A top priority of Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart, is ready for the full Senate to vote on once the 2017 session begins March 7.
The higher education package -- formerly two bills now blended into one (SB 2) -- includes a variety of reforms intended to elevate Florida's State University System and its state colleges to a more competitive level, nationally and internationally.
"We should be at the very top of our game in our state university and college system," said Bradenton Republican Sen. Bill Galvano, the higher ed budget chairman who spearheaded the legislation. "We should raise expectations, and that’s what we’re doing."
SB 2 -- dubbed the "Florida Excellence in Higher Education Act of 2017" -- advanced unanimously out of the Senate's full budget committee Thursday morning with some additional revisions. Negron told the Herald/Times the bill will be among the first considered by the chamber during the first week of session next month.
Photo credit: Sen. Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, and Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart. Scott Keeler / Tampa Bay Times