Environmentalists call on Governor Scott to veto water bill

Pettygrew's comments came during a conference call Wednesday morning, during which other environmental and elected officials took issue with the legislation and pleaded on the governor to reject it.

Eric Draper from Florida Audubon said that for nearly 40 years now, Florida has had a unique system of managing water resources that has allowed them to avoid political interference, but that arrangement will come to an end if Scott signs SB 2142. Draper said by giving the Legislature the ability to cut huge sections out of the operation budgets of the five different water districts, it would give Tallahassee lobbyists "extraordinary new influence."

John Sorey, the Vice-Mayor of Naples and the Vice Chair of the Big Cypress Basin Board, says "Appointing individuals with taxing authority always seems to be a problem."

Kirk Fordham has always informed CL about his concerns about SB 2142, particularly because it cuts funding for the South Florida Water Management District, which oversees the Everglades, by a whopping 30 percent.



The 2011 Florida Legislative session was a brutal one for environmentalists in Florida. Although Governor Rick Scott hasn't shown much inclination to veto anything passed this spring, advocates are pressing him to reject SB 2142, which among its provisions, would remove the governor from having any authority over the five water management districts in the state (like Swiftmud in the Tampa Bay and the district that governs the Everglades in South Florida). This bill also cuts district budgets without the districts’ current public process.

Former Florida House Speaker Richard Pettygrew calls the bill a power grab by the state Legislature.

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