While it might poll better for Rick Scott to tell Floridians he’s fighting for lower college tuition, the truth is that he has signed double-digit increases of college tuition into law. With his reelection looming, Rick Scott can pretend to be on the side of middle class families, but he can’t erase his record.
And for those Floridians who would have to pay out of state tuition just to go to their local college — students who were brought to Florida by their parents when they were very young — Rick Scott has no sympathy at all.
Get the facts:
- Tampa Bay Times Headline: Rick Scott Calls Tuition Hikes A Tax Increase, But Signed On To Them In Past. ” ‘We owe it to the families in our state who are paying tuition today and those planning to pay tuition for the next generation of Floridians to be direct: Raising tuition is a tax increase,’ Scott wrote in the National Review Online. ‘And, unfortunately, it is a tax increase that directly affects whether Floridians can achieve the American dream of earning a higher-education diploma.’ While Scott proudly vetoed a 3 percent tuition hike last month, his 2011 budget included an 8 percent hike for students, at a cost of roughly $50 million. Scott also approved a 5 percent tuition increase for state colleges in 2012, saying that ‘colleges remain best positioned to weigh the needs of their institutions against the burden of increased student costs.’ ” (Tampa Bay Times, 5/31/13)
- Rick Scott Refuses To Support In-State Tuition For Undocumented Students Despite Bipartisan Support. “Facing a tough fight for reelection and needing stronger Hispanic support, Gov. Rick Scott says he’ll “consider” offering cheaper in-state tuition to some Florida college students who are undocumented immigrants…. At the caucus meeting, two Hispanic legislators tried to pin down Scott on the issue, but he wouldn’t take a stand…. The issue has been floated for 11 years in the Florida Legislature, and in 2012, while House majority leader, Lopez-Cantera did not push for the bill to be heard, even as two dozen young people and farm workers staged a sit-in at his Capitol office. Asked Wednesday how he voted on the issue as a House member, Lopez-Cantera said: ‘I haven’t reviewed my voting record recently.’ ” (Miami Herald, 2/5/14)