• Scott's budget vetoes include $15M for UCF's downtown campus project


    Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed a new state budget into law on Tuesday, but not before vetoing nearly $500 million from the spending plan.

    Scott vetoed $15 million that was earmarked for the University of Central Florida's downtown Orlando campus project.

    Scott signed the roughly $78 billion budget in his office on Tuesday. State government would have been partially shut down if a new budget had not been in place by July 1.

    PDF: List of Scott's vetoes

    The money was earmarked for designing and planning the new UCF downtown campus, which already has a location a few blocks from the Amway Center.

    UCF has been looking to expand its footprint and attract more high-tech students. The downtown campus would have incorporated urban living, while focusing on cutting-edge career fields.

    In a veto statement, Scott said he cut the project because it didn't go through the Board of Governors, the state board that is in charge of universities.

    "We want to make sure the investment that the state makes is a good investment and is good for our students and is good for the taxpayers," Chairman Mori Hosseini previously said.

    The board in February unanimously approved the first steps of the plan, but not the entire $15 million, which would have come in September.

    Instead, the governor cut it.


    Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said he had no knowledge of Scott's plans.

    "Well, obviously it's disappointing. That's probably the biggest catalyst project for our downtown viability. We project 4,000 jobs there, so it's extremely disappointing," said Dyer.

    The Republican governor noted that legislators had increased money for public schools and services for the disabled and set aside money for tax cuts.

    Scott also used his line-item veto power to ax $461.4 million in spending from the budget. It is believed to be a record amount for budget vetoes.

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