Executive Director of Communications
MEDIA MEMO: Transmitting letter to Gov. Scott from Chair Parker regarding PECO funds & budget review process
DATE: May 19, 2011
TO: Interested Media
FROM: Kelly Layman, Spokeswoman, Board of Governors, State University System of Florida
RE: Letter from Chair Ava L. Parker to Gov. Rick Scott regarding PECO funds
Attached (and text below) please find a letter from Florida Board of Governors Chair Ava L. Parker to Gov. Rick Scott regarding his review of PECO funds in the budget passed during the 2011 Regular Session.
You will recall that PECO (Public Education Capital Outlay) funds are not only appropriated to the State University System – they also are historically distributed and shared with the K-12 system, charter schools, and the Florida College System of state and community colleges as well.
Two documents related to PECO funds for the State University System – listing the PECO projects reviewed by the respective university’s Board of Trustees, the Florida Board of Governors and selected by the Legislature – were emailed to media on May 6 along with overall end-of-Session budget information. Should you need that info again, those documents and the entire press package remain available at www.flbog.edu – click under Press Room and click on “STATE BUDGET PACKAGE & HIGHLIGHTS” for detailed information and links to specific PECO project information by-university.
This letter serves as the Board’s comment on PECO funds until action is taken by the Governor shortly on the budget.
May 19, 2011
The Honorable Rick Scott
Governor, State of Florida
Plaza Level 02
Tallahassee, Florida 32399
SUBJECT: PECO Appropriations - SB 2000 - General Appropriations Act
Dear Governor Scott:
Thank you for your leadership and participation with us at our March 2011 Board meeting. We look forward to an ongoing dialogue about the role our state’s universities have in diversifying and transforming Florida’s economy.
As you review the budget that was presented to you by the Legislature, please know that the Board of Governors fully supports the PECO projects that were included in the 2011 General Appropriations Act. Significant investment in our public universities — as well as attention to deferred maintenance issues — is vital and creates thousands of new jobs. Funding for facilities is an essential cornerstone to building an economy based on knowledge, research discoveries, commercialization and innovation.
To assist in your evaluation, I would like to take the opportunity to provide some additional facts for your consideration. The total funding of more than $137 million from PECO and Lottery bonds would provide the following benefits:
-- Completion of projects currently under construction.
-- Renovation of existing educational facilities.
-- Development of new construction projects to meet the access and demand for student enrollment.
-- Funding for System-wide maintenance at each of the 11 state universities, something we desperately need for capital renewal, which will help protect the state’s existing investment in more than 4,000 buildings and associated supporting infrastructure, such as roofs and the need to address ADA requirements and fire safety codes at certain buildings.
We appreciate the thoughtful deliberation that you and the Cabinet brought to the May 17th meeting of the State Board of Administration (SBA). Your action in authorizing $74 million in 2008-appropriated PECO bonds serves the State of Florida well, allowing dozens of projects across the entire spectrum of K-20 currently under construction to continue forward to completion. As you know, PECO dollars in the statutory formula are shared among the K-12 system, charter schools, the Florida College System of community and state colleges, and the State University System.
Governor, you can be assured that the entire list of State University System PECO projects as listed in the 2011 state budget on your desk adheres to all standards, were approved by their respective university boards of trustees, and are among the top priorities for the State University System. Should you or your staff need any additional information regarding this, please do not hesitate to contact me or Chancellor Brogan.
You already have been a tremendous supporter of the State University System. We continue to look forward to working with you and your team in the months and years ahead.
Ava L. Parker
c: Members, Board of Governors
Chancellor Frank T. Brogan