May 8, 2017
Call your representative and senator to tell them to VOTE NO on the following budget conforming bills, SB 374, SB 7022, and HB 7069. Send your message now!
The House and Senate reconvene today at 1:00 to consider these bills on an up or down vote. The Budget vote will be no earlier than 2:43 p.m. due to the 72-hour cooling off period required by the Florida Constitution.
SB 374 is the combined higher education package, which changes college governance and makes changes in the university system. But the most egregious actions of the presiding officers is adding new provisions never voted upon in committee to this and other bills. A small change in the preeminence metric, a 4-year graduation rate from 50% to 60% will cause USF to not meet the standard and lose millions. And a provision for the Board of Governors to study the state investment for performance funding has been added also without any vetting in any legislative committee. While UFF supported a performance funding study bill by OPPAGA, these changes lack the transparency promised by Speaker Corcoran and the Legislature and should not be approved.
SB 7022 combines state employee pay raises with the onerous FRS and state health insurance provisions. This also was carried out in highly unusual ways. SB 7069 is the K-12 conference report which also added new provisions in the final hours Friday and, in fact, added at least one provision that was defeated in committee.
In short, the proposed budget and these alleged budget conforming bills do not meet needs of the state and compromise the quality of K-20 public education. And in many ways, the bills lack the real transparency we expect from our state lawmakers. A small group of legislative leaders should not act on behalf of the 160!
As POLITICO Florida reports, “The Legislature will vote this afternoon on the 2017-18 state budget, including a series of bills that are meant to conform existing laws to the spending plan but are increasingly being used for controversial policy. Happy sine die?”
UFF Opposes the 2017-18 Budget Report (SB 2500) and SB 374, SB 7022 and HB 7069 specifically.
What Can You Do:
Please call your State Representative and State Senator.
Sen. Keith Perry
(352) 264-4040 or (850) 487-5008
Alachua County State Representatives:
Chuck Clemons (850) 717-5021 or (352) 313-6542
Elizabeth Porter (850) 717-5010 or (386) 719-4600
Clovis Watson (850) 717-5020 or (352) 264-4001
Or use the following links to Find Your Representative and Find Your Senator.