Blogs from around the state

Florida Politics Rubio says VA should be able to fire senior officials


Post on Politics Gambling expansion “not in the cards,” Senate told

Senate Gaming Chairman Garrett Richter addressed the Senate Thursday, telling his colleagues that proposals to revamp gambling in Florida are dead for this session.

Although the session has just passed its midpoint, Richter said what had become increasingly clear: There are just too many moving parts to the issue.

“Comprehensive reform is not in the cards this session,” Richter, R-Naples, told the Senate.

Post on Politics In wake of preventable veteran deaths, Rubio touts legislation to hold top VA officials accountable

Sen. Marco Rubio joined House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and House Veterans Affairs Chairman Jeff Miller, R-Pensacola, today to tout legislation that would allow the Veterans Affairs secretary more authority to fire or demote senior VA employees based on performance.

Naked Politics Senate to revive bill to end greyhound racing and report injuries

In a rare concession, the Florida Senate Gaming chairman on Thursday acknowledged that it is unlikely lawmakers can reach agreement on a sweeping gaming bill this legislative session but they will pursue a bill to begin the end of greyhound racing in Florida.

Florida Politics Proposed parasailing reforms sail through state Senate

With two Pompano Beach parasailing deaths since 2007 as a backdrop, state senators on Thursday gave unanimous final passage to a bill that would impose stricter rules on commercial parasailing operators.

Post on Politics Senate OK’s beefing up stand your ground with ‘warning shot’ provision

The Senate approved legislation expanding Florida’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” law Thursday, giving new legal safeguards to people who threaten to use a firearm in self-defense or fire a warning shot instead of fleeing.

Naked Politics Senate panel approves MDX shakeup

A local agency that defied opponents by setting new tolls for Miami-Dade’s busy Dolphin Expressway is caught in the crosshairs of the Florida Legislature.

Two South Florida lawmakers want reshape the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority, better known as MDX, and require the county commission to sign off on toll hikes.

Naked Politics Rick Scott's Mostly True claim about (private sector) job growth

Ask Gov. Rick Scott about practically any topic and he is bound to steer the conversation back to jobs.

The former CEO of a health care company loves to cite statistics that relate to job growth, such as this one in a March 31online ad:

"Florida’s economy is on a better path. Since December 2010 Florida has created 540,000 new jobs. Let’s keep working."

Naked Politics Broward debates bed tax dollars for Panthers vs. beaches

Panthers CEO Rory Babich wouldn’t play ball when we asked him today what his Plan B is -- and if it includes relocating the team --- if the Broward County Commission rejects his request for a hike in bed tax dollars.

“In my view that is a hypothetical ....,” Babich said in an interview after a Tower Forum event in Fort Lauderdale Thursday. “It’s my belief we will reach an appropriation resolution.”

Naked Politics Lopez-Cantera and House killed tag fee cut in 2010

As they rewrite history, Tallahassee politicians can have short memories when it suits their political objectives.

Take the current debate over reducing car registration fees and the bill Gov. Rick Scott signed Wednesday rolling back some fees to pre-2009 levels.

Florida Politics Legislature approves 'warning shots' bill

Firing warning shots or displaying a weapon in self defense would be allowed under a bill given final passage by the Legislature on Thursday.

Naked Politics DCCC puts Carlos Curbelo on defense over Ryan budget's Medicare cuts

From a press release:

Naked Politics Hundreds of college students head to the Capitol on Thursday

A press release from the Florida College System Student Government Association:

Over 400 college students from across Florida are expected to unite at the Capitol steps on Thursday, April 3rd at 10 am to rally for College Affordability and In-state Tuition, among other concerns.

Naked Politics Today in Tallahassee: Five Things to Know

It’ll be a long, busy day at the Capitol, as the budget is discussed on both floors. There are some key bills, too.

House Education Committee meets at 8 a.m. and is scheduled to hear HB 7083 that would require charter schools and school districts to use a standard contract. Districts believe it will take away their ability to negotiate with charter schools and oppose it.


Naked Politics Senate advances sweeping child welfare reforms; will money follow?

A key Senate committee approved a sweeping overhaul of Florida’s child welfare law Wednesday, the first step toward passage of a series of reforms designed to stanch the deaths of children at the hands of their parents or other caregivers.

Naked Politics Weatherford: Time is running out for a gambling bill

Gov. Rick Scott is in quiet, some say subdued, negotiations with the Seminole Tribe of Florida over a new gambling compact. The House won't take up a bill to address gambling expansion until a compact is complete.

Naked Politics Plan to divide shared FSU-FAMU engineering program sparks debate


A behind-the-scenes effort to divide an engineering program shared by Florida State University and Florida A&M University is igniting a lingering debate about racial inequality and how state resources are allocated in higher education.

Naked Politics While Florida halts SAVE non-citizen voter purge, other states proceed ahead

Think the use of SAVE to search for non-citizen voters is dead? Perhaps in Florida, but not elsewhere.

While Florida recently scrapped using SAVE to search for non-citizen voters this year, Colorado and Maricopa County, Arizona continue to use that federal data to check voter registration eligibility -- and more states appear poised to join that list.

Post on Politics Democratic dudgeon: Nelson, House members blast Supreme Court’s campaign finance ruling

In this photo provided by Rep. Ted Deutch's office, the congressman criticizes the McCutcheon ruling while People For the American Way field director Diallo Brooks holds the electronic bullhorn outside the U.S. Supreme Court.

Naked Politics From the Miami Herald archives, a tale about Carlton Moore

An interesting anecdote about Carlton Moore -- the former Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner who died today -- from a Feb. 3, 1985 Miami Herald article shortly after he became the local NAACP president:

During a meeting with Fort Lauderdale Mayor Robert Dressler, Moore sat patiently while other blacks complained mildly about trash, abandoned houses and drug dealers in their neighborhoods.

Naked Politics Gaetz pushes open records bill, but for whom?

Senate President Don Gaetz is no ally of trial lawyers.

Since joining the Legislature in 2006, Gaetz has consistently tried to limit damage awards, which also limits lawyers' fees.

Just last year, the Panhandle Republican, who made his fortune in the hospice industry, supported a bill shielding hospitals from liability and limiting expert witness testimony in medical malpractice cases.

Naked Politics Charlie Crist gets an endorsement from a prominent Tampa philanthropist -- who's a Republican

David Straz, a retired banker and one of Tampa Bay's most prominent philanthropists, endorsed Charlie Crist for governor on Wednesday.

"I intend to support him a a big way," said Straz, a Republican and former Rick Scott supporter said inside the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa.

Naked Politics Mud slinging slows Miami-Dade sewer contract


The muck continues to fly in a months-long fight between two firms competing to oversee $1.6 billion in federally mandated repairs to Miami-Dade County’s dilapidated sewers.

Naked Politics What's in a name, Governor? It was 'Diane Roberts'

Was it just a slip of the tongue by Gov. Rick Scott? Or were his thoughts elsewhere Wednesday morning?

As he prepared to sign the auto tag fee reduction law into effect, Scott -- working from prepared remarks -- singled out the legislators who helped make it happen, such as Reps. Mike Hill and Marti Coley. He then got into hot water when he mentioned the tax collectors who were present.

Naked Politics State worker quits to protest 'censorship' at museum

A graduate student at Florida State University who worked at the state-run Mission San Luis quit her job Tuesday in protest of the Department of State's decision to abruptly cancel a talk featuring FSU professor Diane Roberts.

Naked Politics A compromise on immigrant tuition? Not so fast.

Sen. Jack Latvala misspoke when he said he would take the House version of the immigrant tuition bill, he said Wednesday.

"We're actually not taking the House version," Latvala told the Herald/Times. "We're going to have to match it up."

Florida Politics Deutch blasts ruling on campaign donor limits


Post on Politics Bill signing or pep rally, Scott signs auto fee cut into law

Motorist fee cut by Gov. Rick Scott freighted with election-year politics

Naked Politics Scott inks tag-fee cut, calls out Crist by name

A Capitol bill-signing had the air of a partisan rally Wednesday as Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill to roll back some auto tag fees to pre-2009 levels, while repeatedly reminding his audience that former Gov. Charlie Crist approved them.

Scott made it clear the lower tag fees will be a centerpiece of his re-election strategy against Crist.

Florida Politics Rick Scott signs motorist fee cut, blames Charlie Crist

TALLAHASSEE -- Against the backdrop of a coming gubernatorial showdown, Gov.