Florida Environmentalists Consider Suing Over State Budget Conservation Funding
Environmentalists are considering suing over Amendment 1 funding as the Florida Legislature reaches an agreement on an $80 billion state budget.
They say the budget does not include enough conservation funding and ignores the intent of voters who overwhelming supported the state constitutional amendment in November.
The state budget includes $17 million for land acquisition under Florida Forever, about the same as what the state's land-buying program received each of the past two years.
Aliki Moncrief is executive director of Florida's Water and Land Legacy, the sponsoring organization of Amendment 1.
"From what we have looked at sort of preliminarily, really any taxpayers have the ability to sue when it comes to the implementation of an amendment like this."
Moncrief says the budget puts most Amendment 1 funding toward existing state operations.
"It's almost as if Amendment 1 didn't pass. It's almost as if legislators are ignoring what voters intended for this money to be spent on."
Amendment 1 is aimed at initiating a 20-year, $22-billion conservation effort.
Lawmakers are expected to finalize the state budget in the coming days.