Special Reports

How our legislators reacted

Rep. Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, said the House took “a very positive step” to address the oil spill by establishing a variety of study committees.

The session went as expected and the House is on the way to taking additional steps, he said.

“I intend to stay very much engaged and we have an opportunity to address the needs of the businesses in Manatee County. My concern all along is that we have suffered a perception problem in our area and throughout the state,” Galvano said.

The proposed amendment would have never addressed that misconception of oil affecting pristine areas, he said.

Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton, said he was disappointed in the House and the governor.

“It should have never happened this way” Bennett said.

Crist should have allowed non-spill-related business to be discussed and the House should have allowed hearings.

“All we did was waste money,” Bennett said.

While Bennett said he doesn’t like constitutional amendments, he thought the House would have had “a more difficult time throwing up their hands and walking away” if Crist had not called a special session with so narrow a focus.

“I have a funny feeling that the governor will probably call us back,” Bennett said. “There’s enough blame to go around.”

— James A. Jones Jr., Herald staff