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'Resilient Florida' Proposal Could Be Paid For By Federal Stimulus Money

Photo of downtown Tampa waterfront
City of Tampa
Water surrounds downtown Tampa on three sides.

A group of climate change bills championed by Florida House Speaker Chris Sprowls could be helped by new federal stimulus money.

One of the most ambitious environmental efforts this legislative session is called "Resilient Florida." The pet project of Republican House Speaker Chris Sprowls of Palm Harbor would pump $1 billion into programs designed to combat the effects of climate change.

Gov. Ron DeSantis is proposing to pay for it with part of the $10 billion expected from the latest federal pandemic stimulus plan.

Lester Abberger is president emeritus of 1,000 Friends of Florida, an environmental advocacy group. The group supports the plan.

"It's a new program that provides grants to local governments for land preservation, wastewater treatment, water supply, stormwater management, and emergency response centers and some transportation infrastructure," he said during a legislative update webinar.

Abberger says the stimulus money could save taxpayers from paying that $1 billion back.

Steve Newborn is a WUSF reporter and producer at WUSF covering environmental issues and politics in the Tampa Bay area.