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Orlando’s Mayor Leans On Gov. Scott To Approve Sanford-Burnham Deal

Governor Rick Scott and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer is urging the governor to approve the University of Florida takeover of Sanford Burnham.

The governor was in town for a press event, where Dyer talked with him about what the state can do to help keep Sanford Burnham in Medical City.

“Well I think the state should approve that,” Dyer said. “That’s what I just chatted with the governor about. Enhancing the University of Florida’s research capabilities in Lake Nona at the Medical City will ultimately be a good thing for Orlando.”

Gov. Rick Scott’s office got new details from UF Thursday.

“I haven’t seen the details,” Scott said. “I know Sanford-Burnham and UF are interested in putting this merger together. My office is working with them to get the details.”

In letters sent to the governor Thursday, UF President Kent Fuchs said without their takeover, there is no viable alternative to keep Sanford-Burnham in Orlando. But their plan requires not just approvals from the governor, the legislature and Central Florida groups involved in the original deal – it would require money.

In specific, $30 million in leftover funding from tax deal that got Sanford Burnham in Orlando. And UF would need that money with no strings attached for job creation – and then they would need $3.7 million per year from the state for operations.

In return, UF projects nearly 400 private sector jobs and $58 million in wages added to the economy. In total, UF wrote that they hope to get the initial deal signed by June 30 with Sanford Burnham.

The University wrote that without the deal, there would be no benefit to the state.


WMFE is a partner with Health News Florida, a statewide collaborative reporting on health care.

Health reporting on WMFE is supported in part by AdventHealth.

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Abe Aboraya

About Abe Aboraya

Health Reporter

Abe Aboraya started writing for newspapers in High School. After graduating from the University of Central Florida in 2007, he spent a year traveling and working as a freelance reporter for the Seattle Times and the Seattle Weekly, and working for local news websites in the San Francisco Bay area. Most recently Abe ... Read Full Bio »

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