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October 21, 2003

Frances Marine
(850) 245-0413

Education Commissioner Jim Horne's Statement on Special Legislative Session "E"

TALLAHASSEE — Education Commissioner Jim Horne today made the following statement concerning Special Legislative Session "E":

"The focus of this week's special session, economic development through a new Scripps Research facility in Florida, will have a long-term positive impact on education in our state. From unique K-12 opportunities through a high school Summer Research Internship Program to joint degree programs with all universities in our state, a new research facility is a win-win proposition across the K-20 system.

"Yesterday, the Governor expanded the call to include legislation to appropriate the one-time unclaimed lottery prize ($30.1 million cash value) to the Dr. Philip Benjamin Matching Grant Program for Community Colleges and to the University Major Gifts Program. Such use of this one-time appropriation would result in an increase in higher education funding, which will better equip our colleges and universities to prepare Floridians for the opportunities that a state-of-the-art research facility will bring to our state.

"I look forward to working with the Legislature to ensure that education, which the Governor has continued to make a priority, will be at the forefront of any discussion about the future of our state."