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  • Medical Marijuana Licenses Bring Concerns and Joy 1, November24, 2015
    5 growers across Florida are gearing up for the first legal marijuana in the states history. The five licenses were awarded yesterday, and as Mike Vasilinda tells us, it will still be the middle of next year before patients see the first products. Lifelong nurseryman George Hackney was awarded one of five licenses to grow […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • AAA says Be Safe, Not Sorry 1, November24, 2015
    More than two million Floridians are expected to hit the roads over the Thanksgiving weekend. According to Triple A motor clubs, It is the busiest holiday travel weekend since 2008, and the auto club says the traffic is going be bad, there’s nothing you can do about it, so relax. “You can expect very buy […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Rick Scott Proposes 79.3 Billion State Budget with Potentially Higher Property Taxes 1, November23, 2015
    Governor Rick Scott is proposing a record state spending plan that cuts taxes by a billion dollars and boosts education spending. But as Mike Vasilinda tells us, the increase in school spending is coming from local property taxes, not state coffers. Governor Rick Scott chose a Jacksonville small company as the back drop for his […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Fantasy Sports Rules 1, November20, 2015
    Mounting legal issues have daily fantasy sports websites like draftkings and fanduel fighting legal battles in states like New York and Massachusetts, but as Matt Galka tells us, Florida legislators are scrambling to keep it legal here. Nevada says its gambling. New York says they can’t operate in the their state.  But daily fantasy sports […]
    Matt Galka
  • FSU One Year Later: A Quiet Anniversary 1, November20, 2015
    Today marks the one year anniversary of a shooting on the campus of Florida State University. Three students were injured. One critically. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, the university wasn’t taking any chances today. Two marked police vehicles were prominent outside Strozier Library. When asked, University officials said it was to give students peace of […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • FSU One Year Later: Paralyzed Victim Still Recovering 1, November20, 2015
    Just after midnight tonight (Thur)marks the one year anniversary of an on campus shooting. 22 year old FSU engineering student Ronny Ahmed was paralyzed from the waist down last November. As Mike Vasilinda tells us the  now wheelchair bound student hasn’t let his injuries keep him from moving forward. Ronny Ahmed was pulling an all […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Guns on Campus Bill Clears Final House Committee 1, November19, 2015
    Friday marks one year since a gunman opened fire at Florida State’s library, and lawmakers are using the chaotic scene as a jumping off point for controversial legislation. As Matt Galka tells us, the bill to allow concealed carry on college campuses continued to move through one legislative chamber. There’s no lack of passion on […]
    Matt Galka
  • FSU One Year Later: Victims Still Trying to Heal 1, November18, 2015
    Friday marks the one year anniversary of the shooting at the FSU Strozier library that injured three. Today, Mike Vasilinda has the story of how two people who could have died next to each other that day last year are handling the fact they survived. Nathan Scott can still be found sitting behind the same […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Healthcare for Immigrant Children 1, November18, 2015
    Almost four hundred thousand children don’t have access to quality health coverage here in the state, an alarming number. As Matt Galka tells us, lawmakers are trying to cut into that number with a bill that would focus on children of legal immigrants who desperately need health care. Kids whose parents are legal immigrants are […]
    Matt Galka
  • GOP Lawmakers Seek Immigration Changes, Penalties 1, November17, 2015
    Five GOP lawmakers are behind a series of three bills to change immigration policy. One would make it a crime for someone who has been ordered deported to be in the state, another would remove lawsuit protections, known as sovereign immunity, for so called sanctuary cities that protect those here illegally, and a third would […]
    Mike Vasilinda

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Number of Special Session Subjects Growing

July 12th, 2010 by Anna Laura Rehwinkel

Legislative leaders, forced to come back to Tallahassee for a special session on oil drilling, may use the opportunity to work on more than just a drilling ban. Since the announcement, as Whitney Ray tells us, lawmakers have been busy thinking of other ways to use the session.

Governor Charlie Crist was very clear when he called lawmakers back to Tallahassee to consider a constitutional ban on offshore oil drilling.

This is a rifle shot. This is one issue. This is very tightly drafted, Crist said

But Crists wishes dont carry as much weight as they did before he broke with the Republican Party to run for office as an independent. Once lawmakers get back on this floor anything could happen. Theyre likely to vote for some form of a drilling ban, but they may also take up other issues.

The negotiations have already begun to shorten the ban to five years. Legislative leaders may also rewrite a redistricting amendment a judge kicked off the ballot. Representative Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda is filing legislation to set a state renewable energy goal and to create incentives for people to use alternative energy.

Now is the time. Now I think Floridians feel it. They know what we need to do. I think they know that we need to have alternative energy sources, and actually its another way to get people back to work, said Rehwinkel Vasilinda.

Democrats are supporting the push to use the special session to promote renewable energy.

If we can bring forth a renewable portfolio standard at the same time we are in session, then I think the citizens really get a bang for their buck, said Williams.

Whatever happens in the special session, its likely to follow lawmakers through November when voters will decides who gets to keep their seat. The special session is scheduled to run from July 20th, through the 23rd. If the constitutional ban on drilling in state water is going to make it onto the November ballot, lawmakers will have to approve the resolution before August 4th.

Why Supporters Say a Constitutional Ban is Needed

Opponents of a special session to put a constitutional ban on offshore oil drilling on the November ballot says its not needed. Their reasoning: Florida already has a ban on drilling in state waters. But supporters of the constitutional ban say the current law isnt strong enough, and they point to last years vote by the state House to lift the ban. Eric Draper of Audubon Florida says putting the ban in the state constitution would keep lawmakers from caving into pressure from oil lobbyist to lift the ban.

Because the legislature voted to eliminate the ban on drilling in Floridas waters, thats why we need to put it in the constitution. We need to make it permanent so that you cant have the oil industry coming in here, buying off legislators, and changing the law. Thats what happened last year, said Draper.

The House voted to give the governor and state cabinet the authority to lift the ban, but the state Senate never voted on the issue; thus killing the measure.

Posted in Charlie Crist, Environment, Gulf Oil Spill, Legislature, State News, Wildlife | No Comments »

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