A major turkey in this year’s $70 billion budget was the creation of Florida’s 12th university, with the Senate’s powerful budget chairman, JD Alexander pushing for it for reasons only he can explain.
But with Alexander no longer in the Legislature, is support for Florida Polytechnic University waning?
Perhaps, if you go by the $14.2 billion education budget for next year that was released Wednesday by Alexander’s old chamber, the Senate. The $22.4 million that lawmakers had set aside for the university wasn’t included in the Senate budget. (House leaders say they won’t release their education budget until next week).
The chairman of the Senate’s education committee said the reason for the omission is simple: when he asked the university how they were to spend the money, he never heard back.
“Before I included that in our budget, I wanted to see what the plan was,” said Sen. Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton. “Is this for capital or for operations? Given the amount of money, the way the law reads, the lack of an existing program, I just wanted to see where we are.”