MIAMI - State lawmakers could approve a bill this session allowing qualified Florida students to pay in-state college tuition even if they are in the country illegally.
The tuition debate is a perennial one in Tallahassee. Similar bills passed the House and Senate but never in the same year. This year the measure appears to be gaining broader support.
House Speaker Bill Weatherford supports the bill. At least fifteen states have passed such laws, with another seven considering them. The trend reflects immigrant advocates' increasing focus on state legislatures as Congress fails to act on immigration.
Florida's proposals would cover most youth who attended at least three years of high school in the state and apply for college within two years of graduation. It also would provide in-state tuition to veterans.
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