Florida Senate - 2015                             CS for SB 1140
       By the Committee on Fiscal Policy; and Senator Montford
       594-03417-15                                          20151140c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to the Bright Futures Scholarship
    3         Program; amending s. 1009.531, F.S.; providing that
    4         the initial award and renewal periods for students who
    5         are unable to accept an initial award immediately
    6         after completion of high school due to a full-time
    7         religious or service obligation begin upon the
    8         completion of the religious or service obligation;
    9         specifying requirements for an entity that is
   10         sponsoring the obligation; requiring verification from
   11         the entity for which the student completed such
   12         obligation; providing an effective date.
   14  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   16         Section 1. Paragraph (c) of subsection (2) of section
   17  1009.531, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
   18         1009.531 Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program;
   19  student eligibility requirements for initial awards.—
   20         (2)
   21         (c) A student graduating from high school in the 2012-2013
   22  academic year and thereafter is eligible to accept an initial
   23  award for 2 years following high school graduation and to accept
   24  a renewal award for 5 years following high school graduation. A
   25  student who applies for an award by high school graduation and
   26  who meets all other eligibility requirements, but who does not
   27  accept his or her award, may reapply during subsequent
   28  application periods up to 2 years after high school graduation.
   29  For a student who enlists in the United States Armed Forces
   30  immediately after completion of high school, the 2-year
   31  eligibility period for his or her initial award and the 5-year
   32  renewal period shall begin upon the date of separation from
   33  active duty. For a student who is receiving a Florida Bright
   34  Futures Scholarship award and discontinues his or her education
   35  to enlist in the United States Armed Forces, the remainder of
   36  his or her 5-year renewal period shall commence upon the date of
   37  separation from active duty. For a student who is unable to
   38  accept an initial award immediately after completion of high
   39  school due to a full-time religious or service obligation
   40  lasting at least 18 months, the 2-year eligibility period for
   41  his or her initial award and the 5-year renewal period begin
   42  upon the completion of his or her religious or service
   43  obligation. The organization sponsoring the full-time religious
   44  or service obligation must meet the requirements for nonprofit
   45  status under s. 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or be a
   46  federal government service organization that includes, but is
   47  not limited to, the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps programs. The
   48  obligation must be documented in writing and verified by the
   49  entity for which the student completed the obligation on a
   50  standardized form prescribed by the department. If a course of
   51  study is not completed after 5 academic years, an exception of 1
   52  year to the renewal timeframe may be granted due to a verifiable
   53  illness or other documented emergency pursuant to s.
   54  1009.40(1)(b)4.
   55         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2015.