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12 posts from April 5, 2013

April 05, 2013

Things To Know for Friday's Legislative Session

It's the end of the week and most lawmakers have already headed home. Here are a few things to watch in Tallahassee on Friday:
-The Legislative Black Caucus will hold a rally at the Old Capitol to support Medicaid expansion, followed by a workshop on the issue.
-Later in the evening, the Black Caucus holds its 20th annual gala.
-State analysts will look into the financial impact of several bills and budget items, including a proposed tax break for converting vehicles to natural gas (HB 579) and online sales tax (SB 316).
-First Lady Ann Scott will kick off Child Abuse Prevention Month at an event at the Governor's Mansion.
Tia Mitchell (Herald/Times Tallahassee Bureau)

Gimenez: "We're no closer to a deal tonight than...when they walked in"


Here's some video from Mayor Carlos Gimenez making remarks to reporters after ducking out of a negotiating session with the Miami Dolphins at County Hall. The mayor would return later that night for talks that went on past midnight and ended with Gimenez telling CBS4: "We're no closer to a deal tonight than we were when they walked in."

County Hall and the Dolphins are negotiating the particulars on how Miami-Dade could subsidize part of a renovation of Sun Life Stadium by raising a county hotel tax. 


Gimenez's office lobby has a nice view of Marlins Park, and the mayor made a point of saying the deal he is trying to close with the Dolphins won't resemble the deal his predecessor closed with the Marlins in 2009. Click here for the story, and a clip of Dolphins CEO Mike Dee's own remarks to the press. 

Gimenez made the remarks on this video around 7:30 p.m. Channel 10 reported during its 11 p.m. broadcast Thursday that Dee and Gimenez aides were still talking behind closed doors, and that the session was expected to go on well past midnight. 

UPDATE: CBS4's Brian Andrews reported Friday morning that he and his camera crew were the only ones still on the scene when negotiations broke up hours earlier. A CBS4 producer said the talks broke up around 12:45 a.m.

"We're no closer to a deal tonight than we were when they walked in," Gimenez told Reynolds. "It's about a return on investment, and it's about contribution and what we get back. Those are the sticking points." 

Dee said talks will resume Friday. "We made a lot of progress,'' Dee said. "We've had a great dialogue with the county, and we will continue that tomorrow."

And by tomorrow, he meant later today. The talks started at 3 p.m. Thursday. No dinner break either; both sides ordered pizza.

The plan is for the County Commission to meet Tuesday to schedule a referendum on whatever deal Gimenez negotiates with the Dolphins, and the mayor has said he wants to give commissioners the details at least two days ahead of time. That would give both sides another two or three days to reach a compromise and still stay roughly on schedule.

Douglas Hanks