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$2.4 Billion Water Proposal Does A Belly Flop In The Panhandle

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A $2.4 billion proposal to deal with polluted runoff from Lake Okeechobee is getting a chilly reception with some conservative Panhandle lawmakers.

Republican Senator Greg Evers of Baker, who is running for Congress, calls the plan doomed to fail and ill-conceived. Evers says sponsors are kidding themselves if they think Washington will pay half the cost.

“It’s time for the state to step up, use the resources that’s available to it, and not be purchasing farm land, taking off the tax rolls, and making it a burden on the counties south of the lake.”

Republican Representative Mike Hill of Pensacola agrees.

“I would also say that let’s make sure that any project that we do is based on sound science and does not destroy jobs.”

Hill is a Tea-Party conservative running for Evers’ seat. If he wins, he risks heavy retribution. The proposal is being championed by incoming Senate President Joe Negron of Stuart.

A Miami native, former WFSU reporter Jim Ash is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years of experience, most of it in print. He has been a member of the Florida Capital Press Corps since 1992.