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Amendment 1

Environmental lawsuit over ‘Amendment 1’ funding set for trial

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A Tallahassee judge has set a trial week in a lawsuit over the state’s environmental funding under a constitutional amendment passed almost three years ago. Circuit Judge Charles Dodson scheduled a weeklong bench trial for next July 23-27, with a pretrial conference set for June 15, court records show. Discovery in the case was ordered finished by May 25.

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Plaintiffs will combine forces in Amendment 1 lawsuit

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Plaintiffs challenging the state’s environmental funding under a new constitutional amendment agreed to join forces Monday. An array of environmental advocacy groups had filed suit over the Water and Land Legacy Amendment, also known as Amendment 1. The constitutional change, approved by voters in 2014, mandates state spending for land and water conservation. But advocates, including Florida Wildlife Federation and Sierra Club, say lawmakers wrongly appropriated money for, among other things, “salaries and ordinary expenses of state agencies” tasked with…

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Solar Amendment 1 flames out

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Amendment 1, the contentious solar-power ballot initiative supported by the state’s investor-owned utilities, pulled an Icarus and melted down. The amendment failed Tuesday night with only 51 percent of the statewide vote. In Florida, proposed amendments must receive no less than 60 percent to pass. Public support for the initiative had cratered in recent months, according to opinion polls, from the low-80s in September to just below the needed 60 percent by last month. That was after opponents barraged it with…

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Voters in Florida face crucial solar power decisions

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Voters in sun-bathed Florida will face a decision Tuesday that could weigh heavily on the use — and cost — of solar power in the state. The solar power industry is opposed to Amendment 1, a proposal to amend the state constitution that will appear on the ballot as “Florida Solar Energy Subsidies and Personal Solar Use Initiative.” Utilities — including Florida Power & Light Co. — have spent upward of $20 million trying to get the amendment on the…

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Florida Supreme Court won’t toss out solar ballot question

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The Florida Supreme Court rejected a request to invalidate a proposed solar-power constitutional amendment that’s supported by power companies. The court made its decision Friday, four days before the election and after 5.2 million votes had already been cast by mail and at early voting sites. The challenge came after a leading proponent of Amendment 1 was recorded saying that the measure was written to appear pro-solar, even though it could end up restricting solar growth in Florida by raising…

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Javier Palomarez & Julio Fuentes: Yes on Amendment 1: Small business supports solar, fair policies for all

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Over the years, the Hispanic community has grown to be a major force within the U.S. economy. In 2015, the Hispanic population in the United States spent $1.3 trillion on consumer products — a number that’s projected to grow to $1.7 trillion by 2020. Over time, Hispanic Americans have developed a strong presence across a broad range of sectors, and Hispanic businesses have made tremendous strides with explosive economic growth. Today, with 4.2 million Hispanic-owned businesses throughout the U.S., over…

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Even after bungled math mea culpa, Times/Herald still offering inaccurate information about solar amendment

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The Tampa Bay Times posted a timely story yesterday by Steve Bousquet about election-time misinformation. In the piece, “Rumors, myths, and half-truths cloud Florida’s election,” Bousquet muses, “Whatever it is, people in Florida seem more suspicious than ever about the election.” The irony is that reporting by the Times, or at least some of its brethren, aren’t helping people’s faith in the system. Yesterday, I bemoaned the Times’ egregious front-page headline error. Quick recap: a story by Mary Ellen Klas bungled some math bigly, by inflating…

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