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Thursday, May 06, 2021

Lawsuit demands state pay UF more than $155 million

Filed under the name of two recent graduates, a lawsuit is demanding the state of Florida pay UF more than $155 million for unfulfilled donation matches.

On June 30, under the name of UF graduates Alexis and Ryan Geffin, a Miami lawyer filed a class action complaint against Gov. Rick Scott, the Florida State Board of Education and several others.

The lawsuit is requesting the state pay Florida state schools including UF, Miami Dade College and Florida International University for the more than $1 billion they promised they’d match from philanthropy.

“The Governor and the Legislature, through amendments to the four matching statutes in 2011, conceded that at that time the State’s backlog of matching funds due to colleges and universities was over $200 million,” the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit states that the state of Florida owes Miami Dade College $60 million and FIU $42 million.

In the ’70s, well before the country’s economic downswing in 2011, Florida joined other states in a donation matching movement, according to the Miami Herald. Now, according to the lawsuit, the education of students from these universities is being harmed by both the state and governor.

According to the lawsuit, the state is able to hold the money since they aren’t required to pay if the budget comes up short. This has been the situation since 2008. The lawsuit states that in 2011, the statutes were further amended to say the matches were suspended, and the state has allocated the money elsewhere.

“While recognizing the importance to the State and its citizens of high quality public education at the undergraduate and graduate levels, Florida’s elected officials have not publicly acknowledged that the State has defaulted on its obligations under the matching gifts statutes,” the lawsuit said.


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