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Dana Young

State-run audit at Tampa International now underway

in Statewide/The Bay and the 'Burg by

For the Tampa Bay area state legislative delegation, it was an unscripted and combustible moment on the Senate floor last April. That’s when GOP Republicans Jack Latvala and Dana Young pushed back forcefully on Brandon Republican Tom Lee‘s request for a state audit of the $2.6 billion Tampa International Airport’s master plan. Or we should say they pushed back on his provocative comment that “potential public corruption” was taking place at TIA. TIA CEO Joe Lopano confirmed Thursday that state audit…

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Jeff Brandes, Dana Young endorse Ed Hooper

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Republican state Sens. Jeff Brandes of St. Petersburg and Dana Young of Tampa on Friday endorsed former state Rep. Ed Hooper in his quest to replace Clearwater Sen. Jack Latvala, who is term-limited in 2018. Brandes called Hooper “a true advocate for his community … thoughtful, collaborative, and trusted.” “These are some of the best qualities in a Senator and I’m happy to endorse him in his campaign for the State Senate,” he said. “He will help make Florida a more…

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Rick Scott signs drone regulation bill

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Gov. Rick Scott on Friday approved the Legislature’s “Unmanned Aircraft Systems Act,” which gives the state authority to regulate “personal delivery devices (PDDs) and unmanned aircraft systems.” A “personal delivery device” is a machine for use on sidewalks, usually not traveling more than 10 miles per hour. Photo credit: Starship Technologies London-based Starship Technologies, for instance, makes a six-wheeled “self-driving delivery robot” that was starting to make deliveries in California and Washington, D.C. at the beginning of this year. “The bill authorizes, subject to local government regulation, the…

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Shawn Harrison kicks off HD 63 re-election bid at Tampa Theater June 29

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Republican state Rep. Shawn Harrison is holding a campaign kickoff party later this month to launch his re-election bid in House District 63. The event, hosted by House Majority 2016 and featuring special guest Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, is Thursday, June 29, beginning 5 p.m. at the historic Tampa Theater, 711 N. Franklin St. Included on the extensive list of local GOP leaders making the host committee are House Speaker Richard Corcoran from Land O’Lakes, and Speakers-to-be Jose Oliva and…

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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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Hillsborough lawmakers clash during Tampa Chamber’s Session look-back

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

As House Minority Leader Janet Cruz notes, the Hillsborough County Legislative Delegation works “as a united front” when representing their community in Tallahassee. That’s true on issues like the eleventh-hour move by the Florida Senate to push the University of South Florida out of pre-eminent status under a conformity education budget bill that passed in the waning hours of the legislative session two weeks ago. Over that matter, members acted in unison, denouncing what they said was a fundamental unfairness, leading…

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Still no decision from Joe Negron on special session on pot referendum

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Senate President Joe Negron has yet to decide to join House Speaker Richard Corcoran in calling for a Special Session on medical marijuana implementation, a spokeswoman said Wednesday. Negron, a Stuart Republican, is still “in the process of having discussions with senators in response to the memorandum he sent last Thursday,” Katie Betta said in an email.  Negron had sought input from fellow senators after the 2017 Legislative Session ended without a bill to guide state Health regulators on the…

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