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The immigrant tuition bill is ready for the House floor

How can House Speaker Will Weatherford get Gov. Rick Scott on board with a proposal that would extend in-state college tuition rates to undocumented students?

Scott has said he is willing to "consider" the bill. But in order to win re-election in November, Scott will have to rally his base -- conservatives who aren't big fans of pro-immigrant policies.

The governor has clear high-education priorities this year: hold the line on tuition, and abolish 15 percent tuition differential hikes at select state universities.

Would the Legislature consider giving Scott his cap on tuition in exchange for in-state tuition for undocumented students?

Said Weatherford: "I think it's a little early in the session to be talking about exchanges."

An exchange might not even make sense, Weatherford added, because the House also wants to hold the line on tuition for all students.

"I don't think there's anything to trade," Weatherford said.

But the bills could potentially be combined, forcing the governor's hand.

That's all assuming the bill receives favorable votes on the House and Senate floors.

The proposal has thus far sailed through the lower chamber. It won the unanimous support of Education Appropriations Subcommittee on Wednesday morning, and is now headed for a floor vote.

There is momentum in the Senate, too. Republican Sen. Jack Latvala recently introduced the proposal in the upper chamber, and said Tuesday that he counts enough votes to pass the bill.

Supporters have yet to win over Senate President Don Gaetz, R-Niceville.

But they haven't given up.

On Wednesday, Rep. Jeanette Nunez introduced (and the House Education Appropriations Committee approved) an amendment that would extend in-state tuition rates to the children of military families stationed in Florida. The language directly addresses concerns raised by Gaetz, whose northwest Florida district includes a number of military bases.

Comments

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Hmmmm...

So glad my tax dollars seem to be willing to be used as political pawns in an election year...

Illegal aliens vs. out of state students - why should the ones breaking the law get a better deal?

Hmmmm...

I hope the list that is generated by any use of in-state tuition by illegal aliens is used to deport their parents.

Hmmmm...

The thought that such a list could be used should scare any of them from even trying to scam the system.

Bill Thompson

The citizens are pleased with the RPOF and its 2014 platform in the Florida legislature of legalizing medical marijuana, giving in-state tuition breaks at state universities to illegal aliens and expanding casino gambling.

Karla Martinez

I'm truly surprised by the ignorance that some people seem to have. I'm pretty sure that documented individuals are not the only ones paying taxes. When product consumption takes place, taxes are being transfer whether you are illegal or not.

I cannot express my felicity towards this movement. Why should a student who has a 4.61 GPA, is working(legally) 22 hours a week and is a Salutatorian for her class( who recently got accepted to the University of Florida and the University of South Florida) be denied in-state tuition when she has been residing in Florida for ten years?

You're telling me that is ethically correct that a student who spends the whole day in the principal's office, who doesn't do their homework and procures F grades and who has only resided in Florida for one year gets to take advantage of the in-state tuition other than a student who has demostrated great perseverance, has risen at the top and who has resided in Florida for many years? Regarding your question( why should the ones breaking the law get a better deal?) I ask you this, what BETTER deal? It's not a better deal, it's call equality; the rights that every Floridian should have.

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