Jose Oliva, in his official capacity as Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives; Bill Galvano, in his official capacity as President of the Florida Senate; the Florida Legislature; the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; the Commissioner of Agriculture; the Department of Environmental Protection; the Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection; the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission; the Executive Director of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission; the Department of State; and the Secretary of State, Appellants,
Florida Wildlife Federation, Inc., Florida Defenders of the Environment, Inc., et al., Appellees.
final until disposition of any timely and authorized motion
under Fla. R. App. P. 9.330 or 9.331.
appeal from the Circuit Court for Leon County. Charles W.
Bardos and James Timothy Moore, Jr., of GrayRobinson, P.A.,
George N. Meros, Jr., of Holland & Knight LLP, Jeremiah
Hawkes, General Counsel, and Ashley Istler, Deputy General
Counsel, The Florida Senate, and Adam S. Tanenbaum, General
Counsel, The Florida House of Representatives, Tallahassee,
for Appellants The Legislative Parties.
G. Wolfe, General Counsel, Jeffrey Brown and Kelley Corbari,
Office of General Counsel, State of Florida Department of
Environmental Protection and Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commission, Joan T. Matthews, Office of General Counsel,
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and Bradley
R. McVay, Interim General Counsel, and Ashley E. Davis,
Deputy General Counsel, Department of State, Tallahassee, for
Appellants the Florida Department of Environmental
Protection, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer
Services, the Fish and Wildlife Commission, and the
Department of State.
Nicholas A. Primrose and James William Uthmeier, Office of
Governor Ron DeSantis, Tallahassee, for Appellants State of
Florida, Department of Environmental Protection and the State
of Florida, Department of State.
Coe and Bradley Marshall, Earthjustice, David Guest, and
Robert T. Benton, II, Tallahassee; Kenneth B. Wright,
Jacksonville, for Appellees Florida Wildlife Federation, et
W. Little, Gainesville, for Appellees Florida Defenders of
the Environment, Inc., et al.
Mohammad O. Jazil and Adam F. Blalock of Hopping Green &
Sams, P.A., Tallahassee, for Amici Curiae the Florida League
of Cities, the Florida Water Environment Association Utility
Council, the Florida Rural Water Association, and the Florida
W. Sherman, West Palm Beach, for Amicus Curiae South Florida
Water Management District.
Sandridge of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC, Tampa, for
Amicus Curiae Florida Shore & Beach Preservation
Mills of Boies Schiller Flexner LLP, Miami, and Clay
Henderson, DeLand, for Amicus Curiae Florida Conservation
Voters, Inc., The Trust for Public Land, The Everglades
Foundation, Inc., and Florida Audubon Society, Inc.
R. Thomas, St. Petersburg, for Amicus Curiae Florida Springs
J. Schwiep of Coffey Burlington, P.L., Miami, for Amicus
Curiae Friends of the Everglades, Inc.
2014, the voters of Florida overwhelmingly approved a ballot
measure to amend the Florida Constitution. That ballot
measure became section 28 of Article X of the Florida
Constitution. Since then, two separate suits were filed by
various plaintiffs against various state actors alleging that
certain appropriations were contrary to section 28; those
suits were consolidated. A final summary judgment was
thereafter entered holding that the legislature had not
complied with section 28 and that judgment is now before us.
As explained below, we reverse the summary judgment and
remand for further proceedings.
2014, the voters of Florida approved adding Article X,
section 28 to the Florida Constitution. It provides:
28. Land Acquisition Trust Fund. -
(a) Effective on July l of the year following passage of this
amendment by the voters, and for a period of 20 years after
that effective date, the Land Acquisition Trust Fund shall
receive no less than 33 percent of net revenues derived from
the existing excise tax on documents, as defined in the
statutes in effect on January l, 2012, as amended from time
to time, or any successor or replacement tax, after the
Department of Revenue first ...