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Not much outside pressure to expand special session beyond budget

Special interest groups whose issues weren’t resolved before the Legislature’s regular session ended abruptly they’ll secure a spot on the agenda for the June special session. 

The budget will be the focus of the session scheduled for June 1-20, but House Speaker Steve Crisafulli and Senate President Andy Gardiner can agree to put any legislation they want on the table. That could include any number of issues left unresolved in the regular session.

Yet with the budget up in the air and a major rift between the House and Senate over health care funding, many groups aren’t pushing to put legislation they support into the proclamation that will set the parameters for a session.

“Nothing significant on energy policy is going to happen in the Florida Legislature because of the influence of the utilities,” said Susan Glickman, Florida director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. “We wouldn’t be pushing something in the special session.”

The National Rifle Association is looking to next year to renew its push to allow concealed weapons to be carried on college campuses.

Advocates for low-THC cannabis are hopeful they can garner attention during a special session but are relying on their supporters within the Legislature, not trying to drum up public outcry.

“We’re relying on the advocates that have been advocates for this all along,” said Ryan Wiggins, a communications consultant who’s been involved in pushing legislation to speed up the legalization of the drug, called Charlotte's Web. “For the most part it’s up to the discretion of the speaker and the president.”

But staff for Gardiner say leadership hasn’t had any requests for legislation other than the budget to be on the agenda.

“The president hasn’t received any official correspondence asking for specific bills to be added to the call,” said Gardiner spokeswoman Katie Betta.

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