Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Florida Supreme Court hears case on authority to raise state universities' tuition

TALLAHASSEE — Florida Supreme Court justices had sharp questions Thursday for both sides on whether the Legislature has the power to set state university tuition and fees rather than a board created to oversee the schools.

Two lower courts have ruled that power lies with the Legislature. However, former Gov. Bob Graham and other plaintiffs contend that a 2002 state constitutional amendment that established the Board of Governors transferred the power to set tuition to that new panel.

The governor appoints 14 of the board's 17 members. The state education commissioner and leaders of faculty and student associations automatically fill the other three seats.

Graham, a Democrat and former U.S. senator, led a petition campaign that put the amendment on the ballot with the aim of taking politics out of the State University System. That was after the Republican-led Legislature abolished an earlier board that opposed lawmakers' projects such as new law and medical schools. The amendment won approval from nearly 62 percent of voters.

Justice Barbara Pariente persistently asked why the amendment failed to specifically say it was moving tuition and fee authority from the Legislature to the Board of Governors, but Graham said he remained optimistic.

"Judges typically act as devil's advocate," he said. "They're asking the tough questions from the other point of view."

The Graham group's lawyer, Robin Gibson, responded to Pariente by saying it wasn't necessary to include such detail because the amendment gave the board full responsibility to manage the entire State University System.

Pariente, though, again raised the issue. She agreed every small element of the board's authority didn't need to be in the amendment but said tuition-setting "seems like not a small detail."

The court did not indicate when it would rule.

Florida Supreme Court hears case on authority to raise state universities' tuition 10/04/12 [Last modified: Thursday, October 4, 2012 9:33pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. For starters: Rays at Orioles, facing another old friend in Jeremy Hellickson

    Blogs

    The Rays take on the Orioles again tonight and will face another old friend for the first time, as RHP Jeremy Hellickson will take the mound for the home team.

    Hellickson was drafted by the Rays in 2005 and pitched for them from 2010-14, then was traded to Arizona. He has since bounced to the Phillies and …

  2. Pinellas construction licensing board needs to be fixed. But how?

    Local Government

    LARGO –– Everyone agrees that the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board needs to be reformed. But no one agrees on how to do it.

    Rodney Fischer, former executive director of the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board Rodney, at a February meeting. His management of the agency was criticized by an inspector general's report. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  3. Charles Bradley, acclaimed Florida soul singer, dies at 68

    Blogs

    Acclaimed Florida R&B powerhouse Charles Bradley, whose raw, pained voice earned him the nickname the Screaming Eagle of Soul, has died of cancer at 68, his representatives announced Saturday.

    Charles Bradley performed at the 2016 Gasparilla Music Festival.
  4. Kriseman and Baker cash race continues as campaigns officially reset

    Blogs

    The mayoral campaign, mostly operating in stealth mode during the two weeks of Hurricane Irma's build-up, arrival and recovery, has entered its stretch run, a compressed schedule of ten days before ballots are mailed to tens of thousands of voters in the Sunshine City.

    Mayor Rick Kriseman and former mayor Rick Baker are emerging from Hurricane Irma mode and getting back into campaign form
  5. Bucs have chance to beat Vikings in their third stadium

    Bucs

    Here's a cool sign that the Bucs are getting up there as an NFL franchise: If Tampa Bay can win Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium, it will mark the first time the Bucs have posted road wins against the same NFL opponent in three different stadiums.

    TIMES ARCHIVES (2012) | Bucs RB Doug Martin runs during Tampa Bay's 36-17 win at the Vikings in 2012, in what was then called Mall of America Field. If Tampa Bay wins Sunday, it will mark the first time they have road wins against the same NFL opponent in three different stadiums.