Everglades to get its own Capitol caucusby John Kennedy | November 23rd, 2011
The state Capitol has its Black Caucus, Hispanic Caucus and even Tea Party Caucus, with likeminded legislators forming loose-knit groups to promote their cause.
Beginning next week, a Florida Everglades Caucus will dawn — launched Monday at an event scheduled in Boynton Beach.
Rep. Steve Perman, a Boca Raton Democrat, and Sen. Thad Altman, R-Viera, are the founding members of the caucus. They’ll be joined by the Everglades Foundation, Everglades Coalition, and other environmental activists at Monday’s 1 p.m., kick-off event, planned for Bedner’s Farm, west of Boynton on U.S. 441.
Goals of the caucus aren’t immediately known. But Gov. Rick Scott is likely to be seeking state cash and legislative backing for his plan announced last month for Everglades restoration.
After demands from federal officials for more action from the state, Scott unveiled a proposal that calls for building reservoirs, expanding wetlands and removing dams and other obstacles to freshwater flow in the Everglades region.
The Republican governor also is looking to extend the latest federal deadline for restoration to 2022 — another two years. For those with long memories, the initial plan for completing Everglades restoration was 2006, under a federal court settlement reached in 1992.