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Jennifer Tschetter leaves Health Department for Hopping Green

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Jennifer Tschetter, an attorney who was most recently Chief Operating Officer of the Florida Department of Health, is joining Tallahassee’s Hopping Green & Sams law firm to specialize in “health care law matters,” the firm announced in a press release. Tschetter leaves the department after state Surgeon General John Armstrong was forced out of his job. The Florida Senate declined to confirm him two years in a row, making him the first state agency head in 20 years to be shown the door. Tschetter will…

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In rush to Sine Die, an unfair tax increase somehow sneaks into Florida’s “tax cut” budget

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As the 2016 Legislative Session enters its final week, lawmakers in both the House and Senate have scrambled to hammer out details the state’s $80 billion-plus budget. Needless to say, things get more than a little hectic before Friday’s anticipated Sine Die. And when things get busy, things get overlooked. For example, nestled within this year’s proposal – something heavily endorsed as a “tax cut” budget – lies a proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothes, a Trojan horse of a tax increase…

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Emails show state’s about-face on card games enforcement

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The same state agency now calling designated-player card games illegal was calling them “in compliance” with state gambling law as recently as last July, records show. What’s not clear is what caused the about-face. The enforcement is happening at the same time that lawmakers are considering whether to approve a new “compact” with the Seminole Tribe of Florida, whose casinos compete with tracks in South Florida and elsewhere that also offer cards and slots. The Department of Business and Professional Regulation, which regulates gambling,…

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Personnel note: Former DBPR attorney Michael Martinez joins Greenspoon Marder alcohol beverage group

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Florida firm Greenspoon Marder Law announced Friday the addition of attorney Michael Martinez as Senior Counsel for its growing Alcohol Beverage Group. Martinez brings more than 15 years’ experience in state government in the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR). He will be based out of Greenspoon Marder’s newly opened Tallahassee office, joining its alcohol law, government relations, and lobbying division. Focusing on a relationship with the Division of Alcoholic Beverages & Tobacco (ABT), Martinez served as Deputy General…

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Greyhound injury reporting bill again circulates for 2016 Session

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Hollywood state Sen. Eleanor Sobel filed the “Victoria Q. Gaetz Racing Greyhound Protection Act” for the second time in as many years Friday. The bill, whose title honors the animal-loving wife of former Senate President state Sen. Don Gaetz, would mandate that greyhound racetrack operators report all injuries to the state’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation. While many tracks voluntarily report such information, there is currently nothing on the books that require them to, a state of affairs testifiers on the bill’s…

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State, Seminole Tribe nearing blackjack deal

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The state and the Seminole Tribe of Florida are inching closer to a deal that would allow the Tribe to keep blackjack at its casinos. State Sen. Rob Bradley, head of the Senate panel that oversees gambling in Florida, says the dialogue is “heating up.” “We’ve made some great progress in our discussions on coming to some outline of an agreement,” said Bradley, a Fleming Island Republican who chairs the Regulated Industries committee. A Tribe spokesman didn’t respond to a…

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