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15 big questions facing Florida politics heading into summer

in Peter by

Summer is here — well, unofficially at least. And with it comes cookouts, summer vacations, and the start of the 2018 election cycle (again, unofficially). With a tumultuous legislative session in our rearview mirror and a jam-packed election cycle on the horizon, the answers to these 14 questions (plus a fill-in-the-blank) could shape the future of the state. — Does Gov. Rick Scott veto the budget? The Naples Republican isn’t saying whether he plans to veto the $83 billion spending plan;…

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Florida leaders react to the bombing at a concert in Manchester

in 2017/Top Headlines by

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility Tuesday for the suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester that left 22 people dead and sparked a stampede of young concertgoers. The attack was the deadliest in Britain since four suicide bombers killed 52 London commuters on subway trains and a bus in July 2005. Here is a compilation of reaction from Florida’s elected officials and leaders about the tragedy: — Sen. Marco Rubio on Twitter: “Our prayers are with the…

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#9 on list of Tampa Bay’s Most Powerful Politicians — Chris Sprowls

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Chris Sprowls, the 33-year-old Palm Harbor attorney, easily defeated Democrat Bernie Fensterwald in November to win his second term in office, and he remains a strong contender to lead the House in the 2021-2022 Sessions, increasing his clout in the Capital. In 2017, Sprowls and fellow Republican state Rep. Jamie Grant were the driving force behind the landmark ride-sharing legislation passed in the House. The law, recently signed by Gov. Rick Scott, creates statewide regulations for ride-booking companies like Uber…

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Chris Sprowls looks back on successful legislative session

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Now that the 2017 Legislative Session is in the history books (for the most part), Florida lawmakers are beginning to take stock. And Palm Harbor Republican Chris Sprowls is no different. Sprowls offers his own post-Session review, in an email to supporters highlighting some of his major legislative actions in the House over the past year. At the top of the list is HB 221, the landmark ride-sharing legislation co-sponsored by Sprowls and recently signed into law by Gov. Rick…

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Suncoast Tiger Bay to perform 2017 Session post-mortem

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

As the 2017 Session grinds to a halt, with only one piece of unfinished business left for Monday, lawmakers now enter the traditional post-mortem phase. On Thursday, The Suncoast Tiger Bay Cub hosts its 2017 Legislative Wrap-Up, the annual gathering for members and constituents to ask questions and (hopefully) get some answers on the 60-plus-day Session, and how it will impact both the region and Florida. This year, Session went into overtime at 63 days, as lawmakers return to the…

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Governor signs landmark ride-sharing legislation into law

in 2017 by

Gov. Rick Scott signed into law Tuesday a bill that creates statewide regulations for ride-booking companies, like Uber and Lyft. “I’m proud to sign this legislation today to make it easier for ridesharing companies to thrive in Florida and help ensure the safety of our families,” said Scott in a statement. “Florida is one of the most business-friendly states in the nation because of our efforts to reduce burdensome regulations and encourage innovation and job creation across all industries, including…

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After four years of debate, bill regulating ride-sharing companies will go to Rick Scott’s desk

in Statewide by

After years of intense debate, the Florida Senate overwhelmingly approved a bill to create statewide regulations for transportation network companies. The measure (HB 221) cleared the upper chamber on a 36-1 vote. The bill now heads to Gov. Rick Scott for his consideration. “Today we sent a strong message that Florida embraces transportation innovation. The future of transportation options includes a focus on shared mobility, and as we move closer to autonomous vehicles on our roadways, the future of ride-sharing…

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