Lightning tax rebate clears house panel

Published April 5, 2007



A bill that would give $2-million a year in additional sales tax rebates for the Tampa Bay Lightning cleared a House panel Wednesday. "We're moving the ball, yard by yard," Rep. Trey Traviesa, R-Tampa, after the vote in the Economic Expansion and Infrastructure Council. But the bill has another stop before reaching the full House. The bill would double the current $2-million the Lightning and other professional sports franchises currently receive. Rep. Susan Bucher, D-West Palm Beach, questioning the appropriateness of giving out hundreds of millions at a time when health care and other services are being cut.

Veterans oppose license plate

A stream of war veterans rose in opposition to a "Save Our Troops" license plate Wednesday in a House council. Retired Maj. John L. Haynes, state commander of the Disabled American Veterans, said Rep. Alan Hays' bill (HB 975) would pad the pockets of a multistate nonprofit group called Save Our Troops Inc. without helping veterans and their families. According to the bill, Support Our Troops Inc., would receive the first $150,000 earned from fees on the plates - more than twice the amount other organizations receive from license plates - plus 25 percent of the total revenue. Rep. Dean Cannon, chairman of the House Council on Economic Expansion and Infrastructure, postponed the bill.

Panel waters down vaccine proposal

The state would recommend - but not require - vaccinating middle school girls against a virus linked to cervical cancer, and distribute information about it through schools, under an amended bill approved Wednesday by a House panel. The Schools and Learning Council rejected a stronger proposal that would have required families to decide one way or the other after receiving the information about human papillomavirus.