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

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

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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Senate begins discussion of medical marijuana implementing legislation

in 2017 by

Sen. Rob Bradley indicated he is willing to support opening up the medical marijuana market more than he first proposed, but continues to believe vertical integration is the right system for Florida. Bradley, an Orange Park Republican, filed one of five medical marijuana implementing bills this Legislative Session. His proposal (SB 406) would, among other things, allow for the growth of the industry once the number of registered patients hits certain thresholds. Under his proposal, the Department of Health would…

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Here’s where sh*t stands in Tampa Bay politics — the ‘this place is the best’ edition

in Peter by

Besides, maybe, New York City or Washington, D.C., there really is no better place from which to write about politics than Tampa Bay. One reason is that there are so many competitive congressional and legislative seats in the region. And what’s spent to win those seats is oftentimes as much as the amount spent to win other state’s U.S. Senate seats. These seats are competitive because Hillsborough and Pinellas remain “purple” seats in an era when more and more counties…

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Bob Buesing contemplates 2018 rematch versus Dana Young

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Bob Buesing may be looking for a rematch. One of the most bitter races in all of Florida politics last year took place in Hillsborough County’s Senate District 18, where Democrat Buesing faced Republican state Rep. Dana Young and independent Joe Redner. Although Democrats believed Young was vulnerable to a serious opponent she ultimately defeated Buesing 48 to 41 percent. Redner finished a distant third with 9.5 percent. With redistricting, half the state’s 40 Senate seats are up for re-election again next year, and Buesing…

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Republicans lead fight to ban fracking in Florida

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Citing unresolved health concerns, Florida lawmakers are weighing the fate of a measure that would ban fracking across the state. Legislators are pushing the bill to safeguard Florida’s clean water supply, which is the drinking water source for 90 percent of Floridians and a major player in the state’s economy, from agriculture to tourism. If passed, the bill would effectively ban any type of well stimulation technique statewide. That includes fracking — a practice that requires pumping huge volumes of…

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