No action required this time! Just take a moment to enjoy the successful effort to provide much needed funding to the Florida Forever Program.
Senator Rob Bradley stood against House Bill 7063, which would have rewritten how future Florida Forever funding would have been distributed amongst the various land acquisition programs - to the long-term detriment of the program - and negotitated a one-year appropriation of $100.8 million for next year. $77 million of that will be dedicated to projects already reviewed and approved by the Acquisition and Restoration Council. Those are the traditional, high conservation value projects that have distinguished Florida Forever as the best land conservation program in the country.
FNPS thanks Senator Bradley, and Senate President Joe Negron, for their firm leadership on this issue. Senator Bradley’s bill (SB 370) passed the Senate unanimously, and would have required at least $100 million for Florida Forever every year. It is unfortunate the House refused to follow their lead. But to put $100 million into proper perspective, it exceeds the cumulative total that has gone to “ARC” projects over the last 10 years.
We will continue the fight for a fully funded Florida Forever ($300 million annually) next year. Thanks to your effective action, we can be grateful for success this year! And let Senators Bradley and Negron know you appreciate their leadership during a very difficult session.