TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) — A House Republican filed a bill Wednesday that would require future recipients of Bright Futures scholarships to reimburse the state if they do not graduate or if they go to work outside of Florida.

The bill (HB 35), filed by Rep. Jimmie Smith, R-Inverness, would take effect with students who receive their initial Bright Futures scholarships during the 2014-15 academic year.

It says, in part, that Bright Futures “shall serve as an incentive for students to remain and work in the state after graduation.” It would require recipients of the scholarships to submit information each year about proof of residence and employment in Florida. “A student who receives an award, but who does not graduate or complete the program for which the award was received or who no longer resides in the state after graduation or program completion, must reimburse the state for the amount of the award received or a prorated portion thereof,” the bill says.

The state Department of Education would come up with procedures if money is not reimbursed.

The bill includes some exceptions, such as for Bright Futures recipients who go on active duty in the military. They would be considered employed in Florida, regardless of where they are located.

“The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.”



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