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  • Volunteer Gets Crafty With Hand Painted Yard Signs for Candidate 1, October21, 2016
    In a time of big money campaigns, volunteers in one Florida Congressional race are a real throwback. As Matt Galka tells us, some folks are getting crafty when it comes to yard signs. Meet Herb Shelton. He’s not running for anything so don’t expect to see his name on the ballot. But Shelton has become a […]
    Matt Galka
  • Lawsuit says medical marijuana question not on some ballots 1, October21, 2016
    A lawsuit filed in Southeast Florida alleges that the medical marijuana amendment was left off some mail in ballots.  Attorneys say they aren’t sure if it was a half dozen, ten thousand or a hundred thousand ballots. A quarter million mail ballots have gone out Broward County, 60 thousand have already been returned. At least […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Federal Judge Rules Against Democrats in Registration Case 1, October20, 2016
    Thousands of Floridians took advantage of an extended voter registration deadline in the state, but getting them verified in time to cast a regular early voting ballot may be in doubt. As Matt Galka tells us, Florida Democrats hoped a federal judge could force the state’s hand and not make them cast provisional ballots. Florida […]
    Matt Galka
  • Politics and Policy at the Pub Thanks to Florida State 1, October19, 2016
    Some people go to bars and restaurants to get away from the noise surrounding politics – especially during this unique political season.  But as Matt Galka tells us, Florida state University is serving up heady policy discussion at a local pub. A couple of beers, a little bit of food…and some voting issues. That’s what […]
    Matt Galka
  • Just 12 Consumers have given to Consumers for Smart Solar 1, October19, 2016
      Florida’s investor owned utilities have pumped more than 15 million into Amendment one on November’s ballot. They say it protects consumers who have solar and those who don’t, but many believe it will only promote solar developed by the very companies companies pushing the amendment. The ads are slick. “Just think one for the […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Florida in the Middle of New Report Ranking State’s Gun Laws and Gun Violence 1, October18, 2016
    Florida is right in the middle when it comes to a new report correlating state’s gun laws and gun violence. But as Matt Galka tells us, some democrats in the state say we are going in the wrong direction. Stricter gun laws equals less gun violence. That’s the takeaway from the Center for American Progress […]
    Matt Galka
  • Judge Rules in Favor of Dems, Orders Mismatching Signature Fix 1, October17, 2016
    Voters who mail in their ballots now have some peace of mind if they scribble their names too sloppy. As Matt Galka tells us, a federal judge made sure that people will have the chance to fix a signature mistake – and make sure their vote counts. “The state of Florida has consistently chipped away […]
    Matt Galka
  • Supreme Court throws out new death sentencing scheme, inmates in limbo 1, October14, 2016
    The Supreme Court of Florida today said that a unanimous jury was required for the state to impose death, throwing out a newly enacted law that allowed ten jurors to impose the ultimate penalty, but as Mike Vasilinda tells us, the court left unanswered what happens to the nearly 400 people already on death row. […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Feds Suspect Florida Hack 1, October13, 2016
    Is Florida voting information in the hands of Russian hackers? As Matt Galka tells us, the feds think it might be, but a state agency says all is well. Cyber security and hacking have become prominent in the election cycle.  Federal investigators believe Russian hackers are behind the attacks. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is […]
    Matt Galka
  • Trump Remarks: Unsafe on any Campus 1, October12, 2016
    The book Unsafe on any Campus was released in July and details administrators inability to adequately deal with sexual assaults on campus, but as Mike Vasilinda tells us, the author now says their problem could be more difficult because of lewd remarks by Donald Trump. When the Washington Post released the video of Donald Trump […]
    Mike Vasilinda

RSS Quote of the Day



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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