GENERAL BILL by Education Appropriations and Fasano (CO-SPONSORS) Lynn; Atwater
Tuition Waivers/Purple Heart: requires state universities & community colleges to waive tuition for recipient of Purple Heart or other combat decoration superior in precedence who fulfills specified criteria; provides percentage cap on number of required credit hours for which tuition waiver may be received. Amends 1009.26.
Effective Date: 07/01/2006
Last Event: 03/23/06 S CS passed; YEAS 38 NAYS 0 on Thursday, March 23, 2006 10:36 AM
Ever since returning home following my discharge, the hardest part about returning to civilian life has been getting back into school. Last march, as I was attempting to re-enroll, I found out that since I was no longer a member of the Florida National Guard (due to my injuries received in combat,) I was no longer eligible for the state tuition waiver. I Immedieately wrote every legislator who's district I fell in to. All my federal congressmen told me that it was, unfortunately, a state issue but they'd be glad to help me in any way they could which was pretty much a "tough luck kid." My State reps were eager to help but the 2005 session was just ending. So, I waited. I made damn sure there was going to be a bill to fix this damn loophole and for the next year I worked and struggled to pay my own tuition. Now, at last, by a unanimous vote, the Florida senate passed the bill into law. Florida residents who earn a purple heart are entitled to an in-state tuition waiver. Now I just need to wait for Fall of 2007 when the bill takes a effect.