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Saturday, 09 May 2015 11:37

FL Legislature has its own ideas...

Written by  New York Times

Posted May 9, 2015

Florida Legislature Has Its Own Ideas for Voter-Approved Conservation Fund

The New York Times, by Lizette Alvarez, April 25, 2015

… Republican leaders are being criticized for the way they are divvying up a $750 million pool of money created to buy, conserve and restore land and water resources. It was established when three-quarters of Florida voters approved constitutional Amendment 1, which sets aside part of a real estate tax.

The amendment was intended to bolster a popular conservation program, Florida Forever, that had been hard hit by state budget cuts. But instead of using the bulk of the money to safeguard land from development, supporters of the amendment say, state lawmakers have shifted it to other projects and programs.


“The word ‘land’ appears 18 times in the text of the ballot amendment,” said Will Abberger, the chairman of the Amendment 1 sponsoring committee, who helped lead the arduous task of getting the proposal on the ballot. “We thought the voters sent a pretty loud and clear message.” …

… Action, Mr. Abberger said, is imperative. Development is booming again, the state’s population is surging and land prices are rapidly climbing.

“The next 20 years will be the end game for land conservation in Florida,” Mr. Abberger said. “If it’s not acquired and conserved, it will be gone.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/26/us/florida-legislature-has-its-own-ideas-for-voter-approved-conservation-fund.html?_r=0

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