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Jeff Clemens

Florida Democrats say they’ve raised nearly $3.5 million

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The state’s Democrats, in the wake of their Leadership Blue Gala, say they raised nearly $3.5 million through the first half of the year. Florida Democratic Party spokeswoman Johanna Cervone made the claim in a Saturday news release.

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On open records, half Florida’s legislators rate F or D

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Half of Florida’s legislators failed or nearly failed in a review of their support for public records and meetings given by Florida newspapers and an open-government group after this year’s legislative sessions. In a “scorecard” produced by the Florida Society of News Editors and based on information provided by Florida’s First Amendment Foundation — which tracked a priority list of public records exemptions — the 160 legislators totaled three Fs, 77 Ds, 71 Cs, and 9 Bs. Each year FSNE completes a project devoted to Sunshine…

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Lawmakers finally pass medical marijuana implementation bill

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After a false start during the regular Legislative Session, lawmakers Friday passed a medical marijuana implementation bill on the last day of the Special Session, sending it to Gov. Rick Scott. The wide-ranging legislation (SB 8-A) will give guidance to state regulators as they put the state’s constitutional amendment medical marijuana into effect. Gov. Rick Scott said later on Friday he will sign the bill into law. According to the bill analysis’ summary, the measure among other things: — Grandfathers in seven existing…

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Sugar growers: We were not involved ‘in any way’ with medical marijuana implementation

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Florida sugar growers are pushing back hard on accusations that “Big Sugar and Big Citrus” had a hand in writing legislation to expand access to medical marijuana. On Thursday, the Tampa Bay Times reported that that tucked into sweeping legislation on medical marijuana is “preferential treatment to companies that promise to convert orange juice factories and other citrus-processing facilities into marijuana grow sites.” According to the Times, lawmakers want to replenish Florida’s citrus industry, which has been struggling after seasons…

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Andrew Gillum posting a goose egg? Say it ain’t so

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May was a busy month for Andrew Gillum. Like his opponents, he racked up several key endorsements; former HUD Secretary Julian Castro, Senate Democratic Leader-designate Jeff Clemens, Sen. Perry Thurston, state Rep. Joe Abruzzo and Palm Beach County Tax Collector for life, Anne Gannon. Gillum spoke at Tiger Bay and his campaign sent out numerous press releases on various topics, he held two big-name fundraisers (former party chair Allison Tant and uber-lobbyist Sean Pittman) and blasted out, by my count, more than 18…

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Jeff Clemens endorses Andrew Gillum for governor

in 2017 by

Add Sen. Jeff Clemens to the list of Democratic leaders backing Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum. The Gillum campaign announced Wednesday that Clemens, the Senate Democratic Leader-designate, has endorsed Gillum’s 2018 gubernatorial bid. In a statement, Clemens called Gillum a “bold leader whose vision will transform Florida.” “Andrew will prioritize the people we serve, not the privileged few who have had their way in Tallahassee for decades,” said Clemens. “Strong values like top-flight education for every child, an economy that works…

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Senate approves amended medical marijuana bill, sends back to House for final vote

in 2017 by

The Florida Senate voted 31-7 to approve an amended version of a medical marijuana bill, sending it back to the House for a final vote on Friday. But with the clock running out on the 2017 Legislative Session, the fate of the proposal remains unclear. The Senate amended the House bill (HB 1397) to limit the number of retail facilities licensed growers can have and remove a provision that would have made medical marijuana exempt from sales tax. Sen. Rob…

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