Amid calls from Republicans and Democrats to apologize for his response to a comment about executing gay people, state Rep. Mike Hill, R-Pensacola, issued a statement Wednesday saying he regrets “how the tone of my response to a constituent was received.”
With special elections scheduled June 18, Republicans have an edge in voter registration in Pasco County’s House District 38, while more Democrats are registered in North Florida’s House District 7, according to newly released totals.
Florida Democrats were devastated by the 2016 election.
Not only did Republican Donald Trump defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton, but his victories in Florida and key states in the Midwest catapulted him into the White House.
As a sign of Florida’s importance, Trump will hold a rally June 18 in Orlando to announce his 2020 re-election bid. The announcement is pretty much a formality, as Trump has been holding campaign-style events across the country.
But for Democrats, it is a reminder of what’s to come --- as if they need a reminder.
House Speaker Jose Oliva and other Republican leaders Friday condemned Rep. Mike Hill, R-Pensacola, for his "laughter and refusal to push back" on a question about whether he'd introduce legislation allowing the execution of homosexuals.
It only takes one.
And if you don’t believe that, ask the folks in Mexico Beach, Panama City, Port St. Joe, Blountstown, Marianna and numerous other Northwest Florida communities. Hurricane Michael roared ashore Oct. 10 and forever changed their lives.
Now, less than eight months later, Florida is poised to enter another hurricane season. From June 1 to Nov. 30, that means a new round of hoping for a calm year --- or at least hoping the wind blows another direction.
As Gov. Ron DeSantis issued a death warrant last month for serial killer Bobby Joe Long, the governor’s office released a chilling description of the murder of Michelle Simms.
“On or about May 27, 1984, Long approached Simms, and she entered his car,” the description said. “Long drove Simms to a remote location, forced her to undress at knife point, and tied her to the car seat. Long then raped Simms and attempted to strangle her. When his attempts failed, he hit her head with a club and pushed her from the car. Long slit her throat and left her on the side of the road to die.”
First, the power goes out. And later, the bill comes due.
As Florida suffered through hurricanes Hermine, Matthew, Irma and Michael during the past three years, millions of people were left in the dark. Each time, utilities had to mobilize crews to get the electricity back on and to rebuild expensive power systems and equipment.
Utilities have long been able to recoup storm-restoration costs from customers. Typically, it has been done by tacking on a few extra bucks to customers’ monthly bills until the utilities are made whole.
Bay County was Trump country during the 2016 presidential election.
The Northwest Florida county gave 71 percent of its vote to Republican Donald Trump --- a margin of more than 40,000 votes over Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Now, as Trump gears up for his 2020 re-election campaign, he will come to Bay County on Wednesday night for an early rally in the politically pivotal state.
Republicans have long relied on conservative Panhandle voters as a critical bloc in statewide races. But the dynamic could be a little different when Trump appears in Panama City Beach.
Changes could be coming to the state employees’ health insurance program under a bill passed Friday by lawmakers.
Some changes --- including the use of a drug formulary --- could take effect next year if the bill is signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis. Other changes won’t take effect until 2023.
The end is near.
Florida lawmakers are slated to finish their 60-day legislative session Friday after what will be a frenzy of activity. Like every other legislative session, lawmakers have left resolution of most major issues to the last week.
That will mean finishing negotiations in the coming days on a roughly $90 billion budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1. Because of a constitutionally required 72-hour “cooling off” period, the budget will have to be done Tuesday for lawmakers to vote on it Friday.