Amendment 1 was passed by an overwhelming 75 percent of the vote, the highest level of support for a conservation-related constitutional amendment in Florida history. Support for Amendment 1 came from all regions of the state and spanned the political spectrum. Florida voters demonstrated yet again their strong support for water and land conservation.
Ratification of Amendment 1 represents an historic opportunity for water and land conservation. Amendment 1 is the largest state conservation funding measure in the history of the United States. The Amendment is a clearly written set of priorities for spending documentary stamp taxes on water and land conservation. More than 4.2 million Florida voters voted “Yes” to add these provisions to the Florida Constitution.
Florida’s Water and Land Legacy, the Vote Yes on Amendment 1 coalition, looks forward to working with Governor Scott and the Florida Legislature to implement Amendment 1 in a manner that is consistent with the intent of the voters. Given the over-whelming popular mandate demonstrated across our state, particularly with a more conservative mid-term electorate, we know that the Governor and Legislature will seek to faithfully implement the will of the voters.
The intent of the Water and Land Conservation Amendment, as ratified by the voters, is to restore spending for a highly successful group of long-standing programs authorized in Florida statutes. The amendment was drafted so that no implementing legislation is required; the Legislature could simply appropriate funds to existing water and land conservation programs.
Amendment 1 will absorb state spending currently authorized under state law for existing debt service for Preservation 2000, Florida Forever, Save our Everglades, and Save our Coasts Bonds.
Amendment 1 will enhance state spending currently authorized through trust funds and other programs approved under state law for:
- Land Acquisition through the Florida Forever
- Conservation Easements through the Rural and Family Lands program
- Everglades Restoration
- Land acquisition for Everglades Restoration and Northern Everglades, and Estuaries
- Water Resource Protection and Restoration (Surface Water Improvement and Management)
- Access and management of state-owned lands and water management lands
- Greenways and Trails
- Florida Communities Trust
- Historic Preservation
- Florida Recreation and Development Assistance Program
Spending on water and land conservation will help Florida’s economy by protecting water resources, providing access to public lands, and keeping working lands, farms, and forests as part of Florida’s rural landscapes.