In a move that divided the state’s environmental community, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) signed a law yesterday that will provide millions of dollars of funding to restore the Everglades. On the up side, the law will create a bonding program worth $100 million per year — money that will be matched by federal funds — to finance land purchases, studies, and the removal of a decades-old U.S. Army Corps of Engineers flood control project set up to drain the Everglades. But the law also contains a controversial provision that some say will make it more difficult for citizens to block development by allowing only people who can prove they are personally affected by a project to challenge it. For that reason, thousands of environmentalists asked the governor to veto the bill. However, some prominent environmental groups — the Nature Conservancy, the Everglades Foundation, and the World Wildlife Fund, among others — supported it, partly in recognition of the desperate need for restoration funding.

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