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Senate gambling legislation appears dead for 2016 Session

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Tom Lee, chair of the Senate’s Appropriations Committee, on Tuesday said the chamber’s gambling bills wouldn’t be heard at the panel’s meeting.

Lee, a Brandon Republican, made the announcement as the meeting was about to begin, but didn’t get into details.

With committees generally unable to meet after Tuesday, the 50th day of the Legislative Session, the Senate’s gambling legislation and the proposed Seminole Compact appear dead for 2016.

Lee did say it was up to state Sen. Rob Bradley, the Fleming Island Republican who chairs the Regulated Industries Committee, to “revive” it.

The House has sent to the floor its rewrite of the Compact and dozens of changes to the state gambling law. Those changes would expand gambling opportunities for Floridians throughout the state, including card games and slot machines.

More on this later …

Before joining Florida Politics, journalist and attorney James Rosica was state government reporter for The Tampa Tribune. He attended journalism school in Washington, D.C., working at dailies and weekly papers in Philadelphia after graduation. Rosica joined the Tallahassee Democrat in 1997, later moving to the courts beat, where he reported on the 2000 presidential recount. In 2005, Rosica left journalism to attend law school in Philadelphia, afterwards working part time for a public-interest law firm. Returning to writing, he covered three legislative sessions in Tallahassee for The Associated Press, before joining the Tribune’s re-opened Tallahassee bureau in 2013. He can be reached at

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