USF System Government Relations Newsletter
January 2017
Bulls Advocates are invited to attend USF Day at the Capitol on February 8, 2017
USF Day at the Capitol is an annual event where students, administrators and alumni travel to Tallahassee and advocate for the USF System. This day provides participants the opportunity to meet with elected officials, and discuss the USF System's legislative priorities. 

Event Details:
  • Student buses depart from USF at 4:00 AM and will return in the late evening.
  • Charter bus transportation to the state capitol is provided along with 3 meals. 
  • Wear green and gold to show elected officials your Bulls pride. 
  • Feel free to arrange your own transportation but please RSVP if you plan to attend. 
  • Additional information will be released as we near the event.
USF Sarasota-Manatee and regional partners host Florida's Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater for "The State of the State of Florida" 

Jeff Atwater, Florida's Chief Financial Officer, spoke at a luncheon on October 19, 2016 which was hosted jointly by the Institute of Public Policy & Leadership at USF Sarasota-Manatee, the Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance, Manatee Chamber of Commerce and Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce. 

Atwater, who is also the state fire marshal and a member of the Florida Cabinet, delivered a "State of the State of the Florida" presentation to a room full of local business and community leaders.  In his speech, Atwater highlighted that Florida's economy ranks as the 16th largest in the world.

          Florida's Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater  
Senator Darryl Rouson Supports Partnership between the Poynter Library at USF St. Petersburg and The Weekly Challenger 

Former Representative and now State Senator Darryl Rouson served as a strong advocate to strengthen a partnership between The Weekly Challenger—a newspaper that has served African American communities along Florida’s west coast since 1967—and the Nelson Poynter Memorial Library at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

Through his leadership, collaboration with other members of the Pinellas County Legislative Delegation, and the support of the 2016 legislature and Governor Scott, the Poynter Library received a $300,000 recurring allocation for this important preservation and sustainability initiative.

In November, Sen. Rouson won a seat in the Florida Senate. His new district includes portions of Pinellas and Hillsborough counties. 

Read More

Florida Senator Darryl Rouson (left) 
Congratulations to the new Florida Speaker of the House Richard Corcoran and Florida Senate President Joe Negron

On November 22nd, the Florida House formally voted to elect State Representative Richard Corcoran (R-District 37) from nearby Pasco County, as House Speaker for the 2016-2018 term. 

On that same day, Senator Joe Negron who visited USF on his University listening tour in April 2016, was elected to serve as the 87th President of the Florida Senate. 
Higher education is a top priority for both Speaker Corcoran and Senate President Negron this legislative session.  

Progress Update on the State-funded FIO Marine Research Vessel
During the 2016 Legislative Session, the Legislature allocated $3 million in state funding to the Florida Institute of Oceanography (FIO) housed at USF  for construction of this state of the art marine research vessel for the State of Florida. 

The vessel is being built in Tarpon Springs, Florida by Duckworth Steel Boats, and completion is expected by July 2017. Click here to view the webcam on the construction in progress. 
Progress  as of September 26, 2016  
Progress as of December 2, 2016 
USF Bulls Caucus 
Below are Bulls alumni who won in the 2016 election for Congress or State office
United States Representatives
 Mario Diaz-Balart (R-District 25)

State Representatives 
 Danny  Burgess (R-District 38)
Ross Spano (R-District 59) 
Jackie Toledo (R-District 60) 
Shawn Harrison (R-District 63) 
Chris Sprowls (R-District 65)
Joe Gruters (R-District 73)  

Do you know of any others? Let us know at