Rick Scott signs ‘Legacy Florida’ bill, steers millions to environment


Gov. Rick Scott signed into law Thursday a measure dubbed Legacy Florida, that will steer millions of dollars annually toward maintaining the state’s troubled, environmental treasures.

The legislation (HB 989) dedicates as much as $200 million annually to Everglades restoration, $50 million to freshwater springs across the state, and $5 million to Lake Apopka. The waterways have all been damaged and continue to be threatened by development and neighboring farm interests.

“This legislation will continue our commitment to protecting Florida’s environment so future generations can enjoy all that Florida has to offer,” Scott said.

The money comes from Amendment 1, the 2014 constitutional amendment that sets aside a portion of state real estate taxes for environmental improvements. The measure was approved by 75 percent of state voters — with a state-leading 85 percent support coming from Palm Beach County.

“The Legacy Florida program will allow us to provide clean water to Florida’s growing population and will aid us in completing the decades-long restoration of the River of Grass,” House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, a Merritt Island Republican, said in a statement.

News Service of Florida contributed to this report.


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