Holly Raschein’s Anti-Water Voting Record

Holly Raschein has spent a career voting to gut hundreds of millions from Everglades protection funding, voted multiple times to delay cleanup of Lake Okeechobee (the source of toxic green algae plaguing our waters), advocates for letting polluters off the hook from paying to clean up their messes and constantly guts water quality standards. Raschein has supported fracking multiple times and even voted to allow treated sewage into drinking water aquifers.

Don’t take our word for it… look for yourself. We’ve pasted dozens of anti-clean water votes below so you can see her voting record for yourself.

Florida Bay and the Everglades cannot afford two more years of Holly Raschein. 


Voted to further delay clean-up of Lake Okeechobee: 
In January 2016, Raschein and the House passed SB 552, an overhaul of the state’s water quality policy. Among other things, the law reset the original, missed, January 2015 deadline to sharply reduce damaging nutrients flowing into Lake Okeechobee, which had been set by law in 2000 as part of efforts to clean up the ailing Everglades. With the backing of the same powerful business interests who previously stalled cleanup efforts, the bill simply deleted the original deadline and set another that will be at least 20 years in the future. [Miami Herald, January 29, 2016]

Voted to let polluters off the hook for paying to clean up the water supply: 
In 2015 Raschein voted for HB 7003, a bill which would let polluters off the hook when it comes to cleaning up the water supply. The most controversial portion of the bill dealt with water quality in the Lake Okeechobee area, the site of chronic phosphorus loading for decades. The bill designated the basin management action plan (BMAP) for the lake as the component responsible for achieving phosphorus reductions in the lake. The bill also removed references to rules which establish phosphorus permits for individual discharges in the area, as well as deadlines for achieving target nutrient levels. [House Vote 5, HB 7003, March 5, 2015]
Voted to cut environment funding $298 Million, including all Florida Forever funding: 
In 2017, Raschein voted for SB 2500, the FY2018 budget. The conference report included net cuts of $298 million or 7.59 percent to environment, agriculture, and natural resources, with the Department of Environmental Protection bearing the brunt of the cuts. It cut all funding for Florida Forever, Florida Communities Trust, and Florida Recreation Development Assistance Program, cuts that totaled $35.4 million. [SB 2500, 2017; Tampa Bay Times, May 11, 2017; Tallahassee Democrat, June 2, 2017; Florida Politics, June 2, 2017; Florida Tax Watch Special Session Wrap-Up]

Cut Everglades and Estuary Protection $21 Million:
In 2017, Raschein voted for SB 2500, the FY2018 budget. It included a $21 million cut to Northern Everglades and Estuaries Protection Program. [SB 2500, 2017]

Voted for budget that left Florida Forever funding anemic: 
In 2016, Rep. Raschein voted for HB 5001, the $82.3 billion FY 2017 budget, and HB 5003, the bill that implemented the budget. It allocated Florida Forever only $15.1 million. [House Vote 876, HB 5001, March 11, 2016]

Voted for budget that flubbed Amendment 1 environmental funding: 
In 2015, Raschein voted (after roll call) for the special session conference report on the FY 2016 budget, SB 2500-A. Those opposing the budget believed the implementation of Amendment 1 did not reflect the voters’ clear direction to preserve and protect Florida’s environment instead of directing money to current agency salaries and existing state regulatory programs. [House Vote 431, SB 2500-A, June 19, 2015; Senate Vote 12, SB 2500-A, June 19, 2015]

Voted for water policy overhaul that favored special interests, weakened water protections, and ignored conservation and pollution: 
In 2016, Raschein voted for SB 552, which overhauled state water policy to focus on best management practices for agricultural businesses and heavy water users. On behalf of a group of over 50 organizations under the umbrella of the Florida Conservation Coalition, former governor and former US Senator Bob Graham stated, “Although there are good elements in this bill, they come at too high a cost: provisions blatantly favoring special interests, tying the hands of the water management districts by further weakening current water protections, and largely ignoring the two most important requirements to protect these resources: conservation and stopping pollution at its source.”
The Sierra Club, 1000 Friends of Florida, the Florida Springs Council, and the St. Johns Riverkeeper echoed the Coalition in asking Gov. Scott to veto the bill. [House Vote 463, SB 552, January 14, 2016; Senate Vote 4, SB 552, January 13, 2016; Tampa Tribune, March 12, 2016; Sunshine State News, January 13, 2016; CBS Miami, January 20, 2016; Florida Conservation Coalition, January 20, 2016] 
Voted for improper implementation of Amendment 1 directive meant to dedicate funds to environmental conservation: 
In 2015, Raschein voted for SB 584 regarding the implementation of Amendment 1, the constitutional amendment approved by over 75% of voters to dedicate funds to conservation purposes. The bill would replace several previously existing trust funds dedicated to environmental purposes with the Land Acquisition Trust Fund (LATF, the trust fund specified by Amendment 1 for land conservation purposes). [House Vote 57, SB 584, April 2, 2015]

Again voted for improper implementation of Amendment 1 directive to dedicate funds to environmental conservation: 
In 2015, Raschein voted (after roll call) for, SB 2516-A, the special session version of the conference on implementing Amendment 1, which was similar to the one voted on during regular session. As voted on by the House, the Conference Report essentially replaced several previously existing trust funds dedicated to environmental purposes with the Land Acquisition Trust Fund (the trust fund specified by Amendment 1 for land conservation purposes). [House Vote 437, SB 2516-A, June 19, 2015]

Voted to shift onto Miami-Dade taxpayers the fees on Miami-area miners that paid for a water treatment plant to treat water in the event open mining pits poisoned the water supply: 
In 2015 Raschein voted for HB 359, backed by the mining industry, which would greatly reduce fees on rock miners in the Miami-Dade County Lake Belt Area that helped pay for wetland mitigation, seepage mitigation, and an upgrade to a water treatment plant. The millions of dollars in annual fees were originally intended to be an insurance policy for any pollution or contamination entering the public water supply through the massive and ever-expanding rockpits in the area. The bill cut the fees from 60 cents per ton of rock mined to 10 cents per ton. As of April 2015 mining had dug out about 91,000 acres of rockpits in what used to be wetlands near Miami-Dade’s Northwest Wellfield. Eventually, rockpits could cover about 22 square miles. [House Vote 366, HB 359, April 27, 2015; Senate Vote 20, HB 359, April 28, 2015]

Voted for bill to cut fees on miners (And the miners gave her money): 

In 2015, Raschein voted for HB 359 (Miami-Dade Lake Belt Plan), which would allow the state’s Fire Marshall, who controls the frequency of blasting for mining, to initiate a study on the level of the explosions conducted by miners in the Lake Belt such as White Rock Quarries, and how to investigate and pay legitimate claims to property owners. However that bill reduced fees on the rock miners, fees which helped pay for wetland mitigation, seepage mitigation, and a needed upgrade to a water treatment plant to protect the county’s water supply against the risk of water getting contaminated in the mining pits, and shifted those costs to county taxpayers. Meanwhile White Rock had already given her campaign $1,500 at the time and would go on to give another thousand later. Her campaign had also taken another $1,500 from Cemex, which also has mining interests, and went on to give her another $500. [HB 359, 2015; The Miami Laker, June 4, 2015; Florida Division of Elections]

Voted for permit exemptions for farmers to fill in wetlands: 
In 2013, Raschein voted for HB 999, an environmental regulation omnibus bill that, among multiple other things, gave permit exemptions to farmers to fill in certain manmade ponds and wetlands. Opponents of the bill voiced concern that the overall decrease in state revenues, because of fee and permit exemptions, would result in an overall decrease in the state funding to protect the environment. [House Vote 460, HB 999, May 3, 2013]

Voted to allow municipalities flexibility for dumping sewage into the ocean:
In 2013 Raschein voted for HB 707 to ease the rules on discharging treated sewage into the ocean, which was projected to save Miami-Dade and Broward counties as much as $867 million and $620 million, respectively, and Hollywood as much as $174 million. Five years previously, the Legislature had passed a bill to begin phasing out the use of ocean outfalls. [Miami Herald, April 17, 2013; House Vote 153, SB 444, April 17, 2013]

Voted to block attempt to make fracking subject to local approval: 
One of the most contentious portions of the bill was the section preempting any local government from regulating fracking. Amendment 032575 would have required local voters to approve fracking activities via referendum before such activities could proceed within their county. Supporters viewed this amendment as an attempt to accommodate the wishes of the dozens of counties and municipalities which had, at the time HB 191 was being discussed, already passed ordinances limiting or prohibiting fracking. Opponents of the amendment felt that state preemption was necessary to ensure consistent regulation of fracking throughout Florida and prevent a patchwork of various regulations in each locality. The amendment failed 40-72 with Raschein’s help. [House Vote 466, Amdt. 032575, January 26, 2016]

Voted for fracking-enabling bill: 
In 2015 Raschein voted for HB 1205, which paved the way for fracking in Florida by directing the Department of Environmental Protection to create a program for issuing permits for fracking wells including disclosure requirements for the chemicals that would be used. [House Vote 367, HB 1205, April 27, 2015]

Voted for fracking bill allowing companies to exempt themselves from disclosure of toxic chemicals used:
In 2013, Raschein voted for HB 743, which, in anticipation of potential fracking activity in Florida’s future, established requirements for disclosure to the public of the chemicals used in the process. It would require vendors, owners, and operators of fracking wells to provide a list of the chemicals used to Department of Environmental Protection for disclosure online. Since fracking involves the injection of mixtures of chemicals, many of which are toxic, most agreed that the public should be aware of them. However HB 745, which was the public records exemption linked to this bill, would have allowed for fracking chemicals to be free from public scrutiny if the vendors, owners, or operators deemed them trade secrets. To some members, it seemed disingenuous to push for disclosure requirements in one bill, but allow for companies to choose what not to disclose in a linked bill. Some disagreed with the idea that chemicals could be kept confidential without any objective standards. [House Vote 226, HB 743, April 18, 2013; HB 745, 2013]

Voted to allow “treated sewage” to be pumped into drinking water aquifers: 

In 2018, Raschein voted for HB 1149 that would allow reclaimed wastewater to be pumped into the state’s aquifers. Opponents argued that there existed no requirement for the water to meet spring water quality standards or be tested for carcinogenic chemicals. [HB 1149, 2018]

Voted to exempt polluting paper mills from liability: 
In May 2013, Raschein voted for HB 999, an environmental regulation omnibus bill that, among multiple other things, exempted from liability any permitted activity authorized by the DEP or WMD pursuant to Ch. 403, Environmental Control. This language was intended to benefit pulp and paper companies that had permits allowing them to discharge a certain amount of pollution, chiefly petroleum. [House Vote 460, HB 999, May 3, 2013]

Voted to allow dangerous underground natural gas storage: 
In April 2013, Raschein voted for HB 1083, a bill to promote the extraction and storage of natural gas in the state. Among other things, it would allow an operator to build a facility under an aquifer/ underground source of drinking water if an applicant/operator demonstrated that the storage of the natural gas did not cause or allow pollution. Still it made provisions for if it did leak and pollute drinking water, tacit recognition that it might happen. Opponents were concerned that the unique geology of Florida may not make it the best place to store gas underground. Additionally the bill was accompanied by HB 1085, which would grant a public records exemption to natural gas facilities so that they would not have to publicly disclose their trade secrets. This concerned a number of members who said the people should know what is being placed underground. As evidence of their concerns, opponents referred to a recent accident, April 22, 2013, when a natural gas storage site in southwestern Wyoming exploded. [House Vote 215, HB 1083, April 24, 2013]

Voted to give natural gas companies storing gas underground an exemption from public record laws: 
In 2013, Raschein voted for HB 1085, which was linked to HB 1083 regarding natural gas underground storage, and created a public records exemption for certain information provided in an application for a natural gas storage facility permit to inject and recover gas into and from a natural gas storage reservoir. Proponents of the bill said the public records exemption would make Florida a more friendly state for business and would incent companies interested in underground storage to come to the state because, by providing an exemption, it gave companies protection for their trade secrets. Opponents were primarily concerned that exempting information protected as trade secrets would prevent the public from knowing what was being placed underground. Additionally, some members were simply opposed to the idea of storing natural gas underground. [House Vote 216, HB 1085, April 24, 2013]

Voted not to protect the environment from the hazardous waste of coal ash: 
In 2013, Raschein voted for SB 682, which would exempt coal ash and similar byproducts from a hazardous materials dumping ban and to regulate their beneficial uses. In the wake of a coal ash spill disaster in Tennessee, the federal government was in 2013 considering classifying coal ash as a hazardous waste; and Florida prohibits the disposal of hazardous waste on state lands. [House Vote 337, SB 682, April 30, 2013]

Voted to let Gov. Scott off the hook for letting the sugar industry lease the Everglades for farming (And took lots of Sugar money): 
In 2013, Raschein voted for HB 999, an environmental regulation omnibus bill that, among multiple other things, ratified farming leases on state lands in the Everglades approved by the Governor and his cabinet, which nullified the Florida Wildlife Federation lawsuit against the Governor and Cabinet for approving the leases for the sugar industry (A. Duda and Sons and Florida Crystal Corp., both of which became her campaign contributors). She had already taken $8,500 from the sugar industry at that point and went on to take a career total of $30,250 through January 2017. [House Vote 460, HB 999, May 3, 2013; Florida Division of Elections]

Voted to preempt local bans on styrofoam: 
In 2016, Raschein voted for HB 7007, an agriculture bill that among other things was amended to preempt local governments from imposing bans on Styrofoam and polystyrene products, such as those that had been implemented in Bal Harbour, Bal Harbor Island, Key Biscayne, Miami Beach, North Bay Village, and Surfside (though these would apparently be grandfathered in). The Florida Association of Counties, the Surfrider Foundation, and the Sierra Club Florida all opposed the provision. Surfrider argued that expanded polystyrene doesn’t degrade in the environment, often isn’t recyclable, and has become a prevalent part of litter along coastal areas. [House Vote 849, HB 7007, March 9, 2016; Senate Vote 23, HB 7007, March 9, 2016; Tampa Tribune, March 12, 2016; Politico Florida, January 29, 2016]

Voted for expedited permitting for gas pipelines: 
In May 2013, Raschein voted for HB 999, an environmental regulation omnibus bill that, among multiple other things, provided for an expedited permitting and summary hearing process for projects to construct interstate natural gas pipelines. [House Vote 460, HB 999, May 3, 2013]