Attorneys for the Florida House and Senate have asked a judge to schedule a trial during the last week of March and the first week of April in a long-running battle about whether lawmakers have properly carried out a 2014 constitutional amendment that required setting aside money for land-conservation efforts. The request, filed Monday in Leon County circuit court, would lead to the trial being held after the 2018 legislative session. Environmental groups filed legal challenges in 2015, arguing that the Legislature and state agencies did not comply with the voter-approved constitutional amendment, which required that a portion of documentary stamp tax revenues be put in a trust fund for conservation-related purposes. Among other things, environmental groups targeted decisions by the Legislature to use part of the money for agency expenses. Legislative leaders have defended their use of the money, with House and Senate attorneys arguing in a court document last month that the case should be dismissed.
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