Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 073487
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File Number: 073487 File Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Version: 0 Reference: R-52-08 Control: Board of County Commissioners
File Name: URGE LEGISLATURE TO ENACT LOAN FORGIVENESS PROGRAM Introduced: 11/27/2007
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 1/10/2008
Agenda Date: 1/10/2008 Agenda Item Number: 11A10
Notes: Title: RESOLUTION URGING THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE TO ENACT A STUDENT LOAN FORGIVENESS PROGRAM FOR TEACHERS, PROSECUTORS, AND PUBLIC DEFENDERS
Indexes: LEGISLATURE
  LOAN PROGRAM
  STUDENTS
Sponsors: Rebeca Sosa, Prime Sponsor
  Jose "Pepe" Diaz, Co-Sponsor
  Carlos A. Gimenez, Co-Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

Board of County Commissioners 1/10/2008 11A10 Adopted P
REPORT: County Attorney Cuevas read the foregoing proposed resolution into the record. Commissioner Heyman expressed concern that this resolution failed to set any parameters, and recommended it be amended to include language providing that the years of service be commensurate with the years of loan forgiveness and the loan amount. She also asked why nurses were not included in this legislation, since they were also needed in Miami-Dade County. Commissioner Sosa explained that because there was a shortage of nurses throughout the country, incentives were currently in place to attract nurses to the County. She noted her intent with this resolution was to urge the State to create loan forgiveness legislation, in whatever amount was feasible, to assist individuals in the three professions indicated. Commissioner Sosa acknowledged letters of support she received from the Public Defender’s and the State Attorney’s Offices. There being no further questions or concerns, the Board proceed to vote.

Budget and Finance Committee 12/11/2007 2S Forwarded to BCC with a favorable recommendation P
REPORT: Assistant County Attorney Jess McCarty read the foregoing proposed resolution into the record. It was moved by Commissioner Sosa that this proposed resolution be forwarded to the County Commission with a favorable recommendation. This motion was seconded by Commissioner Diaz. Chairman Martinez questioned how long individuals would need to remain in their profession to receive loan forgiveness. Assistant County Attorney McCarty advised that this proposed resolution did not specify a timeframe. He noted that similar bills filed in previous years with the Legislature had a three to five year timeframe. In response to Commissioner Diaz’s inquiry concerning existing State legislation that accomplished the intent of this proposal, Assistant County Attorney McCarty advised that a loan forgiveness program existed for teachers in particular areas of the State that had difficulty finding teachers. Following Commissioner Sosa’s explanation of the intent of this proposed resolution, Commissioner Diaz asked that he be listed as a co-sponsor. Hearing no other questions or comments, the Committee proceeded to vote.

County Attorney 11/27/2007 Assigned Budget and Finance Committee 12/11/2007

County Attorney 11/27/2007 Assigned Jess M. McCarty 12/4/2007

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION URGING THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE TO ENACT A STUDENT LOAN FORGIVENESS PROGRAM FOR TEACHERS, PROSECUTORS, AND PUBLIC DEFENDERS

BODY
WHEREAS, approximately two-thirds of college graduates in 2006 have student loans; and
WHEREAS, large student loan repayments can prevent recent graduates from going into government, nonprofit, and teaching jobs; and
WHEREAS, loan repayment assistance programs help college graduates who take lower paying government or public service jobs to repay their student loans; and
WHEREAS, the current average starting salary for teachers in Florida is currently approximately $30,000; and
WHEREAS, current average starting salaries for assistant state attorneys and assistant public defenders in Florida are currently approximately $40,000; and
WHEREAS, many graduates from law schools have accumulated educational debt in excess of $80,000 for their undergraduate and law school degrees; and
WHEREAS, the first choice of some law school graduates is to become a prosecutor or public defender but often they find that they can't afford to accept these positions because of student loans; and
WHEREAS, Florida will need more than 116,000 teachers over the next five years, but Florida public and private colleges of education with state approved teacher preparation programs are projected to produce only 30,000 new teachers during this same period; and
WHEREAS, Florida currently has a student Loan Forgiveness Program for teachers, but it is limited to areas where there are critical teacher shortages, such as math, science, foreign languages and exceptional student programs; and
WHEREAS, more efforts need to be made to encourage students to go into teaching and to encourage law students to accept positions as assistant state attorneys and assistant public defenders,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, that this Board:
Section 1. Urges the Florida Legislature to enact a student loan forgiveness program for teachers, assistant state attorneys, and assistance public defenders.
Section 2. Directs the Clerk of the Board to transmit certified copies of the resolution to the Governor, Senate President, House Speaker, and the Chair and Members of the Miami-Dade County State Legislative Delegation.
Section 3. Directs the County's state lobbyists to advocate for the actions set forth in Section 1 and directs the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs to include this item in the 2008 State Legislative Package.



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