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Florida Competitive Workforce Act ‘right thing to do,’ legislators say

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A proposal to boost anti-discrimination laws in Florida is beginning see unprecedented bipartisan backing in the Legislature, as a growing number of state lawmakers are voicing support for the measure. The Florida Competitive Workforce Act is making its way through the Capitol in the form of House Bill 33 by Republican state Rep. Holly Raschein of Key Largo and Senate Bill 156 by Democratic state Sen. Joe Abruzzo of Boynton Beach. The Act would add gay, lesbian and transgender Floridians to…

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Brandes-Fitzenhagen gun bill passes committees with limited opposition

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A matching pair of proposals to allow Floridians to carry concealed weapons without a permitduring certain emergency situations passed committees in both legislative chambers on Wednesday. First up was Ft. Myers Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen‘s HB 493, which passed the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee by a vote of 9-2, with Democratic Reps. Clovis Watson and Randolph Bracy dissenting. Before the vote Fitzenhagen amended her bill to create a 48-hour time limit on the bill’s exemption to concealed-carry statutes during evacuations, with a provision that allows the governor…

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Get your checkbooks ready this week for pre-session political fundraisers

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Whip out those checkbooks, Tallahassee lobbyists and PAC chairs, as the clock ticks down on pre-session legislative fundraisers. Florida law prohibits legislators from raising money during session, so the final hours before the 2015 legislative session – which starts Tuesday – means a last-minute whirl of fundraising receptions, many of which will be in the shadow of the Florida Capitol. Schedule for Monday, March 2: 4:00 p.m. –  Republican Party of Florida Fundraiser at Governors Club – 2nd Floor — Gov.…

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