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State Legislature Approves “Florida GI” Bill

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Florida Capitol Complex (Source: dms.myflorida.com)

Florida Capitol Complex (Source: dms.myflorida.com)

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TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/AP) — Veterans in Florida will soon get a break on tuition.

On Tuesday, the state’s Legislature passed the so-called “Florida GI” bill which Governor Rick Scott has said he’ll sign.

“I’m excited that we care about our military,” said Scott.

A key part of the bill would offer a tuition break to honorably discharged veterans regardless of when they moved to the state.

The measure also includes college scholarships for National Guard members and sets aside money to renovate armories and acquire land adjacent to existing military installations.

“To show our gratitude for their unwavering commitment and sacrifice, the Florida Legislature today finalized our commitment to make our state the most military friendly in the nation,” said Senate President Don Gaetz, R-Niceville.

Florida has roughly 1.5 million veterans, and there is an estimated 61,000 active military personnel stationed in the state.

The tuition break, which would cost an estimated $12 million, would ensure that veterans would pay the in-state tuition rate for college.

The bill also would waive professional licensing fees up to five years after a veteran is discharged.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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