June 22, 2018
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       Florida Senate - 2010                              (NP)    SB 40
       
       
       
       By Senator Lawson
       
       
       
       
       6-00129A-10                                             201040__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to the relief of Marissa Amora in
    3         furtherance of chapter 2008-258, Laws of Florida;
    4         providing a continuing appropriation to compensate
    5         Marissa Amora for injuries and damages sustained as a
    6         result of negligence by employees of the Department of
    7         Children and Family Services; requiring a specified
    8         legislative budget request; providing a limitation on
    9         the payment of attorney’s fees and costs; providing
   10         legislative intent as to the waiver of all lien
   11         interests held by the state; providing an effective
   12         date.
   13  
   14         WHEREAS, the Legislature intended to provide for additional
   15  compensation totaling $18.2 million over a 10-year period
   16  beginning in the 2008-2009 fiscal year to compensate Marissa
   17  Amora for injuries and damages sustained as a result of
   18  negligence by employees of the Department of Children and Family
   19  Services, and
   20         WHEREAS, on May 6, 2008, chapter 2008-258, Laws of Florida,
   21  was approved by the Governor and enacted into law to compensate
   22  Marissa Amora, but the act did not fulfill the Legislature’s
   23  intent, and
   24         WHEREAS, the act provided compensation in the amount of
   25  $1.2 million for Marissa Amora, beginning in the 2008-2009
   26  fiscal year only, and $1.7 million for the next 9 consecutive
   27  years thereafter through the 2017-2018 fiscal year, for a total
   28  of $16.5 million over 10 years, not $18.2 million as the
   29  Legislature intended, and
   30         WHEREAS, compensation in the amount of $1.2 million was
   31  provided to Marissa Amora for the 2008-2009 fiscal year, but the
   32  Chief Financial Officer was not authorized to draw a warrant for
   33  any of the payments in the amounts of $1.7 million, and
   34         WHEREAS, compensation in the amount of $1.7 million was
   35  provided to Marissa Amora for the 2009-2010 fiscal year, and
   36         WHEREAS, additional legislation is needed to fulfill the
   37  Legislature’s intent to provide compensation to Marissa Amora
   38  totaling $18.2 million, NOW, THEREFORE,
   39  
   40  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   41  
   42         Section 1. The facts stated herein and in the preamble of
   43  chapter 2008-258, Laws of Florida, have been declared to be true
   44  and are adopted.
   45         Section 2. There is appropriated from the Administrative
   46  Trust Fund of the Department of Children and Family Services or
   47  any successor thereto, or, if sufficient funds are not available
   48  from that fund to make payment for any given year or otherwise,
   49  from the General Revenue Fund, the sum of $1.7 million each year
   50  beginning in the 2009-2010 fiscal year, inclusive, and for the
   51  next 9 consecutive years thereafter until the 2018-2019 fiscal
   52  year, to be paid to an insurance company or other financial
   53  institution admitted and authorized to issue annuity contracts
   54  in this state and selected by the guardian of Marissa Amora, to
   55  finance and purchase a structured settlement for the benefit of
   56  Marissa Amora, which shall include an annuity that must be used
   57  for the habilitative care of Marissa Amora over the duration of
   58  her lifetime and as relief and compensation for the injuries and
   59  damages she sustained as a result of the department’s wrongful
   60  conduct.
   61         Section 3. Beginning in the 2009-2010 fiscal year and for
   62  the next 8 fiscal years thereafter, the Department of Children
   63  and Family Services shall include in its annual legislative
   64  budget request a specific appropriation for $1.7 million of
   65  nonrecurring funds for the relief of Marissa Amora in the
   66  Administrative Trust Fund or the General Revenue Fund, for a
   67  total of $15.3 million to be paid over 9 consecutive years.
   68         Section 4. The Chief Financial Officer is directed to
   69  execute all necessary agreements to implement the payment of
   70  this claim and to draw a warrant in the amount of $1.7 million
   71  each fiscal year beginning in the 2010-2011 fiscal year,
   72  inclusive, in favor of the financier of the structured
   73  settlement, to be paid from the Administrative Trust Fund of the
   74  Department of Children and Family Services or any successor
   75  thereto, or, if sufficient funds are not available from that
   76  fund to make payment for any given year or otherwise, from the
   77  General Revenue Fund. The financing of this structured
   78  settlement constitutes a state debt or obligation as defined in
   79  s. 216.0442(1), Florida Statutes.
   80         Section 5. The amount awarded under chapter 2008-258, Laws
   81  of Florida, and any subsequent awards appropriated up to a total
   82  of $18.2 million in nonrecurring funds, inclusive of this award,
   83  are intended to provide the sole compensation for all present
   84  and future claims arising out of the factual situation described
   85  in the preamble to chapter 2008-258, Laws of Florida, which
   86  resulted in the injury to Marissa Amora. The amount of
   87  attorney’s fees, lobbying fees, costs, and other similar
   88  expenses relating to this claim may not exceed 25 percent of
   89  each annual payment awarded pursuant to this act.
   90         Section 6. It is the intent of the Legislature that all
   91  lien interests held by the state resulting from the treatment
   92  and care of Marissa Amora for the events described in the
   93  preamble to chapter 2008-258, Laws of Florida, are waived and
   94  extinguished, and the claimant’s guardianship is relieved of any
   95  obligation to reimburse Medicaid, Medicare, or the Agency for
   96  Health Care Administration for such expenses.
   97         Section 7. The appropriation made and authorized by this
   98  act is deemed a continuing appropriation within the meaning of
   99  s. 216.011(1), Florida Statutes.
  100         Section 8. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.

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