Tuesday, January 03, 2017

FAMU down to four alumni lawmakers in Florida Legislature

Florida A&M University has gone from having six alumni in the Florida Legislature to just four.

The FAMU graduates who will serve during the 2017 session are: Rep. Ramon Alexander (D-Tallahassee), Rep. Kamia L. Brown (D-Ocoee), Sen. Bobby Powell (D-West Palm Beach), and Rep. Shevrin Jones (D-West Park).

Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Naples) attended FAMU from 1996 to 1999 but transferred to Florida State University (FSU) to finish his bachelor’s degree.

According to the News Service of Florida, “Heading into the 2017 legislative session, Florida State University can claim educational ties to 26 members of the House and Senate, while 24 lawmakers have links with the University of Florida.”

Even though FAMU had more alumni lawmakers during the previous two years, more wasn’t necessarily better.

The six FAMU alumni lawmakers who were in office during the 2015 and 2016 sessions were Jones, Powell (who was then in the House), Rep. Alan Williams, Rep. Mia Jones, Sen. Dwight Bullard, and Sen. Arthenia Joyner. They sat back and let FSU President John Thrasher, Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Board of Governors run over FAMU.

In 2015, FAMU lost control of a multi-million dollar college budget after 28 years and saw its alumni become a minority in the 11 appointed university Board of Trustees seats. But the six FAMU alumni in the Florida Legislature remained quiet.

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