TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – Governor Rick Scott has proposed restoring some spending for environmentally sensitive land.
The proposal would put $40 million into Everglades restoration.
Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Herschel T. Vinyard said this amount "will allow Florida to keep the momentum going in the state-federal partnership to restore one of Florida's most valuable natural treasures."
This year the state put $30 million into the Everglades cleanup project. The Everglades Foundation called the increase "significant, and noted that the $30 million was only spent after lawmakers upped dramatically Scott's recommendation last year for $17 million.
"The fact that Gov. Scott is willing to more than double his previous request for Everglades funding demonstrates his understanding that protecting the Everglades and our water supply is a necessary ingredient to growing our state's economy," said Kirk Fordham, CEO of the Everglades Foundation.
The governor also proposed putting $15 million into the Florida Forever program, money that is currently surplus trust fund cash.
"Audubon is encouraged to see Gov. Scott make a commitment to Florida Forever and Everglades restoration in his 2012-2013 budget recommendation," said the environmental group's Julie Wraithmell in a statement. "As the Florida legislative session unfolds early next year, it is our hope that House and Senate leadership will use these amounts as a starting point that leads to increased funding for these critical programs."
But Scott's plan isn't all good news. The governor has proposed shrinking DEP with a cut of more than 80 vacant positions and by reducing its budget by about $100 million.
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