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Dave Kerner

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. Off and on: Maggie Mickler is no longer press secretary for the Senate Majority Leader’s office. She has become director of communications at the Department of Management Services. On: LaQuisha Persak has become the new press secretary for the Senate Majority Leader’s office. Off: Lindy Smith is no longer legislative assistant for Cape Canaveral Republican state Sen. Thad Altman. Off and on: Drew…

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Two new laws added to state’s books

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A new year brings two new laws to Florida’s statute books. Bills passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor often go into effect immediately or on July 1, the start of the state’s fiscal year. Some, however, go into effect the first day of the next calendar year. This year, only two measures meet that criteria. The first (HB 369) requires “human trafficking public awareness signs” to be posted at certain locations, including “every rest area, turnpike service plaza,…

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Republican House candidates should qualify by petition, Richard Corcoran says

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House Speaker-designate Richard Corcoran is setting up a 15-member committee of Republican state lawmakers to help campaigns navigate the 2016 election cycle. As first reported by Legislative IQ powered by Lobby Tools, the Land O’Lakes Republican is starting his effort by requiring each Republican House candidate to qualify by voter petition, and not by paying the nearly $1,800 qualifying fee. “Our goal is that by the time qualifying happens there will be more people in our conference qualifying by petition and…

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Guns on campus among 4 gun bills set for full chamber votes

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A contentious proposal to let concealed weapons permit holders bring guns on state university and college campuses was among four firearm bills that made their final committee stops Thursday and will now be before their respective legislative chambers. Two other bills will ban backyard gun ranges in densely populated areas and another will remove aggravated assault from the list of gun-related crimes subject to mandatory minimum sentences under the state’s 10-20-Life law. Easily the most fought over proposal is the…

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“Campus carry” bill approved by House higher ed panel

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A bill to allow guns on Florida’s college campuses passed a House panel on higher education Wednesday morning, amid a heated debate on the role of firearms in public spaces. The bill passed easily through the House Higher Education & Workforce Subcommittee, though former police officer and Democratic Rep. Dave Kerner spoke against the bill and joined impassioned testifiers in declaring the proposal could pose a threat to public safety. The bill – HB 4001, sponsored by Sarasota Republican Rep. Greg Steube and…

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House panel pulls trigger on open carry

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A House panel Tuesday morning advanced a bill to allow concealed weapons licensees to carry their guns openly in Florida. Or as sponsor state Rep. Matt Gaetz put it, restore a right “granted not by government, but by God.” Despite an admonishment from Chairman Carlos Trujillo to keep questions to the text of the bill itself and avoid “philosophical” discussion, the Federalist Papers, constitutional jurisprudence, and the very notion of civilization all shot through an hour-long debate on the measure, which saw testimony from…

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Florida Sheriffs Association names Legislative Champions for 2015

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Florida’s leading law enforcement association recognized 10 legislators this week for providing significant advancements in 2015 to the state’s overall public safety. Florida Sheriffs Association is a for-profit corporation representing Florida Sheriffs, as well as nearly 3,500 business leaders and 70,000 Floridians. The association released its annual list of Legislative Champions on Monday night during the group’s Summer Conference in Broward County. State senators named as FSA Legislative Champions for 2015 include Rene Garcia of Hialeah, Denise Grimsley of Sebring, Tampa’s Arthenia Joyner, Jack Latvala of…

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