WMFE is Central Florida's primary provider of NPR programming on 90.7 FM and Classical Music on 90.7 HD2. Part of the community since 1965, WMFE focuses on providing quality national and local news and programming. We inspire and empower all Central Floridians to discover, grow and engage within and beyond their world.
Support for 90.7 WMFE is provided by

Governor Proposes Cuts To State Agency That Would Oversee New Conservation Effort

Play Audio

Stay up to date on coronavirus coverage: Listen to WMFE on your radio, the WMFE mobile app or your smart speaker — say “Alexa, play NPR” or “WMFE” and you’ll be connected.

Florida lawmakers heard details about Gov. Rick Scott’s proposed budget Wednesday, including what the governor plans to spend on the environment.

The budget cuts $28 million from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and that’s drawing criticism from environmentalists.

Scott’s budget proposal comes as Florida initiates a 20-year, $22-billion land and water conservation effort.

Economist Hank Fishkind says the governor’s proposed cuts target the state agency tasked with overseeing Amendment 1 projects.

“That’s precisely the problem, that the proposal would simply eliminate currently vacant positions. But that doesn’t reduce the mission of the agency. The mission of the agency is going to increase, and the governor is reducing the manpower to conduct that mission.”

The budget puts most of a $1 billion surplus toward tax cuts. It trims 155 positions from the Department of Environmental Protection.

DEP says nearly all of the positions already are vacant or are expected to become vacant by the end of the fiscal year.

In a statement a spokeswoman says the governor’s proposal goes beyond Amendment 1’s requirements by putting $773 million toward the Everglades, springs and land acquisition and management.

But former DEP attorney Chris Byrd says the cuts likely will slow Amendment 1’s implementation.

“The files on their desk will begin to stack a bit higher, and it seems that with this increase of work it’s not the time to be cutting staff.”

Legislators will take up the governor’s budget proposal when they reconvene next month.

Get The 90.7 WMFE Newsletter

Your trusted news source for the latest Central Florida COVID-19 news, updates on special programs and more. Support our extended coverage.


WMFE Journalistic Ethics Code | Public Media Code of Integrity

Amy Green

About Amy Green

Reporter and Producer

Amy Green covers the environment for 90.7 News. She is an award-winning journalist whose work has been heard on NPR and seen in PEOPLE, Newsweek, The New York Times and The Christian Science Monitor. She began her career at The Associated Press. Her book on the Everglades, under contract with Johns Hopkins ... Read Full Bio »