Governor Crist Includes Florida Forever Funding in FY '10-'11 Budget listen01/25/10 Kate Bradshaw
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On Friday, Florida Governor Charlie Crist announced that he wants to reinstate funding for the Florida Forever program in next year’s state budget.
Since 1963, the state has spent more than $7.5 billion to protect around 3.8 million acres of Florida land. Last year, though, amid economic strife, the state eliminated Florida Forever program funding from its budget.
Bob Martinez is one of four former governors who co-chair the Florida Forever Coalition, along with Governors Jeb Bush, Bob Graham, and Ruben Askew. Martinez told WMNF that he commends Governor Crist’s inclusion of the program in his budget, but its reinstatement is not yet a sure thing. "Well, I'm very delighted that the governor has it in his budget, but that's the first step."
Florida Forever replaced the state’s Preservation 2000 program in 2001, and since then has acquired nearly 640 thousand acres of land at a cost of $2.62 billion. If the budget passes unmodified, the state would fund Florida Forever to the tune of 50 million dollars over fiscal year 2010.