Scott approves Legacy Florida to help Everglades

Posted at 4:44 AM, Apr 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-08 04:45:33-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida is setting up a dedicated funding source for the Everglades.

Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday signed the "Legacy Florida" bill that guarantees money for programs aimed to help the famed River of Grass.

The money will come out of a special account associated with a 2014 constitutional amendment approved by Florida voters. The amendment required that money from the state's documentary stamp tax go to buying conservation land.

The new law requires that 25 percent or up to $200 million a year of net proceeds from the amendment go for Everglades projects, another $50 million for projects to restore and preserve Florida springs, and $5 million for Lake Apopka. The law mandates that state officials must prioritize projects that would reduce harmful discharges from Lake Okeechobee.

Environmentalists say the bill helps bring the Legislature closer to fulfilling the requirements of the amendment.