Larry Cretul agrees: Postpone addressing economic relief issues until September
House Speaker Larry Cretul quickly responded to Senate President Jeff Atwater's decision to call for a second special session in late August or early September.
The reason, they both say: there's not enough time. This comes after a Senate select commitee heard on Monday from economists and real estate experts who offered specific recommendations for proposals that could be addressed by lawmakers immediately.
So what's at play here? It's complicated. Politically complicated and practically. Here's Cretul's letter:
Dear President Atwater:
I am in receipt of your letter dated today, suggesting a joint committee and special session in the coming weeks. I am glad we agree that productive legislation addressing the gulf oil spill cannot be enacted during next week's scheduled special session. Our duty is to dispose of executive proposals responsibly. Rushing to amend the constitution at the last possible moment because of an accident hundreds of miles from our jurisdiction does not typify deliberation and responsible legislation.
As you and the citizens and legislators of the Panhandle know well, Floridians are suffering along the Gulf Coast from the BP oil spill. I have followed with interest the work of Senator Gaetz' committee. I assure you that the House is also actively exploring the nature of the injuries, the nature of the federal and private responses, and all suggestions for state response that may require legislation. I believe we can cooperate as we prepare legislative proposals to be considered at a reasonable time. I have asked my staff to work with the Senate staff to resolve the details of the appropriate process and dates for a special session.
Consequently, I am committing the full resources of the House to the full exploration of any and all responsible legislation likely to aid Florida's survival of and recovery from the oil spill. I am also ready, willing and able to join you in calling a special session to convene as early as September, as soon as we can identify those subjects upon which we can act in order to responsibly improve our state's health.