Society News

Act Now on Behalf of Florida Forever

February 27, 2018
IMPORTANT UPDATE as of March 6: We still need you to act as requested below, but so far it appears we have been successful in persuading the Senate to stand against the House bill. An appropriation that would provide Florida Forever with $100.8 million next year, and distribute the funds according to the existing formula in the Florida Forever Act, has been approved by both the House and Senate thanks to the Senate's stand against HB 7063. But there is still pressure being applied for passage of 7063 so we cannot stop letting the Senate leadership know we want them to maintain their position. An appropriation, instead of passage of SB 370, means only 1 year of funding and we will have to push again next year for a longer term solution - but that is preferable to passage of a bad bill.

We need you to act NOW on behalf of Florida Forever by contacting the leadership of the Florida Senate to let them know you strongly support their bill and want them to stand against a proposal by the Florida House that would diminish the Florida Forever program.  The House wants to delay funding and is seeking a legislative change that would redirect most future funding for land conservation to urban parks and the purchase of easements over agricultural land rather than to the protection of our most significant and vulnerable natural landscapes.   

We are grateful to the Florida Senate for passing a bill that would provide a minimum a $100 million per year to Florida Forever.  Their bill represents the best opportunity to restore meaningful funding to land conservation since the 2007 onset of the recession.  Unfortunately, the Florida House of Representatives has taken a very different approach.  They propose to withhold funding for the first year and then provide funding in future years on a rising scale.  Although their formula might provide more total funding than the Senate over the remaining 16 years of Amendment 1, it would actually result in less land conservation!   How can that be?  The devil is in the details, and the details include a large increase in the share of Florida Forever funding that would go to the Florida Communities Trust (FCT) and Rural and Family Lands Protection (RFL) programs.  The House plan would require that fully 2/3 of ALL FUTURE FLORIDA FOREVER FUNDING must go directly to FCT and RFL!

Get the details and learn how to act at .