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Hillsborough lawmakers clash during Tampa Chamber’s Session look-back

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

As House Minority Leader Janet Cruz notes, the Hillsborough County Legislative Delegation works “as a united front” when representing their community in Tallahassee. That’s true on issues like the eleventh-hour move by the Florida Senate to push the University of South Florida out of pre-eminent status under a conformity education budget bill that passed in the waning hours of the legislative session two weeks ago. Over that matter, members acted in unison, denouncing what they said was a fundamental unfairness, leading…

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#11 on list of Tampa Bay’s Most Powerful Politicians — Darryl Rouson

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St. Petersburg-based Democrat Darryl Rouson barely advanced from the House to the Senate last year, defeating former state Rep. Ed Narain in the Hillsborough County-centric Senate District 19 race by just 75 votes. Rouson proposed 31 bills before the session began, and as someone who has been known to work well with Republicans (sometimes too well, for some Democrats’ tastes) was listed as a co-sponsor on 20 other bills, many introduced by GOP members. A pioneer of sorts, Rouson became…

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Suncoast Tiger Bay to perform 2017 Session post-mortem

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

As the 2017 Session grinds to a halt, with only one piece of unfinished business left for Monday, lawmakers now enter the traditional post-mortem phase. On Thursday, The Suncoast Tiger Bay Cub hosts its 2017 Legislative Wrap-Up, the annual gathering for members and constituents to ask questions and (hopefully) get some answers on the 60-plus-day Session, and how it will impact both the region and Florida. This year, Session went into overtime at 63 days, as lawmakers return to the…

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Senate sends Dozier school memorial bill to governor’s desk

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Legislation to erect memorials to boys who suffered abuse and death at the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys in Marianna was headed to the governor’s desk Friday following final approval by the Senate. The vote to adopt HB 7115 was 35-0. The measure passed the House, 117-0, on April 18. Sponsor Darryl Rouson said the measure would provide “a respectful burial to the inidentified, unclaims remains” of the victims of a 1914 dormitory fire at Boot Hill Cemetery on…

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Rick Kriseman picks-up major endorsements from South St. Pete leaders

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Rick Kriseman announced a number of high-profile endorsements from St. Petersburg’s African-American community Friday as he continues to build momentum for his re-election. State Senator Darryl Rouson, County Commissioner Ken Welch, School Board member Rene Flowers and City Council Vice-Chair Lisa Wheeler-Bowman all said they would be supporting Kriseman. “Mayor Kriseman has led on important issues and confronted big challenges” said Welch, who has served on the Pinellas County Commission since 2000. “His leadership has helped to bridge what was…

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House Democrats wake up on weed

in Peter by

Perhaps they’ve been reading the rash of vitriolic emails and op-eds from Florida for Care, or the equally brutal reporting and editorializing from the Tampa Bay Times this past weekend. Maybe it was the litany of emotional public comment at Tuesday’s hearing. Whatever it was, Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee – led by the always entertaining, snarky and whip-smart Jared Moskowitz – suddenly woke up on medical marijuana. It was a huge turnaround from just a few weeks ago. When…

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Augie Ribeiro to decide ‘in near future’ on St. Pete City Council run

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Augie Ribeiro, the wealthy trial attorney who made a late run for state Senate District 19 in 2016, is now considering a run for the District 6 seat on St. Petersburg’s City Council. “I am considering running for this seat,” Ribeiro wrote in an email to FloridaPolitics.com Monday afternoon. “I will be deciding in the near future if it is the right time and position to serve the public,” he says, adding that “District 6 encompasses many of  the same constituents as in…

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