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Tie score in Legislature could leave Tampa Bay Rays big winners

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

In sports, a tie means no one wins. No one loses, either. Sometimes, in politics, ties can turn out to be victories. On Monday, the Florida Senate essentially handed the Tampa Bay Rays a win with a tie, after the Commerce and Tourism Committee voted 3-3 on a bill from Thonotosassa Republican Tom Lee, which prohibited pro sports facilities from using taxpayer funds. With that, Lee’s bill was officially called out on strikes this Session. Supporting Lee (who is not on the…

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Tom Lee not backing down on claim of questionable spending at Tampa International Airport

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Tom Lee insists he never wanted to air any “dirty laundry” about Tampa International Airport when he attempted to introduce an amendment to the Florida Senate’s budget last Wednesday that would have the airport independently audited. But the Brandon Republican says that there are too many unanswered questions about how the airport is being run for him to stand silent. “When you’re presented with this information, and you’re a member of the Florida Legislature, and you don’t act on at least an innocuous…

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Sparks fly with Tampa Bay GOP senators over Tom Lee’s call for Tampa International Airport audit

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Sparks flew on the floor of the Florida Senate Wednesday between Tampa Bay-area Republicans after Tom Lee stated that “potential public corruption” is taking place at Tampa International Airport. The Brandon Republican then proposed inserting an amendment to the Senate budget calling for the Auditor General to review spending at the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority, which is currently in the midst of a billion-dollar-plus master plan renovation. “There have been allegations of gross representation,” Lee told Dana Young of Tampa (as well as the…

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Dana Young raises $150K in March for Senate re-election

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Tampa Republican Sen. Dana Young was among the handful of Florida senators to only win a 2-year term during the 2016 election cycle. She hasn’t wasted any time gearing up for her 2018 re-election. Young, who bested Democrat Bob Buesing in the SD 18 race last November, brought in more than $150,000 last month between her campaign and political committee accounts. The bulk of the money was raised through her political committee, “Friends of Dana Young,” including $10,000 checks from…

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Dana Young, environmentalists still holds hope for fracking ban in 2017

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House members now say the possibility of a fracking ban is dead for the 2017 Legislative Session. Sen. Dana Young thinks it’s premature to administer last rites, at least just yet. “You never say never, but now we’re saying it looks like that will be next year,”  Rep. Mike Miller, an Orlando Republican, told the Naples Daily News about his bill (HB 451) as the first month of Session ended this week. The reason for the impasse is the desire by some…

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Unless changes made, Joe Redner says he’ll sue over Legislature’s medical marijuana bill

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Advocates of Amendment 2, which legalized medical marijuana in Florida, have been expressing disdain for HB 1397, moving through the Legislature this Session, sponsored by Fort Myers Republican Ray Rodrigues. “Folks, this bill is bad,” wrote Ben Pollara, head of United for Care, the organization that campaigned for the constitutional amendment that passed with more than 71 percent support of Floridians last fall. “If passed, it would basically cancel out the vote we had last fall, if not make the situation worse,” Pollara…

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House Health Quality Subcommittee approves medical marijuana implementing bill

in 2017 by

A House panel approved legislation Tuesday that would implement the 2016 medical marijuana constitutional amendment, despite concerns from some advocates the proposal doesn’t honor the spirit of the amendment. The House Health Quality Subcommittee voted overwhelmingly to approve a bill (HB 1397) that would implement the 2016 constitutional amendment. Sponsored by House Majority Leader Ray Rodrigues, the bill would, among other things, maintain the current vertically integrated regulatory structure, only allow terminally ill patients to use vaporizers or consume cannabis…

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