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Florida Wildlife Federation

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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Wildlife Federation seeks special session to finance conservation land purchases

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The Florida Wildlife Federation wants the Legislature to meet in special session to pump money into the state’s environmental land-buying program. The organization issued a written statement Tuesday to Gov. Rick Scott, House Speaker Richard Corcoran, and Senate President Joe Negron, arguing the Legislature is under a “clear obligation” to finance Amendment 1, the Florida Water and Land Conservation Initiative approved by 75 percent of the voters in 2014. “They clearly directed our elected leaders to set aside some of…

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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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December hearing set for environmental Amendment 1 lawsuit

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A pivotal hearing in a lawsuit over the state’s environmental funding is coming up in December. Lawyers for the Legislature and environmental advocacy groups are set to argue over a summary judgment motion Dec. 5 before Circuit Judge Charles W. Dodson in Tallahassee. Granting such motions allows parties to win a case without a trial. Florida Wildlife Federation, Sierra Club and others had filed suit over the “Water and Land Legacy Amendment,” the constitutional change approved by voters in 2014 that mandates state spending for land…

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Manley Fuller: Hurricane Matthew delivers another reminder of life on Florida’s coastline

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Early estimates placed Florida’s total economic damage from Hurricane Matthew in the range of $25-$70 billion. With the weakening of the storm and a track that moved the storm eastward, the estimated damage from the storm dropped significantly, but that should not keep us from acknowledging the real threat Matthew was to Florida. Real estate analytics firm CoreLogic estimates more than 954,000 homes in Florida are at risk of surge damage from a Category 4 storm. If Matthew had turned…

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Plaintiffs seek summary judgment in Amendment 1 suit

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Advocacy groups suing the Legislature over environmental funding now are asking a judge to hand them the win. Florida Wildlife Federation, Sierra Club and others filed a 57-page motion for summary judgment Wednesday. Granting such motions allows parties to win a case without a trial. They filed suit last year over Amendment 1, the constitutional amendment approved by voters in 2014 that mandates state spending for land and water conservation. The measure requires state officials to set aside 33 percent of the money…

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Groups upset with legislators over land conservation

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Environmental groups contend that the Republican-controlled Florida Legislature is again snubbing voters who want the state to purchase conservation land. They contend the budget proposals the Legislature is now developing violate Amendment 1, passed overwhelmingly in 2014, directing that a third of the revenue from documentary stamp taxes on real estate transactions go to buy land. “They’re basically ignoring what the public has clearly indicated it wants, not just the spirit but the clear words,” said former Gov. Bob Graham,…

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