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The Florida Senate

2022 Florida Statutes (including 2022C, 2022D, 2022A, and 2023B)

F.S. 288.066
1288.066 Local Government Emergency Bridge Loan Program.
(1) CREATION.The Local Government Emergency Bridge Loan Program is created, subject to appropriation, within the department to provide financial assistance to local governments impacted by Hurricane Ian or Hurricane Nicole. The purpose of the loan program is to assist these local governments in maintaining operations by bridging the gap between the time that the declared disaster occurred and the time that additional funding sources or revenues are secured to provide them with financial assistance.
(2) ELIGIBILITY.To be eligible for a loan under the program, a local government must be a county or a municipality located in an area designated in the Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster declarations for Hurricane Ian or Hurricane Nicole. The local government must show that it may suffer or has suffered substantial loss of its tax or other revenues as a result of the hurricane and demonstrate a need for financial assistance to enable it to continue to perform its governmental operations.
(a) The department may provide interest-free loans to eligible local governments through a promissory note or other form of written agreement evidencing an obligation to repay the borrowed funds.
(b) The amount of each loan must be based upon demonstrated need and must be disbursed to the local government in a lump sum.
(c) The term of the loan is 1 year, unless otherwise extended by the department. The department may extend loan terms for up to 6 months based on the local government’s financial condition.
(4) USE OF LOAN FUNDS.A local government may use loan funds only to continue local governmental operations or to expand or modify such operations to meet disaster-related needs. The funds may not be used to finance or supplant funding for capital improvements or to repair or restore damaged public facilities or infrastructure.
(a) The local government may make payments against the loan at any time without penalty. Early repayment is encouraged as other funding sources or revenues become available.
(b) Loans become due and payable in accordance with the terms of the agreement.
(a) The department may approve loans in the 2022-2023 fiscal year or the 2023-2024 fiscal year up to the total amount appropriated.
(b) The department must coordinate with the Division of Emergency Management to assess whether such loans would affect reimbursement under federal programs for disaster-related expenses.
(c) Upon receipt of any loan payment from a local government, the department shall transfer the funds to the General Revenue Fund.
(7) RULES.The department may adopt rules to implement this section.
(8) EXPIRATION.This section expires June 30, 2027. Upon expiration, all unencumbered funds and loan repayments revert to the General Revenue Fund.
History.s. 1, ch. 2023-1.
1Note.Section 2, ch. 2023-1, provides that “[t]he Department of Economic Opportunity may, and all conditions are deemed to be met to, adopt emergency rules pursuant to s. 120.54(4), Florida Statutes, to administer s. 288.066, Florida Statutes, as created by this act. Notwithstanding any other law, emergency rules adopted pursuant to this section are effective for 6 months after adoption and may be renewed during the pendency of procedures to adopt permanent rules addressing the subject of the emergency rules.”