Florida Court Approves Conservation Amendment
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The campaign to place the Water and Land Conservation constitutional amendment to the November 2014 ballot cleared a major hurdle today when the Florida Supreme Court agreed that it satisfies legal requirements for placement on the ballot. The Water and Land Conservation amendment is the first constitutional amendment to be approved by the Supreme Court for the 2014 ballot, according to Florida’s Water and Land Legacy, the amendment’s sponsor.
“This is monumental step as we continue gathering petitions to place this important measure on the ballot. Our campaign is proving that Floridians care deeply about our state’s natural heritage and want to safeguard it for future generations,” said Will Abberger, the campaign’s chair and director of conservation finance for The Trust for Public Land. “With the Florida Supreme Court’s stamp of approval, we can now move forward to asking voters to establish protection of Florida’s water and land as a constant commitment and not something that shifts with the political winds.”
The Water and Land Conservation amendment would dedicate funding for conservation, management, and restoration of Florida’s water and land resources for 20 years. The amendment, which if approved by the voters would take effect July 1, 2015, sets aside one-third of the existing documentary stamp tax (paid when real estate is sold) to restore the Everglades, protect drinking water sources, and revive the state’s historic commitment to protecting natural lands and wildlife habitat through the Florida Forever program.
The amendment will provide more than $10 billion for water and land conservation in Florida without any tax increase.
“The Supreme Court’s approval is a huge milestone and sends a clear signal to Floridians that now is the time to step forward to sign the petition and contribute generously to our campaign,” said Pegeen Hanrahan, the Legacy coalition’s campaign’s manager.
The Florida’s Water and Land Legacy is the campaign working to qualify the amendment for the ballot and win voter approval in November 2014. Florida’s Water and Land Legacy is supported by almost 4,000 dedicated volunteers and more than 330 conservation and civic organizations from across the state. More than 385,000 Florida voters have already signed petitions. The amendment’s sponsors are urging all Florida voters to sign a petition if they have not already done so. The campaign is also actively fund raising to complete its signature collection and welcomes all contributions. To download a petition and learn more about the Water and Land Conservation amendment please visit FloridaWaterLandLegacy.org.