land conservation

Kate Payne via WFSU

Florida lawmakers and Governor Scott are $50 million apart when it comes to funding the state’s signature land buying program. But whether it’s 50 million or 100 million, the state has backed out of such proposals before, zeroing out funding for Florida Forever three years in a row. Meanwhile millions of acres of land could be at risk of development.

Kate Payne via WFSU

Florida lawmakers are advancing a plan to allocate $100 million a year to the land buying program Florida Forever. Last year the legislature zeroed out its funding.

Master Sgt Jerry Morrison via Department of Defense / https://www.flickr.com/photos/soldiersmediacenter

Some of Florida’s military supporters are lining up behind the state’s land acquisition program. Unlikely allies are joining forces to defend Florida Forever.

Apalachicola River
USDA

Environmental groups want the state to buy nearly 40,000 acres of land along the Apalachicola River.

Matthew Paulson via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/matthewpaulson/

Florida lawmakers want to phase out community redevelopment agencies that combat blight and slums. Complaints of misuse of funds and corruption are plaguing CRAs. But local governments are fighting to save them.

subdivision development
Carlton Ward Jr. via National Geographic / http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/2015/01/11/2015-expedition-launches-in-everglades-headwaters/

In 2011, Florida made sweeping changes to the laws regulating new development. Now legislators are re-examining how the state is juggling the needs of a growing population. At the time, lawmakers characterized state oversight of development as bad for business, and said rolling back the regulations would boost job creation. Cutting growth management was also a campaign push for then candidate Rick Scott.

The Everglades
Visit Florida / flickr.com

Nearly 75 percent of Florida voters backed the state’s new environmental conservation constitutional amendment. Amendment One backers call that overwhelming approval a mandate to the legislature to follow through on funding. But the $750 million generated for Amendment one, doesn’t look like the windfall environmentalists had hoped for.

Florida Channel

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam is weighing in on what he’d like to see in the budget when the Legislature comes back to Tallahassee for a special session on the spending plan.

Capital Report: 11-07-2014

Nov 12, 2014

As you've probably heard, Florida Governor Rick Scott has been re-elected...So what can we expect him to do over the next four years?

We get predictions about Scott’s next term as governor from reporter “William March” of the Tampa Tribune and University of South Florida political science professor Dr. Susan MacManus.  They spoke with Carson Cooper from member station WUSF in Tampa.

Florida voters overwhelmingly said yes to a dedicated funding source for land conservation and no to giving governors more power over the judiciary.  Another high-profile amendment fell just shy of what it needed to bring medical marijuana to Florida.

Nearly half the states have legalized marijuana either for recreational or for medicinal purposes, but Florida isn’t one of them.

“At the end of the day, Florida voters said no, we don’t want this codified in our constitution, we don’t want these loopholes, we don’t want this amendment," says Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.

St. Marks River
Jessica Palombo / WFSU News

By the end of the month, the state of Florida will release a list of public lands it’s considering selling. This year’s state budget requires the state to sell some property before it can purchase an equally valuable amount of conservation land.