Issues of Interest

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA Outgoing USF president Judy Genshaft, who retired July 1st, is giving the school $20 million to help fund a $47 million expansion of the school’s honors program. The new building will be five stories high, over 80,000 square feet, and will bear Genshaft’s name.

SEMINOLE TRIBE The Seminole Tribe of Florida no longer will be writing a $350 million check to the State of Florida each year. During the last weeks of session, a new gaming agreement was floated, but the Governor asked for more time to review the options. Negotiations between the Tribe and former governors Charlie Crist and Rick Scott did not resolve the Tribe’s exclusive ability to offer banked card games. A federal judge sided with the Tribe in 2016, but the state has not enforced the card games operation at other pari-mutuel facilities who continue to operate the games. The Legislature did not include the $350 million revenue share as part of its calculations for the current fiscal year’s budget.

BETHUNE COOKMAN STATUE On the 144th anniversary of her birth, Governor DeSantis sent a letter to the architect of the U.S. Capitol officially requesting the replacement of the General Edmund Kirby Smith statue in National Statuary Hall in the United States Capitol with a statue of educator and activist Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune.

REAL ESTATE LICENSES The Florida Real Estate Commission recently approved a two-year reduction of biennial license renewal fees for real estate licenses. The temporary fee reduction, which lowers license renewal fees for licenses of real estate brokers, real estate sales associates and real estate broker branch offices, will continue through the renewal periods of licenses expiring March 31, 2020, September 30, 2020, and March 31, 2021.