Sunday, May 20, 2018
Editorials

Editorial: USFSP business school deserves state support

The business school at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg has succeeded despite its physical constraints. Spread across seven locations on the campus, the school's 1,900 students and faculty have never had a place to call their own, yet they have still managed to launch an entrepreneurial program that's garnering national attention. It's time the school had its own facility, and a single $5 million line item in the state budget for 2013-14 could start the process. Gov. Rick Scott should approve the money as a smart investment in a higher education program that's already impacting Tampa Bay's economy for the better.

Initially, USFSP had hoped to collect $10.5 million from the Legislature in the coming year toward planning and construction of a $25 million, three-story building on 2.5 acres of land it owns.

But the request dwindled as the Legislature labored through the budget process. Finally, state Sens. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, and Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, ensured that at least $5 million could be provided for the project.

Now it is up to the governor, who has been increasingly circumspect about what criteria he will use as he wields his veto pen. He must sign the budget next week.

This line item should withstand the scrutiny. It is on a list of priority capital needs submitted by USF president Judy Genshaft, and it is for a business school that has already proved its mettle in adjusting to Florida's economy. In just three years, the school has built a program that encourages students to explore start-up ventures that local business leaders are convinced will ultimately pay dividends for the regional economy. And in January, the school received recognition as an "outstanding emerging entrepreneurship program" in the United States by the U.S. Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

Scott has talked repeatedly since taking office of the need to link higher education programs more with the economy students enter upon graduating. USFSP is already showing the way by training and inspiring future small business owners, among others. It's an idea well worth another $5 million state investment.

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Editorial: Tampa Bay House members fail to stand up to Big Sugar

Editorial: Tampa Bay House members fail to stand up to Big Sugar

Big Sugar remains king in Florida. Just three of the state’s 27 House members voted for an amendment to the farm bill late Thursday that would have started unwinding the needless government supports for sugar that gouge taxpayers. Predictably, the am...
Published: 05/18/18
Editorial: Bondi holds drug industry accountable for Florida opioid crisis

Editorial: Bondi holds drug industry accountable for Florida opioid crisis

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s lawsuit against the nation’s largest drug makers and distributors marks a moment of awakening in the state’s battle to recover from the opioid crisis. In blunt, forceful language, Bondi accuses these companies of ...
Published: 05/18/18
Editorial: A sweet note for the Florida Orchestra’s violin program for at-risk kids

Editorial: A sweet note for the Florida Orchestra’s violin program for at-risk kids

This is music to the ears. Members of the Florida Orchestra will introduce at-risk students to the violin this summer at some Hillsborough recreation centers. For free.An $80,000 grant to the University Area Community Development Corp. will pay for s...
Published: 05/17/18
Updated: 05/18/18
Trump backs off China tariff threat as China pumps money into a Trump family project

Trump backs off China tariff threat as China pumps money into a Trump family project

In barely six weeks, President Donald Trump has gone from threatening to impose $150 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods to extending a lifeline to ZTE, a Chinese cell phone company that violated U.S. sanctions by doing business with Iran and North K...
Published: 05/17/18
Editorial: Activism as seniors helps put Hillsborough graduates on the right path

Editorial: Activism as seniors helps put Hillsborough graduates on the right path

Lots of teenagers are walking together this week in Hillsborough County, a practice they’ve grown accustomed to during this remarkable school year.We can only hope they keep walking for the rest of their lives.Tens of thousands of them this week are ...
Published: 05/17/18
Editorial: Bondi holds drug industry accountable for Florida opioid crisis

Editorial: Bondi holds drug industry accountable for Florida opioid crisis

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s lawsuit against the nation’s largest drug makers and distributors marks a moment of awakening in the state’s battle to recover from the opioid crisis. In blunt, forceful language, Bondi accuses these companies of ...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18
Editorial: Johns Hopkins All Children’s should be more open about mistakes

Editorial: Johns Hopkins All Children’s should be more open about mistakes

A state investigation raises even more concern about medical errors at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital and the venerable St. Petersburg institution’s lack of candor to the community. Regulators have determined the hospital broke Florida law by ...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/17/18
Editorial: St. Petersburg recycling worth the effort despite cost issues

Editorial: St. Petersburg recycling worth the effort despite cost issues

St. Petersburg’s 3-year-old recycling program has reached an undesirable tipping point, with operating costs exceeding the income from selling the recyclable materials. The shift is driven by falling commodity prices and new policies in China that cu...
Published: 05/15/18
Updated: 05/18/18
Editorial: HUD’s flawed plan to raise rents on poor people

Editorial: HUD’s flawed plan to raise rents on poor people

Housing Secretary Ben Carson has a surefire way to reduce the waiting lists for public housing: Charge more to people who already live there. Hitting a family living in poverty with rent increases of $100 or more a month would force more people onto ...
Published: 05/15/18
Updated: 05/18/18
Editorial: Voters should decide whether legal sports betting comes to Florida

Editorial: Voters should decide whether legal sports betting comes to Florida

It’s a safe bet Florida will get caught up in the frenzy to legalize wagering on sports following the U.S. Supreme Court opinion this week that lifted a federal ban. Struggling horse and dog tracks would love a new line of business, and state l...
Published: 05/15/18
Updated: 05/16/18