Gov. Scott signs bill to split Polytechnic from USF | News
Lakeland, Florida -- Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill into law that would split USF's Polytechnic campus into the state's newest university.
Scott approved Senate Bill 1994, which changes USF Polytechnic campus into Florida Polytechnic, the state's 12th state university. The legislation was overwhelmingly passed by both the state House and Senate back in March.
Read: Gov. Scott's signing of Senate Bill 1994 (PDF)
The official deadline for action was Saturday. Had Scott not signed the legislation, it would have then become law anyways.
Scott previously told 10 News he didn't think the immediate split was a good idea, but would listen to arguments from the other side. Apparently those arguments were able to win over the governor's approval.
Scott decided to back the bill (SB 1994) pushed by Sen. J.D. Alexander, R-Lake Wales, even though influential business leaders throughout the state had urged the governor to veto the bill.
Backers of the new school contend it will help the state produce science, technology, engineering and math graduates. Scott has said the state needs those graduates to compete with other states.
After the signing, the Florida Democratic Party issued the following statement:
"This move is nothing more than an appalling and wasteful power play by the Republicans in Tallahassee. The people of Florida didn't ask for this university, they don't need it and can't afford it."