skip navigation

Florida Gulf Coast University

Website Directory  

Office of Government Relations

Office of Government Relations
Office of Government Relations
Florida Gulf Coast University
10501 FGCU Blvd S.
Fort Myers, FL. 33965
Phone: (239) 590-7410
Fax: (239) 590-7411


Jennifer Goen
Director, Government Relations

Brad Davidson
Legislative Coordinator, Government Relations

Sharon Rogers
Executive Secretary, Government Relations

Past Updates


 2014 Session Week 5

Budget Actions

As previously reported by Board staff, the Senate and House passed their respective appropriations bills and are now set for budget conference.  Attached is the latest spreadsheet from the budget. 

House conferees have not been released, but we will provide them as soon as they are released. Below is the list of Senate Education conferees announced on the Senate floor:

Bill Galvano, Chair

Joseph Abruzzo

Dwight Bullard

Nancy Detert

John Legg

Bill Montford

Maria Sachs

David Simmons

John Thrasher

Performance Funding

The House has allocated $75 million in new recurring funds that would be distributed pursuant to the Board’s approved model. The House is not recommending any base budget funds to be reallocated.

The Senate has allocated $100 million in new non-recurring funds that would be distributed pursuant to the Board’s approved model. The Senate is recommending $100 million in base funds to be reallocated pursuant to the Board’s model, except there would not be a 1% reduction ceiling as recommended in the Board’s model. Without the 1% reduction ceiling, the Senate plan would allow for a maximum base budget reallocation of 3.7%.

Committee and Floor Action

The following bills are moving through the legislative process and have a good chance of passing this Session. Regularly scheduled House committee meetings will begin to stop meeting in the next week or so with regularly scheduled Senate committee meetings set to conclude by rule on April 23, 2014.

CS/HB 115- University Direct Support Organizations (Representative Cary Pigman) CS/SB 318 (Senator Stargel)

The bills create a public meeting exemption for any portion of a meeting of the board of directors of the DSO, or of a committee of the DSO, in which the board or committee discusses a proposal seeking research funding from the DSO or a plan or program for either initiating or supporting research. The bills provide for repeal of the exemption on October 2, 2019, unless reviewed and saved from repeal by the Legislature.

CS/CS/HB 355 - Post Secondary Education Textbooks (Representative Elizabeth Porter CS/CS/SB 530 (Senator Flores)

It is our understanding an amendment to address some issues in the bill may be offered, but to date has not been filed.

The bills provide additional information to students regarding costs for textbooks and instructional materials by:

·       Applying provisions of the textbook affordability law to instructional materials and providing a definition for instructional materials.

·      Requiring Florida College System (FCS) institutions and state universities to post prominently in the course registration system and on their websites a hyperlink to lists of required and recommended textbooks and other instructional materials for each course and course section at least 14 days prior to the first day of class registration for each term and providing reporting requirements for institutions who cannot meet the posting deadline.

·      Clarifying what information is required to be posted for textbooks and materials that do and do not have an International Standard Book Number (ISBN).

·      Requiring additional provisions to be included in the public colleges and universities textbook and instructional materials affordability policies, procedures, and guidelines including: using textbooks for a minimum of three years in undergraduate courses; consulting with school districts to identify practices that impact the cost of dual enrollment textbooks on school districts; and conducting cost benefit analyses regularly in comparing options to ensure high quality products at the lowest available prices.

·      Requiring each FCS institution and university to annually report to its chancellor the cost of undergraduate textbooks and instructional materials by course and course section, adoption cycles for high-enrollment courses, any institution specific initiatives that reduce the cost of textbooks and instructional materials, the number of courses and course sections that did not meet the posting deadline, and additional information as determined by the chancellors. The chancellors must then compile the reports and submit a comprehensive report to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives by December 31 each year.

·      Requiring FCS and SUS institutions to annually provide electronic copies of their textbook and instructional materials affordability policies and procedures to the State Board of Education (SBE), or BOG, as applicable. SBE and BOG will provide a link to this information on their respective websites.

·      Requiring the Governor to appoint a task force to research options that will reduce the cost of textbooks and instructional materials; specifying membership; outlining specific duties of the task force; and requiring the task force to submit recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature no later than July 1, 2015.

CS/CS/HB 433 - Educator Certification (Representative Ross Spano) CS/CS/SB 950 (Senator Stargel)

The bills revise the requirements for instructional personnel who supervise or direct educator preparation students during field experience courses or internships. The bill also revises the K-12 educator certification requirements to authorize the use of additional assessment options, align competencies across preparation program types, and provide flexibility for training and in-service requirements.

The bills will require applicants with teaching experience in a Florida College System institution, state university, or private college or university must meet additional requirements to demonstrate mastery of professional preparation and education competence. Currently, applicants must document two semesters of successful teaching. Under the bill, applicants must also have taught on a full-time basis and must achieve a passing score on the professional education competency examination required by State Board of Education rule.

CS/HB 541 – Public Private Partnerships (Representative Greg Steube) CS/CS/SC 900 (Senator Latvala)

The bills authorize state universities or certain direct-support organizations (DSOs) to utilize public-private partnerships (P3s) as an alternative procurement process to build, upgrade, operate, own, or finance qualifying projects.

Currently, the two versions are different, so below are links to the latest versions:

CS/HB 541

CS/CS/SB 900 

HB 7121 - Relating to OGSR/Postsecondary Education Records and Applicant Record (Representative Ahern) CS/SB 646 (Montford)

The bills remove the repeal date, thereby reenacting the public record exemption for education records and applicant records held by a public postsecondary educational institution.

SB 732 - Prepaid College Tuition Program (Senator Bill Galvano)

SB 732 may become a part of the appropriations conference process.

SB 732 specifies that for an advanced payment contract purchased before July 1, 2024, the amount assessed and paid by the Florida Prepaid College Board (Prepaid Board) to the universities will follow the methodology previously utilized by the Prepaid Board for contracts purchased prior to July 1, 2009.

This methodology requires the Prepaid Board to increase payments to the state universities between 5% and 7% annually, depending on the type of fee and the Florida Prepaid College Trust Fund’s (Prepaid Trust Fund) actuarial reserve level, which provides the Prepaid Board with better predictability of future tuition and fees. The maximum assessment and payment for state university registration fees, tuition differential fees, local fees, and dormitory fees is capped at no more than the actual cost charged by the state universities for such fees.

The Prepaid Board estimates the change in payment methodology will reduce the cost of a new 4-Year Florida University Plan by $10,000 and result in $50 million in refunds to families with an existing 4-Year Florida University Plan.

CS/CS/CS/HB 851 - Resident Status for Tuition (Representative Jeanette Nunez)CS/SB 1400 (Senator Latvala

·      The bills provide that a United States citizen who is a dependent child may not be denied classification as a resident for tuition purposes based solely upon the immigration status of his or her parent. It amends the definitions of “dependent child” and “parent” regarding establishing residency for tuition purposes.

·      The bill also clarifies that postsecondary institutions may satisfy the verification requirement of documents by accepting an affidavit that requires the person claiming residence to submit specific information. Furthermore, once any institution of higher education in the state classifies a student as a resident for tuition purposes or verifies that a student meets specific criteria established in law, an institution of higher education would not be required to reevaluate the classification status of a student so long as there is no inconsistent information suggesting an erroneous classification and there is no break in the student’s enrollment of 12 months or longer.

·      The bill clarifies that a student who resides in Florida may be classified as a resident for tuition purposes if he or she marries a person who qualifies as a resident for tuition purposes. It also allows a student who has been classified as a nonresident to reclassify as a resident upon subsequently marrying a person who already qualifies as a resident for tuition purposes

·      For a dependent child living with an adult relative who is a Florida resident and who is not the child’s parent, the bill reduces the amount of time the child must live with the relative in order to use the relative’s documentation to establish residency for tuition purposes from five years to three years.

·     The bill clarifies that students who are eligible for specific tuition exemptions or waivers are classified as residents for tuition purposes.

·      The bill exempts the following types of students from the payment of out-of-state fees:

            o Veterans of the United States Armed Forces, including reserve components, who physically reside in Florida while enrolled in a Florida postsecondary institution; and

            o Students that attend a Florida high school for 3 consecutive years and enroll in a postsecondary institution within 24 months after graduation, provided they submit their high school transcript as documentary evidence of attendance and graduation.

·      The House version (851) of the bill eliminates the automatic annual rate of inflation increases currently authorized for state universities, Florida colleges, and workforce education programs. The bill also reduces the rate at which an institution may request to increase their tuition differential to the Board of Governors from 15 percent to 6 percent. The Senate version (1400) eliminates the differential tuition.

CS/CS/HB 1059- Relating to Nursing Education Programs (Representative Pigman) CS/CS/SB 1036 (Senator Grimsley)

The bills establish a schedule for all registered nurse pre-licensure programs approved by the Board of Nursing (BON) to become accredited by a specialized nursing accrediting agency that is recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education.

CS/SB 1148 – CPI and Tuition (Senator Bill Galvano)

CS/SB 1148 may become a part of the appropriations conference process.

CS/SB 1148 eliminates the annual rate of inflation increase of the resident undergraduate tuition per credit hour at workforce education institutions, Florida College System institutions, and state universities, and reduces the maximum aggregate sum that the tuition and tuition differential fee may increase for state universities from 15 percent to six percent. The bill also specifies that if the resident undergraduate tuition per credit hour at workforce education institutions, Florida College System institutions, or state universities is not provided in the General Appropriations Act, the tuition must remain the same as the prior fiscal year.

The bill prohibits the State Board of Education from approving new baccalaureate degree programs at Florida College System institutions after March 31, 2014, and reemphasizes the primary mission of Florida College System institutions on providing lower level undergraduate instruction, awarding associate degrees, and preparing students directly for careers requiring less than a baccalaureate degree.


We will continue to monitor these issues and other important legislative proposals.