Fla. House and Senate pass budgets – negotiations begin

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – April 5, 2019 – This past week, the Florida Senate and House passed their respective budgets for the upcoming fiscal year. The Senate’s budget totals $90.3 billion and the House’s budget totals $89.9 billion. That puts them about $400 million apart, so they’re close – now negotiations begin over the details, which will occur over the next four weeks.

Realtor priorities regarding budget issues

Water quality and environmental funding

The House budget includes $607 million to be spent on water quality, Everglades restoration and other environmental projects; the Senate budget includes $660 million. All signs point to a final environmental spending plan that will be close to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ proposal of $625 million.

The overall appropriation for Everglades related projects is $360 million. A third of this money will be used to begin moving dirt on the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) reservoir, which will store and clean water released from Lake Okeechobee before it moves south to the Everglades and on to Florida Bay.

There is also a line item in the Department of Transportation (DOT) budget to use money in the DOT trust fund to complete the raising of Tamiami Trail – a huge step in the goal to send more water south through the Everglades and on to Florida Bay. These and other projects should help limit future algae blooms once completed.

Source:  © 2019 Florida Realtors®

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