A bipartisan effort of Florida lawmakers has directed two letters to the House Appropriations Committee with the intent of getting the House appropriators to fully fund Everglades restoration and water quality infrastructure projects in the sunshine state.
The letters were also sent to the Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies and the Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies.
The effort is led by Democratic Rep. Alcee Hastings, and joining him are a bipartisan group of sunshine state lawmakers that includes Republican Rep. Francis Rooney, Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Republican Rep. Michael Waltz and Democratic Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell.
Commenting on the initiative, Hastings slammed President Trump, citing that “for the third year in a row, President Trump’s budget has cut federal funding for Everglades restoration.” Hastings informed that “so much of South Florida’s quality of life depends on the Everglades,” and that “more than 8 million Floridians rely on this national treasure for their water supply, and the sawgrass prairies and mangrove forests are home to numerous vulnerable, threatened, and endangered species.”
Republican Rep. Francis Rooney added that “the single biggest issue impacting our Southwest Florida community is water quality.” Moreover, Rooney explained that “over the past two years, we have been successful in obtaining nearly $1.1 billion for repairs to the Herbert Hoover Dike and the Everglades restoration.” In turn, he argues that “it is critical we maintain these funding levels so that we may speed up the projects necessary to fix our water.”
Finally, freshman Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell asserted that the sunshine state is “speaking with one voice to tell the Trump Administration that the federal government needs to fulfill its commitment to our constituents by providing the necessary funding for Everglades restoration.” She also commented that “if President Trump was being sincere when he visited Lake Okeechobee about protecting our water, our environment, and creating new jobs, he should fully fund Everglades restoration programs.”