The Buzz on Florida politics

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Legalized Pot

Latest Buzz on Florida politics

Rick Scott is on a healthcare kick.

The Republican senator from Florida has introduced four bills in the last five months related to curbing healthcare costs, each accompanied by a press conference, TV appearances and op-eds in national media outlets.

On the surface, his proposals to lower prescription drug costs and eliminate surprise medical bills sound like such common sense ideas that they could win bipartisan support. One of the bills, a plan to require drugs sold in the U.S. to match prices that are paid in Canada, sounds almost as though it might have been introduced by a left-leaning politician like Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Keep reading   7 min. read  

It’s the economy, stupid.

For those wondering what sales pitch President Donald Trump will make to women voters in 2020, that was the message during Thursday night’s “Women for Trump” rally at the Tampa Convention Center.

Trump surrogates Kellyanne Conway and former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi attended the festivities, which was centered around the 99th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment (that’s the one allowing women to vote).

Keep reading   6 min. read  

Florida’s top gun lobbyist took a second shot Thursday at a proposed constitutional amendment that seeks to prevent the possession and sale of assault weapons.

Marion Hammer, a lobbyist for the National Rifle Association and Unified Sportsmen of Florida, appeared before state economists for the second time in a week to clarify her opposition to the proposal she claims would result in all rifles and shotguns being outlawed in the state.

Hammer, a former president of the national gun-rights organization, accused supporters of the ballot initiative of peddling an “abundance of erroneous information” about the proposal.

Keep reading   4 min. read  

A new effort to legalize recreational pot in Florida is underway.

The initiative, dubbed Adult Use of Marijuana, registered with the state Thursday to start collecting signatures in hopes of getting the proposal on the 2020 ballot, a spokeswoman said. The language is still being processed by the Division of Elections.

The political committee behind the effort, Make it Legal Florida, registered with the state earlier this month.

Keep reading   4 min. read  

TAMPA — It happened so quickly and quietly that Charlie Miranda, who doesn’t miss much on the dais, didn’t realize he and his colleagues had unanimously approved $150,000 to bring back an increasingly popular winter and spring ferry service between the bay area’s two largest cities.

The money was approved as part of a consent agenda where batches of non-controversial items are passed together without debate.

That’s a little different from previous years. Former Mayor Bob Buckhorn was ambivalent about the ferry and Miranda was another skeptic. But Tampa City Council members always approved the cash. Thursday’s vote marked the third time that Tampa agreed to pay for the ferry, which will dock at the city’s convention center near where the Hillsborough River meets Tampa Bay.

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Florida Democrats have rallied enough support to force a vote on Legislature-wide vote on a special session focused on gun reform, but they’re a long way away from their goal.

The push comes on the heels of two gruesome mass shootings, in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, earlier this month. House Democrats are interested in laws requiring background checks for all firearm sales, bans on large-capacity magazines and more reforms.

The Senate President, Bill Galvano, and Speaker of the House, José Oliva, could choose to convene a special session, but have both said they don’t support calling one. January 14 marks the beginning of the regularly-scheduled legislative session.

Keep reading   90-second read  

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