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Ron DeSantis’ budget locks down Complete Florida funds, pending audit

The state would hold back $5 million of the $23 million allocation

Gov. Ron DeSantis rolled out his second budget on Monday.

Weighing in at $91.4 billion, it includes $600 million to increase starting teacher pay, $625 million for water projects and even a $50 million save for VISIT FLORIDA.

But the budget also contains some language that could cut off millions in funding for the University of West Florida.

The clause centers around the Complete Florida Plus Program housed at UWF. Its management of the program, which provides digital library services under the Florida Academic Library Services Cooperative, has come under fire for alleged financial mismanagement.

Now DeSantis wants the school audited.

UWF would still get $18 million of the $23 million Complete Florida allocation, but the remaining $5 million would be held back until the audit is complete and the findings are considered.

If the audit doesn’t turn up anything damning, the State University System Board of Governors could file a budget request asking for the $5 million to be released.

The audit isn’t as harsh as other proposals.

Last month, the Department of Education and the State University System Board of Governor called for the state pull the Complete Florida program from UWF entirely, claiming DOE would be able to handle the job more efficiently.

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