Florida lawmakers have been filing bills this week for the 2017 Legislative Session, and one of the most provocative ones so far is an immigration-related issue from Sarasota Republican Sen. Greg Steube.
As initially reported by the Tampa Bay Times Claire McNeill, Steube would repeal the Jack Latvala-sponsored bill that waives out-of-state fees for undocumented Florida high school students.
“It is certainly a big issue in my district among my constituents, who were frustrated and upset that the state would allow undocumented illegal immigrants to receive taxpayer-supported, in-state tuition,” Steube told the Times. “So I think it’s important to file the bill and have a discussion on it.”
During the House District 60 GOP primary in Hillsborough County, Republican Jackie Toledo also campaigned on repealing the law, as well as repealing the measure that would allow some illegal immigrants to obtain law licenses from the Florida Bar. Toledo did not respond to FloridaPolitics’ request for comment on Steube’s bill, including whether she would sponsor a House version of it.
There’s no doubt many Republicans in the Legislature will gladly sign on to the bill. If Donald Trump‘s success in the Republican primaries was about anything regarding public policy, it was about being tough on immigration.
But will Rick Scott back repealing a bill he happily supported two years ago? Cynics would say he got behind it because he didn’t want to alienate Latinos as he ran for re-election in 2014. Well, everyone in the world believes he’ll be challenging Bill Nelson for U.S. Senate in 2018, and Florida is only becoming browner. Such a bill would seem punitive, a reversal of the progress made among those who really, through no fault of their own, are considered to be out of compliance (“illegal” if you prefer) with U.S. law.
In other news …
Tampa City Council District 7 candidates Jim Davison and Luis Viera debated for the first time in a one-on-one matchup on Tuesday night (They also debated last night. You can read a complete report on that coming up shortly).
During that debate, former City Councilman Joe Caetano questioned Viera’s endorsement from current Council Chairman Mike Suarez, a longtime friend.
Lakeland GOP Rep. Dennis Ross is now a member of President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team.
And instead of moping around after last month’s election debacle, former Florida Democratic Senate candidate Pam Keith is going to Louisiana next week with some fellow D’s to campaign for Senate candidate Foster Campbell.