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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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#12 on list of Tampa Bay’s Most Powerful Politicians — Dana Young

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

South Tampa resident Dana Young survived a brutal 2016 election against Democrat Bob Buesing and independent Joe Redner to get elected to the state Senate after six years in the House. “Dana Young is one of the most productive members of the Florida Legislature,” says lobbyist and Democratic fundraiser Justin Day. “She has never shied away from taking on an important or difficult issue to her constituents. Those of us who are lucky enough to call her our Senator, should rest easy…

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USF community outraged after last-minute budget language is inserted to keep it from achieving ‘preeminent’ status

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Officials associated with the University of South Florida this weekend are fervently seeking to change the language in an education conforming bill that will keep the university from achieving ‘pre-eminent’ status next year. A loss of the pre-eminent status for USF could result in losing much as $15 million in state funding. “The amount of people who are upset about this as of this morning is like anything else,” said Mike Griffin, president of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce and a USF alumnus. In 2013,…

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Joe Lopano: Tampa International master plan is about living up to George Bean’s legacy

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

As Tampa International Airport’s master plan expansion moves through Phase One, the Hillsborough Aviation Authority is now looking toward Phase Two. This week, the Authority approved more than $132 million to pay for construction of a retail and office space area near the airport’s new rental car facility, which is also still under construction. Over the past month, TIA CEO Joe Lopano has been making the rounds in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, keeping various local governments and agencies informed of all…

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Senate adds slot machine provision onto House bill

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The Senate on Wednesday tacked language onto a professional deregulation bill that could lead to the expansion of certain kinds of slot machines. The provision came under the guise of trying to move fantasy sports into the non-gambling realm before the end of the Legislative Session. Lawmakers failed to agree on comprehensive gambling legislation this year, ending their efforts Tuesday. Sen. Dana Young, a Tampa Republican, offered an amendment to a House bill under consideration, a “Deregulation of Professions and Occupations” measure…

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Greyhound steroid ban dies in Senate

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

A bipartisan bill banning the use of steroids on greyhound racing dogs is likely dead for the 2017 Legislative Session. The last committee of reference for the Senate bill (SB 512) had been Appropriations, which did not hear it Monday at its last meeting. The House version (HB 743) passed earlier this month on an 84-32 vote. “We had the votes to pass it,” said Senate bill sponsor Dana Young, a Tampa Republican. The Senate bill cleared two previous committees…

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