Lawmakers praise Fifth Third Bank for decision to resume support of tax credit scholarships

Patrick R. Gibbons

Within an hour of Fifth Third Bank’s announcement via a press release that it will continue to fund scholarships for Florida’s most disadvantaged students, state lawmakers took to social media to thank the bank for reconsidering its decision to fund the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship program.

Those lawmakers included Rep. James Bush III, D-Miami, who posted: “The return of Fifth Third as a donor to the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship program is a victory for the more than 100,000 low-income students who need options in their education.”

Rep. Kimberly Daniels, D-Jacksonville, referenced the pressure exerted upon Fifth Third by activists who came out in force this week to support the scholarship program and urged others to tweet @Fifththird to thank the bank for continuing its support.

Several other lawmakers, including Rep. Chris Sprowls, R-Palm Harbor, applauded Fifth Third for “coming back to the table” and listening to all voices. “This decision means that thousands of underprivileged, minority children will not have to give up their dream of a better future,” Sprowls tweeted.

Rep. Patricia Williams, D-Pompano Beach, tweeted: “I celebrate the announcement by Fifth Third Bank, which will bolster education opportunities for those who need it most — low-income, minority students.”

Rep. Chris Latvala, R-Clearwater, and Rep. Byron Daniels, R-Naples, also weighed in, with the latter thanking Fifth Third for “doing the right thing” in resuming its corporate donations.

Meanwhile, Rep. Al Lawson, D-Tallahassee, commended the bank for supporting equal education opportunities for all children. “Our great state will be the better for it,” Lawson tweeted.

Adding their voices to the praise chorus were two national figures.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who signed the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship program into law in 2001, thanked Fifth Third and tweeted, “Great to see @FifthThird continuing to support Florida’s families seeking a better education for their children.”

And U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio commended the bank, tweeting “Great job by the bipartisan coalition that made this possible.”

Rubio made headlines earlier this week when he called Fifth Third’s decision to cease donations, along with Wells Fargo’s, a “publicity stunt aimed at earning ‘wokeness’ points with the radical left.”

 

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