Sunday, April 14, 2019

URGENT! Ask your legislators to STOP catastrophic and costly tollways from destroying rural Florida

A catastrophic plan for hundreds of miles of new toll roads into rural Florida is advancing quickly in the Florida Legislature. Senate Bill 7068 and House Bill 7113 would commit the state to spend billions of dollars to build three new tollways through some of the last remaining rural and environmentally sensitive areas in our state. See a map of what’s at risk.

Credit:  FDOT

The tollway plan would divert an escalating amount of dollars from the state’s General Revenue, which funds parks, schools, healthcare, transit, affordable housing, hurricane recovery, and the maintenance of roads we already have. 

Even then, the state would still have to borrow billions more for construction and to buy land for right-of-ways. Our Florida tax money would be spent to the tune of $10 - $40 million per mile for hundreds of miles of new toll roads! This extravagant spending plan is unnecessary and will hurt the real and more pressing needs of Florida’s families. 

Moreover, these tollways will fragment natural landscapes, accelerate urban sprawl, destroy wetlands, and doom plans to preserve and restore critical wildlife corridors for animals like the Florida black bear and the endangered Florida panther. 

YOU can help STOP this. Here’s how:

1st and foremost:  Call your state legislators NOW

  • Calls are the most effective way to direct your legislators to vote NO on the destructive bills. Go here to find out who your FL state senator and state representative are.
  • Then, call (614) 610-1203.
  • A brief message will explain why your legislators must VOTE NO on SB 7068 and HB 7113.
  • It will immediately proceed to connect you with your state senator’s office. Demand they VOTE NO on SB 7068. If they do not answer, leave a message demanding the same.
  • After you complete that call, you will receive a text with a prompt with a separate phone number to call your state representative. Demand they VOTE NO on HB 7113.

2nd most important action: send your legislators an email (with a personal message if possible!)

While phone calls are the more effective way to make your demands known, if you’re not comfortable with calling (or have already called them), make sure to click here to send them an email asking them to vote NO on SB 7068 and its companion bill, HB 7113.

Add a personal message with your own reasons for why these toll roads must be stopped. You can also customize the subject line of the email. Personalizing emails makes a HUGE difference!

Thank you for contacting your legislators and asking them to protect the last of rural, wild Florida from unwanted expensive toll roads, to NOT PAVE PARADISE with more highways, to say NO to #TollRoadkill.

Roadkill, a dead gopher tortoise (a FL-designated threatened species)