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Fact-Checking Charlie Crist on Tuition Increases


Education is quickly becoming ammunition in the upcoming gubernatorial battle between Florida's Republican Gov. Rick Scott and his likely Democratic opponent -- former governor and former Republican Charlie Crist.

The latest charges from Scott's camp are that Crist raised college tuition in Florida a bunch before Scott came in and started lowering college costs.

A new Scott TV commercial on college tuition is hard to escape these days.

It claims that Crist raised college tuition in Florida up to 15 percent a year when he was governor.

"PolitiFact Florida rated that mostly true," said PolitiFact's Josh Gillin. "Specifically, the Scott campaign is talking about the tuition differential. Back when Charlie Crist was governor, that was a plan to allow the university system's Board of Governors to increase tuition in addition to what the legislature had voted for. In 2009, when this plan was set in place, the Board of Governors voted for a 7 percent increase after the legislature had voted for an 8 percent increase and that is a total of fifteen percent."

The tuition increase stayed at 15 percent in 2010, and, again, in 2011 -- when Rick Scott was governor. But Scott pressured the legislature in 2012 to not increase tuition and vetoed an increase in 2013.

So why did PolitiFact rule the charge against Crist for hiking tuition only mostly true? Because as governor, Crist had no control over that tuition differential.

"The governor cannot veto what the Board of Governors said," Gillin explained. "He could veto what the legislator did but not the Board of Governors. None of this matters now because with the new in-state tuition for students in the country illegally, the tuition differential plan has been scrapped altogether."

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