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SB 264/HB233

What the Bill Does

For at least the third consecutive year, a bill has been filed to require an “intellectual diversity” survey to be administered at Florida’s colleges and universities. Should this bill pass it could have a chilling effect on academic freedom.

What’s Next

SB 264

Having passed all of it committees of reference, SB 264 is now ready for the senate floor. We’ll keep you updated as to when it will be heard.

HB 233

HB 233 has been passed by the House.

Vote History

SB 264

  • 1/26/21 Education Committee: 6-4 party line vote
  • 2/9/21 Education Appropriations Subcommittee 6-3 party line vote 
  • 3/18/21 Appropriations Committee  12-8 party line vote

HB 233

  • 2/17/21 Postsecondary Education Committee 12-6 party line vote
  • 3/15/21 Education and Employment Committee 14-6 
  • 3/18/21 House Floor 77-42

Our Position

We oppose this bill.

Talking Points

  • Such a survey creates opportunities for political manipulation and could have a chilling effect on intellectual and academic freedom.
  • Students already have the right to free speech on campus. All viewpoints can be expressed freely and openly.
  • There are many unanswered questions such as:
    • Who will create the survey?
    • How will the information be used?
    • Who will evaluate the survey?
  • While the total cost of the survey development and administration is unknown, similar surveys in other states have cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. It’s safe to assume this survey will use a significant amount of funds that would be better used serving students and faculty. 
  • Allowing students to record their classmates without their knowledge or consent could create a chilling effect in Florida’s college and university classrooms. Rather than providing intellectual diversity as the bill sponsor claims it does, this will limit free and open discourse.

Video Updates

3/18/21 Senate Appropriations 

  • Discussion of the bill starts at 49:25 into the meeting.
  • Karen Morian, UFF President, addresses the committee at 1:07:45.

2/9/2021 Senate Education Appropriations 

  • Discussion of SB 264 begins 27:02 into the meeting.

1/26/21 Senate Education Committee

  • Discussion of SB 264 begins 29:42 into the meeting. There is a significant amount of discussion and questioning and public input, featuring quite a few UFF and GAU members begins at 1:10:299

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