To the editor:
One week ago the Florida Senate passed in a 35-1 vote the "Florida Excellence in Higher Education Act of 2017." This legislation, proposed by Senate Majority Leader Negron (R-Stuart) under Senate Bill 2, will expand funding for the Florida Bright Futures Program and help universities attract the highest quality faculty members. This legislation has the ability to increase the performance of undergraduate and graduate degree programs offered by the 12 state universities and 28 community and state colleges.
However, the future of this legislation is unknown due to the recent budget differences between the Speaker of the House Cororan (R-Land O'Lakes), Senate Majority Leader Negron, and Governor Rick Scott. While Speaker of the House Corcoran is open to discussions regarding the Florida Bright Futures program, he is also trying to reduce budget expenses and is battling Governor Scott and Majority Leader Negron on several spending issues.
At this time House Bills 3 and 5, the companion bills to Senate Bill 2, have been introduced to the floor. However, with the uncertain future of this legislation I believe it is of upmost importance for us to reach out to our local House Representatives and let them know we, the people, are committed to investing into higher education. This legislation has the power to help thousands of students pursue a higher education and we must ensure our representatives vote YES!
Oasis High School valedictorian
Cape Coral Youth Council Vice Chair