Florida Lt. Gov. Lopez-Cantera: Education Important in State Race

Monday, 04 Aug 2014 02:22 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Republican Florida Gov. Rick Scott "wants to keep tuition low for all students," state Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera told Newsmax TV while explaining a law that allows undocumented immigrant students living in Florida to attend college at the same in-state tuition rate as citizens.

"He's recognized that kids who are graduating with mountains of debt in this state and in our country leads to obstacles for them to live the American dream," Lopez-Cantera said on Monday's edition of "America's Forum."

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There is more to the bill than the in-state tuition issue, said Lopez-Cantera, noting that the law also has lowered the cost of a prepaid college education in Florida by $20,000.

"I have a one-year-old and that's important to me because we're about to get him to the market for one of those plans," said the lieutenant governor.

There is a cap on the in-state tuition pot, with only 10 percent of students statewide being able to take advantage of the in-state tuition, with each university deciding on how the money is awarded, said Lopez-Cantera. The bill has also eliminated cost increases for tuition.

"The previous governor, Charlie Crist, increased tuition three separate times while he was governor," said Lopez-Cantera. "That has led to increase costs for our kids who are graduating today."

The law though, allows the costs of tuition to be kept low for all college students.

"It's important that we keep cost of tuition low for everybody here in Florida, because if you graduate with too much debt it makes it difficult to be able to get a good job, keep a good job, and live your dream," he said.

The campaign between Scott and Crist, a Democrat who has already held the governor's seat as a Republican, is growing heated, and Lopez-Cantera noted that education will remain an important issue in the race as November approaches.

Lopez-Cantera accused Crist of fabricating attacks on Scott, who he said "inherited a mess" from the former governor when it came to jobs, education, and more.

He also called Crist a "puppet of the Obama administration, " and claimed that Washington is doing what it can "to help their guy."

He also denied some reports that say Scott does not have the charisma it takes to beat Crist's challenge.

"We saw in 2012 the more charismatic candidate is the one that won the national election and we see how that's turned out now," said Lopez-Cantera.

He also noted that like many Republican candidates, Scott would love the endorsement of former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, and he's sure that Romney would like to see Scott be re-elected.

"Gov. Romney knows firsthand that Charlie Crist is a traitor and a liar because he lied to Mitt Romney, he lied to Rudy Giuliani and he lies to everybody, unfortunately," Lopez-Cantera said.

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