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Lawmakers Want $100 M A Year For Florida Forever

A deep blue river winds past an orangey brown hill.
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.

Republican Senator Rob Bradley of Orange Park says he’s committed to funding environmental protection. And as the Senate’s new budget chief, he’s in the position to follow through. He’s sponsoring a bill that would fund Florida Forever with Amendment 1 money. The 2014 proposal to set aside tax money for conservation won the approval of 75% of Florida voters. Bradley told his colleagues he’ll make sure…

“We fulfill what I think is a pact that we have with the voters to take care of land acquisition needs whether they be in the form of easements or fee simple, as expressed in that vote in 2014 with the passage of Amendment 1,” Bradley said. “I think it’s long overdue that we move forward aggressively in making sure that we honor what the voters did in Amendment 1.”

Environmentalists say $100 million a year would only fund a fraction of the growing list of Florida Forever projects. But it’s an improvement on being cut from the budget entirely.

The bill passed its first committee stop in the Senate Monday. Currently there is no House version of the measure.