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Proposal to replace statue of Confederate general advances in Florida House

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A House committee on Wednesday OK’d a legislative move to replace the statue of a Confederate army general as one of Florida’s two eminences in the U.S. Capitol’s National Statuary Hall where it’s been since 1922. The House Economics Committee unanimously approved the proposal sponsored by Miami Republican Rep. Jose Felix Diaz to replace the statue of Lt. Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith. The legislation also would replace Florida’s other statue, Dr. John Gorrie, who pioneered air conditioning in the 1840s.…

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House panel approves raft of gaming bills

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The House Regulatory Affairs Committee approved a trio of bills that could reshape Florida’s gaming industry, mainly by ratifying a newly renegotiated compact with the Seminole Tribe of Florida and by separating pari-mutuel racing from the card games which have come to dominate those facilities. A panel passed all three bills sponsored by its Chairman Rep. Jose Felix “Pepi” Diaz by narrow majorities and with defections from Diaz’s fellow members of the GOP majority. The committee passed bills to give necessary…

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Today on Context Florida: Seminole Compact, fee-for-service, off island in Key West and LIFO ban

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Today on Context Florida: Jac VerSteeg talks about state Sen. Joe Abruzzo’s ‘wide open’ alternative to the Seminole Compact, which may be under consideration if the Legislature refuses to ratify Rick Scott’s deal with the Tribe. Abruzzo says: “In looking at this and all the moving parts and how difficult this issue is, we hear a lot about the compact and a lot about parity and things of that nature …What if we just looked at giving parity to all the…

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Is Rick Scott already getting cold feet on Seminole blackjack deal?

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Gov. Rick Scott has told reporters he’ll “respect the decision” of the Legislature about the deal he struck with the Seminole Tribe of Florida renewing exclusive rights to offer blackjack at its casinos in return for $3 billion over seven years. Scott briefly answered questions after this week’s Cabinet meeting in the Capitol on Tuesday morning. He and others spent months going back and forth on the terms, heralding the details Monday night with a statement that the new agreement is…

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Florida House panel OKs bill to remove Confederate statue

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Florida may replace the statue of a Confederate general at the U.S. Capitol. A Florida House panel on Wednesday endorsed a bill calling for removal of the bronze statue of Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith from the Capitol where every state is allowed to have two statues. The bill sponsored by Miami Republican Rep. Jose Felix Diaz would start the process of selecting a sculptor and the name of a prominent Floridian citizen to replace Smith. The Florida Legislature would have…

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Bill filed to replace Confederate general statue at U.S. Capitol

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A Miami-Dade lawmaker introduced legislation on Tuesday to replace the statue of a Confederate Army general at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. If passed, the bill (HB 141) would ask Congress to remove the statue of Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith and replace it with another “prominent Florida citizen.” The new statue would be paid for by the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, the bill says. The bill was filed by state Rep. Jose Felix Diaz, the Miami Republican who chairs…

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Jeb Bush’s “Mission: NEXT” bundler program lands in Miami Sept. 24

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Mission: NEXT, Jeb Bush’s NASA-inspired bundler program for young Republicans, lands in Miami next month for a fundraising reception hosted by Jeb Bush, Jr. The event, which focuses on donors under 40, begins 7:30 p.m. Thursday, September 24 at American Social, 690 SW 1st Court in Miami. Evening reception tickets start at $250 – with a special $100 reception ticket for individuals under 30. A spot as co-chair costs $1,000 and includes a pre-reception for two and entry to the…

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