In this issue, important meeting dates for your information. Pre-session committee meetings are in full swing. Water Policy and Amendment 1 spending is on every legislative committee calendar. Deadline for final bills is March 3, so action now is imperative. Important organizations have weighed in on what responsible spending looks like, and action now will determine if those bills will bring responsible spending to a vote. Homeowners are not the only ones who think science is important. Without it wasteful spending is likely, and without it, property rights and economic stability is in jeopardy. Support the effort in the newsletter section – “HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO”
February 10 Wekiva Wild & Scenic River Committee
3-5 p.m. Wekiva State Park, Youth Camp Recreation Hall
February 13 Florida Department of Environmental Protection
9:00 a.m. Acquisition & Restoration Council regarding land acquisition and management issues
Marjory Stoneman Douglas Building – Conference Rooms A and B
3900 Commonwealth Boulevard
Tallahassee, FL 32399
February 20 Wekiva Basin Commission
1:30 p.m. East Central Florida Regional Planning Council
309 Cranes Roost Blvd., Suite 2000 (upstairs)
Altamonte Springs FL
DO WHAT MATTERS!!! In discussions, when the arguments fail the science sniff test, the remaining comments are predictable – “everyone must do their part,” or, “we can’t wait for science, we must act now.” Amendment 1 passed with that last banner statement. Now that there is funding carved permanently into the state budget dedicated to environmental projects, policies and spending priorities are being discussed in pre-session legislative committees.
Here is a little reminder from last month’s Sludge Report where we quoted from the FDEP, Florida Springs Initiative web page, which stated their agency mission:
“Resources should be focused on where they are needed most and where they can be best applied to achieve the greatest, most efficient results.”
How do you get to the point of knowing where those resources are needed most and where money should be spent to get the best result? You get there by doing what we have been advocating all along!!!
Sound Science, Appropriate Solutions, and Measuring the Return on Investment!!!
Most certainly, some of the Amendment 1 money will target springs protection and other water quality projects. Whenever “water quality” is mentioned, the subject of septic systems always comes up. We expect this will happen again this year as the Senate & House debate the use of Amendment 1 funds. However, without these three cornerstones, any Amendment 1 money spent on septic systems will be wasted. Without these three cornerstones, those who voted for Amendment 1 will be sorely disappointed in the result. Without adequate science to define the proper size and scope of the problem, solutions won’t matter, and results cannot be measured.
Maybe some don’t care, and all they want is to feel as though they’ve done something, anything – no matter what the cost. Most of us do care and believe the 76% of those who voted for Amendment 1 want the money spent on things that matter, not on knee-jerk spending projects that hold little promise of building an enduring environmental legacy.
Honestly, 90% of any issues septic systems may cause regarding water quality would be solved if counties did nothing more than adopt the inspection and maintenance ordinance that passed in 2012. No Amendment 1 funding is necessary to do that. That’s the “greatest, most efficient result” that can be had at the least cost to the state. Perhaps we should say, DO WHAT MATTERS MOST!
Outside of our editorial opinion, credible organizations also support this idea of science first. There are several websites you can access that have addressed Amendment 1 spending priorities and below those websites is an ACTION ITEM for you.
SUMMARY FROM THE COALITION FOR PROPERTY RIGHTS NEWSLETTER:
“Tom Feeney calls for legislators to solve Florida’s water challenges using sound science”
This weekend, an excellent column appeared in the Orlando sentinel by Tom Feeney entitled, “Sound science must be basis for clarifying state water policy”. Feeney is the CEO of Associated Industries of Florida. He is a former US congressman and former Speaker of the Florida House. CPR is pleased to be a part of the H2O Coalition and applauds his call for basing public policy on sound science. Here’s what he had to say.
“Efforts to address water-supply planning and water quality problems should be focused on the best science. For too long, litigation at every level of the court system has created a messy web of rules and mandates that can create tremendous uncertainty for business owners. By adopting policies based on sound science, we can add clarity to the law and ensure our state is putting our economic and environmental interests- and not the narrow interests of the environmental-lawyer lobby- above all else.
This state legislative session, the Associated Industries of Florida’s H2O Coalition is advocating for a water policy that considers these concerns and puts our state on the right path for addressing the water storage and quality concerns of the future. Our coalition is comprised of stakeholders interested in water quantity and quality issues in Florida and is united by the goal of making recommendations on state and federal water laws and rules impacting Florida.”
EDITOR’S NOTES: Coalition for Property Rights, James Madison Institute, Associated Industries of Florida, and Liberty First have published recommendations for the use of Amendment 1 funds. In addition to the information we have published from AIF, the following websites give the guidelines they are recommending to the legislature. If you agree with these priorities, go to the next step and take action! Communication with your elected representatives is your right and your responsibility.
http://www.jamesmadison.org/wp-content/uploads/Amendment-1-January-2015.pdf – “Responsible Preservation of Florida” James Madison Institute has adopted CPR’s Principles & Priorities and incorporated it into a great flyer format you can print and distribute to you representatives!
HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN DO!!!
Go to this website: http://www.flsenate.gov/media/topics/wlc
The Senate Environmental Protection and Conservation Committee is inviting you to comment on how you think Amendment 1 money should be spent!! Please open the link above and let them know.
Enter your information and in the comments section, write:
“I support the Coalition for Property Rights’ Priorities & Principles, and the recommendations of the James Madison Institute, and the AIF H20 Coalition. The Florida Senate should use these common-sense guidelines to prioritize and allocate Amendment 1 funds. “
As long as you are on your computer sending the Senators your opinion, drop a quick note to Dan Peterson, Coalition for Property Rights and let him know you commented to the Senate and you support CPR’s Principles and Priorities firstname.lastname@example.org
AS ALWAYS, MANY THANKS !!!