Florida Senate adds extra $5M for USF St. Pete’s business school

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The Florida Senate added $2 million on Thursday to its spending-plan for the expansion of the USF St. Petersburg Business School, part of a total of 53 budget amendments up for committee consideration.

The Senate’s budget for USFSP now stands at $15 million, outpacing the House’s proposed funding level by about $5.5 million, according to Matt Dixon of PoliticalFixFlorida.com.

USF St. Petersburg College of Business had $5 million in the current year budget but needs an extra $20 million.

Presently, business classes are spread out in a number of locations. Construction of a business school facility is currently at the “Piano Man” Building site, now used for classrooms and faculty offices.

The extra $2 million comes out of the Indian River State College resources, originally slated for classroom renovations, Dixon writes.

The USF amendment was one of more than 50 added by Senate Budget Chief Joe Negron for consideration by the Senate Budget Committee. They all passed without comment.

Afterward, the committee passed an primary $74.9 billion budget, which is $700 million larger than the current fiscal year budget.

House Appropriations also passed a $75.3 billion proposal, by a 21-6 vote Wednesday. Each chamber will have floor votes of their own budget plans, opening them up to other amendments.

Once a final plan passes the Legislature, it goes to Gov. Rick Scott, who can choose to reject specific funding programs and plans.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.