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Saturday, March 02, 2024

UF Student Body President Kevin Reilly was behind enemy lines Tuesday to discuss proposed state budget reform and legislation with Gov. Charlie Crist.

Reilly was one of nine student body presidents who participated in the discussion in Tallahassee hosted by the governor as part of an ongoing effort to get input from groups and organizations affected by Florida policy, according to a news release from the Governor's Press Office.

Reilly said Crist began the half-hour discussion with a short statement about his proposed $6-billion budget for higher education.

He also discussed proposed legislation that would allow boards of trustees to raise differential tuition by as much as 15 percent each year before taking questions from the presidents.

Reilly said he did not have any questions for the governor, but requested that Crist oppose any additional budget cuts.

"That's not something that's good for the university or good for the state," Reilly said.

Reilly said he and the other presidents strongly support the differential tuition reforms because they would allow each university to set tuition based on its individual needs.

Also, because student body presidents have seats on boards of trustees, their input would be taken into account, he said.

"All the student body presidents have a voice and a vote in that decision," he said.

Reilly, who holds a seat on UF's Board of Trustees, the university's highest governing body, had to miss the second day of the board's meetings to participate in the discussion.

Reilly said he attended the first day of the board's meetings, but he felt the opportunity to sit face-to-face with the governor was "too good to pass up."

"It was something that I weighed very carefully," Reilly said.

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