The Florida legislature is currently debating how the budget for next year will be finalized with the total Budget to be nearly $74 Billion Dollars. The state constitution requires our 40 state Senators and 120 Representatives to pass a budget which is balanced and to make sure that planned expenditures do not exceed revenues. We fell into the red in the recent past with a budget deficit of over $3 Billion dollars. Luckily our governor and legislators have been working hard to get our fiscal house in order and we now have a $1 Billion dollar surplus. Water quality issues have been an issue for several years and some pressure has been put on Tallahassee to fund clean up efforts of the excess nutrient pollution flowing into the Caloosahatchee River from Lake Okeechobee and elsewhere. We have seen algae blooms, fish die offs and dark brown plumes of water making our waterways look highly toxic and uninviting to tourists and residents. Our local economy depends highly on tourism and we cannot afford to let our beaches and waterways become degraded. The C-43 reservoir project is designed to take excess water releases from Lake O when the water levels become too high and remove pollutants from the water. This project and others need our support and votes in Tallahassee. Our legislators include Sen. Lisbeth Benacquisto, R-Fort Myers, Sen. Garrett Richter, R-Naples, Matt Caldwell, R-North Ft. Myers, Dane Eagle, R-Cape Coral, Heather Fitzsenhagen, R-Fort Myers, Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples and Ray Rodrigues, R-Estero. They can be reached at their addresses on the Florida House and Senate websites. Make your views known.
Picture courtesy of Sanibel Captiva and Conservation Foundation www.sccf.org