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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Immigrant tuition bill wins approval in Florida Senate

Ending a fight that lasted more than a decade, the Florida Senate voted Thursday to let undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition rates at public colleges and universities.

The 26-13 vote came as no surprise. The sponsor, Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, had been confident he had the votes all along.

But that didn’t stop him from getting emotional in debate. "The eyes of America are on us," Latvala said. "I think we’re setting an example. I think we’re doing the right thing."

Because the Senate tweaked the bill slightly, it must return to the House for final passage. But both House Speaker Will Weatherford and Gov. Rick Scott said the new language wouldn’t hurt the controversial bill’s chances of becoming law.

"I look forward to signing this bill," Scott said. "This is a historic day. Just think, children that grew up in our state will now get the same tuition as their peers."

That action would make Florida the 21st state to offer in-state tuition rates to undocumented students.

Read more here.

[Last modified: Thursday, May 1, 2014 9:33pm]


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