More than $120M in higher education funding scratched off by Gov. DeSantis’ veto pen
Image via Florida Poly.

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Almost a quarter of the funding the Governor nixed had been earmarked for colleges and universities.

As Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Office announced a half billion worth of vetoes, higher education took a particularly big hit. More than $120 million, almost a quarter of all funding killed by line-item vetoes, had been budgeted for Florida’s colleges and universities.

That included some serious funding for workforce and science-based programs.

The Governor nixed $20 million for a nursing school at University of South Florida’s Sarasota-Manatee campus. The University of Florida lost $11 million for an Academic and Research Center. And the Governor axed more than $11.2 million earmarked for a Student Achievement Center at Florida Polytechnic University in Lakeland.

Florida State University lost out on $4 million in expected funding for a Hydrogen Research Center. Additionally, the Governor disposed of $34.1 million set aside for a STEAM Complex at St. Johns River State College and an addition to the Palatka campus.

Plenty of funding for facilities expansion also couldn’t make it past the Governor’s Office.

The Legislature budgeted $16.2 million at Polk State College for the first phase of its Northeast Ridge project. Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers had anticipated $14.5 million in funding for renovations at Reed Hall, a classroom building. The University of West Florida expected $5 million for tearing down its Southside Residence Halls, which have been closed since 2017. All of that was vetoed.

South Florida State College also lost out on $500,000 for a new swimming pool.

A number of smaller items for some of Florida’s private colleges also fell to the veto pen.

The Governor killed $400,000 going to Florida Career College for assistance for student expenses. Some $400,000 for an advanced nursing lab and simulation center at Herzing University in Orlando met an end. And $500,000 for the Miami Media School, intended for a scholarship program, was slashed by DeSantis.

St. Thomas University in Miami Gardens had $500,000 in the budget for its Institute of Law, Liberty & Civics that failed to make the grade. DeSantis also vetoed $250,000 for a health science building at Webber International University in Babson Park.

But DeSantis signed off on plenty of university spending as well.

He didn’t touch more than $50 million in funding for New College of Florida, where he has installed a new majority and pushed for a change in direction for the school.

“This budget puts tens of millions of dollars just to New College,” DeSantis said at a press conference. “They’ve never had anything like that. So they’re going to be able to recruit faculty.”

He also, as expected, signed off on $75 million for a health campus for UF in Jacksonville. While outside groups like Florida TaxWatch had identified that as a “budget turkey,” the Governor already signaled he would support the spend.

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].


  • Dont Say FLA

    June 15, 2023 at 4:19 pm

    Dang. More? Rhonda must have one helluva lot of campaign expenditures for State of Florida to pick up for them

  • Earl Pitts American

    June 15, 2023 at 5:25 pm

    Good evening America,
    Ron and I, Earl Pitts American, have not been happy with the Universities harming our childern with covid shot mandates, woke #55 politics, and the historical cleansing of truth from history classes.
    Hopefully they will do better in the future. And as far as FSU goes the university would do itself a favor by putting Francis Epps statue back in its rightfull and historical place of honor.
    Thank you America
    Earl Pitts “Go Woke Go Broke” American

    • Bwj

      June 16, 2023 at 9:38 am

      What historical erasure are you talking about?

      • Jim Bob

        June 16, 2023 at 3:32 pm

        He’s not smart enough to know. All of that is stupid right wing talking point bullshit.

Comments are closed.


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