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Bill Passes That Could Make Poly FL’s 12th University

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) _ The Florida Senate has passed a bill that would create a new stand-alone university.

The measure (SB 1994) that cleared the chamber Thursday would split the University of South Florida’s Lakeland branch from the Tampa school.

The resulting Florida Polytechnic University would be the state’s 12th public university.

The bill was pushed by Senate Budget Committee Chairman JD Alexander.

It would junk a Board of Governors plan to let South Florida oversee the split over a span of several years.

The legislation would remove South Florida from that role and create a separate board of trustees.

Alexander, a Lake Wales Republican, said he didn’t trust South Florida to carry out the transition because of its past opposition to the split.

The bill passed 35-4 and goes to the House.

 

Original story:

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) _ The Florida Senate is taking up a nearly $71 billion budget that includes deep cuts to universities.

The Senate is expected to most of Thursday debating a new spending plan for the state. Senators will likely focus on $400 million in cuts to the state’s 11 universities.

Tampa Bay area senators say proposed cuts for the University of South Florida are unfair and they want to reduce them.

The cuts to USF come while Sen. J.D. Alexander is pushing to break off the Lakeland branch campus into a stand-alone university.

The Senate is scheduled to take up a bill Thursday to create that new school.

The House has already passed its version of the budget.

The two sides have until March 9 to work out differences on their spending plans. determined