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By: William E. GibsonSun Sentinel 12:03 p.m. EST, March 1, 2013
Rather than wait for Congress to re-authorize the long-stalled Water Resources Development Act, Hastings and Diaz-Balart introduced a separate authorization bill for the Everglades projects.
Hastings, a Democrat from Miramar, and Diaz-Balart, a Republican from Miami, are hoping Congress will be quicker to pass a separate bill for the Everglades, which has drawn support from members of both parties and the Obama administration.
Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., introduced a similar bill in the last session.
The Everglades for the Next Generation Act would clear a path for annual funding of projects ready for construction. The sponsors say it also would give the Army Corps of Engineers flexibility to avoid congressional bottlenecks in the future.
“Congressional inaction has been a roadblock for far too long despite bi-partisan support for restoration,” Hastings said.
Diaz-Balart added: “By authorizing the next suite of projects, we are helping strengthen Florida’s ecosystem and economy.”