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Travis Hutson

Still no decision from Joe Negron on special session on pot referendum

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Senate President Joe Negron has yet to decide to join House Speaker Richard Corcoran in calling for a Special Session on medical marijuana implementation, a spokeswoman said Wednesday. Negron, a Stuart Republican, is still “in the process of having discussions with senators in response to the memorandum he sent last Thursday,” Katie Betta said in an email.  Negron had sought input from fellow senators after the 2017 Legislative Session ended without a bill to guide state Health regulators on the…

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Senate panel OKs modified bill to protect black bears

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A modified proposal to protect black bears in Florida won support Wednesday in the Senate committee on Environmental Preservation and Conservation. But SB 1304 was measurably reduced in scope from Orlando Republican Linda Stewart‘s original bill. Stewart’s initial proposal would have banned bear hunting in Florida for 10 years. The amended bill calls for no such action. The proposal came a day after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reported that Florida black bear populations are on the rise and don’t warrant listing under the Endangered…

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Senate votes to allow beer ads in theme parks, ‘merlot to go’

in Apolitical/Top Headlines by

Florida senators passed a bill Wednesday that would allow advertising by beer companies in the state’s theme parks. The measure (SB 388), sponsored by Republican Sen. Travis Hutson of Elkton, received only one ‘no’ vote from Sen. Kelli Stargel, a Lakeland Republican. It eases the state’s “tied house evil” law by allowing ads, which could include a beer company sponsoring a concert or festival within a park. Universal Orlando has supported the bill. Some beer industry representatives had privately complained. However, they “fear being extorted…

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Booze bill ready for vote in Senate

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A bill that would allow advertising by beer companies in the state’s theme parks is ready for a final vote in the Senate. The measure (SB 388), carried by Republican Sen. Travis Hutson of Elkton, was heard on the floor Tuesday and placed on the third reading calendar. It eases the state’s “tied house evil” law by allowing ads, which could include a beer company sponsoring a concert or festival within a park. Universal Orlando has supported the bill. Some beer industry representatives had…

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Tie score in Legislature could leave Tampa Bay Rays big winners

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

In sports, a tie means no one wins. No one loses, either. Sometimes, in politics, ties can turn out to be victories. On Monday, the Florida Senate essentially handed the Tampa Bay Rays a win with a tie, after the Commerce and Tourism Committee voted 3-3 on a bill from Thonotosassa Republican Tom Lee, which prohibited pro sports facilities from using taxpayer funds. With that, Lee’s bill was officially called out on strikes this Session. Supporting Lee (who is not on the…

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Bottoms up: Beer, booze bills clear Senate committee

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beer booze cheers

Let freedom pour: Bills aimed at changing beer and booze regulations in Florida have cleared their latest review panel. The Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee OK’d measures that would allow beer distributors to give free branded beer glasses to bars and restaurants, authorize beer companies to advertise in theme parks and let craft distillers sell more bottles directly to consumers. Sen. Frank Artiles, the Miami-Dade Republican sponsoring the glass bill (SB 1040), told committee members the measure would benefit small businesses…

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Redistricting-related bill OK’d by Senate

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The Florida Senate Tuesday passed a bill aimed at streamlining the handling of political redistricting court cases. The legislation (SB 352) was approved without debate 24-14, sending it to the House.  Bill sponsor Travis Hutson, an Elkton Republican, has said the plan “locks the maps in place on qualification day,” giving clarity to candidates. It also “encourages” courts “to follow certain procedures to maintain public oversight when drafting a remedial redistricting plan,” according to a bill analysis. The bill is a…

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