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Joseph Abruzzo

House forms first-ever Legislative Progressive Caucus

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More than a dozen Democratic Florida House members have formed the Progressive Legislative Caucus, with firebrand state Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith of Orlando elected as its first chair. The caucus held its organization meeting last week with Smith becoming chair, state Rep. Amy Mercado of Orlando vice chair, and state Rep. Joseph Abruzzo of Boca Raton as clerk. “As we enter the final weeks of the 2017 legislative session, the Legislative Progressive Caucus will adopt caucus positions on key legislation…

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More legislative hopefuls file to run in 2018

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The 2017 Session starts Tuesday, but some legislative hopefuls are already thinking about the next election cycle. State elections records show dozens of members of the House and Senate have filed to run in 2018. Rep. Jay Trumbull, a Panama City Republican, filed to run for re-election in House District 6 in 2018. First elected in 2014, Trumbull currently serves as as the chairman of the Select Committee on Triumph Gulf Coast and the vice chairman of the Careers &…

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Florida Realtors lends support to anti-discrimination Florida Competitive Workforce Act

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Florida Realtors have become the latest group to join the effort to modernize state law by including anti-discrimination protection based on sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. As real estate professionals descend upon Tallahassee to take part in the annual Great American Realtors Days on Tuesday and Wednsday, the Florida Businesses for a Competitive Workforce (FBCW) coalition sends its gratitude to Florida Realtors for becoming a member of the coalition pushing for passage of the Florida Competitive Workforce Act. The…

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Gaming out the Broward County state Senate races

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With the Florida Supreme Court choosing the plaintiff’s map in the congressional redistricting fight, conventional wisdom (says that those same plaintiffs have a distinct advantage moving their Senate maps through Judge Reynolds’ court. And all of the plaintiffs’ maps are identical in Broward County. So how does that shake out, assuming one of the plaintiff maps is ultimately the one, for those who have been publicly eyeing those seats? For Perry Thurston and Gwyn Clarke-Reed, there really was never any suspense. There was…

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AT&T Florida latest major employer to join Florida Businesses for a Competitive Workforce

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AT&T Florida is the latest major employer to join the Florida Businesses for a Competitive Workforce (FBCW) coalition, which seeks to end statewide LGBT discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations. Supported by more than 400 Florida businesses, the coalition is working to pass the Florida Competitive Workforce Act during the 2016 Legislative Session. The Act would help protect all Floridians, and attract more entrepreneurs, companies, and a diverse workforce to the state. Recent polling found nearly 7 out of…

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Latest on the legislative staffing merry-go-round

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With a tip of the hat to Legislative IQ powered by LobbyTools, here are the latest movements – both on and off – of the legislative merry-go-round. On: Luke Strickland is a new legislative assistant in the Senate Majority Office. Off: Christine DonFrancesco is no longer a legislative assistant for Wellington Democrat state Sen. Joseph Abruzzo. Off: Katie Martin is no longer a legislative assistant for Lakeland Republican state Sen. Kelli Stargel. On: John Kotyk became a legislative assistant for Elkton Republican state Sen. Travis Hutson. Off: Gina Herron has…

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Steve Crisafulli says he has no plans to call legislators back ‘at this time’

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House Speaker Steve Crisafulli sent a memo to representatives Thursday telling them he had no intention of calling them back to Tallahassee because of a lawsuit filed in the Florida Supreme Court by Senate Democrats. “We strongly disagree with the arguments that were filed by 13 Democrat members of the Senate and believe that the House’s actions complied with the Constitution and the historic practices of both Chambers. Accordingly, I have no plans to ask you to return to Tallahassee at…

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