HEFFA expansion bill supports Florida’s higher education system and its students
Senator Bill Montford Champions the Passage of the Higher Education Facilities Financing Authority Expansion Bill (SB 622/HB 461)
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Thanks to Senator Bill Montford’s leadership and steadfast commitment to Florida’s higher education system, SB 622/HB 461 today passed the Senate and is heading to Governor Rick Scott’s desk. SB 622/HB 461, otherwise known as the Higher Education Facilities Financing Authority (HEFFA) expansion bill, adds to the 2001 HEFFA law to further expand the definition of a project that can be financed with tax-exempt bonds to mirror the County Higher Education Facilities Financing Authority definition. This will give the member institutions of the Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida (ICUF) greater flexibility in financing capital projects and will allow them to expand their capacity and increase access for Florida’s college students at no cost to Florida taxpayers. Senator Aaron Bean served as the bill’s co-sponsor.
“On behalf of all 31 ICUF institutions, I’d like to extend our deepest thanks to Senator Bill Montford and Senator Aaron Bean for their efforts over the past two years on this important piece of legislation,” said Dr. Ed Moore, President of the Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida. “The HEFFA expansion bill is a win-win for Florida’s students and taxpayers, but it would not have been possible without their leadership.”
HEFFA was originally created in Florida statute in 2001 to give independent, non-profit, four year, accredited institutions access to the tax-exempt bond market to borrow funds for capital outlay and cash flow purposes. HEFFA allows ICUF institutions to join together on collaborative bond issues so they can lower the cost of borrowing and access the less-expensive, tax-exempt bond market.
The HEFFA expansion bill will have a positive revenue impact on the state since the statutory changes will encourage the construction of more facilities, create jobs and grow local economies. The bill will benefit the more than 155,000 students that ICUF institutions serve because their schools will be able to invest in new projects as well as improve their current buildings.
About the Independent Colleges & Universities of Florida
The Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida (ICUF) is an association of 31 private, non-profit educational institutions based in Florida and accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Serving more than 155,000 students at 135 sites throughout the state, ICUF offers programs at main campuses and branch campuses in communities and state colleges. For more information, please visit www.icuf.org.