House and Senate tie $200 million in state university funds to performance

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In negotiating next year’s budget, both the House and Senate decide to base $200 million in spending for the state university system on performance, a figure much higher than originally proposed by Gov. Rick Scott.

Under the proposal, universities would take $100 million from existing budgets, and another $100 million will be in new funding.

Distribution of the money would be through a formula, based on a Florida Board of Governors proposal.

Sen. Bill Galvano said he and other lawmakers are deciding on capping the amount a university with low scores can lose.

“The big difference that we have with the House right now is they have a floor on it, and we want real skin in the game for the universities,” said Galvano.

Under the board’s plan, schools face 1 percent reductions in current funding if they fail to meet certain benchmarks. Scott’s original idea was only $80 million in performance funding, with $40 million in new money.

Lawmakers face an April 29 deadline to complete negotiations for the budget beginning July 1.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.