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Bottoms up: Beer, booze bills clear Senate committee

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beer booze cheers

Let freedom pour: Bills aimed at changing beer and booze regulations in Florida have cleared their latest review panel. The Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee OK’d measures that would allow beer distributors to give free branded beer glasses to bars and restaurants, authorize beer companies to advertise in theme parks and let craft distillers sell more bottles directly to consumers. Sen. Frank Artiles, the Miami-Dade Republican sponsoring the glass bill (SB 1040), told committee members the measure would benefit small businesses…

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Beer glass bills coming to a head

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beer glasses

Free stuff is good, right? Surprisingly, not everyone agrees when it comes to beer glasses. Bills are moving in the Legislature to allow beer distributors to give away glasses from brewers imprinted with product names and logos to bars and restaurants. Now, they have to be sold. The House bill (HB 853) was first OK’d by the Careers & Competition Subcommittee last week on a 10-4 vote. Three Democrats and Republican Julio Gonzalez voted against it. The Senate version (SB…

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Personnel note: Jonathan Rees joins Anheuser-Busch

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Beer Rees

Jonathan Rees, a member of the 2016 class of FloridaPolitics.com’s “30 Under 30,” will be joining Anheuser-Busch as the state affairs manager for Florida, effective Monday. Rees will be responsible for leading Anheuser-Busch’s legislative agenda, political giving and stakeholder engagement in Florida. The company brews more than 100 brands in the United States, including its flagship brands, Budweiser and Bud Light, and holds a 45.8 percent share of the beer market. Rees also will continue to highlight the company’s commitment to Florida, including its nearly…

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Anheuser-Busch says ‘This water’s for you’

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Anheuser-Busch announced Friday it would deliver more than 450,000 cans of drinking water to communities around Florida dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. “We are humbled to be able to help out our neighbors in urgent times like this,” said Craig Tomeo, senior general manager of Anheuser-Busch’s Jacksonville Brewery. “Putting our production and logistics strengths to work by providing safe, clean drinking water is the best way we can help right now.” The company said Deerfield Beach, West Palm…

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Senate campaigns of David Simmons, Lauren Book, George Gainer post impressive May fundraising reports

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George Gainer, Lauren Book and incumbent Sen. David Simmons continued to coast in fundraising last month according to newly filed campaign finance reports. Simmons raised $126,072 last month, which accounts for more than half of the money the Altamonte Springs Republican has raised since filing for re-election back in September. Among the 213 contributions were $1,000 checks from several companies associated with taxi company Mears Transportation Group alongside contributions from fellow driver services City Cab Company of Orlando and Yellow…

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Vestige of St. Louis Disney park that never was up for sale

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Imagine packing up the kids and heading for that dream vacation to a Disney theme park … in St. Louis. It almost happened a half-century ago when Disney drew up plans for an indoor theme park in downtown St. Louis before giving up in a dispute over money and turning attention to Florida. St. Louis’ loss was the Orlando area’s gain: Walt Disney World became one the world’s top tourist attractions. St. Louis can only lament what might have been.…

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Let’s Get to Work posts third straight six-figure fundraising month

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Contributions are still flowing to Gov. Rick Scott’s political committee, which brought in its third straight six-figure haul last month. The committee, Let’s Get to Work, added $118,300 in September and spent about $83,000, leaving the committee with about $717,000 on-hand at the end of the month. The September numbers represent only about a quarter of what the committee raised in August. Most of the September money came from some familiar names, too. Former Anheuser-Busch CEO August A. Busch III…

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