Critics say Fla. governor tuition battle crosses line

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Seeking to offset an automatic 1.7 percent tuition increase, Gov. Rick Scott met with university leaders one by one to lobby them to cut tuition rates by an equal amount next year.

It's not working.

The University of Florida and Florida State University boards of trustees voted to reject the governor's offer. Other university leaders have signaled they could do the same. And some, like the University of South Florida, want guidance from the state Board of Governors before making a decision.

It's a big loss for Scott, who had all-but-promised no tuition increases next year and who directly or indirectly appoints a majority of university trustees. But university officials, supported by House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, say they need additional revenues to begin to compensate for the losses generated by the downturn in the economy and state budget cuts.

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