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UPDATE: It’s official: Oil spill special session off the table

by Dara Kam | September 1st, 2010

UPDATE: Senate President Jeff Atwater called to clarify his position on the decision not to hold a special session on oil spill-related issues. Here’s what he had to say:

“I haven’t changed my mind on anything. I don’t know how I could have tried any harder,” Atwater said about the House’s decision that a special session is unnecessary this year. He said a special session is both “timely and necessary.”

There’s no need for a special session to address the fall-out from BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig blast that pumped millions of gallons of hydrocarbons into the Gulf of Mexico, House Speaker Larry Cretul and Senate President Jeff Atwater have decided.

Despite earlier promises that lawmakers would convene as early as September to try to give a helping hand to fishermen and others in the Panhandle whose finances have crumbled in the aftermath of the April 20 disaster, the pair are convinced those issues can wait until the regular session next year in March.

“It would appear that while there are some issues where legislative action may be appropriate, there are no issues that require immediate formal legislative action. Additionally, there are several areas where it is clear that we do not yet possess the information necessary to make informed decisions. Moreover, many of these issues require solutions that would benefit from closer scrutiny during a regular legislative session,” Cretul, R-Ocala, wrote to House members today.

Atwater, who is running statewide for chief financial officer, apparently agreed although he had previously pushed the House to come back early.

Atwater, R-North Palm Beach, said he asked his select committee “to continue developing proposals, gathering data, and working with incoming leadership in preparation for the next session” in a memo to the his members today.

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3 Responses to “UPDATE: It’s official: Oil spill special session off the table”

  1. cost $$$$$$ Says:

    Everytime a special session is held it COSTS taxpayers extra money. Last time, Crist called one, nothing happened, but taxpayers had to foot the bill.


    Stop using these special sessions for political ‘gain’. No respect for taxpayers.

  2. Susan Says:

    President Atwater is the sole reason why Florida does not have near off shore oil drilling!

    He acted as the wiser statesman during the political grudge match between the House leadership and Governor before the special session was called last time to address the oil spill.

    Unfortunately the children didn’t want to listen and took they toys & went home. To add insult to injury, President Atwater keeps getting lumped in with “the legislature” by the media, which couldn’t be further from the truth. He is the only one in leadership who cares more about the people than the politics. He should be acknowledged & appreciated for his efforts. We need him, and more like him, to counter balance the self serving ego maniacs.

  3. Den Burns Says:

    This whole oil spill issue was just taken too far. People should really start taking action for what they have done wrong instead of getting all ‘tied’ up in politics!

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