Round 2 Begins In Amendment 1 Challenge

Jun 1, 2016

A lawsuit accusing the Legislature of violating Amendment 1, the 2014 environmental mandate, is heating up in a Leon County Circuit Court.

Voters overwhelmingly approved Amendment 1 in 2014. Now supporters are in court accusing the Legislature of ignoring the land-buying mandate.

Amendment 1 orders the Legislature to set aside a third of an existing tax on real estate transactions for land acquisition and restoration. It passed overwhelmingly.

Four environmental groups went to court last year charging the Legislature spent nearly 300 million dollars of the money on agency overhead and other expenses. Now Earth Justice attorney David Guest is asking for a summary judgement declaring that part of the budget unconstitutional.

“I see what the Legislature did as simply defiance of the voters. The legislators knew what the amendment did and said publicly that it was a bad idea.”

The Legislature argued unsuccessfully that the plaintiffs couldn’t prove they were directly affected by the spending decisions.  Regardless of how Reynolds rules, Guest expects the suit to end up in the Florida Supreme Court.