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  • Gun violence voter tour may be too little too late in Florida 1, September30, 2016
    The so called Vocal Majority Tour to support what they call common sense change that keeps guns out of the wrong hands stopped in the State Capitol today, in part because of the 2014 shooting at Florida State University, but as Mike Vasilinda tells us the groups efforts may be too little, too late to […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Mayor, others facing law suit over gun ordinance 1, September30, 2016
    Mayor Andrew Gillum and several Tallahassee City Commissioners are being sued by the Attorney General and the group Florida Carry. The suit was filed because the elected officials, against the advice of law enforcement and the city attorney, refused to remove an ordinance from the books that prohibits firing a weapon in a park. State […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Latvala Says No To Amendment 2 1, September30, 2016
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  • Voter Registration Ramps Up 1, September29, 2016
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  • Workers Comp Rising 14.5%, More to Come? 1, September28, 2016
    State regulators have approved a fourteen and a half percent increase in the cost of business insurance to protect injured workers. The increase is across the board and effective for all new and renewing policies after December first, but as Mike Vasilinda tells us , the hike will have different impacts on different industries. High […]
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  • Catholics Have Pot Concerns 1, September28, 2016
    November’s medical marijuana amendment in Florida is polling well, but as Matt Galka tells us, some religious groups aren’t on board. In a little more than a month, Florida voters will face a burning question beyond who to elect for president – should the state legalize medical marijuana. Amendment 2 failed by a thin margin […]
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  • Environmental attorney calls notification change “window dressing” 1, September27, 2016
    Governor Rick Scott toured the sinkhole at a phosphate mine in Polk County today, a day after he announced an emergency rule that would require residents to be notified if a spill occurs. Scott and the Department of Environmental Protection were widely criticized for not saying anything to nearby residents when 215 million gallons of […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Debate Drama may be inconsequential this election cycle 1, September27, 2016
      Donald Trump’s first campaign stop after last night’s debate is Florida. He will be speaking in Melbourne tonight at 7. Florida is a must win for Trump, while electoral math suggests Clinton can win without the Sunshine state. Still, Clinton and husband Bill will be here in Florida on Friday. As Mike Vasilinda tells […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • New Skimmer Law Goes on the Books This Weekend 1, September27, 2016
    October 1st means some new laws will be on the books in Florida, and as Matt Galka tells us, one hopes to keep your money safer while you’re filling up your tank. For too long, crooks were pumping money from Floridian’s wallets by installing skimmers at gas pumps around the state.  A new law going […]
    Matt Galka
  • North Carolina Protests Open Wounds in Tallahassee 1, September26, 2016
    Demonstrators have hit the streets of Charlotte, N.C. for nearly a week following the police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott.  As Matt Galka tells us, the protests have reopened a wound for a family in Tallahassee. In September of 2013, unarmed Jonathan Ferrell was shot and killed by a police officer outside of Charlotte, N.C. […]
    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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