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Mike Suarez accepts ‘Home Rule Hero’ award from Florida League of Cities

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

For supporters of ‘home-rule’ style government, 2017 was a brutal year in Tallahassee. That’s why in June the Florida League of Cities named Tampa City Councilman Mike Suarez — as well as more than 70 other municipal officials from around the state — as recipients of their 2017 Home Rule Hero Awards.

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Is U.S. Term Limits coordinating a grassroots campaign against Jamie Grant?

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

Several state lawmakers — including Reps. Scott Plakon, Neil Combee, and Randy Fine — have received messages from their constituents asking them to block James W. Grant from running for re-election and running for Speaker during the 2022-24 term, saying the Tampa Republican has already served eight years in office and any more would be in violation of the state Constitution. The push comes just days after Nick Tomboulides, the executive director of U.S. Term Limits, wrote a post on the group’s…

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Epilogue: Randy Fine explains to colleagues why he dropped out of Speaker’s race

in Statewide by

Rep. Randy Fine has officially dropped out of the Speaker’s race, telling his colleagues he would rather be a “member of a unified team than the leader of a fractured one.” In a lengthy email to his classmates Friday night, the Brevard County Republican explained why initially got into the Speaker’s race and why — with just two weeks until the June 30 vote — he was dropping that bid. “A large part of the reason I decided to run…

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Rules changes sparked Byron Donalds to seek Speakership

in Statewide by

Byron Donalds started thinking about running for Speaker early on in his legislative career. He knew he could be a voice for change and offer a different perspective than some of his classmates, but also knew the traditional method for electing a leader meant the Speakership was unlikely for a lesser known freshman. Then the rules changed; and in some ways, so did the state of the race. When members voted to change the rules to prohibit speaker candidates from…

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Florida budget includes $654K to enhance security at Jewish day schools

in Statewide by

Florida is taking extra steps to boost security at Jewish day schools across the state. Lawmakers tucked $654,000 into the fiscal 2017-18 budget, signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott law week, for security funding for Jewish day schools throughout Florida. The request for funding came after a string of bomb threats against Jewish institutions across the country earlier this year. “There has recently been a dramatic rise in the threats against Jewish day schools and I was proud to…

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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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Speaker’s race heads toward June 30 vote after weekend meeting

in 2017 by

Freshman House Republicans are inching closer to picking their leader, holding a weekend caucus meeting to hear from candidates. A majority of GOP freshmen met this weekend at a Central Florida law firm to discuss the 2022 Speaker’s Race. The meeting, which was first reported by Matt Dixon of POLITICO Florida, comes about a week after an attempt to adopt rules for the 2022 Speaker’s failed, seemingly throwing the leadership battle into chaos. Held at Vose Law Firm in Winter Park, the meeting…

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