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