Senate Bill 2508
Coastal Conservation Association Florida (CCA) Florida is an organization that represents the interests of those who use our coastal water resources. Whether it be recreational fishing, boating or just a sincere concern for the coastal environment, CCA Florida represents you and your interests. Recently, there has been much furor over Senate Appropriations Bill 2508 (SB 2508). We in advocacy leadership at CCA Florida, have been aware of this bill since the moment it was filed and have been monitoring the activities of senate leadership and the Governor’s office on a continual basis. While it is too soon to know what the final bill will look like, we are making our concerns and interests known as the bill goes to conference.
Specifically, CCA Florida wants assurances that the bill does not de-emphasize the funding for the EAA reservoir, which is currently under construction, and that the “savings clause,” which CCA Florida thinks is more appropriately addressed in the Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM), being prepared by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is not affected, modified or expanded by this legislation. The measure will be heard again in the Florida Senate on Thursday, February 17, and SB 2508 along with the proposed senate budget will be presented to the full Senate at that time. There will be no public discussion or testimony at this meeting. However, there are several more steps in the process, including a Senate and House conference committee consisting of Senate and House conferees where public input will be allowed, after which the final bill must be passed by both chambers and presented to the Governor’s office.
During Wednesday’s Senate appropriations committee meeting, the bill’s sponsors and others requested input from stakeholders, including CCA Florida, to discuss concerns in SB 2508. Historically, the President’s office, the Speaker of the House and the Governor’s office have worked well together regarding Florida’s environmental issues, especially those affecting Lake Okeechobee, the Everglades and surrounding estuaries.
We are hopeful our feedback will be addressed and Florida’s legislative bodies can come to an agreement on effective policy as it pertains to our water. This is the way we at CCA Florida have worked for 37 years to accomplish the goals that benefit the interests of our members and other citizens that use Florida’s waterways and coastal resources.
We will continue on this path and keep our members appraised of activities and actions related to this bill.back to florida news