Thursday saw a Senate subcommittee — the Appropriations Subcommittee on the Environment and Natural Resources — approve two priority environmental projects of Appropriations Chair Rob Bradley, a Fleming Island Republican.
Both bills were approved without objection.
The full Appropriations Committee is the next stop for these bills, all but ensuring the Bradley bills will be mulled by the full Senate.
SB 204 approves spending at least $75 million a year on springs projects and $50 million annually on projects related to the restoration of the St. Johns River and its tributaries, as well as the Keystone Heights Lake Region.
That money would go to “rare and sensitive” land acquisition and water projects.
Sens. Linda Stewart and Debbie Mayfield, a Democrat and Republican respectively, lauded Bradley for filing SB 370, which they contend reflects the intent of the voters.
“This is the year where we on a bipartisan basis need to make this strong step forward,” said Bradley. “It’s the right thing to do for the state and is good public policy.”
“We have an obligation to ensure future generations get to enjoy the wonderful gifts we get to enjoy,” Bradley said, in reference to Florida’s rivers and springs.
Bradley held a dramatic press event in March in Keystone Heights, in which he remarked that “the lakes have left us.”
The increasingly powerful North Florida Senator is a step closer to redressing that regional issue.