Senate budget chief: Everglades money comingby Dara Kam | February 9th, 2012
Everglades lovers should probably chill out over the lack of funding for river of grass clean-up in the Senate budget.
Senate budget chief JD Alexander said this morning he’s “seriously considering” matching the House’s $35 million line-item for Everglades restoration. Gov. Rick Scott tucked away $40 million for the clean-up, and the money will almost certainly show up late in negotiations between the two chambers over their spending plans.
“We’re looking at it. We’re trying to figure out if we can afford it this year,” Alexander, R-Lake Wales, said, adding that he’s supported that and the Florida Forever land-buying program for his 14 years in the legislature soon coming to an end. “So it’s something I’d love to see us be able to do.
I would hope we’d be able to eventually get there…If we can do something it won’t be a lot, but we’d certainly like to provide some funding for preservation of Florida’s ecological needs.”
Alexander said he doesn’t foresee much trouble reconciling the two spending plans. The Senate’s proposal includes deeper health and human services, more spending on schools and road projects and dips into state universities’ reserves.
“There aren’t a lot of differences. It should be fairly easy to get to something we both can agree to,” Alexander said.