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Florida Forever

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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DEP seeks $50M for Florida Forever

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A request is on the desk of Gov. Rick Scott to replenish the state’s most prominent land-preservation fund. The Department of Environmental Protection‘s wish list for the 2018-2019 fiscal year—presented to Scott last week as the governor’s office crafts budget recommendations for the Legislature—includes $50 million for the Florida Forever program.

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Governor and Cabinet to take up environmental land-acquisition priorities

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The newest project on the state’s priority list for conservation land buys is a 4,700-acre spread in eastern Alachua County, containing valuable wildlife, water, and plant resources, but also largely given over to pine harvesting. That’s if Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet approve an updated Florida Forever work plan during a meeting scheduled for June 14. Sitting as the trustees of state lands, Scott and the Cabinet will review the Florida Forever land-buy priority list and five-year plan for…

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Amendment 1 lawsuit may rev up after Session

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environment

A lawsuit over the state’s environmental funding under a new constitutional amendment is expected to resume now that the annual Session is in lawmakers’ rear-view mirror. 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. The amendment, which needed a minimum of 60 percent to pass, got a landslide of nearly 75 percent, or…

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‘Lack of transparency’ causes calls for Rick Scott budget veto

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Both citing a “lack of transparency,” the heads of the League of Women Voters of Florida and the First Amendment Foundation are calling for Gov. Rick Scott to veto the just-passed state budget for 2017-18. But with the House of Representatives passing the budget 98-14 and the Senate approving 34-4 on Monday, there are enough votes there to override a veto, assuming none change. League President Pamela S. Goodman and FAF President Barbara A. Petersen alerted their members in separate emails on Tuesday.…

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Budget deal includes no money for Florida Forever

in 2017 by

The Senate accepted the House offer on the agriculture and natural resources portion of the budget, agreeing not to set aside any money for Florida Forever in 2017-18. The $3.6 billion plan zeros out funding for land acquisition. Sen. Rob Bradley said the budget includes $13.3 million — $5 million of which is recurring dollars — for the St. Johns River and Keystone Heights Lake. Bradley called it a “huge win for the region and particularly the Keystone Heights lake,” saying…

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Report: Rob Bradley says 2017-18 budget will include money for land conservation

in 2017 by

Sen. Rob Bradley isn’t giving up hope the 2017-18 state budget will include money for the Florida Forever conservation lands program. POLITICO Florida reported Tuesday that Bradley said the budget would include spending for Florida Forever, for Florida Keys wastewater projects, his proposed projects along the St. Johns River, and Senate President Joe Negron’s proposed water storage reservoir. “This is going to be a budget that those who care about the environment are going to be very proud of,” the…

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