Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Times editorial says Washington’s proposal on SUS fees is part of “politically motivated scam”

The editorial board of the Tampa Bay Times recently criticized a constitutional change proposed by Nicole Washington for being part of “a politically motivated scam masquerading as a high-minded effort to ask voters to improve the state’s fundamental document.”

Washington is a member of the Florida Constitution Revision Committee. She introduced a proposed amendment that a committee staff analysis says would mandate “a favorable vote of 9 of the 13 members of a BOT to propose a new fee or fee increase. The fee is also subject to BOG approval, and 12 of the 17 BOG members would have to approve the fee increase in order for it to be imposed.”

Her proposal was merged with another one that would “establish the right of survivors of specified first responders and military members to death benefits.”

The Times editorial board is telling Florida voters not to fall for what the committee is trying to pull.

“The commission on Monday added amendments to the November ballot that will force voters to accept unconnected or unpopular changes with ones they support — or reject the entire amendment,” the editorial board said. “It’s a cynical attempt to sneak through a conservative agenda that otherwise never would be approved, and voters should send a clear message they refuse to be manipulated.”

The editorial board stated that the State University System of Florida (SUS) fee approval requirements proposed by Washington are an example.

“If they want to improve benefits for survivors of first responders, they will have to make it harder to raise university fees,” the editorial board said.

Washington is a member of the Florida A&M University Board of Trustees who worked against efforts to hold former President Elmira Mangum accountable for the enrollment decline and other big problems.

Read the full Tampa Bay Times editorial here.

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