Sen. Jack Latvala’s bill for the Clearwater Aquarium passes committee unanimously

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Senate Bill 1274, sponsored by Jack Latvala, passed the Senate Commerce Committee and has moved forward to the Budget Committee for further consideration. SB 1274 authorizes local communities to use part of the “bed tax” already paid by tourists for local facilities like aquariums. The Clearwater Marine Aquarium anticipates 250,000 visitors annually generating $8 million into the local economy. The recent movie “Winter” about a tailless dolphin was filmed at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium and is now featured in a $12.5 million exhibit. The aquarium has already produced an impact on the local economy with record attendance over the 2011 Summer.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.