Background. Senate. Today, the Senate passed SB 1986, with amendments, which do not resolve the biggest problem left over from last year’s debacle. It leaves out our most important goal: empowering the Water Management Districts’ Governing Boards to write their own budgets. As amended, the bill does remove the ad valorem caps on Water Management District spending, which is especially important for Everglades Restoration and takes the regulatory functions out of the punitive "review session" of the bill, but leaves budgetary control and spending squarely in the hands of the Legislature. So, it is a small step in the right direction and the major work is still to be done to return Water Management Districts to the local people and the Executive Branch, in other words, to make SB 1986 acceptable and meet the FCC's stated goals. SB 1986 will now move to the House for amendment, approval or a down vote.
House. House members are not sold on SB 1986. They are passing around some excellent amendments that would return control of the Water Management Districts' budgets and management authority to the Districts in conjunction with the Executive Branch,not legislative micromanagement. This would place control of your ad valorem tax dollars right in the hands of your regional Water Management Districts and the Governor's office, just as it was in 2010, and allow for adequate funding of the Districts. This is, and has been, the FCC's main goal for the session.
We are asking you to write the Governor, and key House members, as well as your own legislators, and ask them to support amending SB 1986 to return control of Florida's Water Management Districts and their budgets to local and regional control.
** The Florida Conservation Coalition has included a “one-click option” to help those who want a convenient way to reach those who need to be contacted, but it is technically impossible to make this function with all email clients. There will also be a downloadable and printable text version that can be copied into your email, but you will have to also place the addresses individually. We are sorry for the additional time that this second option might require but that is the state of current technology.**
If you click here, there will be a message addressed to the Governor, please simply modify your message to suit your views. If you click here, there will be a message addressed to key House members simply add your own elected officials to the addressees and modify your message to suit your views.
Downloadable text version:
Click here to access the downloadable and printable text version of the message addressed to the Governor. If you click here, there will be a downloadable and printable message addressed to key House members to that can be copied into you email but again you will have to place the email addresses individually.
We are counting on you!
Vicki Tschinkel and Estus Whitfield