Earlier this afternoon Governor Rick Scott signed HB 5001, also known as “the state budget,” into law. All appropriations associated with Polk State College met with the Governor’s approval, including an appropriation of $9.2 million to fund Phase 1 of Polk State’s Center for Public Safety, which will be centrally located on SR 540, adjacent to the Sheriff’s Office and other public safety facilities, on land donated to the College by Polk County.
Responding to the news, Polk State President Eileen Holden expressed her gratitude to the state for recognizing the critical nature of the College’s role in the region: “Our partnerships with public safety agencies throughout Polk County have demonstrated our commitment to building programs that serve local needs and that make sense economically. This first-phase investment represents an important step, and we look forward to working with our delegation in the coming years to see this project completed.”
The College also received an increase in its recurring budget, as well as some non-recurring funds for program support. Holden readily cited the leadership of Polk County’s delegation chair, Sen. JD Alexander (who also chaired the Senate budget process): “Because of the investments Senator Alexander championed, we will proudly extend a legacy of high quality, affordable higher education here in our region.”