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League of Women Voters says 'yes' to Amendment 1


The League of Women Voters is endorsing Amendment 1.

The league announced its support Wednesday of the state constitutional amendment putting more funding toward land and water conservation.

The amendment dedicates existing tax money toward conservation for 20 years.

Chuck O'Neal is chairman of the League of Women Voters' natural resources committee. He says the goal is to replace conservation funding that was lost during the recession.

"Florida is facing a crisis with the quality and quantity of water not only coming out of our springs but also as a source of drinking water for our current population and those who have yet to arrive."

Proponents say the amendment would impact the state budget by less than 1 percent. That's $648 million during the upcoming fiscal year.

The league also announced its opposition to Amendment 3, which would authorize the governor to fill Supreme Court vacancies before the judges' terms expire.

Former Senate Majority Leader Alex Villalobos says the amendment politicizes the court.

"Basically you're reaching from after your term is over into the future, into the next governor's authority, to keep power."

Under the current law the governor cannot fill the vacancies until after the terms expire.

Villalobos says three justices are set to retire in 2018. Their terms will end the same day the governor's term ends. He says the next governor should make the appointments.

The League of Women Voters took no position on Amendment 2 without further study. That amendment legalizes medical marijuana.

Amy Green covered the environment for WMFE until 2023. Her work included the 2020 podcast DRAINED.