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A federal judge Tuesday morning overturned a 2008 state law that increased registration fees and requirements for travel agencies specializing in trips to Cuba.

U.S. District Court Judge Alan S. Gold's decision comes just a day after the Obama administration announced lifting several travel restrictions to Cuba -- allowing Cuban exiles to visit the Island more than once a year, pushing for use of cellphones on the island and easing requirements for remittences to relatives.

In question was the 2008 Sellers of Travel Act approved by the state Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Charlie Crist. The act required travel agencies in Florida selling trips to Cuba to post up to a $250,000 bond and pay up to $25,000 in registration fees.

Local travel agencies decried the measure as unfair because their financial requirements were nearly 10 times the amount of agencies not selling trips to Cuba or any of the countries listed as terrorist nations by the U.S. State Department.

Despite Gold's decision, Rep. David Rivera, a Miami Republican who sponsored the law, said any decision could potentially be appealed.

(Miami Herald)

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