Governor Rick Scott has vetoed a bill that would have allowed Florida State University and the University of Florida to raise their tuition above the state’s 15-percent a year cap. Lynn Hatter reports, the two schools would have had to get those higher rates approved by the Florida Board of Governors.
Both universities had pushed for the extra tuition authority, saying it was needed to finance expensive degree programs like those in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math—areas where Governor Rick Scott and other state officials have said they want the schools to focus on. FSU President Eric Barron released a statement saying he was disappointed in the decision.
In the veto letter, Governor Rick Scott said he was concerned about the debt-burden on students and their families, who would have to pay those higher tuition rates.
Scott went on to say he wants a more detailed plan on how higher tuition rates will provide a return on a student's, and their parents', investment.
Here's what people are saying:
BOARD OF GOVERNORS CHAIR DEAN COLSON OF MIAMI: (Regarding HB 7129) “I am very disappointed that the Governor vetoed a bill that enjoyed widespread support and would have elevated our university system to greater national prominence — something that would benefit all Floridians. Hopefully, someday soon, the State will decide to provide our universities with the tools they need to compete on a national stage.”
STATE UNIVERSITY SYSTEM CHANCELLOR FRANK T. BROGAN: (Regarding HB 7129) “At its core, this legislation focused more on greater accountability and flexibility for our universities, both of which are critically important to the Board of Governors. As we continue—regardless of the veto—to create the most accountable university system in the nation, the Board will maintain its advocacy for increased investment in Florida’s universities.”
(Regarding HB 7135) “This legislation sends the clear message that Florida is serious about creating a more strategically coordinated higher education system that works across all sectors and builds on the strengths of our schools, colleges and universities. The Board of Governors has spent the better part of two years focused on quality-related issues as it works to create the most accountable public university system in the nation, which is the foundation for a dynamic, forward-leaning performance funding model that this bill helps to germinate.”