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‘Momma bears’ roam the Florida Capitol searching for medical marijuana for their cubs

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Momma bears. It’s taking the momma bears to end the reefer madness. Paige Figi, Holley Moseley and Dawn Wein are among a group of women who worked the Florida Capitol the past year persuading, pressuring and pleading with lawmakers to lift a prohibition on medical marijuana and authorize the use of cannabis products they say will ease their children’s suffering and, in some cases, potentially save lives. When they showed up at the Capitol it was to put an exclamation point on the generation-long…

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Bill banning smoking in car with young children moves through Senate

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Smokers beware: there may be one less place you can light up in the Sunshine State. The Senate Health Policy Committee on Tuesday gave the nod to state Sen. Jeff Clemens‘ bill that makes it illegal to smoke cigarettes in a car if there’s a child under 13 traveling in the vehicle. The bill — SB 548 — isn’t limited to just the driver, though. Anyone who chooses to  to light up with young children in tow could be charged with a…

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The day that was in the Florida Capitol — March 23

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This day in Florida Politics the Senate had the Capitol to itself while the House traveled back to Tallahassee. While Senate committees considered three separate tax-cut proposals, Gov. Rick Scott kicked off a “Cut My Taxes Week” by setting up a booth in the state Capitol where an average Florida family can calculate its savings from different proposals. The Commerce and Tourism Committee approved state Sen. Dorothy Hukill’s measure to keep alive a sales and use tax exemption for industrial…

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Senate committee forwards measure to allow school employees to carry guns in schools

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A measure that would allow school employees and volunteers to carry guns on school campuses was approved by the Senate Committee on Criminal Justice on Monday. The measure is being sponsored in the House by Sarasota Republican Greg Steube and in the Senate by Greg Evers from Baker, the same duo who have been pushing the more infamous guns on college campus bill. This legislation would allow school superintendents to designate people to carry weapons on campus. Those people could…

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The day that was in Florida politics – March 19

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A marijuana lobbyist said to me a couple of weeks ago that he suspected the latest challenge to the Charlotte’s Web rule would “smoke out” people’s true intention; whether they disliked the rule or disliked the law. It’s the end of the third week of the session and we’re getting to the “smoke out” point on a few issues. Thursday things got a little smoky with the environment, healthcare and the list of approved words for state employees. Don’t know…

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Capitol Preview: Money, press skits and the search for clarity

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This week politics at the state Capitol will be about money and a search for clarity. Legislators will get a better view of the hill they need to climb in building a state budget for the year beginning July 1. The Revenue Estimating Conference meets Tuesday and will count up how much tax money the state has collected so far and project how much more money will roll in by the end of June. These are the numbers lawmakers will use when…

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Governor asked to suspend testing after glitches

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Several school districts on Tuesday suspended Florida’s new standardized tests for a second day, despite assurances that the problems had been fixed. Education Commissioner Pam Stewart asked districts early in the morning to resume using the online portal that middle-school and high-school students must use in order to log on and take the state’s annual standardized tests. Testing had been suspended a day earlier because of technological problems. Stewart blamed problems on “software issues” and told school superintendents the company…

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