DeSantis signs higher education changes

Other changes approved by governor in bill involve Bright Futures

By The News Service of Florida

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday signed into a law a higher-education package that changes how public universities and colleges will fund construction projects, a top priority of House Speaker Jose Oliva., R-Miami Lakes.

The bill (SB 190) was prompted, in part, by a high-profile financial scandal at the University of Central Florida.

The university was found to have misused millions of dollars in state funds for a construction project.

Other changes approved by the governor in the bill include revised student eligibility requirements for the Bright Futures scholarship program.

The revisions will make it harder for students to get the scholarships.

A staff analysis said the initial year the changes affect incoming freshmen, “the Bright Futures program funding may be reduced by $40 million based on approximately 7,000 fewer total students receiving scholarships."

In six years, when the changes to the scholarship program are fully implemented, the state is expected to save $111 million annually, the analysis says.

The bill was one of 11 measures that DeSantis signed into law Tuesday from the legislative session that ended May 4.

News Service of Florida