Moving with extraordinary speed, the Florida Legislature took just
two hours Tuesday to reject Gov. Charlie Crist's proposal to give
voters the chance to amend the state Constitution and ban offshore oil
In a brief special session, Republicans carried out a
plan to block Crist from scoring political points by leading the charge
for what they see as a symbolic ban on near-shore drilling, something
already barred by state law.
Florida Republican leaders have begun crafting anti-illegal-immigrant
legislation modeled after an Arizona law that has incited widespread
protests and fueled national and international debate over U.S.
Under the proposed bill, police would have
broad power under state law to ask suspects for proof of legal
residency, said Rep. William Snyder, a Republican from Stuart who plans
to introduce the legislation in November.
Confronting a mid-year deficit
of $147 million and a projected $4.7 billion FY2011 shortfall, revenue
and economic issues were a major focus for Florida lawmakers.
The state's right-wing dominated Legislature also passed a series of
divisive bills, including an extremely controversial effort endangering
womens' reproductive rights, that will only serve to harm the state's
working families and vulnerable populations.
In the weeks following the signing of the Patient Protection and
Affordable Care Act, lawsuits
challenging the constitutionality of health care reform were joined by
multiple, conservative Attorneys General from states across the nation,
despite widespread condemnation that such challenges were frivolous, wasteful, and
certain to fail in the courts. In early April, Secretary of Health
and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius commented
that she believed the lawsuits had "more to do with politics than