Blogs from around the state

Naked Politics Senate panel votes to confirm Florida's chief healthcare administrator

A Senate panel threw its support behind Florida’s top healthcare administrator Wednesday, but only after grilling her for more than 60 minutes about the deepening impasse over the healthcare budget.

The Senate Ethics and Elections Committee voted 8-1 to recommend that Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Elizabeth Dudek keep her job.

Naked Politics Gardiner tells Gov. Scott his tax cuts are 'on the shelf' in Senate

Senate President Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, had a phone conversation with Gov. Rick Scott Wednesday about the session's budget stalemate.

OS Political Pulse House Speaker: Legislature likely headed for overtime over Medicaid impasse

TALLAHASSEE – Lawmakers will likely need a special session to resolve a deadlock between the House and Senate over health care spending, House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, R-Merritt Island, said Wednesday.

Naked Politics Miami asks Hollywood, Boca Raton to pay for downtown Tri-Rail station

via @NewsbySmiley

Miami city officials really, really want to help build a Tri-Rail station downtown -- and they want cities in Broward and Palm Beach counties to foot part of the bill.

On Wednesday, Miami's Chief Financial Officer Fernando Casamayor sent out letters to 11 municipalities to the north asking for money to help fund the $69 million project.

Post on Politics Will Weatherford not part of Florida GOP post-Atwater Senate landscape

Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, left, is one of the Republicans who could run for Sen. Marco Rubio’s seat in 2016.

Naked Politics Jeb Bush's claim about gun permits in Florida

Facing a long list of GOP presidential contenders at the National Rifle Association’s annual convention, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush touted his own pro-gun rights record.

Bush took a friendly jab at another potential presidential contender in the room:

Naked Politics Will Weatherford's a no for Marco Rubio's Senate seat

@PatriciaMazzei

Former Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford won't be following in Marco Rubio's footsteps -- at least not yet.

Weatherford ended speculation Wednesday that he might run for Rubio's U.S. Senate seat next year.

Naked Politics House lets Senate take the lead on film incentives

The House is deferring to the Senate in an overhaul of tax credits to lure TV and film projects to Florida.

Set to consider amendments to its proposal (HB 451) Wednesday, House leadership postponed the bill while it watches how the upper chamber moves forward.

“We’re assessing what’s going on in the Senate with the issue,” Speaker Steve Crisafulli, R-Merritt Island, said. “We have every intention of moving that along.”

Naked Politics How Marco Rubio might step up his presidential game

via @LightmanDavid @CAdamsMcClatchy

WASHINGTON -- Marco Rubio is the Republican presidential field’s all-star newcomer, who looks great on paper and has limitless potential — but he’s also untested, unproven and unlikely to vault to the head of the crowded pack anytime soon.

Naked Politics Marco Rubio sticks up for tax plan to conservative critics

via @learyreports

Newly minted presidential candidate Marco Rubio on Wednesday defended a tax proposal that has come under attack from conservatives as a budget busting handout and political gambit to win votes from the middle class.

Naked Politics Miami commissioner talking tunnel from MIA to US1

via @NewsbySmiley

Miami Commissioner Francis Suarez thinks local politicians have buried their heads in the sand for years when it comes to addressing South Florida's traffic woes. He'd rather bury the traffic.

Post on Politics Marco Rubio and Hillary Clinton: A tale of two presidential launches

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio during a break in a Monday night interview with Sean Hannity of Fox News, one of at least seven he’s done with national media outlets since launching his 2016 presidential campaign.

Post on Politics Judge won’t rehear Palm Beach County Inspector General suit

Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Catherine Brunson says in an April 9 order she won’t allow a rehearing on her March 12 ruling rejecting a suit by 14 cities over their paying for Palm Beach County’s Office of Inspector General.

Naked Politics Miami-Dade hiring a new county attorney

@doug_hanks 

Robert Cuevas, county attorney for Miami-Dade, is retiring later this year, according to the office of County Commission chairman Jean Monestime

OS Political Pulse Scott pollster: Public split on Medicaid expansion

TALLAHASSEE – A poll commissioned by Let’s Get to Work, Gov.

Naked Politics Florida: Keep Medicaid expansion, LIP separate

One day after a top federal official informed Florida that the future of the Low Income Pool is tied to Medicaid expansion, Florida Medicaid Director Justin Senior sent a letter back, saying the two healthcare funding issues should be kept separate.

OS Political Pulse 6 members of Congress ask feds to release hospital funds

TALLAHASSEE  — Six Republicans in Congress are asking federal officials to release hospital funding that is now caught up in a legislative battle over Medicaid expansion.

Post on Politics Gang of Six Republicans defends Scott, House in Medicaid fight

U.S.Sen. Marco Rubio and five GOP Congress members wrote Obama administration

A handful of Republican members of Congress are coming to the defense of Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida House in their battle with the Obama administration over expanding health insurance and federal funding for state hospitals.

Naked Politics Scott, Cabinet, news outlets head to mediation in Sunshine case

After two months of behind-the-scenes legal combat, the attorneys for Gov. Rick Scott, all three Cabinet members and most major Florida news outlets will try to mediate their differences in a lawsuit that accuses the four state officials of violating the Sunshine Law.

OS Political Pulse Bush, Rubio, Christie, others to speak at Disney

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and five of their likely rivals for the Republican presidential nomination including Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker will be speaking at an economic summit hosted at Walt Disney World in June by Gov.

Naked Politics Rubio's bad analogy about borrowing 'like it's 1999'

Sen. Marco Rubio confirmed his 2016 presidential campaign Monday, but an apparent musical analogy in his announcement speech was a bit off key. During a speech in which he implied his opponents were too old, Rubio accused the competition of wanting to recycle ideas "stuck in the 20th century."

Post on Politics Commissioners pleased with administrator selection process

A job mixing south Florida sunshine and a financially healthy county – not to mention the possibility of a $250,000 per year salary – was sure to draw a candidate or two.

Naked Politics WEDNESDAY: Five things to watch on Wednesday

Tensions remain high in Tallahassee as the verbal arrows fly over the fate of the state’s handling of health insurance for the uninsured.  Meanwhile, the House will meet in a full sessionWednesday but much of the action will be in the Senate.

Here are five things to watch:

Naked Politics Tension mounts in Tallahassee over Medicaid expansion, hospital funding

Federal health officials turned up the pressure on Florida Tuesday, saying the future of $1.3 billion in federal funding for hospitals that treat low-income patients is tied to whether the Legislature expands Medicaid.

Naked Politics South Florida doctor already facing corruption charges with Bob Menendez also accused of Medicare fraud

via @jayhweaver

Charged just weeks ago in a political corruption case with a U.S. senator, West Palm Beach eye doctor Salomon Melgen was arrested late Tuesday on new Medicare fraud offenses involving more than $190 million in billing to the taxpayer-funded program.

Naked Politics Key legislator wants prison inspector general fired

A House committee took aim at the state’s chief prison inspector Tuesday, first accusing Jeffery Beasley of failing to properly investigate suspicious inmate deaths, then approving a plan to make it easier for the Department of Correction’s secretary to fire him and his staff.

Post on Politics Business, health care, religious leaders — even Obama admin — turn up pressure on Scott, House

Senate’s health expansion sparks GOP civil war

Naked Politics They agree on this: Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio want Cuba to remain on terror list

@PatriciaMazzei

President Obama's decision Tuesday to no longer consider Cuba a terrorist nation prompted sharp rebukes from newly declared Republican presidential contender Marco Rubio and one of his likely rivals, Jeb Bush.

Naked Politics Miami's Cuban-American members of Congress slam Obama over Cuba terror designation change

@PatriciaMazzei

The trio of Miami Cuban-American Republicans in Congress -- Reps. Carlos Curbelo, Mario Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen -- were quick to denounce the White House's decision Tuesday to remove Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism. Congress has 45 days to block the action, if it can find enough support -- a veto-proof majority -- to do so, which seems unlikely.

Naked Politics Back in Washington, Rubio pushes international issues and protections for Israel

@CAdamsMcClatchy

In his first day back in Washington after announcing his run for the presidency, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio waded in on international issues dealing with Iran, Israel and Cuba, in both cases pushing back against actions the administration has taken.