TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) - An injunction has been filed with the Leon Circuit Court accusing the Legislature of illegally taking money from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund.
The injunction was originally filed in June was amended on Friday to add the Sierra Club to the suit. The original suit was filed by the Florida Wildlife Federation, the St. Johns Riverkeeper, and the Environmental Confederation of Southwest Florida.
The lawsuit accuses the Legislature of taking money from the fund to pay for the below projects:
- $1,222,158 for risk management insurance for the Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Department of State and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, covering liability for, among other things, damage awards for Civil Rights Act violations, damage claims against the agencies for negligent injuries to people and for property damage, and worker's compensation claims;
- $623,043 to pay for executive leadership and administrative services to wildlife programs in the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission;
- $21,697,449 to the Department of Agriculture ($5 million of which was vetoed by the Governor) to pay for implementation of agricultural best management practices on non-conservation, privately owned lands;
- $174,078,574 for salaries and overhead for personnel within the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Department of Environmental Protection, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and the Department of State;
- $838,570 for wildfire suppression vehicles for the Department of Agriculture;
- $5 million to the Department of Agriculture to pay private agricultural operations to keep their pollution on their own lands;
- $38,575,538 to the Department of Environmental Protection that can be used to build sewage treatment plants and stormwater treatment systems.
The suit is asking the Legislature to return the money back to the fund.