Section 373.45926, Florida Statutes 2009
373.45926 Everglades Trust Fund; allocation of revenues and expenditure of funds for conservation and protection of natural resources and abatement of water pollution.--
(1) LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS AND INTENT.--The Legislature finds and declares the following:
(a) The Everglades ecological system is unique in the world and one of Florida's great treasures. The Legislature has responded to adverse changes in water quality, and in quantity, distribution, and timing of flows, that endanger the Everglades ecological system, by enacting the Everglades Forever Act. The act authorized the Everglades Construction Project, which is by far the largest environmental cleanup and restoration program of this type ever undertaken and will require substantial expenditures.
(b) In consideration of both the environmental benefits and public costs of the Everglades Construction Project, the Legislature finds that enhanced oversight and accountability is necessary to ensure that the Everglades Construction Project is completed in a timely manner and within the limits of the funds made available for its completion. The Legislature further finds that the implementation of the Everglades Forever Act is critical to the conservation and protection of natural resources and improvement of water quality in the Everglades Protection Area and the Everglades Agricultural Area.
(2) The South Florida Water Management District shall administer the Everglades Trust Fund consistent with the requirements of this section, as well as all other applicable laws.
(3) The South Florida Water Management District shall furnish, as part of the consolidated annual report required by s. 373.036(7), a detailed copy of its expenditures from the Everglades Trust Fund to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and shall make copies available to the public. The information shall be provided in a format approved by the Joint Legislative Committee on Everglades Oversight. At the direction of the Joint Legislative Committee on Everglades Oversight, an audit may be made from time to time by the Auditor General, and such audit shall be within the authority of said Auditor General to make.
(4) The following funds shall be deposited into the Everglades Trust Fund specifically for the implementation of the Everglades Forever Act.
(a) Alligator Alley toll revenues pursuant to s. 338.26(3).
(b) Everglades agricultural privilege tax revenues pursuant to s. 373.4592(6).
(c) C-139 agricultural privilege tax revenues pursuant to s. 373.4592(7).
(d) Special assessment revenues pursuant to s. 373.4592(8).
(e) Ad valorem revenues pursuant to s. 373.4592(4)(a).
(f) Federal funds appropriated by the United States Congress for any component of the Everglades Construction Project.
(g) Preservation 2000 funds for acquisition of lands necessary for implementation of the Everglades Forever Act as prescribed in an annual appropriation.
(h) Any additional funds specifically appropriated by the Legislature for this purpose.
(i) Gifts designated for implementation of the Everglades Forever Act from individuals, corporations, and other entities.
(j) Any additional funds that become available for this purpose from any other source.
(5) Funds deposited into the Everglades Trust Fund pursuant to this section shall be expended for implementation of the Everglades Forever Act as provided by s. 373.4592.
(6) Funds from other sources deposited into the Everglades Trust Fund shall be used consistent with the purposes for which they were received.
(7) Annually, no later than January 1, the South Florida Water Management District shall report to the Joint Committee on Everglades Oversight:
(a) The unencumbered balance which remains in the Everglades Trust Fund at the end of each fiscal year.
(b) The revenues deposited in the Everglades Trust Fund pursuant to this section, by source, and the record of expenditures from the Everglades Trust Fund.
History.--s. 5, ch. 97-258; s. 108, ch. 2001-266; s. 13, ch. 2005-36.