Connect with us

Headlines

Budget conference: House relaxes position on university cuts

Only a $35.3 million cut to university base funding is included in the House’s first offer.

The House has increased its higher education spending plan by $136 million, moving more toward the Senate’s position on state dollars for entities like universities and colleges.

The revision surfaced as the House made its first higher education budget offer Tuesday night. While the PreK-12 education funding issues remain for other budget conferences, the shift from the House reflects progress on a portion of the budget that leaders in both chambers have said they are far apart on.

Part of the change is tied to the House’s easing on a series of reductions that had been pitched and passed in a proposed spending plan earlier this month.

Initially, the House higher-ed silo — led by Rep. Randy Fine — included a $100 million cut in university base funding and a $20 million cut in pre-eminence funding. It also slashed $15 million from special faculty and graduate programs.

Now, only a $35.3 million cut to university base funding is included. And this time around, the House has proposed increasing funding for regional universities by around $13 million.

Fine, a Palm Bay Republican, has been a sharp critic of university spending throughout the Legislative Session. Asked why some of the cuts were dropped, he pointed to flexibility in allocations, or the agreed-to amount of General Revenue that will be spent on different parts of the budget. The Legislature released allocations earlier Tuesday.

House Speaker Jose Oliva has expressed a desire to pass a fiscally conservative budget this year. Fine said he did not know whether any other silos would endure cuts to make up for the House’s changed position on university funding.

“You’d have to ask Speaker Oliva and President [Bill] Galvano but I know they’ve worked incredibly hard and incredibly collaboratively to come up with allocations that they think are best for the state of Florida,” Fine said.

Public Education Capital Outlay dollars were not included in Tuesday evening’s discussion.

The conference committees will meet through Thursday evening.

Written By

Danny McAuliffe is a Tallahassee correspondent for Florida Politics. He is a graduate of Florida State University, where he served as the editor of the FSView & Florida Flambeau. He is a lifelong Floridian and indulges in swimming, hiking, running and memes when the news cycle permits. Reach him at dmcauliffe500@gmail.com.

Winners and losers emerging from the 2019 Legislative Session

Headlines

Justice for the raccoon? Petition launched to disbar lawyer who forced animal off boat

APolitical

Olivia Babis changed the conversation on straw bans. Now what?

Headlines

Florida Constitution Florida Constitution

Ron DeSantis MUST veto HB 5

Emails & Opinions

Sign up for Sunburn

Receive our team's agenda-setting morning read of what's hot in Florida politics. Delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday.

Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Jim Rosica, A.G. Gancarski, Joe Henderson, Janelle Irwin, Dan McAuliffe, Jacob Ogles, Scott Powers, Bob Sparks, Andrew Wilson.
Email: Peter@FloridaPolitics.com
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Connect
Sign up for Sunburn

Receive our team's agenda-setting morning read of what's hot in Florida politics. Delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday.