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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Dems to Crist: Bring legislators back into session for oil response



Three Democratic legislators Tuesday renewed their plea to Gov. Charlie Crist to call a special legislative session this summer to address the state's response to the oil disaster and other issues.

State Sen. Dan Gelber of Miami Beach and Reps. Keith Fitzgerald of Sarasota and Rick Kriseman of St. Petersburg said a special session should focus on five issues: revising the state law to maximize the amount of money victims can receive, giving the attorney general the authority to prosecute environmental crimes, creating a state compensation commissioner to help with recovery, providing small businesses with economic relief, and putting an amendment on the ballot for a drilling ban in state waters.

“The special session must include aggressive measures that protect Floridians by ensuring that the state has the proper laws in place to hold BP and others accountable coupled with a constitutional amendment to ban near-shore drilling,” said Gelber, a candidate for attorney general.

"I applaud Gov. Crist for being open-minded and seriously considering our requests, and trust he will continue to put the interests of Florida and its citizens first despite the efforts of some out-of-touch politicians in the Florida Legislature,” Kriseman said.

Crist said Monday that he continues to be willing to bring lawmakers back into special session but that House leaders remain the obstacle.


[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 10:43am]


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