F L O R I D A S T
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F L O R I D A S T A T E U N I V E R S I T Y G O V E R N M E N TA L R E L AT I O N S Volume Twelve / Number Seven • March 4, 2002 State Budget Update Last week, Senator Don Sullivan (R- St. Petersburg), chair of the Senate education budget subcommittee, re- leased a series of amendments to the With three weeks left in the regular nine-week session, there is a Senate budget that would pump $1 clear realization that legislators will not complete their heavy agenda billion into Florida’s education sys- of tax reform, crafting a budget, and redrawing district lines. tem. This plan would remove sales tax exemptions for such things as The House has a budget that is ready for the conference process, tanning salons, charter fishing boats, but the Senate is still looking for ways to fund the state’s education and college-stadium skyboxes. e needs (see related story). On Friday, March 8, the state Revenu Sullivan’s amendments passed the Estimating Conference will release its report on the latest available full Senate appropriations committee revenues, which are expected to increase. This news may jump- last Thursday. Not coincidentally, start the stalled budget process. The budget is the only bill the lawmakers approved a series of Legislature is constitutionally required to pass. amendments that eliminated their earlier proposal to pay for education Each chambers’ university governance/reorganization bills will be by increasing local property taxes. heard this week in their respective education committees. This will The Senate’s newest proposal, called be the first opportunity legislators have to publicly discuss these “$1 Billion for a Better Florida,” ear- massive bills in their entirety. (The House bill is about 1,100 pages, marks $798 million for K-12, $30 mil- the Senate 1,600.) At this time, prior to the amendatory process, lion for community colleges and $40 both bills look favorable toward the major devolution issues. million for state universities. The $40 million for the SUS will be used to s, Reapportionment continues to overshadow the legislative proces fund additional enrollment growth and will most likely keep legislators in Tallaha ssee for a number of at each university — an addition of months after the scheduled “sine die” on March 22. To that end, too $1,515,692 for FSU — $5 million for much work and no play can make anyone cranky. To remedy that, library resources, $10 million for a 5. please plan to attend FSU Day at the Capitol on Tuesday, March high technology research matching Many of our Trustees will participate in the festivities, along with program, and $9.4 million for com- several FSU Foundation Board members, administrators, and puter technology infrastructure. No students. We hope to see an abundance of garnet and gold! As further details were given on these always, please feel free to contact me if you have questions about programs or how the money would by issues that concern you. I can be reached at (850) 644-4453, or be divided between each university. e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. House Republican leaders have al- ready rejected consideration of tax increases this session, saying their budget adequately funds the state’s needs. The House passed their spending plan on Friday, with no amendments to the SUS budget. Join the Fun at the Sixth Annual FSU Day at the Capitol—Tuesday, March 5th Displays 10:00 a.m to 2:00 p.m. Entertainment by Student Performers 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Wear Your Garnet and Gold! Governor’s Initiative SESSION SCHEDULE Includes New Center For Reading Research SENATE Concerned that students who lack ad- Wednesday, March 6, 2002 equate reading skills will suffer in other 12:30 - 6:00 p.m. academic areas, Governor Bush has de- veloped a new reading initiative aimed Thursday, March 7, 2002 at helping students become better read- 9:00 a.m. until completion of agenda ers by the year 2012. Included in this ini- tiative is a new $2.5 million research center at FSU that will focus on the re- HOUSE search and development of better teach- Tuesday, March 5, 2002 ing methods. Impressed with the work 10:00 a.m. - 12 noon, 1:30 - 5:00 p.m. already being done by FSU’s Professor Joe Torgeson in this area, the Governor has Wednesday, March 6, 2002 appointed him to head up the new cen- 1:30 - 5:00 p.m. ter. The center will be a collaborative ef- fort between FSU and UCF. Thursday, March 7, 2002 10:00 a.m. - 12 noon, 1:30 - 5:00 p.m. In addition to developing better reading skills, the Governor’s initiative includes a Friday, March 8, 2002 teacher certification program and summer 1:30 - 5:00 p.m. institutes for school principals whose stu- dents do not have strong reading skills. HB 7, Florida National Guard Tuition/ ates the Office of Inspector General within ate companion SB 1102 by Senator Residency Sponsored by Representative the Office of the Commissioner of Edu- Debby Sanderson (R-Ft. Lauderdale), is Carey Baker (R-Eustis), gives residency cation. The office shall be responsible for scheduled for a hearing in the Senate status to active members of the Florida promoting accountability, efficiency, and Governmental Oversight Committee on National Guard for tuition purposes at effectiveness and detecting fraud and March 5th. public community colleges & universi- abuse within school districts, public com- ties. The bill passed the House last week munity colleges, and public universities HB 1557, Spaceport Florida Authority and was sent to the Senate. The Senate in this state. The bill is set to be heard in by Representative Bob Allen (R-Merritt laid the identical bill, SB 128 by Senator the Senate Governmental Oversight & Island), changes the name of the Space- Ken Pruitt (R-Port St. Lucie), on the table, Productivity on March 5. The identical port Florida Authority to Florida Space took up the House bill and passed it. The House bill, HB 191 by Representative Authority; revises the membership and bill is on its way to the Governor. Renier Diaz De La Portilla (R-Miami), mission of the Spaceport Management is available for the House Calendar, on Council and its executive board. The bill SB 496, Education/Dependent Children/ second reading. is set for a hearing in the Council for Military Sponsored by Senator Richard Competitive Commerce today. The Sen- Mitchell (D-Jasper, FSU alum), provides HB 933, Public Employee Optional Re- ate companion, SB 688 by Senator educational opportunities at the state’s tirement Program by Representative Howard Futch (R-Indialantic), is in expense for dependent children of mili- Marco Rubio (R-Miami), allows em- House Messages. tary personnel who died or became 100 ployees that are eligible to participate in, percent disabled in Operation Enduring but do not participate in, the State Uni- HB 353, State Universities/Boards of Freedom, beginning 10/07/01. The bill versity System Optional Retirement Pro- Trustees by Representative Leslie Wa- passed the Senate last week. In addition, gram, to participate in the Public ters, revises the membership of the state the House companion, HB 439 by Rep- Employee Optional Retirement Program university boards of trustees. The bill is resentative Dwight Stansel (D-Live and authorizes the acceptance of scheduled to be placed on the calendar Oak), passed the House on Thursday. rollovers into participants accounts. The for final passage in the House today. The bill was voted out of the House Fiscal Senate bill, SB 2070 by Senator Don SB 1416, Office of Inspector General by Responsibility Council last week and is Sullivan (R-St. Petersburg), is available Senator Rudy Garcia (R- Hialeah), cre- available for the House floor. The Sen- for second reading on the Senate floor.