April 28, 2021
Volume 28, Number 9
Dear Seminole Family,
Thank you for taking a few moments to review the Legisletter during the final week of the 2021 Legislative Session.
Barring any unforeseen circumstances, this week will mark the end of the annual legislative session. Although the fate of several substantive bills which would impact the State University System and FSU are yet to be decided, the House and Senate have finished their negotiations on the General Appropriations Act (GAA) and are poised to act on it when the mandatory 72 hour “cooling off” period expires on Friday.
Below you will find a chart outlining the University’s projects and programs funded in the GAA as well as an update on policy bills that are still viable which would have an impact on FSU.
Please reach out to me or Toni Moore if you have any questions about these bills or anything related to the legislative process. We will send out next week’s Legisletter after we have had a chance to go through all of the bills, so we may provide you a comprehensive summary of this session.
I wish you all the best and am grateful for your interest in keeping FSU and the State University System in Florida the best in the country as we continue to educate the next generation of elite students.
Yours in Seminole Spirit,
Quick Budget Reference Guide SB 5001
|Included in the base:|
|50||Boys and Girls State Housing (R)||$200,000|
|49||Student Veterans Center (R)||$500,000|
|Nationally Ranked Operational Enhancement (R)||$15,000,000|
|Institute of Politics (R)||$1,000,000|
|Institute for Child Welfare (R)||$10,000,000|
|50||Student and Other Fees||$229,310,768||145|
|53||Student Financial Assistance||$1,467,667||154|
|50||SUS Performance Based Incentive (proviso)||$560,000,000||145|
|College of Medicine|
|Student and Other Fees||$14,989,434|
|51||FAMU/FSU College of Engineering||$14,541,522||146|
|51||Florida Postsecondary Academic Library Network||$1,836,500||145A|
|6||SUS Capital Improvement Fee Projects||$48,000,000||18|
|7||FSU Interdisciplinary Research Commercialization Bldg.||$23,492,086||20B|
|6||SUS Lab School – PECO
Proviso: ...shall be distributed among the lab schools based upon full-time equivalent student membership.
|453||FSU College of Business Building||$30,500,000||Section 151|
|16||Honorably Discharged Graduate Assistance/GAP
Proviso: ... are provided for supplemental need-based veteran educational benefits. Funds shall be used to assist in the payment of living expenses during holiday and semester breaks for active duty and honorably discharged members of the Armed Forces who served on or after September 11, 2001. To ensure students in both public and private institutions have an opportunity to receive funding, allocations to institutions shall be prorated based on the number of total eligible students at eligible institutions.
|26||Florida Diagnostic and Learning Resource Ctr. General Revenue – FSU||$450,000 R||98|
|27||Autism/CARD - FSU College of Medicine General Revenue||$1,224,008 R||103|
|Statewide Gov. & Cultural Affairs Programming||$497,522|
|Florida Channel Closed Captioning - GR||$390,862|
|Florida Channel Year Round Coverage – GR +proviso||$2,714,588|
|FSU – Public Television||$320,400|
|FSU – Public Radio Stations||$100,000|
|FSU – Satellite Transponder||$800,000|
|Public Radio Stations Recurring Base Appropriations Project||$1,300,000|
|Florida Public Radio Emergency Network Storm Ctr.||$166,270|
|Proviso ... From the funds provided in Specific Appropriation 121, "Governmental Affairs for Public Television" shall be produced by the same contractor selected by the Legislature to produce "The Florida Channel".
From the funds provided in Specific Appropriation 121 for the Florida Channel Satellite Transponder Operations, the Florida Channel shall contract for the leasing, management and operation of the state transponder with the same public broadcasting station that produces the Florida Channel.
Proviso ... $560,000,000 is provided for State University System Performance Based Incentives. The funds available for allocation to the universities based on the performance funding model shall consist of the state’s investment of $265,000,000 in performance funding, plus an institutional investment of $295,000,000 consisting of funds to be redistributed from the base funding of the State University System...
|50||Proviso: ... the Board of Governors Foundation shall distribute $257,500 to state universities for Johnson Scholarships in accordance with section 1009.75, F.S…||145|
|119||FSU Behavioral Health||$285,000||515|
|351||Proviso ... may be utilized to promote and enhance collaborative research among State Universities. The Florida Public Hurricane Loss Model located at Florida International University may consult with the private sector and the Florida Catastrophic Storm Risk Management Center ...||$969,689||2487|
|418||State Health Insurance Plans and Benefits – Proviso
State Paid Premiums
a. For the coverage period beginning August 1, 2021, the state share of the State Group Health Insurance Standard and High Deductible Health Plan premiums to the executive, legislative and judicial branch agencies shall continue at $763.46 per month for individual coverage and $1,651.08.
|419||State Health Insurance Plans and Benefits – Proviso
Employee Paid Premiums
a. For the coverage period beginning August 1, 2019, the employee share of the health insurance premiums for the standard plans shall continue to be $50 per month for individual coverage and $180 per month for family coverage.
|422||Proviso ... Each state agency, at the discretion of the agency head, may expend funds provided in this act for bar dues and for legal education courses for employees who are required to be a member of the Florida Bar as a condition of employment.||Section 8|
The following fixed capital outlay projects may be constructed, acquired, and financed by a university or university direct support organization. Financing mechanisms include any form of approved debt or bonds authorized by the Board of Governors.
Florida State University - 200 W. College Avenue - Administrative office building
|431||A university board of trustees may expend available reserves or carryforward balances from previous years’ operational and programmatic appropriations for deferred maintenance needs at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center.||Section 19|
*6% Holdback – Effective July 1 of last year, the Governor withheld 6 percent of university funding due to the revenue shortfall caused by the pandemic. The House and Senate have agreed to release these funds ($184 M) to the universities.
R = Recurring
NR = Non-recurring
The budget may be found at: www.flsenate.gov
Note: Page numbers are in correlation with the printed page numbers, there may be some variation from the online page numbers.
Spotlight on Bills
HB 1261 – Higher Education by Representative Jackie Toledo (R – Tampa)
HB 1261 – Higher Education by Representative Jackie Toledo (R – Tampa), was amended last week to remove the provision that allowed out-of-state students to attend a Florida College or state university at in-state tuition rates if their grandparent was a resident of Florida.
The amended bill provides liability protections for educational institutions for actions related to the COVID-19 pandemic and provides that these liability protections apply retroactively to causes of actions accruing on or after March 1, 2020, the date of the declaration of the COVID-19 public health emergency by the State Surgeon General.
The bill requires the Board of Governor to publicly publish an online dashboard to assist students and families in making better informed decisions about educational options and future employment opportunities. The bill requires students to:
- Register with the university’s career center;
- Complete a career readiness training module;
- Be directed to the online dashboard;
- And affirm that they have been provided with the above referenced information.
Additionally, the bill provides tuition and fee exemptions to:
- A student who is or was in the care of the Department of Children and Families at the time they reached the age of 18, or
- A student who is or was in the custody of a relative or non-relative, or who was adopted from the Department of Children and Families after May 5, 1997.
Beginning with the 2021-2022 academic year, the bill provides a ‘buy one, get one free’ tuition and fee waiver on upper-level courses in one of eight Programs of Strategic Emphasis as adopted by the Board of Governors. The programs adopted by the BOG shall be in the areas of science, technology, engineering, or math.
The bill also provides minimum performance standards for institutions to be eligible to participate in the Effective Access to Student Education tuition assistance program.
The passed out of the House last week and is waiting to be heard by the Senate. A comparable bill in the Senate, SB 1798 by Senator Keith Perry (R – Gainesville), is waiting be heard by the full Senate.
CS/CS/SB 1108 – Education by Senator Manny Diaz (R – Hialeah Gardens)
CS/CS/SB 1108 – Education by Senator Manny Diaz (R – Hialeah Gardens), revises several areas of education law, primarily relating to graduation requirements and statewide standardized assessments. Specifically, the bill:
- Requires every school district, alternative school, and the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) to offer either the SAT or ACT to every student in the 11th grade free of charge, subject to an appropriation for that purpose;
- Amends the civic literacy requirement for post-secondary education to include both an assessment and a course, as opposed to one or the other;
- Creates a process to allow students in high school to earn the civic literacy requirement before enrolling in a public college or university in this state;
- Requires the statewide, standardized math and English learning assessments in grades 3 through 6 to be paper-based;
- Deletes obsolete language relating to prior statewide standardized assessments, and updates the assessment publication requirement in anticipation of the implementation of new state standards;
- Authorizes the Department of Education (DOE) to hold certain intellectual property rights, including the right to patent, copyright, and trademark. This authority will allow the DOE to protect certain materials, such as state authored assessments, from being sold or distributed without authorization; and
- Creates the Innovative Blended Learning and Real-Time Student Assessment Pilot Program.
The bill passed out of the Senate and is waiting to be heard in the House. A similar bill in the House, CS/CS/HB 507 by Representative Alex Rizo (R – Hialeah), is waiting to be heard by the full House.
Bills that Passed
CS/HB 847 – Florida Postsecondary Academic Library Network by Representative Cord Byrd (R – Jacksonville Beach)
CS/HB 847 – Florida Postsecondary Academic Library Network by Representative Cord Byrd (R – Jacksonville Beach),establishes the Florida Postsecondary Academic Library Network (Network) under the oversight of the Office of the Board of Governors (BOG) and the Department of Education, and repeals the Complete Florida Plus Program (Complete Florida Plus). The bill retains certain functions from the Complete Florida Plus, with modifications, and adds new functions. The bill will go to the Governor for signature.
HB 7017 – Foreign Influence by Representative Erin Grall (R – Vero Beach)
HB 7017 – Foreign Influence by Representative Erin Grall (R – Vero Beach), requires greater disclosure of foreign support for public entities, scrutiny of grant applicants and vendors of goods and services with certain foreign connections, and thorough scrutiny of foreign applicants for research positions and of foreign travel and activities of employees of major research institutions. Specifically, the bill requires:
- State agencies and political subdivisions to disclose all foreign donations and grants of $50,000 or more to the Department of Financial Services;
- Applicants for grants from or those proposing contracts with state agencies and political subdivisions to disclose all foreign financial connections with any of seven countries of concern;
- Department of Management Services to screen vendors participating in the online procurement system at least once every five years; and
- Universities and colleges, including their direct-support organizations and other affiliates, to disclose all foreign donations and grants of $50,000 or more to either the Board of Governors of the State University System or the Florida Department of Education.
The bill also:
- Prohibits agreements between certain state entities and the seven countries of concern if the agreement contains certain provisions or requirements; and
- Requires thorough screening of foreign applicants for research positions and foreign travel and activities of employees for every higher education institution and related research institutes having a research budget of $10 million or more.
The bill provides for enforcement of disclosure requirements and operational audits. Effective July 1, 2021
HB 7033 – Task Force on Closing the Achievement Gap for Boys by Representative Traci Koster (R – Safety Harbor)
HB 7033 – Task Force on Closing the Achievement Gap for Boys by Representative Traci Koster (R – Safety Harbor), establishes the Task Force on Closing the Achievement Gap for Boys within the Department of Education (DOE) to examine evidence-based strategies for closing the achievement gap for boys and to make recommendations to the DOE, the Governor, and the Legislature. The recommendations must address:
- Professional development for instructional personnel and school administrators.
- The selection of curriculum, supplemental materials, and classroom activities in early learning programs and K-12 schools.
- Academic, behavioral, and mental health supports to help educate and raise young men who are better prepared for success in school and in life.
The bill establishes the Commissioner of Education or a designee as chair of the task force. Other members of the task force must be appointed by July 1, 2021, including stakeholders appointments by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Senate President, and the Governor.
The bill requires the task force to convene by August 1, 2021, and upon the call of the chair thereafter. The task force must submit a report containing its recommendations to the Governor, the Senate President, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives by December 1, 2021.
The bill requires the DOE to provide staffing, administrative support, data, and other relevant information to the task force to help it carry out its responsibilities. The task force expires on June 30, 2022.
The bill is effective upon becoming law.
HB 5 – Civic Education Curriculum by Representative Ardian Zika (R – Land O’Lakes)
HB 5 – Civic Education Curriculum by Representative Ardian Zika (R – Land O’Lakes), l revises the social studies credit requirement for high school graduation. The bill requires that the United States Government course include a comparative discussion of political ideologies that conflict with the principles of freedom and democracy in the nation’s founding principles.
To help students understand their roles, rights, and responsibilities as residents of the state, the bill requires the Florida Department of Education (DOE) to develop or approve an integrated civic education curriculum for public school students in kindergarten through grade 12. The bill provides requirements for the civic education curriculum to aid in students’ development of civic responsibility and knowledge. As part of the curriculum requirements, the State Board of Education is required to develop civic-minded expectations for an upright citizenry.
The bill also requires the DOE to curate oral history resources for use alongside the civic education curriculum. Effective July 1, 2021
HB 519 – Required Health Education Instruction by Representative Clay Yarborough (R – Jacksonville)
HB 519 – Required Health Education Instruction by Representative Clay Yarborough (R – Jacksonville), revises the required comprehensive health education curriculum for K-12 public schools to include instruction on the prevention of child sexual abuse, exploitation, and human trafficking. The bill clarifies that the comprehensive health curriculum must be age and developmentally appropriate.
The bill limits the existing requirement to provide instruction to all students on abstinence and the consequences of teen pregnancy so that it is only provided to students in grades 6 through 12. The bill is effective July 1, 2021.
HB 1 – Combating Public Disorder by Representative Juan Fernandez-Barquin (R – Miami)
HB 1 – Combating Public Disorder by Representative Juan Fernandez-Barquin (R – Miami),addresses acts of public disorder to define previously undefined offenses of affray, riot, and inciting a riot and create the offenses of aggravated rioting and aggravated inciting a riot.
The bill also:
- Requires a person arrested for unlawful assembly, riot, and certain offenses committed in furtherance of a riot or aggravated riot, to be held in jail until he or she appears for a first appearance hearing and a court determines bond;
- Creates a budget appeal process to challenge reductions in municipal law enforcement agencies’ budgets similar to that available to a county sheriff;
- Corrects constitutional infirmities in the current prohibition against obstructing a roadway;
- Provides that a municipality is civilly liable for specified damages proximately caused by the municipality’s breach of a duty to allow the municipal law enforcement agency to respond appropriately to protect persons and property during a riot or an unlawful assembly (as specified in the bill);
- Increases penalties for assault and battery, and increases offense severity level rankings for aggravated assault and aggravated battery, when committed in furtherance of a riot or an aggravated riot;
- Creates the crime of mob intimidation, which prohibits a mob from using force or the threat of imminent force to compel or induce, or attempt to compel or induce, a person to do or refrain from doing any act or to assume, abandon, or maintain a particular viewpoint against that person’s will;
- Provides for a six-month mandatory minimum sentence for battery on a law enforcement officer if the offense was committed in furtherance of a riot or an aggravated riot;
- Increases the offense severity level rankings for assault and battery on a law enforcement officer or other specified official when the offense was committed in furtherance of a riot or an aggravated riot;
- Punishes criminal mischief that involves damaging a memorial or historic property if the damage is greater than $200, and requires restitution of the full cost of repair or replacement of the memorial or historic property;
- Creates the crime of destroying or demolishing a memorial or historic property and requires restitution of the full cost of repair or replacement of the memorial or historic property;
- Reclassifies the degree, and increases the offense severity level ranking, of specified burglary and theft offenses committed during a riot or an aggravated riot when facilitated by conditions arising from the riot;
- Creates the crime of cyber-intimidation by publication, which prohibits a person from electronically publishing another person’s personal identification information with the intent to incite violence or commit a crime against the person or threaten or harass the person, placing the other person in reasonable fear of bodily harm;
- Creates an affirmative defense in a civil action for damages for personal injury, wrongful death, or property damage that such action arose from injury or damage sustained by a participant acting in furtherance of a riot;
- Increases the offense severity ranking level of offenses involving injuring or removing a tomb or monument; and
- Ranks battery during a riot or an aggravated riot and other offenses in the offense severity level ranking chart of the Criminal Punishment Code.
Effective upon becoming law.