|David Guest of Earth Justice is Fighting the Lawsuit for Us|
Water and Land Conservation - DedicatesSo far our State Legislature has fought vigorously to misappropriate the money (about $740 Million this year) and spend it elsewhere. Assholes!! A Lawsuit is underway (filed in June) on behalf of The Florida Wildlife Federation, St. Johns Riverkeeper and Environmental Confederation of Southwest Florida. Be sure to give generously to Environmental Groups that SUE. (Scrib link of Complaint below)
funds to acquire and restore Florida
conservation and recreation lands
Funds the Land Acquisition Trust Fund to acquire,
restore, improve, and manage conservation lands
including wetlands and forests; fish and wildlife
habitat; lands protecting water resources and
drinking water sources, including the Everglades,
and the water quality of rivers, lakes, and streams;
beaches and shores; outdoor recreational
lands; working farms and ranches; and historic
or geologic sites, by dedicating 33 percent of
net revenues from the existing excise tax on
documents for 20 years.
This amendment does not increase or
decrease state revenues. The state revenue
restricted to the purposes specified in the
amendment is estimated to be $648 million
in Fiscal Year 2015-16 and grows to $1.268
billion by the twentieth year. Whether this
results in any additional state expenditures
depends upon future legislative actions and
cannot be determined. Similarly, the impact
on local government revenues, if any, cannot
be determined. No additional local government
costs are expected
If you read this, you will note that not much will be happening until AFTER August 20th.
So in effect, our TAX DOLLARS are being used to fight against our best interest in this matter. We are paying to fight the Environmental Groups.
The law firm Gunster had this to say about Amendment 1, in November 2014 after it passed. Apparently they knew what was going to happen, because it happened (maybe they gave the legislature the ideas on how to get around the Amendment):
Many voters may assume that with Amendment 1 approved, the promised water and land conservation is a done deal. However, the passage of Amendment 1 simply starts a lengthy implementation process that begins with the Florida Legislature.
Because the Florida Legislature appropriates the money that Amendment 1 dedicates, the Legislature will have to decide what Amendment 1 mandates. Some legislators will want to fully redirect this money to environmental interests. But others will work to use the amendment’s vague language to maintain the status quo as they strive to balance environmental interests with myriad other demands for state funds. Any such effort to dilute the impact of Amendment 1 will be likely be met with stiff political opposition and, if necessary, litigation.
This interpretive battle will likely be waged over several key provisions, most notably over the provision allowing the money collected to be spent on the “management, restoration of natural systems.” Some will argue that the Florida Legislature may satisfy the new mandate simply by directing the Amendment 1 money to existing agencies that manage “natural systems” such as the Department of Environmental Protection and the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. These two agencies are already appropriated more than $1 billion a year, in part to manage natural systems. It will be argued that this appropriation fully satisfies the requirements of Amendment 1, and doing so avoids adding any new money to these purposes in order to satisfy this new constitutional requirement.
Other battles may occur over the Amendment 1 provision stating that the money can be used to finance “the enhancement of public access or recreational enjoyment of conservation lands” or “improvement of land, water areas, and related property interests.”