Published: Sep 16, 2010 4:04 PM EDT
Updated: Sep 16, 2010 1:04 PM EDT

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Republican House Speaker Larry Cretul says Gov. Charlie Crist's request to immediately spend $31.5 million in federal stimulus money for energy conservation rebates is illegal.

Crist, an independent running for the U.S. Senate, complained Wednesday that a legislative budget panel failed to take up the matter. Cretul responded in a letter that state law says it must wait until the full Legislature can act, probably next spring.

Cretul also took a shot at Crist's Energy and Climate Commission.

He wrote it was guilty of "duping" people into applying for solar energy rebates although that program had run out of cash.

The stimulus money would partly replenish it and provide rebates as well for heating and air conditioning buys.