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Governor provides Amendment 1 spending breakdown

By BRUCE RITCHIE

FLORIDA ENVIRONMENTS

Gov. Rick Scott’s office on Thursday provided a breakdown of how the governor requests $757 million provided by Amendment 1 be spent in the 2015-16 state budget.1-28-15 Scott for FE

Amendment 1, approved by voters in November, provides one third of the revenue from an excise tax on real estate transactions to the Land Acquisition Trust Fund (LATF) for a range of water and land conservation programs.

At issue in the 2015 legislative session, which begins March 3, is how to spend the money.

Environmental groups say Amendment 1 should be used to restore the Florida Forever land-buying program, which received at least $300 million a year before its funding was slashed beginning in 2009.

Other groups, including Associated Industries of Florida, say the money should be used to address water supply and water quality issues facing the state.

Here are Scott’s recommendations for the Land Acquisition Trust Fund, plus $82.5 million in general revenue for related water and land programs:

Everglades restoration:  $122 million (plus $8 million Alligator Alley bridging)

Everglades land acquisition/Kissimmee River restoration:  $20 million

Springs:  $50 million

Water supply: $50 million (general revenue)

Land Acquisition/management: $130 million

Land management (former CARL Trust Fund): $67 million

Beaches: $25 million

Debt Service: $177.6 million

Other/continuation: $164.3 million

Keys wastewater improvement:  $32.5 million general revenue/$17.5 million LATF

TOTALS: $82.5 million general revenue/$773.4 million Land Acquisition Trust Fund

Details were not immediately available on what is included in the “other/continuation” category.

(Story copyrighted by Bruce Ritchie and Floridaenvironments.com. Do not copy or redistribute without permission, which can be obtained from bruceBritchie@gmail.com.)

 

 

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