Pensacola, Florida
Sunday October 21st 2018


Winners & Losers 3/10/16

Grover Robinson
The chairman of the Escambia Board of County Commissioners rallied elected officials and business leaders across Northwest Florida to challenge the Florida House Appropriations chairman’s attempt to take away from Triumph Gulf Coast the $300 million in BP settlement funds. In the end, chairman Richard Corcoran blinked and denied he ever intended to do it. The temptation is too great, so Robinson and others must stay vigilant.

Clay Ingram
The Florida House and Senate have passed companion bills that categorically outlaw synthetic drugs, such as Spice. Rep. Ingram sponsored the HB 1347 that passed unanimously. Attorney General Pam Bondi praised him and Sen. Wilton Simpson, the Senate bill sponsor, for their efforts. Having passed favorably in both the House and Senate, this legislation will now go before Gov. Rick Scott.

Gene Valentino
His company, CollectorSolutions, Inc., has signed a merger agreement with the JetPay Corporation, the Berwyn, PA-based provider of ecommerce debit and credit card processing, payroll and human capital management, and prepaid card services. According to the press release, CSI is expected to bring approximately $700 million of annual credit and debit card processing volume and approximately $4.50 billion of annual e-check processing volume to JetPay. Valentino started the company in 1999.

Florida’s Citrus Industry
The citrus industry has experienced a 71-percent decline in citrus production since the 1997-98 season. Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam has issued a crisis declaration to the Environmental Protection Agency in order to help the citrus industry fight citrus greening, which has caused the decline. The crisis declaration allows for the temporary use of three promising treatments that researchers have identified as having beneficial effects on controlling citrus greening.

Teens and Prescription Drug Abuse
A recent study by the University of Florida found that 88 percent of teens who used/ abused prescription drugs, like Adderall, Concerta and Ritalin, in the past 30 days said they had obtained the medications from someone else. When taken incorrectly, these stimulants can increase blood pressure, heart rate and body temperature and decrease sleep and appetite, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Mississippi House of Representatives
The Florida House leaders aren’t the only state lawmakers that covet BP settlement funds. Recently, the Mississippi House passed by a wide margin a plan to spend $50 million of the BP settlement monies to repay bonds on statewide projects, such as the repair of the state’s highways and bridges. Fortunately, the bill is likely to be killed in the Senate.