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CFO Alex Sink Again Calls on the Florida Legislature to Help Small Businesses Impacted by Oil Spill

9/14/2010

CONTACT: Jerri Franz or Jayme O’Rourke, 850-413-2842
 
TALLAHASSEE -- Florida CFO Alex Sink today issued the following statement after reviewing the final report by the House of Representatives’ work groups regarding the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: 
 
“I continue to be shocked by the inaction of the Florida Legislature when the people of Northwest Florida are still suffering severe economic losses,” said CFO Alex Sink. “Many small businesses are struggling because of the disaster in the Gulf, yet the Florida Legislature has decided that there is nothing that needs to be done to help them. These reports are just the latest glaring example of the lack of leadership and common sense solutions coming out of Tallahassee.”
 
Fully three months after the Deepwater Horizon explosion occurred on April 20, the Florida Legislature convened in Tallahassee for only one day -- on July 20 -- then promptly adjourned. “Work groups” to develop legislative initiatives to help Florida’s small businesses that have suffered economic damages as a result of this oil spill were intended to spur legislative action, and yet instead of reporting back with meaningful initiatives, the work groups’ final reports called for “no recommendations that require formal legislative action at this time.” (Executive Summary to Speaker Cretul, August 31, 2010)
 
An analysis by CFO Sink’s legal staff shows obvious gaps in Florida law which may cause some of Florida’s small businesses to have difficulty recovering economic damages caused by the oil spill.  The analysis, which can be accessed here, shows that some state laws, such as Alaska’s, provide for broader recovery by small businesses in the event of an oil spill than Florida’s law.   The analysis suggests that the Florida Legislature should amend Florida law to provide broader economic recovery for Floridians and Florida’s businesses that were affected by the oil spill.