The Republican-dominated Legislature may be inadvertently goading Orlando trial lawyer John Morgan, the moneybags behind a constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana, into finalizing a decision about whether to run for governor next year. Lawmakers are left with a black eye after bombing out on a deal to implement Amendment 2, overwhelmingly approved by more than… Continue reading Does pot stalemate give Morgan better reason to run?
One of the biggest end-of-session’s was the Legislature’s failure to pass a measure to establish the framework for a voter-approved constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana. For patients, lawmakers’ inability to reach consensus on a bill doesn’t mean that they won’t be able to get access to the treatment, since the amendment gives the Department of… Continue reading Is pot special enough for another session?
About a dozen pari-mutuel lobbyists were huddled inside Rep. Jose Felix Diaz’s suite late this afternoon, as the clock winds down on the legislative session without a gambling deal in hand. The biggest issue dividing the two chambers? That’s an easy bet — slots. The Senate wants to allow the lucrative machines in eight counties… Continue reading Gambling stalemate over slots?
Former state Sen. Alex Diaz de la Portilla, part of a Miami-Dade political dynasty, is mulling a return to the upper chamber, an opportunity made possible by the recent resignation of former Sen. Frank Artiles. Artiles, R-Miami, stepped down Friday amid a firestorm over a public tirade that included racially charged and vulgar expletives. The… Continue reading DLP — Alex — looking for comeback…again
Senate President Joe Negron may have upped the ante Thursday as House and Senate leaders prepare to start negotiations over the two chambers’ vastly different gambling bills. Rep. Mike La Rosa, the House’s bill sponsor, says he’s “been very, very consistent” about whether to allow slot machines at pari-mutuels in the eight counties where voters… Continue reading Senate president slots smack-down
A handful of GOP state House members from Central Florida aren’t backing down from their demands that Gov. Rick Scott remove 9th Judicial Circuit State Attorney Aramis Ayala from office, even after the governor stripped the Orange-Osceola prosecutor of nearly two dozen cases yesterday. Ayala generated a firestorm when she announced last month that she… Continue reading Central Florida House Republicans push Scott to boot Ayala from office
Orlando-Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala, targeted by GOP lawmakers for her refusal to seek the death penalty in the high-profile case of accused cop-killer Markeith Loyd, warned that budget cuts aimed at slashing 21 positions and $1.3 million from her office would “severely impact her agency’s ability to prosecute crimes” and “threaten public safety.” Ayala… Continue reading Prosecutor: Proposed budget cuts ‘threaten public safety’