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  • Medical Marijuana Licenses Bring Concerns and Joy 1, November24, 2015
    5 growers across Florida are gearing up for the first legal marijuana in the states history. The five licenses were awarded yesterday, and as Mike Vasilinda tells us, it will still be the middle of next year before patients see the first products. Lifelong nurseryman George Hackney was awarded one of five licenses to grow […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • AAA says Be Safe, Not Sorry 1, November24, 2015
    More than two million Floridians are expected to hit the roads over the Thanksgiving weekend. According to Triple A motor clubs, It is the busiest holiday travel weekend since 2008, and the auto club says the traffic is going be bad, there’s nothing you can do about it, so relax. “You can expect very buy […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Rick Scott Proposes 79.3 Billion State Budget with Potentially Higher Property Taxes 1, November23, 2015
    Governor Rick Scott is proposing a record state spending plan that cuts taxes by a billion dollars and boosts education spending. But as Mike Vasilinda tells us, the increase in school spending is coming from local property taxes, not state coffers. Governor Rick Scott chose a Jacksonville small company as the back drop for his […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Fantasy Sports Rules 1, November20, 2015
    Mounting legal issues have daily fantasy sports websites like draftkings and fanduel fighting legal battles in states like New York and Massachusetts, but as Matt Galka tells us, Florida legislators are scrambling to keep it legal here. Nevada says its gambling. New York says they can’t operate in the their state.  But daily fantasy sports […]
    Matt Galka
  • FSU One Year Later: A Quiet Anniversary 1, November20, 2015
    Today marks the one year anniversary of a shooting on the campus of Florida State University. Three students were injured. One critically. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, the university wasn’t taking any chances today. Two marked police vehicles were prominent outside Strozier Library. When asked, University officials said it was to give students peace of […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • FSU One Year Later: Paralyzed Victim Still Recovering 1, November20, 2015
    Just after midnight tonight (Thur)marks the one year anniversary of an on campus shooting. 22 year old FSU engineering student Ronny Ahmed was paralyzed from the waist down last November. As Mike Vasilinda tells us the  now wheelchair bound student hasn’t let his injuries keep him from moving forward. Ronny Ahmed was pulling an all […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Guns on Campus Bill Clears Final House Committee 1, November19, 2015
    Friday marks one year since a gunman opened fire at Florida State’s library, and lawmakers are using the chaotic scene as a jumping off point for controversial legislation. As Matt Galka tells us, the bill to allow concealed carry on college campuses continued to move through one legislative chamber. There’s no lack of passion on […]
    Matt Galka
  • FSU One Year Later: Victims Still Trying to Heal 1, November18, 2015
    Friday marks the one year anniversary of the shooting at the FSU Strozier library that injured three. Today, Mike Vasilinda has the story of how two people who could have died next to each other that day last year are handling the fact they survived. Nathan Scott can still be found sitting behind the same […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Healthcare for Immigrant Children 1, November18, 2015
    Almost four hundred thousand children don’t have access to quality health coverage here in the state, an alarming number. As Matt Galka tells us, lawmakers are trying to cut into that number with a bill that would focus on children of legal immigrants who desperately need health care. Kids whose parents are legal immigrants are […]
    Matt Galka
  • GOP Lawmakers Seek Immigration Changes, Penalties 1, November17, 2015
    Five GOP lawmakers are behind a series of three bills to change immigration policy. One would make it a crime for someone who has been ordered deported to be in the state, another would remove lawsuit protections, known as sovereign immunity, for so called sanctuary cities that protect those here illegally, and a third would […]
    Mike Vasilinda

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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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