Legislature Puts Students First

Florida Chamber-Backed “Excellence in Higher Education” Legislation Passes 35-1 in Senate Session

A Florida Chamber of Commerce-backed education bill, the Florida Excellence in Higher Education Act, sponsored by Sen. Bill Galvano (R-Bradenton) passed today 35-1 on the Senate floor.

In order for Florida to remain one of the nation’s top business climates, the Florida Chamber believes we must adequately prepare our students to enter the workforce. The Florida Excellence in Higher Education Act, SB 2, will:

  • Establish tuition and fee incentives through a block tuition policy;
  • Promote on-time student graduation;
  • Responsibly increase student financial aid and tuition assistance;
  • Establish a World Class Faculty and Scholar Program;
  • Establish a university professional and graduate degree excellence program to promote the prominence of Florida graduate schools; and
  • Link education to job opportunities by providing internship opportunities to students.

As Mark Wilson, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber often says, talent is quickly becoming Florida’s best economic development tool. The Florida Chamber thanks Senate President Joe Negron and the members of the Senate for putting students first.

What’s Next For This Bill?

The Florida House will soon begin discussing its versions of the legislation – which are comprised in House Bill 3 and House Bill 5. Both bills have been referred to the House Post Secondary Education Subcommittee, and are awaiting a hearing date. The Florida Chamber will continue to monitor the progress of this important legislation and keep you updated on any new developments.

Learn more about where the Florida Chamber stands on these and other education issues.

“Excellence in Higher Education” Legislation Passes Final Senate Committee

Florida Chamber backed Senate Bill 2, the Florida Excellence in Higher Education Act, and Senate Bill 4, Faculty Recruitment, both sponsored by Sen. Bill Galvano, were merged today and passed as a package through the Senate Committee on Appropriations. Having passed all three committees of reference, SB 2 is available for consideration on the Senate floor during the first week of the 2017 Legislative Session, which begins on March 7.

The Florida Chamber of Commerce believes that talent is quickly becoming Florida’s best economic development tool. In order for Florida to remain one of the nation’s top business climates, we must be adequately preparing our students to enter the workforce. The Florida Chamber supports creating a talent pool that can meet the needs of job creators and be ready to face the disruptive forces in our future job market. Senate Bills 2 and 4 will help keep our University and College Systems nationally competitive and ensure that the students who attend them receive the best return on their investments.

SB 2, Sen. Bill Galvano (R-Bradenton)

By merging the components of both bills into one, Senate Bill 2 now promotes on-time student graduation while responsibly increasing student financial aid and tuition assistance. Additionally, a world-class faculty and scholar program is established, which promotes the prominence of Florida’s graduate schools and links education to job opportunities by providing internship opportunities to students.

What’s Next For This Bill?

Click here to learn more about where the Florida Chamber stands on these and other education issues.

The Florida Chamber Testifies for Better Higher Education Opportunities

During the second committee week of the 2017 legislative session, Brittney Hunt, Director of Talent, Education and Quality of Life Policy for the Florida Chamber of Commerce, testified before the Senate Education Committee in support of quality higher education opportunities for students.

“Providing greater access to post-secondary education and identifying and closing the skills gap are some of our top priorities and the Florida chamber is proud to support SB 2 and SB 4,” said BRITTNEY HUNT. “Florida must be adequately preparing our students to enter the workforce, as well as focusing on attracting and retaining world class talent.”

In fact, Florida Jobs 2030 (being released next week) is a research report from the Florida Chamber Foundation that will analyze gaps between what the jobs of the year 2030 will look like, and what skills will be required to succeed.

“Students will need to be prepared for the future, and the Florida Chamber thanks Senate President Joe Negron and Senator Bill Galvano for making higher education and closing the skills gap a main focus of their education conversations,” said HUNT.

What’s next for these bills?