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No special session?

Rep. Joe Pickens, chairman of the House Schools and Learning Council, created a buzz throughout the Capitol on Wednesday when he told fellow lawmakers "if we have a special session...."

The comment immediately had people wondering whether or not the House was trying to send a message about the September special session _ which still has not been officially called by either legislative leaders or Gov. Charlie Crist. There is some speculation that lawmakers may be a bit peeved that Crist has yet to come up with his own recommendations on what should be cut in the state budget, yet has already said he would like to see certain things held harmless.

When asked about it Pickens insisted he wasn't trying to send any kind of message: "You're reading way too much into it."

But it's important to note: The Legislature does not have to cut the state budget right now. There's enough money in reserves to cover the projected shortfall for this year. Of course, if nothing is done now there will be a need to cut as much as $2.5 billion in the spring of 2008.

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