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  • Revenge Porn Law Goes on the Books in Florida 1, October2, 2015
    Revenge porn, or the practice of sharing intimate pictures of someone without their permission, now has a penalty attached to it. As Matt Galka tells us, a former Florida State student who was instrumental in the bill’s passing says it’s about time. Former Florida State student Carly Hellstrom had limited options two years ago. She […]
    Matt Galka
  • Conservative Group Challenges Governor Over Planned Parenthood 1, October1, 2015
    A conservative group that had supported the Governor in the past is now on the verge of turning on him over Planned Parenthood.  As Matt Galka tells us, the group is demanding that the Governor defund the program. A Governor ordered investigation into Planned Parenthood clinics in the state was not enough according to the […]
    Matt Galka
  • Death Results in Diabetes Recognition Training for Police 1, October1, 2015
    The death of a Tampa man in police custody in April 2014 is the genesis of a new law taking effect today. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, from now on, police will be trained to know the difference between intoxication and a diabetic seizure. Arthur Green was stopped for driving erratically. Police though he was […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Money in Marijuana 1, September30, 2015
    Expanding medical marijuana use in Florida is expected to be up to voters again in November of 2016, but as Matt Galka tells us, state economists are talking the potential monetary impact before it gets to that point. Representatives from the Governor’s office and state legislature gathered Wednesday to hear Florida economist’s projections for revenue […]
    Matt Galka
  • Warning Shot Keeps Man in Prison 1, September30, 2015
    When state lawmakers passed a bill allowing warning shots instead of deadly force, they cited the case of a Polk County man, Orville Lee Wollard, who’s serving 20 years for shooting into a wall. Today, Wollard asked to be freed, but as Mike Vasilinda tells us, you might be surprised by the decision. After a […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Dozier School for Boys Facing Uncertain Future 1, September29, 2015
    Governor Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet listened today to pleas to save the former Dozier School for Boys as a monument to the kids that lost their lives there while in state custody.  A two year survey has yielded 51 bodies  buried on the campus, but as Mike Vasilinda tells us, a Dozier survivor […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Hospital Cost Containment Rick Scott Style 1, September29, 2015
    Governor Rick Scott wants hospitals to post their prices for procedures and annual financial reports on their web sites. Scott also wants to give consumers a place to complain when they feel they have been charged too much. Today Scott said hospitals want tax payer dollars, then taxpayers should know how they are using the […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Veterans Hall of Fame Nominees 1, September29, 2015
    Former Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell was one of eight names presented to the Governor and Cabinet today for inclusion in the Veteran Hall of Fame 2015 class. Campbell died last year after two decades as sheriff and four decades in law enforcement. Veterans Affairs Director Mike Pendergast says Campbell’s military service  and subsequent work […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Firefighter Pay Raises 1, September29, 2015
    Imagine putting your life on the line by battling wildfires, but only earning a few bucks more per hour than minimum wage.  As Matt Galka tells us, that’s the story for many state fire fighters, and the state’s Agriculture Commissioner wants to change that. The average Florida teacher makes around $46,000 according to the Department […]
    Matt Galka
  • Plastic Bag Ban Proposed for Coastal Communities 1, September28, 2015
    Paper or plastic? The common grocery store phrase could be a thing of the past. As Matt Galka tells us, some environmentally conscious lawmakers have proposed allowing cities near the water the option to ban plastic bags. You won’t catch Kathleen Turner with a plastic bag. She was on her way into Whole Foods with […]
    Matt Galka

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    "They're only truly great who are truly good."
  • E. M. Forster
    "We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us."



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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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