Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 093160
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File Number: 093160 File Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Version: 0 Reference: R-1437-09 Control: Board of County Commissioners
File Name: FUNDING FOR FLORIDA FOREVER PROGRAM Introduced: 11/24/2009
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 12/15/2009
Agenda Date: 12/15/2009 Agenda Item Number: 11A1
Notes: Title: RESOLUTION URGING THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE TO REINSTATE FUNDING FOR THE FLORIDA FOREVER PROGRAM BY SEEKING AN APPROPRIATION OF $15 MILLION FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 2010-11 STATE BUDGET
Indexes: URGING
Sponsors: Katy Sorenson, Prime Sponsor
  Sally A. Heyman, Co-Sponsor
  Rebeca Sosa, Co-Sponsor
  Barbara J. Jordan, Co-Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

Board of County Commissioners 12/15/2009 11A1 Adopted P

County Attorney 11/24/2009 Assigned Jess M. McCarty 11/23/2009

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION URGING THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE TO REINSTATE FUNDING FOR THE FLORIDA FOREVER PROGRAM BY SEEKING AN APPROPRIATION OF $15 MILLION FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 2010-11 STATE BUDGET

BODY
WHEREAS, the Florida Forever program and its predecessor Preservation 2000 have immeasurably contributed to environmental health, quality of life, recreation, and sustainability in Florida for current and future generations; and
WHEREAS, since 2000 through Florida Forever, the Florida Legislature has allocated $300 million annually to purchase over one million acres of environmentally sensitive and other significant lands throughout the state through numerous successful partnerships with cities, counties, state agencies, water managements districts, nonprofit organizations and private landowners; and
WHEREAS, Florida Forever produces benefits that include cleaner air and water, healthier fisheries and wildlife habitat, improved water supply protection and protected open space including greenway corridors, park lands, forests, and water bodies; and
WHEREAS, Florida Forever, through the Florida Communities Trust, has assisted Florida’s cities and counties in protecting their cultural and historical resources, meeting the challenges of growth management, directing development away from coastal high hazard areas and floodplains, fostering a healthier lifestyle for Floridians, and providing recreational outdoor experiences in both urban and rural settings; and
WHEREAS, Florida Forever has helped to save many of Florida’s beaches, rivers, bays, forests, coral reefs and estuaries that provide the foundation for our $3 billion tourism industry that attract more than 70 million visitors each year; and
WHEREAS, 50 Florida local governments including Miami-Dade County have enacted land acquisition financing programs in the past several decades, and these conservation finance programs have served to leverage Florida Forever funding and increase the impact of state land conservation funding; and
WHEREAS, the many important places in Miami-Dade County whose purchase and protection have benefited from Florida Forever include the Deering Estate, Jose Marti Riverfront Park, Biscayne Coastal Wetlands, Little River Preserve, Oleta River Corridor, and Camp Matecumbe; and
WHEREAS, research by the Florida Forever Coalition has found that over $20 billion is currently needed to purchase parks and recreational facilities, wildlife and wilderness areas and open space for our state’s increasing population; and
WHEREAS, a 2005 public opinion survey conducted by members of the Florida Forever Coalition found that 78 percent of Florida’s voters approve of the Florida Forever program; and
WHEREAS, Florida Forever had been scheduled to sunset in 2010, but during the 2008 session, the Florida Legislature passed SB 542, which extended the program an additional 10 years and increased the bonding capacity for Florida Forever to $5.3 billion; and
WHEREAS, during a budget-cutting special session in January, 2009, however, the Legislature suspended Florida Forever, but the Governor vetoed the action; and
WHEREAS, during the 2009 regular session, the Legislature eliminated funding for any future Florida Forever land acquisitions effective July 1, 2009, as part of broader budget cuts, and the Governor did not veto this action; and
WHEREAS, because land values have declined in the last few years, Florida Forever funds could have gone farther in purchasing and preserving environmentally-sensitive lands had the program not been ended; and
WHEREAS, there is a bipartisan effort underway by four former Florida governors, Republicans Bob Martinez and Jeb Bush and Democrats Reubin Askew and Bob Graham, to reinstate Florida Forever by seeking an appropriation of $15 million in the Fiscal Year 2010-11 State budget; and
WHEREAS, a $15 million appropriation for Florida Forever for Fiscal Year 2010-11 would reinstate Florida Forever to its previous level of funding and create $300 million in Florida Forever bonds to restart land purchases and continue the program,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, that this Board:
Section 1. Urges the Florida Legislature to reinstate funding for the Florida Forever Program by seeking an appropriation of $15 million for the Fiscal Year 2010-11 State budget consistent with the bipartisan initiative by four former Florida governors.
Section 2. Directs the Clerk of the Board to transmit certified copies of the resolution to the Governor, the Senate President, the House Speaker, and the chair and members of the Miami-Dade State Legislative Delegation.
Section 3. Directs the County's state lobbyists to advocate for the issues identified in section 1 above, and directs the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs to include this item in the 2010 state legislative package.



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