Voucher program expansion stalls again in Senate

Updated:

TALLAHASSE, Fla. —

A proposal to expand Florida's main private school voucher program continues to have trouble in the Florida Senate.

Democrats on Thursday banded together to block consideration of a House bill that would allow more students become eligible for the program.

It required a supermajority vote to consider the legislation (HB 7167), but supporters came up two votes short in the 40-member Senate.

The Florida House has made expanding the voucher program a top priority.

Florida already has a popular program where nearly 60,000 students from low-income families attend private schools. State figures show that more than 80 percent of the schools participating are religious.

House Speaker Will Weatherford said he still "feels very good" about the bill's prospects.