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USF Heart Institute is largest request from Hillsborough House members

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Among the items Hillsborough County legislators are requesting in the just-unveiled 2016-2017 House budget, none looms larger than the $22.5 million sought for the USF Morsani College of Health Heart Institute.

In February 2015, USF’s request to relocate its new Morsani College of Medicine and USF Heart Institute to downtown Tampa was approved, and in June, Gov. Rick Scott allotted $17 million from the state budget to fund it. The total cost of the project is about $153 million.

According to USF President Judy Genshaft, the $22.5 million from the Florida Legislature in 2016 would keep construction on schedule to start August 2017 and finish in fall 2019.

Tampa Republican Dana Young is making that request.

Young is also seeking $2 million for the USF Health Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute, $3 million for the Tampa Innovation Alliance, and $2 million for improvements to the historic Tampa Theatre.

Tampa Democrat Ed Narain is requesting $1.2 million for the Tampa Heights Youth Civic Center.

Incoming House Minority Leader Janet Cruz is asking $3 million for Hillsborough Community College’s new Allied Health Building, which will house primary care and diagnostic allied health programs at the school’s Dale Mabry campus.

Brandon Republican Ross Spano has a request for $850,000 for the Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center.

Tampa/Temple Terrace-based Republican Shawn Harrison has two requests for funding at USF.

Harrison seeks $6.5 million for the Florida Center for Cybersecurity program and a $450,000 bid for the USF Florida Diagnostic Learning and Resource System Multidisciplinary Educational Services Center.

Hillsborough/Pinellas Democrat Darryl Rouson is requesting $500,000 for the Tampa Bay Career Pathways Collaborative Manufacturing, Employment Re-entry Program.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at

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