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The Florida Senate

SB 308 — Public Assistance Fraud

by Senator Brandes

This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.

Prepared by: Children, Families, and Elder Affairs Committee (CF)

The bill gives new authority to the Department of Financial Services (DFS) to obtain information to investigate and prosecute public assistance fraud. The DFS combats fraud in the major public assistance programs, such as Medicaid, Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

The bill grants public assistance investigators the authority to administer oaths and affirmations. Without this authority, investigators must pay to become a Notary Public to administer oaths, which increases the costs of the program.

The bill also gives public assistance fraud investigators the power to issue subpoenas. Currently investigators cannot issue subpoenas for business and education records needed for investigations. Investigators must ask the local state attorneys to issue the subpoena on their behalf and the state attorney only has authority to issue subpoenas for criminal, not civil matters.

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect July 1, 2014.

Vote: Senate 40-0; House 113-4