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Dennis Ross is on GOP congressional baseball team, but wasn’t at practice where shots were fired

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Polk County Congressman Dennis Ross is one of four members of the Florida GOP delegation on the baseball team attacked by a gunman Wednesday morning in Alexandria, Virginia, but he wasn’t at today’s practice. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was shot, and multiple congressional aides were also hit by a gunman with a rifle who opened fire at a GOP baseball practice. Scalise is reported to be in stable condition. Five people were “transported medically” from the scene, Alexandria Police Chief…

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Whodunit? or, How did citrus get into Special Session medical marijuana bill?

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Everyone loves a mystery, so how did a provision to help concerns with underused or shuttered citrus factories get into this year’s medical marijuana legislation? Language in both bills (SB 8-A, HB 5A) would give preferential treatment for up to two growing licenses to applicants who can show “they own one or more facilities that are, or were, used for the canning, concentrating, or otherwise processing of citrus fruit or citrus molasses, and will use or convert the facility or facilities for the…

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Bill Nelson, Debbie Wasserman Schultz vow bipartisan opposition to drilling

in 2017/Top Headlines by

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and three Florida members of Congress, Democrats U.S. Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Ted Deutch, and Republican Vern Buchanan sounded an alarm Monday against President Donald Trump‘s potential interests in oil and gas drilling off Florida’s coasts and said they’re gathering bipartisan support in opposition. Nelson, Wasserman Schultz of Weston, and Buchanan of Longboat Key announced they intend to file bills Monday to tighten protections set in drilling moratoria, adding they already have four other Florida…

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Only 7 members of Florida’s congressional delegation hosting town halls during Easter break

in 2017/Top Headlines by

(Updated) Gainesville Republican U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho held a raucous town hall meeting Monday night, as he was jeered by members of the audience before he finished his opening statement. “I really, really expected them to be a little more civil,” Yoho to the Gainesville Sun after the event.“This was the rowdiest crowd.” Similar statements have been made by congressional Republicans around the country in 2017, as angry Democrats have crowded town halls in some of the most conservative parts of the country, expressing their…

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Ride-sharing legislation speeds ahead in Florida House

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

A bill that would create the first statewide law regulating ride-sharing companies passed unanimously in the Florida House on Wednesday, 115-0. Now it moves to the Senate. It’s the second straight year that such a bill has passed in the Florida House, but the chances of it getting through the Senate are considered much greater than in 2016. The legislation, sponsored by Palm Harbor Republican Chris Sprowls and Tampa Republican Jamie Grant (HB 221) requires ride-sharing companies to have third-parties conduct local and national criminal…

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Matt Gaetz: Fix Florida’s Everglades, avoid distraction of costly land buy

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

As a former state legislator and now a member of Congress, I’ve been proud to support investments in protecting Florida’s natural resources, including the Everglades. While located far from the Emerald Coast, the Everglades are about as iconic in Florida as the Blue Angels, the Space Shuttle, and the orange. Everglades National Park alone welcomes 1.1 million visitors annually with an economic impact of more than $103 million. Recently, I joined my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in…

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White House, in gamble, demands make-or-break health vote

in 2017/Top Headlines by

Abandoning negotiations, President Donald Trump demanded a make-or-break vote on health care legislation in the House, threatening to leave “Obamacare” in place and move on to other issues if Friday’s vote fails. The risky move, part gamble and part threat, was presented to GOP lawmakers behind closed doors Thursday night after a long and intense day that saw a planned vote on the health care bill scrapped as the legislation remained short of votes amid cascading negotiations among conservative lawmakers,…

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