AIF “commends” Senate committee for vote on in-state tuition for undocumented students

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The Florida Senate Committee on Education this morning narrowly passed legislation allowing in-state tuition to be offered to undocumented students.

The bill, Senate Bill 1400, sponsored by Sen. Jack Latvala extends in-state tuition to undocumented students by waiving the out-of-state fee.

The bill passed on a 5-to-4 vote meaning Latvala needed Democrat votes to get the bill out of the committee. Despite the closeness of the vote,  Associated Industries of Florida commended the Senate panel for its work.

“AIF commends the Senate Committee on Education for passing legislation sponsored by Senator Latvala to allow certain undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition,” said AIF’s Senior Vice President of State & Federal Affairs Brewster Bevis.

Continued Bevis: “AIF supports improving our workforce through education reforms.  Education is key to job creation and retaining a strong workforce for Florida’s businesses, and we look forward to this legislation advancing through the process.”

One disappointing note: Prior to the meeting, state Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto said she could not support the bill.

“I oppose forcing law-abiding Florida families to subsidize the tuition of those whose families’ first act in the U.S. was breaking our immigration laws,” she said in a statement before the meeting, according to the “SB 1400 creates incentives for illegal immigration and I will vote no when it comes to a vote in the Senate Education Committee this morning.”

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.