Public Policy

Please Contact House and Senate Leaders and Request Additional Florida Forever Funding

April 27, 2017

The Florida Legislature has reached preliminary agreement on a budget for 2018 and assembled a conference committee to negotiate final details. The Senate proposed $15.1 million to fund the Florida Forever land conservation program, while the House proposed $0.

To say these funding levels are inadequate is a gross understatement. When voters passed the Water and Land Legacy Amendment (Amendment 1) in 2014, they intended for Florida Forever to be restored to full funding, which was $300 million annually.

While FNPS members cannot be happy with the funding proposed by our Legislature, the basic reality imposed by the budget agreement precludes any possibility that we will see Florida Forever restored to full funding for 2018. However, there may be some room for negotiations to produce a modest increase beyond the Senate’s already too-modest proposal.

The Senate and House leaders listed below will have the greatest influence over the final details of the 2018 budget. Please contact them and ask for the following:

• Ask the Senate leaders listed below to stand up for Florida Forever by refusing to accept any reduction in the $15.1 million they proposed for Florida Forever funding, and to press for an increase to at least $25 million. Remind them voters passed Amendment 1 in 2014 because they want Florida Forever funding restored to $300 million a year

. • Ask the House members listed below to support an increase in Florida Forever funding to at least $25 million. Remind them that voters passed Amendment 1 in 2014 because they want Florida Forever funding restored to $300 million a year.

• Thank them for agreeing to allocate $64 million towards construction of a reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee.

House Speaker Richard Corcoran: District Phone (813) 792-5177; Capitol Phone (850) 717-5000; richard.corcoran@myfloridahouse.gov

House Budget Chair Carlos Trujillo: District Phone (305) 470-5070; Capitol Phone (850) 717-5105; carlos.trujillo@myfloridahouse.gov

House Natural Resource Budget Chair Ben Albritton: District Phone (863) 534-0073; Capitol Phone (850) 717-5056; ben.albritton@myfloridahouse.gov

Rep. Jose Oliva: District Phone (305) 364-3114; Capitol Phone (850) 717-5110; jose.oliva@myfloridahouse.gov

Senate President Joe Negron: District Phone (772) 219-1665; Capitol Phone (850) 487-5025; negron.joe@flsenate.gov

Senate Budget Chair Jack Latvala: District Phone (727) 793-2797; Capitol Phone (850) 487-5016; latvala.jack@flsenate.gov

Senate Natural Resource Budget Chair Rob Bradley: District Phone (904) 278-2085; Capitol Phone (850) 487-5005; bradley.rob@flsenate.gov

Sen. Anitere Flores: District Phone (305) 222-4117; Capitol Phone (850) 487-5039; flores.anitere@flsenate.gov

 

 
 
 

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Types of Issues Addressed by FNPS

  • General areas considered to be of statewide FNPS significance
  • Any Florida legislative action that affects our state environmental land acquisition program known as Florida Forever, which includes Florida Communities Trust and/or any other state agency funded through Florida Forever (DEP). This includes, but is not limited to, any legislation affecting funding of the program. It also includes the urgent need to fund the Florida Forever program.
  • All state and local land acquisition efforts for preservation and conservation.
  • Any statewide policy changes that enhance improve or further natural resource system protection within recognized preserves and/or reserve or state park refuge.
  • Development issues that are regional or have statewide significance in that they affect a change in Florida policy towards land acquisition, natural resource systems or waters of the state, but only if the issue clearly relates to the FNPS mission to preserve, conserve and restore native plants and native plant communities.
  • Any state legislative, state agency or state university action that would affect the viability (or lack thereof) of native plants and native plant communities. This includes, but is not limited to, state policy on exotic invasive species, water conservation, listed plant species, and cataloging of native plant communities.

General areas considered not to be of statewide significance include

  • Issues that are primarily related to managing the way a local jurisdiction grows or the methods it uses to plan growth. Unless it can be shown to meet criteria number four in the previous section.
  • Issues that are primarily transportation related unless the issue is of at least regional significance and would impact an established preserve/reserve/state park refuge/or a functional ecologically sensitive ecosystem.
  • Issues that involve local jurisdictional ordinances or land development codes.