"Every elected official in this county needs to step up make their position known and do whatever we have to do to beat this back."
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn
"It's no way to run a university system. It's embarrassing. I'll call it what it is: Vindictive, petty politics."
Hillsborough County Commissioner Mark Sharpe, a Republican who said he snapped at his children Monday night because he was so mad after learning of the Senate proposal.
"The Florida Council of 100 calls on Governor Scott and leaders of the Florida Senate and the Florida House of Representatives to publicly endorse the Board of Governors' approach to, and authority over, USF Polytechnic governance change, which comprehensively and constitutionally lay the foundation for both a strong, fiscally whole University of South Florida and a new, vibrant independent polytechnic institution within the State University System."
Florida Council of 100 resolution
"There is no rationale for why USF is being targeted to bear a greater burden than any other state university, but as a significant economic driver in our community — we cannot afford to sit back idly and watch this economic train wreck take place."
Bob Rohrlack, president and CEO of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce
"Remember these savings accounts that do exist at a lot of these universities are quite high, and it's actually superior to that of the state. And so what do you use your savings accounts for? To make ends meet in difficult times."
Mike Haridopolos, Florida Senate president
"I don't believe the University of South Florida is being held out for any special treatment here... I believe our budget plan will call on all our state institutions to tap their reserves. It is a rainy day, after all, that's what rainy day (funds) are for."
Sen. Don Gaetz, incoming Senate president
"Where does it stop? Just because one senator didn't get his way do future senators go after the University of Florida, Florida State, FIU? Where does it end? And shame on leadership for allowing him to propose such an outrageous, unconscionable cut to the University of South Florida."
Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey
"I want to certainly make sure that things weren't taken away from their budgets or their needs to essentially create a 12th university at this time."
Sen. Dennis Jones, R-Seminole
"I don't think it has any chance of going through. ... It's ridiculous."
Sen. Paula Dockery, R-Lakeland
"We're not debating whether to have another polytechnical university or not. We're debating on these kinds of significant cutbacks that appear to be with one intent in mind: to create this new university (by) holding these other universities out. This is not just USF; it's holding many of the university budgets out. ... This is about process."
Stu Rogel, CEO of Tampa Bay Partnership
"It's kind of easy to galvanize a community when you have something so egregious happening. This is not a hard sell. The whole business community is just appalled at the behavior of the Senate Budget Committee. We've had some tough bully in office before but never to the point where they were vindictive like this. What we're seeing here is behavior that is destructive to the state of Florida, to the economic engines of Florida."
Alan Bomstein, president of Clearwater builder Creative Contractors Inc.
"It's actually very difficult to try to figure out what a formula might look like that would give you that net effect (of the Senate's budget dispersements). Not a clue. ... I fully believe through conversation with members in the House and Senate that ultimately they'll come together in the conference process and we'll probably be far better than we are today."
Frank Brogan, chancellor of the State University System
Compiled by Times staff writers Bill Varian, Richard Danielson, Katie Sanders, Tia Mitchell, Jeff Harrington and Kim Wilmath.