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Scott budget implications unknown

Published: Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Updated: Tuesday, February 5, 2013 01:02

Though Gov. Rick Scott’s budget, the largest in Florida history, saw additions made to the State University System budget, it is too early to know if it means more money will be headed USF’s way.

“There’s no way to say,” Mark Walsh, assistant vice president and director for government relations, said.

The university system presidents requested a restoration of the $300 million cut from the State University System and an additional $118 million in performance-based funding, an amount about equal to a 15 percent tuition increase.

The governor, however, proposed to restore the $300 million in cuts last year — $118 million of which would go toward base funding, $167 million of which would go toward performance-based funding and $15 million would go toward Information Technology performance-based funding, in addition to an extra $93 million allocated toward specific projects.

But even if that passes as is, how much of the share would go to USF is unknown, Walsh said, as the metrics for performance-based funding are still being discussed by the Board of Governors, who are appointed by Scott. At the last BOG meeting, the BOG proposed implementing 10 metrics, two of which would be specific to each university.

But it is still too early to know if even that will be passed. 

“It’s a good proposal,” Walsh said. “The Governor’s budget is just a proposal. Often only portions are implemented. The Legislature doesn’t have as much latitude.”

The Legislature begins discussions this week, but a clearer picture will emerge in March when legislators start drafting the final budget.

— Staff report

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