75% of Florida voters approved Amendment 1 in November 2014. However, 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 Florida Legislature should trust that the voters knew exactly what they were approving with Amendment 1.
Now is the time to renew our pleas for increased spending from Amendment 1 for parks and wildlife habitat. The Senate budget offers a stingy $37 million for land acquisition, partly targeted to springs.
Against the Senate budget, Governor Scott’s budget offers a compelling framework for funding conservation needs. However, neither the House or Senate budget leaders support the governor’s A-1 spending plan.
The Governor’s budget proposes, and will put in permanent law, the following:
• $150 million annually for land acquisition and improved land management
• $150 million for the Everglades and a $5 billion pledge over 20 years
• $50 million for Springs recovery and a $1.6 billion pledge over 20 years
The Governor’s budget numbers line up favorably with the Water and Land Amendment Coalition’s proposal and fit with strategies to support existing Florida Forever priorities and Everglades restoration plans.
Surveys show that the voters clearly knew and expected that Amendment 1 money would fund the state’s Land Acquisition Trust Fund to acquire land for conservation, habitat, parks and water resources protection.
Keep contacting your Representatives and Senators to reinforce that message. Click here to find their contact information.
If you call, please say: “Please support the using Amendment 1 fund to acquire land for parks, habitat, water resources, and to protect the Everglades and coastal areas.”
We have about 10 days left to let our elected leaders know that they must fully fund Florida Forever! In addition to contacting your legislators, please also contact Governor Scott and these key legislators involved in the budget process TODAY and tell them to fully fund Florida Forever!
Here is who you can contact:
It only takes a few minutes to make the call or email. Every call is a reminder to our legislators that they are accountable to the voters. We know how invested you are in seeing more money go toward protecting our environment and conserving the natural treasures we hold dear. That is the purpose of Amendment 1. For more info and resources, check out Florida’s Water and Land Legacy page.