Florida offshore drilling ban proposal trying for a comeback

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February 9, 2011

TALLAHASSEE, Florida: In a second attempt at getting a ban on offshore drilling on the ballot, lawmakers in Florida are considering a proposal in 2011 state legislative session for 2012. The measure would ask voters in the state whether or not to allow offshore drilling off the Florida coast. If sent to the ballot for the 2012 general election, and enacted by voters, it would make Florida a drill-free state. The official name of the bill that was introduced in Florida Legislature is House Joint Resolution 383.[1]

A similar bill was proposed for the 2010 ballot in the state. The legislative session for 2010 ended April 30, 2010, but the governor was asked to hold a special session by Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink and Democratic officials - Sen. Dan Gelber, Rep. Keith Fitzgerald and Rep. Rick Kriseman - on May 6 to discuss the measure. The proposal was made weeks following an explosion on an oil drilling rig that lead to a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. On May 11 Gov. Charlie Crist confirmed a special session. He stated: "I think it's important that we go ahead and have a special session."[2][3]

On July 20, the start of the special session, a vote was held to adjourn the session. The House voted 67-44 in favor of ending the session. The session ended the same day, July 20, without a vote on referring the proposed amendment to the 2010 ballot. The Senate voted 18-16 to adjourn.[4]

In order to place the current proposal on the 2012 ballot, 60% or more of the state legislators in each chamber must agree to do so in a joint resolution.

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