New Bill Outlines Florida Tuition Measures

FLORIDA -- If Florida wants to allow children of undocumented citizens to receive in-state tuition, supporters will need to convince the senate president.

Matt Galka explains what is sure to be an issue throughout the state's annual legislative session.

Florida State sophomore Daniela Donoso was born in Ecuador but moved here when she was 6- months-old.

With her family being undocumented, Daniela had to apply to Florida schools as an international student, which would drive up her costs.

"I don't know how we would have made it if I had to pay out of state tuition."

Daniela was lucky. She got an exemption from FSU, and is now part of a student organization rallying to get in-state tuition for all students who are children of undocumented people in Florida.

Daniela Donoso, FSU Student Born in Ecudor said, "My parents, that's why they're here. To give us those opportunities, to help us pay for college, to help us get a better education."

At Florida State, the tuition difference is around 6,500 for in state students, for out of staters is can be almost 22 thousand. The difference could mean the difference in attending college at all, but lawmakers are proposing measures that would grant in state rates to children of illegal immigrants.

"House speaker Will Weatherford is supporting the in-state tuition rates, Senate President Don Gaetz isn't so sure."

Senator Dwight Bullard has been pushing for the legislation for 3 years. He knows it has an uphill climb in the senate.

Dwight Bullard, (D) Miami, "Speaker Weatherford has already taken a position in favor of it, so it'd be my hope that it would be a rallying point that both of them can agree upon and reach a conclusion that it's the right thing to do."

A new bill filed earlier this week grouped together two in-state tuition measures: One that would allow state rates for children of undocumented parents, and one that allows in-state rates for veterans.

Governor Rick Scott told members of Florida’s Hispanic legislative caucus earlier this month that he would consider supporting an in-state tuition bill.