Gov. Crist Calls Special Session On Proposed Offshore Drilling Ban

TAMPA (2010-07-08) -

Gov. Charlie Crist has called for a special session of the Legislature to permanently ban offshore oil drilling in Florida waters. The session will run from July 20 to 23.

Crist has said he has the support of Panhandle legislators, but legislative leaders in areas so far unaffected by the spill have been uncooperative.

And the governor knows that state statutes already bar drilling in Florida waters.

"But I also know that a year ago, they tried to change that statute and drill holes three miles off the coast of Florida. And that's why it's the will of the people that should be heard on this," Crist said.

"That's why I think they ought to have the opportunity - the people - to put it into their Constitution, so that if a legislature comes along and forgets what's happening out there this year, that won't happen."

If the governor can persuade a majority of lawmakers to go along with him, an amendment would be placed on November's ballot. It would have to be approved by at least 60 percent of the voters.

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