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Appropriations committee votes to OK gambling bill, now cleared for Senate floor

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A wide-sweeping gambling bill is now ready to be heard by the full Senate when the 2017 Legislative Session kicks off next month, after it cleared the Senate Appropriations Committee this morning. The bill (SB 8), sponsored by Sen. Bill Galvano, ratifies the 2015 Seminole Compact, subject to the approval of amendments to conform the agreement to provisions outlined in the bill and other actions to be taken by the Seminole Tribe and the state of Florida, and would expand…

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Senate committee OK’s 3 bills: job protection, veteran IDs, emergency management

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Three bills were passed unanimously Tuesday by members of the Senate Military and Veteran’s Affairs, Space and Domestic Security Committee as legislators shuffled back into the state capital following a long holiday weekend. Gulf Breeze Republican Doug Broxson, the committee’s vice-chair, led the 45-minute meeting. SB 370, introduced by Lakeland Republican Kelli Stargel, requires certain public and private employers to provide up to 15 days “of unpaid leave to an employee engaged in a Civil Air Patrol mission, or training,” prohibiting…

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Impressive roster of GOP leaders line up for Ed Hooper fundraiser

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Clearwater Republican Ed Hooper is assembling an impressive number of high-profile state lawmakers for a Tallahassee reception next month. Hooper, a former state representative, is seeking the open Senate District 16 seat currently held by Jack Latvala. Hooper’s campaign fundraiser will be Monday, March 6, from 2:30 p.m. – 4 p.m. at the Governors Club, 202 South Adams Street. The host committee reads like a Who’s Who of GOP state leaders, including Senate President Joe Negron and nearly all the…

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Alimony reform bill filed for 2017

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State Rep. Colleen Burton will try again to overhaul the state’s alimony law, filing a bill on Wednesday. The Lakeland Republican still aims to toughen the standards by which alimony is granted and changed, after last year’s measure was vetoed by Gov. Rick Scott. “I believe it is the right thing to do,” Burton said in a phone interview. “It costs families a lot of money to go through a process that has no starting point. This gives judges a starting point, the…

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More than a dozen lawmakers file for re-election in 2018

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The number of lawmakers prepping for another run keeps on growing. State elections records show dozens of members of the state House and Senate have filed to run for re-election in 2018. Many of those are incumbents who faced little-to-no opposition in 2016, while others ran hard fought battles to win their spot in the Florida Legislature. Sen. Tom Lee filed to run for re-election in Senate District 20 on Dec. 29. The Brandon Republican was re-elected in June 2016,…

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Blaise Ingoglia touts support from state senators in Florida GOP chair re-election bid

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Nearly a dozen state senators are throwing their support behind Blaise Ingoglia’s bid to keep his job as chairman of the Republican Party of Florida. The Spring Hill Republican announced Wednesday the support of 10 state senators, including former Majority Leader Bill Galvano and former House Majority Leader and newly elected Sen. Dana Young. “Over this past election cycle, there has been a lot of rhetoric from the Florida Democrat Party, the media and those who wanted the grassroots to…

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Wilton Simpson appointed Senate Majority Leader for 2016-18 term

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Sen. Wilton Simpson has been appointed Senate Majority Leader for the 2016-18 legislative term, marking the second term in a row a likely Senate President has held the role. Senate President Joe Negron appointed Simpson to the position Tuesday. The announcement came as the Stuart Republican announced committee chair assignments for the two-year legislative term. “Wilton is a conservative leader whose tremendous success in the private sector serves as a foundation for his belief in limited government and the supremacy…

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