Immigrant tuition bill passes in the House by 81-33 vote
In what Republicans hailed as a historic moment, the Florida House on Thursday voted 81-33 to allow undocumented students to pay in-state tuition rates at Florida colleges and universities. But challenges remain ahead.
The Senate version of the proposal (SB 1400) was nearly defeated in its first committee stop. It must now be heard by the Senate Education Appropriations Subcommittee.
The chair of that subcommittee, Sen. Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, opposes the measure, and said he hasn’t yet decided whether to take up the bill. Without a hearing, its chances of becoming law will drop considerably.
There’s another question mark: Republican Gov. Rick Scott. Scott has said he supports the Senate bill, which also prohibits universities from raising tuition above the rate set by the Legislature. The House bill allows universities to hike tuition 6 percent above that rate. That’s less than the 15 percent that’s currently allowed, but still not enough for Scott or the Senate.
Rep. Jeanette Nuñez, the Miami Republican sponsoring the bill in the House, says she is confident the three sides will reach a compromise.
“There’s still a lot of time left in the session,” she said.