Emails, Calls to Governor's Office Favor Veto of USF-Polytechnic Bill

As Sen. J.D. Alexander, R-Lake Wales, expressed confidence Thursday that his efforts to advance University of South Florida-Polytechnic in Lakeland as an independent university will be supported by Gov. Rick Scott, public sentiment has been far heavier in the opposite direction.

As of Friday morning, the governor’s office has received 14,021 emails regarding the bill, SB 1994, that Scott has until April 21 to sign or veto.

Of the emails into the governor’s office, 12,770 have been listed opposed to the immediate break.

If the bill is signed, the break would be effective July 1, with students now at the Lakeland being allowed to continue with their education there as part of the Tampa-based USF program until they earn their degree.

Last fall, the Florida Board of Governors set a list of benchmarks for the polytechnic campus to be spun off into an independent university, including receiving accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Accreditation typically takes three to five years.

The governor's office has also taken 108 phone calls, of which 105 were considered in favor of the veto. Nine people have also sent letters to the office, all against the bill.

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