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Seminole Compact still in play, Richard Corcoran says

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Florida House Speaker-designate Richard Corcoran Monday said lawmakers again will consider a gambling agreement with the Seminole Tribe of Florida. A federal judge earlier this month ruled the tribe can continue to offer blackjack and other “banked card games” to its Hard Rock Casino customers across the state, including the Tampa location. The tribe sued the state, saying it had broken an exclusivity deal with the tribe, one part of what’s called the 2010 Seminole Compact. The Seminoles now can offer blackjack…

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More than a dozen South Florida House members appear to be re-elected without opposition

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More than a dozen members of the Florida House are heading back Tallahassee. As of 5 p.m., state records show nearly a dozen South Florida lawmakers appeared to win their elections Friday when they failed to draw an opponent by the time qualifying period. All of the candidates are incumbents. In House District 94, Bobby DuBose is returning to the Florida House. The Fort Lauderdale Democrat was first elected to the Florida House in 2014. Kristin Jacobs appears to have…

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Rick Scott signs controversial dental carve out bill

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A contentious dental bill received a tepid OK from Gov. Rick Scott this week. Scott announced Wednesday he signed a bill (HB 819) that removes dental services from the list of minimum benefits under the state’s Medicaid managed care plans. It also calls on the Office of Program Policy Analysis & Government Accountability to study how effective managed care plans are at providing dental care. Unless lawmakers act to put dental care back on the list of requires services, the…

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Lawmakers make case for dental carve-out bill at Session’s end

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On Day 60 of the 2016 Legislative Session and with passage of a bill to separate children’s dental insurance under Medicaid from other medical coverage secured, GOP lawmakers held a press conference to garner support for their plan and potentially avert a veto from Gov. Rick Scott. Senate President-designate Joe Negron and Rep. Jose Felix Diaz spoke to reporters to burnish their bill, saying it is keeping with national trends and would more efficiently administer care. Both legislators said having a separate policy and benefit…

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Jose Felix Diaz files more changes to Seminole Compact

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The House’s lead negotiator on the Seminole Compact has filed another strike-all onto the troubled gambling legislation. State Rep. Jose Felix Diaz, the Miami Republican who chairs the House Regulatory Affairs Committee, filed his amendment Thursday, the day before the House is scheduled to begin its consideration of gambling legislation for 2016. Diaz was in the House’s Thursday floor session and couldn’t be reached. According to a bill comparison by LobbyTools, the biggest change is the deletion of language on advance deposit…

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House all but declares defeat on Seminole Compact, gambling legislation

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Their lips were saying “not dead yet” but House leadership otherwise made clear that the Seminole Compact and gambling legislation were goners for this session. “I’m not ready to declare it dead yet,” said state Rep. Jose Felix Diaz, the Miami Republican who shepherded the bills through the process this year. Diaz spoke after the House’s floor session. After a deep breath, he added, “…but that’s the word around town.” Diaz said he talked to his counterpart, state Sen. Rob…

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Effort to appease pari-mutuels is killing Seminole Compact

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If the Seminole Compact and related legislation don’t pass this session, lawmakers will have no one to blame but themselves, the tribe’s Tallahassee-based attorney said Tuesday. Barry Richard, who represents the Seminole Tribe of Florida, blamed the apparent Tuesday morning collapse of the 2016 gambling bills on lawmakers bending over backward to appease the state’s dog and horse racing concerns. “The issue hanging us up is what happens to the pari-mutuels,” he told FloridaPolitics.com in a phone interview. State Sen. Tom Lee,…

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