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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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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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