This is the final, disgusting act of a petulant, sniveling, crybaby of a politician. First he demands that USF's College of Pharmacy be placed in Lakeland, even though there's absolutely zero reason for him to be involved and zero reason for it to be separated from the College of Medicine on the Tampa Campus. (Fortunately that bid failed.) Then he tries to pry the Lakeland USF Polytechnic campus away as a separate university, effective right this second. Then he throws a giant hissy fit when Judy Genshaft actually stands up to him and won't let him have it, not right away at least (although she didn't come out of that looking very good either).
And then Alexander does this, deciding to be outrageously petty and using his position as Senate Budget Committee chairman to submit a budget that would, all totaled up, slash the state-provided portion of USF's operating budget by an absurd 72%, or around $128 million. Oh, and he also submitted a related bill to again try and make USF Polytechnic its own school immediately. Which I imagine he would then beg and plead to be named president of when he's term-limited out of office after this year.
The good news is that Alexander may have finally overplayed his hand. There's no chance this exact budget passes, and USF can now lead a strong counter-attack against Alexander and his cronies. But the fact that they have to waste their time doing this is embarrassing for the entire state.
More to come on this. We don't usually step away from athletics here, but this atrocity deserves as much attention as possible.
(Update: This letter from Genshaft was just sent to me and anyone else on a USF Alumni mailing list. Importantly, it includes information on who to contact. I've made sure the hyperlinks in the PDF will work when you try to click on them.)