Agriculture Department wants raises for first responders, funding for water and climate change – Florida Politics

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The Division of Agriculture and Shopper Providers is asking for $150 million Inside the upcoming price range, collectively with almost $6 million to fund pay raises for the department’s first replyers.

The agency launched its funding request Monday As a Outcome of the primary week of legislative committee hearings started. Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, who May even be mounting a advertising campaign for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, leads the department.

“Regardless of the challenges of working by way of A unbroken pandemic, our core mission reprimarys The identical: to safeguard The general public and assist Florida agriculture,” Fried said. “Our price range priorities are options-oriented And important not solely to our department’s success, However in addition to our state.”

A launch from the Agriculture Division says the agency is asking for $119 million from state notion funds — collectively with $11 million in federal grants — and one other $31 million from widespread income.

Fried’s agency Desires to tug $2.9 million from widespread income To Increase The backside pay for members of the department’s Office of Agricultural Regulation Enforcement. Beneath the proposal, base pay Can be bumped To solely about $42,000.

The request furtherly seeks simply shy of $3 million from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund to finance a $2,500 pay enhance for Florida Forest Service firefighters.

“Over the previous three yrs, Florida Forest Service personnel replyed to A imply of 4,672 fires that burned An complete of 147,169 acres,” The discharge said. “Florida’s Wildland Hearthfighters and Hearth assist staff reply 24 hours a day, Three hundred and sixty 5 days a yr in harsh circumstances To shield Florida’s residents from wildfires.”

The Agriculture Division May even be asking for substantial funding for water coverage factors and local climate change mitigation. The price range request embraces almost $28 million from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund for water tasks and one other $2 million for the Sequestering Carbon and Defending Florida Land Program. That latter program will assist plant timber To Scale again carbon dioxide emissions.

The agency is asking for $10 million to retain water and reduce dangerous dietary vitamins outdoors the Lake Okeechobee Watershed.

Another $5 million would go to comparable efforts “On the basin, sub-basin and farm ranges Inside the Lake Okeechobee Watershed, collectively with value share packages for precision agriculture Similar to know-how-based mostly fertilizer purposes, relevant cowl crop rotations and land administration devices.” An further $5 million would fund value-share tasks in areas coated by basin administration movement plans, Similar to the Indian River Lagoon Basin and the St. Lucie River and Estuary.

A handful of smaller water tasks would furtherly acquire funding under the plan.

“Funding these Common sense and fiscally-acrelyable priorities will save lives and property by assisting our wildland firefighters and agricultural law enforcement officers; shielding and enhancing our water sources; making sure Florida’s agriculture enterprise reprimarys globally aggressive Inside the face of each ongoing and new challenges, and fostering the burgeoning hemp and hemp furtherct inhalation industries In a place to creating billions in financial potential,” Fried added.

On the hemp problem, the department asks for $1.9 million from the General Inspection Trust Fund to fund inspections for retailers promoting hemp merchandise. Another $1.3 million Usually income funds would cowl inspections at institutions promoting vaping merchandise. That latter pot Of money would furtherly assist research whether or not vapes are in compliance with guidelines governing unsafe contaminants and components.

Completely different huge price range gadgets embrace $20 million in Land Acquisition Trust Fund assets for the Rural and Household Lands Safety Program. That program assists primarytain Florida’s agricultural land by buying everlasting conservation easements.

Greater than $8.7 million of widespread income funds would go to the Florida Agricultural Promovemental Campaign To assist promote Florida’s farmers. Another $8 million from the Agricultural Emergency Eradication Trust Fund would go to citrus greening evaluation.

With lawmakers gathered in Tallahassee this week To rearrange for the 2022 Legislative Session, funding requests Shall be flying in. The Legislature will work by way of these requests Inside the weeks and months forward. The 60-day Session begins in January.


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