Senate Committee Passes Bill Giving Veterans In-State College Tuition

Dec 10, 2013

Veterans tuition bill co-sponsor Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen (R-Fort Myers) speaks at the Capitol Tuesday. Senate sponsor Jack Latvala (R-Clearwater) stands at left.
Credit Jessica Palombo / WFSU News

A bill giving military veterans in-state college tuition passed its second committee stop on Tuesday. The measure passed the Florida House last year and seems poised for success in the full Legislature this time around.

Last year’s bill would have granted all veterans in-state residency, so their bill from Florida colleges would be smaller. This year’s grants out-of-state vets a tuition waiver without taking residency spots from other students.

Florida State University student-veteran Andrew Sloan says he had to pay out of state tuition, but he hopes his successors won’t.

“To see people around the state of Florida taking up this cause for me, with me and all those who are affected by it and really helping out the vets with an even playing field and a  greater chance of success to contribute to the state of Florida and the university system, really means a lot to me,” he said at a Capitol press conference.

Sen. Jack Latvala (R-Clearwater) is sponsoring the measure.

“Right now, veterans that may want to go to school here in Florida have to live here for a year, move from another state, sit here and wait to go to college for a year in order to get in-state tuition ," he says.

The Senate Education committee passed the bill Tuesday along with an amendment naming it for late South Florida Congressman C.W. “Bill” Young.