Jim Turner has published an article in The News Service of Florida , about a possible 5-year plan to deploy the funds generated by the new Amendment 1, voted into law last November. This article has been picked up by the Lake City Reporter, where editor Robert Bridges has added quotes by “local environmentalists” OSFR President Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson and historian Jim Tatum.
The article is entitled “5-year plan in the works: locals hopeful lawmakers stay true to proposal:”
“The 75% of Florida registered voters spoke clearly that they wanted this Constitutional Amendment for a newly established Land Acquisition Trust Fund,” said Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson, President, Our Santa Fe River. “It is time to give us a voice for our natural systems by welcoming the public to participate via public hearing and not just through a Tallahassee legislative committee process.”
Jim Tatum, Historian of Fort White-based Our Santa Fe River, said lawmakers should bear in mind why Amendment 1 passed by such a wide margin in November.
“We hope the legislators will b e faithful to the concept for which the voters overwhelmingly approved the amendment,” he said. “They must act wisely or this windfall for Florida’s environment will go for naught.”
The article continues saying that Senate President Andy Gardiner prefers a 5-year plan for long-term water and land conservation projects. House Speaker Steve Crisafulli also says that the plans for the funds will be put through the “committee process” before the upcoming legislative session.
And this is where the danger lies. Indeed, President Malwitz-Jipson plans to make OSFR’s voice heard at committee meetings in Tallahassee. She will attend the Senate Environmental and Conservation Committee meeting, discussion item Amendment 1 on Wed. Jan 7 in Tallahassee.
OSFR is grateful to Robert Bridges and the Lake City Reporter for including us in his front page article on Amendment 1.