Bill ties Bright Futures to working in Florida

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A House Republican filed a bill Wednesday that would require future recipients of Bright Futures scholarships to reimburse the state if they do not graduate or if they go to work outside of Florida, reports the News Service of Florida. The bill (HB 35), filed by Rep. Jimmie Smith would take effect with students who receive their initial Bright Futures scholarships during the 2014-15 academic year. It says, in part, that Bright Futures “shall serve as an incentive for students to remain and work in the state after graduation.” It would require recipients of the scholarships to submit information each year about proof of residence and employment in Florida. “

A student who receives an award, but who does not graduate or complete the program for which the award was received or who no longer resides in the state after graduation or program completion, must reimburse the state for the amount of the award received or a prorated portion thereof,” the bill says. The state Department of Education would come up with procedures if money is not reimbursed. The bill includes some exceptions, such as for Bright Futures recipients who go on active duty in the military. They would be considered employed in Florida, regardless of where they are located.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, 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.