Governor Scott Signs Rep. Harrell’s “Legacy Florida” BillJune 2, 2016
STUART, FL – Representative Gayle Harrell, (R—District 83) is proud to announce that Governor Rick Scott signed into law HB989, “Legacy Florida”, today at a ceremonial bill signing in West Palm Beach at the Florida Atlantic University, Pine Jog Environmental Education Center.
Legacy Florida provides a dedicated funding source for the restoration of the Everglades and ending the releases from Lake Okeechobee. The Legislature will be required to appropriate a minimum of the lesser of 25 percent or $200 million for Everglades projects that implement the comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP), including the Central Everglades Planning Project, subject to congressional authorization, the Long-Term Plan and the Northern Everglades and Estuaries Protection Program. Priority must be given to projects that will end the release of harmful water from Lake Okeechobee into our estuaries.
Representative Gayle Harrell said, “By passing this legislation to establish the Legacy Florida initiative, the House is ensuring we have a dedicated and reliable funding source to restore the Florida Everglades, the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee Rivers and end the harmful releases from Lake Okeechobee. Legacy Florida will enable us to preserve these natural treasures for future generations.”
The Fiscal Year 2016-2017 General Appropriations Act provides $32 million for the Long Term Plan, $100 million for the CERP, $70.1 million for northern Everglades and estuaries protection, $50 million for springs restoration, protection and management and $5.1 million for Lake Apopka restoration.
Governor Scott said, “I want to thank the Florida Legislature for fulfilling the promise I made to create a dedicated source of funding to restore the Florida Everglades. Florida is known across the world for our pristine ecosystem and waterways, supporting our economy and quality of life. Over the last five years, we have invested more than $688 million for Everglades restoration. This legislation will continue our commitment to protecting Florida’s environment so future generations can enjoy all that Florida has to offer. I applaud Senator Negron and Representative Harrell for championing water issues and their work on this legislation.”