Incumbents keeping seats on Hillsborough commission

Charlie Crist may not have been a winner in Florida, but another unrelated Crist will stay in elected office in Hillsborough County as Victor Crist won re-election to the county commission. Crist defeated Democrat Elizabeth Belcher 56 percent to 44 percent to get another four years in Hillsborough. However, the race was a lot closer for Crist's colleague, Al Higginbotham, who defeated Democrat … [Read more...]

Election Day is here! And so is everything you need to know

Today is Election Day where Florida will elect a governor, an attorney general, a chief financial officer and an agriculture commissioner among others. Locally, however, voters will have to decide on representatives in Tallahassee, as well as who will represent their interests on the county commission. In last week's print edition of The Laker/Lutz News, we offered an election primer, which you … [Read more...]

Express route to downtown Tampa in jeopardy, HART says

The number of people who depend on HART’s Route 51X connecting Pasco County to downtown Tampa is dwindling. And so is the organization’s money. So it’s probably no surprise to some of the remaining riders that officials with Hillsborough Area Regional Transit want to make some significant changes to the route, possibly removing the express route altogether. But at the very least, adding some … [Read more...]

Commission race an open primary, other candidates qualify

A last-minute write-in candidate almost made the race for the Pasco County Commission District 4 race even more interesting than it already is. However, Grady Peeler Jr., pulled out of the race just as quickly as he entered last week. That leaves just Commissioner Henry Wilson Jr., to defend his seat against Mike Wells Jr., during an open primary in August that will allow all voters — no … [Read more...]

Legg, lawmakers build path to collegiate high schools

High schools have come a long way in preparing students for schools, with Florida especially hanging its hat on dual enrollment opportunities that allow many juniors and seniors to earn college credit before receiving their high school diploma. State Sen. John Legg, R-Lutz, is celebrating a new law signed last week by Gov. Rick Scott that would expand those opportunities into collegiate … [Read more...]

Danish pushing Scott to sign child welfare law

State Rep. Mark Danish, D-Tampa, is urging Gov. Rick Scott to sign a bill into law he says will help strengthen the speed and quality of child abuse and neglect investigations in the state. Danish is pushing S.B. 1666, which includes parts of a House bill he introduced this year, and other child welfare initiatives. The bill quickly made it way through both chambers, receiving no dissenting … [Read more...]

Florida set to ban insurance discrimination of gun owners … again

Although it affects just one of the top five major insurance underwriters in the state, a bill is heading to the desk of Gov. Rick Scott that would prevent property and vehicle insurance companies from discriminating against policyholders who own firearms. S.B. 424 was introduced by state Sen. Tom Lee, R-Brandon, just before Thanksgiving last year, and passed the House Tuesday by a 74-44 … [Read more...]

Lawmakers propose a little help at the gas pump

There are more than 9,000 gas stations in Florida, but only 350 of them offer any type of help for someone who might not be able to pump their gas on their own. Two lawmakers, however, are looking to change that -- and are using Hillsborough County as a model. State Rep. Mark Danish, D-Tampa, has joined forces with state Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, to introduce H.B. 185, which … [Read more...]

Eastern Time, Central Time … Florida Time?

Spring forward. Fall back. Using the seasons as a guide, Americans have used those expressions to figure out when they should set their clocks back an hour, or forward an hour, to switch between standard time and daylight saving time. The debate over whether to continue this decades-old tradition has raged probably as long as it’s existed. And there have been numerous attempts to abolish … [Read more...]