
   44  years, but not more than 10 years, of continuous government
   45  service.
   46         (5)Each payment is contingent upon an annual receipt of a
   47  certification affidavit. Within 30 days after the employment
   48  anniversary of an eligible attorney, in order to receive a
   49  payment under the program, such attorney must submit to his or
   50  her employer a certification affidavit on a form authorized by
   51  the department which certifies that the attorney was an eligible
   52  attorney as of his or her last employment anniversary. If the
   53  employer signs the affidavit, the employer shall submit the
   54  affidavit to the department within 60 days after the most recent
   55  employment anniversary of the eligible attorney, and each year
   56  thereafter.
   57         (6)Payments are not deemed taxable income. Each payment
   58  shall be made directly to the financial institution that
   59  services the loan and, if the eligible attorney holds more than
   60  one eligible loan, for the loan that has the highest current
   61  interest rate.
   62         (7)If funds appropriated are insufficient to provide
   63  maximum payment for eligible attorneys, the department shall
   64  prorate payments for all eligible attorneys by an equal
   65  percentage reduction for the year for which funds appropriated
   66  are insufficient.
   67         (8)The Department of Education may adopt rules necessary
   68  to administer this program.
   69         (9) The Greater Good Attorney Student Loan Repayment
   70  Program may be funded annually contingent upon a specific
   71  appropriation in the General Appropriations Act for the Greater
   72  Good Attorney Student Loan Repayment Program.
   73         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2016.
   74  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
   75  And the title is amended as follows:
   76         Delete everything before the enacting clause
   77  and insert:
   78                        A bill to be entitled                      
   79         An act relating to student loans; creating s.
   80         1009.675, F.S.; creating the For the Greater Good
   81         Attorney Student Loan Repayment Program to increase
   82         employment and retention of attorneys in the public
   83         sector; providing eligibility requirements; specifying
   84         the loans that will be covered by the repayment
   85         program; requiring the Department of Education to make
   86         payments to eligible attorneys; providing procedures
   87         to administer the program; providing that a payment is
   88         not taxable income; providing procedures if
   89         appropriated funds are insufficient; authorizing
   90         rulemaking; providing an effective date.