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Americans for Prosperity sending out mid-session mailers thanking supportive lawmakers

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The pro-business political action committee Americans for Prosperity — Florida continues to make waves this session as it prepares to distribute mailers to a handful of legislators thanking them for their advocacy on charter school funding and Medicaid expansion. The move to gain good will among members of the Florida GOP majority serves as the carrot to AFP’s punitive stick, which they have also brandished freely this year. The Charles & David Koch-funded group has criticized some Republican state senators for trying…

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Florida film tax incentives package gets through House Committee

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A Florida House Committee today passed a bill (HB 451) that would replenish a tax incentives program to woo Hollywood film, television and digital productions to Florida, but it wasn’t easy. Orlando Republican Mike Miller is sponsoring the bill in the House, while Nancy Detert from Venice is carrying it once again in the Senate. For the past few years, similar efforts to allow Florida to become competitive with neighboring states in providing tax incentives for entertainment productions has proved to be a bridge…

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Southern Alliance for Clean Energy main funder for Floridians for Solar Choice

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As we reported on over the weekend, no group has appeared more bothered by the prospect of a constitutional amendment giving Floridians the opportunity to install rooftop solar energy in their homes than Americans for Prosperity. The Koch Brothers-funded libertarian group has been feuding with Conservatives for Energy Freedom, which has been spearheading the effort to get that measure on the 2016 ballot. AFP has been saying that Floridians for Solar Choice, the political committee formed to get the measure on…

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Mitch Perry Report for 3.11.15 — Film incentives bill takes first step in Tally

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Like it or not, Hollywood productions, like sports owners, have been able to play cities and states against each other for years to get the best deal for themselves. Folks in Tampa Bay are all too familiar with getting burned by giving welfare to rich folks. You don’t have to have lived in the area to know how searing the 1996 CIT was. That was the tax that went to fund schools, cultural amenities like Lowry Park Zoo and the…

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Uber bill greenlighted by House transportation panel

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State Rep. Matt Gaetz successfully steered legislation to formally legalize “transportation network services” like Uber through the House Transportation & Ports Subcommittee on Tuesday. Debate on the bill — heated at times — lasted about an hour and featured an unusual aspect identified by committee Chairman Tom Rooney: “This has got to be the first bill in five years that I’ve seen where every member debated the bill,” he said, just before putting the bill to a question. The bill passed by a 9-4 vote, with…

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Obama’s proposed budget would bar tax-exempt bonds to finance stadiums

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Florida lawmakers last year approved a plan to set aside $7 million in sales-tax dollars to help pay for building or renovating sports stadiums. But last month the Joint Legislative Budget Commission punted on the decision on whether or not to fund the four stadium projects that were before them — EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Daytona International Speedway, Sun Life Stadium in Miami-Dade County and an Orlando soccer stadium. The issue of whether to give tax breaks to millionaires for such…

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Battle over solar power heats up as proponents fend off attacks from Americans for Prosperity

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The drive to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot next year that would allow Floridians more choice about using solar power has enjoyed quick success, and furious push-back from their opponents. On Saturday, Conservatives for Energy Freedom, one of the groups pushing for a constitutional amendment in 2016 on solar, blasted the group Americans for Prosperity for what they claim are inaccurate talking points that the group has been issuing.. “AFP frequently mentions the subsidies for solar, but fails to…

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