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Bob Rommel

Latest on the legislative staffing merry-go-round

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With a tip of the hat to LobbyTools, here are the latest movements – both on and off – of the legislative merry-go-round.

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On open records, half Florida’s legislators rate F or D

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Half of Florida’s legislators failed or nearly failed in a review of their support for public records and meetings given by Florida newspapers and an open-government group after this year’s legislative sessions. In a “scorecard” produced by the Florida Society of News Editors and based on information provided by Florida’s First Amendment Foundation — which tracked a priority list of public records exemptions — the 160 legislators totaled three Fs, 77 Ds, 71 Cs, and 9 Bs. Each year FSNE completes a project devoted to Sunshine…

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Speaker’s race heads toward June 30 vote after weekend meeting

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Freshman House Republicans are inching closer to picking their leader, holding a weekend caucus meeting to hear from candidates. A majority of GOP freshmen met this weekend at a Central Florida law firm to discuss the 2022 Speaker’s Race. The meeting, which was first reported by Matt Dixon of POLITICO Florida, comes about a week after an attempt to adopt rules for the 2022 Speaker’s failed, seemingly throwing the leadership battle into chaos. Held at Vose Law Firm in Winter Park, the meeting…

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A dangerous consequence of the Eyeball Wars; throwing gasoline on Florida’s wildfire opioid crisis

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It’s no secret that the United States is in the midst of an epidemic of opioid abuse, overdoses and deaths, with Florida emerging as an epicenter. Nevertheless, several Tallahassee lawmakers, albeit unwittingly, may soon contribute to this wildfire of a crisis, a casualty of the latest battle in Florida’s Eyeball Wars. Few can argue the opioid problem has reached epic proportions. The Washington Post is reporting more than 200,000 deaths from opioid overdose between 1999 and 2015. In 2016, nearly…

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Bob Rommel files bill to shield college presidential searches from Sunshine Laws

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A new bill introduced by state Rep. Bob Rommel would keep secret the identities of candidates for the presidencies and other top executive positions at Florida’s state colleges and universities through most of the selection process. House Bill 351, introduced by the Naples Republican Monday, would create exemptions in Florida’s open records and open meetings laws. The proposal seeks to keep secret “personal identifying information” of applicants for president, provost, or dean of a state university or a Florida College…

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More than a dozen lawmakers file for re-election in 2018

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The number of lawmakers prepping for another run keeps on growing. State elections records show dozens of members of the state House and Senate have filed to run for re-election in 2018. Many of those are incumbents who faced little-to-no opposition in 2016, while others ran hard fought battles to win their spot in the Florida Legislature. Sen. Tom Lee filed to run for re-election in Senate District 20 on Dec. 29. The Brandon Republican was re-elected in June 2016,…

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Primary elections did little to unscramble House Speaker race

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August’s primary elections did not produce a breakthrough for any of the contenders in the behind-the-scenes, internecine scrum to one day lead the Florida House of Representatives. Instead, the race to be House Speaker in 2022-24 has settled in for a long slog which may not be decided until, at the earliest, 2018. And, according to a handful of the insiders who truly understand how a leadership race works, the eventual winner may not even be one of the current leading…

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