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TBARTA bill one step closer to going to Rick Scott’s desk

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Legislation to revamp the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority (TBARTA) by reducing its footprint passed Tuesday a second reading on the Florida House floor. One more vote in the House, and the bill goes to Gov. Rick Scott’s desk. Sponsored in the House by Plant City Republican Dan Raulerson, HB 1243 would downsize TBARTA from seven counties to five (Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Manatee and Hernando), and change the TBARTA’s focus to transit (and not simply transportation). Two weeks ago, an amendment filed by Tampa Bay area Republicans Tom Lee and Jeff Brandes made…

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Ed Hooper to host major Tarpon Springs fundraiser Wednesday

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Ed Hooper, the former Republican State Representative and Clearwater City Commissioner, will be featured at a high-profile fundraiser Wednesday in his bid for Florida Senate. Hooper is seeking to succeed term-limited Jack Latvala in Senate District 16, which covers much of north Pinellas County. A reception will begin 5 PM at Mugs ‘N Jugs, 40737 U.S. Highway 19 N. in Tarpon Springs. Hosts of the event, which currently number about 70 influential Tampa Bay-area political leaders, include Brian Aungst Jr.,…

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Adam Putnam running for governor

in 2017 by

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam is no longer just a likely gubernatorial candidate. The Bartow Republican filed his paperwork Monday for a 2018 run to replace Gov. Rick Scott. He plans to make a formal announcement on the old county courthouse steps in Bartow at 11 a.m. on May 10, according to the Tampa Bay Times, which first reported Putnam’s annoouncement. “I consider myself one of the luckiest people in the world because I get to call Florida home,” he said in…

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Florida lawmakers consider one more public budget meeting

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Florida legislators are considering another public meeting on the state’s budget language before finalizing the agreement Tuesday. Lobby Tools is reporting Monday that Senate budget chief Jack Latvala and Carlos Trujillo, his House counterpart, said that the joint appropriations committee would not meet again, so it’s not clear who will be involved in the meeting, or when it will take place. “The full approps committee is not meeting again,” Trujillo told reporters. “So, the issues that bump go to the…

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Greyhound steroid ban dies in Senate

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

A bipartisan bill banning the use of steroids on greyhound racing dogs is likely dead for the 2017 Legislative Session. The last committee of reference for the Senate bill (SB 512) had been Appropriations, which did not hear it Monday at its last meeting. The House version (HB 743) passed earlier this month on an 84-32 vote. “We had the votes to pass it,” said Senate bill sponsor Dana Young, a Tampa Republican. The Senate bill cleared two previous committees…

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Hospitality marketing money still in play, lawmakers say

in Peter by

Money to help smaller communities market themselves during the off-season could still be in play as legislative leaders continue to negotiate the 2017-18 budget. The Senate has proposed language to move a state-funded marketing program run by the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation from Visit Florida. The House did not include the language in its proposal. The state’s tourism marketing has annually contracted with the FRLA to “develop a coordinated marketing, media, and…

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Constitutional review panel money becomes a ‘bump issue’

in Statewide/Top Headlines by
Constitution Revision Commission

The House and Senate is seemingly at odds over whether to pay for the Constitution Revision Commission. A Sunday spreadsheet that came out of the first 2017-18 state budget conference chairs meeting of the day had a line item for the commission, which meets every 20 years to review and revise the state’s governing document. That includes going around the state to hold public hearings for ideas on possible amendments. The item was among more than 40 statewide appropriation bump issues…

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