Oct 2, 2017 - A Tallahassee judge has set a trial week in a lawsuit over the state's environmental funding under a constitutional amendment passed almost three years ago. The amendment, which needed a minimum of 60 percent to pass, got a landslide of nearly 75 percent, or more than 4.2 million "yes" votes.
Feb 11, 2016 - TALLAHASSEE - An Orlando senator's attempt to stop land and water conservation money from being used for pumps and pipes failed Tuesday. State Sen. Darren Soto, a Democrat, said he'll try again though, with a new measure that would require water projects funded with Amendment 1 money meet certain criteria, such as protecting a body of water.
Feb 4, 2016 - TALLAHASSEE ' The Legislature hasn't changed its mind on how to use land and water conservation money, despite cries from conservation groups that Amendment 1 not be used for routine expenses as it was last year.
Jan 26, 2016 - TALLAHASSEE - Money voters approved for land and water preservation could be used to buy pumps and pipes for water supply projects under a bill advancing in the Legislature. Conservation groups say that counters the will of voters who approved Amendment 1 in 2014.
Jan 6, 2016 - TALLAHASSEE (NSF) - An advocacy group for Florida's natural springs has outlined concerns with a major water-policy bill that is expected to be quickly approved during the upcoming 2016 legislative session.
Jan 6, 2016 - The council will pursue legislation, legal options and public education on behalf of cleaning up and protecting one of the world's richest collections of springs. Many of them, including Wekiwa Springs near Orlando, are ailing from pollution related to sewage, street runoff and fertilizers.
Jan 5, 2016 - In a letter sent Tuesday to State Senate President Andy Gardiner R-Orlando and House Speaker Steve Crisafulli R-Merritt Island, the Gainesville-based environmental group reiterated its objection to the current water policy bills expected to go to a vote in both houses early in the session and again urged a slew of amendments
Dec 4, 2015 - TALLAHASSEE | A Leon County judge Thursday removed a major part of a lawsuit that contests how lawmakers decided to spend money that voters approved last year for land buying and preservation.
Dec 4, 2015 - A Tallahassee judge on Thursday rejected attempts by the Florida Legislature to dismiss a lawsuit accusing lawmakers of violating the constitution by misspending $237 million in money in Amendment 1 funds intended for water and land conservation.
Nov 24, 2015 - TALLAHASSEE (NSF) ' Gov. Rick Scott is proposing more money for land preservation next year, but environmentalists say the levels fall short of what voters wanted in passing a 2014 constitutional amendment.
Nov 12, 2015 - Local environmental group Florida Defenders of the Environment has sued the state for misusing hundreds of millions of dollars that last November's Amendment 1 referendum set aside for the state's conservation land acquisition trust fund.
Oct 26, 2015 - Conservation groups have asked a judge to rule the state Legislature violated the constitution by spending a portion of the $740 million from Amendment 1 to pay for the salaries and other expenses of environmental agencies, which in the past were funded with money primarily from the state's general revenue.
Oct 12, 2015 - The League of Women Voters of the Space Coast will host a luncheon titled, "Florida Voters Betrayed - Amendment 1 - Water & Land Conservation Update," at 11:30 a.m. Oct. 21 at the Crown Plaza Melbourne Oceanfront, 2605 N. Highway A1A, Melbourne.
Sep 29, 2015 - Two members of Martin County's legislative delegation listened for hours last week while more than 30 residents buttered them up, begged for money, griped about the Florida Legislature's recent bad decisions and brought wish lists for 2016.
Sep 24, 2015 - The state has proposed expanding grazing as a way to increase revenues for the state park system, and to help manage and maintain the lands. Opponents fear letting cattle into natural areas of the parks could harm water quality. The primary path to a resolution isn't objective science, it's subjective trust.
Sep 21, 2015 - Appalled that the Legislature has thumbed its nose at a super-majority of Florida voters, environmental groups have gone to court to force lawmakers to abide by Water and Land Conservation Amendment 1.
Sep 16, 2015 - From the very beginning of writing next year's state budget, it's clear one of the flashpoints of last year's process will be rearing its head: how the state should spend money set aside by voters on Amendment 1 last November to buy and conserve land.
Sep 15, 2015 - The Florida Legislature wants to stop a land and water lawsuit before it has the chance to make a splash. Five environmental groups sued the state in June after a battle over Amendment 1 funding. Seventy percent of voters approved Amendment 1 last fall.
Sep 11, 2015 - TALLAHASSEE - The Florida Legislature has filed a motion asking a trial judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by environmental groups that alleged the House and Senate misappropriated $237 million in Amendment 1 spending in the new state budget.
Sep 9, 2015 - Palatka, FL - The St. Johns River Water Management District's governing board on Tuesday approved buying nearly 4,900 acres in Marion County that will protect Silver Springs and the Silver and Ocklawaha rivers.
Aug 31, 2015 - Environmental groups are asking a Leon County judge to intervene in how the state will spend a large chunk of the $700 million in funds set aside by voters for conservation. If granted, the injunction, filed Friday by environmental law group Earthjustice on behalf of four nonprofits.
Aug 13, 2015 - Florida's Water and Land Legacy, the group that sponsored Amendment 1 in the 2014 election, has shuttered its doors and relaunched as Florida Conservation Voters, which backers say will have a broader mission of political activism on environmental issues.
Aug 5, 2015 - The issue is whether House and Senate members followed the requirements of a newly approved state constitutional amendment that mandated the state spend some $740 million on environmental programs, with a heavy emphasis on the purchase of endangered land.
Jul 28, 2015 - In gathering nearly 1 million citizens' petitions, campaigning for over 18 months and giving numerous presentations, we heard from the voters: "Do more, not less, to save natural Florida. Protect land through new acquisitions, and improve the conditions of existing public lands." This won't be done with a smaller budget in 2015 than existed in 2014.
Jul 9, 2015 - State Sen. Alan Hays recently penned an op-ed bragging about the great job he and his legislative colleagues did in funding Amendment 1 ("Budget, 'by every measure,' exceeds Amendment 1 mandates," Other Views, July 1).
Jun 26, 2015 - As The Sun reported last week, the state's Acquisition and Restoration Council unanimously voted to add the popular swimming hole in Gilchrist County to the list of springs slated to be bought with Florida Forever funds.
Jun 23, 2015 - Three environmental groups filed a lawsuit this afternoon against the Florida legislature, claiming lawmakers misappropriated funds intended for land and water conservation and land purchases to protect the environment.
Jun 20, 2015 - Friday morning in Tallahassee, the state's Acquisition and Restoration Council unanimously voted to add the swimming hole and 405-acre property on the Santa Fe River near High Springs to the list of first-magnitude springs the state is seeking to buy with Florida Forever funds.
Jun 18, 2015 - Although members of the Legislature are considering their 15-day resolution to major budget issues a success, entering the mandatory 72-hour "cooling off" period, Florida taxpayers deserve better when it comes to money dedicated to the environment and why $5 billion in annual federal health care funds for the uninsured over 10 years will go unused.
Jun 15, 2015 - Jon Steverson, who heads the state Department of Environmental Protection, thinks state parks should operate like a corner 7-Eleven and make enough money to pay for themselves. Cattle grazing, logging, farming. Whatever it takes to make money.
Jun 8, 2015 - In November of 2014, Florida voters overwhelmingly said 'Yes' to a constitutional amendment that would provide dedicated funding to conserve critical lands and protect our water resources.
Jun 3, 2015 - Saturday's citizen rally in downtown Bradenton by supporters of Amendment 1 illustrates voter frustration with lawmakers. We share that dissatisfaction. There are certainly indications that legislators will fail to live up to the spirit of the land and water conservation measure.
Jun 1, 2015 - Amendment 1, the Water and Land Conservation Amendment, has Floridians up in arms after picketers say the government failed to uphold the will of the state's voters. Rallies took place in Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Alachua, Orlando, Melbourne, Stuart, Miami, Tampa, and Bradenton.
May 29, 2015 - Federal regulators are releasing sweeping new pollution regulations that cover 60 percent of water bodies in the United States. Florida farmers are worried and environmental activists are rejoicing.
May 29, 2015 - We the people of Florida are tired of empty promises concerning our state waters ,they have been under assault now for many years . We are at the tipping point ,when you are warned about merely touching the water can create a myriad of health issues for All living things its Time to Enforce the Clean Water Act NOW !
May 27, 2015 - EASTPOINT - After a morning spent working with seafood harvesters on Apalachicola Bay, U. S. Rep. Gwen Graham said Tuesday she is introducing legislation to require federal reservoir managers to consider the bay's freshwater needs.
May 27, 2015 - SAVE THE DATE - MAY 30 - This is our last chance to convince our legislators to Finish the Job and Fund Water & Land Conservation. They return to Tallahassee for a 3-week special session on June 1. They will decide how to spend Amendment 1 funds, and they need to hear from you!
Apr 27, 2015 - Facing a thicket of candidates and ballot measures in the November election, Florida voters sent one resounding message to elected officials: More must be done to protect the state's natural habitats - including the long-suffering Everglades.
Apr 22, 2015 - This is the year, we were told, that water would finally get its due in Tallahassee. After considerable arm-twisting in the court of public opinion, the Legislature appears poised to drop $50 million on springs protection. Doing the math, that amounts to a miserly $2-and-change per Floridian.
Apr 21, 2015 - The intent of the 75% of Florida voters who voted Yes for Amendment 1 was clear: fund the Land Acquisition Trust Fund for the acquisition of parks and natural areas. Follow the link for videos and contact information
Apr 16, 2015 - There has been no action publicly in the Legislature this week on Amendment 1 spending or bills dealing with water policy but those issues are being worked on, Sen. Tom Lee, the chief budget writer, said Wednesday.
Apr 6, 2015 - On Tuesday, April 7th, Jimmy and Coral Reefers Mac McAnally and Robert Greenidge will be performing a short set in support of the Everglades Day Rally in Tallahassee! The rally starts at 11:30am and is sponsored by the Everglades Coalition. Get more details here!
Apr 6, 2015 - TALLAHASSEE - There's money for rural lands, beaches and the Everglades. But as lawmakers prepare to negotiate details of the new state budget, debate continues over whether more money from Florida's land and water conservation amendment should go toward buying property for conservation.
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