Gov. DeSantis vetoes nearly $29M for USF
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USF Sarasota-Manatee
A nursing facility and funding to reduce opioid overdoses fell victim to the veto pen.

Gov. Ron DeSantis, as part of his more than $500 million in line-item vetoes in the 2023-24 fiscal year budget, slashed $22.9 million from approved funding for the University of South Florida (USF). 

The largest cut — $20 million — was to the school’s Sarasota-Manatee campus, nixing funding for a STEM nursing facility.

The funding would have helped pay for “planning, design and construction” for a new academic facility that would “enable the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus to create new and expand current Nursing/STEM-related academic programs; provide new research capabilities and increase research productivity; host academic conferences and community events; attract and retain excellent faculty and students; and support national, state, regional and local demands for graduates with STEM-related degrees,” according to the proposal.

Several groups indicated support for the funding, including the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, the Manatee Chamber of Commerce, the Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance, the Bradenton Area Economic Development Corporation, the Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County, the Manasota Black Chamber of Commerce, and the Venice Chamber of Commerce, according to the appropriations request.

This facility, which received $3 million in last year’s state budget, will allow for the expansion of degree offerings in the STEM and nursing fields across USF and will significantly increase the number of students who can enroll in and complete those programs on the Sarasota-Manatee campus.

USF leaders had previously celebrated the $20 million inclusion, which was more than the $11.2 million Rep. Will Robinson included in his appropriations request.

“We are incredibly grateful for the Florida Legislature’s support to invest in the university and our campus. Our new research and academic building will allow us to expand our nursing, engineering and other academic programs, transform our campus and elevate the higher education profile of our region, addressing a heightened demand for more nurses, business professionals, scientists, engineers and other professions,” USF Sarasota-Manatee Regional Chancellor Karen Holbrook said at the time. 

DeSantis also vetoed $2.9 million for a simulation modeling project to reduce opioid overdoses. The funding would have been earmarked for the Department of Mental Health and Law and Policy at USF to develop simulation modeling tools to improve responses and treatments for opioid use and overdoses, according to USF. 

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises Media and is the publisher of, INFLUENCE Magazine, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Previous to his publishing efforts, Peter was a political consultant to dozens of congressional and state campaigns, as well as several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella. Follow Peter on Twitter @PeterSchorschFL.


  • Dont Say FLA

    June 15, 2023 at 3:14 pm

    $29 million for Nursing/STEM-related academic programs? Ain’t no way! Rhonda has a campaign to pay for, and Rhonda has human trafficking victims to pay for, and all with zero Sunshine because Rhonda’s expenditures are newly exempt from Sunshine / FOIA, just like Rhonda being exempt from Resign to Run. Whatever would Rhonda do if they had to play by the same rules as the rest of Florida State Government?

  • Suze

    June 15, 2023 at 3:23 pm

    DeathSantis doesn’t believe in science. Doesn’t care about a nursing shortage crisis and really doesn’t care about an opioid epidemic. He only cares about banning books, banning transgender care, and planning to pardon criminal treasonous criminals

  • Bill Pollard

    June 15, 2023 at 6:35 pm

    He probably saw STEM and thinks it is for stem-cell research. But then, I could be wrong. Who am I to guess, since I did not graduate from Harvard University?

  • Karin

    June 18, 2023 at 10:24 am

    My son will be attending USF in the fall. He’s planning to attend med school. Both of my sons turned 18 recently. Both registered Democrats. Ron is digging his own shallow grave here in Florida. He will never be President of the United States.

Comments are closed.


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