Title: Current Issues in Water Management District Funding
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Title: Current Issues in Water Management District Funding
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Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
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Abstract: Current Issues in Water Management District Funding 10-25-79
General Note: Box 9, Folder 13 ( SF -WRDA Funding History - 1979-1981 ), Item 1
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/ CURRENT ISSUES IN
WATER MANAGEMENT DISTRICT FUNDING



MODERATOR
HON. DAN FARLEY, Secretary/Treasurer, Northwest Florida Water
Management District Governing Board, Tallahassee, Florida

PANELISTS
.MR. L. M. (BUDDY) BLAIN, Legal Counsel, Southwest Florida Water Management
District, Tampa, Florida

HON. R. T. (TOMMY) CLAY, Chairman, St. Johns River Water Management
District Governing Board, Grandin, Florida

MR. JOHN R. (JACK) MALOY, Executive Director, South Florida Water
Management District, West Palm Beach, Florida
HON. HERB MORGAN, Chairman, House Appropriations Committee, Florida
House of Representatives, Tallahassee, Florida

MR. W, JAMES (JIM) TAIT, Director, Office of Planning and Budgeting,
Office of the Governor, Tallahassee, Florida

PANEL CHARGE
For fiscal year 1979-80, Florida's five water management districts
requested $28,074,378 from state funds to support their activities. For
fiscal year 1980-81, the request was for $29,752,894. In June 1979, the state
Legislature passed the appropriations bill for FY '80 and FY '81, granting
to the water management districts collectively the sums of $4,050,550 and
$4,016,550, respectively. This represents a net reduction in funding of
$49,760,172 below the water management districts' request. Moreover, the
total support to the districts of slightly over eight million dollars
represents a state expenditure for water management of approximately 1/20th of
1 percent of the state budget.

Operations, construction, and land acquisition activities of the water
management districts have traditionally been supported, at least jn part, by
state funds. During the past legislative session, the funds proposed by the
water management districts for construction and land acquisition were reduced
significantly below the level of the original request. For example, one water
management district received only $25,000 to go in its 30 million dollar
budget for land. 3
For what purposes and in what amount should the state appropriate
funds to the five water management districts?
"The task force agrees that the state's funding of works of water
management districts should be for projects which have direct benefits to


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Sthe state in general and which will not result in the most direct benefits
accruing to limited segments of the population."

I "The Task Force agrees with the concept of state funding of district
activities on a 'needs' rather than on a 'formula' basis."
SThe above, as well as several other recommendations, were made by the
second of two Task Forces, which, in recent years, have reviewed issues in
water management funding. To date, there has been no apparent impact of
either task force on the current funding situation. Such questions as:
should,water management district funding levels be based on (1) individual
district programs? (2) area? (3) amount of water? (4) levels of other
income? (5) legislative lobbying? or (6) the implementation of state
I programs? have not been answered.
What is the optimum structure and criteria for water Management
district funding in Florida, and how should this be officially
determined?
The realities of the water management district budget process are indeed a
I complicated "chain" of events. For example, during the past budgeting period,
the following took place:

S1) Budget prepared by water management district and adopted by
Governing Board.
2) Budget request sent by board to Department of Environmental
i Regulation.
3) Budget modified by Department of Environmental Regulation and
sent to Department of Administration.
4) Budget modified by Department of Administration and sent to
SGovernor's Office.
5) Recommendation by Governor to Legislature of lump sum amount for
the districts.
S6) Water management districts meeting; agreement made on split of
lump sum amount.
7) Water management district split agreed to by Governor and
recommendation to Legislature modified.
S8) House and Senate Appropriations coummitees prepared own figures
in their proposed budgets.
9) House and Senate Conference Committee met to determine actual
I dollars to the districts.
10) Eleventh-hour adjustments made to the Conference Committee
appropriations measure.
I 11) Appropriations bill passed by Legisla ure;
12) Appropriations bill signed by Governo-
13) Water management districts received se 16 percent of the
original request. This sum was 50 mi lion dollars less than the
i amount requested.
Is the current state budget process for funding water management
districts working? Why or why not? If not, how can it be improved?



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1..* 'a..






2.



The realities of the water management district budget process are
indeed a complicated "chain" of events. For example, during the past budget-
ing period, the following took place:

1) Budget prepared by WMD and adopted by Governing Board.
2) Budget request sent by Board to DER.
3) Budget modified by DER and sent to DOA.
4) Budget modified by DOA and sent to Governor's Office.
5) Recommendation by Governor to legislature of lump sum amount
for the districts.
6) Water management district meeting; agreement made on split
of lump sum amount.
7) WMD split agreed to by Governor and recommendation to legislature
modified.
8) House and Senate Appropriations Committees prepared own figures
in their proposed budgets.
9) House and.Senate Conference Committee met to determine actual
dollars to the districts.
10) Eleventh-hour adjustments made to the Conference Committee
appropriations measure.
11) Appropriations bill passed by legislature.
12) Appropriations bill signed by Governor.
13) Water management districts received funds of some 16 percent, or
50 million dollars less than originally requested.

Is the cuw&ent state budget ptoce,6s 6or funding wateA management
dLtAictz working? Why oa why not? 16 not, how can it be improved?




J Ii -



TOMMY CLAY a
Derrill McAteer, who has been a Governing Board chairman for so long, and
Bob Clark, who has also been a chairman, came to the newly formed St. Johns River
Water Management District to give us an orientation session in 1973. Through the
years, I have called Derrill many times and have always received excellent advice
and help from him. I looked at this listing of panel members today, and I saw
"Honorable" before my name and not before Derrill's. That is a real important
milestone in my life.
I want to briefly go into some issues that have been brought about by two
very important court cases. I am not an authority on water management, but I
have gotten to be one on legal matters. We have a class action suit that has
been certified against the St. Johns River Water Management District. We have
another suit pending; it may or may not be certified as a class action suit.
These suits have raised some issues 'that directly involve the funding of water
management districts. The reason we are concerned is that 'we Governing .Board
members have been sued individually. I can see myself having to repay one-ninth
of the tax money we board members have been accused of spending illegally.
The major points that have been raised in these suits is a contesting of
the constitutionality of the law creating the water management districts, and of
the constitutionality of the referendum that granted to one district .05 mill and
1 mill to the rest of us. That is a focus in the suit that our attorneys have
given a lot of consideration. It is something we on the board do not control,
but it is something that can be resolved in the Circuit Court of Osceola County.
If the decision is adverse to the line of reasoning that our attorneys are trying
to present, it will affect Jack Maloy, Buddy Runnels, and the rest of the
Governing Board members.
Another major point in the suit concerns Chapter 373.503 of the Florida
Statutes where it says: "The Legislature shall finance the water regulatory and
the administrative functions substantially." This word "substantially" has been
dwelled on in both of the pending suits. We took the line of reasoning that what
general appropriations money was given was what we got and thus was 3
"substantial". But the case against us is built around the point that we broke
the law by spending more than the Legislature appropriated, and that we should
not have spent ad valorem tax funds for regulatory or administrative functions.
All of the other districts have done the same thing and, if it is illegal for us
to do, it is illegal for them to do also.
I am going to make just one other point from the panel charge on state
funding of water management. We, in our district and I think I speak also for
the other districts feel a great need for the continuation .of the Water
Resources Development Account (WROA) funds. We have a major project in the upper
St. Johns River that covers many of our 19 counties. It is a statewide project
that is of interest to everyone. We have a vital need for the continuation of
WRDA funding to match the federal funds that we can get for this project.
DAN FARLEY
Tommy is trying to tell us we should get this constitutionality issue on
ad valorem taxation resolved before we worry about other financial matters.





I
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JACK MALOY
Speaking directly to the questions: "For what purposes'(aind how much
money) should the state appropriate to the five water management districts?"
and in deference tp the fine work that the Chairman of the House
Appropriations Committee has done .for the water management districts over the
last few years -, my response is: "A hell of a,lot more than they have already."
Let me indicate to you why I feel that way. I have, over the last two or
three years, been impressed by statements by elected officials on the
importance of water to Florida. It is very difficult to pick up a newspaper
in a large urban community in Florida and not read something about water. And
yet, when you look at the amounts the state, local governments, and local
property taxpayers are each putting into solving water problems, the state's
share is not that large. I think there is a great imbalance, but it is not
easily solved because Florida does have other pressing problems. We have
been, for example,. extremely concerned about education in the last few
sessions of the Legislature. I think that Is entirely appropriate. There are
also major concerns about transportation and about the delivery of health
services, but I keep returning in my mind to a basic question: "What can you
do in this state without water?"

The Water Resources Act of 1972 does say the state should pay a
substantial portion of the funding for regulatory and planning activities
intended to guarantee future levels of economic development, of population, and
of agricultural activity. But I think the state falls short of providing the
water management districts with enough funding to accomplish it. I recognize
that there is not enough money for everything that everyone wants to do, but I
would indicate to you that if water is as important to the future of Florida as
many people seem to think it is, it occurs to me that the state should spend
more than 1/20th of 1 percent of the annual state budget on solving water
problems.
Compared to the less than five million dollars that the state will
provide, local.taxpayers in the state will probably spend in the neighborhood
of 35 million.dollars in taxes for water management this coming year. There is
a great deal of discussion about relief for the local taxpayer. If we are
going to give some kind of relief to the local property taxpayer who is
presently carrying the major burden for water programs in this state, where
will the monies to pick up the slack come from if not from the state? I do not
want to leave the impression that I feel the Legislature has hot dealt in a
forthright manner with water management problems. These are not new problems
and the legislators have gone over them In great depth. I think the purpose of
this panel is to provide different funding viewpoints so that people can have a
broader point of view. The final response may be that the cost of water
management in Florida must be provided by the local property taxpayer. If that
is the case, I think it is necessary to delete the language of the law which
requires "substantial funding" by the state.
For those of you who are not familiar with the Water Resources
Development Account, let me say a few words. Years ago, prior to Chapter 373
or the Water Resources Act, this fund was created to carry out the state's role
in a three-party relationship between the federal government, the state,




J L JJ l I I I ... .. .. .... J




and the local sponsors of flood control projects. In this tripartite
arrangement, the federal government, through the Corps of Engineers, would be
responsible-for the design and construction of projects. The state would
provide funding to match the federal dollars for construction and for public
relocations, and-the locals (the flood control districts in this case) would
provide tax dollars to operate and maintain the projects in conformance with
the requirements of the Corps of Engineers. At this point, in our project
alone', the federal dollars in the project are somewhere in the neighborhood of
$300,000,000; the state dollars close to $100,000,000; and local dollars in
excess of $100,000,000. This three-party arrangement has worked extremely
well. We in the water management districts feel that it is appropriate to
continue that relationship. The federal government has not shown an
inclination not to continue it. They have talked about some new formulas for
new projects, but the projects within Florida are old ones, vis-a-vis the new
congressionally authorized projects. These projects were all congressionally
authorized in the late '40's, '50's, and early '60's.

It will be necessary for the state to play its proper role in this
process, or the burden for the projects will have to go to the local taxpayers.
It is a difficult dilemma, and it is not my intent to try to point the finger
at the Legislature or anywhere else. But I do want to point out that there are
two opportunities for funding water resource projects. There is the existing
partnership of federal, state, and local, or the entire program can be shifted
and carried by local taxpayers. I am not aware of a third funding mechanism
that might appear on the horizon. There has been discussion about a "user fee"
for water supply, but that will not apply to flood protection. We might work
out some kind of new formula for water supply, but how are we going to fund
flood protection? The optimum structure for water management district funding,
from the point of view of construction projects, is to continue with the
existing federal-state-local relationship which has worked so well for over 30
years.
There has not yet surfaced criteria to determine what the words
"substantial funding". mean -in regard to the regulatory and planning
responsibilities given to the water management districts in 1972. But many
people understand and appreciate the fact that several of the water management
districts developed planning and regulatory programs well in advance of any
kind of formula being worked out because it was felt,. in water management
circles, and obviously in the Legislature, that there was a job that needed to
be done and that we needed to get on with it. We are at a- point now where the
water management districts are "funding substantially" the regulatory and
planning programs from local taxes. It may be that. is how they should do it,
but it also may be that we can come up with a predictable mechanism whereby the
state could.provide some additional funding to carry on these programs.
Personally, I feel, from the point of view of the local taxpayer, that so long
as ithe language remains in the statutes about substantial funding being
provided by the state, it is incumbent on the water management -district people
who represent'those local interests to try to get-state dollars so. that those
dollars will not have to be levied in local property taxes. However, once this
language is clarified in the statutes, either to provide a clear formula or to
say once and for all that this. program should. be funded totally by local
dollars, then I think it is a water management district's responsibility to



6









get on with the job. There is some sound logic that the beneficiaries of these
programs are the people paying the taxes. But, by the same token, those people
who benefit from these taxes are also the people contributing the major share
of the state's revenue for the state's programs.

In regard to the final question, "Is the current state budget process
for funding water management districts working?", let me say that the water
management districts' work, and the work on water resources, is going forward.
From the point of view of some of us in water management.districts and from the
perspective of the local taxpayer, the budget process is not working as well as
it would if the state were to pay a larger share of the burden.

BUDDY BLAIN
I have gone back and looked at the funding history of water management
since 1949, looking to see if there are any particular things that might have
influenced it, like during the year that Herb Morgan was elected, and when W.D.
Childers came to Tallahassee, and some of these were significant. I have a
chart that I would like to use. What I wanted you to see is that in 1949, when


-WATI MANAPEMETr DISTRICTS-----
srr'E FVA G I
It
S T* FUN DNG MO







"WA- 1 ,/----- -,- --d -.


'M IM O M.



the Central and Southern Florida Flood Control District was created, the
Legislature appropriated $1,250,000. The second half of that biennium it went
up to $3,250,000; the next year down to $1,625,000; then back up to $3,000,000;
and then it rocked 'along at the $3,000,000 level. Then the Southwest Florida
Water Management District was created, and immediately we take a dip. After
the Legislature understood what had happened, the figure started to climb and
got up as high as $13,000,000 in 1965. It stayed ata fairly good level until
the Department of Natural Resources was created. We were put under their
umbrella, and funding dropped again. About that time, Terrell Sessums came
along as Speaker of the House, and we were appropriated $35,000,000 for water
management. One of the big reasons for such a large amount was special funding
to acquire the Green Swamp. We had a fellow named Harmon Shields who was


__ I I
" '7"~rr~b~i~~rarH~*r~IP~P*C*~ZP3rurrrr --rrlu...~.~~ ....




-, I



then head of DNR, and when the money crunch came and he was told to cut I
back 5 percent of DNR's budget, he took out the money for the Green Swamp.
But, we rocked along anyway. Here is where the other water
management districts became active and functional in 1974. But the next year
we were reorganized, and the Department of Environmental Regulation was
created. We were put under their umbrella, and funding immediately plunged.
We had a little problem then with the Constitution because the other water 3
management districts did not have the authority to levy ad valorem taxes.

The spending level in 1980 is just about what it was in 1949. In the
meantime, the state's total expenditure for operations went from $173,000,000
to $3,000,883,000. The total disbursement from the state increased
tremendously while water management funding has come down. This means we have *
done a poor job of explaining the program to the Legislature, to Mr. Tait, to
the Governor, and to others.

The funding mechanism with the three parties the federal government,
local people through ad valorem taxes, and the state through WRDA is a very
unique, healthy thing. In our District, we spent about one third from local
funds, about a third from state' funds, and about a third from federal funds.
This is a pretty good balance.
If you ask what is wrong with the law, I would say the law is pretty
good. I think one thing that complicates it is that the Water Resources
Development Account money has.been put into DER's operating budget where. it is
counted along with the number of positions they have. These are really fixed
capital outlay matters. This money should be transferred out. It should be
appropriated as part three of your water management district budgets rather
than as part of the general operating fund. This way, you would have some
extra funds you could use to boost the land acquisition program. The years
that you do not have it, you can shrink it, but it. will be on fixed capital
outlay rather than inflating DER's budget. That could be amended in the
Constitution very easily. I do not know why that money is in DER's budget. I
think it was kind of a decision to help generate some kind of growth when DER
came into existence. It could still be administered by them, or it could be
administered by the Department of Administration, or just about any way you
want to do it. But we need to continue funding fixed capital outlay projects.

Land acquisition by the water management districts has certainly been
more effective than it' has in the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program.
You heard mentioned earlier the St. Johns' suit; it concerns us over at
Southwest Water Management District because, the Green Swamp area might be in
that same situation. We have acquired 133 square miles for an average cost of
$95 an acre. One large tract was acquired at that cost. But acquisition has
come to a halt. There has been ho strong recommendation for any money for
further land acquisition. I think we are going to have to. camp on the
Governor's doorstep to get a more positive recommendation from him for next
year.
In addition, we probably need to go in and actually repeal Section I of
373.503 which contains the ambiguous language that says "substantially fund".
You could strike that entire subsection, and it would not do any violence to
the laws. There is nothing there that you need. As long as it stays in the
law, it is a good point for people to debate. The debate originated in

8




- .-*t 4f -&G1@E2N


Tallahassee as to what is "substantial funding". I can see that a good
taxpayer suit might come out of it saying: "Well, it is not being
substantially funded, and therefore you should not spend any money." I think
there should be some money, but it should not be through fixed capital outlay.
Neither should it be through WRDA funds; it should be in the form of grants to
water management districts to assist them in some of their operations: some
support, some seed money, some start-up money, on new programs.. The newer
districts have needed this more than the older districts. In addition, DER
could contract with the water management districts to perform certain
functions 'that might be performed more efficiently on a local level. That
would be another way of funding part of the water management districts'
operations. But do not just delegate the responsibility; go ahead and
contract to fund some of these things. It is not a new thing. It is being
done now on a very limited basis on aquatic weeds and on Lake Jackson.

At one time, it was popular to talk about using user fees to fund all
of this; that is not a practical way to approach it. It is fine to attach a
fee so the person who is getting the permit can pay for the cost of processing
the permit. But then you find that most of the cost has been caused by the
need for additional data, and by the need to protect others. When you say to
some little farmer, "You are going to have to pay a $400, $500, or $1,00Q
fee," it really gets to be impractical. But there is language in the law that
says you must charge a fee to pay for all of the work. That also needs to be
corrected.

And, there is the constitutional amendment that granted that taxing
does have a limitation for northwest Florida. I think it is probably
inappropriate to talk about the merits or demerits of that as far as the St.
Johns' law suit is concerned, but when Northwest Florida has a need to support
water management activities through ad valorem taxation, that constitutional
amendment could be passed very easily. It is in the law in such a way that it
could be struck very simply, and it would be something that I believe would be
supported by the remainder of the state.

We kicked around formulas for funding for quite some time, trying to
come up with some means of formularizingg" the activities of water management
districts. We have never come up with any formula that seems to apply to the
needs that you have. It is important that everyone recognize that since the
1885 Constitution was passed, there have been only two times that the people
of this state have voted additional taxes. One was when they voted for Reuben
Askew's corporate profits ta approved during the general election, November
2, 1971. The other was for the establishment of water management district
taxing power in 1976. Pr or to 1976, Southwest Florida Water Management
District had the authority tt levy up to 1.3 mills and South Florida up to 1
mill, but in the 68J) constitutional amendment these were either curtailed or
grandfathered in, so that other areas could not be granted the same authority.
The people, through the constitutional amendment in 1976, then voted an
additional tax in the northern portions of the state, in Sarasota and Manatee
counties, and in other areas. When people start suggesting that ad valorem
taxes are not generally popular, or that the voters are going to abolish
taxing for water management districts, they really have not stopped to
consider that just three years ago the voters indicated they approved of this








system. This was not an increase in the system; this was to continue what
already existed-in two sections, and to allow it to occur in the remainder of
the state.
JIM TAIT
Item three of the panel charge asks, "Is the current state budget
process for funding water management districts working, why or why not, and if
not, how can it be improved?" We have had two Task Forces discussing this
question in the last,three years. We also have three separate systems for
arriving at a funding figure: the Governor's, that of the House, and that of I
the Senate. And then we have eleventh-hour adjustments made to those systems
in which an agreement is worked out, generally'with Buddy Blain, Jack Maloy
and the other water management district people saying what they will agree to.
The one additional note I think I should make on this process, especially with
Herb Morgan present, is that this particular portion of the appropriations
bill is signed by the Governor. There is another aspect of the process, the
veto. But it did not occur in this case. I think, in part, Buddy Blain's
chart is interesting in that it shows that we do have a problem determining
exactly what is appropriate state funding, and what are the areas the state
ought to be concentrating on in the water management districts and in water
management generally. I
I go back now to those two Task Forces. They did reach some basic
conclusions, and those conclusions indicate that the'cooperation between the-
federal, statp, and local governments for funding the construction of certain
kinds of structures in public works projects needs to be reevaluated in light
of the 1972 legislation, ard in light of the new mission and the concern about
water management. I do hot think we are as concerned now about flooding as
much as we are about the availability, and continued availability, of water.
In state funding we should look at needs and at what we are mandating water
management districts to do. That involves a lot of planning and a lot of I
regulation and administration. We should be concentrating on that area; both
of those Task Forces emphasized that.
There is a predominant and major state responsibility to evaluate the
state's participation in the federal and local systems of funding for public
works and construction projects. We ought to encourage the federal government
to reevaluate their system of funding because it does tend to be biased,
perhaps more than necessary, toward the structural approach to flood control
and water management rather than toward a broader, nonstructural approach,
including land acquisition. Perhaps the state's philosophy and theory in its I
participation with the other -two levels of government should be toward
developing a more rational system of project funding that may be of special
concern to districts, or to some areas of the state. The state would rather
have the opportunity to make a decision between a structural solution like
South Florida has been wanting, or of acquiring more land and maybe not
building quite as big a system of dikes or canals. I think the state does
have an interest in the reevaluation of that federal and local process. There |
are some unique benefits that go to local areas that we ought to try to let
local ad valorem taxes pay for because the benefits realized are local.


I

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When you come to the bottom line, I would prefer having a single budget
system rather than a lot of independent ones. I would like to have a budget in
which all of us .could participate together in reaching a solution and one into
which the state is carefully-fitted.

HERB MORGAN
I told the panel moderator that I had better, be last. The reason for
that is I used to be a freshman representative, and I took abuse like being
first on panels. But I learned very quickly that you do not have to do that,
that it is very wise not to do that, and that the preferred position on any
panel is to be last. Do not let them fool you with this honorable crap about
being first.

I met Buddy Blain for the first time a few years ago, and I now see that
he is changing from lawyer to planner, and you all can see what is happening to
him. I think you ought to stick to law, Buddy.

I would like to start off by saying that I brought my own chart. It is
not as pretty.as Buddy Blain's, but it does say that when I came in as the
subcommittee chairman for General Government, which was handling your budget,
your funding began to decline at a decreasing rate. A careful analysis of the
last four years will indicate that the highest funding position each time has
been that of the House. I have played a small part in that. All of this leads
up-to my telling you that basically I am a "whitehat," a good guy, 'despite what
you may have heard.

Let me respond to several things. One is that I was really intrigued by
the earlier analysis of the water management districts' funding requests that
the Legislature decided to fund. It is the same analysis that is done by every
agency. Each year the total amount appropriated is substantially less than
requested by all of the agencies. There is no such thing as a bad project or
program: everybody has a good cause and a needy program. But somebody has to
make the hbrd decision. The problem with water management funding involves
several characteristics. One is that water is a resource that is not uniformly
available. It has a lot of demand from a variety of sources that are quite
'often competing interests. We have devised a water management system similar
to the local school system in that it is dependent on local funding with a
really substantial amount of local control vested in the Governing Boards, but
which also has- federal and state funds involved. The funding question is
similar to that of the school system. There is the natural tendency to say,
"We would like for you to receive the money, but we would like to decide how
you spend it." When the Legislature gives the additional money, the
Legislature has a tendency to dictate how it is to be spent.

We have a unique situation that ought to be continued. There is a very
good reason for the local water management districts operating through local
boards the way that they do. I do not really disagree a great deal with Jack
Maloy's saying that the Legislature ought to provide more funding. The
question is, "What amount can we provide from year to-year, and where do we put
.it?" Buddy Blain mentioned the huge appropriation in 1974. If 1 drew a









chart for state funding in 1974, you would see it was large in every category.
This was because there was a whole bunch of money and the Legislature was
looking for places to put it. They even picked up the entire cost of I
retirement for state employees. You might have another year like that one of I
these days. Maybe, but I doubt it. I think that year is clearly atypical.
You can be assured that it will not go that high in the future..

I really do not like funding formulas. I think that we have pretty
well learned by now, after trying for some time, that there is no formula that
works. I think that what is going to work is what has generally worked before
(whether it has resulted in the amount that you feel you need or not). You
will probably be better off trying to put together the best package, based on
the needs of the state and of your local area, that you cap. Figure out what |
funding you can acquire locally, and then what you need from the state. Then I
let the state decide, through the legislative process, how much of that to
pick up.

The question is, "For what purposes and in what amount should the state
appropriate to the five water management districts?" There is no way for me
to answer that. It is how much the pressures and the times dictate. I think
there is a growing interest in water problems and resources in our state. As
a result, it may be that you will be in for some better funding. But I will
suggest to you that, if you are, you probably are also going' to be in for more g
scrutiny. A great. deal more justification about your operations, and I
everything that. you do, will be necessary. I am not suggesting that you
cannot respond to that. I have visited the two big water management districts
in south Florida. I have not visited St. Johns, but I will try to do that tone m
of these days, I promise. I have, of course, visited Northwest Florida; I
live in it. I had trouble getting a well permit once. Not really. I am
familiar with Suwannee River because that is a small part of my district. I
think a great deal of what has been done in the districts has been very I
responsible. In fact, most of it has. I was impressed during my visit to
South Florida and to Southwest Florida with what they have done. If you look g
at it in the context of what their goal and role were when they started, they
have pretty well carried them out. We are in the process of changing the
goals and roles in some instances for those districts, and for the new
districts that have been created. I
What I have said is some of my response to the funding problem. We do
not know what we want to do for certain;.we do not know what the problem is
for certain; and we are unwilling to bite some bullets in some areas. I
Politically, they are difficult to bite.
We know that we have serious water shortage problems in parts of the.
state, and we have an abundance of water in other parts. It is pretty hard to
get those people who think they have an abundance to believe that there is a
problem, while at the same time the people who do not have much water know it |
is a problem. That is why I think the state ought to fund those programs that I
are of statewide benefit. We also need to continue to count on that tax base
of local property revenues as being a key element in the funding process
because a large part of what is done will be of local benefit.



12
i i ll n ', I







," s i ,?.-1'-" : ;:, ,

I do not find 373 that terrible. What happens is that people begin to
interpret things like "substantial funding." I do not like those kinds of
words because I do not know what "substantial funding" is. I can assure you
that the Legislature generally feels that "substantial funding" is whatever we
give you. And. the reason for that is we go through that process with
everybody fighting for what they need, and there are lots of needs. The other
thing is that you in the water management districts are not involved in the
total water program of the state. There are programs that.impact upon,'and
relate to, water use and management in the state that are funded separately
from your budgets that should also be considered.

I will say this about, "Is the current state budget process for funding
water management districts working, why or why not, and if not, how can it be
improved?" The 13 funding steps outlined in the panel charge are the same
steps that everybody else goes through. If we can find a way to improve it
for all of state government budgeting, we will improve it for you. One of the
mechanisms that I think we have embarked upon is a two-year process of
biennial budgets that would allow you to plan better, and to look further
ahead, in budgeting and appropriations. Beyond that, I will be happy to
answer questions and remind you again that your funding has been decreasing at
a decreasing rate.

TOM PRINT
I was wondering if the local governments are going to be asked to solve
the state's problems and if the Northwest District is participating in the
state's planning and implementation concerning the transmission of water to
other parts of the state. All the fixed assets in the production and
transport of that water will be through areas which will not themselves
benefit but which will be assessed higher property values and will provide
higher revenue sources for the water management districts which, in essence,
do benefit from the sale and transfer of water to another area. How is the
state going to compensate for that, and is the state going to offer other
.benefits to excess water areas in order to compensate for the increased
property values and for the potential growth that cannot be realized because
the water will not be there since it will be going somewhere else?

HERB MORGAN
I think there is a bit of a misconception about what we are funding. When
we talk about water management or public works projects that we are funding,
or about participating in funding in general since 1949, we are talking about
major drainage canals, major conservation areas diking around Lake
Okeechobee, the Four Rivers kind of activities, or the Hillsborough Bypass
Canal. We are not talking.about water supply or well fields because those are
financed basically through user charges. What we fund are of a much broader
public benefit. There are some unique benefits to the lands and I think that
is why initial local, and -continuing local, funding has always been there.
That is the button we push when we try to back Jack Maloy and Buddy Blain off
from some of their programs and make them acquire some of their money from
local ad valorem sources.


'--








JACK MALOY
People from south Florida are not looking to north Florida for their
water supply. If you doubt that, let me tell you for certain that the South
Florida Water Management District has no plans for water from anywhere outside
its own boundaries through the year 2020.
BUDDY BLAIN
I went to California several years ago to look at the California water
system and found that they had some rather large pipes and ditches for moving
water great distances. They moved it from an area where there was a lot of
rainfall to an area where the had from 7 to 12 inches of rainfall a year. All
of Florida gets as much rain s that wet part of northern California. I do not
believe there will ever be water transported from north Florida down to south
Florida. The problem is that of localized withdrawals where people are
concentrated in a small area; some people have been adversely affected. But
this problem is being taken care of. The real heart of our problem has always
been too much water.
Let me tell you what I told Don Morgan a long time ago when he was
getting started at Suwannee: if he needed to use us as a whipping board to get
people behind him and get his District off the ground, that was fine. But he
knew there would never be any water from the Suwannee River that would be moved
south. He Is an expert and he missed a golden opportunity because he used to
be with South Florida and knows how to straighten out those winding rivers.
Had he straightened out the Suwannee, it would have reached down to Tampa.
I cannot sit here and have any of these people think for one minute that
Herb Morgan's statements were self-serving. He has been the strongest
supporter for the funding of water management we have had in .the Legislature.
And so long as the sheriff was there to keep reminding him, the decline was not
as rapid. m5
HERB MORGAN
He is speaking of former representative and former sheriff from I
Hillsborough County, Ed Blackburn. The problem was, I had some money set aside
for you all this session and Blackburn was the interim director of the Florida
Department of Law Enforcement. I gave it to him. m
DAN FARLEY
Thank you all very much for coming.





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14




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PANEL I

Current Issues in Water Management District Funding



For fiscal year 1979-80, Florida's five water management districts
requested $28,074,378 from state funds to support their activities. For
fiscal year 1980-81, the request was for $29,752,894. In June 1979, the
state legislature passed the appropriations bill for FY-80 and FY-81,
granting collectively to the water management districts the sums of $4,050,550
and $4,016,550, respectively. This represents a net reduction in funding for
both years of $49,760,172 below the water management districts' request.
Moreover, the total support to the districts of slightly over eight million
dollars represents a state expenditure for water management of approximately
one-twentieth of one percent of the state budget.

Operations, construction, and land acquisition activities of the water
management districts have traditionally been supported, at least in part, by
state funds. During the past legislative session, the funds proposed by the
water management districts for construction and land acquisition were reduced
significantly below the level of the original request. For example, one
water management district received only $25,000 to go in its 30 million
dollar budget for land (about the price of one residential lot).

l Fona what putpo.6u and how much money AhouLd the 4tate apptopAiate
to the 6ive watex management dithilct4?


"The task force agrees that the state's funding of works of water
management districts should be for projects which have direct benefits to the
state in general and which will not result in the most direct benefits
accruing to limited segments of the population."

"The task force agrees with the concept 6f state funding of district
activities on a 'needs' rather than on a 'formula' basis."

The above, as well as several other recommendations, were made by the
second of two task forces, which, in recent years, have reviewed issues in
water management funding. To date, there has been no apparent impact of
either task force on the current funding situation. Such questions as:
should water management district funding levels be based on 1) individual
district programs; 2) area; 3) amount of water; 4) levels of other income;
5) legislative lobbying; or 6) the implementation of state programs, have
not been answered.

What is the optimum 6tauctuwre and criteala dot wateA management'
district funding in Fortida, and how 4houtd thiZ be o66iciatty
determined?




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