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House Speaker echoes Rubio, calls Crist special session a 'photo op'

UPDATED: House Speaker Larry Cretul opened the brief special session with remarks blistering Gov. Charlie Crist for a "photo-op" and then tried to adjourn.

"As a co-equal branch of government, it is our prerogative to consider the governor's suggestion and to dispose of it in the manner that we see fit," Cretul said in prepared remarks, labeling the oil spill "a deep sea monster that we've never met before."

What this means: no debate and no action on a proposed constitutional ban on drilling within 10 miles off Florida's coast. But to diminish the political fallout Cretul is proposing six workgroups of low-ranking lawmakers who will meet in future weeks to discuss what to do about the oil spill, which occurred April 20. The House suggested it is involving junior lawmakers to get more people involved -- not because they don't consider the matter serious.

Cretul suggested the Legislature should consider whether to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot in 2012 -- "in the calm after the crisis."

The move to adjourn was debatable so Democrats seized the opportunity as a platform to criticize the GOP inaction. But House leaders used procedural rules to limit the debate to 10 minutes each side. Total time in session: 49 minutes. The vote to adjourn 67-44

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