Proposed Senate budget language leaves out money for land acquisition, Everglades restoration

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The Senate appears to be following the House’s lead in providing no money for the Florida Forever land acquisition program. But a key budget subcommittee chairman is holding out hope for the program and Everglades restoration, writes Bruce Ritchie.

Florida Forever was the largest land-buying program in the nation before the Legislature began slashing funding in 2009. The program is a top priority each year for environmental groups.

The House’s proposed $69.1 billion budget includes $30 million for Everglades restoration and nothing for Florida Forever. Gov. Rick Scott had requested $15 million for Florida Forever and $40 million for Everglades restoration.

Draft Senate budget spreadsheets distributed Wednesday included no money for either program.

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Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.