CORRECTION: Cretul does NOT compromise with black caucusby Dara Kam | December 2nd, 2009
House Speaker Larry Cretul’s offer to black lawmakers who will miss the first two days of the special session because of a conference they are attending is not a compromise, his spokeswoman Jill Chamberlain said.
And if there was any doubt, Cretul made it clear at a press conference this afternoon that the lawmakers should be in Tallahassee as they are constitutionally required.
“I’ve been doing this a long time, both at the local level and now for the past seven years at the state level.
This job comes with a lot of demands and a lot of requirements. And oftentimes some inconvenience, an inconvenience on both a personal level and a professional level,” Cretul, R-Ocala, said. “It’s just part of the job. Any time that you’re elected or have a role of responsibility you have to keep in focus just what the duties of the responsibility are…It is our job as being part of the Florida Legislature. It is our job not only constitutionally but personally to be sure that we don’t inconvenience and neglect what we’re here for.”
The black members are hosting the National Black Caucus of State Legislators’ annual conference in Ft. Lauderdale, an event that began today and lasts through Saturday. Sen. Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa, is chairing the gala which was two years in the planning.
Cretul said he’s letting two members participate in a committee meeting tomorrow by telephone and will hold a briefing late Sunday or early Monday for any members who want to attend.
And he’ll allow them to file amendments on the floor.
But Cretul already had planned the briefing and would have allowed the floor amendments anyway, Chamberlain said, even before House Democrats began demanding that the session be delayed until Monday to accommodate the black caucus.
Cretul insisted time constraints determined that the session would have to begin tomorrow and end by next Friday.