Florida Legislature

Florida ecology is being ‘annihilated.’ Here’s how to stop it

May 26, 2022

Out-of-control development, poor water quality, dead seagrass and dying manatees were not inevitable in Florida. It didn’t have to be this way. But it IS this way due to specific decisions made by elected leaders and bureaucratic officials who act…

How Big Sugar hides behind the small farmer

May 19, 2022

The counterattack was inevitable – and utterly predictable. While the billionaire sugar barons haven’t deigned to comment on the “No Big Sugar Money” campaign which launched last week, they’ve sent their surrogates out to spin. Predictably, it’s been picked up…

Why we need to end the influence of ‘Big Sugar’

May 13, 2022

Florida Sportsman publisher – and VoteWater Board President – Blair Wickstrom makes the case: In 2020 alone, Florida’s sugar industry — the home of Big Sugar — put at least $11 million into congressional campaign coffers. This happened on both…

Vote as if your water depends on it – because it does

May 11, 2022

This commentary was first published in late April, by Ryan Smart of the Florida Springs Council – no relation to VoteWater Executive Director Gil Smart – as a depressing post-mortem on this year’s legislative session: Going into the 2022 legislative…

DeSantis endorsement of Simpson not a good sign for clean water

April 26, 2022

It looked like there was a real wedge between the two most powerful Republicans in Florida – Gov. Ron DeSantis and current Senate President Wilton Simpson, who’s running for state Agriculture Commissioner. But they’ve kissed and made up. And that…

Will Gov. DeSantis let this terrible bill define his environmental legacy?

April 20, 2022

What’s it going to be, Governor? Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has styled himself as a Teddy Roosevelt Republican, a conservative who makes a point of conserving our natural environment. And he’s done some good things: He’s steered massive amounts of…

Is Gov. DeSantis taking backdoor sugar money?

April 6, 2022

Call this a master class in how politics really works in Florida. And yet another reason we should all Vote Water. On Substack, Jason Garcia’s “Seeking Rents” takes a look at “Associated Industries of Florida,” a lobbying group whose name…

New report, same old story: Our waters are getting worse

March 29, 2022

The Clean Water Act was passed in 1972 with the goal of cleaning up our rivers, streams, lakes and more. It’s fallen almost unimaginably short. A sobering report by the nonpartisan, nonprofit Environmental Integrity Project found that nearly half the…

If West Palm Beach finds another source of water, shouldn’t Lake O be kept lower?

March 17, 2022

Toxic blue-green algae on Lake Okeechobee isn’t just a problem for the lake, or for the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee when those estuaries are being blasted with discharges from the lake full of cyanobacteria. Increasingly, as this article in the…

Sweet deal: Big Sugar’s campaign cash fuels Wilton Simpson’s ambitions

March 10, 2022

Wilton Simpson has more clout than virtually any other elected official in Florida. And Big Sugar has greased the skids in his ascent to power. Simpson, often referred to as “a Trilby egg farmer” (in truth he runs a multi-million…

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