Keeping Florida Forever

Former Gov. Bob Martinez at Cypress Point Park in Tampa
Former Gov. Bob Martinez at Cypress Point Park in Tampa
TAMPA (2009-10-14) -

Former Gov. Bob Martinez called for funding of the Florida Forever program, which was cut earlier this year by state lawmakers. He appeared at Cypress Point Park on the shores of Tampa Bay, which was preserved in part with state money.

Martinez says if state lawmakers can find a relatively small amount of money, that can be used to leverage $300 million in bonds. That was the amount of the program's budget when Martinez first started what was then called Preservation 2000 in 1990.

"The thing I believe we have some energy behind is it doesn't require a lot of money," he says. "It's only $15 million. Even in a declining budget, you're talking about a multi-billion dollar budget. We're only asking a small amount to get $300 million."

Earlier this year, lawmakers agreed to back a $250 million bond issue already in the works for the program, but did not approve any money for the future.

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