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Latest on the legislative staffing merry-go-round

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With a tip of the hat to LobbyTools, here are the latest movements – both on and off – of the legislative merry-go-round.

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Tampa Bay lawmakers admit criminal justice reform was a bust in Legislature this year

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Over the past decade, deep Red states like Texas, Oklahoma and Georgia have enacted serious criminal justice reforms. Florida? Not so much. That was going to change in 2017, several state lawmakers predicted earlier this year. Except it didn’t. “We walked into this session very high on idealism, thinking that we could accomplish quite a bit, that the climate was right for this,” said St. Petersburg Democratic state Senator Darryl Rouson, while speaking to the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club in St.…

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More endorsements come rolling in for Darden Rice’s re-election

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St. Petersburg City Council Chair Darden Rice is announcing an extended list of new endorsements Thursday for her District 4 re-election bid. As a popular first-term Council member and longtime civic activist, Rice enjoys a wellspring of support from elected officials, colleagues and well-wishers on both the local and state levels. The growing list of endorsements includes several prominent local elected officials: State Sen. Darryl Rouson, State Reps. Ben Diamond and Wengay Newton, as well as St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman,…

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Plant City House Republican Dan Raulerson wants everyone to own a gun

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The attempted assassination Wednesday morning of Louisiana Republican Congressman Steve Scalise in suburban Washington D.C. has shaken the nation. Certainly, lawmakers now realize how vulnerable they are to mentally unstable people with access to firearms who disagree with them politically. At Friday’s Tampa Tiger Bay Club, five members of the Hillsborough County Legislative Delegation were asked their thoughts on what the shooting means for Floridians, and the nation. Plant City Republican House member Dan Raulerson said the answer was simple — everyone, especially lawmakers…

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Barclay Harless still leading Brandi Gabbard in fundraising race

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Fundraising numbers are in for the month of May in the St. Petersburg City Council District 2 race between Barclay Harless and Brandi Gabbard. Harless had a better month of May, and has more cash on hand as the summer approaches. Barclay, a banker and former legislative aide to Darryl Rouson, raised $4,890 in May to Gabbard’s $1,670. Overall, Harless has raised more than $36,000 to date, Gabbard has raised more than $24,000. Harless has also spent more than Gabbard, but…

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Rick Scott says he’s ‘reviewing’ whether to call medical marijuana special session

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Gov. Rick Scott did not close the door entirely on a special session on medical marijuana, telling reporters his office was reviewing his options. “I know there’s a lot of people involved and interested in the issue,” said Scott, following a stop in Fort Myers on Tuesday morning. Scott said a special session was “something we’re reviewing.” The comments come as calls for a special session to pass rules governing medical marijuana implementation continue to mount. More than a dozen…

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Three Tampa Bay Democratic lawmakers line up behind Gwen Graham for governor

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Three prominent Tampa Bay-area Democrats are lining up behind Gwen Graham in her bid for Florida governor. St. Petersburg-based state Sen. Darryl Rouson, St. Petersburg City Council Chair Darden Rice and Tampa City Councilman Mike Suarez are endorsing the former congresswoman, the Graham campaign announced Tuesday. “I’m honored to have the support of these Tampa and St. Petersburg leaders who are working every day on issues Floridians care about,” Graham said in a statement. “As governor, I will work with them to protect…

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