Sunshine State News feed en Marco Rubio, Bill Nelson Push for Info on IS Killing Americans <p>On Wednesday, Florida’s two U.S. senators -- Democrat Bill Nelson and Republican Marco Rubio -- joined together with eight other senators to introduce a bill updating the U.S. State Department’s Rewards for Justice Program offering up to $5 million for information on the murder of four Americans by Islamic State (IS) terrorists.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Thu, 26 Feb 2015 17:04:16 +0000 Kevin Derby 5966160 at Educators, School Officials Weigh in on Executive Order to Suspend Standardized Testing Gov. Rick Scott issued an executive order Tuesday to suspend a standardized test for Florida's 11th-graders, prompting state lawmakers to weigh in on the elimination of the Florida Standards Assessment English-language arts assessment.<br /><br />The test was supposed to be given this spring. <br /><br />"Governor Scott's executive order shows that he values feedback from Florida's teachers and parents and will take action necessary to ensure students are prepared for success," said State Board of Education Chair Gary Chartrand. <br /><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Thu, 26 Feb 2015 15:54:06 +0000 Allison Nielsen 5966139 at Gus Bilirakis Takes Aim at Obama's Net Neutrality Plan <p>U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., weighed in on President Barack Obama’s plan to offer more regulations on the Internet on Thursday. Obama’s “net neutrality” proposal is before the Federal Communications Commission on Thursday where it is expected to pass on a 3-2 vote.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Thu, 26 Feb 2015 15:02:17 +0000 Kevin Derby 5966125 at Rick Scott Keeps Maurice Ferre, Kenneth Wright on Transportation Commission <p>Gov. Rick Scott, R-Fla., announced on Wednesday he was keeping former Miami Mayor Maurice Ferre and former Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commissioner Kenneth Wright on the Florida Transportation Commission.</p> <p>When first named by Scott to the Transportation Commission in 2011, Ferre ranked as one of the most high-profile Democrats appointed by the Republican governor. Ferre had broken with his party to back Scott during the 2010 election cycle, backing the Republican candidate over Democratic nominee Alex Sink.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 25 Feb 2015 23:01:47 +0000 Kevin Derby 5965976 at Alan Williams Honored as Legislator of the Year by NBCSL <p>Florida Rep. Alan Williams, D-Tallahassee, was named as the “Legislator of the Year” by the National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL), a group which represents almost 675 lawmakers from 46 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The NBCSL praised Williams for his work on extending voter hours, his efforts to ensure the state Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles educates Floridians on drowsy driving and his role in the creation of a Florida Civil Rights Hall of Fame.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 25 Feb 2015 20:22:41 +0000 Kevin Derby 5965905 at Pam Stewart Announces Committee Members to Review Florida Standards Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart announced Tuesday the 10 other members of a new committee to review the Florida Standards Assessment as well as tackling education issues for the next year. <br /><br />Stewart's announcement comes after Gov. Rick Scott signed an executive order to suspend the state's 11th-grade English-language arts assessment test, which was set to be administered this spring.<br /><br /> <p>Members of the Keep Florida Learning Committee will include:</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 25 Feb 2015 20:10:03 +0000 Allison Nielsen 5965900 at Vern Buchanan Backs TPP, Promotes Free Trade With Asia <p>U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., one of the senior members of the U.S. House Trade Subcommittee, toured Asia last week as part of a trade mission led by U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and highlighted the importance of free trade.</p> <p>Buchanan talked with leaders from Japan, Singapore and Malaysia about the proponed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). During his time in Asia, Buchanan met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and Singapore President Tony Tan.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 25 Feb 2015 19:45:26 +0000 Kevin Derby 5965887 at Ted Yoho: Obama Ignores American People With Keystone XL Veto <p>U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., has been an advocate for the Keystone XL Pipeline, even comparing it to the transcontinental railroad of the 19th century. On Tuesday, Yoho ripped into President Barack Obama for vetoing a bill authorizing the Keystone XL.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 25 Feb 2015 15:32:22 +0000 Kevin Derby 5965767 at Bill Shuster Hits South Florida to Talk Transportation Issues <p>U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., the chairman of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, was in South Florida on Tuesday to meet with U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., and Miami-Dade County Commissioner Esteban Bovo regarding transportation issues in the region.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 25 Feb 2015 15:26:52 +0000 Kevin Derby 5965766 at Dennis Ross Slams Obama for Vetoing Keystone XL <p>U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Fla., part of the Republican leadership as senior deputy majority whip, slammed President Barack Obama for vetoing the Keystone XL Pipeline on Tuesday. <br /> </p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 25 Feb 2015 14:53:23 +0000 Kevin Derby 5965757 at RPOF: Obama Could Learn a Few Things From Rick Scott <p>President Barack Obama hits Florida on Wednesday and state Rep. Blaise Ingoglia, R-Spring Hill, the chairman of the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) said on Tuesday that he would be wise to study Gov. Rick Scott’s playbook. <br /> </p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 25 Feb 2015 14:45:56 +0000 Kevin Derby 5965754 at Barack Obama Heads to Miami to Talk Immigration President Barack Obama is heading to sunny Miami Wednesday to talk about one of the more controversial issues in politics these days: immigration. <br /><br />Obama will be headlining an MSNBC/Telemundo town-hall style meeting at Florida International University, where he will take questions from social media users and attendees on the topic. Last week, a federal judge in Texas ruled Obams exceeded his presidential authority with an executive order to defer deportations for millions living in the U.S. illegally. <br /><br /> The administration said it would appeal the decision. <br /><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 25 Feb 2015 14:05:04 +0000 Allison Nielsen 5965740 at Barack Obama Vetoes Keystone XL Pipeline Bill President Barack Obama vetoed a bill to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline from Canada on Tuesday.<br /><br />"The presidential power to veto legislation is one I take seriously," Obama said in his veto message to the Senate. "But I also take seriously my responsibility to the American people. And because this act of Congress conflicts with established executive branch procedures and cuts short thorough consideration of issues that could bear on our national interest -- including our security, safety, and environment -- it has earned my veto.<p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Tue, 24 Feb 2015 22:13:55 +0000 Allison Nielsen 5965625 at Florida Congressmen Urge Judiciary Committee to Stand Against Loretta Lynch <p>More than 50 Republicans in the U.S. House, led by U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-Okla., are urging the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee to reject President Barack Obama’s nomination of Loretta Lynch as U.S. attorney general.</p> <p>Bridenstine sent a letter to the Judiciary Committee and three congressmen from Florida -- Republican U.S. Reps. Ron DeSantis, Dan Webster and Ted Yoho -- signed on.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Tue, 24 Feb 2015 21:35:37 +0000 Kevin Derby 5965599 at Vern Buchanan Urges Congress to Stand Up to FCC on Net Neutrality <p>U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., came out swinging against President Barack Obama’s call for Net neutrality and an increasingly regulated Internet.</p> <p>On Tuesday, Buchanan said if the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) votes on Thursday to implement the new regulations, he would lead the fight in Congress to overturn the decision. The FCC is expected to vote 3-2 on Thursday to implement the new regulations.</p> <p>"The Internet is working fine,” Buchanan said. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Tue, 24 Feb 2015 15:55:22 +0000 Kevin Derby 5965472 at Marco Rubio Telling Supporters He'll Run for President, New York Times Reports <p>Ashley Parker over at the New York Times is reporting that U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is telling supporters that “he is committed to running for president, not re-election to the Senate” in 2016 despite former Gov. Jeb Bush, R-Fla., also expected to run for the Republican nomination.</p> <p>Parker writes:</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Tue, 24 Feb 2015 14:52:15 +0000 Kevin Derby 5965449 at Jeb Bush's Rise Comes at Chris Christie's Expense <p>Nate Cohn over at the <a href=";abg=1&amp;_r=0">New York Times</a> makes the case that former Gov. Jeb Bush, R-Fla., has one major factor helping his chances to become the Republican presidential nominee: the collapse of Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Tue, 24 Feb 2015 14:45:21 +0000 Kevin Derby 5965447 at Florida Chamber to Hold Capitol Days in Tallahassee The Florida Chamber will be hosting its annual Board of Governors Capitol Days in Tallahassee next week, tackling a number of the hottest topics in the Sunshine State.<br /><br />The Board of Governors Capitol Days will be held March 4-6 at the Turnbull Center at Florida State University.<br /><br />The event will include speakers scheduled to talk about key topics such as Florida’s long-term water policy as well as the Florida Chamber’s plan for smarter health care coverage and solutions to change Florida’s title as a “judicial hellhole.”<br /><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Mon, 23 Feb 2015 21:54:32 +0000 Allison Nielsen 5965296 at Florida Department of Education Names Top Principal, Assistant Principal for 2015 <p>The Florida Department of Education named the top principal and assistant principal of 2015 Monday at the Commissioner's Summit for Principals in Orlando.<br /><br />Candidates were nominated by the superintendent from their respective school district. <br /><br />The winner of the state's top principal went to Dr. Angela Murphy-Osborne of Palmetto Elementary School in Orange County. Murphy-Osborne raised the grade of her elementary school from an "F" to an "A" in just a single year. She is also the current Orange County Principal of the Year.<br /></p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Mon, 23 Feb 2015 21:05:10 +0000 Allison Nielsen 5965276 at Florida Congressmen Help Start Coastal Communities Caucus <p>The Coastal Communities Caucus is launching in Congress with two Florida congressmen helping organize the new group. The new caucus will focus on issues facing Americans who live on America’s coastlines.</p> <p>U.S. Rep. David Jolly, R-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Fla., announced on Monday they were two of the eight founders of the caucus. The two Florida congressmen offered their reasons why the new group was needed.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Mon, 23 Feb 2015 20:23:06 +0000 Kevin Derby 5965261 at Jeb Bush Swings Away at Obama's Foreign Policy in Video <p>Right to Rise, a PAC affiliated with former Gov. Jeb Bush, R-Fla., released a Web video at the end of last week attacking President Barack Obama’s foreign policy.</p> <p><div class="pp_media alignnone"><div class="emvideo emvideo-video emvideo-youtube"><div id="media-youtube-1" class="media-youtube"> <div id="1" class=" swfobject">Sorry, you need to install flash to see this content.</div> </div> </div></div></p> <p>The video features a series of news clips focusing on current international crises before turning to Bush making the case for “strong American leadership” on the global stage.</p> <p>Bush is exploring running for the Republican presidential nomination.</p> Mon, 23 Feb 2015 15:23:55 +0000 Kevin Derby 5965157 at Debbie Wasserman Schultz Accused of Changing Position on Medical Marijuana for Donations <p>U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and a potential U.S. Senate candidate in 2016, is in trouble as noted trial attorney and Democratic supporter John Morgan is accusing her of offering to change her position on medical marijuana for campaign donations.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Fri, 20 Feb 2015 14:57:16 +0000 Kevin Derby 5964505 at Ileana Ros-Lehtinen Wants Obama to Stand Up to Maduro Regime <p>U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., one of the leading Republicans dealing with foreign affairs in the U.S. House and chairwoman of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, took aim at the Maduro regime on Thursday, noting increased actions against democratic activists in Venezuela this week.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Fri, 20 Feb 2015 14:15:34 +0000 Kevin Derby 5964497 at Florida Department of Health Sees Leadership Changes <p>On Wednesday, Dr. John Armstrong, secretary of Health and surgeon general of Florida, named Kim Barnhill as Deputy Secretary for County Health Systems, moving her from her post as chief of staff. Jennifer Tschetter, currently the Department of Health’s general counsel, will take Barnhill’s place as chief of staff. In the meantime, Danny Hernandez, who had been deputy general counsel, will take Tschetter’s place on an interim basis.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Thu, 19 Feb 2015 14:30:51 +0000 Kevin Derby 5964167 at Carlos Curbelo: Congress, Not Obama, Needs to Lead on Immigration <p>U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., weighed in on U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen putting a stop on President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration on Wednesday, insisting Congress needs to take action instead of the White House.</p> <p>“It is my firm belief that Congress, not the president, must address our nation's immigration concerns by working towards a broader solution, rather than an executive order,” Curbelo said. “Judge Hanen's ruling underscores the perilous legal ground the president has to stand on in trying to justify his executive orders."</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Thu, 19 Feb 2015 14:25:18 +0000 Kevin Derby 5964165 at Jeff Atwater Brings In New Team Members <p>Florida CFO Jeff Atwater announced some changes in his leadership team on Wednesday.</p> <p>Jon Miller, currently director of government, community relations and development at Keiser University is taking over as communications director. Miller is well-known in Florida politics and worked for Craig Miller (no relation) during that Republican’s efforts to win a U.S. Senate or congressional seat. Ashley Carr remains the deputy communications director and spokeswoman for the department.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 18 Feb 2015 23:01:36 +0000 Kevin Derby 5964022 at Rick Scott Names Doug Holder to Sarasota Manatee Airport Authority <p>On Wednesday, Gov. Rick Scott named former state Rep. Doug Holder to the Sarasota Manatee Airport Authority. Holder will serve in that capacity until 2018.</p> <p>Having faced term limits in the House back in 2014, Holder is looking to get back to Tallahassee, running for the Senate seat currently held by Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice, in 2018 when she faces term limits. Holder does not have an open shot at this early stage in the contest as Rep. Ray Pilon, R-Sarasota, filed to run for the Senate seat last month.</p> Wed, 18 Feb 2015 22:35:16 +0000 Kevin Derby 5964014 at NRCC Lists Gwen Graham, Patrick Murphy as Top Targets in 2016 <p>The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) unveiled its top targets for 2016 on Wednesday with two members of the Florida delegation on the list.</p> <p>With 19 Democratic incumbents in their sights, the NRCC is taking aim at U.S. Reps. Gwen Graham and Patrick Murphy in the Sunshine State.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 18 Feb 2015 18:02:33 +0000 Kevin Derby 5963882 at All Aboard Florida Foes Insist Rail Project Will Lose $100 Million Annually Citizens Against Rail Expansion in Florida (CARE FL) came out swinging at All Aboard Florida (AAF) on Wednesday, releasing a report which insists AAF will face losses of $100 million a year. <p>“For months now, homeowners and residents in the communities CARE FL represents have repeatedly expressed their concerns about the proposed rail project and the adverse impact it will have on the communities along the way,” said Bill Ward, the chairman of CARE FL.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 18 Feb 2015 15:47:28 +0000 Kevin Derby 5963837 at Reggie Fullwood Returns to the Florida House <p>A familiar face is returning to Tallahassee as Democrat Reggie Fullwood won a special election for the Florida House seat he was forced to vacate after he failed to make the ballot last year due to papers not being filed correctly.</p> <p>Fullwood took 56 percent of the vote on Tuesday, beating Republican Lawrence “Jeff” Jefferson by almost 1,100 votes to take the seat which represents parts of Duval County.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 18 Feb 2015 14:55:21 +0000 Kevin Derby 5963827 at