Florida Senate - 2017 SB 566 By Senator Campbell 38-00367-17 2017566__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to student loans; creating s. 3 1009.675, F.S.; creating the For the Greater Good 4 Attorney Student Loan Repayment Program to increase 5 employment and retention of attorneys in government 6 service; providing eligibility requirements; 7 specifying the loans that may be covered by the 8 repayment program; requiring the Department of 9 Education to make payments to eligible attorneys; 10 providing for program administration; providing that 11 payments made under the program are not taxable 12 income; providing for the proration of payments if 13 insufficient funds are appropriated to make full 14 payment; authorizing rulemaking; providing an 15 effective date. 16 17 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 18 19 Section 1. Section 1009.675, Florida Statutes, is created 20 to read: 21 1009.675 For the Greater Good Attorney Student Loan 22 Repayment Program.— 23 (1) The For the Greater Good Attorney Student Loan 24 Repayment Program is established within the Department of 25 Education. The primary function of the program is to increase 26 employment and retention of attorneys in government service by 27 making payments that offset student loans issued or guaranteed 28 by a state or the Federal Government. The department shall 29 administer the program. 30 (2) To be eligible to participate in the program, an 31 attorney must meet all of the following requirements: 32 (a) Must be a member of The Florida Bar. 33 (b) Must be employed full time as an assistant state 34 attorney, assistant public defender, assistant attorney general, 35 or assistant statewide prosecutor. 36 (c) Must be employed in this state. 37 (d) Must have completed not more than 10 years of 38 government service, regardless of whether the attorney had a 39 break in employment of less than 2 weeks while transferring from 40 one governmental entity to another. 41 (e) Must be earning less than $65,000 in salary, as 42 reported to the Internal Revenue Service. 43 (f) Must not have been the subject of any disciplinary 44 action by The Florida Bar. 45 (g) Must have an unsatisfied student loan that was issued 46 or guaranteed by a state or the Federal Government. 47 (h) Must not be eligible for any other state, local, or 48 federal grant or private fund that assists in student loan 49 repayment. 50 (3) Only loans that are not in default and that were issued 51 pursuant to the Higher Education Act of 1965, 20 U.S.C. ss. 1001 52 et seq., as amended, to fund an eligible attorney’s law school 53 education may be covered under the program. 54 (4) Annually, within 30 days after the employment 55 anniversary of an eligible attorney, the attorney shall submit 56 to his or her employer a certification affidavit on a form 57 prescribed by the department which certifies that the attorney 58 was an eligible attorney as of his or her last employment 59 anniversary. The employer shall submit each signed affidavit to 60 the department within 60 days after the most recent employment 61 anniversary of the eligible attorney. 62 (5)(a) Subject to the availability of funds and receipt of 63 the certification affidavit required in subsection (4), the 64 Department of Education shall make one of the following annual 65 payments directly to the financial institution that services the 66 loan: 67 1. Three thousand dollars if the attorney has at least 4 68 years, but not more than 7 years, of continuous government 69 service. 70 2. Five thousand dollars if the attorney has more than 7 71 years, but not more than 10 years, of continuous government 72 service. 73 (b) If the eligible attorney holds more than one eligible 74 loan, payment shall be made for the loan that has the highest 75 current interest rate. 76 (6) If the funds appropriated in any given fiscal year are 77 insufficient to provide the maximum payment for eligible 78 attorneys, the department shall prorate payments for all 79 eligible attorneys by an equal percentage reduction. 80 (7) The Department of Education may adopt rules necessary 81 to administer the program. 82 (8) The For the Greater Good Attorney Student Loan 83 Repayment Program may be funded annually contingent upon a 84 specific appropriation in the General Appropriations Act for the 85 For the Greater Good Attorney Student Loan Repayment Program. 86 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2017.