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Students Propose Law to Protect Youngsters in Cars

March 25, 2010

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Some Tampa-area students said if they were lawmakers, they would ban smoking in vehicles when a child is present.

Today the students got a chance to present the idea to a House committee.

The bill was filed by Rep. Kevin Ambler as part of a school program called "There Ought to be A Law," which invites high school students to come up with their best ideas and draw up the legislation.

'Sexting' penalties for minors may be loosened in Florida

March 24, 2010

TAMPA, FL -- "Sexting" is a popular trend where teens blend phone "texting" and racy, nude pictures. But in Tampa Bay and beyond, "sexting" is seen as a serious crime.

"We needed to revisit our existing law to make sure we weren't pulling children into a dragnet," said State Representative Kevin Ambler from Tallahassee.

This is what happened to an Orlando teen that fired-off nude photos of his girlfriend to her family and friends in a moment of anger. Now you can find 18-year old Phillip Alpert's mug shot on Florida's Sexual Offender Registry. Alpert was convicted and sentenced for distributing child pornography.

GOP-proposed tax credits would be sellable perk

March 24, 2010

TALLAHASSEE — Most of the tax credits that Florida Republicans would use to attract film companies to the state would be cashed in by well-established corporations such as Wal-Mart, Sherwin-Williams or Bank of America.

"At least 50 percent of those credits," said Rep. Kevin Ambler, R-Tampa. "And quite honestly, based on my knowledge of the film industry, it's probably going to be more like 80 to 90 percent."

Ambler's bill, which could be worth up to $75 million, would thrust Florida into what one investor described as the "exploding market" of sellable, or "transferable," tax credits.

new health care laws

March 23, 2010

Channel 7 News

The new health care laws will cost Florida a billion dollars a year by 2019, according to a report by the Agency for Health Care Administration. The cost will go up because more Floridians will qualify for Medicaid. Supporters of the new regulations say it will save the state in the long run because more people will be getting cheaper preventative care.

Florida Takes Giant Step Forward Toward Passing 'Child Abduction Prevention Act' Bill

March 22, 2010

Today in Tallahassee, the House of Representative’s Committee on ‘Public Safety And Domestic Security Policy’, led by Committee Chairman Kevin Ambler, voted Unanimously on child advocate and House Representative Darryl Rouson’s House sponsored bill known as ‘The Child Abduction Prevention Act’ (HB787).

Juvenile Justice Reform Bill Passes House Public Safety & Domestic Security Policy Committee

March 16, 2010

Tallahassee -- The Florida House Public Safety & Domestic Security Policy Council has unanimously passed PCB PSDS 10-02, the Department of Juvenile Justice's (DJJ) Juvenile Justice Reform Bill. This broad and ambitious legislation continues reforming Florida's juvenile justice system by providing greater access to rehabilitative options for troubled children, and addresses the over-representation of minority youth in the juvenile justice system compared to the general population. Among its measures, the legislation diverts children 9 years old and under into more appropriate services in DJJ. It also formalizes an existing specialized Residential program as an option when it is necessary to keep young mothers and their babies together. Last year, the program served 40 girls with infants.

Proposed Bill Passes to Prohibit Release of 911 Calls to Public

March 10, 2010

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- When you call 911, how sure are you that the call will be handled properly?

A proposed bill at the state Capitol is prompting opposition from people who say the plan would make it harder to hold emergency dispatchers accountable for their performance on the job.

Today, a committee of state lawmakers passed legislation that would prohibit 911 recordings from being released to the public.

Tax Group Urges Florida to Join Internet Sales Tax Agreement

March 10, 2010

A watchdog group is urging Florida lawmakers to join nearly two dozen states that have signed an agreement aimed at making it easier to require out-of-state Internet and mail-order merchants to collect sales tax from their residents.

out-of-state merchants to escape Florida's sales tax

March 8, 2010

Tampa Tribune

Mar. 8, 2010 (McClatchy-Tribune Regional News delivered by Newstex) -- There is nothing conservative about allowing out-of-state merchants to escape Florida's sales tax. It shows contempt for the law, increases the need for other fees and taxes and penalizes in-state retailers who create jobs and pay a variety of local taxes.

State weighs collecting tax for Web sales

March 5, 2010

When's the last time you mailed the state a check for the sales tax due on a purchase on or Legally speaking, that's what Florida residents who make purchases from out-of-state online retailers and portals are supposed to do if the business does not collect it at the point of sale.

Opening night at Gasparilla International Film Festival

March 5, 2010

The 2010 Gasparilla International Film Festival kicked off last night at the historic Tampa Theatre in downtown Tampa. After months of planning for the GIFF's marquee event, the volunteers and members of the board all saw their tremendous efforts pay off. A night of meeting industry professionals, seeing a Sundance winning flick, and mingling with people who are passionate about filmmaking highlighted the night.


March 4, 2010

The Entertainment Industry Economic Development Act has unanimously passed the House Economic Development Policy Committee. HB 697, sponsored by Representatives Steve Precourt, Jennifer Carroll, and Kevin Ambler, is an innovative proposal to stimulate job growth within the state of Florida. The tax credit program, also sponsored by Senate President-Designate Mike Haridopolos, levels the playing field for Florida to once again compete in the emerging economic cluster of film and digital media production.

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