Thank you, Will Weatherford, for listening

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Florida legislative leaders could take a two-year break from changing gambling laws so they can study a wide range of gaming-related issues, the Sun-Sentinel reported Thursday.

Of course, last month I wrote in a post arguing that the time is now, not later, for Will Weatherford that the Speaker Designate must find his Weatherford-goes-to-China moments.

Just as he oversaw a reapportionment process that defied expectations and delivered a (relatively) fair set of redistricted legislative maps, Weatherford should identify three issues which have languished in the Legislature. The more intractable, the better.

For example, Weatherford could lead the House in re-writing the state’s complicated gaming laws.

Figure out what to do with Internet cafes. Improve the compact with the Seminole Tribe. Retire some of the outdated rules governing parimutuels. Etc., etc.

This is the kind of issue that has languished in the House and Senate because the lobbyists and special interests prefer no changes to difficult, but needed changes. It is the kind of issue which has been dealt with piecemeal, rather than all at once because no one has had a genuine, unifying vision for the industry.

This is the kind of issue similar to so many besetting Florida politics.

So, thank you, Mr. Speaker Designate, for hearing me out.

It’s reassuring to read in the Sun-Sentinel that you want to develop a comprehensive policy that would include issues such as the state’s gambling compact with the Seminole Tribe of Florida, Internet cafes, slot machines at pari-mutuel facilities and the possibility of allowing resort casinos.

The Sun-Sentinel even quoted Weatherford as saying the state needs to look at the issues “more holistically.”

You’re off to a  great start, Representative Weatherford.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.