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FSU to decline funds that were supposed to die

Its president promises not to take advantage of legislators' failure to cancel $9-million for a chiropractic school.

Published May 19, 2005

TALLAHASSEE - Florida State University president T.K. Wetherell says the university will not accept $9-million legislators mistakenly left on the table when the session ended May 6.

"We understand that the Legislature didn't intend to appropriate those funds and we would obviously have no intention of spending money they didn't intentionally give to us," Wetherell said.

Legislative leaders discovered this week they failed to pass a bill designed to cut off millions of dollars for a Tampa Alzheimer's center and for an FSU chiropractic school that was rejected by the Board of Governors.

The money was allocated in a 2004 law that assured perpetual funding for both institutions. The law allowed FSU to spend the money for other needs if the chiropractic school wasn't built.

Despite support from Gov. Jeb Bush and legislators, a bill this year to kill the appropriations died in the House.

House Speaker Allan Bense said he and Senate President Tom Lee planned to ask FSU and the Johnnie B. Byrd Sr. Alzheimer's Center & Research Institute to return the money.

Wetherell, a former House speaker known for wily legislative maneuvering, wouldn't directly answer a question about his involvement in the bill's death.

"I don't even understand the process anymore," Wetherell said. "I thought it passed the first week. I am just trying to figure out what they are doing over there. I was shocked to learn it didn't pass."

Shocked the way Capt. Renault was shocked to find gambling at Rick's Cafe in the film Casablanca?

Wetherell would only laugh.

[Last modified May 19, 2005, 00:42:10]

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