Amendment 1 – the Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment – was approved by 75% of voters in the November 2014 general election. This amendment was intended to restore historical, substantially higher funding levels to long standing programs to protect Florida’s water, wildlife habitat, natural areas and parks. The Amendment dedicates one-third of the funds generated from the existing Florida excise tax on land documents to acquire, restore and manage conservation lands.
Many media reports, including The Sarasota Herald Tribune, indicate that legislators are considering using Amendment 1 funds in place of operating funds at state conservation and park departments. Some legislators believe the state already owns too much public land and cannot properly manage it. They propose to virtually eliminate the use of Amendment 1 funds for land acquisition.
Amendment 1 presents a potential funding source to support the Legacy Trail extension, as Amendment 1 calls for renewed state spending on recreational areas, along with water and land conservation and other related purposes. The three rules of real estate are location, location, location. If legislators believe the state has too much land, they should act to dispose of some of it, while moving to acquire other high value conservation and park parcels.
See the following talking points provided by Florida’s Water & Land Legacy, the coalition of conservation and civic organizations, businesses and concerned citizens who advocated for Amendment 1.
The time to fix this is short. Contact your Sarasota area legislators below today. The regular committee meetings end April 21, and the last day of the regular sessions is May 1st, so please act today.
House District 70: The Honorable Darryl Ervin Rousan, State Representative
House District 71: The Honorable Jim Boyd, State Representative
House District 72: The Honorable Ray Pilon, State Representative
Senate District 28: The Honorable Nancy Detert, State Senator
- visit web site, which includes an email link
Here is some suggestion text:
I am one of the 4.2 million people who voted in favor Amendment 1.
I believed when voting for the amendment that it would provide new, additional funding for Florida Forever, land conservation, springs and the Everglades.
Please support amendments on the Senate floor to use Amendment 1 funds as the bill sponsors originally intended, not as a substitute for existing operational funds.
I particularly support the possible use of Amendment 1 funds for efforts to extend The Legacy Trail to downtown Sarasota.