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House bill a big down payment on the Everglades

A giant House budget bill introduced Monday includes a sizeable downpayment of federal dollars for the Everglades.

The bill calls for $183.4 million for 'Glades restoration efforts, said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. The Weston Democrat, a member of the House Appropriations Committee, said the money would "go a long way toward fulfilling the federal government's commitment to help restore the Everglades." And she said the cash would "help provide construction related jobs for Floridians at a time of real economic need."

The money could help the federal government make up for years of not carrying its weight. Since Congress approved a state-federal plan to restore the Everglades in 2000, the state has outspent its partner 6 to 1.