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House GOP freshmen fail to adopt rules for Speaker’s race, putting leadership battle into chaos

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Even after meeting dozens of times throughout the 2017 Legislative Session, the House GOP freshman caucus failed to adopt new rules on how to pick a leader. A caucus to ratify rules — drafted by Reps. Ralph Massullo and Michael Grant — to guide the freshman class’s decision-making process met Friday during a break in the House. Only 23 members of the freshman class were present, and neither Rep. Jamie Grant nor Rep. Paul Renner, both in the running to be…

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House OKs VISIT FLORIDA, Enterprise Florida funding cuts

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House members on Monday approved a measure dealing with VISIT FLORIDA and Enterprise Florida funding on a 74-34 vote. If vetoed, however, the “conforming bill” would need 80 votes to overcome Gov. Rick Scott‘s red pen. Both chambers have begun discussing the 2017-18 state budget, which wasn’t completed on time to finish the 2017 Legislative Session last Friday. That caused a rare extension to Monday, using the weekend to count toward the constitutionally required 72-hour “cooling off” period before lawmakers can vote. The…

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Latest on the legislative staffing merry-go-round

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With a tip of the hat to LobbyTools, here are the latest movements – both on and off – of the legislative merry-go-round. On and off: Charlotte Jones has replaced Roshanda Jackson as district secretary for Jacksonville Democratic Rep. Kimberly Daniels. On: Joshua Winograd is a new legislative assistant for Delray Beach Democratic Rep. Emily Slosberg. Off: Karol Molinares is no longer Slosberg’s legislative assistant. Off: Alison Roldan is no longer a district secretary for Miami Democratic Rep. Robert Asencio. Off: Rachel Wise is no longer a district secretary for…

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Newest draft rules governing 2022 Speaker race: Members not eligible for nomination if they violate GOP conference rules

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An updated draft of rules governing the election of the Republican’s freshman caucus leader — and eventual Speaker of the House — moves up the organizational meeting and stipulates a member found in violation of Republican conference rules would be ineligible for consideration. Reps. Ralph Massullo and Michael Grant have been tasked with writing draft rules to help guide the freshman class’s decision-making process. While new rules approved by members this year banned any active speaker’s races until June 30,…

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Bill backed by supervisors of elections clears its first Senate panel

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A bill that would make a long list of election law changes made it through its first Senate panel Tuesday with a unanimous vote. SB 1160, sponsored by Fleming Island Republican Sen. Rob Bradley, has the approval of many supervisors of elections in the state. Among the changes it would make are requiring candidates pay qualifying fees by cashier’s check, banning elected officials from serving as poll watchers, and giving supervisors of elections the option to publish sample ballots in…

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Latest on the legislative staffing merry-go-round

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With a tip of the hat to LobbyTools, here are the latest movements – both on and off – of the legislative merry-go-round. On and off: Tyler Teresa is no longer district secretary for Sarasota Republican Rep. Joe Gruters. GeeDee Kerr has replaced Teresa. On: Jeremy Stein is the new district secretary for Fort Walton Beach Republican Rep. Mel Ponder. Off: Nicole Pontello Is no longer district secretary for Palm Coast Republican Rep. Paul Renner. On and off: Elizabeth Casimir is…

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Sponsor proposes changes to VISIT FLORIDA bill

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As the House gets ready to start considering a bill to overhaul VISIT FLORIDA, its sponsor filed an amendment to dilute some of its strict requirements. The measure (HB 9) will be on the House floor today (Thursday) for questions. Rep. Paul Renner, a Palm Coast Republican, filed the amendment Tuesday, records show. It would impose new reporting requirements on the state’s tourism marketing agency only when a project it funds is slated to get over 50 percent of its…

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