Senate committee approves bill granting in-state tuition to undocumented students

Jenna Buzzacco-Foerster, (@Jenna_Buzzacco)

A proposal to offer in-state tuition to undocumented students cleared the Senate education committee Tuesday morning.

The bill, Senate Bill 1400, sponsored by Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, extends in-state tuition to undocumented students by waiving the out-of-state fee.

“I think it’s the right thing to do,” said Sen. David Simmons, R-Altamonte Springs. “I think these young people, these students, deserve the opportunity to get an education at the same rate as someone who has grown up, like they have, in this state.”

The measure cleared the committee with a 5-4 vote.

Prior to the meeting, state Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto, R-Fort Myers, said she could not support the bill.

“I oppose forcing law-abiding Florida families to subsidize the tuition of those whose families’ first act in the U.S. was breaking our immigration laws,” she said in a statement before the meeting. “SB 1400 creates incentives for illegal immigration and I will vote no when it comes to a vote in the Senate Education Committee this morning.”

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