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Joe Gruters

Bill would add ‘gender identity’ to hate crimes

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Legislation filed in the Florida House would add violence against an individual based on “gender or gender identity” to the state’s list of hate crimes. Rep. Joseph Geller, an Aventura Democrat, filed the bill (HB 211) Tuesday.

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Joe Gruters files ‘political’ hate crimes bill

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

A House member has filed proposed legislation to add violence based on “political affiliation or beliefs” to the state’s list of hate crimes.

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On Pulse anniversary, Equality Florida calls Rick Scott to ban LGBTQ discrimination statewide

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

In a statement proclaiming Monday as “Pulse Remembrance Day,” Gov. Rick Scott  described the Pulse nightclub shooting that killed 49 people a year ago as “an attack on Orlando, our state, the Hispanic community and on the LGBTQ community.” Nadine Smith, executive director of Equality Florida, the leading advocacy group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights in Florida, is “glad” Scott acknowledges the killings were a direct attack on the gay community, specifically the Latino gay community. But Smith believes the governor could go even further…

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Darryl Paulson: Will 2018 bring no change or a political tsunami?

in 2017/Top Headlines by

Sometimes political change comes slowly, one drop at a time. That was the 2016 Florida congressional election where Democrats gained a single seat, although the opportunities were everywhere. Sometimes elections result in a political tsunami, where the political landscape is fundamentally altered, and one party replaces the other party as the dominant political force. The 2010 and 2014 midterm elections created a tsunami where Republicans wiped out a substantial Democratic majority and won political control of the House. What will…

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Joe Gruters makes his pick for House Speaker

in 2017 by

Rep. Joe Gruters is backing Rep. Paul Renner to be  House Speaker in 2022-24. The Sarasota Republican said while he thinks everyone in the running for the position would do a great job, he felt Renner is the best person at this time. Gruters said he’s decided to make his position known because he didn’t want to give anyone false expectations or lead any candidates on. “Like all my votes in the Legislature, I am committing to the person who I…

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GOP mocks national Dems for ‘zero chance’ of beating Vern Buchanan in 2018

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Though the 2018 congressional elections are still a year and a half away, the news headlines continue to make Democrats believe that 2018 will be a wave election that could see them take over the House of Representatives. It won’t be easy, even if the daily revelations from Washington continue to chip away at President Donald Trump and the Republican Party’s ratings. On Monday, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) announced 20 more congressional districts targeted for recruitment and potential investment,…

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House GOP freshmen fail to adopt rules for Speaker’s race, putting leadership battle into chaos

in Peter by

Even after meeting dozens of times throughout the 2017 Legislative Session, the House GOP freshman caucus failed to adopt new rules on how to pick a leader. A caucus to ratify rules — drafted by Reps. Ralph Massullo and Michael Grant — to guide the freshman class’s decision-making process met Friday during a break in the House. Only 23 members of the freshman class were present, and neither Rep. Jamie Grant nor Rep. Paul Renner, both in the running to be…

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