October 19, 2007

Florida legislature throws out the bath water

Legislative chambers in dire need of a cleansing

Only in the chambers of the Legislature, with a drought engulfing much of Florida and amid a brewing statewide water war, would it make perfect sense to cut funding designed to clean and enhance the public water supply.

During their recent special session to shave $1.1 billion from the state budget, lawmakers voted overwhelmingly to slash $20 million from the state's $100 million Water Protection and Sustainability Trust Fund, which banks tax revenue from real estate transactions to fund projects to develop alternative water sources and improve water quality.

It's not surprising that a trust fund was hacked up in this manner. Trust fund raiding was elevated to an art under former Gov. Jeb Bush.

Photo: FloridaDisaster.org

Sen. Paula Dockery, R-Lakeland, sent a letter urging Gov. Charlie Crist to veto SB 24-C to preserve this funding. She was joined on Tuesday by House Democratic Minority Leader Dan Gelber of Miami Beach.

It's unbelievable that water-supply projects, arguably the most critical issue facing our state, warrant a 20 percent reduction in funding, when lawmakers met to shave a total of just 2 percent from the state budget.

[Sen. Dockery's] fellow legislators - and the governor - should do some soul searching. If they don't understand the importance of water to Florida, they understand nothing about our state.

  • Ledger editorial, Oct. 19: Lawmakers drain water money

  • Related articles. . .

    No comments: