West Coast

St. Petersburg Times Bill would give more choices to Florida students

TALLAHASSEE — Kameela Russell's daughter acted out at her neighborhood school, Madie Ives Elementary in northeast Miami-Dade.

St. Petersburg Times Voters in West Tampa, South Tampa, Seminole Heights to decide council runoff

TAMPA — Voters in West Tampa, Seminole Heights and parts of South Tampa go to the polls Tuesday to settle the hard-fought City Council District 6 runoff between Jackie Toledo and Guido Maniscalco.

St. Petersburg Times Bousquet: Veteran Pinellas Sen. Jack Latvala is blunt but effective

He's gruff and he's tough, and those are just two of the more endearing traits of state Sen. Jack Latvala.

St. Petersburg Times With Rep. Patrick Murphy in, Florida's 2016 Senate race is on

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, a 31-year-old Democrat from South Florida, on Monday announced his campaign for the U.S. Senate seat held by Marco Rubio, the first salvo in what should be a hotly contested race as Rubio is likely to run instead for president.

St. Petersburg Times Why Ted Cruz is a problem for Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz's entry into the Republican primary for president could bring headaches for two likely rivals from Florida, Sen. Marco Rubio and former Gov. Jeb Bush.

St. Petersburg Times Door shuts in Tallahassee on full-fledged medical marijuana

Non-euphoric pot may nudge forward in the Legislature this year, but the window for a full-fledged medical marijuana system has all but slammed shut.

St. Petersburg Times Columba Bush's painful, unlikely road toward the White House

LEÓN, Mexico — The story of Columba and Jeb Bush began by happenstance in 1971, on the elegant, sun-washed central plaza of this city in the heart of Mexico.

St. Petersburg Times PunditFact: Israeli ambassador tells U.S. audience Netanyahu didn't flip-flop on two-state solution

Did Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flip-flop on the creation of a Palestinian state as part of a peace deal in the Middle East to help secure re-election?

St. Petersburg Times PolitiFact Florida: Most of Jeb Bush's emails are public record

A claim that the former governor released 10 percent of them is wrong.

St. Petersburg Times Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz to launch presidential bid on Monday

WASHINGTON — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz will announce Monday his plans to run for president, becoming the first high-profile Republican formally to enter the 2016 presidential contest.

St. Petersburg Times Seen as linchpin, Florida is focus of Jeb Bush's 2016 plan

TALLAHASSEE — The political apparatus surrounding former Gov. Jeb Bush, determined to avoid embarrassment in a state that has vexed his party and family in national elections, is plotting a vast operation aimed at turning Florida into a bulwark for his presidential campaign, according to dozens of interviews.

St. Petersburg Times Gov. Rick Scott's tax cuts and education spending at risk in House and Senate budgets

House and Senate budgets put his tax cuts and education spending at risk.

St. Petersburg Times Group petitions for inquiry into claims of 'climate change' ban

TALLAHASSEE — An environmental group wants Florida's inspector general to check out reports of an unwritten policy prohibiting state agencies from using the terms "climate change" and "global warming."

St. Petersburg Times Candidates in Tampa council runoff have different styles

TAMPA — Not since a guy threw a chair at Joe Redner has Tampa politics seen a local race as ugly or personal as the one between Guido Maniscalco and Jackie Toledo.

St. Petersburg Times The Miami billionaire backing Marco Rubio's presidential ambitions

MIAMI — The tattered American flag that hung inside Marco Rubio's office when he was Florida House speaker was a patriotic statement, a nod to his immigrant family's success story — and a sign of his close relationship with the man who loaned him the 1775 antique, an auto magnate named Norman Braman.

St. Petersburg Times Liberal group calls for investigation into Jeb Bush's emails

A liberal group also wants him to be fined.

St. Petersburg Times Gay adoptions would be limited under proposed amendment

One week after Florida's first openly gay lawmaker announced the state might finally strike its unconstitutional 1977 gay adoption ban, conservatives have quietly crafted a legislative amendment that would allow private agencies to deny adoptions based on "religious or moral convictions."

St. Petersburg Times Adam C. Smith: Jeb Bush has a conservative problem

Jeb Bush has a serious Matt Drudge problem, and that points to a more fundamental electoral problem.

St. Petersburg Times Climate change? Not in Gov. Rick Scott's administration — still

TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott's chief of emergency management testified Thursday before the Legislature and had a half dozen chances to use the term "climate change."

St. Petersburg Times FEMA to states like Florida: no climate planning, no money

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is making it tougher for governors to deny man-made climate change. Starting next year, the agency will approve disaster preparedness funds only for states whose governors approve hazard mitigation plans that address climate change.

St. Petersburg Times It's the law: Florida presidential primary is March 15, 2016

TALLAHASSEE — With two homegrown candidates expected to be in the 2016 race, Gov. Rick Scott wasted no time signing into law a bill setting a new, later date for Florida's presidential primary.

St. Petersburg Times Lawmakers suggest $1 million stimulus for more flights out of Tallahassee

Lawmakers propose a $1 million stimulus to grow needed air service.

St. Petersburg Times Seminole Tribe says no progress on compact as Legislature 'postures'

TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Seminole Tribe is on the defensive.

St. Petersburg Times Republicans push conservative budgets in both houses

WASHINGTON — Making good on last fall's campaign commitments, Republicans advanced conservative budgets in both houses of Congress on Wednesday, setting up a veto struggle over the fate of the health care law and promising a whopping $5 trillion in spending cuts to erase deficits by the end of the coming decade.

St. Petersburg Times Florida Senate puts money into prison oversight

TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Senate on Wednesday put money behind its pledge to reform the state's troubled prison system, voting to spend $6.9 million on system changes and create an independent oversight commission that would have the power to investigate corruption and abuse.

St. Petersburg Times Shift in date of primary adds clout

The Florida Senate on Wednesday signed off on a plan to make March 15 the date of the 2016 presidential primary.

St. Petersburg Times Kriseman doles out raises to non-union city workers in midst of union drive

ST. PETERSBURG— About 2,000 non-union city employees received 2.5 percent raises Wednesday in the midst of a drive to unionize some of those workers.

St. Petersburg Times Gov. Rick Scott eyeing run for U.S. Senate — in 2018

You may have seen Gov. Rick Scott recently talking to you in a TV ad — "We are expanding our industries, investing in our ports, making a record commitment to you, devoting more resources to education'' — and wondered if he's running for office again. That's the plan, but not right away.

St. Petersburg Times Jeb Bush's tie to fugitive Miguel Recarey goes against business-savvy image he promotes

WASHINGTON — Jeb Bush was a young man building a real-estate business in Miami in 1985 when a health-care entrepreneur named Miguel Recarey Jr. hired him to help locate office space in South Florida.

St. Petersburg Times Sen. Marco Rubio says he's 'absolutely' willing to defy European allies on Iran

WASHINGTON — Eying the Republican presidential nomination, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said Tuesday that he would "absolutely" defy stalwart European allies if necessary to revoke any Iranian nuclear deal he might inherit from President Barack Obama.