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The Florida Statutes

The 2021 Florida Statutes

Title XLIII
DOMESTIC RELATIONS
Chapter 744
GUARDIANSHIP
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F.S. 744.2106
744.2106 Joining Forces for Public Guardianship grant program; purpose.The Legislature establishes the Joining Forces for Public Guardianship matching grant program for the purpose of assisting counties to establish and fund community-supported public guardianship programs. The Joining Forces for Public Guardianship matching grant program shall be established and administered by the Office of Public and Professional Guardians within the Department of Elderly Affairs. The purpose of the program is to provide startup funding to encourage communities to develop and administer locally funded and supported public guardianship programs to address the needs of indigent and incapacitated residents.
(1) The Office of Public and Professional Guardians may distribute the grant funds as follows:
(a) As initial startup funding to encourage counties that have no office of public guardian to establish an office, or as initial startup funding to open an additional office of public guardian within a county whose public guardianship needs require more than one office of public guardian.
(b) As support funding to operational offices of public guardian that demonstrate a necessity for funds to meet the public guardianship needs of a particular geographic area in the state which the office serves.
(c) To assist counties that have an operating public guardianship program but that propose to expand the geographic area or population of persons they serve, or to develop and administer innovative programs to increase access to public guardianship in this state.

Notwithstanding this subsection, the executive director of the office may award emergency grants if he or she determines that the award is in the best interests of public guardianship in this state. Before making an emergency grant, the executive director must obtain the written approval of the Secretary of Elderly Affairs. Subsections (2), (3), and (4) do not apply to the distribution of emergency grant funds.

(2) One or more grants may be awarded within a county. However, a county may not receive an award that equals, or multiple awards that cumulatively equal, more than 20 percent of the total amount of grant funds appropriated during any fiscal year.
(3) If an applicant is eligible and meets the requirements to receive grant funds more than once, the Office of Public and Professional Guardians shall award funds to prior awardees in the following manner:
(a) In the second year that grant funds are awarded, the cumulative sum of the award provided to one or more applicants within the same county may not exceed 75 percent of the total amount of grant funds awarded within that county in year one.
(b) In the third year that grant funds are awarded, the cumulative sum of the award provided to one or more applicants within the same county may not exceed 60 percent of the total amount of grant funds awarded within that county in year one.
(c) In the fourth year that grant funds are awarded, the cumulative sum of the award provided to one or more applicants within the same county may not exceed 45 percent of the total amount of grant funds awarded within that county in year one.
(d) In the fifth year that grant funds are awarded, the cumulative sum of the award provided to one or more applicants within the same county may not exceed 30 percent of the total amount of grant funds awarded within that county in year one.
(e) In the sixth year that grant funds are awarded, the cumulative sum of the award provided to one or more applicants within the same county may not exceed 15 percent of the total amount of grant funds awarded within that county in year one.

The Office of Public and Professional Guardians may not award grant funds to any applicant within a county that has received grant funds for more than 6 years.

(4) Grant funds shall be used only to provide direct services to indigent wards, except that up to 10 percent of the grant funds may be retained by the awardee for administrative expenses.
(5) Implementation of the program is subject to a specific appropriation by the Legislature in the General Appropriations Act.
History.s. 3, ch. 2004-260; s. 23, ch. 2016-40.
Note.Former s. 744.712.