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Dysfunction seems to run in Tallahassee like a sine wave. We went from the collapse of — the House going home early, no budget, a Special Budget Session — to the trains-on-time Session ofto the no-budget-at-the-end-of-regulation Session in We saw another Session in which we got oh-so-close to a gambling bill, only to have victory swallowed by the maw of Capitol defeat.

And yes, the war of words between Gov. No, make that the Capitol. Constitutional amendment to increase homestead exemption? Dressing down reporters when he got tired of their bellyaching?

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Oh yes, my friend. Were there some missions not accomplished? And we await what proposed constitutional amendments his appointees to the Constitution Revision Commission start cranking out over the course of the next year. Light up another Montecristo: After years of trying, the St. He quietly worked behind the scenes throughout Session on a bill that would authorize the Department of Revenue to establish parenting time plans agreed to by both parents in child support actions, which Brandes Slot Machine Big Epic Oscar Wins 2018 would help parents see their children more after a divorce.

The bill passed both chambers in the final days of the Session. He also carried legislation this year to implement the solar tax break constitutional amendment, and even pushed legislation which passed to remove registration requirements for cosmetic companies. If he could accomplish this much inwe can only imagine that is the year Brandes works to get a self-driving car in every garage and a robot in every home.

Danny Burgess — A trial lawyer from New Port Richey, this first-time subcommittee chairman navigated a series of complicated issues fairly, proficiently, and thoroughly, while his Senate counterpart allowed many important issues to capsize. Janet Cruz — The House Democratic Leader from Tampa saw two of her priorities — a vote-by-mail signature fix and a bill to requiring health insurers and HMOs to offer medication synchronization programs — head to Gov.

And they did it all while reportedly being considered for top jobs in the Trump administration: Pepi for a job as the top federal prosecutor in South Florida; Carlos as an ambassador. Greg Steube a run for their money as the snazziest dressers in the Legislature? Bill Galvano Slot Machine Big Epic Oscar Wins 2018 The President-designate has shown leadership, even when the current President seemed timid.

Who walked former Sen. Frank Artiles to Sen. Another thing Grant can put in his win column: Dorothy Hukill — A cancer diagnosis might have meant Sen. The Port Orange Republican was the point person on a host of bills and budget items she filed for her district, played an active role in deciding what got heard in the committee she chaired, and streamed meetings online.

The Senate unanimously passed a bill SB to require a half-credit personal financial literacy course, something she long advocated for, and even named the proposal after her. And the best news of Session: Hukill, according to a letter she sent to Senate President Negron, is cancer free and expected to make a full recovery.

Jose Oliva — The Speaker-designate seemed to keep a low public profile this Session, but his impact was always felt. Rarely seen at the big meetings, you can always recognize the influence he had and see his fingerprints. If folks are worried about the Corcoran era, they ought to start looking beyond. If you thought Corcoran was conservative, Oliva may be downright right-wing. They violated House decorum.

He teamed up with Republican Rep. Alex Miller to push legislation to ban the use of steroids in racing greyhounds and joined forces with Republican Rep. Mike Miller to sponsor a resolution to create Pulse Remembrance Day. He regularly took to the floor to ask members smart questions about their bills, continues to fight for the survivors of the attack at the Pulse nightclub, and was key to forming the Legislative Progressive Caucus.

Get this Palm Harbor Republican to put his name on it. He passed five of six member bills, the sixth was amended onto a bill that passed the House. He helped shepherd two proposed committee bills out of the House, and built a reputation as a consensus builder who can build bridges between factions and soothe egos. No wonder his name is emerging as a choice for Speaker. Sure, it was a large class; but these rookies stood out just as much for the bills they sponsored and their involvement in community issues and initiatives.

A couple of highlights: Kamia Brown and Amy Mercado sponsored a bill to Fruit Machine Slot Videos Recently Posted Photos sure parents who are victims of child domestic violence have the resources they need to ensure their safety; Sen.

Randolph Bracy sponsored legislation to require unanimous jury consent in death penalty cases. Scott toured the state scolding House members for their vote to kill the agency, AFP-FL dropped direct mail piece after direct mail piece in support of members. American Petroleum Institute and Dave Mica — Facing bipartisan support for a statewide fracking ban, Mica and his team pulled out all the stops to stop the effort before it gained too much steam.

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A Senate bill SB received just one hearing, during the first week of Session when it unanimously passed a friendly committee; while the House measure HB never even made it to its first committee stop. He saved the non-custodial parent employment program, even after the House eliminated it from its budget and the Senate agreed during conferences, by being the only lobbyist to participate in public testimony during budget conferences, a bold move that saved funding.

Dave Aronberg — The Palm Beach County State Attorney and former Democratic state senator and his deputies lobbied hard for a bill that aims to crackdown on sober home corruptionand it worked. The bipartisan bill — which was sponsored by Republican Rep. Bill Hager and Democratic Sen. Jeff Clemensand was a top priority for Attorney General Pam Bondi — unanimously passed both chambers and is on its way to the governor. The bill, among other things, creates a certification program for sober homes based on the recommendation of a state-funded task force.

Led by Joe YorkJ. Oh, and did we mention how much easier it will be to check Twitter? American Traffic Solutions — Call them an early winner. Sure, the House passed a ban; but the Senate rejected a similar ban in a tie vote in an early committee meeting.

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With conflicting court opinions, we expect the issue — and American Traffic Solutions and its crack government affairs team — will be back before lawmakers when they return in a few months to begin work on issues. Consistently, methodically, and adeptly out-navigates his counterparts in the Senate. Capital City Consulting — Nick Iarossi and team can add a few more notches to their belts after the Session.

The Capital City Consulting team was involved in some of the biggest issues, including representing The Everglades Foundation in its push for southern storage south of Lake Okeechobee, and the Distilled Spirits Council, which fought hard to bring down the liquor wall. Debbie Mayfield and Reps.

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And now that the Department of Health is responsible for rule-making, expect for these companies to rule the roost for a while. Charter school advocates — Lawmakers pushed for education reforms this year that could benefit charter schools. A proposal to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on high-performing charter schools to compete with chronically failing public schools. The claim bill was first filed inbut did not make progress until this year.

An emergency medical crew and ambulance are also on standby. With the gambling bill crumbling in the final days of the Legislative Session, the family-friendly resort remains one of the big reasons to come Fruit Machine Slot Hits At Tropicana Laughlin Florida.

Drug-Free America — The Mel Sembler -funded group led the opposition to the medical marijuana constitutional amendment. When the amendment passed with 71 percent of the vote, Drug-Free America put on its bill drafting hats and offered up suggestions to the more conservative House about what to include in the bill.

Many of those provisions were adopted, and for a while, it sounded like the only people who supported the House medical marijuana proposal were the people who opposed the medical marijuana amendment. Duke — With Rep. Turns out, the energy giant ended the Session unscathed. Sure, the issue seemed touch-and-go at times, but it cleared a bunch of hurdles and ultimately ended up passing in a form that won bipartisan Slot Machine Big Epic Oscar Wins 2018 in the House and Senate.

This year, FAHP defeated a proposal to carve out nursing homes and hospices from the long-term care programs. And the big-brewer-backed bill SB all but required brewers to give away glassware to bars and restaurants, creating a cost-driver most smaller beer-makers would have been unable to afford. Kionne McGhee originally requested for the project in the budget.

By pulling together consensus within the industry to overcome a small group of misleading outliers, FHCA convinced legislators to approve a prospective payment system for reimbursement that, after a one-year delay, will create incentives for quality improvements while providing additional funding to carry nursing homes through a three-year transition period. FHCA also successfully got nursing homes removed from any bills abolishing the certificate of need process, and deflected an attempt by the House to reduce the personal needs allowance that enables nursing home residents to pay for things like haircuts or birthday cards for loved ones.

Florida International University — There might be some perks to being from the same neck of the woods as the appropriations chairman. Just ask Florida International University.

Months later, FMEA members came out of the session intact. Aaron Bean and Rep. Jennifer Sullivan makes permanent a pilot program and expands it to include children in out-of-home settings.

It might not be much, but every little bit helps to make sure these kids get to enjoy being kids. John Couris — If your organization is going through a public policy challenge, Couris is the type of guy you want at the helm. The CEO of Jupiter Medical Center took a very public and thoughtful approach to explaining why the Certificate of Need deregulation bill would reduce access to health care and vital community services.

When the dust settled on the Session, it appeared they got through. Lobbyists Andreina Figueroa and Brian Jogerst likely earned their keep for that addition. The Mayernick Group — The appropriations-specialty lobby shop parlayed relationships in the Senate to finally knock down the liquor wall for client Wal-Mart. Also helped take medical marijuana implementing bill as far as logically possible, was in on many other issues and hired Rob Johnson.

Waiting to see how much higher they fly in The bill calls for public notification within 48 hours of the incident. Considering the initial outrage, it could have been much worse for Mosaic. Dana Young and Rep. Panhandle — If the residents of the Panhandle were worried that a slew of fresh faces in the Legislature would leave them out of luck, they were mistaken.

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Outside his studio's glass-paneled windows on this second day of March Madness, the crowd is transfixed by two things: Only one force holds enough power to break the spell—the year-old Musburger, who over the next two hours attracts a steady stream of selfie-snappers.

Airing daily on SiriusXM, the gambling-centric radio show is called My Guys in the Desert, which was Musburger's old wink-wink way of shouting out to Las Vegas pals while calling games for major networks without ticking off the execs. Working here requires no such caution. Now Musburger can explore betting trends during a recurring segment with longtime oddsmaker Jimmy Vaccaro called "Follow the Money.

Next up was David Stern. That was nonnegotiable as far as he was concerned. By the time Carolyn Goodman took office in , the leagues' positions were softening. In the NFL nixed a Las Vegas tourism commercial from airing during the Super Bowl because, as a league rep wrote to a network executive, "an association between the NFL and gambling For one thing, gambling brings eyeballs.

Look outside Musburger's studio. Every seat on the sports book floor—and there are more than of them—is filled; the nearby bar lounge is at capacity, and some 1, more are squeezed into two ballrooms upstairs. The lines to make wagers ebb and flow in length and steadily replenish. Technology has helped, too. Where concerned execs used to cast betting as a threat to the integrity of competition, more seem to be coming around to the gaming community's longtime stance: Better to actively police corruption than pretend it doesn't exist.

Still, the Golden Knights will skate a fine line. Whether their games will be kept off the local sports books has yet to be announced; the team and league have until 30 days before the season opener to inform Nevada Gaming Control of a decision. MGM may co-own T-Mobile Arena, but no gambling references will appear on-site, and there will be no betting kiosks on the concourse. Still, that won't stop the team from signing sponsorships with casinos that have sports books. The NHL indicated in December it would allow such arrangements; advertisements are subject to league approval, provided that sports betting isn't explicitly referenced and that the ads don't appear online next to game scores.

These are matters exclusive to the only state with fully legal sports betting. But, Freeman says, "the gambling questions have been asked and answered The issues in Las Vegas are [instead] the same issues that will be asked when you talk about moving a team to Seattle or any other market. And that's, Can they support a team? I'm thrilled to see that's the question being asked here. Management expected up to 2, locals would come check out season-ticket packages, schmooze with staffers, play some floor hockey on the covered rink.

The final count topped 9, By operating around the clock, the team was nodding to the casino industry's endless cycle; a blackjack dealer getting off work at 4 a. It was a savvy business move. If the Golden Knights are to succeed in fostering a major league fan base where one has never existed, they'll need to woo the permanent Vegas population as much as the visitors.

The city has given birth to its share of national sports figures: One of the most prominently displayed pictures in Mayor Goodman's city hall office shows her between the past two National League MVPs.

But Harper and Bryant are exports. What about the natives who stick around? Who am I going to look up to? At the Golden Knights' offices their biggest challenge is the same as every new act in town. You can do anything, especially on a Friday night in Vegas. The Columbus Blue Jackets, one of two teams added during the NHL's last round of expansion, in , are infamous for their deafening artillery that booms following home goals.

Golden Knights president Kerry Bubolz wants something similarly distinct. Is it something like the slot machine noise? It would be foolish to ignore the sources of Sin City's appeal. So far, no problems there.

The upper level at T-Mobile Arena features an 18,square-foot nightclub, complete with bottle service, live postgame deejays and bronze lamps shaped like bunnies with bright ideas. After the recession hit less than a decade ago, highbrow Vegas ceased to exist.

Among metropolitan cities nationwide, Las Vegas ranked first in foreclosures. It might not be much, but every little bit helps to make sure these kids get to enjoy being kids. John Couris — If your organization is going through a public policy challenge, Couris is the type of guy you want at the helm. The CEO of Jupiter Medical Center took a very public and thoughtful approach to explaining why the Certificate of Need deregulation bill would reduce access to health care and vital community services.

When the dust settled on the Session, it appeared they got through. Lobbyists Andreina Figueroa and Brian Jogerst likely earned their keep for that addition. The Mayernick Group — The appropriations-specialty lobby shop parlayed relationships in the Senate to finally knock down the liquor wall for client Wal-Mart. Also helped take medical marijuana implementing bill as far as logically possible, was in on many other issues and hired Rob Johnson. Waiting to see how much higher they fly in The bill calls for public notification within 48 hours of the incident.

Considering the initial outrage, it could have been much worse for Mosaic. Dana Young and Rep. Panhandle — If the residents of the Panhandle were worried that a slew of fresh faces in the Legislature would leave them out of luck, they were mistaken. The district saw some big wins this year, with the help of several political newcomers. Jay Trumbull who worked to get unanimous approval for the proposal. Give her extra credit for getting the FDOT bill across the finish line, even as it bounced between chambers several times.

She ran a tight ship over in the Senate Majority Office, and kept the trains running on time. A late-in-Session deal, House and Senate leaders agreed to include a provision mandating that public schools, except for charter schools, provide 20 minutes of recess to elementary students. Rural and Family Lands Program — One of the few land acquisition programs that scored money in the budget.

Frost, who serves as the vice chairman of the Indian River School Board, traveled to Tallahassee nearly every week of Session, meeting with education chairmen and Speaker Corcoran and President Negron to help hammer out some of the fine points that encompass several of the FCSBM priorities and supported legislation.

Sure, we know it was going on behind the scenes. But, for the most part, the power plays were kept on the down low. Stephanie Smith — You go, girl! After four years of fighting, the Legislature overwhelmingly approved ridesharing legislation and the governor has promised to sign it.

Kudos go to Sen. Jeff Brandes , Reps. And of course, tip your hat to the crack communications teams at On 3 PR for its work repping Uber and Sachs Media Group for its work on behalf of Lyft. Tip of the hat goes out to the grassroots groups, including the Florida Sugarcane Farmers and farmers in the Everglades Agriculture Area, who also fought for the changes.

Community groups made the trip multiple times to argue to keep their communities intact. His reservoir will get built on state-owned land, saving money, all the while delivering on a promise he made to his coastal constituents.

The decision came not at the very last minute, but pretty darn close. Target, Wal-Mart — Tear down that liquor wall! Under the proposal, Wal-Mart and Target, which were big-time backers of the proposal, could add liquor to their shelves as early as But decades after the worst of the abuse occurred, lawmakers finally did what they should have done long ago: Both chambers voted unanimously to approve resolutions acknowledging and apologizing for the abuses children experienced at the school.

The House went one step further, approving legislation that would, among other things, set up memorials to the students in Jackson County and at the Capitol Complex in Tallahassee. Three were beaten in custody and convicted. One was killed on his way to retrial. All of them are now dead, and all of them were wrongfully convicted.

Scott to grant them full pardons. Water remediators, auto glass shops, etc. Lucie rivers, and delivered. He navigated a tough terrain and was able to negotiate a deal that made everyone happy. But at what cost? The Senate appeared beat by the House at every turn. But after umpteen Sessions in the Legislature, his fatigue with the backroom shenanigans is starting to show. Johns River and Keystone Lakes, a major win for his constituents.

Still, give him props for tackling the big issues. Dana Young — Was a big fish in the House pond, but her first year as a member of the upper chamber yielded mixed results.

Earned kudos from her colleagues and environmentalists for her push to ban fracking, but had to explain why she voted for a bill in the House that would have regulated, not banned, fracking. She deftly navigated the process of workshopping five — yes, five! Both bills passed the House, and many of the accountability measures were incorporated into the budget language.

But did this Speaker wannabe not read the rules his caucus passed this year? But Rodrigues took heat for giving special interests too much say in drafting the legislation. Attempts to frame the issue as an economic one failed to move the needle, as did an attempt by Democrats to tack on an amendment to the ride-sharing bill that would give LGBTQ Floridians protections against discrimination.

Human rights ordinances have been passed in 12 counties and 30 municipalities throughout the state covering 60 percent of Floridians, and the folks behind Florida Competes are vowing to come back to fight to make sure percent of Floridians are covered by the Florida Civil Rights Act.

Florida Justice Association — The group says its investment in politics played out this Session, as more members were on committees that matched their skillset.

The team pushed for fair legislation on workers compensation , assignment of benefits , and mandatory BI, always with an eye on the consumers. While the issues got a significant amount of attention this year, none of them passed. But that the FJA was able to move the discussion forward, and change some minds along the way, and is a good position for when the issues come back next year or … maybe sooner?

The long-anticipated ride-booking bill strips local governments of their ability to regulate transportation network companies, like Uber and Lyft.

A measure giving the Public Service Commission exclusivity in determining underground locations of utility lines and another gutting a Supreme Court ruling that went against them, instead allowing customers to pick up the costs for natural gas exploration projects.

Keep an eye on what they do outside the legislative process this year to work other plays. Insurance industry — Nothing majorly good, but given what the predictions for trial bar valor were, coupled with rumors of the repeal of a tax credit for hiring Floridians, not as bad as expected.

Plus, hearing the industry got a few base hits on smaller issues. Save it for Instagram, ladies. University of South Florida — The university scored a nice chunk of change for its Morsani College of Medicine in the final budget proposal. But a last-minute change to legislation that would have given USF a long-sought-after preeminent distinction could mean the school is years off from reaching the status.

Forced to resign after using the n-word, b-word, and calling the Senate President a vulgar word for female genitalia, Artiles created an unwelcome distraction three weeks before the end of the Legislative Session. When it appeared the House was going to give him neither, he started a day campaign to bash members of his own party for voting to eliminate one and slash funding for the other.

While the Legislature shamed Scott, his team thought it best to hide behind closed doors. Kathleen Passidomo that would have stopped assignment of benefit abuses by ending attorney fee paydays. Instead, her committee advanced a bill by Sen. Gary Farmer that is favored by trial attorneys. Arrested on a DUI charge in March, breath tests measured his blood-alcohol content at 0. He quickly resigned his post as chairman of Health Quality Subcommittee and tried to keep a low profile for the rest of Session.

His bills were swatted down, and his decision to call for an audit of the Tampa International Airport during debate of the Senate budget proposal led to a fight within the regional delegation, and drew the ire of Sen. He probably knows what it looks like. While the House approved a bill that was favored by Altmaier, the insurance industry and business advocates, the Senate refused to hear a similar bill.

Instead, it moved a less industry-friendly bill, which never got to the floor. Aramis Ayala — The State Attorney in the 9th Judicial Circuit found herself in the legislative crosshairs the minute she announced she would no longer seek the death penalty.

Central Florida Republicans called on Gov. Scott to suspend her from office, and the governor reassigned 22 first-degree murder cases to State Attorney Brad King. The one bright spot: Alimony bills — Doomed after Sen. Rene Garcia , the chairman of Children, Families and Elder Affairs, refused to hear the proposal.

The proposal once again tried to toughen standards by which alimony is granted and modified. Have no fear, it will be back: Back-to-school shoppers — Gov. Scott wanted a day, back-to-school sales tax holiday. The Florida House wanted a day, back-to-school sales tax holiday. What is Florida getting? Bingo slot machine manufacturers — We love late-Session sneak attacks.

The House caught it, and the effort failed. Bingo slots makers were thisclose to a payday, but alas. Counties that passed slots referendums — SOL for Session as efforts to pass a gambling bill and extend slot machines tanked in the last week. Pari-mutuel operators continue to pull out what hair they have left.

So who else is there to tell us what we can and cannot do? Department of Financial Services — On a week that CFO Jeff Atwater deserved to be going out on a high note, he was overshadowed by news that his Chief of Staff and top deputies gave themselves big, retroactive raises. Not a good look for a nice guy that deserved better. A top priority for President Negron and c arried by Flores , the proposal would have required law enforcement officers issue a civil citation or require juveniles participate in diversion program when they admit to committing certain first-time, misdemeanor offenses, like possession of alcoholic beverages, criminal mischief and trespass.

The Legislature approved a bill this year to eliminate the agency, after a series of blunders and outcry from public officials. The proposal cleared the House and Senate unanimously, and now heads to Gov. Scott for his consideration. With the failure of assignment benefits, workers compensation reforms and a host of other reforms, the industry was a circular firing squad of the highest order.

After years of asking for too much, they may have to wait for the end of a trial-friendly era if that ever comes to get their reforms through. Lisa Miller — Did the well-known Tallahassee lobbyist pose as a concerned citizen on a conference call to praise Ohio-based Demotech, Inc.

While Morgan reportedly worked with Corcoran to push for no caps, he regularly took to Twitter to bash lawmakers over the bills and even threatened to sue over the smoking ban. Eli Nortelus — Oh, Eli.

Sources close to Nortelus and David Roberts , who resigned at the same time, said they were fired on the first day of Session at the insistence of Walmart. He seemed to bounce back, hanging his own shingle and taking several of his clients with him. But the liquor lobbyist was popped just days before the end of the Legislative Session for driving under the influence after, according to the Tallahassee Democrat , losing his balance and nearly falling over during a field sobriety test.

She was foiled again by a Republican member of the Miami-Dade delegation. But even if the slew of concealed carry bills got past the Judiciary Committee, they faced a tough path in the Senate. In the end, HB got 1 committee hearing in 1 chamber and passed that committee by 1 vote. Is it just me or was it probably not the best idea to introduce a bill that adds at least 4, new opioid prescribers in a state that is the epicenter for a nationwide opioid epidemic?

Look for the Eyeball Wars to return in Vacation rentals — A proposal to pre-empt regulating vacation rental homes to the state and away from local governments was pushed this Session, but for naught. Some lawmakers felt the locals went too far in trying to crack down on or drive out vacation rentals, saying it was a matter of property rights.

And she gave a helluva performance at Press Skits. Steve Bousquet — A shocker for our readers, we know. His profile — with great Scott Keeler photos — is the definitive look at the second most powerful person in state government.

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Florida International University — There might be some perks to being from the same neck of the woods as the appropriations chairman. Just ask Florida International University. Months later, FMEA members came out of the session intact. Aaron Bean and Rep. Jennifer Sullivan makes permanent a pilot program and expands it to include children in out-of-home settings. It might not be much, but every little bit helps to make sure these kids get to enjoy being kids. John Couris — If your organization is going through a public policy challenge, Couris is the type of guy you want at the helm.

The CEO of Jupiter Medical Center took a very public and thoughtful approach to explaining why the Certificate of Need deregulation bill would reduce access to health care and vital community services. When the dust settled on the Session, it appeared they got through. Lobbyists Andreina Figueroa and Brian Jogerst likely earned their keep for that addition. The Mayernick Group — The appropriations-specialty lobby shop parlayed relationships in the Senate to finally knock down the liquor wall for client Wal-Mart.

Also helped take medical marijuana implementing bill as far as logically possible, was in on many other issues and hired Rob Johnson. Waiting to see how much higher they fly in The bill calls for public notification within 48 hours of the incident.

Considering the initial outrage, it could have been much worse for Mosaic. Dana Young and Rep. Panhandle — If the residents of the Panhandle were worried that a slew of fresh faces in the Legislature would leave them out of luck, they were mistaken. The district saw some big wins this year, with the help of several political newcomers. Jay Trumbull who worked to get unanimous approval for the proposal. Give her extra credit for getting the FDOT bill across the finish line, even as it bounced between chambers several times.

She ran a tight ship over in the Senate Majority Office, and kept the trains running on time. A late-in-Session deal, House and Senate leaders agreed to include a provision mandating that public schools, except for charter schools, provide 20 minutes of recess to elementary students. Rural and Family Lands Program — One of the few land acquisition programs that scored money in the budget. Frost, who serves as the vice chairman of the Indian River School Board, traveled to Tallahassee nearly every week of Session, meeting with education chairmen and Speaker Corcoran and President Negron to help hammer out some of the fine points that encompass several of the FCSBM priorities and supported legislation.

Sure, we know it was going on behind the scenes. But, for the most part, the power plays were kept on the down low. Stephanie Smith — You go, girl! After four years of fighting, the Legislature overwhelmingly approved ridesharing legislation and the governor has promised to sign it.

Kudos go to Sen. Jeff Brandes , Reps. And of course, tip your hat to the crack communications teams at On 3 PR for its work repping Uber and Sachs Media Group for its work on behalf of Lyft.

Tip of the hat goes out to the grassroots groups, including the Florida Sugarcane Farmers and farmers in the Everglades Agriculture Area, who also fought for the changes.

Community groups made the trip multiple times to argue to keep their communities intact. His reservoir will get built on state-owned land, saving money, all the while delivering on a promise he made to his coastal constituents. The decision came not at the very last minute, but pretty darn close. Target, Wal-Mart — Tear down that liquor wall! Under the proposal, Wal-Mart and Target, which were big-time backers of the proposal, could add liquor to their shelves as early as But decades after the worst of the abuse occurred, lawmakers finally did what they should have done long ago: Both chambers voted unanimously to approve resolutions acknowledging and apologizing for the abuses children experienced at the school.

The House went one step further, approving legislation that would, among other things, set up memorials to the students in Jackson County and at the Capitol Complex in Tallahassee. Three were beaten in custody and convicted. One was killed on his way to retrial. All of them are now dead, and all of them were wrongfully convicted.

Scott to grant them full pardons. Water remediators, auto glass shops, etc. Lucie rivers, and delivered. He navigated a tough terrain and was able to negotiate a deal that made everyone happy. But at what cost? The Senate appeared beat by the House at every turn. But after umpteen Sessions in the Legislature, his fatigue with the backroom shenanigans is starting to show.

Johns River and Keystone Lakes, a major win for his constituents. Still, give him props for tackling the big issues. Dana Young — Was a big fish in the House pond, but her first year as a member of the upper chamber yielded mixed results.

Earned kudos from her colleagues and environmentalists for her push to ban fracking, but had to explain why she voted for a bill in the House that would have regulated, not banned, fracking. She deftly navigated the process of workshopping five — yes, five! Both bills passed the House, and many of the accountability measures were incorporated into the budget language. But did this Speaker wannabe not read the rules his caucus passed this year? But Rodrigues took heat for giving special interests too much say in drafting the legislation.

Attempts to frame the issue as an economic one failed to move the needle, as did an attempt by Democrats to tack on an amendment to the ride-sharing bill that would give LGBTQ Floridians protections against discrimination. Human rights ordinances have been passed in 12 counties and 30 municipalities throughout the state covering 60 percent of Floridians, and the folks behind Florida Competes are vowing to come back to fight to make sure percent of Floridians are covered by the Florida Civil Rights Act.

Florida Justice Association — The group says its investment in politics played out this Session, as more members were on committees that matched their skillset. The team pushed for fair legislation on workers compensation , assignment of benefits , and mandatory BI, always with an eye on the consumers. While the issues got a significant amount of attention this year, none of them passed.

But that the FJA was able to move the discussion forward, and change some minds along the way, and is a good position for when the issues come back next year or … maybe sooner?

The long-anticipated ride-booking bill strips local governments of their ability to regulate transportation network companies, like Uber and Lyft. A measure giving the Public Service Commission exclusivity in determining underground locations of utility lines and another gutting a Supreme Court ruling that went against them, instead allowing customers to pick up the costs for natural gas exploration projects.

Keep an eye on what they do outside the legislative process this year to work other plays. Insurance industry — Nothing majorly good, but given what the predictions for trial bar valor were, coupled with rumors of the repeal of a tax credit for hiring Floridians, not as bad as expected. Plus, hearing the industry got a few base hits on smaller issues. Save it for Instagram, ladies. University of South Florida — The university scored a nice chunk of change for its Morsani College of Medicine in the final budget proposal.

But a last-minute change to legislation that would have given USF a long-sought-after preeminent distinction could mean the school is years off from reaching the status. Forced to resign after using the n-word, b-word, and calling the Senate President a vulgar word for female genitalia, Artiles created an unwelcome distraction three weeks before the end of the Legislative Session. When it appeared the House was going to give him neither, he started a day campaign to bash members of his own party for voting to eliminate one and slash funding for the other.

While the Legislature shamed Scott, his team thought it best to hide behind closed doors. Kathleen Passidomo that would have stopped assignment of benefit abuses by ending attorney fee paydays.

Instead, her committee advanced a bill by Sen. Gary Farmer that is favored by trial attorneys. Arrested on a DUI charge in March, breath tests measured his blood-alcohol content at 0. He quickly resigned his post as chairman of Health Quality Subcommittee and tried to keep a low profile for the rest of Session.

His bills were swatted down, and his decision to call for an audit of the Tampa International Airport during debate of the Senate budget proposal led to a fight within the regional delegation, and drew the ire of Sen. He probably knows what it looks like. While the House approved a bill that was favored by Altmaier, the insurance industry and business advocates, the Senate refused to hear a similar bill.

Instead, it moved a less industry-friendly bill, which never got to the floor. Aramis Ayala — The State Attorney in the 9th Judicial Circuit found herself in the legislative crosshairs the minute she announced she would no longer seek the death penalty. Central Florida Republicans called on Gov. Scott to suspend her from office, and the governor reassigned 22 first-degree murder cases to State Attorney Brad King.

The one bright spot: Alimony bills — Doomed after Sen. Rene Garcia , the chairman of Children, Families and Elder Affairs, refused to hear the proposal.

The proposal once again tried to toughen standards by which alimony is granted and modified. Have no fear, it will be back: Back-to-school shoppers — Gov. Scott wanted a day, back-to-school sales tax holiday. The Florida House wanted a day, back-to-school sales tax holiday. What is Florida getting? Bingo slot machine manufacturers — We love late-Session sneak attacks. The House caught it, and the effort failed. Bingo slots makers were thisclose to a payday, but alas.

Counties that passed slots referendums — SOL for Session as efforts to pass a gambling bill and extend slot machines tanked in the last week. Pari-mutuel operators continue to pull out what hair they have left. So who else is there to tell us what we can and cannot do? Department of Financial Services — On a week that CFO Jeff Atwater deserved to be going out on a high note, he was overshadowed by news that his Chief of Staff and top deputies gave themselves big, retroactive raises.

Not a good look for a nice guy that deserved better. A top priority for President Negron and c arried by Flores , the proposal would have required law enforcement officers issue a civil citation or require juveniles participate in diversion program when they admit to committing certain first-time, misdemeanor offenses, like possession of alcoholic beverages, criminal mischief and trespass.

The Legislature approved a bill this year to eliminate the agency, after a series of blunders and outcry from public officials. The proposal cleared the House and Senate unanimously, and now heads to Gov.

Scott for his consideration. With the failure of assignment benefits, workers compensation reforms and a host of other reforms, the industry was a circular firing squad of the highest order. After years of asking for too much, they may have to wait for the end of a trial-friendly era if that ever comes to get their reforms through.

Lisa Miller — Did the well-known Tallahassee lobbyist pose as a concerned citizen on a conference call to praise Ohio-based Demotech, Inc. While Morgan reportedly worked with Corcoran to push for no caps, he regularly took to Twitter to bash lawmakers over the bills and even threatened to sue over the smoking ban.

Eli Nortelus — Oh, Eli. Sources close to Nortelus and David Roberts , who resigned at the same time, said they were fired on the first day of Session at the insistence of Walmart. He seemed to bounce back, hanging his own shingle and taking several of his clients with him.

But the liquor lobbyist was popped just days before the end of the Legislative Session for driving under the influence after, according to the Tallahassee Democrat , losing his balance and nearly falling over during a field sobriety test.

She was foiled again by a Republican member of the Miami-Dade delegation. But even if the slew of concealed carry bills got past the Judiciary Committee, they faced a tough path in the Senate. In the end, HB got 1 committee hearing in 1 chamber and passed that committee by 1 vote. Is it just me or was it probably not the best idea to introduce a bill that adds at least 4, new opioid prescribers in a state that is the epicenter for a nationwide opioid epidemic?

Look for the Eyeball Wars to return in For the record, that makes it 3 p. Las Vegas time when Musburger goes live from the sports book at the South Point casino, next to a bank of Shake Your Booty slot machines. Outside his studio's glass-paneled windows on this second day of March Madness, the crowd is transfixed by two things: Only one force holds enough power to break the spell—the year-old Musburger, who over the next two hours attracts a steady stream of selfie-snappers.

Airing daily on SiriusXM, the gambling-centric radio show is called My Guys in the Desert, which was Musburger's old wink-wink way of shouting out to Las Vegas pals while calling games for major networks without ticking off the execs.

Working here requires no such caution. Now Musburger can explore betting trends during a recurring segment with longtime oddsmaker Jimmy Vaccaro called "Follow the Money. Next up was David Stern. That was nonnegotiable as far as he was concerned. By the time Carolyn Goodman took office in , the leagues' positions were softening. In the NFL nixed a Las Vegas tourism commercial from airing during the Super Bowl because, as a league rep wrote to a network executive, "an association between the NFL and gambling For one thing, gambling brings eyeballs.

Look outside Musburger's studio. Every seat on the sports book floor—and there are more than of them—is filled; the nearby bar lounge is at capacity, and some 1, more are squeezed into two ballrooms upstairs. The lines to make wagers ebb and flow in length and steadily replenish. Technology has helped, too. Where concerned execs used to cast betting as a threat to the integrity of competition, more seem to be coming around to the gaming community's longtime stance: Better to actively police corruption than pretend it doesn't exist.

Still, the Golden Knights will skate a fine line. Whether their games will be kept off the local sports books has yet to be announced; the team and league have until 30 days before the season opener to inform Nevada Gaming Control of a decision. MGM may co-own T-Mobile Arena, but no gambling references will appear on-site, and there will be no betting kiosks on the concourse.

Still, that won't stop the team from signing sponsorships with casinos that have sports books. The NHL indicated in December it would allow such arrangements; advertisements are subject to league approval, provided that sports betting isn't explicitly referenced and that the ads don't appear online next to game scores.

These are matters exclusive to the only state with fully legal sports betting. But, Freeman says, "the gambling questions have been asked and answered The issues in Las Vegas are [instead] the same issues that will be asked when you talk about moving a team to Seattle or any other market.

And that's, Can they support a team? I'm thrilled to see that's the question being asked here. Management expected up to 2, locals would come check out season-ticket packages, schmooze with staffers, play some floor hockey on the covered rink. The final count topped 9, By operating around the clock, the team was nodding to the casino industry's endless cycle; a blackjack dealer getting off work at 4 a.

It was a savvy business move. If the Golden Knights are to succeed in fostering a major league fan base where one has never existed, they'll need to woo the permanent Vegas population as much as the visitors. The city has given birth to its share of national sports figures: One of the most prominently displayed pictures in Mayor Goodman's city hall office shows her between the past two National League MVPs.

But Harper and Bryant are exports. What about the natives who stick around? Who am I going to look up to? At the Golden Knights' offices their biggest challenge is the same as every new act in town. You can do anything, especially on a Friday night in Vegas. The Columbus Blue Jackets, one of two teams added during the NHL's last round of expansion, in , are infamous for their deafening artillery that booms following home goals.

Golden Knights president Kerry Bubolz wants something similarly distinct. Is it something like the slot machine noise? It would be foolish to ignore the sources of Sin City's appeal. So far, no problems there. The upper level at T-Mobile Arena features an 18,square-foot nightclub, complete with bottle service, live postgame deejays and bronze lamps shaped like bunnies with bright ideas.

have been

No, make that the Capitol. Constitutional amendment to increase homestead exemption? Dressing down reporters when he got tired of their bellyaching? Oh yes, my friend. Were there some missions not accomplished? And we await what proposed constitutional amendments his appointees to the Constitution Revision Commission start cranking out over the course of the next year. Light up another Montecristo: After years of trying, the St.

He quietly worked behind the scenes throughout Session on a bill that would authorize the Department of Revenue to establish parenting time plans agreed to by both parents in child support actions, which Brandes said would help parents see their children more after a divorce.

The bill passed both chambers in the final days of the Session. He also carried legislation this year to implement the solar tax break constitutional amendment, and even pushed legislation which passed to remove registration requirements for cosmetic companies. If he could accomplish this much in , we can only imagine that is the year Brandes works to get a self-driving car in every garage and a robot in every home.

Danny Burgess — A trial lawyer from New Port Richey, this first-time subcommittee chairman navigated a series of complicated issues fairly, proficiently, and thoroughly, while his Senate counterpart allowed many important issues to capsize. Janet Cruz — The House Democratic Leader from Tampa saw two of her priorities — a vote-by-mail signature fix and a bill to requiring health insurers and HMOs to offer medication synchronization programs — head to Gov.

And they did it all while reportedly being considered for top jobs in the Trump administration: Pepi for a job as the top federal prosecutor in South Florida; Carlos as an ambassador. Greg Steube a run for their money as the snazziest dressers in the Legislature? Bill Galvano — The President-designate has shown leadership, even when the current President seemed timid. Who walked former Sen. Frank Artiles to Sen. Another thing Grant can put in his win column: Dorothy Hukill — A cancer diagnosis might have meant Sen.

The Port Orange Republican was the point person on a host of bills and budget items she filed for her district, played an active role in deciding what got heard in the committee she chaired, and streamed meetings online.

The Senate unanimously passed a bill SB to require a half-credit personal financial literacy course, something she long advocated for, and even named the proposal after her. And the best news of Session: Hukill, according to a letter she sent to Senate President Negron, is cancer free and expected to make a full recovery. Jose Oliva — The Speaker-designate seemed to keep a low public profile this Session, but his impact was always felt. Rarely seen at the big meetings, you can always recognize the influence he had and see his fingerprints.

If folks are worried about the Corcoran era, they ought to start looking beyond. If you thought Corcoran was conservative, Oliva may be downright right-wing. They violated House decorum. He teamed up with Republican Rep. Alex Miller to push legislation to ban the use of steroids in racing greyhounds and joined forces with Republican Rep. Mike Miller to sponsor a resolution to create Pulse Remembrance Day.

He regularly took to the floor to ask members smart questions about their bills, continues to fight for the survivors of the attack at the Pulse nightclub, and was key to forming the Legislative Progressive Caucus. Get this Palm Harbor Republican to put his name on it. He passed five of six member bills, the sixth was amended onto a bill that passed the House.

He helped shepherd two proposed committee bills out of the House, and built a reputation as a consensus builder who can build bridges between factions and soothe egos. No wonder his name is emerging as a choice for Speaker. Sure, it was a large class; but these rookies stood out just as much for the bills they sponsored and their involvement in community issues and initiatives.

A couple of highlights: Kamia Brown and Amy Mercado sponsored a bill to make sure parents who are victims of child domestic violence have the resources they need to ensure their safety; Sen. Randolph Bracy sponsored legislation to require unanimous jury consent in death penalty cases. Scott toured the state scolding House members for their vote to kill the agency, AFP-FL dropped direct mail piece after direct mail piece in support of members. American Petroleum Institute and Dave Mica — Facing bipartisan support for a statewide fracking ban, Mica and his team pulled out all the stops to stop the effort before it gained too much steam.

A Senate bill SB received just one hearing, during the first week of Session when it unanimously passed a friendly committee; while the House measure HB never even made it to its first committee stop. He saved the non-custodial parent employment program, even after the House eliminated it from its budget and the Senate agreed during conferences, by being the only lobbyist to participate in public testimony during budget conferences, a bold move that saved funding.

Dave Aronberg — The Palm Beach County State Attorney and former Democratic state senator and his deputies lobbied hard for a bill that aims to crackdown on sober home corruption , and it worked. The bipartisan bill — which was sponsored by Republican Rep.

Bill Hager and Democratic Sen. Jeff Clemens , and was a top priority for Attorney General Pam Bondi — unanimously passed both chambers and is on its way to the governor. The bill, among other things, creates a certification program for sober homes based on the recommendation of a state-funded task force.

Led by Joe York , J. Oh, and did we mention how much easier it will be to check Twitter? American Traffic Solutions — Call them an early winner. Sure, the House passed a ban; but the Senate rejected a similar ban in a tie vote in an early committee meeting. With conflicting court opinions, we expect the issue — and American Traffic Solutions and its crack government affairs team — will be back before lawmakers when they return in a few months to begin work on issues.

Consistently, methodically, and adeptly out-navigates his counterparts in the Senate. Capital City Consulting — Nick Iarossi and team can add a few more notches to their belts after the Session. The Capital City Consulting team was involved in some of the biggest issues, including representing The Everglades Foundation in its push for southern storage south of Lake Okeechobee, and the Distilled Spirits Council, which fought hard to bring down the liquor wall. Debbie Mayfield and Reps. And now that the Department of Health is responsible for rule-making, expect for these companies to rule the roost for a while.

Charter school advocates — Lawmakers pushed for education reforms this year that could benefit charter schools. A proposal to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on high-performing charter schools to compete with chronically failing public schools.

The claim bill was first filed in , but did not make progress until this year. An emergency medical crew and ambulance are also on standby. With the gambling bill crumbling in the final days of the Legislative Session, the family-friendly resort remains one of the big reasons to come to Florida. Drug-Free America — The Mel Sembler -funded group led the opposition to the medical marijuana constitutional amendment. When the amendment passed with 71 percent of the vote, Drug-Free America put on its bill drafting hats and offered up suggestions to the more conservative House about what to include in the bill.

Many of those provisions were adopted, and for a while, it sounded like the only people who supported the House medical marijuana proposal were the people who opposed the medical marijuana amendment. Duke — With Rep. Turns out, the energy giant ended the Session unscathed. Sure, the issue seemed touch-and-go at times, but it cleared a bunch of hurdles and ultimately ended up passing in a form that won bipartisan support in the House and Senate.

This year, FAHP defeated a proposal to carve out nursing homes and hospices from the long-term care programs. And the big-brewer-backed bill SB all but required brewers to give away glassware to bars and restaurants, creating a cost-driver most smaller beer-makers would have been unable to afford.

Kionne McGhee originally requested for the project in the budget. By pulling together consensus within the industry to overcome a small group of misleading outliers, FHCA convinced legislators to approve a prospective payment system for reimbursement that, after a one-year delay, will create incentives for quality improvements while providing additional funding to carry nursing homes through a three-year transition period.

FHCA also successfully got nursing homes removed from any bills abolishing the certificate of need process, and deflected an attempt by the House to reduce the personal needs allowance that enables nursing home residents to pay for things like haircuts or birthday cards for loved ones. Florida International University — There might be some perks to being from the same neck of the woods as the appropriations chairman.

Just ask Florida International University. Months later, FMEA members came out of the session intact. Aaron Bean and Rep. Jennifer Sullivan makes permanent a pilot program and expands it to include children in out-of-home settings. It might not be much, but every little bit helps to make sure these kids get to enjoy being kids.

John Couris — If your organization is going through a public policy challenge, Couris is the type of guy you want at the helm.

The CEO of Jupiter Medical Center took a very public and thoughtful approach to explaining why the Certificate of Need deregulation bill would reduce access to health care and vital community services. When the dust settled on the Session, it appeared they got through. Lobbyists Andreina Figueroa and Brian Jogerst likely earned their keep for that addition. The Mayernick Group — The appropriations-specialty lobby shop parlayed relationships in the Senate to finally knock down the liquor wall for client Wal-Mart.

Also helped take medical marijuana implementing bill as far as logically possible, was in on many other issues and hired Rob Johnson. Waiting to see how much higher they fly in The bill calls for public notification within 48 hours of the incident. Considering the initial outrage, it could have been much worse for Mosaic. Dana Young and Rep. Panhandle — If the residents of the Panhandle were worried that a slew of fresh faces in the Legislature would leave them out of luck, they were mistaken.

The district saw some big wins this year, with the help of several political newcomers. Jay Trumbull who worked to get unanimous approval for the proposal. Give her extra credit for getting the FDOT bill across the finish line, even as it bounced between chambers several times.

She ran a tight ship over in the Senate Majority Office, and kept the trains running on time. A late-in-Session deal, House and Senate leaders agreed to include a provision mandating that public schools, except for charter schools, provide 20 minutes of recess to elementary students. Rural and Family Lands Program — One of the few land acquisition programs that scored money in the budget. Frost, who serves as the vice chairman of the Indian River School Board, traveled to Tallahassee nearly every week of Session, meeting with education chairmen and Speaker Corcoran and President Negron to help hammer out some of the fine points that encompass several of the FCSBM priorities and supported legislation.

Sure, we know it was going on behind the scenes. But, for the most part, the power plays were kept on the down low. Stephanie Smith — You go, girl! After four years of fighting, the Legislature overwhelmingly approved ridesharing legislation and the governor has promised to sign it. Kudos go to Sen. Jeff Brandes , Reps. And of course, tip your hat to the crack communications teams at On 3 PR for its work repping Uber and Sachs Media Group for its work on behalf of Lyft.

Tip of the hat goes out to the grassroots groups, including the Florida Sugarcane Farmers and farmers in the Everglades Agriculture Area, who also fought for the changes. Community groups made the trip multiple times to argue to keep their communities intact. His reservoir will get built on state-owned land, saving money, all the while delivering on a promise he made to his coastal constituents. The decision came not at the very last minute, but pretty darn close.

Target, Wal-Mart — Tear down that liquor wall! Under the proposal, Wal-Mart and Target, which were big-time backers of the proposal, could add liquor to their shelves as early as But decades after the worst of the abuse occurred, lawmakers finally did what they should have done long ago: Both chambers voted unanimously to approve resolutions acknowledging and apologizing for the abuses children experienced at the school.

The House went one step further, approving legislation that would, among other things, set up memorials to the students in Jackson County and at the Capitol Complex in Tallahassee. Three were beaten in custody and convicted. One was killed on his way to retrial. All of them are now dead, and all of them were wrongfully convicted. Patrick's Day wherever you might be," Brent Musburger says into a microphone, headphones over his ears, a hint of faux brogue in his voice.

It's seven o'clock in New York. Some of you are headed home. You've had a green beer For the record, that makes it 3 p. Las Vegas time when Musburger goes live from the sports book at the South Point casino, next to a bank of Shake Your Booty slot machines. Outside his studio's glass-paneled windows on this second day of March Madness, the crowd is transfixed by two things: Only one force holds enough power to break the spell—the year-old Musburger, who over the next two hours attracts a steady stream of selfie-snappers.

Airing daily on SiriusXM, the gambling-centric radio show is called My Guys in the Desert, which was Musburger's old wink-wink way of shouting out to Las Vegas pals while calling games for major networks without ticking off the execs. Working here requires no such caution. Now Musburger can explore betting trends during a recurring segment with longtime oddsmaker Jimmy Vaccaro called "Follow the Money. Next up was David Stern. That was nonnegotiable as far as he was concerned.

By the time Carolyn Goodman took office in , the leagues' positions were softening. In the NFL nixed a Las Vegas tourism commercial from airing during the Super Bowl because, as a league rep wrote to a network executive, "an association between the NFL and gambling For one thing, gambling brings eyeballs.

Look outside Musburger's studio. Every seat on the sports book floor—and there are more than of them—is filled; the nearby bar lounge is at capacity, and some 1, more are squeezed into two ballrooms upstairs. The lines to make wagers ebb and flow in length and steadily replenish. Technology has helped, too. Where concerned execs used to cast betting as a threat to the integrity of competition, more seem to be coming around to the gaming community's longtime stance: Better to actively police corruption than pretend it doesn't exist.

Still, the Golden Knights will skate a fine line. Whether their games will be kept off the local sports books has yet to be announced; the team and league have until 30 days before the season opener to inform Nevada Gaming Control of a decision.

MGM may co-own T-Mobile Arena, but no gambling references will appear on-site, and there will be no betting kiosks on the concourse. Still, that won't stop the team from signing sponsorships with casinos that have sports books. The NHL indicated in December it would allow such arrangements; advertisements are subject to league approval, provided that sports betting isn't explicitly referenced and that the ads don't appear online next to game scores.

These are matters exclusive to the only state with fully legal sports betting. But, Freeman says, "the gambling questions have been asked and answered The issues in Las Vegas are [instead] the same issues that will be asked when you talk about moving a team to Seattle or any other market.

And that's, Can they support a team? I'm thrilled to see that's the question being asked here. Management expected up to 2, locals would come check out season-ticket packages, schmooze with staffers, play some floor hockey on the covered rink.

The final count topped 9, By operating around the clock, the team was nodding to the casino industry's endless cycle; a blackjack dealer getting off work at 4 a. It was a savvy business move. If the Golden Knights are to succeed in fostering a major league fan base where one has never existed, they'll need to woo the permanent Vegas population as much as the visitors.

The city has given birth to its share of national sports figures: One of the most prominently displayed pictures in Mayor Goodman's city hall office shows her between the past two National League MVPs. But Harper and Bryant are exports. What about the natives who stick around? Who am I going to look up to? At the Golden Knights' offices their biggest challenge is the same as every new act in town.

You can do anything, especially on a Friday night in Vegas. The Columbus Blue Jackets, one of two teams added during the NHL's last round of expansion, in , are infamous for their deafening artillery that booms following home goals. Golden Knights president Kerry Bubolz wants something similarly distinct.

organizations have prepare money

Better to actively police corruption than pretend it doesn't exist. Still, the Golden Knights will skate a fine line. Whether their games will be kept off the local sports books has yet to be announced; the team and league have until 30 days before the season opener to inform Nevada Gaming Control of a decision.

MGM may co-own T-Mobile Arena, but no gambling references will appear on-site, and there will be no betting kiosks on the concourse. Still, that won't stop the team from signing sponsorships with casinos that have sports books. The NHL indicated in December it would allow such arrangements; advertisements are subject to league approval, provided that sports betting isn't explicitly referenced and that the ads don't appear online next to game scores. These are matters exclusive to the only state with fully legal sports betting.

But, Freeman says, "the gambling questions have been asked and answered The issues in Las Vegas are [instead] the same issues that will be asked when you talk about moving a team to Seattle or any other market. And that's, Can they support a team? I'm thrilled to see that's the question being asked here. Management expected up to 2, locals would come check out season-ticket packages, schmooze with staffers, play some floor hockey on the covered rink.

The final count topped 9, By operating around the clock, the team was nodding to the casino industry's endless cycle; a blackjack dealer getting off work at 4 a. It was a savvy business move. If the Golden Knights are to succeed in fostering a major league fan base where one has never existed, they'll need to woo the permanent Vegas population as much as the visitors.

The city has given birth to its share of national sports figures: One of the most prominently displayed pictures in Mayor Goodman's city hall office shows her between the past two National League MVPs. But Harper and Bryant are exports. What about the natives who stick around? Who am I going to look up to?

At the Golden Knights' offices their biggest challenge is the same as every new act in town. You can do anything, especially on a Friday night in Vegas. The Columbus Blue Jackets, one of two teams added during the NHL's last round of expansion, in , are infamous for their deafening artillery that booms following home goals. Golden Knights president Kerry Bubolz wants something similarly distinct.

Is it something like the slot machine noise? It would be foolish to ignore the sources of Sin City's appeal. So far, no problems there. The upper level at T-Mobile Arena features an 18,square-foot nightclub, complete with bottle service, live postgame deejays and bronze lamps shaped like bunnies with bright ideas.

After the recession hit less than a decade ago, highbrow Vegas ceased to exist. Among metropolitan cities nationwide, Las Vegas ranked first in foreclosures.

Which is to say that the challenges have multiplied. Since the Las Vegas economy is tied to tourism, its financial well-being is dependent on the economic health of the whole country and how much people are willing to spend on leisure activities. The Golden Knights also need a television broadcast partner in the country's 40th largest market. And how will they approach the Still, "It's a world-class city now," says Carolyn Goodman.

College football's top award might bear another name if the man it commemorates had had a kinder ancestor. The arrival of Randy Johnson sent the expectations of the Astros and their fans skyrocketing. College football awaited an epic that was supposed to decide the national championship. But it all fell apart when Michigan State faltered after a fast start, and Notre Dame took the easy way out. The Vault is an archive of maintained and curated content by the editors of Sports Illustrated.

For the latest news and scores visit SI. This issue's contents April 10, From Eternity To Here Chunk of Change Terms under which this service is provided to you. Debbie Mayfield and Reps. And now that the Department of Health is responsible for rule-making, expect for these companies to rule the roost for a while. Charter school advocates — Lawmakers pushed for education reforms this year that could benefit charter schools.

A proposal to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on high-performing charter schools to compete with chronically failing public schools. The claim bill was first filed in , but did not make progress until this year. An emergency medical crew and ambulance are also on standby. With the gambling bill crumbling in the final days of the Legislative Session, the family-friendly resort remains one of the big reasons to come to Florida.

Drug-Free America — The Mel Sembler -funded group led the opposition to the medical marijuana constitutional amendment. When the amendment passed with 71 percent of the vote, Drug-Free America put on its bill drafting hats and offered up suggestions to the more conservative House about what to include in the bill.

Many of those provisions were adopted, and for a while, it sounded like the only people who supported the House medical marijuana proposal were the people who opposed the medical marijuana amendment. Duke — With Rep. Turns out, the energy giant ended the Session unscathed. Sure, the issue seemed touch-and-go at times, but it cleared a bunch of hurdles and ultimately ended up passing in a form that won bipartisan support in the House and Senate. This year, FAHP defeated a proposal to carve out nursing homes and hospices from the long-term care programs.

And the big-brewer-backed bill SB all but required brewers to give away glassware to bars and restaurants, creating a cost-driver most smaller beer-makers would have been unable to afford. Kionne McGhee originally requested for the project in the budget. By pulling together consensus within the industry to overcome a small group of misleading outliers, FHCA convinced legislators to approve a prospective payment system for reimbursement that, after a one-year delay, will create incentives for quality improvements while providing additional funding to carry nursing homes through a three-year transition period.

FHCA also successfully got nursing homes removed from any bills abolishing the certificate of need process, and deflected an attempt by the House to reduce the personal needs allowance that enables nursing home residents to pay for things like haircuts or birthday cards for loved ones.

Florida International University — There might be some perks to being from the same neck of the woods as the appropriations chairman.

Just ask Florida International University. Months later, FMEA members came out of the session intact. Aaron Bean and Rep. Jennifer Sullivan makes permanent a pilot program and expands it to include children in out-of-home settings. It might not be much, but every little bit helps to make sure these kids get to enjoy being kids. John Couris — If your organization is going through a public policy challenge, Couris is the type of guy you want at the helm.

The CEO of Jupiter Medical Center took a very public and thoughtful approach to explaining why the Certificate of Need deregulation bill would reduce access to health care and vital community services.

When the dust settled on the Session, it appeared they got through. Lobbyists Andreina Figueroa and Brian Jogerst likely earned their keep for that addition.

The Mayernick Group — The appropriations-specialty lobby shop parlayed relationships in the Senate to finally knock down the liquor wall for client Wal-Mart. Also helped take medical marijuana implementing bill as far as logically possible, was in on many other issues and hired Rob Johnson. Waiting to see how much higher they fly in The bill calls for public notification within 48 hours of the incident.

Considering the initial outrage, it could have been much worse for Mosaic. Dana Young and Rep. Panhandle — If the residents of the Panhandle were worried that a slew of fresh faces in the Legislature would leave them out of luck, they were mistaken. The district saw some big wins this year, with the help of several political newcomers. Jay Trumbull who worked to get unanimous approval for the proposal. Give her extra credit for getting the FDOT bill across the finish line, even as it bounced between chambers several times.

She ran a tight ship over in the Senate Majority Office, and kept the trains running on time. A late-in-Session deal, House and Senate leaders agreed to include a provision mandating that public schools, except for charter schools, provide 20 minutes of recess to elementary students.

Rural and Family Lands Program — One of the few land acquisition programs that scored money in the budget. Frost, who serves as the vice chairman of the Indian River School Board, traveled to Tallahassee nearly every week of Session, meeting with education chairmen and Speaker Corcoran and President Negron to help hammer out some of the fine points that encompass several of the FCSBM priorities and supported legislation.

Sure, we know it was going on behind the scenes. But, for the most part, the power plays were kept on the down low. Stephanie Smith — You go, girl! After four years of fighting, the Legislature overwhelmingly approved ridesharing legislation and the governor has promised to sign it. Kudos go to Sen.

Jeff Brandes , Reps. And of course, tip your hat to the crack communications teams at On 3 PR for its work repping Uber and Sachs Media Group for its work on behalf of Lyft.

Tip of the hat goes out to the grassroots groups, including the Florida Sugarcane Farmers and farmers in the Everglades Agriculture Area, who also fought for the changes. Community groups made the trip multiple times to argue to keep their communities intact.

His reservoir will get built on state-owned land, saving money, all the while delivering on a promise he made to his coastal constituents. The decision came not at the very last minute, but pretty darn close. Target, Wal-Mart — Tear down that liquor wall! Under the proposal, Wal-Mart and Target, which were big-time backers of the proposal, could add liquor to their shelves as early as But decades after the worst of the abuse occurred, lawmakers finally did what they should have done long ago: Both chambers voted unanimously to approve resolutions acknowledging and apologizing for the abuses children experienced at the school.

The House went one step further, approving legislation that would, among other things, set up memorials to the students in Jackson County and at the Capitol Complex in Tallahassee. Three were beaten in custody and convicted. One was killed on his way to retrial. All of them are now dead, and all of them were wrongfully convicted. Scott to grant them full pardons. Water remediators, auto glass shops, etc.

Lucie rivers, and delivered. He navigated a tough terrain and was able to negotiate a deal that made everyone happy. But at what cost? The Senate appeared beat by the House at every turn. But after umpteen Sessions in the Legislature, his fatigue with the backroom shenanigans is starting to show.

Johns River and Keystone Lakes, a major win for his constituents. Still, give him props for tackling the big issues. Dana Young — Was a big fish in the House pond, but her first year as a member of the upper chamber yielded mixed results. Earned kudos from her colleagues and environmentalists for her push to ban fracking, but had to explain why she voted for a bill in the House that would have regulated, not banned, fracking.

She deftly navigated the process of workshopping five — yes, five! Both bills passed the House, and many of the accountability measures were incorporated into the budget language. But did this Speaker wannabe not read the rules his caucus passed this year? But Rodrigues took heat for giving special interests too much say in drafting the legislation.

Attempts to frame the issue as an economic one failed to move the needle, as did an attempt by Democrats to tack on an amendment to the ride-sharing bill that would give LGBTQ Floridians protections against discrimination. Human rights ordinances have been passed in 12 counties and 30 municipalities throughout the state covering 60 percent of Floridians, and the folks behind Florida Competes are vowing to come back to fight to make sure percent of Floridians are covered by the Florida Civil Rights Act.

Florida Justice Association — The group says its investment in politics played out this Session, as more members were on committees that matched their skillset. The team pushed for fair legislation on workers compensation , assignment of benefits , and mandatory BI, always with an eye on the consumers. While the issues got a significant amount of attention this year, none of them passed. But that the FJA was able to move the discussion forward, and change some minds along the way, and is a good position for when the issues come back next year or … maybe sooner?

The long-anticipated ride-booking bill strips local governments of their ability to regulate transportation network companies, like Uber and Lyft. A measure giving the Public Service Commission exclusivity in determining underground locations of utility lines and another gutting a Supreme Court ruling that went against them, instead allowing customers to pick up the costs for natural gas exploration projects. Keep an eye on what they do outside the legislative process this year to work other plays.

Insurance industry — Nothing majorly good, but given what the predictions for trial bar valor were, coupled with rumors of the repeal of a tax credit for hiring Floridians, not as bad as expected.

Plus, hearing the industry got a few base hits on smaller issues. Save it for Instagram, ladies. University of South Florida — The university scored a nice chunk of change for its Morsani College of Medicine in the final budget proposal.

But a last-minute change to legislation that would have given USF a long-sought-after preeminent distinction could mean the school is years off from reaching the status. Forced to resign after using the n-word, b-word, and calling the Senate President a vulgar word for female genitalia, Artiles created an unwelcome distraction three weeks before the end of the Legislative Session.

When it appeared the House was going to give him neither, he started a day campaign to bash members of his own party for voting to eliminate one and slash funding for the other. While the Legislature shamed Scott, his team thought it best to hide behind closed doors. Kathleen Passidomo that would have stopped assignment of benefit abuses by ending attorney fee paydays. Instead, her committee advanced a bill by Sen. Gary Farmer that is favored by trial attorneys.

Arrested on a DUI charge in March, breath tests measured his blood-alcohol content at 0. He quickly resigned his post as chairman of Health Quality Subcommittee and tried to keep a low profile for the rest of Session.

His bills were swatted down, and his decision to call for an audit of the Tampa International Airport during debate of the Senate budget proposal led to a fight within the regional delegation, and drew the ire of Sen.

He probably knows what it looks like. While the House approved a bill that was favored by Altmaier, the insurance industry and business advocates, the Senate refused to hear a similar bill. Instead, it moved a less industry-friendly bill, which never got to the floor. Aramis Ayala — The State Attorney in the 9th Judicial Circuit found herself in the legislative crosshairs the minute she announced she would no longer seek the death penalty.

Central Florida Republicans called on Gov. Scott to suspend her from office, and the governor reassigned 22 first-degree murder cases to State Attorney Brad King. The one bright spot: Alimony bills — Doomed after Sen. Rene Garcia , the chairman of Children, Families and Elder Affairs, refused to hear the proposal. The proposal once again tried to toughen standards by which alimony is granted and modified. Have no fear, it will be back: Back-to-school shoppers — Gov.

Scott wanted a day, back-to-school sales tax holiday. The Florida House wanted a day, back-to-school sales tax holiday. What is Florida getting? Bingo slot machine manufacturers — We love late-Session sneak attacks. The House caught it, and the effort failed. Bingo slots makers were thisclose to a payday, but alas. Counties that passed slots referendums — SOL for Session as efforts to pass a gambling bill and extend slot machines tanked in the last week.

Pari-mutuel operators continue to pull out what hair they have left. So who else is there to tell us what we can and cannot do?

Department of Financial Services — On a week that CFO Jeff Atwater deserved to be going out on a high note, he was overshadowed by news that his Chief of Staff and top deputies gave themselves big, retroactive raises.

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