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House advances bills ‘cracking the whip’ on domestic abuse, child offenders, recovery centers, terrorism

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

A litany of bills Tuesday show legislators intend to crack the whip on several social, criminal and commercial problems affecting the state. Each bill passed the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee, covering issues as wide ranging as child predators, domestic violence, addiction recovery homes, skimming devices, the department of corrections, probation, terrorism — and protection of marine turtles. All the measures facing the committee were built around a single theme, improving language in bills already on the books or simply to…

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House panel would allow interest payments on noneconomic verdicts

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Insurance interests are up in arms about a House committee’s approval of a bill that would allow plaintiffs to recover prejudgment interest on noneconomic claims, including pain and suffering. HB 469 says that plaintiffs who prevail in lawsuits could collect interest — at a rate now set a 4.9 percent, but varying with inflation — from the date of a loss. They could collect against attorney fees and costs, too. Exiting law provides for prejudgment interest on economic claims only,…

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Mark Wilson calls House push to eliminate Enterprise Florida ‘a political conversation about ideology’

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Addressing what he called the “obvious elephant in the room,” Florida Chamber President Mark Wilson criticized Florida House members who backed an effort to end economic incentive programs, calling the move political. “I want to be blunt for a few minutes,” said Wilson. “This is not a Legislature trying to seek how to diversify the economy and how to grow trade. This is a political conversation about an ideology that frankly is silly.” Wilson made his comments during the 2017…

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At Tampa rally for Enterprise Florida funding, Rick Scott repeatedly calls out Shawn Harrison

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Saying that he is “shocked” that a committee in the Florida House voted to kill funding for Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida last week, Governor Rick Scott came to Tampa on Monday to urge the public to urge their state legislators to maintain the funding for those two besieged  agencies. “This is an important issue to me personally,” Scott said in his comments to reporters after concluding the second of three scheduled appearances around the state in what his staff is calling a “Fighting for…

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Don’t forget about Shawn Harrison as a possible candidate for Tampa mayor

in Peter by

In his “As We Heard It” column, Patrick Manteiga writes that candidates of all stripes are starting to measure their strengths for a potential run for Mayor of Tampa. Among the names the plugged-in Manteiga mentions are the obvious contenders, like former police chief Jane Castor and current City Councilman Mike Suarez, as well as Councilmembers Yolie Capin and Harry Cohen. Also in the mix, Manteiga says, are Hillsborough Property Appraiser Bob Henriquez, Public Defender Julie Holt, former state Rep.…

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Janet Cruz says Florida Dems won’t ‘mainstream hate speech’ in 2017

in Statewide/The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

While some Republicans in Tallahassee were startled last week when Democrats walked out of a committee hearing in reaction to a speaker who made controversial comments, Janet Cruz says her caucus won’t be “mainstreaming hate speech as a legitimate part of political debate” anytime soon. The Democrat House Minority Leader was referring to Thursday, when five Democrats in the House’s Children, Families and Seniors subcommittee panel stood up and walked out in reaction to chair Gayle Harrell giving Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, the platform (via…

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Hillsborough County state House members get their committee assignments

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Florida Speaker of the House Richard Corcoran assigned committee assignments to all 80 members of the Florida House of Representatives on Monday. Listed below are the assignments from those lawmakers based in Hillsborough County: Zephyrhills House District 38 Danny Burgess will chair the Insurance & Banking Subcommittee. He’ll also serve on the Local, Federal & Veterans Affairs Subcommittee; the Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee; the Judiciary Committee; the Commerce Committee and the Civil Justice and Claims Subcommittee. Tampa House Minority Leader…

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