TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida Sen. Ilena Garcia has filed Senate Bill 1740, or the "Florida Freedom Fighters Fund," to set aside $5 million in public funds to help pay legal fees for "Florida residents running for president."

What You Need To Know

  • Florida state Sen. Ilena Garcia has filed Senate Bill 1740, or the "Florida Freedom Fighters Fund"

  • If passed, the bill would set aside $5 million for any Florida resident facing "political discrimination" while running for president

  • Garcia said she filed the bill because the presidential election is supposedly being stolen from Trump by "left-wing prosecutors, the Biden administration and even Blue States"

While the bill would hypothetically help pay legal fees for any Florida presidential candidate facing "political discrimination" in the form of criminal charges, Garcia made it clear that former President Donald Trump was the focus of the legislation.

"We're in the midst of an historic moment where we're watching an election that's trying to be stolen by left-wing prosecutors, the Biden administration and even Blue States," she said in a statement. "They're not trying to win at the ballot box; they're trying to keep President Trump off the ballot by weaponizing the courts.

"Having a Floridian in the White House is good for our state — and anything we can do to support Florida presidential candidates, like President Trump, will not only benefit our state, but our nation."

While Trump is currently facing civil and criminal charges in numerous jurisdictions, the bill filed by Garcia would only apply to criminal charges brought by "the Department of Justice or State Attorneys."

Trump is currently facing four criminal prosecutions — involving 91 felony counts total. Two are federal cases in Washington and Florida — involving accusations of election interference and mishandling of classified documents, respectively. The other two are in state courts in New York and Georgia — charging him with falsifying business records in an attempt to cover up a hush-money payment to a porn star, and attempting to overturn Georgia's election results.

Trump has denied all wrongdoing and has consistently called the prosecutions "witch hunts" and "election interference."

In a statement Monday, Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis accused "the Left" of "weaponizing the courts."

"And because President Biden is so unpopular, they're not just trying to beat Trump at the ballot box, they're trying to throw him behind bars, which is outrageous," Patronis said. 

"We need this Freedom Fighters Fund because as the Free State of Florida, we’re facing an onslaught of attacks from the federal government against the Sunshine State," he continued. "If we can help and support a Florida candidate for the White House, that’s just good from a dollars and cents perspective."

Patronis said he and Garcia will "work hard to ensure President Trump has the support he needs to make our country great again."

Prosecutors in all four criminal cases have disputed Trump's claim of political persecution, saying none of the charges against Trump are political in nature — and noting specifically that the charges against him came from indictments handed down by four different grand juries made up of regular citizens.

According to information from Patronis' office, the $5 million would be paid from Florida's Public Campaign Finance — Matching Funds Program, which, according to the Florida Division of Elections website, is currently only available to candidates running for governor or state cabinet positions.

The funds would be backfilled by "voluntary donations via driver's license registrations."

Senate Bill 1740 has been referred to the Florida Senate Judiciary Committee, Appropriations Committee, and Appropriations Committee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government.