20 hours ago
What Part of Yes Don’t They Understand
Last November 75% of Florida voters sent a message to the Florida Legislature: We want designated funds used for land and water conservation. It isn’t often that such a large number of voters are so clear on an issue.
Fort Myers Beach voters were even more insistent, with over 82% of voters voting yes on Amendment 1.
Unfortunately, the Florida Legislature hasn’t heard the message.
Amendment 1 called for 33% of documentary stamp taxes to be used to acquire and restore Florida conservation and recreation lands for the next 20 years.
The first thing the Legislature did was pull funding for affordable housing, also funded by the documentary stamp fees. They could have adjusted the amount of stamp fees going into the general fund, but apparently needed to make a statement about the effects of Amendment 1. "See what you foolish people made us do?” Once their point was made, they magically found the funding to restore the full amount that the affordable housing trust fund would have received before Amendment 1 before passing the bill along. Seems childish, doesn’t it?
Another tack they’re trying is to use Amendment 1 funding to cover existing administration costs for the Department of Environmental Protection or pay for park ranger salaries rather than invest in new land and water projects.
See, if they use Amendment 1 funds for those things, then they can take the money that would have paid for the DEP and ...