April 4, 2013 850-222-7911, ext. 23
Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment
Reaches Supreme Court
TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Water and Land Legacy campaign today took a major step forward in getting the Water and Land Conservation amendment on the ballot by crossing the ten percent threshold for Supreme Court review. For a state constitutional amendment seeking to gain access to the ballot by collecting signatures, legal review of the amendment by the Florida Supreme Court is triggered when ten percent of the total 683,149 signatures required -- or 68,314 -- are collected.
The campaign sponsoring the amendment, Florida’s Water and Land Legacy, has collected more than enough signatures to meet the ten percent threshold, having submitted 110,958 signatures to county supervisors of elections across Florida. The amendment will provide a stable, dedicated funding source for the acquisition, management, and restoration of conservation and recreation lands in Florida. The Water and Land Conservation amendment would be on the November 2014 ballot.
The Department of State has verified the 68,314 signatures, sending the amendment to the Supreme Court. The court will review the ballot measure to confirm that it satisfies the legal requirements for a constitutional amendment.
“This campaign to protect Florida’s environmental legacy is gaining public support across the state and we are well on our way to getting this important measure on the ballot,” said Will Abberger, the campaign’s chair and director of conservation finance for The Trust for Public Land. “This amendment will ensure state funds are dedicated to protecting the natural systems Floridians depend on for clean drinking water, unpolluted rivers, lakes and streams, and the unspoiled natural beauty that makes our state unique.”
The amendment would dedicate one-third of the existing documentary stamp tax, which is 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 through the Florida Forever Program. The amendment would provide more than $5 billion for water and land conservation in Florida over the next ten years without any tax increase.
The Florida Water and Land Legacy Campaign also announced that it has gained the support of 256 organizations that are adding momentum to its efforts to pass the amendment.
“We are thrilled to have such passionate supporters from throughout the state,” said Pegeen Hanrahan, the campaign’s manager. “So many diverse organizations have already committed to back this important endeavor, and we look forward to many more joining our cause.”
The Florida Water and Land Legacy Campaign attributes much of its success to the generous contributions of donors and invaluable service of its volunteers. If you are interested in supporting the Water and Land Conservation amendment, please visit FloridaWaterLandLegacy.org to learn more.