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USF Heart Institute is largest request from Hillsborough House members

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Among the items Hillsborough County legislators are requesting in the just-unveiled 2016-2017 House budget, none looms larger than the $22.5 million sought for the USF Morsani College of Health Heart Institute. In February 2015, USF’s request to relocate its new Morsani College of Medicine and USF Heart Institute to downtown Tampa was approved, and in June, Gov. Rick Scott allotted $17 million from the state budget to fund it. The total cost of the project is about $153 million. According…

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Mitch Perry Report for 12.10.15 – Recreational pot measure supporters back off 2016 ballot bid

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Wednesday night, organizers with the group Regulate Florida told supporters in a conference call that they’re ending their attempt to put a pro-legalization of marijuana on the ballot next year in Florida. FloridaPolitics.com was on that call, and posted the story soon after. In a statement sent shortly after that call was completed, Regulate Florida Chairman Michael Minardi wrote, “Due to time constraints, it has become obvious we will not be able to collect the needed number of verifiable petitions…

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Tampa house Democrats blast Rick Scott administration’s investigation into public hospitals

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Florida Governor Rick Scott has targeted the Florida public hospital industry for much of this year, after the Florida Hospital Association made a strong pitch for the Legislature to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, a push that failed for the third straight year in Tallahassee, and after the federal government announced deep cuts in hospital funding earlier this year. At a forum highlighting the upcoming Florida legislative session focusing on health care in Tampa on Wednesday, Tampa House Democrats Ed Narain and Janet…

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Jamie Grant doubles down on referring to Donald Trump proposal on Muslims as “fascist”

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Tampa area state Rep. Jamie Grant said Wednesday he’s not backing away from his Monday tweet calling Donald Trump‘s proposed ban on Muslims from entering the country a “a fascist proposal.”  “The answer to immigration problems in this country is not fascism. It’s not registries of people who look a certain way or believe a certain thing,” Grant said at a meeting of the Tampa Bay Healthcare Collaborative at the Children’s Board in Ybor City on Wednesday. The GOP lawmaker sat on…

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Hillsborough County Legislative Delegation passes measure to regulate Uber & Lyft, but future remains unclear

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The Hillsborough County Legislative Delegation spent hours (and hours) on Tuesday discussing proposed legislation that would bring ridesharing companies Uber and Lyft into compliance with the Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission, but whether they actually moved the issue forward at the end of the day is dubious. The setting for the local group of state lawmakers to convene was the Firestick Grill, described as an “upscale buffet” that happens to be located inside the cavernous Amalie Arena. Dozens of people, including lobbyists,…

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Tampa Bay elite gathers to dedicate USF’s new Channel District med school

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A crowd filled with members of the Tampa Bay political and business elite, along with USF donors and members from the USF medical community congregated Tuesday morning where the USF College of Medicine and Healthy Heart Institute will be built in the city’s Channel District. The medical facilities are the “anchors” of the massive development being envisioned by Strategic Property Partners, the development company owned by Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik, and Cascade Investment. “For the record, as of this…

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Clearwater Marine Aquarium “hauls in” big AT&T check for afterschool STEM programs

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The Clearwater Marine Aquarium “hauled in” a $25,000 contribution this week to help underserviced local students. The donation from telecommunications giant AT&T will go toward afterschool programs that give 11- to 14-year-old students hands-on experience in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). A presentation ceremony Friday included a boat ride in Clearwater Bay pulling a net containing a oversized AT&T check. Leading the event were David Yates, CEO of Clearwater Marine Aquarium, and state Rep. Ed Narain, who also serves as an…

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