WASHINGTON — Two big budget votes in September will help keep the federal government open through November 21, and could help better protect Florida's environment in the new year.

  • 2 Sept. budget votes may aid Florida's environment
  • Stopgap spending bill to fund government
  • No vote from Sen. Rick Scott

The first vote, taken this week, was a stopgap spending bill to keep the government open until lawmakers return to Washington D.C. after their two week district break.  

The spending bill passed 81-16, Republicans making up the group of 16 that voted "no."

One of the no votes came from Senator Rick Scott.

In a tweet, Sen. Scott said "Congress can't keep spending 1 trillion more a year than we take in. There will be a day of reckoning."

In another spending bill approved in September for fiscal year 2020, Senator Marco Rubio got some federal help for his environmental pet projects, including coral reef protection.

"Florida’s coral reefs are a national treasure they are a treasure for our state as well," Rubio said. "A lot of people come to Florida to go to those reefs, and they are dying because of disease."

This month, the Senate committee on appropriations approved funding for not just coral disease research and restoration, but also Everglades restoration projects and money to study algae blooms and water quality. 

Green algae and red tide were both big issues that impacted Florida in the past year.