SPB 7092, the legislative takeover of water management districts, passed the Senate Budget Committee last week. This is the reincarnated bill giving the coup de grace to the water management districts. It had been pulled from the Senate Environmental Preservations and Conservation Committee earlier, because it likely would not have passed the substantive committee. This is clearly a very high priority of the Senate Leadership.
SPB 7092 has now been renumbered SB 1986 (a stand alone budget conforming bill.) So, it is now in its third incarnation of the session, making it next to impossible for a normal citizen to follow. It is on second reading in the Senate, can be amended on the Senate floor (not likely), but it is unlikely that the House will pass this bill as it is, and the Senate recognizes this. What this means is that the fate of regional water management will probably be decided in fairly smoky rooms during conference, within one week or so. Therefore, one of the most important public policy questions to all Floridians is going to be decided behind closed doors, outside the democratic process.
Please write the Governor, Speaker of the House, the Senate President and the Chairman and Subcommittee Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, as well as your local House and Senate members. It is very, very important to include your members at this stage. If you click here, there will be a message addressed to the Governor, the Speaker, the Senate President and the House Appropriations Chair and Sbucommittee Chair, please simply add your own elected officials to the addressees and modify your message to suit your views.
We are counting on you!
Vicki Tschinkel and Estus Whitfield