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Thursday, May 19, 2022

Gov. Rick Scott signed Florida’s budget Tuesday, confirming $300 million in budget cuts for the State University System.

Despite leaving UF’s wallet $36.5 million lighter, the $70-billion budget includes $6 million for the completion of a research and academic center at Lake Nona in Orlando, where construction was stalled due to lack of funding.

Board of Governors Chairman Dean Colson said in a statement that the board is grateful to the governor and the legislature for funding some long-awaited construction projects like Lake Nona.

Scott vetoed $142.7 million in state and local projects from the legislature’s spending plan — less than a quarter of the amount he vetoed last year.

Tuesday’s budget included a 5-percent tuition increase in the Florida College System, which doesn’t affect Florida’s 11 state universities.

Scott approved the allocation of money for the possible creation of a 12th state university, Florida Polytechnic University in Lakeland, but he hasn’t yet approved the bill that would create it.

Scott also has yet to sign a bill that would allow UF and Florida State University to increase tuition more than the current 15-percent cap, although he must make a decision by Friday.

Contact Erin Jester at ejester@alligator.org.

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