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Four environmental groups on Wednesday asked a court to accelerate its ruling in a lawsuit accusing the Florida Legislature of violating the state Constitution and misdirecting Amendment 1 environmental funds into salaries and inappropriate operating expenses.
The groups, the Florida Wildlife Federation, the St. Johns Riverkeeper, the Sierra Club, and the Environmental Confederation of Southwest Florida, are asking a court to transfer$299 million general revenue money into those programs and restore the money in the Land Acquisition Trust Fund.
The fund was created by voters in 2014, after the Legislature brought the state's 50-year-old land buying program to a halt during the Great Recession.The Land and Water Conservation Amendment required that one third of all proceeds from real estate transaction taxes be set aside for the environment and voters approved it by 75 percent of the vote.
In 2015, the first year the law was in effect, proceeds totaled $750 million. But instead of putting all the money into new environmental programs, lawmakers reasoned that they could divert $216 million into appropriated for salaries and operating expenses for existing environmental programs and $26 million for agriculture pollution control projects on private land.
The motion for summary judgment argues that since there is no dispute about what lawmakers have done, the Leon County Circuit Court should declare the Legislature in violation of the constitution and order the money replaced.
originally posted by: MyHappyDogShiner
In 1962, John F. Kennedy famously said,
"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."