Florida Senate - 2020                              CS for SB 356
       By the Committee on Innovation, Industry, and Technology; and
       Senator Hutson
       580-01997-20                                           2020356c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to the Keep Our Graduates Working Act;
    3         creating s. 120.82, F.S.; providing a short title;
    4         providing a purpose; defining terms; prohibiting a
    5         state authority from suspending or revoking a person’s
    6         professional license, certificate, registration, or
    7         permit solely on the basis of a delinquency or default
    8         in the payment of his or her student loan; amending s.
    9         456.072, F.S.; conforming provisions to changes made
   10         by the act; repealing s. 456.0721, F.S., relating to
   11         health care practitioners in default on student loan
   12         or scholarship obligations; amending ss. 456.074 and
   13         1009.95, F.S.; conforming provisions to changes made
   14         by the act; providing an effective date.
   16  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   18         Section 1. Section 120.82, Florida Statutes, is created to
   19  read:
   20         120.82 Keep Our Graduates Working Act.—
   21         (1) SHORT TITLE.—This section may be cited as the “Keep Our
   22  Graduates Working Act of 2020.”
   23         (2) PURPOSE.—The purpose of this act is to ensure that
   24  Floridians who graduate from an accredited college or university
   25  can maintain their occupational licenses, as defined in
   26  subsection (3), and remain in the workforce while they attempt
   27  to pay off their student loan debt.
   28         (3) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
   29         (a) “Default” means the failure to repay a student loan
   30  according to the terms agreed to in the promissory note.
   31         (b) “Delinquency” means the failure to make a student loan
   32  payment when it is due.
   33         (c) “License” means any professional license, certificate,
   34  registration, or permit granted by the applicable state
   35  authority.
   36         (d) “State authority” means any department, board, or
   37  agency with the authority to grant a license to any person in
   38  this state.
   39         (e) “Student loan” means a federal-guaranteed or state
   40  guaranteed loan for the purposes of postsecondary education.
   41         (4) STUDENT LOAN DEFAULT; DELINQUENCY.—A state authority
   42  may not suspend or revoke a license that it has issued to a
   43  person who is in default on or delinquent in the payment of his
   44  or her student loans solely on the basis of such default or
   45  delinquency.
   46         Section 2. Paragraph (k) of subsection (1) of section
   47  456.072, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
   48         456.072 Grounds for discipline; penalties; enforcement.—
   49         (1) The following acts shall constitute grounds for which
   50  the disciplinary actions specified in subsection (2) may be
   51  taken:
   52         (k) Failing to perform any statutory or legal obligation
   53  placed upon a licensee. For purposes of this section, failing to
   54  repay a student loan issued or guaranteed by the state or the
   55  Federal Government in accordance with the terms of the loan is
   56  not or failing to comply with service scholarship obligations
   57  shall be considered a failure to perform a statutory or legal
   58  obligation, and the minimum disciplinary action imposed shall be
   59  a suspension of the license until new payment terms are agreed
   60  upon or the scholarship obligation is resumed, followed by
   61  probation for the duration of the student loan or remaining
   62  scholarship obligation period, and a fine equal to 10 percent of
   63  the defaulted loan amount. Fines collected must shall be
   64  deposited into the Medical Quality Assurance Trust Fund.
   65         Section 3. Section 456.0721, Florida Statutes, is repealed.
   66         Section 4. Subsection (4) of section 456.074, Florida
   67  Statutes, is amended to read:
   68         456.074 Certain health care practitioners; immediate
   69  suspension of license.—
   70         (4) Upon receipt of information that a Florida-licensed
   71  health care practitioner has defaulted on a student loan issued
   72  or guaranteed by the state or the Federal Government, the
   73  department shall notify the licensee by certified mail that he
   74  or she shall be subject to immediate suspension of license
   75  unless, within 45 days after the date of mailing, the licensee
   76  provides proof that new payment terms have been agreed upon by
   77  all parties to the loan. The department shall issue an emergency
   78  order suspending the license of any licensee who, after 45 days
   79  following the date of mailing from the department, has failed to
   80  provide such proof. Production of such proof shall not prohibit
   81  the department from proceeding with disciplinary action against
   82  the licensee pursuant to s. 456.073.
   83         Section 5. Subsection (1) of s. 1009.95, Florida Statutes,
   84  is amended to read:
   85         1009.95 Delinquent accounts.—
   86         (1) The Department of Education is directed to exert every
   87  lawful and reasonable effort to collect all delinquent unpaid
   88  and uncanceled scholarship loan notes, student loan notes, and
   89  defaulted guaranteed loan notes; however, in all such efforts,
   90  the department shall comply with s. 120.82.
   91         Section 6. This act shall take effect July 1, 2020.