Environmental Roundtable with Florida State Senator Linda Stewart

This Thursday I had the honor of being included in Senator Stewart’s meeting of environmental advocates. We packed her conference room and discussed her team’s plans for the upcoming session and our concerns.

Our major discussion topics were:

  1. Water quality measures that have been removed over the last eight years under the Scott administration.
    1. Sen Stewart is working on a bill to reinstate all of these protections.
  2. The Senator’s exasperation at how many bills that she introduced last session that would have improved water quality in the Kissimmee River watershed that were vetoed by Governor Scott
  3. Reintroduction of black bear protection bill (SB 156) from last session.
  4. Co-priming a bill with Senator Bracy to help the wetlands in the headwaters of the Little Wekiva River with $5m for the Saint Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD).
  5. Extensive discussion on the under-funding and misappropriation of Amendment 1/Florida Forever money.
    1. Sen Stewart co-sponsored SB 370 in 2017-8 which had $100m put aside for Florida Forever (historic funding was $300m).
    2. I guided the discussion on how to best advocate for land acquisition. A few of us formed a small working group to identify critical properties for state acquisition.

 

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