Water policy legislation favored by business interests and opposed by environmental advocates cleared the Florida House Thursday with bipartisan support. But a parallel effort in the Senate looks much different and it is unclear if the two chambers can reach an agreement.
The water bill is a top priority for House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, R-Merritt Island, an agribusiness owner who has repeatedly talked about his desire to leave a legacy of tackling water quality and supply issues. “You have to have some place to start,” Crisafulli said after the debate. “This is a good place for us to start.” Many House Democrats echoed those statements and most voted for the legislation, which passed 106-9.
Rep. Darryl Rouson, the St. Petersburg Democrat whose district includes parts of Sarasota and Manatee counties, said he supports the bill because it has “positive aspects for our water quality and our environment.”
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