Senate and House Republicans on Wednesday filed identical bills that could financially penalize state university and college students who back “foreign terrorist” organizations, such as Hamas.
Sen. Blaise Ingoglia, R-Spring Hill, and Rep. John Temple, R-Wildwood, filed the proposals (SB 470 and HB 465) for consideration during the 2024 legislative session, which will start in January.
The bills came after lawmakers during a special session last week took a series of steps to show support for Israel in its war with Hamas.
It also came amid a nationwide debate about support on college campuses for Hamas, which triggered the war by attacking Israel on Oct. 7. The bills would seek to penalize any student who “promotes a foreign terrorist organization.”
For example, the bills call for such students to be required to pay out-of-state tuition rates, which are higher than in-state rates. Also, the bills would prevent the students from being eligible for such things as state grants, financial aid or tuition assistance.
The bills provide a definition for foreign terrorist organizations that, in part, would apply to “Hamas and Palestine Islamic Jihad.” They do not define the word “promotes.”