Florida’s top performing high school students may get a boost in help for college under a bill passed by the Florida Legislature.
Both the House and Senate on Monday passed a sweeping higher education bill that would permanently increase the amount of money provided under the state’s popular Bright Futures scholarship.
It heads to the desk of Gov. Rick Scott, who vetoed a similar bill last year.
Florida used to pay anywhere from 75 percent to 100 percent of tuition for those eligible for the state’s Bright Futures, but it was scaled back during the Great Recession.
The legislation also includes a provision that eliminates “free speech zones” on college campuses.
Some legislators voted no because the bill would allow state universities or colleges to be sued if students or others intentionally disrupt or hinder a campus speaker.
▪ The consolidation of the University of South Florida moved one step closer to happening as part of the education bill now heading to Gov. Rick Scott. Campuses in St. Petersburg and Sarasota-Bradenton had gained their own accreditation over the past decade, only to see that in jeopardy.