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Janet Bowman

Senate bill clears final committee stop despite concerns from counties, environmentalists

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A Senate water bill passed its final committee stop on Tuesday despite continuing concerns raised by counties and environmentalists. SB 918 replaces a Lake Okeechobee pollution permitting program with more reliance on water cleanup plans, sets deadlines for establishing minimum flow levels for springs, sets timelines for springs cleanup plans and creates a statewide advisory council to recommend funding for water projects. Sen. Charlie Dean, a Republican from Inverness who is bill sponsor, said SB 918 is close to matching…

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Bond Amendment 1 revenue, free up cash for other enviro projects, says House chair

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A House appropriations subcommittee chair on Tuesday recommended bonding Amendment 1 revenue for land-buying while using a significant amount of the cash from the conservation spending initiative for existing environmental spending, debt service, land management and agricultural water programs. A key issue in the 2015 legislative session is how the Legislature will spend an estimated $757 million from the Amendment 1 water and land conservation spending initiative. Environmentalists expect the measure to boost conservation land buying but House Speaker Steve Crisafulli…

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