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Ryan Ray has 632 articles published.

Ryan Ray writes about campaigns and public policy in Tampa Bay and across the state. A contributor to FloridaPolitics.com and before that, The Florida Squeeze, he covers the Legislature as a member of the Florida Capitol Press Corps and has worked as a staffer on several campaigns. He can be reached at ryan@floridapolitics.com.

Hotels group says Airbnb reaping millions in illegal South Florida revenue

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

The American Hotel and Lodging Association says Airbnb “landlords” raked in some $76 million on grey or black market transactions last year in Miami alone. The group released the results of a new study on a conference call with reporters Tuesday, which looked at 14 major markets’ activity in the short-term rental sector, led by online outfits like Airbnb and other “sharing economy” actors. In one South Beach zip code, the AHLA reported, some 1,427 Airbnb listings were recorded between October…

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Jeb Bush to return as chair of Foundation for Excellence in Education

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Former Gov. Jeb Bush is not one to stay out of public life for too long. On Tuesday, his plans for what comes next after departing from the 2016 GOP presidential primary came into focus. The Excellence in Education Foundation Bush created in 2007 announced will again assume the reins as president and chairman of its board of directors. In doing so, Bush takes over for former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice. “One of the greatest challenges and opportunities we have in America…

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Edward James qualifies by petition in HD 72

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Democrat Edward James is now the first candidate in House District 72 officially on the ballot. The first-time candidate surpassed the threshold of 1,140 verified signatures on Monday. James is locked in a competitive three-way race to succeed Republican Rep. Ray Pilon, who bowed out of a reelection race earlier this year to pursue a Senate seat vacated by GOP Sen. Nancy Detert, who is running for a Sarasota County Commission seat. Medical industry executive Alex Miller and veteran TV reporter John Hill have both emerged as challengers to…

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David Jolly “speaks the truth” on fundraising reform

in 2017/Top Headlines by

U.S Rep. David Jolly‘s quixotic “Stop Act” proposal to bar sitting members of Congress from raising money on the job may have gotten him in hot water with some in his party, but it also seems to have won him some admirers in the press. The plan at least “deserves a look,” writes Dana Milbank of the Washington Post. Jolly speaks the truth. Lawmakers know what needs to be done to clean up the corrupt system — but nothing happens. Democrats talk…

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Herald columnist says Genting getting “desperate” over Miami-Dade casino

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Florida’s never-ending casino wars are heating up again, in the press and in court. In a scathing op-ed in the Miami Herald, columnist Fabiola Santiago threw shade at Genting, the Malaysian casino operator, over their recent move to sue Miami-Dade County and state attorney Katherine Fernandez-Rundle, saying the move “smacks of desperation.” “Somebody ought to tell Genting that Miami is not Malaysia or Bimini,” wrote Santiago. In this country, courts don’t step in and legislate, nor do they pre-empt police and prosecutors…

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State officials: Medical cannabis expansion could add $11.4 million in revenue

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

A panel of state economists has estimated a minor expansion in Florida’s fledgling medical marijuana regime could add up to $11.4 million in new tax revenue. The Revenue Estimating Impact Conference met on Tuesday for its annual post-Session hearing, where economists from the Legislature, Governor’s office, and state agencies analyzed the likely fiscal costs and benefits of new laws approved during the 2016 lawmaking period. The highest-profile bill considered by the panel was HB 307, an expansion of the state’s “Right…

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Dana Young cited as “Republican force” in Roll Call

in Statewide/The Bay and the 'Burg by

In Tallahassee, Tampa Rep. Dana Young has long been considered a pol whose career may transcend the House. Combine her political bloodline (grandfather was Senate President, uncle served in the House) and prowess on the campaign trail (soundly defeated all comers in a swing seat since 2010) and it’s not hard to see Young has more juice than the average mid-bencher. That line of thinking recently got national attention when CQ Roll Call’s Elvina Nawaguna profiled the House Majority Leader and Senate District 18…

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