by Robert “Bob” Simons
The workings of government in Tallahassee have always been messy. The money from the Florida Lottery, voted upon by the people of Florida for the purpose of increasing funding for education, was long ago syphoned off into the murky politics of Tallahassee. Amendment 1, also voted upon by the people of Florida (passing by a 75% to 25 % majority of the people who voted) is suffering the same fate. (The overall funding for the environment in the State’s 2015 budget, in spite of supposed additions from Amendment 1, is $48 million less than it was in the 2014 budget according to Pegeen Hanrahan – Gainesville Sun 7/19/15.) The Water Management Districts, designed to carefully ration Florida’s fresh water supply to ensure a sustainable future for the people of Florida have been downsized and reworked to eliminate the “sustainable” aspect of that idea. And now, it seems, Tallahassee’s attention has turned to Florida’s State Parks.
Some time ago, the people of Florida came up with a plan to help reduce or limit some of the worst aspects of state and local politics by devising a legal system termed “Government in the Sunshine”. This has never been perfect, but it has been helpful. Alas, nothing lasts forever.