Gov. Rick Scott used a meeting of the Florida Hispanic Legislative Caucus Wednesday to say he will "consider" supporting legislation to allow the children of undocumented immigrants to get much less expensive in-state tuition at state colleges and universities.
Scott appeared to anticipate the issue being raised at the start of the meeting by one of its supporters, Rep. Jeanette Nunez, R-Miami.
"I'll certainly consider it," Scott told the group. "I think tuition is too high." He said he supports the elimination of a 15 percent tuition differential and indexing tuition to the consumer price index, and that both were enacted by "the previous administration," meaning former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist.
Pressed by Rep. Jose Javier Rodriguez, D-Miami, who asked if Scott needed any more information to help make up his mind, he said: "I'll certainly consider it. I want all tuition to stop growing."
The in-state tuition break for children of undocumented immigrants has been filed in Tallahassee for more than a decade and is a priority of House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel.
It passed the House last year, 111-4, but the Senate never brought it up for a vote. Scott's willingness to consider supporting it could antagonize some conservatives, but he needs strong support from Hispanic voters to secure re-election.
Scott recently appointed the state's first Hispanic lieutenant governor, former Rep. Carlos Lopez-Cantera of Miami.
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