In this undated file photo released by Transocean, the ultra-deepwater semi-submersible rig Deepwater Horizon,is shown operating in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. (AP Photo/Transocean, File)
Tampa, FL - Florida’s special legislative session starts next week to consider a constitutional ban on offshore oil drilling.
Governor Charlie Crist called a short session from July 20th to the 23rd because he wanted lawmakers to focus on that single issue.
But he’s getting more requests to expand the session’s focus, especially on financial help for businesses and people hurt by the BP oil spill.
Sen. Tony Hill says a recent visit to Pensacola convinced him that the special session should include more issues than just deciding whether to put an amendment on the ballot.
“We definitely have to expand the call because the folks up there in Pensacola they could, in my opinion, probably care less about whether we put something on the ballot," said Sen. Ton Hill. "They want to know what they’re going to do about their property taxes. They want to know what they’re going to do about their unemployment.”
Crist called a four-day session on banning offshore drilling, even though House leaders have opposed the idea.
If he gets the proposed constitutional amendment through the House and Senate, it will go on the ballot in November.
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Tampa City Council members found themselves facing a roomful of angry bar owners Thursday morning and backed away from a proposal that would force bars to stop serving alcohol at midnight instead of 3 a.m. unless the owners obtained a special permit.