Legislative Update, and Action You Can Take
The state legislature is considering several destructive bills that you can help to stop. We recommend contacting only senators, because only in the Senate do we have a chance to stop these bills. Click on this link and enter your zip code to find your senator. http://www.flsenate.gov/Senators/Find
What kind of message can faculty give to make a difference? State your name and say that you live in the district. State that you want to leave a message for your senator to
• Vote against SB 1560
• Vote against more cuts in higher education
• Vote against drug testing
It is the volume of calls, not the quality of the message, that makes the difference. Politeness counts. It takes 30 seconds. Phone calls are most effective; emails are not read or in some cases blocked.
Important: Do not use university or college equipment to call legislators or to forward messages to other faculty. Use a private phone or computer.
News on several of the bills and proposals of concern:
6% Cut Recommended in Higher Ed Funding for 2012-2013. Marlene O’Toole (R district 42), chairwoman of the House Higher Education Appropriations committee has proposed a 6% cut in higher ed funding for the 2012-2013 budget with the assumption that these cuts would be offset by increases in undergraduate tuition (8%), differential tuition (7%), and an 8% increase for graduate/professional and out-of-state student tuition.
House Releases budget proposal (http://htpolitics.com/2012/01/27/house-releases-budget-proposal/)
Attacks on the Rights of Faculty and Public Employees. SB 1560 proposes barring faculty from serving in the Legislature, on the contention that it is a conflict of interest for faculty to vote on bills that may favor their own institution. Under this bill, university and college employees will join convicted felons as the only Floridians barred from serving in the Legislature.
Florida Legislature: College Professors Need Not Apply (http://fcir.org/2012/01/25/florida-legislature-college-professors-need-not-apply/)
Fla. could allow random testing of public workers (http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/01/25/2607424/fla-could-allow-random-testing.html) Two bills (HB 1205 and SB 1358) authorizing mandatory drug testing of public employees have passed through committee and have the Governor’s approval.
Last updated February 7, 2012