Florida legislators file bill to stop rural toll highways

m-cores toll roads protest

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In 2019 the Florida Legislature provided funding to study three toll highways through rural west Florida.

But critics say the highway projects (also called M-CORES) are unnecessary, will lead to sprawl and could harm sensitive ecosystems and natural resources.

New bills were filed last week in the state Legislature to stop the proposed toll highways. On WMNF’s MidPoint Monday we spoke by phone with the sponsor of House Bill 763, Representative Ben Diamond (D-St. Petersburg).

We heard from several other opponents of the toll highways, including the Senate sponsor, Tina Polsky. Two other opponents are from rural Levy County, where one of the proposed toll highways would cross through — County Commissioner Lilly Rooks and Scott Osteen with Osteen Farms in Bronson, Florida. Another opponent is Lindsay Cross, the government relations director of Florida Conservation Voters.

Listen to the full show here.

Also on the show we heard from Tampa Mayor Jane Castor speaking about Sunday’s Super Bowl LV in Tampa, the Bucs’ victory and crowded parties before, during and after the game.

And we heard a coronavirus and vaccination update from Dr. Ulyee Choe, the Director of the Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County.