Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida

Be Informed.

Battle Over Amendment 1 Continues

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The Gainesville Sun today, August 3 2015 has an article by Lloyd Dunkelberger relating the latest on the Amendment 1 issue.  The Ocala Star Banner published a similar story on Sunday, Aug. 2 22015 and included the following list of facts leading up to this legal conflict:

•In November 2014, 75 percent of Florida voters approved a state constitutional amendment that requires the Legislature to spend one-third of the real estate taxes collected each year on environmental programs.
•Under Amendment 1, the spending mandate amounted to some $740 million in the new $78 billion budget for the 2015-16 fiscal year, which began July 1.
•Shortly after the budget was passed in mid-June, Earthjustice, an environmental advocacy group, filed a lawsuit alleging House and Senate members did not follow the amendment’s spending guidelines and misappropriated $300 million of the $740 million.
•The lawsuit was filed on behalf of three citizens groups, the Florida Wildlife Federation, St. Johns Riverkeeper and the Environmental Confederation of Southwest Florida.
•Legislative leaders maintain the environmental spending in the new budget follows the amendment’s dictates and they will defend their position.
What’s next?
•The lawsuit heads to a Leon County circuit courtroom where ultimately a judge will render a decision on the validity of the environmentalists’ claim.
•Whatever the finding of the trial court, since this is the first legal challenge under the new amendment, the case is likely to be appealed with the ultimate decision coming from the Florida Supreme Court.Scroll


Read the Sun article here and the Star Banner article here.

This post rendered with LFS

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1 Comment

  1. So grateful to EarthJustice, St Johns Riverkeeper, Florida Wildlife Federation and Environmental Confederation of Southwest Florida for their work here.

    It now appears that this type of action will be required before Florida’s water resources will be preserved, because it is obvious that the designated agencies such as the DEP and water managers are the users and not the protectors. They see their mission as dispensing, using, exploiting and fast tracking to their “clients” and “customers” who want free water to make a buck.

    Sad and inexcusable also that some judges and most elected lawmakers have absolutely no concern over killing our springs and rivers.

    If you have any similar thoughts, please consider donating to the organizations mentioned above.

    You could also let your water mis-managers and elected legislators know how you feel. Donations are better, because these other people don’t really care.

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