Florida Senate - 2016                            (NP)    SR 1734
       By Senator Bullard
       39-02067-16                                           20161734__
    1                          Senate Resolution                        
    2         A resolution recognizing the importance of ensuring
    3         that the students of this state have access to debt
    4         free higher education at public colleges and
    5         universities.
    7         WHEREAS, the economic competitiveness of this state and
    8  this nation in the global economy requires a well-educated
    9  workforce, and
   10         WHEREAS, in 2014, students in this state on average had
   11  nearly $25,000 in debt from federal and private loans upon
   12  graduation from public and nonprofit colleges, which
   13  significantly hinders their ability to participate in the local
   14  economy, and
   15         WHEREAS, young people in this state should have the same
   16  opportunity offered to those who went to college in previous
   17  generations, including the ability to attend state colleges and
   18  universities without taking on burdensome debt, and
   19         WHEREAS, in 2015, higher education is more important than
   20  ever because it is an essential step to entering and remaining
   21  in the middle class, and
   22         WHEREAS, because of the importance of higher education, the
   23  federal, state, and local governments should extend the
   24  opportunity to pursue and attain higher education to more people
   25  than were afforded that opportunity in the past, and
   26         WHEREAS, public investment in higher education pays off, as
   27  evidenced by the fact that the G.I. Bill resulted in a 7-to-1
   28  return on investment for our national economy and the fact that
   29  workers with college degrees earn more money, pay more taxes,
   30  and rely less on government services, and
   31         WHEREAS, student loan debt saddles the students who most
   32  depend on the power of a college degree to level the economic
   33  playing field with a burden that constrains career choices,
   34  adversely affects students’ credit ratings, prevents people from
   35  fully participating in the economy by purchasing goods and
   36  services, and threatens essential milestones of the American
   37  dream, including the purchase of a home or a car, starting a
   38  family, and saving for retirement, and
   39         WHEREAS, legislative resolutions have been introduced at
   40  the national level which are raising the national dialogue
   41  around funding for higher education, NOW, THEREFORE,
   43  Be It Resolved by the Senate of the State of Florida:
   45         That the importance of ensuring that the students of this
   46  state have access to debt-free higher education at public
   47  colleges and universities is recognized.