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Senate issues draft $3.8B environmental budget, millions higher than House

On Tuesday, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Environment and Natural Resources issued the first version of its 2017-18 budget, which comes in at $3.8 billion.

The projected Senate budget includes few hundred million dollars more than the preliminary House plan.

Fleming Island Republican Rob Bradley, who chairs the committee, offered a thumbnail version at a public hearing Wednesday reports LobbyTools.

Among the legislative asks from the Senate is $275 million for Everglades restoration – compared to $165.7 million from the House. Another $50 million for springs restoration, while the House is seeking only $40 million.

There is also $22.6 million for Florida Forever for land acquisition under the Florida Communities Trust program, the same program would get $10 million from the House for local government grants to buy land for parks and wildlife corridors as buffer zones for water resources, reports LobbyTools.

Beach restoration projects would get $100 million — a priority project for Sen. Jack Latvala — as opposed to $30.1 million in the House plan; $64 million would go to water projects versus $20 million from the lower chamber.

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