The Florida Legislature has reached an impasse concerning funding for the State University System (SUS).The Board of Governors has indicated that you can help by contacting the House leadership.
Here's the problem: the Senate budget is the most favorable to the SUS with only a 9 percent reduction to our general revenue funds but the House proposal reduces general revenue funds by 24 percent. Both chambers add unpredictable tuition increases and time limited federal stimulus dollars, but the huge loss of general revenue funding in the House is very serious. These are the funds that UWF counts on year in and year out to pay for faculty and staff salaries. If the House budget prevails, Florida public universities will have the very difficult decision of whether or not to fund permanent salaries on unpredictable sources. It is also the general consensus that once our general revenue funds are cut, they will be very difficult to restore.
The Board of Governors has asked that you contact the leadership of the House of Representatives and ask them to please raise the amount of General Revenue in the SUS budget to that in the Senate budget. If this does not happen, and the House budget prevails, the result may be the reduction of course offerings, class size increases and reductions of faculty, staff and programs across the SUS. It will take some students longer to graduate and some majors will be closed. Additionally, the short and long range recovery of the state of Florida economy will be diminished because of the vital role universities play in the economic vitality of the state.
Time is critical, so the Board of Governors has asked that if you would like to make your voice heard in this matter, please send a message in the next 24 to 36 hours.
Please note that I urge you to be professional, polite and thank our legislators for their hard work in these difficult times. Also, please note that university employees may not use university resources (including university IT and e-mail systems) to advocate a particular position to the Legislature and may not send such messages during work hours.
House Speaker Larry Cretul-District 22 Phone: (850) 488-1450 or (850) 488-0887 E-mail: Larry.Cretul@myfloridahouse.gov
Speaker Designate Dean Cannon-District 35 Phone: (850) 488-2742 or (407) 623-5740 E-mail: Dean.Cannon@myfloridahouse.gov
Full Appropriations Council Chair David Rivera-District 112 Phone: (850) 488-7897 or (305) 470-5510 E-mail: David.Rivera@myfloridahouse.gov
Higher Education Appropriations Chair William "Bill" Proctor-District 20 Phone: (850) 488-2977 or (904) 823-2550 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org