2024 Legislature                    CS for SB 544, 1st Engrossed
    2         An act relating to the Swimming Lesson Voucher
    3         Program; creating s. 514.073, F.S.; creating the
    4         program within the Department of Health for a
    5         specified purpose; requiring the department to
    6         establish a network of swimming lesson vendors to
    7         participate in the program; authorizing the department
    8         to contract with certain nonprofit organizations to
    9         assist in establishing the network; requiring the
   10         department or a contracted nonprofit organization to
   11         attempt to secure a vendor in each county; requiring
   12         certain vendors to participate in the program if
   13         requested by the department; requiring the department
   14         to establish an application process; specifying
   15         eligibility criteria for the program; providing that
   16         the program is subject to specific appropriation;
   17         authorizing the department to seek grants or other
   18         public and private funding for the program; requiring
   19         the department to adopt rules; providing an
   20         appropriation; providing an effective date.
   22  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   24         Section 1. Section 514.073, Florida Statutes, is created to
   25  read:
   26         514.073 Swimming Lesson Voucher Program.—
   27         (1)There is created within the department the Swimming
   28  Lesson Voucher Program. The purpose of the program is to
   29  increase water safety in this state by offering vouchers for
   30  swimming lessons at no cost to families with an income of no
   31  more than 200 percent of the federal poverty level who have one
   32  or more children 4 years of age or younger.
   33         (2)The department shall do all of the following to
   34  implement the program:
   35         (a) Establish a network of swimming lesson vendors that
   36  will accept the vouchers offered by the program in exchange for
   37  providing swimming lessons. To establish the network, the
   38  department may contract directly with swimming lesson vendors or
   39  contract with one or more nonprofit organizations that promote
   40  swimming safety to subcontract with and manage swimming lesson
   41  vendors in one or more counties, or both. To ensure that
   42  swimming lessons are available throughout this state, the
   43  department, either directly or through a contracted nonprofit
   44  organization, must attempt to secure at least one such vendor in
   45  each county. Any swimming lesson vendor that offers swimming
   46  lessons at a public pool that is owned or maintained by a county
   47  or municipality must, if requested by the department or by a
   48  nonprofit organization contracted by the department, participate
   49  in the program.
   50         (b)Establish a method for members of the public to apply
   51  for swimming lesson vouchers and for determining an applicant’s
   52  eligibility. The department shall establish eligibility criteria
   53  necessary for a family to receive one or more vouchers from the
   54  program, including, but not limited to, the following:
   55         1.The age of each child for whom a voucher is being
   56  sought, who may be no more than 4 years of age.
   57         2.The family income level, which may be up to 200 percent
   58  of the federal poverty level.
   59         3.The family’s address of residency in this state.
   60         (c)Subject to specific appropriation, issue vouchers to
   61  eligible applicants.
   62         (3)The department may seek grants or other public or
   63  private funding for the program.
   64         (4)The department shall adopt rules to implement the
   65  program.
   66         Section 2. For the 2024-2025 fiscal year, the sum of
   67  $500,000 in nonrecurring funds is appropriated from the General
   68  Revenue Fund to the Department of Health to fund the Swimming
   69  Lesson Voucher Program established by this act.
   70         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2024.