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  • Docs vs. Glocks Battle Continues 1, July30, 2015
    Should a trip to the doctor for a checkup include a question about whether or not you own a gun? As Matt Galka tells us, Florida can start enforcing a ban on those questions shortly. Pediatrician Louis St. Petery says the first funeral he attended in Tallahassee was for a child who shot himself by […]
    Matt Galka
  • Third Special Session Called 1, July29, 2015
    An unprecedented admission by the Florida legislature has given way to another special session in the state for 2015.  As Matt Galka tells us, groups that have been pushing for proper voting maps say the legislature is admitting they were wrong. The Florida Senate says their voting districts will most likely be unconstitutional and they’ll […]
    Matt Galka
  • Walton County Votes to Replace Confederate Flag…With Different Confederate Flag 1, July28, 2015
    The confederate flag was still flying over a panhandle county’s courthouse Tuesday morning. Matt Galka was at the county commission meeting where officials voted on whether or not to keep the divisive symbol up. In Walton county located in Florida’s panhandle, it’s commonplace to see a truck decked out in Confederate flags. But the confederate flag […]
    Matt Galka
  • State, Tribe Fire Off Letters On Gaming 1, July27, 2015
    The deal allowing blackjack and other table games at Seminole casinos in the state is just about up. As Matt Galka tells us, the state is wondering when the Tribe will end those games. Cards are still being dealt at Seminole Casinos around the state…for now.  The provision in the Seminole Compact that gives the […]
    Matt Galka
  • State Seeks E-Cig Regulations from Feds 1, July24, 2015
    The state’s top doctor is calling for warning labels on e cigarette devices and vials of liquid nicotine., It is already illegal for anyone under 18 to use or be sold e cigarette products, but as Mike Vasilinda tells us, being illegal hasn’t stopped an explosion in underage use. State lawmakers make it clear last […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • ADA Turns 25 1, July24, 2015
    Life wasn’t easy for Americans living with disabilities a quarter of a century ago. But as Matt Galka tells us, the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities act is a cause for celebration, but doesn’t mean the work is done. John Kemp says there’s no comparison between 2015 and 1990. “It’s so much better […]
    Matt Galka
  • Attorneys General Want Big Five Phone Companies to Crack Down on Robo Calls 1, July23, 2015
    If you’ve ever scrambled to answer your phone only to hear a recorded message, you are not alone. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, 45  State Attorneys General, including Florida’s, want the phone companies to do something about the calls. The come on a daily basis. Calls offering something for nothing. “It’s already been paid for, […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Change the Vote 1, July23, 2015
    A bipartisan group of activists wants to drastically change the way candidates are selected. As Matt Galka tells us, the group says it’s an effort to include everyone. Closed primaries determine Florida’s partisan candidates for Congress, the state legislature, Governor and cabinet.  But one group wants to change that. “Currently we have over 27 percent […]
    Matt Galka
  • New Idea Could Bring More Lawyers to State 1, July22, 2015
    Floridians in need of a lawyer could have many more options in the near future.  As Matt Galka tells us, the Florida Bar association is mulling over an idea to allow out of state lawyers to practice in the Sunshine State. Florida isn’t seeing a shortage of lawyers by any means.  The more than 100 […]
    Matt Galka
  • National Guard Armory Threatened 1, July21, 2015
    A threat is made to a National Guard facility down the street Florida’s Capitol. As Matt Galka tells us, it comes in the wake of a shooting tragedy in Tennessee less than a week ago, and after the Governor took steps to secure facilities around the state. Bomb sniffing dogs roamed the parking lot of […]
    Matt Galka

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Internet Café Ban Passes House Committee

March 15th, 2013 by Anna Laura Rehwinkel

Days after a massive raid closed 51 internet cafes and led to the resignation of Florida’s Lieutenant Governor, state lawmakers are voting to ban the sweepstakes businesses statewide. As Whitney Ray tells us, the House Gaming Committee took quick action this morning. Too quick some say.

Just three days after a massive internet café bust, state lawmakers are taking action. Tuesday 51 internet cafes were raided and 57 people arrested.

The arrests stem from an investigation of Allied Veterans of the World. The group claimed its 290 million dollar internet café business was a charity, but investigators found just two percent of the processed were given to veterans.

Riding the coattails of investigators, a House Gaming committee sprang into action, amending a bill sponsored by Representative Carlos Trujillo to ban all internet cafes.

“I don’t think this is behavior we should encourage as a state, but it’s behavior we should punish,” said Trujillo.

Trujillo says the cafes, that run sweepstakes games that look a lot like slot machines, are already illegal. His legislation would simply clarify existing law.

The bill passed the committee with little opposition and just one no vote. The vote came from a House Democrat concerned that they were moving too fast.

Representative Jim Waldman says there wasn’t enough time to study the amendment. It was drafted Thursday night and voted on Friday morning.

“Yes it has parts of what are in other bills, but the reality is the stakeholders haven’t even had a chance to check in on this,” said Waldman.

Adult arcades would also be banned under the amended bill. An action Waldman says needs more vetting. The Senate Gaming Committee will take up a similar bill Monday.

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