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Regulated Industries panel clears automated lotto tickets, cosmetics bills

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In a quick 20-minute hearing Wednesday morning, the Senate Regulated Industries Committee passed bills to allow lottery tickets to be sold in machines and to require cosmetics makers to register with the state.

The Senate panel, led by Chairman Sen. Rob Bradley, an Orange Park Republican and former prosecutor, passed both bills without much debate.

Sen. Jeff Brandes said his SB 176 would help Florida consumers know who they’re dealing with when they buy cosmetics products, sometimes sold on the gray market on sites such as Etsy or small personal kiosks.

Under current law, cosmetics manufacturers and retailers are not required to register with the state Department of Business and Professional Regulation, but Brandes’ bill would change that. The proposal calls for a registration process to evaluate prospective licenses, which must be renewed every two years.

The bill was proved uncontroversial to panelists, who voted up the measure unanimously.

SB 402 by Regulated Industries committee member Sen. Garrett Richter saw some debate and dissent, but only enough to amount to a mere speed bump on its way to approval by the 12-member panel.

Richter’s bill would allow tickets to be sold at ATM-style “point-of-sale” terminals, without a human handling the transaction.

Richter told his fellow members the bill was “progressive, not regressive” despite the likely increase in lotto purchases that would likely follow.

The Naples Republican said the bill simply eschews a regulation that hampers retailers, and that the increased sales would be a windfall to the state’s education system, to whom the proceeds of ticket sales are designed to go via a state trust fund.

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.

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