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Environmental Spending Bills Move Forward In Florida Senate

The St. Johns River
FL Division of Tourism via Florida Memory
Florida Memory

The Florida Senate is aiming to divvy up a pot of environmental money with large chunks earmarked for Florida’s springs and the St. Johns River. 

The spending comes from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund or LATF.  Fleming Island Republican Senator Rob Bradley wants to increase the share of money going to springs from $50 million to $75 million a year.

“[It] also requires $50 million to be appropriated annually from the LATF to the water management district for the St. Johns River,” Bradley says, “for projects dedicated to the restoration of the St Johns River or the Keystone Heights Lakes Region.”

The St. Johns River runs along the far eastern border of Bradley’s district.  He pushed unsuccessfully for a similar arrangement last year as part of a bill establishing a reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee. 

Bradley is also backing another proposal devoting $100 million annually to Florida Forever for purchasing and managing land.

“This is the year that we, on a bipartisan basis, need to make this very strong step forward,” Bradley says.

Both bills have one stop left before the Senate floor—the Appropriations committee which Bradley chairs.