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Editorial: Florida Legislators should 'Stick to the Mission' on Conservation

A Miami Herald editorial expresses concern for a growing movement in the state legislature to raid the funding pool made possible by the recently approved Amendment 1, a statewide environmental-conservation funding measure.
February 4, 2015, 10am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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The editorial begins by expressing its support for the mission of Amendment 1 as well as its mechanics: "Amendment 1 comes with a savvy source of funds. It requires that 'no less than 33 percent' of net revenue from the existing documentary-stamp tax on real-estate transactions be spent on conservation. That comes to about $10 billion over the amendment’s 20-year life. Nice."

The concern of the argument, however, is "that Florida’s legislative session is looming, and there already is some indication that lawmakers are prepared to have their way with how these funds are allocated — the wrong way."

The editorial details the legislative work that will still have to be done that determines how the new funds are put to use. In the mean time, the editorial concludes with this call to action: "Amendment 1 was created to do one thing: preserve Florida’s natural resources. But with millions of new dollars at lawmakers’ disposal, voters must stand vigilante against legislative pickpocketing."

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Published on Thursday, January 29, 2015 in Miami Herald
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