Budget conference: It’s great to be a Florida Gator (and a Seminole) in PECO list
Image via UF.

UF Adam Smith Center
UF would get just over $200M for a slate of capital projects under the latest budget talks.

The Gators might have finished 5-7 in the football season but they’re winning in the state budget. And the Seminoles, who were undefeated in the regular season, are also unconquered in the spreadsheets.

In the latest round of budget action, lawmakers included several large projects for the state’s top two universities, expanded budget authority for existing projects and doled out “operational enhancements” for the schools.

The latest House offer for Public Education Capital Outlay (PECO) funds, which pay for maintenance and new construction for facilities at K-12 public schools, charter schools, state colleges and universities, includes $1.9 billion in total PECO funds.

Part of that pot is $200.7 million for projects at the University of Florida (UF) and $72.9 million for Florida State University (FSU). That includes $55.4 million for the Dittmer Building remodeling at FSU and $75 million for UF’s Financial Technology Graduate Education Center in Jacksonville.

By comparison, the University of Central Florida would receive $11 million for one project, its Discovery and Innovation Hub, under the House offer.

The largest single PECO project, though, is $100 million for a clinical facility at Florida International University’s College of Medicine. The project was unfunded in the Senate’s original budget and was set to receive just $50 million in the House’s initial budget.

The House offer also expands how existing funds can be used for ongoing projects. Funding for the “seating enhancements” at FSU’s Doak Campbell Stadium could be used for “health care facilities, athletic facilities renovations, and an academic hotel convention center.”

Also, under language that appeared in the budget talks for the first time Sunday evening, FSU’s board will also be able to use “available reserves or carryforward balances” from the previous year for maintenance at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center. The offer also would allow FSU to use prior year funds for “maintenance and capital needs” at FSU Health.

The House PECO offer also contains a vast difference between funds for charter schools and funds for traditional public schools. Charter schools would get $230.8 million, while traditional public schools would receive $16 million. There were 739 charter schools for the 2022-23 school year, and 3,513 traditional public schools.

Gray Rohrer


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