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Jim King

Senate votes to allow beer ads in theme parks, ‘merlot to go’

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Florida senators passed a bill Wednesday that would allow advertising by beer companies in the state’s theme parks. The measure (SB 388), sponsored by Republican Sen. Travis Hutson of Elkton, received only one ‘no’ vote from Sen. Kelli Stargel, a Lakeland Republican. It eases the state’s “tied house evil” law by allowing ads, which could include a beer company sponsoring a concert or festival within a park. Universal Orlando has supported the bill. Some beer industry representatives had privately complained. However, they “fear being extorted…

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Booze bill ready for vote in Senate

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beer

A bill that would allow advertising by beer companies in the state’s theme parks is ready for a final vote in the Senate. The measure (SB 388), carried by Republican Sen. Travis Hutson of Elkton, was heard on the floor Tuesday and placed on the third reading calendar. It eases the state’s “tied house evil” law by allowing ads, which could include a beer company sponsoring a concert or festival within a park. Universal Orlando has supported the bill. Some beer industry representatives had…

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Bigger wine bottles could be coming to Florida

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Thanks to state Sen. Jeff Brandes, Nebuchadnezzar may come to Florida—the wine bottle size, not the king of ancient Babylon. Current law generally makes it illegal to sell wine “in an individual container holding more than 1 gallon.” A typical bottle is 750 milliliters, roughly a fifth of a gallon. Brandes, a St. Petersburg Republican, last week offered an amendment to a booze-advertising bill (SB 388). The amendment, adopted without objection, repeals the bottle-size law. It would allow wine bottles of all sizes, including the…

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No more ’70s paneling: Florida Senate readies for a refresh

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Say goodbye to all those yards of fake-wood laminate: The Florida Senate will be shedding the 1970s look of its chamber with a nearly $5 million renovation this year. Senate President Andy Gardiner, in a Jan. 6 memo to fellow senators, said the remodeling will begin this summer. A copy of the memo was provided to FloridaPolitics.com on Monday. “In my view, we are guests in this building and we have an important responsibility to adequately preserve and maintain areas of the…

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Today on Context Florida: James Tracy, execution road trip, Jim King and brute force versus compromises

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Today on Context Florida: According to Jac VerSteeg, James Tracy is creating an opening for Florida politicians who don’t like tenure and don’t like faculty unions. Because of Tracy’s case, tenure opponents could go on the attack and look good doing it. Tracy is the Florida Atlantic University communications professor who claims the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre is a hoax. Tracy got into a public feud with the parents of one of the children murdered at Sandy Hook. The…

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Six years after passing, Jim King may be gone, but certainly not forgotten

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Here’s how Jim King is remembered around the Florida Capitol. The laughter was immediate and spontaneous when CFO Jeff Atwater was asked last year to recall a story about the late Senate President. “My goodness, my goodness,” Atwater said, clearly enjoying a memory. King was a fixture around the Capitol for 23 years. The Jacksonville Republican was first elected to the State House in 1986 and became one of the most powerful politicians in the state, serving as Senate President from…

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Donald Trump tells Jeb Bush he didn’t want a Florida casino, but he did

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Jeb Bush said during Wednesday night’s Republican presidential debate that Donald Trump wanted casino gambling in Florida. Donald Trump said “I did not.” “I promise, if I wanted it, I would have gotten it,” Trump told Bush during the exchange. Bush replied, “No way, man.” But the fact is, Trump wanted it and didn’t get it under the Bush administration, despite donating money to the state Republican Party and Bush. “The bottom line is Donald Trump was interested in casino…

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