Blogs from around the state

Post on Politics More Lake Okeechobee water headed to threatened waterways

Lake Okeechobee water releases prompting more concerns

The latest water release from Lake Okeechobee prompted environmentalists Thursday to call for stepped-up, land-buying efforts to blunt the flow of pollutants into already troubled water bodies.

PolitiJax State university system opposes guns-on-campus legislation

The State University System has made its strongest statement to date against a proposal that would allow concealed weapons on campuses. Today, the 12 universities, their police chiefs and the Board of Governors that oversees them issued this joint statement:

PolitiJax Lenny Curry wants audit of city finances if elected mayor

Amid increased talks in recent weeks about tax hikes and Jacksonville finances, Republican mayoral challenger Lenny Curry says he'd call for a 90-day audit of City Hall finances if elected, and he would oppose tax increases or issuing new debt until that review is complete.

OS Political Pulse Rand Paul to keynote Lincoln Dinner

U.S. Sen.

Naked Politics Jeb Bush hires New Hampshire adviser

via @learyreports

Jeb Bush took his first decisive step toward competing in New Hampshire's presidential primary today by hiring well-known operative Rich Killion as an adviser to his Right to Rise PAC.

Bush will also travel to the Granite State on March 13-14, according to spokeswoman Kristy Campbell.

Naked Politics Proposal would prevent tuition hikes at Florida graduate schools

Last year, Republican Gov. Rick Scott made holding the line on college tuition a top priority.

This year, he's turning his focus to graduate schools.

OS Political Pulse Local congressmen ready for ISIS fight

Most of Central Florida's U.S. Senate and Congress members are ready to fight the Islamic state, though they're taking different positions on President Barack Obama's proposal to authorize military force. U.S. Rep.

Naked Politics Democratic-leaning firefighters union likes Jeb Bush

via @LightmanDavid

Courting political power brokers at a recent closed-door meeting, Jeb Bush included one unlikely face.

OS Political Pulse Film industry fighting for tax money

Film and entertainment industry representatives want Florida lawmakers to show them the money.

Naked Politics U.S. senators introduce bill to lift embargo, open trade with Cuba


In another step in the process to thaw relations with Cuba, a group of lawmakers on Thursday introduced legislation to lift the trade embargo that has existed with the country for decades.

The legislation comes two months after the White House announced its plans to normalize relations with Cuba, and two weeks after a group of lawmakers introduced legislation to relax travel restriction between the U.S. and Cuba.

Naked Politics Alcee Hastings' Pants on Fire claim about shooting bears

Crazy ol’ Texas, a Democratic congressman from Florida said and reaffirmed last week, initially noting the Republican-led Lone Star state left it to the federal government to set up its online marketplace for residents to shop for health insurance in keeping with the Obamacare law.

Post on Politics Democrat Sachs joins Scott to push tax cuts on cell phones, textbooks

Scott and Sachs at FAU today.

BOCA RATON — Democratic state Sen. Maria Sachs joined Republican Gov. Rick Scott at Florida Atlantic University today to promote Scott’s proposed tax cuts on cell phones and college textbooks.


Post on Politics Workers aren’t keeping pace with retirees in Florida, report shows

Florida’s number of workers won’t keep pace with rising retirees, report says.

Naked Politics DNC convention will be held in Philly, after RNC meets in Columbus

via @AP

Democrats have selected Philadelphia as the site of the party's 2016 national convention, choosing a patriotic backdrop for the nomination of its next presidential candidate.

The Democratic National Committee said Thursday the convention will be held the week of July 25, 2016. The two other finalists were Brooklyn, New York, and Columbus, Ohio.

Naked Politics Miami quietly holds Marine Stadium groundbreaking ceremony


The city of Miami's press office announced Thursday morning that the city held a Tuesday groundbreaking for a $16 million project to create an outdoor event space at the Miami Marine Stadium grounds.

Why is this worth mentioning?

Naked Politics WaPo: Defining the Marco Rubio-Jeb Bush relationship

The Washington Post interviewed U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio about his connection to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, now that both men are thinking about running for the Republican presidential nomination.

Post on Politics Scott visits Boca Raton to promote textbook, Bright Futures plans at FAU

FAU grad student Ashley Herbert appeared with Gov. Rick Scott and Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera last month to highlight a proposal to eliminate sales taxes on college text books.

Post on Politics Democrats say House water protection plan needs muscle

House water protection bill needs more, Democrats say

Democrats today are expected to urge Republican leaders to strengthen a sweeping water protection bill seen as a priority of Florida House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, R-Merritt Island.

Naked Politics Bill proposes tax appeal reform sought by Miami-Dade County school board

Naked Politics Jones defends 'gag order' as attempt to help fix inspector woes

Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Julie Jones defended her recently-imposed "confidentiality agreement" on prison inspectors Wednesday, telling a House committee the new rule was "more or less a good housekeeping piece" and "not intended as a gag order."

Naked Politics Florida lawmaker wants Legislature to rebuke new Cuba policy

State Rep. Manny Diaz, Jr., R-Hialeah, on Wednesday filed a proposal to "expresses disagreement with [the] decision of federal government to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba."

Naked Politics No ban, but using a phone and driving is on chopping block

Could this be the start of a ban on using a phone while driving in Florida?

A bill (H.B. 9) put forward by Rep. Irving Slosberg, D-Boca Raton, would expand the state’s definition of vehicular homicide, a felony, to include traffic deaths while using a “wireless communications device.”

Naked Politics Tampa Rep. Janet Cruz in line for leadership post

The 38-member House Democratic Caucus will hold a special meeting next week to elect Rep. Janet Cruz, D-Tampa, as its next leader, succeeding Rep. Mark Pafford of West Palm Beach, who will hold the post through 2016.

PolitiJax Jacksonville City Council District 10 incumbent receives endorsements

Incumbent Reggie Brown, a Democrat, recently received three major endorsements in his bid to continue representing District 10 on the Jacksonville City Council.

He faces challengers, Celestine Mills, also a Democrat, and Joseph L. Willis, nonpartisan, in the race.

Naked Politics Police body camera bill under fire for privacy concerns

As police and sheriff's departments across the state, including in Pasco County, consider requiring their officers to wear body cameras while on duty, a bill to regulate how the technology is rolled out is taking flak for failing to address privacy concerns.

Naked Politics Negotiations continue for LIP hospital funding

@kmcgrory @mikevansickler

The state continued its negotiations with the federal government on Wednesday in an effort to preserve funding for hospitals that treat large numbers of poor and uninsured patients.

Florida had previously relied on a pot of money known as the Low Income Pool, or LIP. But the $2.2 billion program is scheduled to expire later this year, under an agreement between the state and federal government.

Naked Politics Both Florida senators back Obama war authorization against ISIS


President Obama formally asked Congress Wednesday to authorize the use of military force against the Islamic State, a group also known as ISIS or ISIL. Though U.S. airstrikes have gone after the group since last summer, congressional approval would bolster the administration's legal war authority.

Post on Politics Mixed Florida reaction to Obama’s request for military authority vs. ISIS


Post on Politics Push to get tougher on texting-while-driving gets poignant supporter

Boca Raton Rep. Irv Slosberg got surprise support Wednesday for his latest effort to toughen Florida laws against texting-while-driving.

Pompano Beach Mayor Lamar Fisher told the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee he came to Tallahassee just days before the one-year anniversary of his 77-year-old mother’s death to urge passage of Slosberg’s bill making it a felony to cause someone’s death while texting behind the wheel.

PolitiJax Jacksonville City Council District 10

Incumbent Reggie Brown, a Democrat, faces challengers Celestine Mills, also a Democrat, and Joseph L. Willis, nonpartisan, in the District 10 race for Jacksonville City Council.

Representing the district since 2008, Brown is well ahead of his challengers when it comes to campaign contributions, according to financial disclosure records on file at the Duval County Supervisor of Elections Office.