M-CORES Veto Request from FNPS
The Florida Native Plant Society recommended last year that Governor DeSantis veto funding for the M-CORES legislation based on the absence of any vetting through the FDOT transportation planning process, the potential for immense environmental impacts and degradation of rural communities and viable agricultural land, and the resulting erosion of our ability to address so many truly pressing needs, e.g., recovery from the destruction of Hurricane Michael, given the enormous expenditures required to fund roadbuilding. To the latter concern we can add the painful human and economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. Alarming declines in expected tax revenues, the highest unemployment levels seen in decades, and the impacts to our health care system from this unforeseen calamity will force painful tradeoffs.
FNPS also continues to believe that land conservation may be the single most effective approach to protecting Florida’s natural resources, and we were pleased the legislature included $100 million for Florida Forever in its 2020-2021 budget proposal.
We have submitted a letter to the Governor asking him to redirect the $117.5 million set aside for M-CORES towards truly pressing needs during this time of upheaval, and to retain the $100 million for Florida Forever as an investment that would pay immediate dividends in natural resource protection.