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Jim Rosica’s Top 10 stories of 2015 in state government

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From palace intrigues to pot, 2015 brought a plethora of material to the Capitol Press Corps. Trying to pick the top 10 state government stories is a subjective pursuit, to say the least, but here are the FloridaPolitics.com picks for the passing year: No. 1: The “firing” of Gerald Bailey Gov. Rick Scott actually forced out the state’s top cop in December 2014 but the repercussions of that move spilled well over into the new year. Scott originally announced Bailey’s…

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Growler bill gets sent to the House with add-ons

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The Florida Senate has sent a growler bill to the House for consideration. The Senate approved 38-0 a revised growler bill that would allow Florida craft breweries to sell 64-ounce growlers. Current law allows the larger one-gallon size and the smaller quart size, but not the most popular half-gallon containers. The version of the bill approved by the Senate would also prohibit the use of electronic benefit transfer cards to purchase alcoholic beverages, decrease the number of vendor licenses from…

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Mitch Perry Report for 4.9.15 — Obama to de-list Cuba from terrorist list?

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Good morning — greetings from Tallahassee. Among the many, many items that the Legislature worked on yesterday was a resolution in the House condemning President Obama’s overture to Cuba, including a mandate that the White House not even think about having a Cuban consulate anywhere inside the Sunshine State. That’s certainly not the sentiment among the locals in Tampa. When the Florida Senate voted on a similar measure earlier this session, only Minority Leader Arthenia Joyner dared say anything in…

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States increasing production caps for microbreweries

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Four Peaks Brewing Co. has grown over the last two decades from a historic red-brick microbrewery and restaurant into an Arizona staple that served nearly 1 million gallons of beer last year, including its popular Kilt Lifter ale. The company has also become a mainstay in the corridors of the Arizona Legislature. Three times in the past 10 years, it has helped persuade lawmakers to change state law to increase a cap on beer production for microbreweries. The increasing popularity…

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Tampa Bay Times’ Michael Auslen faces DUI charge

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As the Tampa Bay Times reported late Monday evening, one of its very own became the subject of a recurring Tallahassee story: the Tennessee Street DUI arrest. Michael Auslen, the youngest member of the Times‘ Capitol bureau, was pulled over after officers were alerted to a speeding and swerving vehicle at approximately 11:15 p.m. this past Saturday evening. In an affidavit, Auslen admitted to drinking at a local bar but couldn’t specify the exact location. His reported location at the time of arrest…

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Previewing the 2015 legislative session with Rep.-to-be Paul Renner

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Paul Renner came within two votes of winning an election last year for the seat that Jay Fant holds. And he is still one election away — a special election on April 7 — from formally being elected to the House. He very likely will win that election, so we have reached out to him and gotten answers to questions regarding his opinions on issues relevant to the pending legislative session. Our questions are in bold; his answers are directly below. In one…

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Previewing the 2015 Legislative Session with Rep. Janet Cruz

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In anticipation of the 2015 Legislative Session, FloridaPolitics.com is asking state lawmakers about their goals and priorities — and whether they support controversial issues in the state. Here are the responses from Rep. Janet Cruz of Tampa. In one word, how would you describe your expectations for the Session, i.e. “Excited?”  “Expansion.” What’s a local issue you are making a priority this Session?  “The Tampa Bay Area is in a tremendous position for growth over the next decade, and a big part of…

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