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Senate-approved bill repealing M-CORES moves toward House vote


A bill approved by the Florida Senate that repeals M-CORES -- the pricey 2019 plan for three toll-roads -- is headed for a vote in the House.

The House Appropriations Committee approved Senate Bill 100 with no debate and little comment Friday morning.

The M-CORES law set up task forces to study the proposed corridors in Southwest Florida, up the west coast to I-10 and from the Turnpike to the Suncoast Parkway.

Their advice? Just don't do it. They had concerns about the environment, about destroying communities and more. Instead, they recommended upgrading existing major corridors.

And that, essentially, is what Sen. Gayle Harrell's bill would do, with a focus on widening rural roads, improving the flow on U.S. 19 and extending the Turnpike at Wildwood.

[caption id="attachment_178832" align="alignleft" width="400"]

Lindsay Cross of Florida Conservation Voters says SB 100 is an improvement over the current M-CORES law. Image: Florida Channel[/caption]

For Lindsay Cross of Florida Conservation Voters, it's a step in the right direction.

"SB 100 is better than the current M-CORES program, which is a budget-busting boondoggle," she told the House committee.

But she is concerned about environmental impacts from the Turnpike extension and changes to U.S. 19.

Joe Byrnes came to Central Florida Public Media from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.