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  • Confederate Controversy 1, July6, 2015
    Monday was supposed to be a joyous celebration of the new class of Florida Veterans inducted into the state’s Veterans Hall of Fame.  But as Matt Galka tells us, a wild scene erupted because of a Confederate Veteran supporter. David McCallister with the Sons of Confederate Veterans group was outraged Monday. He’s pushed for Confederate […]
    Matt Galka
  • Punching Video leads to charges against FSU Quarterback De’Andre Johnson 1, July6, 2015
    Surveillance video released by the office of State Attorney Willie Meggs appears to show freshman FSU quarterback De’Andre Johnson punching a woman at the bar Yanni’s. Johnson was charged with battery after the video was seen by the State Attorney. He has been suspended from the team indefinitely.
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Cracking Down on Johns to reduce Prostitution Demand 1, July6, 2015
    State lawmakers have increased the penalties for people soliciting prostitutes. A second offense now requires at least ten days in jail. And as Mike Vasilinda tells us, those convicted must also pay for and attend a “johns” school. Prostitution is said to be the worlds oldest profession. But here’s something you don’t often see…The woman […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • No More Quotas 1, July2, 2015
    If you’ve ever seen what seems like a lot of cops going after speeders on a drive and said to yourself “I guess they have to meet their quota,” you can worry a little less now. AS Matt Galka tells us, a new law cracks down on quotas. Juanita Boykin and her husband were on […]
    Matt Galka
  • Fake Service Dog Legislation Takes Effect July First 1, July1, 2015
    Starting today, people using fake service dogs might find it a littler harder to pull off their scam. New Legislation gives businesses more flexibility, but as Mike Vasilinda tells us, the legislation also makes sure people with real disabilities aren’t mistreated. Meet Lando….and owner Tiffany Baylor.  Tiffany is sight challenged. “For me, I see my […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Abortion Law Back and Forth 1, July1, 2015
    A North Florida judge temporarily blocked a 24 hour abortion waiting period law from taking effect Wednesday, but the decision was immediately appealed. As Matt Galka tells us, that meant the law did apply to Floridians, but opponents continued the fight. July 1st is typically a day where new laws take effect and plenty did […]
    Matt Galka
  • Jumping Sturgeon on the Suwanee 1, June30, 2015
    Each year thousands of prehistoric Gulf Sturgeon enter the Suwanee and six other rivers in Florida. The fish are know to jump, and have hurt two people, neither seriously, so far this year. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, state officials are warning July fourth boaters to be on the lookout. The Suwanee River. Quiet. Peaceful. […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Another City Opts Out of Red Light Camera Program 1, June30, 2015
    The $158 dollar red light camera fine has annoyed plenty of drivers around the state. As Matt Galka tells us, another city is opting out of the program – and cities around the state aren’t seeing the same amount of money coming in they once did. Attorney Ian Nesbeth has defended dozens of red light […]
    Matt Galka
  • Executions Back on Track after High Court Ruling 1, June29, 2015
    The US Supreme Court has ruled that the drug midazolam is acceptable for use in lethal injections. Four Oklahoma convicts had challenged the drugs use, and Florida courts stopped executions here pending the outcome. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, the ruling is now likely to open the door to dozens of executions in Florida. The […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Juice Gets the Budget Squeeze 1, June29, 2015
    Florida’s budget takes effect Wednesday and among the vetoes – a tourism staple. As Matt Galka tells us, money requested to serve free Florida orange and grapefruit juice at welcome centers got the ax. “Welcome to Florida would you like some juice.” That phrase has greeted tourists stopping by Florida welcome centers near the state […]
    Matt Galka

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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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