Environmental groups push DeSantis to veto portion of new budget

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A portion of the new state budget is dedicated to re-evaluating current fertilizer restrictions for Floridians. Local environmental groups believe that this may damage the environment and take away local government power.

Florida lawmakers passed a 117-billion-dollar budget for the fiscal year that will start July 1.

In that plan, there’s a quarter of a million dollars allocated to the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences to evaluate the effectiveness of seasonal fertilizer restrictions.

The Sierra Club’s Cris Costello believes that this is an attack on local fertilizer ordinances.

“It is $250,000 that would be used to mischaracterize the truth, again, in service of big turf and big fertilizer.”

Some local jurisdictions advise against putting fertilizer down during Florida’s rainy season. They’re concerned that it will run off into waterways and feed algae blooms. Costello worries this new “evaluation” is the first step in a threat to those ordinances.

“This is, number one, a sneak attack. They couldn’t do it through the legislative session, and so they snuck it in as some backroom, last-minute deal between the House and the Senate. No community vetting, no hearings, no debate, nothing.”

The Sierra Club sent a letter, signed by environmental activist groups around Florida, asking the governor to veto this portion of the budget.

Costello ensured that Tampa Bay area counties have strong urban fertilizer ordinances, and those will remain. However, counties that do not have ordinances will not be able to add them during the year-long hiatus that will come.

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