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Rick Homans

Tampa Bay officials OK with TBARTA bill, now before full Senate

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Officials had high hopes for a bill to reconfigure Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority (TBARTA). Those same officials are now expressing some contentment following an amendment from the bill’s original sponsor, Clearwater Republican Jack Latvala. The legislation would change TBARTA’s name from the Tampa Bay Regional Transportation Authority to the Tampa Bay Regional Transit Authority, and reduce the number of counties involved in addressing the region’s traffic issues. It has been a top priority of the Tampa Bay area business establishment,…

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Joe Henderson: Proposed new transportation agency a good start toward solving an old problem

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Short of hitting yourself in the head with a hammer, the surest way to get a headache is to wade deep into Tampa Bay area transportation problems. You encounter a mishmash of competing agencies and agendas that has resulted in legislative and automotive gridlock for frustrated commuters for years. Given that, I’m encouraged by what is coming out of Tallahassee. A pair of Republican legislators — state Sen. Jack Latvala of Clearwater and state Rep. Dan Raulerson of Plant City…

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Tampa Bay Partnership on board with Jack Latvala-Dan Raulerson bill creating regional transit agency

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Legislation that would create a regional transit agency connecting four Tampa Bay-area counties breezed through committees in both the House and Senate last week. The proposed agency would be created in advance of a much anticipated Florida Dept. of Transportation transit study scheduled to be completed next year. “It’s a real project. It’s not just talk. And so we realized that in order to get this started, we needed to have the right kind of planning and the right operational structure…

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On eve of vote, economic analysis says TBX would bring 7,000 jobs, $6 billion total economic impact

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No doubt timed for maximum impact, an economic analysis performed by the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council reports that the Tampa Bay Express project will generate an estimated 6,998 direct and indirect jobs and $5.8 billion in total economic impact during its six years of highway-related construction. The analysis was done for the Tampa Bay Partnership, which strongly supports TBX, the controversial billion-dollar-plus project from the Florida Dept. of Transportation with a first phase that includes building toll lanes on I-275 in Tampa.…

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Mitch Perry Report for 6.10.16 – Bob Poe’s courage

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Former Florida Democratic Party state chairman Bob Poe revealed Thursday that he’s HIV-positive. The 61-year-old Democrat says in a video that he’s healthy because he got tested and diagnosed early, but he wanted to share his condition publicly to “remove the fear, the stigma and the shame that goes with this.” “It’s those things that keep people from getting the diagnosis and the treatment that they need to live perfectly healthy lives like I have,” he says. “I have a motto in my life:…

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Activist group “outraged” to hear of Tampa business establishment rallying around TBX

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(UPDATED) When it comes to public relations, it’s been an unfair fight to date between neighborhood activists and the Florida Dept. of Transportation regarding the Tampa Bay Express project. While FDOT send out representatives to local meetings to talk up the project, citizens have flooded public meetings over the past year to express their strong opposition to it. TBX, as it’s better known as, is the $3.3 billion proposal by FODT that would add tolled express lanes to Interstate 275 from…

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Tampa political establishment pleased by inclusion of money for USF medical school

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The collective brain trusts of much of the Tampa political establishment is feeling a little bit better Monday morning, after state lawmakers included the requested funding for USF medical school in downtown Tampa. The House and Senate announced was a decision to spend more than $700 million on construction projects in Florida’s public schools, universities, colleges and charter schools on Sunday night. That included the $22.5 million for the USF medical school, a major component of developer Jeff Vinik‘s master…

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