Today’s rally to show support for the University of South Florida in light of a proposed $103 million funding cut from the state has been canceled due to rain.
According to protest organizer Phil Lentsch, the event will still take place. It’s just going to be held on the corner of 56th Street and Fowler Avenue at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 21, instead.
Lentsch, the president of the Greater Temple Terrace Chamber of Commerce, organized the protest against the budget cuts after it was announced USF faced up to $128 million in funding reductions from the state. Cuts to USF’s funding are part of an overall $400 million funding reduction for the state’s university system. USF, however, faces the largest cut in the system.
Earlier this week, the Florida Senate’s Budget Committee gave a green light to cutting funding by $103 million instead of the $128 million originally proposed. That decision will have to be approved by the full Senate, the House and Gov. Rick Scott before it becomes official.
In the meantime, USF supporters have been scrambling to let the Florida Legislature know cuts that high are not acceptable. USF president Judy Genshaft is even scheduled to meet with Sen. JD Alexander, who chairs the budget committee, on Monday.
As for his part, Lentsch said the rally is meant to show support for Temple Terrace’s neighbor.
“I ask you to come and support USF with me. I’ll have signs for people to hold.”