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  • More than Two Million Early Ballots Cast Already 1, October26, 2016
    Florida is on pace for record early voting turnout, and as Matt Galka tells us, both sides say the early numbers are good for their parties. Becky Bush wasn’t going to wait around. She voted early. “I work downtown and it’s convenient,” she said. And to her, this election cycle is “crazy.” So crazy that […]
    Matt Galka
  • Trump train 1, October26, 2016
    Each of Florida’s  five statewide elected Republicans continue to support Donald Trump. But not all of them are jumping whole hog on the Trump Train. Governor Rick Scott was the first statewide elected Republican to jump on the trump train.   He was followed by Pam Bondi, Jeff Atwater, and Adam Putnam. All three supported […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Driver’s license troubles blamed on the move of an aging computer system 1, October26, 2016
    If you are going to be renewing your driver’s license or vehicles tags in the near future, you might want to budget some extra time, just in case, because aging computers at the state agency have become unpredictable. Taking a number at a Tax Collectors officer doesn’t guarantee you speedy service when you are renewing […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Trump Stumps in Tallahassee 1, October26, 2016
    In two weeks we should know who the next president of the United States is, and that means Florida becomes that much more valuable to the candidates. Matt Galka was in Tallahassee for Donald Trump’s rally in the capital…a unique choice for a GOP candidate to head into a perennially Democrat voting county. The trump […]
    Matt Galka
  • Butterfly Magic 1, October24, 2016
    In this time of political strife, questions about secure borders and a wall between the US and Mexico, Mike Vasilinda has a story about a mass migration that won’t give you heartburn. The majestic monarch. Millions are on their way to Mexico. And year after year, one of their favorite resting places is here in […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • FDLE, Other Law Enforcement Ramp Up Counterterrorism Efforts 1, October24, 2016
    State leaders want to ramp up counterterrorism efforts, but as Matt Galka tells us, it starts with an old slogan and you. This gas station in Tallahassee doesn’t seem like where state officials would launch counterterrorism efforts. But the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Homeland Security, and local law enforcement say it’s just the place where […]
    Matt Galka
  • Volunteer Gets Crafty With Hand Painted Yard Signs for Candidate 1, October21, 2016
    In a time of big money campaigns, volunteers in one Florida Congressional race are a real throwback. As Matt Galka tells us, some folks are getting crafty when it comes to yard signs. Meet Herb Shelton. He’s not running for anything so don’t expect to see his name on the ballot. But Shelton has become a […]
    Matt Galka
  • Lawsuit says medical marijuana question not on some ballots 1, October21, 2016
    A lawsuit filed in Southeast Florida alleges that the medical marijuana amendment was left off some mail in ballots.  Attorneys say they aren’t sure if it was a half dozen, ten thousand or a hundred thousand ballots. A quarter million mail ballots have gone out Broward County, 60 thousand have already been returned. At least […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Federal Judge Rules Against Democrats in Registration Case 1, October20, 2016
    Thousands of Floridians took advantage of an extended voter registration deadline in the state, but getting them verified in time to cast a regular early voting ballot may be in doubt. As Matt Galka tells us, Florida Democrats hoped a federal judge could force the state’s hand and not make them cast provisional ballots. Florida […]
    Matt Galka
  • Politics and Policy at the Pub Thanks to Florida State 1, October19, 2016
    Some people go to bars and restaurants to get away from the noise surrounding politics – especially during this unique political season.  But as Matt Galka tells us, Florida state University is serving up heady policy discussion at a local pub. A couple of beers, a little bit of food…and some voting issues. That’s what […]
    Matt Galka

RSS Quote of the Day



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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