WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Rick Scott, Senator Marco Rubio, Representative Brian Mast, and Representative Francis Rooney released the following joint statement after President Trump’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget request to Congress failed to include sufficient funding for Everglades restoration efforts. Last month, Senator Scott, Senator Rubio, and Florida Governor DeSantis urged President Trump to include a commitment of $200 million in construction funding for South Florida Ecosystem Restoration (SFER).
“For the third year in a row, the administration’s budget request underfunds critical projects in South Florida. It is incredibly short-sighted to continue to underfund a series of projects that are absolutely necessary to ensure the environmental sustainability and economic vitality of one of the most dynamic regions of our nation. Everglades restoration is critically important to the State of Florida and enjoys broad bipartisan support in Congress. Failing to meet the basic federal funding commitments to restore the Everglades is contrary to the administration’s goal of improving project partnerships and cost-sharing with states. Successive Florida Governors have remained committed to this goal, pushing state funding of this 50/50 federal-state partnership to historic highs. Congress and the Army Corps of Engineers envisioned a $200 million per year federal commitment when the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan was first authorized nearly 20 years ago, and it is time for the administration to meet that commitment.”
During his eight years as Florida’s Governor, Senator Rick Scott championed record funding and investments in the Everglades, Florida’s springs, beaches and state parks while supporting the state’s vital produce and agriculture, including:
- Increasing Florida’s annual investments to preserve the environment and protect Florida beaches, pristine springs and the Florida Everglades by $1 billion since 2011.
- In addition to securing full federal funding from President Donald Trump, fighting for and securing $100 million in state funds to expedite repairs to the Herbert Hoover Dike.
- Investing more than $2 billion to restore the Everglades, resulting in the acceleration of 16 Everglades projects, sending more water south and providing billions of gallons of water storage around Lake Okeechobee.
- Signing SB 10 in 2017 to accelerate the EAA reservoir to store even more water south of Lake Okeechobee, and securing federal approval of this important project which was approved in October 2018.
- Investing more money into Florida’s springs than any other administration in Florida history – the investments in springs protection over his eight years totaled more than $450 million.