A state Senate committee moved to eliminate the automatic annual inflation increase, a provision in state statute that became a point of contention for university budget-writers and a pesky irritant for Gov. Rick Scott, who has stumped for no tuition hikes – period.
With Florida’s economy strengthening, spending on higher education has risen. Last year, lawmakers gave back $300 million universities had to pull from reserves to get through the recession and tacked on $150 million in new university funding.
Scott insisted on no new tuition increases. The Legislature, with many leaders arguing that Florida universities are comparatively inexpensive, budgeted a 3 percent tuition hike, which Scott vetoed.
University presidents cited state law that requires them to invoke the inflation increase when tuition stays flat. It amounted to a 1.7 percent.