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Bill Nelson sponsors bill to ban bump stocks for assault weapons

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Saying, “they are for killing,” Florida’s Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson sponsored a bill Wednesday to ban so-called “bump stocks” like the ones Las Vegas police say Stephen Paddock used in his deadly slaughter Sunday night in Las Vegas.

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Florida’s bizarre fireworks law still in place

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

It’s almost Independence Day, which in Florida means: Time to scare some birds. Although you can buy fireworks in the state, they’re not actually legal here. Indeed, The Tampa Tribune in 2014 called fireworks sales in Florida an “institutionalized charade,” leading one lawmaker to call for “more freedom (and) less fraud.” Retail sales are allowed only because of a 62-year-old loophole in the law, the only known one of its kind in the country. That allows “fireworks … to be used…

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Greyhound steroid ban dies in Senate

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A bipartisan bill banning the use of steroids on greyhound racing dogs is likely dead for the 2017 Legislative Session. The last committee of reference for the Senate bill (SB 512) had been Appropriations, which did not hear it Monday at its last meeting. The House version (HB 743) passed earlier this month on an 84-32 vote. “We had the votes to pass it,” said Senate bill sponsor Dana Young, a Tampa Republican. The Senate bill cleared two previous committees…

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Showdown in Miami: Airbnb sues over vacation rental home ban

in Apolitical/Top Headlines by

Airbnb and five of its clients filed suit against the city of Miami Friday over a controversial move the city made last month to ban vacation rental homes in residential districts. At issue is whether and how cities can regulate vacation rental homes, a rapidly increasing part of the lodging industry in which homeowners turn their spare bedrooms or whole houses into short-term rentals to accommodate tourists and other visitors who prefer homes to hotels. The Florida Legislature essentially prohibited…

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Bill Nelson talks offshore oil drilling ban during Southwest Florida stop

in 2017 by

Sen. Bill Nelson vowed to fight off threats to drill in the waters off Florida’s west coast, telling Southwest Florida officials he’ll do whatever he can to protect the coastal communities. “Increasingly we have threats to drill in the Gulf of Mexico off the west coast of Florida, and it’s getting to the point that I have to keep beating back these attempts,” said Nelson during a meeting in Fort Myers on Tuesday. In 2006, Nelson and then-Sen. Mel Martinez,…

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Dana Young joins push for new greyhound bill, banning steroids

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Decrying that racing dog owners are “doping greyhounds,” state Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith joined state Rep. Alexandra Miller and Dana Young Friday in another effort to tighten regulation of dog racing in Florida, with a bill explicitly banning the use of steroids. Smith, the Orlando Democrat, and Miller, the Sarasota Republican, introduced House Bill 743 Thursday, replacing an earlier version Miller had introduced. Young, the Tampa Republican introduced Senate Bill 512 last month. On Thursday, it was referred to the…

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Richard Corcoran to lobbyists: Cool your jets

in Statewide by

Florida House members better get used to flying commercial. House Speaker-designate Richard Corcoran is expected to announce new rules Thursday, including one that would prohibit members from flying on planes owned, leased, or paid for by lobbyists. The proposed rule change is meant to end a common practice among lawmakers and the influence industry, according to a sources close to the incoming House speaker. The practice of hopping a ride on a lobbyist’s plane is considered fairly common. Lawmakers often…

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