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Gaetz: No need for a special session

Senate President Don Gaetz doesn't see the need for a special session on the state's Stand Your Ground law, he told reporters Monday.

"I stand with Gov. [Rick] Scott on this and I stand with Speaker [Will] Weatherford," he said.

Gaetz said he sympathized with the young protesters known as the Dream Defenders, who have spent the past two weeks protesting at the Capitol. The group is demanding Scott convene a special session to address Stand Your Ground, racial profiling and the school-to-prison pipeline.

"I understand their frustration... and that frustration has to pour out some way," Gaetz said.  

But a special session, the Senate president said, would be pointless.

"You don't call a special session to bring 160 politicians into town to turn them lose and hope it works out," he said. "To my knowledge, there have been no bills filed."

Gaetz also responded to comments from singer and activist Harry Belafonte that Florida would become "ungovernable" if lawmakers refused to listen to the protesters.

Gaetz said the entertainer had "dropped into Florida" and then flown out.

"With all due respect, he was a better singer than public policy prophet," Gaetz said.


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At some point, the sincere, but deluded Dream Defender protesters will add enough overtime costs for the Capitol keystones that it will reach the cost of a special session.

Perhaps, then, Florida should invest that money in a one-day, 2-day, or 3-day special session--whatever the minority Ds will agree to--and haul all the legislators up here.

Then, the Legislature can vote down any repeals or gutting proposals to the SYG law, and both the lawmakers and protesters can go on back home.

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