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John Tobia

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: Mary Kassabaum is no longer legislative assistant for Trilby Republican state Sen. Wilton Simpson. Off: Caroline Crow is no longer district secretary for Rockledge Republican state Sen. Thad Altman. On: Matthew Hunter is returning as legislative assistant for Fort Myers Republican state Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto. Off: Sean Nixon is no longer legislative assistant for Cutler Bay Democratic state Sen. Dwight Bullard. Off: Kyle Langan is no longer…

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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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Unlike 2015, Florida lawmakers go home happy and on time

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Florida lawmakers went home when they were supposed to this year. That alone made the 2016 Legislative Session more successful than last year. In an often contentious process where far more bills die than go to the governor, it was a rare year in Tallahassee. How so? Lawmakers passed restrictions on abortion and killed a measure that would have provided civil rights to gays and lesbians, and Democrats said it was a great session. Tax cuts for businesses died, along…

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Dozier School bill moves to House

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House members on Monday began looking at a bill to provide funds for a “proper burial” for those who died at a shuttered, but still notorious, boys’ reform school in the Florida Panhandle. The bill (SB 708) also authorizes the Department of State to “preserve historical resources, records, archives, and artifacts” related to the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys. But the House sponsor, Democrat Ed Narain of Tampa, made clear that the measure was not intended as a predicate for a…

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Latest on the legislative staffing merry-go-round

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With a tip of the hat to Legislative IQ powered by LobbyTools, here are the latest movements – both on and off – of the legislative merry-go-round. On: Bobbye Iseminger is the new senior administrative assistant for the House Select Committee on Affordable Healthcare Access. On: Jasmine Govan and Ambar Pimentel became legislative assistants for Democratic state Sen. Joseph Abruzzo of Wellington. Off: Rick Kendust is no longer legislative assistant for Republican state Sen. Thad Altman of Rockledge. Off: Jessica Crawford…

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Condo bill passes House Finance & Tax on party-line vote

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A bill to continue Great Recession-era relief to homebuilders and bulk buyers of bank-owned condominiums was approved in House Finance & Tax during a Monday afternoon meeting held specifically to consider the proposal. HB 791 sponsored by state Rep. George Moraitis –– the sole Republican among the Broward delegation — was the subject of a 45-minute debate period, mostly driven by concerns from the panel’s Democratic members over the rights of condo tenants, who they say are at risk under the current state…

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Sober homes certification bill passes House

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In what might be the culmination of a years-long effort to pass legislation to regulate the growing cottage industry of private halfway houses for addicts known as “sober homes,” state Rep. Bill Hager has successfully shepherded his HB 21 toward passage in the House by a vote of 113-2. “Dating back to my service on the Boca Raton City Council, I have been keenly aware of the neighborhood challenges relating to so-called sober homes. I am pleased that the House of Representatives agreed…

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