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50 Florida lawmakers earn A+ on AFP-FL scorecard

in 2017/Top Headlines by

Fifty legislators received top marks from Americans for Prosperity-Florida, the largest number of A+ legislators since the organization began issuing its annual legislative scorecard. The organization released its 2017 Economic Freedom Scorecard, which graded 5,500 votes on 96 issues, on Tuesday. The scorecard showed 50 legislators — 11 senators and 39 representatives — received an A+. That means legislators scoring an A+ voted with AFP-FL received a score of 100 percent or higher.

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State-run audit at Tampa International now underway

in Statewide/The Bay and the 'Burg by

For the Tampa Bay legislative delegation, it was one of the more combustible moments of the 2017 Legislative Session. We’re referring to when Republicans Jack Latvala and Dana Young pushed back forcefully against Tom Lee‘s insistence of an audit of Tampa International Airport’s $2.6 billion master plan. Actually, what they were really pushing back against was Lee’s provocative comment that “potential public corruption” was taking place at TIA. Airport CEO Joe Lopano confirmed Thursday that state audit is now underway.…

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Plant City House Republican Dan Raulerson wants everyone to own a gun

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

The attempted assassination Wednesday morning of Louisiana Republican Congressman Steve Scalise in suburban Washington D.C. has shaken the nation. Certainly, lawmakers now realize how vulnerable they are to mentally unstable people with access to firearms who disagree with them politically. At Friday’s Tampa Tiger Bay Club, five members of the Hillsborough County Legislative Delegation were asked their thoughts on what the shooting means for Floridians, and the nation. Plant City Republican House member Dan Raulerson said the answer was simple — everyone, especially lawmakers…

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With law now in place, Tampa Bay region moves closer to regional transit

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Although modest in scope, Tampa Bay area lawmakers and business officials are happy that Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation (SB 1672) they believe is the first step toward creating a regional network to push for transit. The bill changes the actual title of TBARTA. It will now be the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority (it used to be “transportation”). The new agency is slightly smaller in scope in terms of geography, but not smaller than originally envisaged by Clearwater Republican Jack…

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Progressive groups sue over Rick Scott’s judicial appointment power

in 2017/Top Headlines by

When Gov. Rick Scott appointed a conservative jurist to the state’s Supreme Court in December, he made clear he wasn’t done. “I will appoint three more justices the morning I finish my term,” he said, referring to the mandatory retirement in early 2019 of the court’s liberal-leaning triumvirate of Justices Barbara Pariente, Peggy A. Quince and R. Fred Lewis. Now, two progressive organizations are saying to Scott: Prove you can. They say he can’t. The League of Women Voters of Florida (LWVF)…

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Lawmakers finally pass medical marijuana implementation bill

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

After a false start during the regular Legislative Session, lawmakers Friday passed a medical marijuana implementation bill on the last day of the Special Session, sending it to Gov. Rick Scott. The wide-ranging legislation (SB 8-A) will give guidance to state regulators as they put the state’s constitutional amendment medical marijuana into effect. Gov. Rick Scott said later on Friday he will sign the bill into law. According to the bill analysis’ summary, the measure among other things: — Grandfathers in seven existing…

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After a seemingly rule-less meeting, constitution panel adopts rules

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

The Florida Constitution Revision Commission now has a set of rules for how it might go about writing major changes to Florida’s Constitution. Those rules — addressing such matters as who will appoint committees, how proposals will move through committees, whether Florida’s Sunshine laws will cover everything — emerged from a sometimes chaotic debate in Orlando Tuesday morning at a meeting that Chair Carlos Beruff adjourned suddenly after he got what he apparently wanted. By a 20-11 vote, the commission adopted a proposal…

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