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New Florida Law Targets Colleges' International Ties

June 8, 2021
 
 

Florida governor Ron DeSantis signed a law Monday that subjects colleges and universities in the state to heightened scrutiny of their connections to foreign entities.

The law, HB 7017, requires higher ed institutions to report foreign gifts worth $50,000 or more to the Board of Governors of the State University System of Florida or to the Florida Department of Education. The law also imposes additional requirements for colleges that receive state tax dollars and have a research budget of at least $10 million. Those institutions must now take certain steps to "screen" foreign applicants for research-related positions and preapprove and monitor international employment-related travel.

The law also prohibits colleges from entering into certain kinds of agreements with any of seven designated countries of concern -- defined in the legislation as China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia, Syria and Venezuela -- or entities controlled by them.

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