When the legislative session closed in March, it accomplished significant environmental lawmaking with the passing of House Bill 989, aka Legacy Florida, which was signed into law on April 7.

Legacy Florida implements the constitutional amendment setting aside revenue from documentary-stamp taxes to fund critical land and water restoration efforts in the state. The amendment, popularly known as Amendment One, was approved by Florida voters in November 2014.

Gunster environmental law attorneys Greg Munson and Beth Ross recently commented on the new law in the media.

In the Tallahassee Democrat, Munson pointed out what the new law accomplishes: namely, the allocation of funding for protection and restoration of the following water resources in Florida for the next eight years:

  • Everglades (<$200 million/year)
  • northern Florida’s natural springs (<$50 million/year)
  • central Florida’s Lake Apopka (up to $5 million/year)

Knowing such future funds will be available allows state agencies and contractors to engage in important long-term planning, Munson notes in the opinion piece.

In the Orlando Sentinel, Ross adds that Legacy Florida, along with the passage of a separate, comprehensive water bill, really helps to strengthen the state’s water-resource protection laws.

The steady funding offered by Legacy Florida in the years to come, Ross notes, will help bring ongoing environmental protection and restoration efforts in the state to fruition.

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