Executive Secretary, Government Relations
The Legislature did not allocate a great deal of time on issues that affect FGCU and Higher Education as whole this week. However, there are a few items of note.
FGCU was selected as one of three SUS institutions to be included in the site visits by members of the House Higher Education Appropriations. Rep. Passidomo and Rep. Jose Oliva of Hialeah have been assigned to conduct the site visit and report their findings back to the committee. The dates and times of the site visit are still being worked out.
The Senate Budget Committee had planned to receive a presentation on state employee and private industry health benefits; however, the presentation was not ready in time for the committee hearing.
The Senate Higher Education committee received a briefing on remediation in Florida’s colleges. There was a great deal of emphasis put on the K-12 system and the system’s inability to properly prepare their students for post-secondary education. Sen. Negron made the comment that the need for remediation courses at Florida colleges for a student who just finished high school shows a failure of the K-12 system.
The Senate Higher Education Committee voted favorable (5-0) to pass a bill, out of their committee, that increases the number of companies that the Department of Management Services (DMS) is authorized to contract with for provision of State University System optional retirement plans from five to six companies. However, the DMS continues to be limited in its contract selection to the potential pool of companies proffered by the Board of Governors.
The Redistricting Committee also announced that both redistricting bills (Congressional and Legislative) will be published by 11/28 for public comment in advance of their hearing on December 6th. No more hearings around state, rather, email, voice mail, snail mail, twitter, facebook, youtube comments are encouraged and will be reviewed. Comments could be incorporated into the bills to be considered by full committee in January.