(This letter appeared in the June 17th Herald Tribune.)
Florida voters last year overwhelmingly approved Amendment 1, which stated that as of July 1, 2015, and for 20 years thereafter, the Land Acquisition Trust Fund shall receive no less than 33 percent of new revenues from document stamps. The amendment also called for the money to finance or refinance the acquisition and improvement of conservation lands.
Like many who voted for the constitutional amendment, I thought we were helping to secure the Sunshine State for our children and grandchildren by providing $750 million for land acquisition and funding of Florida Forever.
I guess, sadly, I should have known that when the amendment got to the Florida Legislature, the intent of the amendment would be conveniently pushed aside during budget negotiations, with neither the House nor Senate willing to fully implement the plan.
Instead, they are playing the old Florida Lottery game. Remember, how the lottery money was intended to enhance education, not replace regular education funding?
I would remind all lawmakers that they took an oath to honor the constitution, which clearly states how Amendment 1 funds must be spent: Preserving Florida. More than 4 million Floridians (75 percent of the voters) made it happen and they expect the Legislature to honor their wishes. It’s the law!
Natural Resource Chair
League of Women Voters of Sarasota County