Incoming Senate Democratic Leader Audrey Gibson (D-Jacksonville) on Tuesday issued the following statement on the passing of Senator Dorothy Hukill: [Read more…] about Statement from Incoming Senate Democratic Leader Audrey Gibson on Passing of Senator Dorothy Hukill
Senator Dorothy Hukill
Incoming Florida Senate President Bill Galvano (R-Bradenton) today released the following statement regarding news that State Senator Dorothy Hukill (R-Port Orange) has passed away. [Read more…] about Statement by President Designate Galvano Regarding the Passing of Senator Hukill
Governor Rick Scott made the following statement today regarding the passing of Florida Senator Dorothy Hukill:
Governor Scott said, “My wife, Ann, and I are with heavy heart to learn of Senator Dorothy Hukill’s passing today. Senator Hukill was a true leader in the Florida Senate and served the public with distinction. She worked to make our state a better place to live and leaves an incredible legacy. We are all grateful for her commitment to Florida families. Our prayers are with Dorothy’s family today and to those closest to her. We are also praying for our friends and colleagues in the Florida Senate who loved and admired Senator Hukill so much. To honor her memory, I will be lowering the state flags at the appropriate time.”
Florida Senate President Joe Negron (R-Stuart) today released the following statement regarding the Senator Dorothy Hukill.
“Today, I share with you the news Senator Hukill is again facing serious health issues. Senator Hukill is a tireless, passionate and selfless advocate for her constituents. Even in her times of greatest medical challenge, she has remained steadfast in representing her community. On behalf of the Senate, I offer our thoughts and prayers to her and her family in this difficult time.”
Two Florida Lawmakers Recognized for Work to Protect Florida Consumers
The Personal Insurance Federation of Florida (PIFF) today named two Legislative Champions for work on issues impacting Florida insurance consumers during the 2018 Legislative Session. Recognized for protecting Floridians, Senator Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples, and Senator Dorothy Hukill, R-Port Orange, both earned the honor from PIFF, the leading voice for property and casualty insurance companies offering personal lines insurance products in Florida.
Legislative Champions were selected through a convening of the PIFF Policy Group, made up of representatives from Allstate Insurance Companies, Farmers Insurance, the Progressive Group of Insurance Companies and State Farm Insurance Companies. The group worked to identify outstanding leadership and support for PIFF’s mission and legislative agenda, citing work to protect Floridians from fraud as contributing to the recognition this year.
“The consumer protections that did occur this year would not have been possible without the initiative of these lawmakers,” said Michael Carlson, president of the Personal Insurance Federation of Florida. “Senator Passidomo worked to protect a competitive auto market in Florida by thwarting attempts to throw all auto crash claims into courthouses. Senator Hukill acted on behalf of consumers, working to protect them from paying higher rates driven by inflated property insurance claims involving water and roofing losses. We are grateful for their support in tackling problems taking place in the insurance market, and to have seen the prevention of further harm with their leadership.”
Senator Dorothy Hukill
PIFF applauded the Senator Hukill for her outspoken support for the Consumer Protection Coalition and AOB (assignment of benefits) reform efforts. Although her bill, Senate Bill 62, was never heard in committee, it served as a vehicle for real “silver bullet” solutions to stop the rampant AOB abuse in Florida. While a solution is still needed, no further harm was done this year.
“I am honored to be recognized for consumer-focused efforts, and consider it my duty to advocate for policies that protect Floridians,” said Senator Hukill. “I will continue to work toward a solution that ensures when families are in an auto or home crisis they are protected and the AOB process is transparent and held accountable.”
Senator Kathleen Passidomo
Senator Passidomo championed the “bad faith” amendment on Senate Bill 150, which would have also removed the mandatory medical payments coverage for all drivers – PIFF believes this debate ultimately helped thwart the PIP repeal-and-replace discussion, a positive development for Florida consumers. Without a newly mandated rate increase, Floridians will continue to have choices in the insurance market.
“I am humbled to be recognized with my good friend, Senator Dorothy Hukill, for our shared concerns of constituents and consumers throughout the State of Florida,” said Senator Passidomo.
This is the second year PIFF has recognized Legislative Champions for Florida consumers, recognizing eight individuals in 2017. For more on PIFF’s 2018 legislative platform, visit PIFF.net.
Legislation elevates the standing and visibility
of Florida’s nationally-recognized college system
Senator Dorothy Hukill (R-Port Orange) today filed Senate Bill 540, the Community College Competitiveness Act of 2018. The legislation supports the over 800,000 full- and part-time students of Florida’s nationally-recognized college system by expanding credit transfer options through new 2+2 targeted pathways to graduation; requiring student and faculty representation on the new state coordinating board of the community college system, and expanding strategic academic advising to help students save time and money.
“As a former teacher, I have seen firsthand how each component of our education system provides a valuable experience for our students as they learn the skills needed for a successful career. For this reason, in developing this legislation, we worked to incorporate feedback from our state colleges regarding their unique strategies for student success,” said Senator Hukill. “This comprehensive legislation seeks to further elevate Florida’s nationally-ranked community colleges through a renewed focus on student success that will lead to on-time completion of vital associate degrees and workforce credentials that prepare students for jobs in communities across our state.”
“Florida’s 2+2 college-to-university program has earned a national reputation as a model for success in higher education. With a distinct mission, separate from the role of our K-12 and state university systems, Florida’s community colleges are vital to Florida’s K-20 public education system,” said Senate President Joe Negron (R-Stuart). “An independent coordinating board will ensure this critical component of our state’s education and economic development infrastructure retains its dedicated local focus while elevating the statewide leadership presence needed to continue to meet the needs of growing local and regional economies throughout Florida.”
The Community College Competitiveness Act of 2018
Elevates Community College Governance and State-Level Leadership
The bill elevates the organizational prominence and affirms the distinct leadership significance of the Florida Community College System and the essential role local community colleges play in improving the quality of life and economic well-being of the state and its residents.
- Restructures state-level governance of Florida’s community college system under a state coordinating board uniquely dedicated to the advocacy and advancement of the economic, community, and professional advancement goals of Florida’s 28 community colleges.
- Restores a “State Board of Community Colleges” (SBCC) to oversee and coordinate the FCCS [local college boards of trustees retain current local autonomy and local governing authority.]
- Shifts state-level responsibilities regarding Florida community colleges from the State Board of Education to the SBCC.
- Reinforces the open-door mission of community colleges as primary access points for workforce credentials and transferable college-credit associate degrees, and the non-college-credit mission of school district technical/career centers and charter technical career centers in promoting advances and innovations in adult education and workforce preparation.
- Secures the fidelity of community college workforce bachelor degree programs that meet district, regional, and statewide workforce needs and promote economic and community development.
- Reinforces community college primary attention to, and advancement of, associate level degrees and workforce education credentials.
- Modifies and streamlines bachelor degree approval processes, timelines, and requirements.
- Provides flexibility and a pathway for planned and purposeful growth of community college bachelor degrees within an upper-level enrollment cap of no more than 20 percent of a community college’s total enrollment, not to exceed 10 percent as a system.
Reinforces K-20 Articulation Options
The bill tightens articulation policy alignment and enhances credit transfer options students may leverage in their academic plans to maximize their return on investment and minimize unnecessary coursework that results in excess hours and additional costs.
- Requires school districts to inform high school students about the specific college courses and the related college credits which students may earn through dual enrollment courses and other acceleration options.
- Creates new “2+2” targeted pathways to directly connect community college graduates with timely advising and specified bachelor degree programs at individual state universities, in accordance with the terms of the pathway agreement.
- Requires each community college to establish at least one 2+2 targeted pathway articulation agreement with at least one state university as an option for their students to have guaranteed access to bachelor degree programs at the partner university. The legislation also requires each state university to execute one or more such agreements with a community college.
- Requires state higher education policy boards to identify and eliminate barriers to executing targeted pathway agreements.
Promotes Performance and Fiscal Accountability
The bill refines performance expectations for Florida colleges and aligns their financial rewards to sustain excellence in preserving open-door access and graduating students, regardless of their level of initial academic preparedness, with college degrees and workforce credentials.
- Fine-tunes performance expectations by adjusting performance metrics and minimum standards to emphasize national excellence benchmarks and reward community college performance success in meeting core mission responsibilities.
- Focuses performance incentive funding measures: completion/graduation of full-time students, job placement of workforce education program graduates, bachelor degree attainment for transfer students, and measures of college affordability.
- Refines “Distinguished” college measures: retention, graduation, excess hours, and wages.
- Reinforces effective developmental education instructional models (i.e., college remediation) that substantially bolster the achievement, advancement, and graduation of academically underprepared students.
- Establishes an outcome-based approach to sustaining and scaling instructional and support strategies demonstrating evidence of success in retaining, progressing, transferring, and graduating Associate in Arts degree students.
- Leverages locally-established, research-based developmental education innovations and instructional strategies uniquely tailored to the needs of Florida’s community college students.
- Tightens community college relationships with their direct-support organizations’ leadership, use of funds, and public disclosure activities.
Senator Dorothy Hukill (R-Port Orange) today filed Senate Bill 374, the College Competitiveness Act of 2017. The legislation, co-sponsored by Senator Bill Galvano (R-Bradenton) and Senate Majority Leader Wilton Simpson (R-Trilby), is a component of the Florida Senate’s Excellence in Higher Education agenda advocated by Senate President Joe Negron (R-Stuart).
“This legislation will elevate the visibility of our nationally-recognized Florida Community College System as an integral partner in Florida’s system of higher education, with a renewed commitment to access and dedication to its primary 2+2 mission, and on-time completion of vital associate degrees and workforce credentials, as fundamental priorities,” said Senator Hukill.
Senate Bill 374, reinstates a statewide coordinating board for the Florida Community College System, tightens the community college bachelor degree approval process, expands 2+2 college-to-university partnerships, and clarifies responsibilities within Florida’s taxpayer-funded K-20 education system to avoid wasteful duplication of programs offered by state universities, community colleges, and technical centers.
“Community colleges are vital to Florida’s K-20 public education system,” said President Negron. “With a distinct mission, separate from the role of our K-12 and state university systems, our nationally-recognized community colleges deserve their own coordinating board to advocate for the success of the system.”
“By clarifying the distinct roles and responsibilities of our state universities, community colleges, and technical centers, we can elevate each component of our higher education system with strategic policy enhancements and funding investments that promote economic growth,” said Senator Galvano.
“Florida’s 2+2 college-to-university partnership program is a nationally-recognized model for success in higher education,” said Leader Simpson. “Strengthening and expanding partnership agreements that enable students to transition seamlessly from a community college to one of our 12 state universities facilitates degree completion, which saves students money and time.”
Reinstates Statewide Coordinating Board
Senate Bill 374 reinstates the State Board of Community Colleges as the coordinating board of the Florida Community College System, independent of the State Board of Education and the Board of Governors of the State University System, to oversee the local community college boards of trustees. The bill requires the State Board of Community Colleges to appoint a Chancellor to the board, and transfers personnel, budget, and other appropriate functions from the State Board of Education to the State Board of Community Colleges.
Clarifies Missions of Community Colleges and School District Workforce Programs
Senate Bill 374 clarifies that providing lower-level undergraduate instruction and awarding Associate in Arts degrees, which transfer to a state university, are responsibilities under the primary mission of community colleges. Additionally, responsibilities under the primary mission of community colleges are to prepare students directly for careers requiring less than bachelor degrees, by awarding Associate in Science degrees, Associate in Applied Science degrees, and nationally-recognized industry certifications, which help students enter the workforce prepared for success.
Offering upper-level instruction and awarding bachelor degrees are responsibilities under the secondary mission of community colleges. To support this delineation in mission, the bill establishes a cap on the planned growth in upper-level undergraduate enrollment at each community college, thereby focusing attention and resources on excellence in meeting primary mission responsibilities. The provisions of the bill do not terminate any existing programs and no students currently enrolled in community college baccalaureate degree programs will be impacted by the enrollment cap.
The legislation further clarifies the mission of technical centers is to promote advances and innovations in specific workforce preparation and economic development. The public technical center learning environment prepares its students to meet the needs of the local community through specific and specialized technical career-based training; thus promoting diversity and choices within the public technical education community and while increasing a quicker turnaround in economic investments as these students are more likely to immediately enter the workforce. The bill clarifies technical centers governed by local school boards may not offer college credit courses, college credit certificates, associate degrees, or bachelor degrees.
Expands 2+2 College-To-University Partnerships
Senate Bill 374 expands successful 2+2 college-to-university programs, such as DirectConnect partnerships with the University of Central Florida and FUSE partnerships with the University of South Florida, by requiring every college to implement, by no later than the 2018 academic year, a minimum of one 2+2 pathway agreement with at least one state university partner. The 2+2 pathway agreement guarantees the college’s Associate in Arts degree graduates, who meet specific requirements, admission to the university partnered with that community college.