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Eric Eikenberg

Capitol Reax: Lake Okeechobee water storage reservoir

in 2017 by

The Florida Legislature voted to send a trimmed-down version of a bill (SB 10) to build a water storage reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee. A top priority for Senate President Joe Negron, the bill aims to divert toxic algae discharges from coastal communities. The measure prohibits the state from taking private property to build the reservoir. — “Today is a momentous event. The many voices that came to the table this session – anglers, realtors, business and community leaders, and…

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Capitol Reax: Tax cuts, certificates of need, whiskey and Wheaties, fracking

in Statewide by

Gov. Rick Scott proposed $618 million in tax cuts this week, which included four back to school holidays and reducing the commercial lease tax. “Governor Scott’s ‘Fighting for Florida’s Future’ tax package includes a number of cuts which will significantly support Florida’s retailers, including a reduction in the business rent tax, cutting the business tax and including an expanded back-to-school sales tax holiday among others. FRF is excited about what the Governor’s tax cut package will mean for growing Sunshine…

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Florida now has three suggestions to replace Confederate statue

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Either the African-American woman who founded what’s now Bethune-Cookman University, the founder of Publix supermarkets or the woman credited with saving the Everglades will replace a Confederate general’s statue that represents Florida in the U.S. Capitol. The three Floridians were selected Wednesday by a committee that reviewed 130 recommendations made by the public. The Legislature will now choose which of the three will replace the statue of Edmund Kirby Smith. Mary McLeod Bethune, who founded Daytona Literary and Industrial Training…

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Everglades Foundation commends lawmakers for final passage of “Legacy Florida” funding

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The Everglades Foundation lauded lawmakers Friday for passing a bill that would fund Everglades restoration efforts with up to $200 million a year. HB 989, put forward by incoming Senate President Joe Negron and Republican Rep. Gayle Harrell, would pull the lesser of 25 percent or $200 million from the money collected under the 2014 land conservation amendment each year. That money would then be spread across Everglades projects at the South Florida Water Management District and the Comprehensive Everglades…

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Today on Context Florida: Special session begins, Everglades, déjà vu and the health of our healthcare system

in Apolitical/Top Headlines by

Today on Context Florida: Florida legislators reconvene this week in a special session to do its only real job – pass a budget. The politics of personal resentment are alive and well and back in Tallahassee, says Julie Delegal. The shortsighted idea, as Morris Dees of the Southern Poverty Law Center describes it, is this: “No one should get anything that only I should be entitled to.” Why else would House Speaker Steve Crisafulli bring up words like “able-bodied working-age adults”…

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Audubon’s Eric Draper says Legislature ‘out of sync’ with voters

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Eric Draper of Audubon Florida told a television audience during a weekend broadcast that legislators are showing they are “out of sync” with voters who supported Amendment 1. Seventy-five percent of voters in November approved the funding initiative, which provides an estimated $742 million for water and land conservation in the 2015-16 state budget. Environmental groups say the House and Senate have ignored the intent of voters in their spending plans. The House approved perhaps $10 million for land acquisition…

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Everglades Foundation’s Eric Eikenberg presses case at Capitol for land buy

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Eric Eikenberg, CEO of the Everglades Foundation, says the Florida residents affected by discharges from Lake Okeechobee need to let state leaders know about their concerns. Eikenberg is at the Capitol this week meeting with House and Senate leaders including House Speaker Steve Crisafulli and Senate President Andy Gardiner. He’s trying to get state leaders to buy U.S. Sugar Corp. land for a reservoir to store water for Everglades restoration. However, one Senate committee chairman, Republican Wilton Simpson of Trilby,…

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