Late last year it appeared state officials were staking out a position against financing land purchases with new bonds. Now that resistance may be softening slightly.
Senate President Joe Negron is calling for a water treatment reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee. But the only way to fund the project without ignoring other needs across the state could be a round of new bonds. Governor Rick Scott and the Cabinet received a warning against just such a move at December’s Cabinet meeting, but now Scott is sounding a more equivocal tone.
“As you know I do care about the amount of state debt we have. We’ve paid off quite a bit of the state debt since I got elected,” Scott says.
“If we don’t pay that off and get rid of that state debt then the next generation is going to pay for it,” he continues. “It’s very important to me that we take care of our environment so I’ll work with the house and the senate to do the right thing.”
Scott is typically hostile to state borrowing and skeptical of purchasing land. But even if he does change course, the proposal could prove unpopular in the Florida House.