Seminole education, springs projects land millions in state budget
Seminole State College. Image via Facebook.

Seminole State College
Doug Bankson, Rachel Plakon and David Smith all scored budget wins.

Educational institutions and environmental projects in Seminole County scored wins in the state budget.

Rep. Doug Bankson, an Apopka Republican, pointed to millions in environmental funding, including $5 million for Lake Apopka restoration and $2.5 million for Apopka Wekiva Springs Region Aquifer Recharge and Flood Protection.

“I’m proud of the good work that was done to ensure we take care of our communities and optimistic these important projects will meet with the Governor’s approval,” he said.

“There were many good issues we were able to address from Lake Apopka funding, Wekiva aquifer funding, trail system completion project, and the Seminole County Sheriff computer-aided design program. All these will have great impact not only for my district but a regional and statewide impact as well.”

Bankson pushed for $2 million for regional trail connections in Apopka that made the budget. He also cheered the inclusion of $640,000 for Orange County/West Orange Trail Phase 4 Sidewalk Connector.

On the education front, he said local schools will benefit from $250,000 for bonuses for International Baccalaureate teachers.

Rep. Rachel Plakon, a Lake Mary Republican, also found important budget wins.

“I’m pleased that, in coordination with Sen. (Jason) Brodeur and the Seminole county delegation, we were able to successfully secure funding for Seminole County,” she said.

“Some highlights include appropriations for Seminole State College, Seminole County water projects, Seminole County Public Schools and funding to continue the partnership between Seminole County Sheriff’s Office and Advent Health for the Hope and Healing Center.”

The budget includes about $4.38 million for a workforce building at Seminole State College and about $378,000 for a student services center on the school’s Altamonte Springs campus. The budget also includes nearly $91,000 for a roof replacement and renovation.

Rep. David Smith, a Winter Springs Republican, said he is also happy to see investment in workforce training at the grade school level.

“Addressing Florida’s nursing shortage has been a priority of mine,” he said. “The State’s $2 million investment in Seminole County Public School’s healthcare career pipeline will definitely help.

That’s part of a Health Careers Pipeline Modernization program funded from capital outlay dollars for special projects in public schools.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


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