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Environmentalists Call For More Amendment 1 Funding In State Budget

everglades.jpg
Photo courtesy the National Parks Service.
The Everglades.

Environmentalists are calling for more spending on land and water conservation as the Florida Legislature ends its session Friday.

They say the $82 billion state budget lawmakers approved contains more spending than last year’s on Amendment 1 but still not enough.

Amendment 1 is the state constitutional amendment mandating a 20-year, $22 billion land and water conservation effort, the nation’s largest ever.

Aliki Moncrief of Florida Conservation Voters says the budget puts 20 percent of Amendment 1 funding toward existing state obligations like employee salaries rather than new land buys.

“That’s slightly better than last year. So they have reduced the salaries and expenses coming out of Amendment 1 relative to last year, but it’s still a significant portion.”

Moncrief says there’s more spending in the budget on preserving springs and the Everglades, but it does not put enough money toward land acquisition.

Lawmakers say the budget satisfies Amendment 1’s requirements.