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Barbara Watson

Latest on the legislative staffing merry-go-round

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

With a tip of the hat to LobbyTools, here are the latest movements – both on and off – of the legislative merry-go-round. Off: Hope Holt, formerly calendar coordinator in the House Clerk’s Office, is now serving as a program specialist for the Office of Professional Development. Off: Tina White stepped down as policy chief for the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee. Off: Dane Bennett is no longer a legislative assistant for Fort Myers Republican Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto. Off: Theresa Frederick and Isabela Dorneles are no longer legislative assistants for North Miami…

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Gwen Graham gets backing of Amy Mercado, Lori Berman, Barbara Watson

in 2017/Top Headlines by

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gwen Graham announced the endorsements of three key Democratic women lawmakers Friday afternoon. The former congresswoman has picked up the endorsements of state Reps. Amy Mercado of Orlando, Barbara Watson of Miami Gardens, and Lori Berman of Lantana. Graham is campaigning against fellow Democrats Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and Winter Park affordable housing developer Chris King, striving for the 2018 primary nomination for governor. Mercado, vice chair of the House Progressive Caucus, said in a news release issued…

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Ridesharing bill advances 21-1 in House committee

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

A bill to create statewide regulations for ridesharing companies easily advanced in its last committee stop Tuesday in the Florida House, but not without some dissent from a handful of Democrats on the panel. The bill (HB 221) is sponsored by Tampa Republican Jamie Grant and Palm Harbor Republican Chris Sprowls, and officials with Uber and Lyft are hoping that this is finally the year that such legislation is finally passed. The bill would require transportation network companies to have third-parties conduct local and national criminal background checks on drivers. People would…

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House advances bill for statewide ride-sharing regulations

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

A Florida House committee advanced a bill Wednesday to implement statewide regulations on ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft. Sponsored by Republicans Chris Sprowls of Palm Harbor and Jamie Grant of Tampa, HB 221 addresses issues that have been vexing state lawmakers for the last three Sessions. If passed, drivers would need to carry insurance coverage worth $50,000 for death and bodily injury per person, $100,000 for death and bodily injury per incident and $25,000 for property damage when picking up passengers. Coverage would…

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Mitch Perry Report for 11.30.16 – How many votes will Tim Ryan get today?

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

In Washington today, House Democrats are expected to reaffirm Nancy Pelosi as their leader for the 115th Congress today, where she is being opposed by Ohio Representative Tim Ryan. However, because the vote will be held on a secret ballot, there is a though that the vote could be a lot closer than what is expected. Pelosi is considered to be very good at what she does, which is keep her members in line when it comes to crucial votes, as well as being…

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Barbara Watson proposes statewide commission to review police shootings

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Last year, the city of Tampa joined Orlando, Miami, Key West and St. Petersburg as the only municipalities in Florida with Citizens Review Boards to police actions and policies. According to a South Florida House Democrat, that’s not nearly comprehensive enough to keep a watchful eye on deadly interactions between the police and the public. And that’s why Miami Beach Gardens Representative Barbara Watson filed a bill last week that would create special review commission to reveal fatal use-of-force incidents by law enforcement personnel.…

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Teen party at Miami strip club canceled after outrage

in Apolitical by

A teenage party that was supposed to be held at a Miami strip club has been canceled after local officials promptly put an end it. Media outlets report area leaders joined Thursday to stop the event scheduled for June 9 at King of Diamonds, saying it would have been inappropriate. State Rep. Barbara Watson, a Democrat, says parents called her office upset about the event, which was advertised on social media for middle and high school students. Tickets went on…

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