Blogs from around the state

Naked Politics Florida Senate finds compromise on student testing

Florida lawmakers may have found a middle ground on the controversial subject of student testing.

A Senate panel tweaked its testing bill Wednesday so that the results of this year’s Florida Standards Assessments would not be used to determine whether third-grade students can be promoted to the fourth grade, or high-school students can graduate until an independent review of the exam is conducted.

Post on Politics Palm Beach County Commissioner Priscilla Taylor to run for Patrick Murphy House seat

Democratic Palm Beach County Commissioner Priscilla Taylor plans to run for the open congressional seat of Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter, who announced this week that he’s running for the seat of Republican Sen. Marco Rubio.


Naked Politics When Jeb Bush helped launch the rescue operation for Ethiopian Jews

From Alex Leary of the Tampa Bay Times:

Jeb Bush this week has worked to assert his pro-Israel credentials after criticism from the right surfaced over comments James Baker, an adviser to Bush’s presidential campaign in waiting, made about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Naked Politics Opa-locka taxpayers may foot legal bills for commissioner’s corruption case


Taxpayers may end up paying the legal bills for Opa-locka City Commissioner Terence Pinder, who served probation on minor charges after his arrest in a corruption case.

Naked Politics GOP group says Patrick Murphy voted for free health care for life for Congress

The 2016 Senate race in Florida officially kicked into high gear March 23 when U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter, became the first major candidate to announce he will run for Sen. Marco Rubio’s seat.

Naked Politics Senate Medicaid expansion plan inches forward

A third panel approved the Senate's proposed alternative to Medicaid expansion.

But things got dicey Wednesday when the Senate Appropriations Committee discussed the bill (SB 7044).

As Health Policy Chairman Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach, walked his colleagues through the proposal, several powerful senators became engaged in intense side conversations. The discussions grew so large that the committee went into an impromptu recess.

OS Political Pulse PPP Poll: Murphy, Grayson close, as is any non-Rubio Senate race

A new poll from Public Policy Polling finds that if U.S.Sen. Marco Rubio decides to not seek re-election, then the race would be wide open. For the Democrats, U.S. Reps.

Post on Politics Charlie Crist endorses Patrick Murphy for Senate

Charlie Crist, himself a former U.S. Senate candidate, has endorsed Patrick Murphy’s 2016 bid, announced this week, to either replace or unseat U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio.

“As everyone knows, I have always made my priority putting the people of Florida first,” Crist said Wednesday in an email.  “Next November I think it is essential that we elect a leader to the United States Senate who will do the same.”

Naked Politics Charlie Crist endorses Patrick Murphy for U.S. Senate

Former Gov. Charlie Crist endorsed U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter, for U.S. Senate today.

“Patrick Murphy has the energy, integrity, and work ethic we need in the United States Senate,” Crist wrote on Facebook. “I hope you'll join me in supporting his campaign.”

Post on Politics Rebecca Negron ‘seriously considering’ run for Patrick Murphy’s House seat

Martin County School Board member Rebecca Negron

Naked Politics In Texas, the Bush family chases campaign cash together

From Tampa Bay Times Washington Bureau Chief Alex Leary:

Jeb Bush's race for cash takes him to Texas Wednesday to begin a series of fundraisers featuring his family.

George W. and Laura Bush will attend a fundraiser in Dallas today. On Thursday, George H.W. and Barbara Bush will attend one in Houston.

Post on Politics Palm Beach County Commissioners discuss 2015-2016 budget today

Palm Beach County Commissioners take their first serious look at the 2015-2016 budget this morning during a “retreat” at the Palm Beach County Convention Center.

The county historically holds budget workshops in June and July and formal hearings in September, with a final vote in late September.

Naked Politics NY TIMES: Radio and TV Martí, U.S. Broadcasters to Cuba, Emerge From Cold War Past Facing Uneasy Future


The Martís are illegal on the island, and President Raúl Castro has made their shutdown a condition of normalizing relations with the United States.


Naked Politics WEDNESDAY: Things to know in Tallahassee

The 23rd day of the 60-day session is here. It’s not halfway yet, so there’s still no light at the end of the tunnel. But that’ll give everyone time to mull over just how far apart the House and Senate budgets are when lawmakers begin discussing them later today.

Five things:

PolitiJax Jefferson in early lead in sheriff's race, followed by Holderfield and Williams

With roughly 100,000 votes counted, Ken Jefferson has jumped to a significant lead in the seven-way race for Jacksonville Sheriff.

Jefferson, a retired officer, leads two retired directors with about 37 percent of the vote. Retired Patrol Director Mike Williams is second with 21 percent and retired Corrections Director Jimmy Holderfield is close with about 19 percent.

Post on Politics Senate panel would expand those eligible for long-delayed medical marijuana

Charlotte’s Web pot was supposed to be ready in January.

Florida’s long-delayed effort to make a strain of medical marijuana available to patients could be advanced under a measure approved Tuesday by a state Senate panel.

Naked Politics Legislators advance different prison plans while some House members seek compromise

As the Florida House and Senate advanced vastly different prison plans on Tuesday, some House leaders hinted that there may be room for compromise.

Naked Politics Fretting privacy violations, lawmakers advance drone bills

Trying to preempt privacy concerns with the growing technology, the Florida House and Senate are moving forward with bills regulating the use of drones.

The unmanned aircraft have wide-ranging possible uses, including for a same-day delivery plan announced by, storm chasing, search-and-rescue missions and recording overhead video.

Naked Politics Scorecards so far for Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Hillary Clinton and other presidential contenders

Ted Cruz announced his intention to run for president on Monday, formally kicking off the 2016 race for the White House. In the coming weeks and months, we expect more candidates to announce.

Post on Politics Social media reacts to Patrick Murphy’s Senate announcement

Both Republicans and Democrats were swift to react on social media to U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy’s announcement he will run for Marco Rubio’s Senate seat in 2016, regardless of whether or not Rubio runs for president (as many expect he will).

See what people had to say.

Naked Politics Carlos Curbelo to formally kick off reelection campaign


U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo will officially launch his reelection campaign in South Miami on Monday, a day before the end of the year's first fund-raising quarter.

Naked Politics House unveils $690 million tax cut plan, further split with Senate

Florida House leaders unveiled a $690 million package in tax cuts on Tuesday that further highlights a schism with the Senate on Medicaid expansion.

“We’re eager for the Florida senate to join us in our desire to cut taxes,” said the chairman of the House finance and taxation committee, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach.

About $15 million more than what Gov. Rick Scott proposed to cut in taxes in January, the House plan would:

OS Political Pulse Senate to Obama: We don't like new Cuba policy

TALLAHASSEE --  After sometimes-emotional discussion, the Florida Senate went on the record Tuesday opposing President Obama's decision to open diplomatic relations with Cuba.

Post on Politics House sends message to Senate with $690 million tax cut plan

House proposes $690 million tax cut package

The House unveiled a$690 million package of proposed tax cuts Tuesday — topping Gov. Rick Scott’s already robust tax-slashing plan and seeming to defy a Senate uneasy about the state’s finances.

Naked Politics Florida Senate votes to oppose U.S.-Cuba relations

In an emotional speech Tuesday, Sen. Anitere Flores, R-Miami, asked her fellow lawmakers to oppose President Obama’s recent decision to open up diplomatic relations with Cuba.

All but one agreed.

Naked Politics Fact-checking SeaWorld's claim about whales

More and more, critics are making the case that keeping killer whales in captivity is harmful to the animals and dangerous for the people who train them. SeaWorld, the theme park that showcases the trained whales, is now fighting back.

Post on Politics Bill banning powdered alcohol now supports sale

An amendment filed Monday to a House bill that would have banned powdered alcohol proposes to tax and regulate its sale.

Post on Politics Oops! Ted Cruz doesn’t own

Screen grab of

Yesterday, Sen. Ted Cruz became the first Republican to announce his candidacy for president in 2016.

Naked Politics House adjourns committee without taking up bill to sheild tobacco industry

The Florida House Civil Justice Subcommittee adjourned its meeting early on Tuesday, with time to spare, but did not take up a bill intended to shield the tobacco industry from punitive damages in thousands of pending cases from injured Florida smokers. 

Post on Politics Palm Beach County mayor smacks down former legislator

One former state legislator took a shot at another Tuesday during contentious Palm Beach County commission discussion of the future of the agricultural reserve.