When you start talking about potential pollution of drinking water, such as we did on Sunday, people start to pay attention. Of course, we weren’t the only ones raising awareness of this issue, and it appears the Legislature has heard the uproar. They’ve managed to find a few million to restore funding to more reasonable levels—the state will just borrow the money.
The Senate quickly cleared one of the largest remaining hurdles by agreeing to a House proposal to borrow up to $104 million to pay for a cleanup program that targets thousands of sites where gasoline and other petroleum products threaten drinking-water supplies.
Senate budget chief JD Alexander, R-Lake Wales, said that after checking on the state’s overall debt burden, he was satisfied that it could take on more.
The House and Senate earlier had agreed to raid a $151.7 million reserve fund that pays for the program.
“We didn’t like the idea of sweeping all the money and then borrowing,” Alexander said.
So, yes, we have a dedicated funding source for the clean up, but the Legislature has decided they would rather borrow the money than use the money that is actually being collected. You do the math.