Senate agrees to another round of Everglades cashby John Kennedy | February 29th, 2012
Senate budget negotiators sided Wednesday with the House and agreed to steer $30 million toward Everglades restoration this year, drawing praise from advocates for the longterm cleanup effort.
Kirk Fordham, chief executive officer of the Everglades Foundation, even held out the possibility that more cash could emerge as lawmakers continue to wrangle on a roughly $70 billion state spending plan.
“As Senate and House budget conferees continue to negotiate, with strong support from Gov. Scott, we are confident the state will begin to shift back to the historic levels of investment in Everglades restoration made during the Jeb Bush years,” Fordham said. “Every dollar we invest on Everglades is an enormous benefit for Floridians who depend on this natural resource for their livelihoods.”
Scott has unveiled wide-ranging plans to build reservoirs, unblock flow ways, control seepage and expand man-made wetlands by 2022, as part of the restoration effort. He sought $40 million in state cash for the coming year.
Senate budget chief J.D. Alexander, R-Lake Wales, had indicated a few weeks ago that his side planned to come up to House levels of Everglades funding, after zeroing out spending in its budget plan. The House had recommended $35 million for Everglades restoration and other work.