The goal is to make the opposition stronger than during the 2015 session, by uniting with students, professors, administrators and the national organization Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus.
The Senate Higher Education Committee voted 7-2 to approve the measure (SB 182), which would exempt information about applicants for the jobs of president, provost or dean from the state’s open-records laws.
Currently, people are banned from carrying such weapons at Florida colleges and universities, with the exception of stun guns or similar devices. Data show that 246,632 Floridians between the ages of 21 and 35 have concealed carry permits.
Thrasher, 70, whose senate district includes all of Flagler County, has long been an influential figure in state politics and serves as chairman of Gov. Rick Scott’s re-election campaign. He served as House speaker from 1998 to 2000 and currently is chairman of the Senate Rules Committee.
The governor, who originally came to office threatening to crack down on undocumented immigrants, said Tuesday that his opinion on the issue was shaped by stories he’s heard from students who grew up in Florida and would benefit from being able to pay the cheaper, in-state tuition rates.
The Parent Plus program allows parents to take out essentially uncapped amounts to cover college costs, regardless of the borrower’s income or ability to repay the loan. But default rates, while still modest, have nearly tripled over the last four years.
While Scott has repeatedly said he supports a proposal to end annual 15 percent tuition hikes, he’s remained mum about the portion of the bill that would grant in-state tuition to undocumented students, or Dreamers.
The measure allows undocumented immigrants to pay cheaper, in-state tuition rates if they attend Florida middle and high schools for at least four straight years before going to college.
A measure allowing some undocumented students to receive in-state tuition was easily approved Wednesday by a House subcommittee, but the bill still faces a steep climb in the Senate.
Explaining what it takes to develop college-ready students and debt-free parents, columnist and Matanzas High teacher Jo An n Nahiriny describes the frustrations of dealing with students and families who don’t plan ahead and busts the myth that a college education must be debt-ridden.