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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Lawmakers -- but not Rick Scott -- celebrate immigrant tuition bill



Broward College hosted a celebration today to thank legislators for passing a law that allows undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition. Bill sponsors Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, and Rep. Jeanette Nunez, R-Miami, joined Democratic members of the Broward legislative delegation to accept a resolution from the college's Board of Trustees thanking them all for supporting the issue.

Student "dreamers" were on hand to talk about the effects of this law and a separate bill that allows military veterans to pay in-state tuition, too. "They wanted to show their appreciation," Latvala said.

He described the event as having a pep-rally-like atmosphere, a stark contrast to the quiet manner in which Gov. Rick Scott signed the immigrant tuition bill, HB 851, over the weekend. Behind the scenes, Republican lawmakers who backed the legislation stewed that the governor blocked their opportunity to celebrate the historic legislation by choosing not to hold a public bill signing.

The governor held a campaign event nearby today in Boca Raton, where he talked up his higher education and tuition policies. But he chose not to attend the Broward College celebration, Latvala said. "I tried to get the governor to go, but they had something else that they wanted to do."

The governor's office did not immediately respond to our inquiry about why he didn't attend the immigrant tuition celebration. We'll update this post if there is reason to.

(The first picture is from Latvala's Facebook page. The second picture was tweeted by Sen. Maria Sachs.)

[Last modified: Wednesday, June 11, 2014 5:18pm]


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