Influence Archives - Page 4 of 283 - Florida Politics

DUI ignition interlock bill passes House committee

A bill that would require an ignition interlock device on someone’s vehicle after their first drunken driving conviction has passed its first committee in the Florida House of Representatives.

The bill (HB 949) passed the Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Tuesday. It must go through two more committees before reaching the House floor.

The interlock device prevents a vehicle from starting if the driver has been drinking. The current law makes it mandatory for six months for a first offense if the person’s blood alcohol content is higher than 0.15 percent or a minor is in the vehicle. The devices are also mandatory for multiple DUIs.

There are approximately 9,000 interlock devices active in Florida at any given time.

Florida would join 28 other states and the District of Columbia with similar laws.

Republished with permission of The Associated Press.

Circuit court judges to finally get a statewide case management system?

At a presentation about circuit court judicial caseloads Tuesday, House Appropriations Committee Chair Carlos Trujillo asked why judges have an issue with moving to a paperless system.

Speaking to the committee, Robert E. Roundtree Jr., an 8th Judicial Circuit Court judge and former chief judge, said circuit courts in Florida are electronically filing cases: “There are no paper files. Judges can’t call the clerk and say, ‘bring me the Jones file.'”

Bill Hager said that he had from various clerks of the court that there are were a significant number of judges that demand paper files on an ongoing basis. The Boca Raton Republican said he wondered if it was a generational issue.

“Part of it is a generational issue. Most people with my color hair are not as versed with computers and technology,” responded the gray-haired judge, adding he was told not to get into a discussion about funding. Hager prompted Roundtree to feel free.

“It’s a technology issue for some circuits, like everything else in the world, a money problem” Roundtree responded.

Some local circuits (there are 20 in the state) have the capability to allow the local clerk to go paperless, he said, because they have a case management system that allows them to view those files electronically. But there are other circuits don’t have that technology.

The trial courts have asked the Legislature for funding to equalize the system so everyone in the state can go paperless over the past three years, Roundtree said.

“The communication that we’ve received basically is that even in the circuits that are totally electronic and have the total capability that you just articulated for yourself,” Hager replied. “Nonetheless, there are a significant number of judges who demand as a condition precedent to sit on any particular seating that they get a paper file.”

Trujillo said that in 2012 and 2015 the judges had made a $14 million request for funding, yet in those same years the Legislature had received between $19-$20 million in reversions. Why not use the money that the courts are reverting to the state for purchasing upgraded technology, he asked.

Roundtree said he understood that the judges couldn’t go take funding from a separate “bucket,” but would gladly do so if they could.

Trujillo then said it was all general revenue funds, so the judges do have the discretion to spend it as they seem fit.

“We’re happy to facilitate that,” Trujillo said.

“We’re happy to receive it,” Roundtree laughed.

Trujillo next asked if it wouldn’t be better for the state to invest in one statewide case management system that all 20 circuits could use, which is not now the case.

Roundtree said the trend seemed to be heading that way because circuits can’t afford to pay third party licensing fees anyway.

“Right now we have a system of haves and have-nots,” said John Stargel, Chief Judge from the 10th Circuit Court.

“There should be one uniform system statewide,” agreed Trujillo. Decisions were being made for the courts due to spotty information, he said, that ultimately leads to bad results.

“The technology aspect of the courts as a whole leaves a whole lot to be desired.”

Breezing through committee: Welfare drug testing, DCF takes backseat in Walton County

Two measures dealing with drug testing for certain public aid applicants and law enforcement taking over DCF’s role investigative role in another county met no resistance Tuesday.

Among several bills heard by the Senate Children, Families and Elder Affairs Committee were two dealing with applicants of temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) and child welfare investigations.

With regard to TANF, Sen. Jack Latvala introduced SB 1392, a bill that would require applicants with felony drug convictions within 10 years from the time of the application would be made to submit to a drug screening before being approved for those benefits. The bill also would include individuals with a “history of arrests for drug-related offenses,” Latvala said.

The bill also requires the Department of Children and Families, the agency tasked with distributing and overseeing TANF and food stamp benefits. DCF would be required to give advanced notice before a test and would not be allowed to withhold benefits from the children of parents who fail the illegal substance screenings.

While Latvala admitted the proposal was “controversial,” he said the idea actually wasn’t even his.

“This bill came out of ‘there ought to be a law’ competition we have at a high school in my son’s district in Pinellas County,” the lawmaker told the committee. “So I want to couch it in the fact it’s come from high school students who thought it ought to be a law.”

The applicant would be responsible for the cost of the screening, too, according to the bill’s fine print. Of that segment of applicants, those who pass would be tested every two months.

For those who fail, unless they meet strict requirements for re-testing, those individuals would not be eligible to reapply for two years, according to the bill.

Those who pass the screening will be a certain amount of dollars in their assistance from the state.

If an applicant fails once, they would have to wait two years before re-applying, but they would be eligible to attend drug rehabilitation classes contracted by DCF. If they fail twice, they won’t be eligible for benefits for three years.

There was no opposition to the bill from the public or committee members.

In a separate bill — SB 1092, Sen. George Gainer has proposed DCF to take a back seat to the Walton County Sheriff’s Office in all child welfare investigations.

If voted on favorably on the Senate floor later in the Legislative Session, Walton County would become only the seventh county out of Florida’s 67 to dish such serious responsibilities to a law enforcement agency.

The six other counties where sheriff’s offices have lead authority are Broward, Seminole, Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough and Manatee, where the idea first started as a pilot in the late 1990s.

Other measures passed during the meeting included SB 518, SB 520, SB 924, SB 1094 and SB 1400,

House gambling bill clears Ways and Means Committee on 11-7 vote

The House Ways & Means Committee voted Tuesday for legislation that would extend Indian gambling in Florida but otherwise restrict the growth of the industry in Florida.

The bill (HB 7037), by Rep. Mike La Rosa, passed out of the committee on an 11-7 vote.

La Rosa argued the bill is the key to negotiating a gambling compact with the Seminole Tribe.

“I think they’re trying to get the best deal. That may mean other games or, of course, paying less revenue. At the end of the day, we’re representing our constituent base here in the state of Florida. We’re going to get the best deal for them,” La Rosa said.

La Rosa chairs the Tourism and Gaming Control Subcommittee, which already OK’d the measure 10-5. The next stop is the Commerce Committee.

The debate Tuesday pitted members skeptical of gambling against those who see it as expanding jobs and the economy.

For example, when ranking Democrat Joseph Abruzzo protested language restricting pari-mutuel betting, La Rosa said that was the point.

“Philosophically, I’m not a proponent for expanding gaming. And if we give them more, we would be expanding gaming,” La Rosa said.

Proponents also worried about Florida’s brand as a family-friendly vacation destination. Democrats including Joseph Geller objected to “poison pill” language that might steer gambling proceeds to charter schools.

“We have gambling now. It just doesn’t define us. I hope it never will,” said Jeff Kottkamp, representing the Florida Greyhound Association.

Abruzzo remarked that many gambling interests were absent from the hearing.

“They’ve been dealing with this year after year after year. At some point, they just want anything to move past our committee processes, and anything to move in the Senate. So we can get to conference, and everything can be negotiated and changed,” he said.

“I’m not, honestly, focused on what they’re (the Senate) is doing,” La Rosa told reporters following the vote. “I’m focused on what we need to get out of here. Then we’ll sit down and chat with them.”

He said House members are talking to the Seminole Tribe — which has indicated “they like our bill better than what the Senate has proposed.”

There are many contrasts between the House and Senate legislation. The Senate’s gambling bill (SB 8) has cleared all its committees and is awaiting a hearing on the chamber floor.

The House bill would outlaw designated-player card games, but the Senate would let “all card room operators … offer designated player games.” 

The House also would prohibit the expansion of slot machines, while the Senate generally expands the availability of slot machines.

Moreover, La Rosa’s legislation would divert the state’s cut of the Seminole gambling money — $3 billion over seven years — for education, split three ways among K-12 teacher recruitment and retention bonuses, schools that serve students from persistently failing schools, and for “higher education institutions to recruit and retain distinguished faculty.”

Abruzzo, of Boynton Beach, withdrew amendments that would have allowed slot machines and traditional casino games including blackjack and roulette upon approval by a vote of county residents and the city or county government involved.

The operations would have to turn over 35 percent of their take to the local government.

If the voters or local government says “No,” the matter cannot be raised again for five years.

He said he hope to pursue those options later.

House advances bills ‘cracking the whip’ on domestic abuse, child offenders, recovery centers, terrorism

A litany of bills Tuesday show legislators intend to crack the whip on several social, criminal and commercial problems affecting the state.

Each bill passed the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee, covering issues as wide ranging as child predators, domestic violence, addiction recovery homes, skimming devices, the department of corrections, probation, terrorism — and protection of marine turtles.

All the measures facing the committee were built around a single theme, improving language in bills already on the books or simply to stiffen them.

For example, take Rep. Jeanette Nuñez‘s HB 1385, which would clamp down even harder for domestic violence offenders by increasing minimum jail times in first, second and any additional charges leveled thereafter.

It raises the number of required days spent in jail if found guilty from five to 10 days in a first offense; 15 days for the second offense and 20 days for the third offense or anymore thereafter. If the domestic violence happens in front of a child, the bill proposes a first offense would raise the minimum mandate from five to 15 days, 20 for the second offense and 30 days for a third or any subsequent offense, the legislator told committee members.

The proposal would also prohibit award of attorney fees in specified domestic violence proceedings, including in cases of injunctions, and prevents a court from adjudicating the offense, except under rare circumstances

The bill would also require first-time offenders to attend a 26-week, so-called “batterers course,” which must be completed.

HB 457, proposed by Rep. Julio Gonzalez, enhances certain offenses falling under terrorism charges, raising the degrees to which an individual could be prosecuted to first and second felonies.

“This is a bill strongly needed under our armartarium of weapons to use against hard-core criminals and with that I ask for your favorable support,” Gonzalez said to the committee.

Reps. Bill Hager and Gayle Harrell introduced HB 807 to the committee, which seeks to restrict the marketing and commercialization of so-called “Sober Houses,” which are transitional dwellings often perceived as having blighted suburban residential areas, Hager argued to the committee.

“They have proliferated throughout southeast Florida, beginning with our pill mills relating to prescription pain killers,” Hager said. “I have walked the streets of these neighborhoods in each of my last seven elections and if you were to walk with me this is what you would see: you would see former middle class neighborhoods devastated; you would see them devastated from a property value standpoint, devastated from a peace and tranquility standpoint, you’d see families in these neighborhoods, where one out of three houses are sober homes, families who have paid the mortgage for 25 out of 30 years and have seen the value of their homes plummet because there are sober homes next door.”

He went on to cite instances in which young girls would be harassed with “cat calls” by addicts who looked like “death.”

The homes are based on financial referrals, bringing into question their legitimacy.

Both Hager and Harrell said their measure did not impede on the Americans with Disabilities Act or the Fair Housing Act, which have been roadblocks in trying to clean up the lack of regulation and licensing of rogue drug rehabilitation centers that essentially act as pathways of “recovery to relapse” centers, according to Hager.

Their bill looks to primarily stop the predatory marketing practices that have allowed the dwellings to spread like viruses and to put regulations and oversight on the existence of the rehab centers.

Rep. Shawn Harrison introduced HB 1429, which “authorizes subpoenas in certain investigations of sexual offenses involving child victims and specifies requirements, (and) requires nondisclosure of specified information in certain circumstances.”

The measure would also provide for “judicial review and extension of such nondisclosure requirements, (and) exempts certain records (and) objects from production,” while also provides creating the flexibility for immunity for eligible individuals in compliance with those subpoenas.

All other bills put forth before the committee — HB 343, HB 1201, HB 1203, HB 1031 and PCB CJR 17-05 passed the committee Tuesday.

tax cuts

Senate tax cut proposal OK’d — with one big switch

A tax cut that would have helped a broader swath of Floridians, including the middle class and working poor, was changed Tuesday to instead benefit the state’s business owners.

With no debate, the Senate’s Finance and Tax Appropriations Subcommittee cleared the bill (SB 378) by a 4-0 vote. 

As initially proposed by Miami-Dade Republican Anitere Flores, it would have paid for a cut in the state’s communications services tax (CST) on mobile phone, satellite and cable TV service by repealing a tax break to insurers. The move has been a priority of Senate President Joe Negron, a Stuart Republican.

But the panel approved an amendment—brought by Kelli Stargel, the Lakeland Republican who chairs the panel—to reduce the tax that businesses pay on their commercial rents, a cut that Gov. Rick Scott has long called for.

“She felt strongly about it,” Flores said later. “It’s her committee.” Stargel wasn’t immediately available after the meeting.

Negron himself seemed to create a loophole when he discussed the bill with reporters last week: Funds from taking back the insurance tax credit “would much be much better spent providing tax relief to Floridians, to businesses, rather than subsidizing the labor cost of one particular industry.”

Meantime, insurance interests jealously guarded their 15 percent tax credit on the salaries that they give their full-time workers here in the state.

After Flores had referred to the 30-year-old state subsidy as “corporate welfare,” a representative of FCCI Insurance Group told the panel to “remember we are a highly taxed industry to begin with.”

Thomas A. Koval, the company’s general counsel, also said they take the gains realized from the tax break and “reinvest it in our company, (to) hire more people.”

But he also warned that if taken away, firms may start leaving the state, a sentiment echoed by banking and insurance lobbyist Gerald Wester.

“People are easier to move than buildings,” and “with today’s technology people can be anywhere,” he told the panel.

Sen. José Javier Rodríguez of Miami-Dade County, one of two Democrats on the 5-member panel, asked Stargel why not apply the money from repealing the subsidy to other causes, such as funding education. (He later was out of the room when the vote was called.)

Stargel said the tax break to insurers was an “incentive to bring businesses to Florida.”

“But I agree, this is a discussion that could be ongoing,” she added. The bill next moves to the full Senate Appropriations Committee. 

Updated 12:30 p.m. — Negron, in comments to reporters after Tuesday’s floor session: “The committee had a choice to make on what relief to provide with the money that would be freed up from the insurance tax break … I thought Sen. Flores did a good job providing examples of dry cleaning businesses, food delivery businesses, and other small businesses. So that’s where we are today. There’s a much better case for the commercial lease tax to be reduced.”

highway transportation

Richard Biter among dozens applying for state transportation secretary

Richard Biter, one of two unsuccessful finalists for the top job at Enterprise Florida, now has thrown in his hat to be the state’s next Secretary of the Florida Department of Transportation.

Biter (via LinkedIn)

Biter is one of more than 80 applicants for the open position, created when former Secretary Jim Boxold resigned in January to join Tallahassee’s Capital City Consulting firm.

It would be a homecoming for Biter: He’s a former assistant secretary of the department.

But he may not be on the short list. The Florida Transportation Commission, the advisory board that will interview applicants and nominate three candidates for Gov. Rick Scott’s consideration, recently extended the application deadline to May 1.

Jay N. Trumbull, the commission’s chairman, had said the panel needed more time “to complete a robust search and conduct the interview process post-Legislative Session.”

Biter last year was a finalist for CEO of Enterprise Florida, the state’s public-private economic development organization, along with Mike Finney, the former president of the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

Finney withdrew, choosing instead to seek a teaching job at the University of Michigan, and Scott eventually tapped Chris Hart, the president and CEO of CareerSource Florida.

Hart suddenly quit earlier this month, however, citing a lack of “common vision” with the governor.

Before serving at FDOT, Biter was a transportation consultant, according to his LinkedIn page. He also has been an administrator with the U.S. Department of Transportation and the now-defunct Interstate Commerce Commission.

Other applicants include Alexander Barr, the department’s Bicycle and Pedestrian coordinator for its Treasure Coast-South Florida district; and Phillip Gainer, its District Secretary for northwest Florida. 

Out-of-staters include Brandye Hendrickson, who was Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Transportation under then-Gov. Mike Pence; and Brian Roper, a supervisor at the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

As is often the case with high-level state openings, dozens of fringe candidates also have filed for the job, including those who list their current place of employment as “Waffle House,” “Grub Burger Bar” and even “Florida Statue University.”  

Rick Scott reviewing options in Aramis Ayala death-penalty situation

Gov. Rick Scott wouldn’t say Tuesday whether he would permanently suspend State Attorney Aramis Ayala.

But Scott insisted his special prosecutor would be the one to seek the death penalty against Markeith Loyd, despite Ayala’s challenge to his order reassigning her.

Under questioning by reporters at the state Capitol, Scott said only: “We are going to review our options.”

Ayala’s “no death penalty” policy has drawn widespread protests, and House member Bob Cortes urged her suspension from office and reassignment of all of her cases.

Scott did not say how long his review would take.

“On Thursday, when I reassigned the case to (5th Judicial Circuit State Attorney) Brad King, she signed off on it. And then, Monday morning, for whatever reason, she changed her mind,” Scott said.

What’s next?

“I’m going to review my options,” Scott said.

Loyd is charged with murdering his pregnant girlfriend Sade Dixon and Orlando Police Master Sergeant Debra Clayton.

Ayala, state attorney for Florida’s 9th Judicial Circuit, covering Orange and Osceola counties, said Monday she would challenge Scott’s order in court.

On other topics, the governor criticized the House for — along with a wide range of state economic incentives — voting to eliminate the Florida Defense Alliance, an arm of Enterprise Florida that encourages the military to maintain bases in the state.

“The military has a major presence in our state, with our unified commands and all our military bases, on top of our National Guard. I think it’s important to make sure we continue to help them fulfill their missions, and that’s what this does,” Scott said.

“I would be shocked that anybody would vote to hurt any military base’s ability to fulfill its mission.”

Scott was asked whether he has confidence the House and Senate could agree on a state budget. The chambers are divided on a host of issues, including economic development programs and whether to roll back local property taxes for schools.

He noted that the budget is the only bill the Legislature must pass each year.

“My expectation is they’ll pass a budget. At that point, I’ll review it.”

Scott thanked the Senate for advancing his proposal to require polluters to notify the public of accidental toxic discharges.

“I can’t imaging why anyone doesn’t want to make sure that people have proper notification if there are any spills in their area,” he said.

“With regards to the Everglades, I’m very supportive of trying to figure out how we move water south,” Scott said, pointing to the more than $200 million per year he’s pushed for storm water treatment and other environmental initiatives.

Asked specifically whether he wanted to acquire land south of the lake, Scott said: “Whatever comes to my desk, I’ll review it.”

Of the GOP health care bill in Washington, Scott said, “I’m encouraged,” adding that Republicans in Congress understand their proposal needs improvements and are working on it.

“I want free-market health care. If you allow the private sector to work, make sure we have more competition, make sure people can buy the insurance they want to buy, reward people for taking care of themselves, and sell insurance across state lines, I think the cost of health care would come down.”

Scott spoke after reviewing displays and greeting visitors to National Guard Day at the Capitol. He bestowed the state’s Veteran Service Award on 54 guardsmen and –women, and himself received the Charles Dick Medal of Merit, bestowed by the National Guard Association of the United States upon political leaders who have “distinguished him/herself over an extended period of time in their support to the National Guard.”

People don’t understand how much the Guard does for Florida, Scott said.

“They’ve been deployed over 100 times since 9/11, and we all know they show up any time there’s a disaster in the state, and they do a great job.”

Some lawmakers worry children will suffer under new Florida work-for-welfare bill

A bill approved by a Florida House committee Tuesday would increase penalties for Floridians receiving food stamps and cash aid that have not met obligations to find work.

HB 23 would return those penalties to levels before the 2008 Great Recession.

Cape Coral Republican Rep. Dane Eagle, who introduced the same measure in the 2016 Legislative Session which the Senate later rejected, re-introduced HB 23 to the House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee, citing instances of wanton abuse in the system.

Eagle said he saw an advertisement on Craigslist “to sell a (food stamp) $100 card for $50 to buy drugs, alcohol, you name it.”

While there have been numerous documented instances of abuse with electronic benefits transfer (EBT) cards in every state, the drugs-and-alcohol citation is an oft-cited refrain used by fiscally conservative Republicans looking to justify legislation that curbs welfare programs.

In the case of HB 23, it also includes the temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) program.

According to the bill’s language, HB 23 “revises penalties for noncompliance with work requirements for temporary cash assistance; limits receipt of child-only benefits during periods of noncompliance with work requirements; provides applicability of work requirements before expiration of minimum penalty period; requires DCF to refer sanctioned participants to appropriate community services; requires DEO, in cooperation with CareerSource Florida, Inc., & DCF, to develop & implement work plan agreement for participants in temporary cash assistance program; prohibits use of EBT card at specified locations; requires DCF to impose replacement fee for EBT cards; revises eligibility guidelines for Relative Caregiver Program with respect to relative & nonrelative caregivers; provides appropriation.”

Eagle’s bill changes sanctions by increasing the length of time a recipient is slapped with a penalty for not finding employment within the required period allotted to do so, as set forth through an employment-assistance program run by the state through the Department of Children and Families.

Primarily, if an individual doesn’t find a job in time they lose both food stamps and cash assistance.

Rep. David Richardson asked Eagle what the total funds distributed through the TANF program were in 2016.

Eagle didn’t know.

Rep. Jason Brodeur chimed in: “About $130 million.”

For those individuals already on the edge and legitimately reliant on state assistance, the sudden loss of it can be a disaster, said committee member Rep. Daisy Baez, who previously worked in health care but now works as a social worker outside her role as a lawmaker.

She asked Eagle what a family of four received in cash assistance per month through the TANF program.

The bill’s creator didn’t know, he said.

Brodeur said it was about $200. (He was wrong.)

“Well, I do know that anyone that is trying to survive on $200 a month already has a multitude of problems with rent, transportation, food, putting clothes on their children,” Baez said. “I think the punitive approach is not the way we need to go.”

Eagle was quick to clarify his bill.

“We want to help people … but we want people to comply,” he said. “Again, the key word in temporary cash assistance is ‘temporary.’”

He said the abuse needed to stop so that those committing fraud within the system weren’t “stealing tax dollars” off Floridians.

The bill would require a one-month penalty before recipients would be allowed to reapply after their first failure to meet the goal of getting a job. The second missed deadline would then warrant a three-month suspension before the recipient could reapply. The third time — six months. The fourth time — one year before reapplication would be allowed.

Eagle also noted EBT cards and TANF could not be used to purchase marijuana in the soon-to-open dispensaries in Florida, presumably for edible marijuana products, or in tattoo shops.

He cited that among those recipients who failed once in their requirements to receive assistance, 40 percent went on to successfully comply with the guidelines, while 60 percent went on to at least a second sanction, he said.

The greatest concern those in attendance voiced was what affect these penalties would have on the children of parents not meeting the job-attainment mandates in time.

Luckily, Eagle’s measure would allow the dependents of parents to receive assistance after the first sanction. However, after the first sanction, the children would also be cut off from food and-or cash assistance benefits.

This was a sticking point for a few in the public gallery as well. During an opportunity for public debate, Karen Woodall, executive director of the Tallahassee-based Florida Center for Fiscal and Economic Policy, took the podium to state her case against HB 23 to the committee.

She said of the roughly 16,000 Floridians on TANF, nearly all had incurred at least one sanction.

“Let’s dig in and take a breath, and look at this over the next year and stop punishing people that, in the end, is really just going to affect children,” Woodall, who has more than 30 years’ experience in this budgetary area, said. “TANF is different from EBT for a reason.”

She said Eagle’s bill essentially saw the two as the same and treated penalties for them as one, which would be a mistake.

“And by the way, as I understand it, a family of four on TANF gets $303,” she said, accurately citing the figure loosely tossed around per Baez’s question. “While this bill is a good effort, it doesn’t really address the needs of Florida families.”

Nevertheless, legislators passed the measure.

Senate begins consideration of ‘whiskey and Wheaties’ bill

After Sen. Bill Galvano first proposed it four years ago, the Senate is poised to pass a bill removing the “wall of separation” between hard liquor and other retail goods. 

Bill sponsor Anitere Flores, a Miami-Dade Republican and Senate President pro tempore, took questions on the legislation (SB 106) Tuesday. It’s now set up for debate and a final vote.

The “whiskey and Wheaties” measure aims to repeal the Prohibition-era state law requiring businesses, such as grocery chains and big-box retailers, to have separate stores to sell liquor.

“The question now becomes has this outlived its purpose?” Flores said. “The answer is yes.” Beer and wine already are sold in grocery aisles in Florida.

The Senate bill also would phase-in the integration of liquor into main stores over several years, starting in 2018. The House companion (HB 81) has been struggling, escaping its committees by one-vote margins twice.

Big-box stores like Wal-Mart and Target want the repeal, saying the added convenience is “pro-consumer,” and independently-owned liquor store operators say they will suffer.

If signed into law, Florida would be the 30th state to allows the sale of hard liquor in general retail space, advocates say.


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