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Legislature at stalemate over new state budget

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With time running out in this year’s regular session, Florida’s legislative leaders are at a stalemate over a new state budget and are starting to lash out at one another over the breakdown. The first but crucial round of negotiations between the House and Senate fell apart on Sunday. The session is scheduled to end on May 5, but state law requires that all work on the budget be finished 72 hours ahead of a final vote. The lack of…

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White House, in gamble, demands make-or-break health vote

in 2017/Top Headlines by

Abandoning negotiations, President Donald Trump demanded a make-or-break vote on health care legislation in the House, threatening to leave “Obamacare” in place and move on to other issues if Friday’s vote fails. The risky move, part gamble and part threat, was presented to GOP lawmakers behind closed doors Thursday night after a long and intense day that saw a planned vote on the health care bill scrapped as the legislation remained short of votes amid cascading negotiations among conservative lawmakers,…

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In Tampa, potential CFO candidate Jeremy Ring tells his story

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Broward Democrat Jeremy Ring isn’t officially a candidate for Chief Financial Officer, but he talked the part during a stop in Tampa on Friday. Speaking at the Oxford Exchange as part of the Cafe Con Tampa weekly event, the former Yahoo executive introduced himself to the audience by humble-bragging about his private sector background, describing himself as the first salesman for the internet search engine company when he started there as a 24-year-old (he’s 46 now). As proud as he was of his…

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More Republicans say AG Jeff Sessions should recuse himself

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The Latest on Attorney General Jeff Sessions‘ talks with the Soviet ambassador (all times local): 11:25 a.m. attorneyAttorney The top House Democrat says Attorney General Jeff Sessions lied under oath when he told the Senate Judiciary that he had no contacts with the Russian government and says he should resign. Nancy Pelosi says, “Perjury is a crime.” In the meantime, Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Marco Rubio of Florida joined a growing chorus of Republicans calling upon…

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Jeff Sessions spoke with Russian envoy in 2016, Justice Dept says

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions talked twice with Russia’s ambassador to the United States during the presidential campaign, the Justice Department confirmed, communications that spurred calls in Congress for him to recuse himself from an investigation into Russian interference in the U.S. election. Sessions, an early supporter of President Donald Trump‘s candidacy and a policy adviser to the Republican, did not disclose those discussions at his Senate confirmation hearing in January when asked what he would do if “anyone affiliated” with…

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Pasco GOP official in trouble after social media posts go national

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Pasco County Republican Executive Committee Secretary Bill Akins is under fire  after a story about his history of pushing out racist jokes and conspiracy theories on social media was published Sunday by the Washington Post. The reason that the previously little-known local Republican even earned the interest of the Post was because of what happened on Saturday at Congressman Gus Bilirakis raucous town hall meeting in New Port Richey. That’s where Akins told a crowd of mostly supporters of the Affordable Care Act that it was a fact…

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At heated town hall, Gus Bilirakis once again hears overwhelming sentiment to improve — not repeal — the Affordable Care Act

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

For the second consecutive Saturday, Tampa Bay U.S. Representative Gus Bilirakis waded into a lion’s den of sorts, hosting a town-hall meeting that was dominated by those pleading with him to vote to improve — but not replace — the Affordable Care Act. As hundreds crammed into the West Pasco Government Center in New Port Richey (with at least another hundred listening to the meeting via an audio transmission outside the chambers), the atmosphere was at times raucous and rude, although the audience was overwhelmingly…

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