As he promised, Gov. Charlie Crist on Monday vetoed a controversial sea grass protection bill over concerns it could lead to more environmental destruction. The bill, HB 7059, had been altered by Rep. Will Kendrick, R-Carrabelle, with an amendment he failed to explain to his colleagues that was introduced at the end of a four-hour committee meeting. The amendment called for launching private sea grass mitigation banks on state submerged land. In his veto letter, Crist said that raised serious constitutional issues.
Florida Forever extended to 2018
A massive program for buying conservation lands that started two decades ago has been extended for 10 more years. Gov. Charlie Crist signed a bill (SB 542) Monday to continue the program now known as Florida Forever until at least 2018. The land-buying program would have ended in 2010 if lawmakers failed to pass the measure. Florida Forever and its predecessor, Preservation 2000, have acquired or preserved nearly 2.8-million acres of environmentally sensitive land for about $5.8-billion. Crist also signed a bill (SB 1302) that is designed to decrease the discharges of treated domestic wastewater directly into the Atlantic Ocean in South Florida and increase the use of reclaimed water.
Times staff and wires