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April 22, 1927.
Mr. W. id. Angaa,
e/o Mr. J. 0. Chase,
Dear Mr. Angas:-
Robert eame to see me yesterday afternoon and let me
read your letter and the oopy of Mr. Vans Agnew's letter to Senator
I thoroughly agree with you, that Governor Martin's
plan for financing the Everglades is full of dangers, but I had not
had time to make a very thorough study of the problem because qy
time had been absorbed in helping to defeat Mr. Garcia for election
to the City Commission.
After talking with Robert, I immediately telephoned
Mr. Graves, of the Journal, but was unable to get in touch with him.
A few minutes later I got a copy of the afternoon paper, L th Mr.
Graves' comment in his column, endorsing the measures. This paper
also had the astounding news that the House had passed Governor
Martin's measures 89 to 5, although it was impossible for the in-
dividual members of the House to lave given these important bills
sufficient consideratianO I had no idea that the proponents of
the plan would move with sudh rapidity. It is almost impossible to
build up an intelligent opposition to any proposal in a few days.
I expected to have sufficient tim to study this matter and become
thoroughly informed as to its details before azq action would be
taken by the Legislature. However, if the manner in which the steam-
roller worked in the House is any indication, the Benate will have
passed the Martin measures even before you get this letter.
I am not prepared to go into aqy thorough diesomasSi
with regard to the merits of the bills, but I do think the haste
with which the House passed them was unseemly. I lmagins that the
members of the House, a- well as the public, were lulled into a
feeling of security by the following passage from the Governor'
message advocating his measures, and were alarmed by his warning
that his plan must be accepted ha toto or disiarded, and that if
the latter course was taken, he would be at a lose as to the next
step to takes
"In March of this year, I requested the drain-
age Board to let me handle the financing of it. This
authority was given me, and since that time I have
been diligently working in sn effort to raise money
to ramplete the project, keeping in mind the fact that
the people of Florida, as a whole, did not want to
ley a state-wide taz for this purpose and that the
people In the adjacent area id not want to come late
the drainage area and levy a tax to help finance It,
also realizing that it was so nm business sense that
if the land is worth what it cost to drain it, the
area itself ought to stani the expense, and if It
is not worth what it will cost to rain It, then
it is poor business to tax other parts of the state
to some in and drain an area that would not be worth
as amob after it Ut drained as it cost to drain it.
"With this situation in mind, I have succeeded
in iateresting New Tork f Ueaters who are willing
to take sufficient bonds, to the extent of $20,000,000,
and X as advised ig soopetent authority that this will
be adequate to complete the project and will settle
forever the question of finance, not taming the State
of Florida a peqy nor taking ia any additional ter-
ritory, but making the area stand solely and alone
ea its own merit and ca its own basai."
If the Governors interpretation of his bills is correct,
I can not see what obe) tion there cosld have been to accoepting Mr.
Weed's amsdument, as follows.
"Nothing contained in this act shall be con-
strued to place any obligation, legal or moral,
upon the State of florida, to fay either the prin-
cipal or intanest of bonds authorised to be issued or
to appropriate fuads for such purpose."
Although I am not sure that, even with this amendment,
if the bonds were sold and the inoome from the Drainage District was
not sufficient to pay either the interest or principal, the people of
Florida would be relieved from the moral responsibility of meeting
these obligations through taatten.
Article 9, Section 6 of the Constitution, which reads a-
followas "Ihe legislature shall have power to provide for issuing
Ctateo tlufd Taly for the purpose of repelling invasion
or suppressing insurrection, for the purpose of re-
deeming or refunding bonds already issued, at a lower
rate of interest.",
does not, in Or opinion, give the Legislature the authority to make the
State the guarantor of any bonds, but, of course, that is a legal ques-
If the senate does not move too quickly, we may be able
at least to get the language of these bills so changed as to make it clear
that the State of Florida as a whole will not be subject to taxation for
. Araning the Everglades, but if we should swe.td in doing tht, I imagine
that the whale plan will fall throui, beease# in pq mtnd, the attor-
neys for the finanoialr have so warded the measures as to make the State
honor bound to pay these bonad if the Drainage Di strit ean't 1q them
W REt SVSRO~~D1~j.
Teateroday*o fle Uatonc, Is a atsatbh froxm ,alsmamaee,
printed Govanor mwartin'a th Exerglaas BlUa, eam tha shot
Bill and tha Oth e the lOg Bl1 A, mi that these reprints
a8e ereet and havbag e iA a euoqy tala ne of than the
tellowing ewmnt ears to m.
in iew of the GovemorV' atatamnMt that hi. plan wMlA
maeylSip h the flam "ng of the W iv-rlatU e witeat a state wile
tax, s afataos of these toe Bills I hbA this featan
partaal lu atad.
eewrinag tizt to ts abort 3Bi1
ewo. aulthorinm a txm lviess to be ae it
'y or unaew the cidtr of anmy Court having J.ua wlr M
eafose the pent of seid btea. or of ear Jugmt thereon
a4alast the Distlst." Jst what does this men an t why Is it
antieSpated that 1y Colurt i y be *le& upon to ak Oay tax
levy? Soe Mt pate a Ju gtm t s ainst the Board of
rgleas Draeflage Comuiseloaser, if no. will te L gialatura
be oaleA Wpoa to appopriato te fC to pay soah j tgstT
Now rweferiw to to e loag BU11.
What does the followang loagae masa E sa seR alas 2
"ia Trusteaes shall pg asash tae out of iteN s in hand or
Sto be approp ateA lb the state for sumk p* In I
attiipa ed that the Bo&ad of Averglans Draa Cmiumlokers
Wy rm alort atof mneay and that the Legislatus wlX be appeal
to to Iey a state wie tax to make upthe t fXsieasfy
The same lraguag oceOn La section 4.
aetIlaU 4 oaataas the followiag unuwaul arbitary aat
swurpriaAog league "JBh taxes re a"te of asesst
ashall have the terse and effet of a Jangaeat and eceatla at
la against the omnfr of aamh po ay." The Timatee of the
Internal Iwrovemnt Fend ae pre the largest aInomeB is
the DistrUt. Soees this man that oebh Aslnqwmat teu will
natomattealy boeme a jtAeat agdant the TriUtees nt if so wiUl
the Legislatuare be eaMlSt up= to pay the JTapmt an to ley
a state wide tax for that purpose
;ootion refers agafta to the ponalbility of a Judiclal
Sof tame by some Court and anathorisea servise upon Seoutive
Offlown of the stato of Pl
C 6 '
Seatoin 9 biadu the Legislature to aenot if aseaMag_
aeUtional lJeislation "to assure to the prehasoe san
holders of the bonts hereby authorise the saufflaoIs of the
taxing power, Amgain does this point to a state wide taxT
Par be it freo me to asugest that either one of these
Bills might ontatSa a JOUE. but ar goaM is that both of them
Bills mnt have originate ia some emw York la office aA were
probably 4rma by same big betA attzereye whee sol ala Mea to
di.oetly or Iadreetly put the Stato of Florida back of theUs
beoas. To do o Are otley wuld ia4redit the Bills at the out-
set and therefore the aU aottod was probably e2stete.
in view of the Govmeror's explicit public delarations
it ia quate probable that if there is a JOEFI in these Bills
the Goveror id entirely Igaormat of itsa axiteaoe.
Let me state that I have no interewt in the E rglates,
profmsonally or otherwise, and that I a- aly writing you be-
oause of our mutual oeavertlas with Mr. i. C. Chamse.
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