Bill Text: FL S0044 | 2019 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Relief of the Justice-2-Jesus Charitable Trust by the State of Florida

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2018-11-13 - Withdrawn prior to introduction [S0044 Detail]

Download: Florida-2019-S0044-Introduced.html
       Florida Senate - 2019                              (NP)    SB 44
       
       
        
       By Senator Campbell
       
       
       
       
       
       38-00142-19                                             201944__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act for the relief of the Justice-2-Jesus
    3         Charitable Trust; providing an appropriation to
    4         compensate the trust for injuries and damages
    5         sustained as a result of the negligence and inaction
    6         of state government; providing a limitation on the
    7         payment of attorney fees; providing an effective date.
    8  
    9         WHEREAS, the Justice-2-Jesus Charitable Trust is a
   10  charitable trust under the laws of this state and is a nonprofit
   11  organization under s. 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code,
   12  created and formed in December 2006 for the purpose of
   13  encouraging civic engagement, education, and government
   14  accountability, and
   15         WHEREAS, the trust initiated its activities during the
   16  period from 2006 to 2008 through its trustees, Calvester
   17  Benjamin Anderson and Brian Pitts, in the judicial and executive
   18  branches of state government by attending or appearing in public
   19  meetings and privately communicating through continued
   20  correspondence and by telephone to officers and employees of
   21  state government, and
   22         WHEREAS, by the end of the 2008 regular legislative
   23  session, the trust had garnered the attention of many in the
   24  Legislature by attending and appearing before numerous
   25  committees and councils and through private correspondence with
   26  members of those bodies on issues covering all aspects of the
   27  lives of Florida residents and government, and the trust’s
   28  activities were clearly recognized by both the media and
   29  legislators, and
   30         WHEREAS, many believed the trust and its trustees were
   31  suspect and had a hidden agenda and that its cause would not
   32  come to fruition; and so as not to deceive, exploit, embarrass,
   33  or harass officers and employees of the Legislature and the
   34  other two branches of state government, precautions and
   35  maneuvers were put into play to quickly defuse what seemed to be
   36  a problem, and
   37         WHEREAS, year after year, despite concerns by many of the
   38  trust’s lack of sincerity, it continued all manner of business
   39  with the utmost protocol and decorum with state officials and
   40  employees, and as such proved to be highly respectful and
   41  honorable, and an example to emulate, and
   42         WHEREAS, by 2012 the trust proved itself and reached an
   43  apex, receiving the approval of many government officers and
   44  employees, and becoming the subject of countless news articles,
   45  videos, and comments of many, whether liked or disliked, and
   46         WHEREAS, the trust has gone beyond its charge of civics,
   47  education, and government accountability, and with its services
   48  and resources has actually assisted Florida government in its
   49  processes and conduct and has brought about change, and
   50         WHEREAS, from 2008 to 2016, without wavering, the trust has
   51  continued its never-ending cause that Florida should have a
   52  government that the people can reach and engage with, whether it
   53  be on simple or complex matters, and that the process can be
   54  understood and properly and fairly applied without political
   55  gamesmanship or hidden agendas, and that, in fact, anything less
   56  than this ought not be tolerated, and
   57         WHEREAS, the trust has become a conscience and a unique
   58  watchdog over certain nonfeasance, misfeasance, or malfeasance
   59  in state government which necessitates the trust’s service to
   60  the residents of this state, and otherwise such actions and
   61  conduct of state government would remain unknown, ignored, or
   62  concealed, and
   63         WHEREAS, the time, effort, and means to undertake what the
   64  trust has accomplished cannot be fairly comprehended, and such
   65  an endeavor is truly consuming and commendable, one that very
   66  few would undertake or even want to comprehend, and
   67         WHEREAS, the Florida Supreme Court has construed the far
   68  reaching circumstances to which the Legislature may extend
   69  relief to any matter under the common law of this state in
   70  Gerard v. Dept. of Transp., 472 So. 2d 1170, 1172 (Fla. 1985)
   71  (“. . .we agree with the Department of Transportation’s
   72  assertion that a judgment in this case was not a prerequisite to
   73  Gerard’s filing a claims bill in the legislature. As the First
   74  District Court stated in Jetton v. Jacksonville Electric
   75  Authority, 399 So. 2d 396, 397 (Fla. 1st DCA 1981) while the
   76  Legislature has placed limits on recovery, ‘claimants remain
   77  free to seek legislative relief bills, as they did during days
   78  of complete sovereign immunity’”), or Dickinson v. Bradley, 298
   79  So. 2d 352, 354 (Fla. 1974) (“. . .any claim bill is restricted
   80  to less than the general public and its purpose is to discharge
   81  the state’s moral obligation to any individual or other entity
   82  whom or which the legislature recognizes as being entitled to
   83  such. . . . The legislature may enact a claim bill for what
   84  would be a tort if a private party was involved just as
   85  effectively as for what would constitute a contractual debt.”),
   86  NOW, THEREFORE,
   87  
   88  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   89  
   90         Section 1. The facts stated in the preamble to this act are
   91  found and declared to be true.
   92         Section 2. This is solely an equitable claim, not based on
   93  an existing judgment, which the Legislature believes should be
   94  granted to fulfill its moral obligation to and recognition of
   95  the Justice-2-Jesus Charitable Trust for its great and hard work
   96  in improving Florida government, publicly and privately.
   97         Section 3. The sum of $240,000 is appropriated from the
   98  General Revenue Fund to the Legislature for the relief of the
   99  Justice-2-Jesus Charitable Trust for injuries and damages,
  100  including services and expenses, caused by the negligence or
  101  inaction, nonfeasance, misfeasance, or malfeasance of Florida
  102  government, and for its civic charge on behalf of the taxpayers
  103  of this state to bring true change for the good of the order and
  104  to develop good government.
  105         Section 4. The Chief Financial Officer is directed to draw
  106  a warrant in favor of the Justice-2-Jesus Charitable Trust in
  107  the sum of $240,000 upon funds of the Legislature in the State
  108  Treasury and to pay the same out of such funds in the State
  109  Treasury.
  110         Section 5. The amount paid by the Legislature under s.
  111  768.28, Florida Statutes, and the amount awarded under this act
  112  are intended to provide the sole compensation for all present
  113  and future claims arising out of the factual situation described
  114  in this act which resulted in injuries and damages to the
  115  Justice-2-Jesus Charitable Trust due to its voluminous dealings
  116  directly and indirectly with the three branches of state
  117  government. The total amount paid for attorney fees relating to
  118  this claim may not exceed 25 percent of the amount awarded under
  119  this act.
  120         Section 6. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.

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