Higher education bill includes eliminating free speech zones

Published: Mar. 5, 2018 at 5:25 PM EST
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By: Associated Press

March 5, 2018

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida's House of Representatives has passed a sweeping higher education bill that eliminates "free speech zones" on college campuses.

The House on Monday voted 84-28 on a Senate bill, SB 4, which now includes a measure that would allow state universities or colleges to be sued if students or others intentionally disrupt or hinder a campus speaker.

The full bill now heads back to the Senate. A similar campus free expression bill was voted down in a Senate committee.

The bill would also require the state to cover between 75 and 100 percent of tuition costs for top performing high school students who attend a state university or college.

Florida used to pay anywhere from 75 percent to 100 percent of tuition for those eligible for the state's Bright Futures scholarship, but it was scaled back during the Great Recession.