Your Weekly Legislative Update

February 1, 2022
Week Three Session Summary
January 24 - January 28, 2022
Legislative Session 2022

In This Issue...


2022 Legislative Session Highlights 

✓ The Education Enhancement Trust Fund estimates were released and the amounts available in that fund remain relatively flat as compared to the funds available in 2021-2022.

✓ By fiscal year end in 2021-2022, the total anticipated gain to General  Revenue is  $2.539  billion from what was budgeted by the legislature in the 2021 GAA.  The anticipated gain in 2022-2023 is $732.9 million over the prior year. 

✓ Ms. Evangelia Prevolis, Interim Assistant Vice President of FIU Online, presented on text affordability and the measures that Florida higher education institutions have taken to lower the costs of textbooks since 2016.  The presenter spoke on options to raise the adoption of lower cost materials and open resource materials for higher education courses.




Senate Appropriations on Education

House Secondary Education & Career Development Subcommittee



House Post-Secondary Education & Lifelong Learning Committee

House Higher Education Appropriations


Published weekly during the legislative session, Capitol Perceptions provides updates on current legislative issues and their progress throughout the session. We would like to thank our AFC Legislative Committee Chair, Lacey Hofmeyer from Broward College, and Vice-Chair, Eired Eddy, from St. Petersburg College, for their hard work and assistance in compiling the weekly session highlights and bill updates.

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:

SB 1122 / HB 991: Student Fees (Gainer)

This bill authorizes a district school board of a Florida college system (FCS) institution board of Trustees, in consultation with regional workforce and economic development organizations, to implement a plan for a differential out-of-state fee for the purpose of recruiting students into postsecondary programs of study identified as necessary to address unmet current and future workforce needs in the region. 

The bill passed, as is now ripe for its second committee stop. The House companion, HB 991, by Representative Shoaf is on its second stop in the House and was heard in the House Secondary Education Committee on January 26, 2022. 

Representative Shoaf’s bill, HB 991, mirrored SB 1122 until this meeting wherein an amendment to the bill passed.  This version of the bill now requires Florida College System institutions to prioritize in-state residents for slots in programs.

HB 7019 / SB 7004: OGSR/ Technology Systemts / State University or a Florida College System (Fetterhoff)

The bill extends the public records exemptions for certain IT system designs and security breach investigation documents from the public, but provides that the information must be made available to certain agencies and boards.

HB 7019 was voted favorable by State Affairs Committee. SB 7004 was voted favorable by the Education Committee.

HB 45 / SB 554: Educational Opportunities for Veterans (Morales and Benjamin)

Under this bill, beginning with the 2022-2023 academic year, a disabled veteran who receives a tuition benefit to attend a state university, Florida College System institution, career center operated by a school district, or charter technical career center under the GI Bill, but who does not qualify for the 100% eligibility tier federally, is eligible for a waiver of tuition and fees from the institution attended for any remaining amount after the GI bill benefits are applied. The award amount is equal to the amount that is the difference between the portion of tuition and fees authorized under federal law and the full amount of tuition and fees charged by the institution attended. The bill requires institutions to report the number and value of all fee waivers granted under the program to the Board of Governors and the State Board of Education. The Revenue Estimating Conference of EDR estimates that bill would have a financial impact of approximately $100,000 per fiscal year.

HB 45 is now in the Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee. SB 554 is now in the Military and Veterans Affairs, Space, and Domestic Security Committee.

HB 609: Florida Institute for Charter School Innovation (Borrero)

The bill creates the Florida Institute for Charter School Innovation at Miami Dade College (MDC). The bill establishes the following duties for the institute: 
(1) create a state resource of best practices for charter school applications and application review;
(2) provide training, technical assistance, and support to charter school sponsors on the review of charter applications and renewals;
(3) conduct applied research on policy and practices related to charter schools;
(4) conduct or compile research on the status of educational choice, charter authorizing, and charter school performance in Florida and other topics related to charter schools; and
(5) collaborate with DOE in developing the sponsor evaluation framework;
(6) disseminate information regarding research-based charter school teaching practices to educators in Florida; and
(7) host research workshops and conferences that allow charter school sponsors, operators, students, and parents to engage in topics related to charter schools.

HB 573 / SB 896Educator Certification Pathways for Veterans (Snyder and Killebrew and Burgess)

SB 896 by Senator Burgess is set for its second committee stop of February 1, 2022.  The bill modifies the persons eligible to seek certification to include active duty military members serving for at least 48 months with honorable discharge or medical separation, and who have achieved 60 college credits or more with a minimum of a 2.5 GPA by an accredited institution of higher education, or those non-accredited institutions identified by the Florida Department of Education. The Department of Education is empowered to issue temporary certificates to these individuals.  Any temporary certificates issued by the Department of Education for this group are valid for these individuals for 5 years.

HB 573 Is now in Local Administration & Veterans Affairs Subcommittee set to meet on Friday, January 21.

HB 985 / SB 974Sovereign Immunity (Beltran)

SB 974 by Senator Gruters is set for its first committee hearing on January 31, 2022.  This bill amends Florida Statute 768.28 and increases the limit of sovereign immunity to $1M of all claims or judgments.  The current statute sets a limit of $200K for single occurrences, and $300K for multiple claims or judgments arising out of same incident or occurrence. The statute makes clear that the $1M limit is per person, not per claim or occurrence.  The bill also directs the Department of Financial Services to adjust the sovereign immunity limits by CPI beginning July 1, 2023.  HB 985 by Representative Beltran’s identical bill is set for its second hearing in the House on the same day.

SB 1396: Educational Dollars for Duty Program (Cruz)

SB 1396 by Senator Cruz is set for its first hearing on February 1, 2022.  The bill amends Florida Statute 250.10 to allow members of the National Guard to use these educational dollars on public or private postsecondary education in online programs in or out of state and will cover the highest state tuition and fees rates of in-state public universities.

SB 1708 / HB 1577: Child Welfare (Garcia)

SB 1708 by Senator Garcia is set for its first hearing on February 1, 2022.  As to FCS institutions, the bill amends Florida Statute 409.1452.  FCS institutions are currently required under this statute to provide dedicated student support services, and now that same provisions expands to those students experiencing homelessness.  

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

SB 722 by Senator Perry is set for its first hearing on February 1, 2022. The bill 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.


Florida House advances bill to cut school board salaries, examine schoolbooks

01/31/2022 06:41 PM EST

TALLAHASSEE — GOP lawmakers in the Florida House advanced a wide-reaching education bill on Monday that would drastically scale back pay for local school board members across the state while also ramping up scrutiny around schoolbooks.

Breaking it down: The proposal, FL HB1467 (22R), is part of a push by state Republicans to take a more stringent look at what students are learning and reading as some parents across Florida, and the U.S., raise objections about books largely surrounding race, sex and gender. The legislation was fast-tracked in the House and is now eligible for full consideration from the chamber after two committee hearings.

“I think it’s going to be surprising to most people to find out how much is going on in our school system today in our libraries,” said state Rep. Rick Roth (R-West Palm Beach).

Aside from reviewing books, the proposal includes a sizable pay cut for school board members, who have been a frequent target of Republican lawmakers and Gov. Ron DeSantis for opposing their policies.

House members amended the legislation on Monday to offer some pay to school board members instead of zeroing out their salaries, yet the measure still falls short of its companion bill in the SenateFL SB1300, giving the two sides another issue to hammer out during the 2022 session.

Previously the House bill outright eliminated the state law that allows school boards to net salaries beginning with board members elected in 2022. But the House Appropriations Committee on Monday backed an amendment that would allow board members to get a slice of money from every meeting.

Under the bill now, local school board members could receive up to $200 per meeting with a cap of $4,800 annually. Comparatively, school board members in the state earn a yearly salary between $26,965 and $47,189. The Senate bill suggests a flat pay rate for all school board members to match the pay rate of state Senators and House members — $29,697.

Democrats, and even some Republicans, have expressed reservations about slashing school board member salaries over fears it could lead to fewer candidates running for the local posts.

“I don’t believe that what we’re offering to pay someone in the amendment is a living wage for the amount of meetings we have,” said state Rep. Matt Willhite (D-Wellington).

The main part of the bill would require every elementary school to post all available library and classroom books online and calls for library staff to undergo a training program led by the Florida Department of Education. It also mandates that all local meetings surrounding instructional materials must be noticed, open to the public and include parents.

Additionally, the measure pushes schools to detail their education material lists in a searchable format online.

The legislation notably does not apply to charter or private schools.

What’s next: With the House bill now ready for the floor, the Senate’s proposal has one more hearing scheduled before the chamber’s Rules Committee.

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

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