Rick Scott Backs Ted Cruz’s Student Empowerment Act

On Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., threw his support behind a proposal from U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Tex, to expand tax-exemptions for students.

Scott announced he was backing Cruz’s “Student Empowerment Act” which lets all students, including private, public and homeschool students, “to use tax-exempt distributions from qualified tuition programs (known as 529 plans) to cover eligible educational expenses, including books, tutoring, and testing fees.”

As he became the eleventh Republican senator to back the bill, Scott pointed to his record on school choice in Tallahassee.

“During my time as governor of Florida, I worked to make Florida a national leader in school choice options for all students, with hundreds of thousands of families taking advantage of these opportunities,” Scott said. “The Student Empowerment Act builds on our efforts by expanding access to 529 savings accounts so that all Florida families have the opportunity for the best education for their children.”

The bill has been before the U.S. Senate Finance Committee since January.

Over in the U.S. House, U.S. Rep. Jason Smith, R-Mo., is championing a companion measure. The bill has been before the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee for six months.

Four Republicans from the Sunshine State–U.S. Reps. Matt Gaetz, Brian Mast, Dan Webster and Ted Yoho–have cosponsored the measure.


Reach Kevin Derby at kevin.derby@floridadaily.com.


Kevin Derby
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