Your Weekly Legislative Update

March 7th, 2022
Week Eight Session Summary
February 28 - March 4, 2022
Legislative Session 2022

In This Issue...


2022 Legislative Session Highlights 

✓ During week 8 of the Legislative Session, the Florida Supreme Court approved maps for Florida’s new State House and Senate districts. Every Senate seat will be up for re-election with a lottery system determining which seats will be four-year vs. one-time, two-year terms. Even though the maps are final for the 2022 elections.  A lawsuit could still arise out of the maps, however. The House and Senate are still debating the congressional map.

✓ The offers from the Senate and the House appear to be agreed on providing $60M in recurring funds to the program fund for the Florida Colleges.  It is still to be determined how those funds will be distributed.  The House appears to be open to the Senate position of rolling prior performance funding into the base and then adding $30M to the program fund.  What elements of the tiered funding model will be used, if any, for this $30M is still to be determined.  The Colleges have maintained their 2+2 and Work Florida funding performance funding, and it may be restored to $30M.  If you recall performance funding was cut by $5M last year from 2+2 performance funding.

✓ The House and the Senate appear to be agreed on $40M in recurring performance funding to the Colleges for nursing student graduate production [PIPELINE grant program], but how these funds will be distributed is unsettled.  The LINE program is funded in both offers as well.  The LINE grant program is a program at the Department of Education that grants matching funds with Colleges and ICUF institutions for agreements with local health care providers to advance nursing programs.

✓ Dual enrollment scholarship/reimbursement funding is in both the House and Senate offers, but the amount of the funding differs.  The Open Door Grant remains funded at $20M.

✓ The budget must be finished on Tuesday in order for Legislative Session to end on time.  If the budget is not produced in final by Tuesday, then the Legislature must extend the Session to pass the budget.  The Higher Education budget has already been “bumped” to the Appropriations Committee, which has not yet noticed a meeting. 

Finally, PECO allocations are often the last to be released, which is where we would expect our deferred maintenance request to appear, and of course College capital projects.  It is hard to predict on what day on Tuesday or before these offers will be released. 

Published weekly during the legislative session, Capitol Perceptions provides updates on current legislative issues and their progress throughout the session. We welcome you to track our progress weekly in Capitol Perceptions. Feel free to share it with a college friend who is not an AFC member. The online AFC Advocacy Toolkit is filling up with valuable and informative resources for you including a link to each week’s most recent 2022 AFC/FCS Bill Tracking Matrix. 


To review the Council of Presidents' Legislative Budget Request CLICK HERE.

Bills the AFC is tracking:

HB 985 / SB 974: Sovereign Immunity 

HB 985 is ready to be heard on the House Floor, and Senate Bill 974 (“Sovereign Immunity”) was not heard in its final committee.  This bill amends Florida Statute 768.28 and increases the limit of sovereign immunity to $400K per person and $600K per incident for all entities. 

SB 722 / HB 1515: Education for Student Inmates (Perry and Clemons)

SB 722 amends Fla. Stat.  944.801 to allow the Department of Corrections to contract with a Florida College System institution to provide education services in the Correctional Education Program.  The bill amends Fla. Stat. 951.176 to allow a county to contract with a Florida College System institution to provide education for inmates at county detention facilities.  The bill amends 1011.80 to allow state funds to be used to operate postsecondary workforce programs for state or federal inmates with 24 months or less of time remaining on their sentences.

SB 722 appears to be primed to pass the House.

HB 7051 / SB 7044: Postsecondary Education

The House Education and Employment committee heard and passed House Bill 7051, which is the bill that contained a required change to our accrediting body after a five-year interim review or reaffirmation, whichever is sooner. 

SB 7044 passed. 

HB 1577: Homeless Youth

HB 1577 appears to be ready to pass in the Senate. The bill requires the provision of certain services provided to children aging out of DCF custody to be provided to homeless students as well. 

HB 1197: Employee Organizations 

HB 1197 passed the House and was referred to the Rules committee. This bill would, among other things, prohibit the Colleges from collecting union dues through a payroll deduction.

SB 466: Military Corpsmen and Medics of Florida (MCMF) Program

SB 466 passed the Senate.  The bill creates s. 1004.0963, F.S., authorizing the Board of Governors (BOG) and the State Board of Education (SBE) to create a process that enables military-trained health care veterans to earn uniform postsecondary educational credit for college-level education and training acquired while in the military.    The bill requires the Articulation Coordinating Committee to convene a workgroup by July 15, 2023, to develop a process for determining postsecondary educational course equivalencies and minimum educational credit or career education and academic and clinical clock hours that may be awarded for courses taken and occupations held during military service. The Articulation Coordinating Committee must approve a prioritized list of such equivalencies, based on the recommendations made by the workgroup, and the list must be updated on an annual basis. The bill authorizes the Articulation Coordinating Committee to form a subcommittee to carry out the duties as they relate to the bill.  The bill names required members of the subcommittee.  The bill requires SUS and FCS institutions to award the credit determined by the ACC subcommittee.  


Senate breathes life into DeSantis' top priorities

The move comes after Gov. Ron DeSantis and Senate leaders had feuded for weeks.

BY: MATT DIXON | 03/06/2022 10:37 PM EST

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida Senate handed Gov. Ron DeSantis key budget wins late Sunday night, proposing to fund immigration and state security programs long championed by the governor, who has recently feuded with Senate leaders.

In a budget offer made by Senate leaders during an 8:45 p.m. meeting, the chamber offered $12 million for a DeSantis-championed program to transport immigrants brought to Florida from the southern border to other states. DeSantis originally wanted $8 million for the program, so the Senate offer surpassed the original request.

The Senate also proposed funding roughly $10 million for the Florida State Guard, a program that is also a key part of DeSantis’ budget request. Under that plan, the program would have 400 volunteers, up from 200 originally sought by DeSantis.

Both issues had been held up in House and Senate budget negotiations until the late-night meeting headed into the final week of the 2022 legislative session. A handful of DeSantis’ top legislative priorities had still been on the line, but the Senate offer is a clear signal that the guard and immigration transport money will be in play, and likely will get at least some funding from the House.

House budget chief Jay Trumbull, a Panama City Republican, said he thinks legal concerns over the program will work themselves out, a signal the House will agree to some level of funding.

“I think as the implementation works its way out, those questions will probably be answered,” he said.

He said after the meeting that the House has an interest, but “we have not agreed yet.”

The immigration transport program has been part of DeSantis’ ongoing feud with Biden’s administration over its southern border policy. A go-to line for DeSantis in press conferences is that unaccompanied minors sent to Florida through a long-running federal Office of Refugee Resettlement program are transported to other states — specifically Biden’s home state of Delaware.

The state guard funding, higher than originally sought by DeSantis, would serve to supplement the state’s current Florida National Guard in responding to things like natural disasters.

“It will be very similar to the current guard, we have just basically increased people that can serve the same purposes we have with the current guard in Florida,” said Senate budget chief Kelli Stargel (R-Lakeland).

The Senate not only meeting some of DeSantis’ top budget priorities but surpassing them comes after weeks of feuding between the governor and Senate President Wilton Simpson.

The two have clashed over union legislation, redistricting, and a series of budget issues, but with one week left in the 2022 session, the Senate appears to be sending messages that the feud is waning.

“As we work to continue keeping Florida families safe, we appreciate the Legislature's efforts to fund programs that further advance public safety,” said Taryn Fenske, a DeSantis spokesperson.

Capitol Perceptions is compiled weekly during the Florida Legislative Session and distributed to AFC members.  

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