Senator Broxson Pushes Full Funding for Bright Futures

Posted on March 25, 2021 by Romi White

Students in the model inclusion kindergarten classroom for Santa Rosa County at West Navarre Primary School pictured March 25 with their teachers, Jessilyn Hepler and Trendi Johnson. 

Florida Senator Doug Broxson, chairman of the appropriations subcommittee on education, during yesterday’s committee meeting led a discussion about the state’s budget proposal, including allocations for Bright Futures scholarships, which will be maintained at current levels.

“The proposal maintains Bright Future student awards at levels that are consistent with current law,” said Broxson, who stressed Bright Futures scholarships would be fully funded with “zero” cuts.

Legislators yesterday approved an amendment to Senate Bill 86, sponsored by Senator Dennis Baxley, which initially would have limited funding for certain Bright Futures scholarship recipients, depending on the degrees which they pursued.

That controversial provision has been removed, and the bill verbiage has been rewritten to include an acknowledgement by students that their degree pursuit may not be a path to immediate employment.

Some Democrats opposed making any changes which would allow lawmakers to change Bright Futures funding in the future; however, Republicans argued legislators have the power to do so and the proposed bill simply clarifies that.

Following yesterday’s 5-4 approval during Broxson’s committee, the amended version of SB 86 will move closer to votes in the Florida Senate and House.

More than 100,000 Florida students each year earn the merit-based scholarships, which are primarily funded by Florida Lottery proceeds.