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Dana Young to Bob Buckhorn: You should support next generation utility legislation

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Bob Buckhorn and Dana Young are waging a war of words over newly filed legislation allowing wireless equipment in public rights of way. Tampa’s Democratic mayor argues the measure removes local control of public spaces. No, says the South Tampa Republican senator, Buckhorn is completely off-base with his concerns on what the bill will actually do. In a recent op-ed for the Tampa Bay Times, Buckhorn made his case: “Telecommunications companies are pushing SB 596 and HB 687, legislation that would allow them to place small refrigerator-sized equipment, and even…

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The political class react to Bob Buckhorn’s decision not to run for Governor

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Bob Buckhorn’s decision not to run for Governor is eliciting plenty of reaction in Tampa. Many people say they are not surprised Buckhorn has chosen not to pursue a path to the top political job in Florida. “Am I the only one who felt he wasn’t heading in that direction?” asked City Councilwoman Yolie Capin. “I truly believe that he made the right decision because he has not demonstrated over the past six months that he had a keen interest in running for governor,” said Councilman Frank Reddick.…

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Senate committee unanimously approves bill to ban fracking

in Statewide by

The Senate Environmental Preservation & Conservation Committee unanimously approved a bill to ban fracking Tuesday, marking a reversal from previous legislative actions on the issue. “Florida has such a unique geological make up and one-of-a-kind environment that we should not be putting it at risk by allowing fracking in the State of Florida,” said Sen. Dana Young, the bill’s sponsor. “This is the same sentiment that I’ve heard echoed from concerned Floridians from the panhandle all the way to the…

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2017 Legislative Session preview: Showdown over gambling—again

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

With competing legislation now set up in both chambers, the question remains whether lawmakers finally will pass a gambling overhaul or whether the effort will founder as it has in years past. Hanging in the balance is a new blackjack exclusivity deal for the Seminole Tribe of Florida that promises a cut to the state worth $3 billion over seven years. Negotiated by Gov. Rick Scott in late 2015, it failed to gain approval from lawmakers last session as it…

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It’s official: John Legg not running in 2018

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

It’s time for the Leggs to enjoy it being “Quiet Uptown.” Former state Sen. John Legg said Monday he will not run for Senate in 2018, quashing rumors he might considering a comeback in the coming years. “After 12 years my family and I need a break,” he said.  “Also, I am enjoying working on education issues and innovation both national and statewide. I feel like I can make a bigger difference in education right now outside of the Florida Legislature.…

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Craft beer debate includes … Chance the Rapper?

in Statewide/Top Headlines by
chance the rapper

Craft brewers can thank Chance the Rapper for getting this year’s beer bill over its first legislative hurdle. The Senate Regulated Industries Committee on Wednesday cleared the measure (SB 554) on a 6-3 vote. Democrats Perry Thurston and Randolph Bracy joined Republican Lizbeth Benacquisto in opposing the bill.   But Oscar Braynon, the chamber’s Democratic Leader, said he would support the legislation because of the example of the 23-year-old Chicago-based rap star. The measure would allow smaller craft brewers to…

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Impressive roster of GOP leaders line up for Ed Hooper fundraiser

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Clearwater Republican Ed Hooper is assembling an impressive number of high-profile state lawmakers for a Tallahassee reception next month. Hooper, a former state representative, is seeking the open Senate District 16 seat currently held by Jack Latvala. Hooper’s campaign fundraiser will be Monday, March 6, from 2:30 p.m. – 4 p.m. at the Governors Club, 202 South Adams Street. The host committee reads like a Who’s Who of GOP state leaders, including Senate President Joe Negron and nearly all the…

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