The non-profit, to be called Florida is For Veterans, would be used to promote the value of military skills to private businesses and to set up a marketing campaign to encourage former members of the military to remain in Florida or to make the state their permanent home.
No cost projection was available for the non-profit.
The cost of the tuition waiver for all honorably discharged veterans --- called the Congressman C.W. Bill Young Veteran Tuition Waiver Act --- starts at $8.2 million a year, based upon current enrollments of students on the federal GI Bill in state colleges and universities. But the total is expected to go up as more veterans are drawn to Florida's schools.
Currently, military veterans using the federal GI Bill can only receive reimbursement for the listed cost of in-state tuition, even if they are not from the state
For non-Florida veterans, the out-of-state charge is around $15,279 per academic year for undergraduate programs in the state university system, while the amount is $8,407 for those in the Florida College System, according to the Board of Governors.
The waiver is included in the House measure and currently stands in an individual Senate bill (SB 84) that has already received full support of the Senate Military and Veterans Affairs, Space, and Domestic Security Committee, the Senate Education Committee and the Senate Education Appropriations Subcommittee.
The House proposal is scheduled to make its first committee appearance Tuesday before the Appropriations Committee.
The Senate measure, which is expected to become the catchall for SB 84 and other veterans' related proposals, is scheduled to be discussed in the Military and Veterans Affairs, Space, and Domestic Security Committee on Tuesday.