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Cindy Gruden at Capitol to support boosting cigarette tax for Moffitt Cancer funding

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

With former Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden sick at home, wife Cindy Gruden stepped in to stump for Moffitt Cancer Center‘s request for increased funding at the Capitol. Gruden was one of more than 75 representatives of the Moffitt Cancer Center, who came by bus and bicycle — doctors, patients, caregivers, community leaders, and researchers — Tuesday to ask the Legislature to support identical bills (SB 662 and HB 651) filed by Sen. Dana Young and Rep. James Grant. The bills…

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Dana Young decries the ‘shrill tone’ coming out of Tallahassee this winter

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

The clash between Rick Scott and the leaders of the Florida House and Senate have dominated the front pages of several Florida newspapers this week. Dana Young doesn’t like it one bit. “There is this angry, shrill tone coming out of Tallahassee, and I truly don’t understand why,” the GOP District 18 state Senator told a crowd of over 50 people at the Oxford Exchange in Tampa Friday morning. “I kind of feel that we’re on the same team and we should be working together to get a budget…

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Dana Young files bill allowing craft breweries to distribute limited amounts of their own product

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Dana Young is introducing new legislation to give small craft breweries the ability to move product through other craft breweries. But the “Big Beer” industry in Tallahassee is already expressing concerns about SB 554, the Senate proposal filed Thursday by the Republican from Tampa. The bill allows craft breweries producing under 7,000 kegs a year, and does not currently have agreements with distributors, to move its product to other Florida craft breweries. “I am proud to sponsor SB 554 and continue to be an…

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Janet Cruz says Florida Dems won’t ‘mainstream hate speech’ in 2017

in Statewide/The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

While some Republicans in Tallahassee were startled last week when Democrats walked out of a committee hearing in reaction to a speaker who made controversial comments, Janet Cruz says her caucus won’t be “mainstreaming hate speech as a legitimate part of political debate” anytime soon. The Democrat House Minority Leader was referring to Thursday, when five Democrats in the House’s Children, Families and Seniors subcommittee panel stood up and walked out in reaction to chair Gayle Harrell giving Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, the platform (via…

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Dana Young files fantasy sports bill

in Statewide by

State Sen. Dana Young on Monday filed her own version of a bill that would legalize and regulate fantasy sports play. The Tampa Republican’s “Fantasy Contest Amusement Act” (SB 592) declares such games to “involve the skill of contest participants and do not constitute gambling, gaming, or games of chance.” And it would prohibit the playing of fantasy sports on any “live pari-mutuel event” that could include dog and horse racing or on any amateur sports, such as college athletics. “Today, more than 3 million…

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Capitol Reax: Tax cuts, certificates of need, whiskey and Wheaties, fracking

in Statewide by

Gov. Rick Scott proposed $618 million in tax cuts this week, which included four back to school holidays and reducing the commercial lease tax. “Governor Scott’s ‘Fighting for Florida’s Future’ tax package includes a number of cuts which will significantly support Florida’s retailers, including a reduction in the business rent tax, cutting the business tax and including an expanded back-to-school sales tax holiday among others. FRF is excited about what the Governor’s tax cut package will mean for growing Sunshine…

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Drug Free America urges caution as lawmakers discuss Amendment 2 implementation

in Statewide by

Drug Free America is urging Florida lawmakers to “proceed with caution” as they begin crafting legislation to implement the state’s newest medical marijuana law. “While we were opposed to Amendment 2 for a number of specific reasons, we recognize Florida voters have spoken,” said Calvina Fay, the executive director of Drug Free America, in a statement. “We also recognize lawmakers will soon convene and consider implementing language … that will dictate policy for generations to come. We strongly urge them to exercise extreme caution moving…

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