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‘Safe Communities' group gives $250K to solar initiative

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A non-profit organization this week contributed $250,000 to the effort to pass a solar-energy ballot initiative Nov. 8, as total funding for the proposed constitutional amendment topped $26 million, according to a newly filed finance report.

The Florida Council for Safe Communities contributed the money Monday to a political committee known as Consumers for Smart Solar, which is leading the drive to pass the proposed constitutional amendment.

Consumers for Smart Solar had raised an overall total of $26,027,825 as of Monday and had spent slightly more than $21.1 million, according the report posted on the state Division of Elections website.

The proposed constitutional amendment, backed by major electric utilities, has become highly controversial and is opposed by many environmental groups.

The Florida Council for Safe Communities announced this summer that it supported the ballot initiative. It also opposed a rival solar-energy initiative that failed to reach the ballot.

In a Florida Supreme Court filing last year in a case involving the rival initiative, the Florida Council for Safe Communities described itself as a "statewide nonprofit advocacy organization founded to promote public safety and consumer protection, including that of seniors and others living on fixed incomes."