Blogs from around the state

Naked Politics Senate poised to approve concealed carry law

Following pointed questions from a small handful of Democrat opponents, Florida senators Wednesday set themselves up to consider concealed carry legislation, likely in the chamber’s session next Tuesday

The bill (S.B. 290) by Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, would decriminalize carrying a concealed weapon while evacuating an emergency. A similar bill did not pass last year.

Naked Politics Senate poised to approve concealed carry law

Following pointed questions from a small handful of Democrat opponents, Florida senators Wednesday set themselves up to consider concealed carry legislation, likely in the chamber’s session next Tuesday

The bill (S.B. 290) by Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, would decriminalize carrying a concealed weapon while evacuating an emergency. A similar bill did not pass last year.

Naked Politics Broward Sen. Chris Smith seeks Gov. Scott's help for project

Gov. Rick Scott regularly holds one-on-one meetings with members of the Legislature, and they're usually Republicans. But Scott has agreed to meet Wednesday with Democratic Sen. Chris Smith of Fort Lauderdale, who wants to head off potential Scott opposition to his plan to secure state money for a project to increase the number of African-American police officers in Florida.

"I want to deal with him on the front end," Smith said.

Naked Politics House bill opens door to sheriffs housing more state prisoners

Florida’s sheriff-run jails would be the beneficiaries of the fallout of Florida’s troubled prison system under a bill passed unanimously Wednesday by a House committee that would allow courts to keep inmates in county jails for up to two years to avoid entering the state’s prison system. 

PolitiJax Debate primer 2: Mayoral candidates meet again

Programming note: In case you haven't heard, there's some obscure basketball game tonight. The good news is you can watch the game and catch debate highlights by following me on Twitter: @NateMonroeTU


Post on Politics Trump: ‘I am the only one who can make America truly great again!’

When he flirted with a presidential run four years ago, Donald Trump spoke at a 2011 tea party rally in Boca Raton.

Naked Politics AP: Jeb Bush rejects idea of federal minimum wage hike

From the Associated Press:

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said Tuesday that minimum wage increases should be left to businesses and state governments, opposing a hike in the federal pay floor as an impediment to individuals trying to escape from poverty.

Naked Politics Florida Gov. Rick Scott thinking of U.S. Senate run

via @adamsmithtimes

But don't panic Jeff Atwater or Carlos Lopez Cantera. Gov. Rick Scott has told top fundraisers he's interested in running in 2018 - when Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson's third term ends - not 2016, when Scott will still be in the middle of his second term.

Naked Politics AP: Marco Rubio says he'd 'absolutely' defy European allies on Iran

From the Associated Press:

WASHINGTON -- Florida Sen. Marco Rubio says that if elected president, he would "absolutely" defy stalwart European allies if necessary in order to revoke an Iranian nuclear deal he might inherit from President Barack Obama.

Naked Politics Andrew Korge to run for Florida Senate, setting up potential match-up against David Richardson


Andrew Korge, the son of prominent Miami Democratic fundraiser Chris Korge, intends to run for the Florida Senate whenever incumbent Gwen Margolis' seat becomes open.

Post on Politics 531 days from primary, Florida Democratic Senate race taking shape

Democrats Murphy, Grayson, Crist, Wasserman Schultz.

The 2016 primary is more than 17 months away, but key maneuvers are already being made by Democrats in the race for the seat of Sen. Marco Rubio, who’s expected to leave for a presidential run.


Naked Politics Wednesday: Five things to watch in Tallahassee

Another jam-packed day awaits in the Florida Legislature Wednesday as lawmakers debate guns, schools and water.
Here are five things to watch:
* The Senate convenes its first session since opening day to take up a series of bills including one to move Florida's presidential primary to the third Tuesday in March for 2016, SB 7036. 
* The Senate will also take up a bill by Sen

Post on Politics Drone privacy bill advances

A bill that would prohibit law enforcement, state agencies or individuals from using drones to photograph or record people on private property passed the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee by a unanimous vote on Monday.

Naked Politics Miami-Dade mayor scores win in mega-mall vote


Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez won a lopsided vote Tuesday approving a land deal needed to bring the nation's largest mall to the Miami area.

County commissioners approved spending $12 million of the developer's money to obtain 82 acres of real estate from Florida. Developer Triple Five, owner of the Mall of America, needs the land to complete a 200-acre assemblage near Miami Lakes and Hialeah.

Post on Politics Health expansion on collision course with House

House Speaker Steve Crisafulli

A Senate budget panel unanimously approved a plan Tuesday to expand health insurance to 800,000 low-income Floridians, continuing the measure on a collision course with fellow Republican leaders in the House.

Naked Politics Texas Tribune: On Jeb Bush's early years in Texas

From the Texas Tribune:

Before Jeb Bush was a likely White House contender, or the governor of Florida, or a wealthy real estate broker, a banker, a college tennis player or even a pot-smoking prep school student — before all of that, he was in the newspaper business.

Naked Politics Maybe ex-Florida congressman's crisis management firm could help Illinois rep who resigned

via @learyreports

The sudden but not entirely surprising resignation today of Illinois Rep. Aaron Schock was a reminder of the scandal that fell Florida Rep. Trey Radel.

Naked Politics House Amendment 1 plan long on land management, short on parks, trails

Amendment 1 supporters got the first real indication on Tuesday of how lawmakers would interpret the new constitutional requirement to buy and improve conservation land.

And the reviews aren't good.

Naked Politics Jeb Bush sharpens Obama critique in South Carolina

From the Associated Press:

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- On his first extended trip to South Carolina this year, Jeb Bush on Tuesday blasted President Barack Obama as a failed leader and pitched himself as a principled conservative who gets things done.

Naked Politics Florida Senate pitches modest increase in education funding


The Florida Senate education appropriations subcommittee has released its budget plan, just one day after the House unveiled its version.

The Senate proposal includes a 3 percent increase in per student funding, to $7,122.85. That's just slightly below the House recommendation of $7,130, a number aimed at setting a historic level (not accounting for inflation).

But like the House, the Senate comes in short of the $7,176 that Gov. Rick Scott wanted.

Post on Politics Palm Beach County Commissioner McKinlay plays working mom in Tallahassee

Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay is in Tallahassee this week — but primarily as a mom.



Naked Politics Judge rules that DOC 'gag order' followed the law, dismisses lawsuit

In another blow to the inspectors at the Department of Corrections inspectors who have attempted to call attention to abuse and cover-ups in the prison system, a Tallahassee judge ruled Tuesday that the agency did not violate the law when it ordered employees to sign a new confidentiality agreement. 

Naked Politics Alternative to Medicaid expansion moves swiftly through the Florida Senate

A second Senate panel on Tuesday approved a proposal to extend federally-subsidized healthcare coverage to nearly one million poor residents.

The plan -- known as the Florida Health Insurance Affordability Exchange Program, or FHIX -- would create a state-run private health insurance marketplace. Participants would have to pay small monthly premiums and meet a work requirement.

Post on Politics Wasserman Schultz joins Crist in ruling out 2016 Senate run


U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston, will run for re-election in 2016 rather than launch a U.S. Senate bid, she told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer today.


Her announcement comes a day after former Gov. Charlie Crist, the Democrats’ 2014 gubernatorial nominee, announced he’s not running in 2016.


Naked Politics Rubio, others push more White House action on Venezuela


A bipartisan panel of the U.S. Senate applauded a recent move by the White House to sanction the Venezuelans cracking down on protesters in that country, but they said much more could be done.

PolitiJax Former mayor Jake Godbold endorses Mayor Alvin Brown for re-election

Former mayor Jake Godbold on Tuesday endorsed Mayor Alvin Brown for re-election.
Godbold said Brown is well-positioned to move the city forward, has worked effectively with JAX Chamber on job creation, and has forged strong relationships at the state and federal level.
Godbold didn’t support Brown in 2011. But Godbold said Brown is well positioned to move the city forward and he supports his re-election.

Naked Politics No U.S. Senate run for Debbie Wasserman Schultz


There will be no Debbie Wasserman Schultz for Senate campaign, the Weston Democrat said Tuesday, adding that she will instead seek reelection to her congressional seat in 2016.

PolitiJax John Peyton endorses Lenny Curry for mayor

Leaving no news cycle unchallenged, Republican Lenny Curry rolled out an endorsement Tuesday from former Mayor John Peyton, the two-term Republican predecessor to Mayor Alvin Brown who has stayed largely quiet on city politics since leaving office in 2011.

"I know what it takes to lead the city and I believe Lenny Curry's experience, skills and passion more than qualify him to handle tis important job," Peyton said in a statement. 

Naked Politics Ousted FDLE chief Gerald Bailey met with federal prosecutors

Ousted FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey on Tuesday confirmed a report that he met with the U.S. attorney’s office in Tallahassee this month.

Bailey said he met with prosecutors at their request for more than an hour on March 5. He declined further comment.

Post on Politics It’s tea party versus tea party on solar energy proposal

Jim Kallinger, president of Florida Faith & Freedom Coalition

A proposed ballot initiative to encourage solar energy use in Florida drew some attention when it was unveiled in January by having tea party activists among its leaders.