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Ellyn Bogdanoff

Easter and Passover as brought to you by these lobbyists and political associations

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Grab your bonnet, pull out the seersucker and get ready for a good-old-fashion Easter egg hunt. Americans are expected to spend about $18.4 billion on Easter this year, according to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey. That projection is 6 percent higher than last year’s record of $17.3 billion and marks an all-time high in the 14 years the national organization has conducted the survey. The increase in spending is likely due to how late the holiday falls on the…

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2017 Legislative Session preview: Showdown over gambling—again

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

With competing legislation now set up in both chambers, the question remains whether lawmakers finally will pass a gambling overhaul or whether the effort will founder as it has in years past. Hanging in the balance is a new blackjack exclusivity deal for the Seminole Tribe of Florida that promises a cut to the state worth $3 billion over seven years. Negotiated by Gov. Rick Scott in late 2015, it failed to gain approval from lawmakers last session as it…

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Kyle Cockream’s appearance before Palm Beach County Commissioners this year wasn’t his first time

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

(UPDATED with responses from Kyle Cockream). When Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission Executive Director Kyle Cockream appeared in front of the Palm Beach County Commission on a ridesharing ordinance it was reviewing last April, some state lawmakers and officials with Uber questioned his visit, saying it had the appearance of taking sides in the now two-and-a-half year battle between the taxicab industry and the ridesharing companies in Hillsborough County. Cockream said at the time he was in West Palm Beach for four days “on personal…

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Hillsborough PTC Executive Director (and ride-sharing critic) says he met with Palm Beach County Commissioners as a “resource”

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

In recent weeks, agents with the Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission (PTC) have resumed citing Uber and Lyft drivers for being out of compliance with the agency’s regulations. And after the Florida Legislature failed once again to address insurance and background regulations regarding such ridesharing companies earlier this  year, the PTC conducted an initial workshop last month to begin creating a new regulatory framework that applies equally to both Uber and Lyft, as well as the existing taxicab industry. PTC executive director Kyle Cockream has…

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Sunshine State gambling #fails: A short history

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Just as it always does in recent years, a legislative effort to revisit the state’s gambling laws bloated and sunk in the waning days of a legislative session. After months of negotiations, a proposed new “compact,” or gambling agreement, between the state and the Seminole Tribe of Florida failed Friday when the House indefinitely postponed the measure. But Florida has a history of failure, at least in recent years, when it comes to addressing gambling. The state’s inaction even caused…

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Ride-sharing bill advances in House Economics committee

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

A bill that would create statewide regulations for transportation network companies (TNCs) passed through the House Economics Affairs Committee on Wednesday. This is the third year in a row that such legislation has come before Florida lawmakers.  Cities and counties creating their own rules on dealing with companies such as Uber and Lyft are applying more pressure than ever on the Legislature to craft an all-encompassing statewide bill. As was the case in 2015, Fort Walton Beach Republican Matt Gaetz is…

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Meet Jared Rosenstein, one of the ’30 under 30′ rising stars of Florida politics

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Transitioning from the Republican to the Democratic side of the aisle, 25-year-old Jared Rosenstein is wining raves for his work on the staff of another Jared, state Rep. Jared Moskowitz of Coral Springs. “I got into politics during the 2008 presidential election. I was proudly supporting Sen. John McCain and I discovered that the vast majority of my then high school classmates blindly supported Sen. Barack Obama without knowing any of his specific positions. After much heated debate with my classmates, I…

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