Panel dashes dreams over immigrant tuition bill

Jan 31, 2012

A measure that would allow the children of illegal immigrants in-state tuition has been rejected by a Senate Committee. Lynn Hatter reports the vote came after hours of emotional testimony and ended in a tie.

Three members of the Senate Higher Education Committee voted for the bill and three against. The tied vote means that the bill cannot move forward. Proponents of allowing legal Florida high school students who parents are illegal immigrants in-state tuition, characterized the move as labeling those students as second class citizens. But even had the bill passed it would have faced an uphill challenge. Governor Rick Scott indicated he’d have to review the bill carefully if it made it to his desk.

Under current state law, in-state tuition rates are determined by the status of the parent. A similar bill is in the house but has not been heard in any committees.