Putting Education Reform To The Test

Lawmaker Changes His Mind About Bright Futures Bill


After hearing from voters, Rep. Jimmie Smith plans to withdraw his Bright Futures bill.

A Florida lawmaker who filed a bill that would make Bright Futures recipients stay in Florida after graduation seems to have changed his mind.

A spokesman for Rep. Jimmie Smith, R-Lecanto, told the Orlando Sentinel that Smith will withdraw the bill that was filed this month.

It would have required college graduates to stay and work in Florida six months for every semester the scholarship was used.

Those who didn’t stay in state or who didn’t finish school would have to pay the money back.

If the bill had passed the Florida Legislature, the new requirements would have gone into effect in a couple of years, when unemployment in the state is forecast to remain above the national average.

According to House Bill 35, Smith wanted to give Florida’s brightest students an incentive to stay and work here, which in turn would be a benefit to the state.

He apparently heard from a lot of constituents who didn’t like the idea.

He says he now feels better options are out there, and he looks forward to finding solutions for shoring up the Bright Futures program.


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