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Saturday, 18 April 2015 04:33

Amendment 1 Updates

Written by  News items, Florida Water & Land Legacy

UPDATE Posted April 21, 2015

Call for Action still valid! Scroll down for contact info.

Amendment 1 and Florida Politics in the time of Rick Scott, Crisafulli, Gardiner, Hays...

State House under Crisafulli has set aside only $8 million for Florida Forever. Senate, under Gardiner, has allocated only $15 million. Are we outraged yet?

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Audubon Florida report
by Eric Draper, Executive Director
April 21, 2015

Earlier this year, the Florida Senate asked citizens to submit personal comments about the potential usage of Amendment 1, the Water and Land Conservation Amendment. In just a few short weeks, more than 6000 people responded to the Florida Senate's request…
 
In a recent article in the Daytona Beach News-Journal, Dinah Voyles Pulver reports that "the vast majority of the reviewed comments supported Amendment 1 and the conservation of the state’s land and water resources, in either broad or very specific terms."

Over the past 7 weeks of the Florida Legislative Session, Amendment 1 has run into resistance from leaders in both the House and Senate. The most aggressive opponent of Amendment 1 has been Senator Alan Hays (R-Umatilla). Hays chairs the Senate General Government Appropriations Committee, which wrote the Senate’s budget for Amendment 1. He has declared that Florida has too much conservation land.

Yet, only 26 people who submitted comments agreed with him on that position.

Click here to read this excellent story in the Daytona Beach News-Journal. See how the Florida Senate appropriations bill ignores the comments that Senators sought from their constituents.

Advocates for Florida's parks, wildlife habitat, the Everglades, and recreational trails are making themselves heard. And there is evidence that State Legislators are starting to listen. Even if you have already called or written, do it again - right now.

Click here to look up your local elected House and Senate members. Let them know that you voted for Amendment 1 and want the voter approved funds used the way the Amendment reads, “to acquire land."

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CALL FOR ACTION still valid!

CALL CRISAFULLI + SEN. ANDY GARDINER: Please ask ten of your friends to call, too!

MESSAGE to Gardiner and Crisafulli: Fund Florida Forever! And do NOT tell Florida Forever what land to buy. Florida Forever has a superb record on properly identifying what land to buy, WITHOUT political manipulation.

CALL (more effective than email!):
Sen. Andy Gardiner (Senate President): (850) 487-5013
Rep. Steve Crisafulli (Speaker of the House): (850) 717-5051

Local Merritt Island office: (321) 449-5111


Crisafulli's legislative aide is Ashley Guinn. When you call, you may not get to speak with Crisafulli directly, so feel free to request his aide and have the conversation with her. ALSO call his local Merritt Island Office. You can then send a follow-up email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Crisafulli's response will be to tell you all the money being spent on this and that, but bottom line is the House and the Senate are circumventing Forever Florida and not allowing purchase of Big Sugar lands south of Lake Okeechobee which would provide indirect relief to the Indian River Lagoon. Remember that Crisafulli is one of the legislators who attended King Ranch in Texas courtesy of Big Sugar, and won't talk about that -- Big Sugar helps fund Crisafulli -- and it appears Crisafulli chooses Big Sugar interests instead of Amendment 1 and the Indian River Lagoon.

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Florida Forever funding in current budget -- Pitiful! Voters should be outraged.

… Scott’s budget earmarked $773 million in Amendment 1-related expenditures, including $150 million for the Everglades, $50 million for springs and $100 million for Florida Forever, the state’s land acquisition program.

The House and Senate budgets show about $750 million in Amendment 1 funding.

The House budget proposes $97 million for the Everglades, $16 million for Springs and $8 million for Florida Forever, according to the coalition that supported the amendment, Florida’s Water and Land Legacy.

The Senate’s current proposal is $69 million for the Everglades, $15 million for Florida Forever and $73.9 million for springs restoration, including $20 million for springs-related land acquisition.

Source: Dinah Voyles Pulver, Daytona News Journal

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Editorial: Everglades land purchase a no-brainer, except in Tallahassee

The Tampa Tribune, April 18, 2015

The state cut a deal with U.S. Sugar seven years ago to pay a fair-market price for 46,800 acres south of Lake Okeechobee that could be used to filter polluted water before it flows to the Everglades.

It was a good deal then, and it’s a good deal today.

Yet state lawmakers may not go through with it, even after 75 percent of the state’s voters approved the environmental lands amendment (Amendment 1) last November that could provide a definite funding source for the purchase. Moreover, a recent Senate-sponsored University of Florida study on how to move more fresh water into the Everglades suggests the land’s purchase would be a good option to consider.

Lawmakers should stop playing games with Everglades restoration funding and respect the will of the voters by approving the land’s purchase before adjourning this legislative session. And Gov. Rick Scott, who campaigned for a second term on his concern for protecting Florida’s natural beauty, should push the Senate and House to do the right thing and buy the land. …

... Purchasing this land is exactly the kind of deal the voters had in mind when approving Amendment 1. Lawmakers who say otherwise are perpetuating a sham on the public.

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Click here to read the complete excellent editorial in The Tampa Tribune.

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MORE BACKGROUND + TALKING POINTS:
http://www.scpaflorida.com/item/3010-action-call-in-support-for-amendment-1

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Posted April 18, 2015

Updates compiled by Florida Water & Land Legacy

Amendment 1, Let's be blunt folks.
Tallahassee is ignoring us again.
Sun Sentinel, by Victoria Tschinkel, April 14, 2015

Amendment 1 supporters around the state have been writing editorials to voice their outrage that the Florida Legislature is ignoring their will. Amendment 1 was written primarily to restore funding to Florida Forever, historically budgeted at $300 million per year, which bought carefully prioritized lands for their environmental and state historical value.

The editorial writers have been nice people, and mostly extol the virtues of land acquisition and Florida Forever. Well, 75 percent of those who voted already got that. It's the Legislature and Gov. Rick Scott who don't get it. …

Amendment 1, as it stands now, will be used to fund water and wastewater projects and to clean up industrial agriculture's mess, which shows little corporate responsibility to do on its own dime. And that brings us to another ignored constitutional amendment, the one that required growers around the Everglades to pay to clean up their pollution. Now they want to shift those costs to the Amendment 1 pot. …

http://floridawaterlandlegacy.org/sections/news/552fb4d875c9a1aedb000021

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Florida lawmakers set aside little for environmental land acquisition
The Tampa Tribune, by Jenna Buzzacco-Foerster, Tribune/Naples Daily News Capital Bureau, April 5, 2015

Amendment 1, sponsored by Florida’s Water and Land Legacy, passed with 75 percent of the vote in November. The measure sets aside one-third of money collected through taxes on real estate documentary stamps to protect environmentally sensitive areas for the next 20 years.

About $750 million is expected to be set aside in the first year, and Florida’s Water and Land Legacy had hoped the state would dedicate $170 million of that to Florida Forever, a state program to buy land for preservation, to protect and maintain conservation lands and local parks.

House and Senate leaders don’t appear to be close to that number. The state House set aside $10.5 million for Florida Forever in its budget, while the Senate initially put $2 million toward the land buying program.

“It’s an abysmally low figure compared to $750 million,” said Ray Judah, coordinator for the Florida Coastal and Ocean Coalition. “It’s really very distressing.” …

Neither the state House nor Senate allocated money to buy 46,800 acres from U.S. Sugar Corp., south of Lake Okeechobee to build a reservoir to move lake water into the Everglades and reduce discharges into the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie rivers. …

http://floridawaterlandlegacy.org/sections/news/55268b0e75c9a12774000005

SCPA Ed. Note:  Polluted water from Lake Okeechobee flows into the St. Lucie River into the Indian River Lagoon. You'd think Speaker of the House Crisafulli, Republican, Merritt Island, would want that pollution source stopped immediately, and would proceed with purchase of the Big Sugar land, but no…

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More Amendment 1 updates: http://floridawaterlandlegacy.org/sections/news

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CONTACT Crisafulli, Gardiner and others:
http://www.scpaflorida.com/item/3002-crisafulli-champ-for-water-or-shill-for-big-sugar

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Compiled by Team SCPA

 

Last modified on Tuesday, 21 April 2015 16:39
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