Florida Legislature snubs UCF over funding

Florida lawmakers are expected to vote Saturday afternoon on a $91.1 billion budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1.

The budget was distributed at 1:32 p.m. Wednesday, triggering the start of a constitutionally required 72-hour “cooling off” period before the House and Senate can vote on it. 

Five state universities will receive added funds in the state's multi-billion-dollar budget next year, but not the University of Central Florida.  State representative Anna Eskamani said scandal at the school is at the heart of the issue.

"Obviously the legislature has been angry at UCF," said Rep. Eskamani, D-Orlando.

Alleged mismanagement of state funds that were used to construct Trevor Colburn Hall is at the center of the controversy; however, Rep. Randy Fine, R-Palm Bay, said that is not the case at all.

In a statement to FOX 35, Fine said, in part, "any expectation that the school was 'entitled' to any extra funding next year speaks to the culture demonstrated by executives at the university."

"The students will be the ones who are directly impacted, and we've seen so many UCF students come to our legislative office, and every time that they do, I stress to them to keep fighting," Eskamani added.

"My experience here has been great. Now that I am going to be an alum, I want to see the best for the school," said UCF student Lily Kunzie.

"We're not even sitting there in the office with the president or whoever," said UCF student Branden Hall.  "We don't even know what they are doing, so why should that affect us."