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  • Revenge Porn Law Goes on the Books in Florida 1, October2, 2015
    Revenge porn, or the practice of sharing intimate pictures of someone without their permission, now has a penalty attached to it. As Matt Galka tells us, a former Florida State student who was instrumental in the bill’s passing says it’s about time. Former Florida State student Carly Hellstrom had limited options two years ago. She […]
    Matt Galka
  • Conservative Group Challenges Governor Over Planned Parenthood 1, October1, 2015
    A conservative group that had supported the Governor in the past is now on the verge of turning on him over Planned Parenthood.  As Matt Galka tells us, the group is demanding that the Governor defund the program. A Governor ordered investigation into Planned Parenthood clinics in the state was not enough according to the […]
    Matt Galka
  • Death Results in Diabetes Recognition Training for Police 1, October1, 2015
    The death of a Tampa man in police custody in April 2014 is the genesis of a new law taking effect today. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, from now on, police will be trained to know the difference between intoxication and a diabetic seizure. Arthur Green was stopped for driving erratically. Police though he was […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Money in Marijuana 1, September30, 2015
    Expanding medical marijuana use in Florida is expected to be up to voters again in November of 2016, but as Matt Galka tells us, state economists are talking the potential monetary impact before it gets to that point. Representatives from the Governor’s office and state legislature gathered Wednesday to hear Florida economist’s projections for revenue […]
    Matt Galka
  • Warning Shot Keeps Man in Prison 1, September30, 2015
    When state lawmakers passed a bill allowing warning shots instead of deadly force, they cited the case of a Polk County man, Orville Lee Wollard, who’s serving 20 years for shooting into a wall. Today, Wollard asked to be freed, but as Mike Vasilinda tells us, you might be surprised by the decision. After a […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Dozier School for Boys Facing Uncertain Future 1, September29, 2015
    Governor Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet listened today to pleas to save the former Dozier School for Boys as a monument to the kids that lost their lives there while in state custody.  A two year survey has yielded 51 bodies  buried on the campus, but as Mike Vasilinda tells us, a Dozier survivor […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Hospital Cost Containment Rick Scott Style 1, September29, 2015
    Governor Rick Scott wants hospitals to post their prices for procedures and annual financial reports on their web sites. Scott also wants to give consumers a place to complain when they feel they have been charged too much. Today Scott said hospitals want tax payer dollars, then taxpayers should know how they are using the […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Veterans Hall of Fame Nominees 1, September29, 2015
    Former Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell was one of eight names presented to the Governor and Cabinet today for inclusion in the Veteran Hall of Fame 2015 class. Campbell died last year after two decades as sheriff and four decades in law enforcement. Veterans Affairs Director Mike Pendergast says Campbell’s military service  and subsequent work […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Firefighter Pay Raises 1, September29, 2015
    Imagine putting your life on the line by battling wildfires, but only earning a few bucks more per hour than minimum wage.  As Matt Galka tells us, that’s the story for many state fire fighters, and the state’s Agriculture Commissioner wants to change that. The average Florida teacher makes around $46,000 according to the Department […]
    Matt Galka
  • Plastic Bag Ban Proposed for Coastal Communities 1, September28, 2015
    Paper or plastic? The common grocery store phrase could be a thing of the past. As Matt Galka tells us, some environmentally conscious lawmakers have proposed allowing cities near the water the option to ban plastic bags. You won’t catch Kathleen Turner with a plastic bag. She was on her way into Whole Foods with […]
    Matt Galka

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  • Dwight D. Eisenhower
    "Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it."
  • George Chapman
    "They're only truly great who are truly good."
  • E. M. Forster
    "We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us."
  • Winston Churchill
    "History will be kind to me for I intend to write it."



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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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