Tuesday, March 2, 2021
With solid Republican majorities in both chambers, Gov. Ron DeSantis, state House Speaker Chris Sprowls, R-Palm Harbor, and state Senate President Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby, should not face many challenges from the Democrats. But there will be problems in the days to come, especially as DeSantis pushes a $96.6 proposed budget which includes $625 million for Everglades restoration and a new “Resilient Florida” program to deal with climate change with $1 billion in bonds over the next four years. 
Unveiled at Amway Arena, professional sports teams, organizations, and athletes from across Florida are lending their support for these resiliency efforts.
In 2018 and again in 2019, Rubio teamed up with U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., to on the “Protecting Job Opportunities for Borrowers (Protecting JOBs) Act” which “would help to ensure borrowers are not inhibited from working in their trained field solely because they fell behind on their federal student loan payments” and “would prevent states from suspending, revoking or denying state professional, teaching, or driver’s licenses solely because a borrower falls behind on their federal student loan payments.”
“The Educational Opportunities Act would allow individuals and businesses to contribute to qualified Scholarship Granting Organizations (SGOs) that award need-based scholarships to students to defray the cost of attending private schools. The bill creates an individual federal tax credit of up to $4,500 and a corporate credit of up to $100,000 for donations to qualifying, non-profit SGOs,” Rubio’s office noted about the proposal.
Florida bettered the national average (24.4 percent) by nearly 10 percentage points, bypassed Massachusetts (34.0 percent) and is second only to Connecticut (34.5 percent). Additionally, Florida has eliminated the AP participation and performance gap for Hispanic students.
Earlier this month, Rubio criticized the Biden administration’s quiet withdrawal of a federal rule that would have required American higher education institutions to disclose their partnerships with the Chinese government-run Confucius Institute.
The EAGLES Act was named after the mascot of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland where a school shooting took place in 2018 leaving 17 people dead.
Baxley’s bill “revamps postsecondary financial aid programs to maximize value for the student and for Florida taxpayers through a focus on targeted programs that directly lead to employment.”
The program will be administered by the United Negro College Fund (UNCF). Students from more than 20 schools, including Bethune Cookman University in Daytona Beach and Edward Waters College in Jacksonville, will be eligible for the program.
The U.S. Department of Education made these funds available to Florida on January 6 but they have not yet been allocated to benefit students and schools.