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Clay Ingram

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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Panhandle House delegation unanimously backs Matt Caldwell for Ag Commish

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Rep. Matt Caldwell has the unanimous backing of his colleague from the Panhandle for Agriculture Commissioner. Caldwell’s campaign announced that the entire Panhandle House delegation — Rep. Brad Drake, Clay Ingram, Mel Ponder, Frank White, Jay Trumbull, and Jayer Williamson — has endorsed him for Agriculture Commissioner. The endorsements were billed as the first wave of Panhandle endorsements, and come as Caldwell continues to travel the state to build support for his campaign.

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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. Off: Parker Aziz is no longer Special Master and attorney for the House Civil Justice and Claims Subcommittee. Off: Nikolas Pascual has stepped down as a legislative assistant for the vacant House District 116 seat. Off: Garrett Mann has stopped being the district secretary for Jacksonville Republican State Rep. Jason Fischer. Off: Zachary McCulley is no longer legislative assistant for Pensacola Republican…

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House OKs VISIT FLORIDA, Enterprise Florida funding cuts

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House members on Monday approved a measure dealing with VISIT FLORIDA and Enterprise Florida funding on a 74-34 vote. If vetoed, however, the “conforming bill” would need 80 votes to overcome Gov. Rick Scott‘s red pen. Both chambers have begun discussing the 2017-18 state budget, which wasn’t completed on time to finish the 2017 Legislative Session last Friday. That caused a rare extension to Monday, using the weekend to count toward the constitutionally required 72-hour “cooling off” period before lawmakers can vote. The…

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House considers contentious Tampa International Airport audit

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Budget language filed in the Florida House Saturday morning would OK a controversial state audit of Tampa International Airport. As reported by Matt Dixon of POLITICO Florida, Brandon Republican Sen. Tom Lee unexpectedly filed an amendment last week on the Senate floor, which proposes an audit of TIA’s renovation master plan. Lee’s amendment raised concern with two other Tampa Bay-area Senate Republicans — appropriations chair Jack Latvala of Clearwater and Dana Young of Tampa. The Senate rejected the amendment. Pensacola…

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Top line tourism, economic development money closed out, chair says

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Don’t expect any movement in the budgets for Enterprise Florida and VISIT FLORIDA at the conference committee level. “I’m authorized to negotiate quite a few things in this budget and there’s a few things I’m not, and those would be among the things I’m not,” said Sen. Jeff Brandes, the St. Petersburg Republican chairing the Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development Appropriations conference committee. The panel met again at 8 a.m. Saturday. Earlier this week, legislative leadership agreed on roughly $83 billion…

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Ken Lawson on VISIT FLORIDA funding: ‘Protect our people’

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Ken Lawson, CEO of the embattled VISIT FLORIDA, again pleaded with lawmakers to fully fund his agency, saying jobs depend on it. Lawson appeared before the Legislature’s tourism and economic development budget conference on Friday as Gov. Rick Scott left the state to attend a National Rifle Association meeting in Atlanta. Meantime, Scott’s political committee, Let’s Get to Work, has been “robo-calling” residents in key districts, asking them to encourage their lawmakers to vote for $200 million to start work on…

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