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Jennifer Sullivan

Some lawmakers bowing out of Special Session

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(Originally published Tuesday, June 6, 2017) At least eight House members and one senator won’t be attending some or all of this week’s Special Session, set for Wednesday-Friday.  The June meeting is conflicting with some lawmakers’ plans, including one whose brother is getting married out of state. Below is a list, as of Tuesday afternoon, of lawmakers asking for and receiving excused absences for part or all of the three-day session, with reasons given: — Rep. Bruce Antone, an Orlando…

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Florida leaders react to the shooting in Orlando

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A disgruntled former employee opened fire inside a Florida awning manufacturer on Monday, killing five workers there and then killing himself, officials said. The gunman was armed with a knife and a gun but did not stab anyone, Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said during a news conference. Demings said the shooter —  who had been fired in April and had been previously accused of assaulting a co-worker —  was not believed to be connected to any sort of terror…

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Lottery warning bill passes Senate, bounces back to House

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The Senate on Friday passed a bill requiring lottery ticket warning labels after removing a requirement that warnings also be displayed at counters where tickets are sold. The Senate approved the measure (HB 937) on a 23-15 vote, sending it back to the House. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Jennifer Sullivan, a Mount Dora Republican, mandates six rotating warnings on Florida Lottery tickets and advertisements. They include “WARNING: GAMBLING CAN BE ADDICTIVE” and “WARNING: YOUR ODDS OF WINNING THE TOP PRIZE ARE EXTREMELY LOW.”…

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Warning labels could cost millions, Florida Lottery says

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A well-meaning idea could cost the state’s pot of money for scholarships and public education up to about $50 million. The House this week passed a measure (HB 937) mandating six different warnings, which would rotate, on Florida Lottery tickets and advertisements. They include “WARNING: GAMBLING CAN BE ADDICTIVE” and “WARNING: YOUR ODDS OF WINNING THE TOP PRIZE ARE EXTREMELY LOW.” The bill also says the warning must “occupy no less than 10 percent of the total face of the lottery ticket.” That’s…

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Democrat Debra Kaplan files to run for House District 31

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Business consultant Debra Kaplan of Eustis has filed as a Democrat to run for Florida’s House District 31, to take on Republican state Rep. Jennifer Sullivan. Kaplan, 64, is a former cable-TV Emmy-award-winning political reporter in Connecticut, and Apopka, and former public relations agent, who said she strove to remain politically independent until recently, and then worked on the Hillary Clinton presidential campaigns. She calls herself a political moderate on most issues due to her life experience, yet an avowed…

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House committee advances lobbying ban; impeachment power for attorneys, public defenders

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Florida lawmakers advanced two key pieces of legislation through the House Thursday, including one to lengthen the period before elected officials could begin lobbying after their time in office. The other bill would make state attorneys and public defenders in each judicial district eligible for impeachment under the governor’s power. In an overwhelming vote, the House Public Integrity and Ethics Committee passed PCB PIE 17-01 and HJR 999, though there was thorough debate by both the public and committee members on each measure.…

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More legislative hopefuls file to run in 2018, 2020

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The list of incumbents eyeing re-election just keeps getting longer. State elections records show dozens of members of the state House and Senate have filed to run for re-election in 2018, and several more are looking ahead to 2020. Sen. Gary Farmer is one of those lawmakers thinking about his next race. He filed to run for re-election in Senate District 34 on Jan. 24. Farmer won his seat in 2016, beating out two well-known South Florida Democrats for the…

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