‘Predatory’ gambling expansion easily passed by Legislature
Pro-life measures fail, tax exemptions retained

TALLAHASSEE (FBW)—An expansion of gambling pro-family leaders deem “predatory” easily passed May 8 as the Florida Legislature concluded its extended annual session.

Legislature easily passes gambling expansion
Storms praised as ‘hero’

TALLAHASSEE (FBW) – The Florida Legislature today easily passed legislation that pro-family leaders decry as a “predatory” expansion of gambling in the Sunshine State.

Legislative leaders agree to expand gambling
Pro-family leaders: ‘largest expansion of predatory gambling’ in Florida history

TALLAHASSEE (FBW) – Only hours after legislative gambling negotiations had seemingly reached an impasse yesterday, the Florida House of Representatives made its “final offer” and the Senate accepted.

Gambling talks in limbo after Senate reverses course
Bunkley urges House to ‘hang tough’

TALLAHASSEE (FBW) – After the Florida House of Representatives made major concessions in the last two days of negotiations with the Senate seeking to reach a compromise on gambling legislation, the Senate abruptly reversed course today, moving significantly closer to its original position – and possibly ending the negotiations.

Baptists asked to urge Speaker to reject gambling deal

TALLHASSEE (FBW) – Contending Florida House Speaker Larry Cretul will be the “final arbiter” of whether there is a major expansion of gambling in the Legislature this year, Bill Bunkley is asking Florida Baptists to contact Cretul immediately and urge him to oppose gambling expansion.

House offers ‘full-blown casino’ at Seminoles’ Broward facility
Final outcome may rest in hands of Speaker, Senate President

TALLAHASSEE (FBW) – In what a Florida Baptist leader considers a major concession, the Florida House of Representatives has offered to allow banked card games – including blackjack – at the leading Seminole Tribe facility in its counter-offer to Senate negotiators during a May 1 gambling conference committee.

Senate proposes ‘full throttle gambling,’ Bunkley says
Thursday may be ‘significant day’ in gambling expansion outcome

TALLAHASSEE (FBW) – Late Wednesday Senate gambling conferees made their first “offer” to their House of Representatives counterparts as members of the Florida Legislature negotiate their differing approaches to gambling expansion.

Bunkley urges immediate action against gambling expansion
Florida Baptist legislative consultant says mere ‘hours’ may be left for action

TALLAHASSEE (FBW) – With the announcement by Florida legislative leaders of an agreement on the budget and one-week extension of the 60-day session, pro-family leaders are urging immediate action by concerned citizens against a possible gambling expansion.

Florida Legislature poised to pass major gambling expansion
Bunkley notes other legislative concerns

TALLAHASSEE (FBW)—As the Florida Legislature enters its final two weeks of the annual legislative session a major expansion of gambling is getting closer to reality, while Florida Baptist Convention legislative consultant Bill Bunkley is urging legislators to “Just Say No” to all gambling bills.

Florida House overwhelmingly approves gambling expansion

TALLAHASSEE (FBW) — The Florida House of Representatives passed by wide margins April 21 two bills to expand gambling in the Sunshine State.

Florida Legislature poised to pass major gambling expansion
Bunkley notes other legislative concerns

UPDATE, April 20,11:00 a.m.

TALLAHASSEE (FBW) – As the Florida Legislature enters its final two weeks of the annual legislative session a major expansion of gambling is getting closer to reality, while Florida Baptist Convention legislative consultant Bill Bunkley is urging legislators to “Just Say No” to all gambling bills.

Senate passes Seminole gambling compact as Crist negotiates new agreement
Bunkley urges Florida Baptists to action

UPDATE, April 16, 4:00 p.m.

TALLAHASSEE (FBW) – The Florida Senate began to move the Sunshine State towards a major expansion of gambling with its adoption April 16 of a gambling compact with the Seminole Tribe.

Legislature to debate gambling expansion bills; Crist negotiating new Seminole compact
Bunkley urges Florida Baptists to action

TALLAHASSEE (FBW) – Both houses of the Florida Legislature are poised to begin consideration of differing gambling expansion packages for the Seminole Tribe and pari-mutuels throughout the state.

House panel approves pari-mutuel gambling expansion; Senate poised to debate
Bunkley urges Florida Baptists to action against gambling bills

TALLAHASSEE (FBW) – A committee in the Florida House of Representatives approved an expansion of gambling for pari-mutuel facilities throughout the state April 13, less than two weeks after adopting legislation for a new gambling compact with the Seminole Indian Tribe.

Legislators urged to reject ‘predatory’ gambling
Senate, House committees adopt differing bills

TALLAHASSEE (FBW)—Pro-family leaders, joined by two former legislative leaders, decried “predatory” gambling under consideration in the Florida Legislature and urged legislators to reject as “fool’s gold” gambling expansion to balance the state budget in a March 27 news conference.

Expert: Gambling fails cost-benefit analysis

TALLAHASSEE (FBW)—Casino-style gambling under consideration by the Florida Legislature to balance the state budget actually creates more governmental costs than tax benefits an expert in gambling economics told a House panel March 27.

Bunkley summarizes non-gambling legislation of interest

TALLAHASSEE (FBW) – As the Florida Legislature passed the mid-way mark of the 60-day annual legislative session, Florida Baptist legislative consultant Bill Bunkley gave Florida Baptist Witness an overview of matters he’s watching in the final month.

Legislators urged to reject ‘predatory’ gambling
Senate, House committees adopt differing bills

UPDATED, April 3

TALLAHASSEE (FBW) – Pro-family leaders, joined by two former legislative leaders, decried “predatory” gambling under consideration in the Florida Legislature and urged legislators to reject as “fool’s gold” gambling expansion to balance the state budget in a March 27 news conference.

Expert: Gambling fails cost-benefit analysis

TALLAHASSEE (FBW) – Casino-style gambling under consideration by the Florida Legislature to balance the state budget actually creates more governmental costs than tax benefits an expert in gambling economics told a House panel March 27.

Legislators urged to reject ‘predatory’ gambling
Senate, House committees consider differing bills

TALLAHASSEE (FBW) – Pro-family leaders, joined by two former legislative leaders, decried “predatory” gambling under consideration in the Florida Legislature and urged legislators to reject as “fool’s gold” gambling expansion to balance the state budget in a March 27 news conference.

A sucker’s bet on the Seminole compact
Editorial

Bunkley urges panel to keep exemption for Bibles
Religious items on repeal list offered to Senate panel

TALLAHASSEE (FBW)-At a time when many citizens are turning to churches and religious organizations to meet needs created by the economic recession, Florida Baptist Convention legislative consultant Bill Bunkley urged legislators to retain the sales tax exemption on religious items.

House panel clears abortion ultrasound bill
Last year’s Senate bill was rejected in dramatic 20-20 tie

TALLHASSEE (FBW)—A bill that would require an ultrasound image be shown to a woman considering an abortion in the first trimester cleared a panel in the House of Representatives March 18, the first of three committee stops for the measure which narrowly failed in the 2008 legislative session.

House panel clears abortion ultrasound bill

TALLHASSEE (FBW) – A bill that would require an ultrasound image be shown to a woman considering an abortion in the first trimester cleared a panel in the House of Representatives March 18, the first of three committee stops for the measure which narrowly failed in the 2008 legislative session.

Bunkley urges panel to keep exemption for Bibles
Religious items on repeal list offered to Senate panel

UPDATED, March 13

TALLAHASSEE (FBW) – At a time when many citizens are turning to churches and religious organizations to meet needs created by the economic recession, Florida Baptist Convention legislative consultant Bill Bunkley urged legislators to retain the sales tax exemption on religious items.

Bunkley urges panel to keep exemption for Bibles
Prospects dim for repeal of sales tax exemptions

TALLAHASSEE (FBW) – At a time when many citizens are turning to churches and religious organizations to meet needs created by the economic recession, Florida Baptist Convention legislative consultant Bill Bunkley urged legislators to retain the sales tax exemption on religious items.

Bills may jeopardize sales tax exemptions for churches, Bibles
Governor calls for ‘quick approval’ of Seminole compact

TALLAHASSEE (FBW)—Sweeping legislation possibly jeopardizing sales tax exemptions enjoyed by churches, religious organizations, religious schools, parochial schools and other charities has been introduced in both houses of the Florida Legislature, which began its 60-day legislative session March 3.

Bills may jeopardize sales tax exemptions for churches, Bibles
Governor calls for ‘quick approval’ of Seminole compact

TALLAHASSEE (FBW) – Sweeping legislation possibly jeopardizing sales tax exemptions enjoyed by churches, religious organizations, religious schools, parochial schools and other charities has been introduced in both houses of the Florida Legislature, which began its 60-day legislative session March 3.

Bunkley urges legislators to reject gambling expansion
Pari-mutuels ask for ‘level playing field’

TALLAHASSEE (FBW)—Florida Baptist Convention legislative consultant Bill Bunkley on Feb. 12 urged a committee studying the governor’s invalidated gambling compact with the Seminole Tribe to resist gambling expansion to ease the state’s financial pain at the expense of “increasingly deseperate” citizens.

Florida Baptists urged to ‘closely monitor’ Legislature

TALLAHASSEE (FBW)—With a looming budget deficit anticipated to dictate much of the action of the annual state legislative session, Florida Baptist Convention legislative consultant Bill Bunkley is urging Florida Baptists to evaluate budget priorities “through the lens of God’s principles and His priorities”—and to urge the Legislature to do the same.

‘Accidental speaker’ sees instead God’s hand in his life
Cretul says Seminole compact should remain within the law

TALLAHASSEE (FBW) – Rep. Larry Cretul, R-Ocala laughs at the suggestion of some that he is the “accidental speaker” of the Florida House, although he will take that high office only because of the unexpected departure of Speaker Ray Sansom.

A gambling expansion ‘perfect storm’
Editorial

The Florida Legislature concludes this week its special session called to balance the state budget, wisely rejecting new gambling revenue as a means of closing the 2008-2009 budget deficit. Nevertheless, citizens concerned about the detrimental effects of gambling expansion on our society should not be so confident about the coming regular legislative session.