Senate higher ed budget: Tuition hikes, $400 million cut

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The Senate boosted college tuition by 3 percent and doled out a one-time, $400 million cut to state universities as part of the allocations that began trickling out of the Senate on Tuesday, reports the News Service of Florida. Tuition for workforce education would also increase by 3 percent. Universities would be allowed to increase tuition by 15 percent under the state’s differential tuition policy, but while that hike is assumed in the Senate’s budget, it isn’t mandatory. The $400 million cut to general revenue is a one-time reduction in nonrecurring revenue that would likely be restored next year, according to Higher Education Budget Subcommittee Chairwoman Evelyn Lynn, R-Ormond Beach. Lynn said universities could probably absorb the cut. “I’m being told that they have a lot of money that they have been trying to save for bad times, and perhaps they can use that this year,” she said.

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.