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Reposted from January 2014

Just as we thought we might get some positive attention from the state, a bill was filed to keep local communities from protecting their environment.

Click here to see an annotated version of House Bill 703 filed by Rep. Jimmy Patronis of Panama City. The bill is a Christmas tree for special interest and a real blow to the river.

The House Bill has no Senate companion bill and it's past the deadline to file one. That DOES NOT mean we are home free. If it passes the House then all or part of it can be tagged onto larger "sure to pass" Senate Bills and sneaked through.

It appears to be aimed at undoing all the good policies in the Martin County Comprehensive plan that restore and protect the river. It prohibits local government from having environmental rules or policies that affect agriculture. 

Agriculture is not the whole problem of too much dirty water, but it's a big part of the problem. The state minimum environmental standards don't work. If the state keeps local governments from doing a better job than the state does, our waterways are going to die. 

Tallahassee needs to hear from river advocates NOW. They seem to think we've forgotten the green slime.

Write them a long letter describing last summer and telling them we need to be helped instead of hurt.  Tell them we will lose all faith in state government if HB 703 isn't killed early in the legislative session. Or write them a short note saying "Kill HB 703 NOW. Leave us alone!"

Gov. Rick Scott       [email protected]

Sen. President Don Gaetz        [email protected]  

House Speaker Will Weatherford             [email protected]

To send an email to all of the above, here's the email string:

[email protected], [email protected], [email protected]