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Ray Rodrigues

Calls for blue-ribbon hurricane panels abound in Capitol

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In the wake of Hurricane Irma, and with Hurricane Maria now churning the Atlantic, Florida lawmakers are forming or calling for blue-ribbon panels to improve the state’s readiness to deal with monster storms. House Speaker Richard Corcoran on Tuesday announced the creation of a “Select Committee on Hurricane Response and Preparedness” to “gather information, solicit ideas for improvement, and make recommendations.” Separately, state Sen. Jeff Brandes, a St. Petersburg Republican, asked Gov. Rick Scott “to form a commission to review the…

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House to create special panel for hurricanes

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House Speaker Richard Corcoran later today will announce the creation of a special panel to consider the state’s readiness to deal with monster hurricanes like Irma.  And that will likely mean setting aside “business as usual,” the speaker said, meaning that filing local projects will be frowned upon – at least officially – during the 2018 Legislative Session.

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Smoke this: John Morgan adds plaintiffs to marijuana lawsuit

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Medical marijuana advocate John Morgan has added three more plaintiffs to his lawsuit against the state, filed after lawmakers refused to allow marijuana to be smoked, according to court filings accessed Wednesday. Diana Dodson of Levy County, a cancer patient; Catherine Jordan of Manatee County, who has Lou Gehrig’s disease; and Roberto Pickering of Leon County, who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder; all qualify to use medicinal cannabis under a constitutional amendment passed last year.

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Richard Corcoran announces 2018 leadership in House

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In a Tuesday memo, House Speaker Richard Corcoran announced his leadership for the 2018 Legislative Session, including the committee weeks that lead up to the annual session. Current Majority Whip Dane Eagle keeps that post, but now will be a member of the Republican leadership team. Rep. Jim Boyd will chair the Commerce Committee, taking over from Jose Felix Diaz, who is running for state Senate. Replacing Boyd at the helm of the Ways & Means Committee is Paul Renner, recently picked…

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John Morgan’s suit says smoking pot actually good for the lungs

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Medical marijuana advocate John Morgan says cannabis smoking doesn’t “impair lung function” and even “increase(s) lung capacity,” as part of his lawsuit to be filed against the state Thursday. Florida Politics on Wednesday night acquired a copy of the 15-page complaint that Morgan says he will file in Leon Circuit Civil court in Tallahassee—against which a leading House Republican has already said the state will prevail. Morgan, the main backer of the marijuana amendment that passed last year, has said he would sue because…

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Northeast Florida’s Paul Renner wins vote to put him in line to be House Speaker in 2022-24

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Rep. Paul Renner has won the support of his Republican classmates, grabbing the title of class leader and likely House Speaker beginning in 2022. The GOP freshmen class met in Orlando on Friday to vote on their class leader. The much-anticipated election pitted Renner against Byron Donalds, Erin Grall and Jamie Grant, who was seen as Renner’s main competition. Both Renner and Grant had been elected in a special election to a partial term before the general election last year. Renner was first…

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Final rules set for House Speaker’s race voting

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With just one week until freshman House Republicans are scheduled to vote for their leader, it appears lawmakers have agreed upon rules governing the election. According to a copy of the rules obtained by FloridaPolitics.com, members will not be allowed to abstain from the vote; discussion between members between the announcement of the eliminated candidate and the next vote will be prohibited; and “the vote count will not be disclosed under any circumstances prior to the final vote.” The 27-member…

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