Rick Scott to Florida Senators: Pass In-State Tuition Bill

By: Allison Nielsen | Posted: April 18, 2014 11:40 AM
Rick Scott, Jeb Bush, Bob Martinez

Rick Scott, Jeb Bush, Bob Martinez

Gov. Rick Scott has a message for Florida senators: pass the bill to offer in-state tuition for the children of undocumented immigrants.

The governor joined former Florida Govs. Jeb Bush and Bob Martinez Friday to advocate the passage of SB 1400, which would allow all Florida students to qualify for the in-state tuition rate.

“Students who have spent their childhood here in Florida deserve to qualify for the same in-state tuition rate at universities their peers and classmates do,” said Scott. “We want our students to stay here in Florida when they go to college and when they choose a career, and that means we must make college more affordable for all those students who call Florida home.”

Scott then urged the Florida Senate to take “immediate action” to move the bill forward.

The governor was joined in his support for the in-state tuition bill by two familiar faces in Florida politics: Jeb Bush and Bob Martinez. Both former governors agreed it’s time to offer the same tuition rates to all Florida students, regardless of their immigration status.

“Punishing some children for their parents' acts by creating obstacles to a college degree isn't in their interests, or ours,” said Bush.

The tuition bill, sponsored by Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, suffered a rocky run in the Senate. On Thursday, Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, used a procedural move to block the bill from being heard next week in a Senate committee.

“In-state tuition discounts should, in my view, be reserved for legal residents of Florida,” Negron said. “Florida law does not prohibit students who are undocumented from accessing our state colleges and universities. Once these students favorably resolve their residency status, they could be become eligible for in-state tuition.”

Because of Negron’s move, it’s now unlikely the bill will be considered during this year’s legislative session.

Latvala, who is vying with Negron for the Senate presidency, called Negron’s move a “slap in the face.”

“What he has done is a slap in the face to our governor, who’s already announced support for this bill,” he said. “And it’s a slap in the face for the speaker who put a lot on the line. It’s a slap in the face to Jeb Bush who had been taking fire from right-wing Republicans across the country because he spoke of his convictions on immigration.”

But despite Negron’s procedural move, Scott, Bush and Martinez aren’t giving up in trying to wield their political influence over Florida’s senators to pass the bill.

“For Florida to continue to be a land of opportunity and a beacon of freedom to people from all backgrounds, we must ensure our future generations are prepared for success,” said Martinez.

SB 1400’s House counterpart, sponsored by Rep. Jeanette Nuñez, R-Miami, has had a much easier time sailing through the Florida House, passing by a vote of 81-33.

House Speaker Will Weatherford, a staunch advocate of the bill, remained hopeful that the legislation would pass.

“There are times throughout history when our laws are in conflict with God's Law ... freedom and justice," Weatherford tweeted on Friday. Two weeks is plenty of time." 

Reach Tampa-based reporter Allison Nielsen at or follow her on Twitter at @AllisonNielsen.

Comments (8)

Harold G Monoginslogin
9:35AM APR 20TH 2014
Negron is a political whore!! This is all about his running against Sen. Latvala for the Senate Presidency. All those Senators supporting Negron should reevaluate their pledge to him. Irregardless of the merits of the bill, Negron is blocking a vote all for political reasons. Very sad, but not surprising!!
C Breeze
4:21PM APR 19TH 2014
When you start listening to "Jeb & Bob", you have placed yourself "on the road" to being the next Charlie "The Tuna" Crist. What part of "CLOSE THE BORDERS" don't you understand Governor?!? "Instate Tuition" for ILLEGAL ALIENS?????? REALLY???? Just the fact that colleges and universities let ILLEGAL ALIENS into their student body AT ALL should be cause for suspension of ANY State funding to their coffers. How about "In State Tuition" for potential, and LEGAL, student CITIZENS from OTHER States actually part of our REPUBLIC ?!?
7:40PM APR 19TH 2014
My solution is to invite as many other countries as possible to join the United States. So, when Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, and all the countries of Central and South America become States, their citizens will be Americans, and there won't be "illegal aliens". Plus our economy and the size of our country will expand very rapidly. It's a "win-win". For sure.
Jeb Bush Entry into Politics
8:46AM APR 19TH 2014
Although he grew up around national Republican politics and worked on his father's presidential campaign, Bush didn't enter into politics himself until five years later, when he was elected chairman of the Dade County Republican Party. After the 1986 election, newly minted Republican Gov. Bob Martinez appointed Bush to be Florida's commerce secretary. He held that position until 1988, when he resigned once again to work on his father's presidential campaign while simultaneously managing the campaign of the first Cuban-American Congressman.

Early Life:
Jeb Bush was born in Midland, Texas in 1953, the son of oil tycoon and future politician, George Herbert Walker Bush and his wife, Barbara. Along with his older brother, Bush was enrolled in a private preparatory school in Massachusetts, where he excelled in academics. Between his junior and senior years in high school, Bush visited León, Guanajuato, Mexico, a decision that would shape his personal and political life for years to come. While there, he met his future wife, Columbia Garnica Gallo, and made the decision to major in Latin American Affairs at University of Texas, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1973.

Family & Early Career:
Bush married Columbia in 1974, and the couple had three children; George P., Noelle and John "Jebby" Jr. Bush got his feet wet in business with the Texas Commerce Bank, originally working as a communications specialist and later opening a branch for the bank in Caracas, Venezuela, where he and his young family lived for two years. In 1980, he returned to the U.S. to work on his father's presidential campaign (without salary). After his father became vice-president, Bush moved his family to Miami, where he worked in real estate for Armando Codina, a self-made Cuban millionaire. The two eventually became partners.
Bush whacked again
3:06PM APR 18TH 2014
Don't they make a nice couple? Some even go so far as to credit them as CO-GOVERNOR'S and now they throw Bob Martinez in the mix.

When Martinez first run for Governor of Florida there was a lady who gave a sworn statement that Bob Martinez was born in Cuba and she was there when he got off the boat in Miami.

Back then most people didn't believe her! Fast forward a few decades and take the time to sort out all the lies that has come from this so called establishment over the last fifty years and who knows - maybe the old lady knew what she was talking about. At the time it didn't preclude Martinez from running for governor - she simply stated she didn't like the fact that he was lying about it. Probably a good thing old people die because based on reality she wouldn't like any of these modern politicians non their handlers. the real honest, moral, ethical people of Florida owe Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart of big debt for having the nads to stand up to this Bush machine - some have tried like Fasano and Former Florida Senator Nancy Argenziano. But, it seems for every honest one we get they corrupt another bakers dozen.

Rick Scott is a Bush family insider - they let him get rich playing their schemes - He's much like Obama in that if they didn't tell him what to say he couldn't studder a word on his own. No matter what Jeb Bush told Rick Scott to do he's going to do - that's why he is the chosen one.
In this case this is just another school funding scheme that Jeb Bush want's passed so he and his cronies can skim off the top.

Mr. Richard L. 'Rick' Scott
Bar Card Number:17909700
Texas License Date:11/06/1978
Work Address:700 N Adams St
Tallahassee, FL 32303-6131
Work Phone Number:850-488-4661
Primary Practice Location: FORT WORTH , Texas
Current Member Status: Inactive
Firm: Governor Rick Scott
LAW SCHOOL - Southern Methodist University---
Former Law Firm – Johnson & Swanson – Dallas, TX

Richard (Rick) Lynn Scott was a partner with Johnson & Swanson (established in 1970) Rick Scott’s Dallas, Tx clients list included Tom Hicks and Scott became partner’s with Hicks and George W. Bush in the Texas Rangers. Another Scott client was Richard Rainwater who along with Rick Scott and with the help of Jeb Bush was able to pick up the pieces of the South Florida HMO organizations of Miguel Recarey (International Medical Centers) and Recarey’s already organized Medicare Fraud establishment.
1:53PM APR 18TH 2014
It seems wrong that one Senator can use a procedural move to block a bill from being brought to a vote. That shouldn't happen.
Willis Pebble
2:41PM APR 19TH 2014
It happens all the time. In this case it was for a principled reason, agree with it or not. In the case of SB1316 and HB25 bills that would stop common core in Florida, it was the result of pressure from Jeb Bush who is funded by big education corporations and people like UNESCO supporter, Bill Gates. More money to education is more Jeb and his cronies can skim off the top.
Governor is committing political suicide listening to Jeb Bush.
smoke and mirrors
10:34AM APR 20TH 2014
Rick Scott did not just start listening to Jeb Bush. Way back when Dubya was Governor of Texas and Rick Scott was a Dallas Lawyer and partners with Tom Hicks and "W" - Rick Scott was #65 on "W's" list of 100 friends who paid to play the Bush game! It's been paying off for Rick Scott ever since. It was Jeb that hooked Rick Scott and Richard Rainwater up on the Medicare Scam to begin with.

As as for political suicide for listening to Jeb Bush.................

If Jeb and Tom Feeney still have total control of those Clint Curtis vote fixer chips you can bet Rick Scott will be "re-errected" governor of FloriDUH.

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