Advertisement

Our coronavirus coverage is free for the first 24 hours. Find the latest information at tampabay.com/coronavirus. Please consider subscribing or donating.

  1. Archive

FSU's control of Ringling subject to debate, Bush says

"After a thoughtful review it may turn out that I sign the bill. I might not either," the governor says of the alliance.

Gov. Jeb Bush said Tuesday that he will do some homework and reflect before transferring control of the Ringling Museum of Art to Florida State University.

"What is in the best interest of this museum? I think it's subject to debate," Bush said. "After a thoughtful review it may turn out that I sign the bill. I might not either."

Bush and Florida Cabinet members were in Sarasota to host Capital for a Day, a Cabinet meeting held on the road to bring the workings of government closer to the people and give residents a chance to be heard.

Before the meeting began, Bush met with supporters and opponents of proposed legislation for the Ringling-FSU alliance.

"When John Ringling gave his bequest to the state of Florida, there were strings attached," said Pat Ringling Buck, a Ringling heir who helped organize a group that wants Bush to veto the legislation.

At issue is whether the transfer is in compliance with the will of circus magnate John Ringling, who gave the museum and 60 acres of prime bayfront land to the state of Florida in 1934.

"I have some notes to check the legality of the transfer to make sure that it is in compliance with the will," Bush said afterward.

Opponents are concerned that the legislation was hurriedly passed without study or a hearing, leaving unanswered questions about the sale of art and control of the land.

The governor said he doesn't think anyone intends to develop the property.

"I would have real concerns about that myself, so hopefully structuring this in a way that will deal with that concern, that maybe the community has, is a good thing."

The governor said he has 350 bills to consider over the next month or so. He gave no indication on when he would make a decision on Ringling.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Advertisement
Advertisement