Florida Five: Legislature faces gambling, guns and tax cuts, 2016 ground game kicks off in Fla.

Five of today’s top Florida political stories at your fingertips:

fl legislatureGambling, guns, tax cuts and more facing Florida lawmakers – The Legislature will begin its annual session early this year with the hopes of avoiding the chaos and dysfunction that marked the 2015 session and three special sessions that followed. House Speaker Steve Crisafulli and Senate President Andy Gardiner say the past is the past and there’s no lingering animosity after the two chambers found it difficult to agree on much last year. Read more

Lawmakers want harmony; issues say it won’t be easy – After the disastrous 2015 session ended without a deal on the state budget and a gridlock on health care funding, Florida lawmakers begin the 2016 annual session on Tuesday with more promises of cooperation and harmony. There is more money for the state budget. And House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, R-Merritt Island, and Senate President Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, have a cordial relationship. Read more

Slowly and doggedly, presidential campaign kicks off the ground in Florida – Slowly, quietly and doggedly, the presidential campaign ground armies are rumbling into action. “Florida is going to be a very important state, as it always is, and we’re going to work hard to bring it home for Marco Rubio,” said Judy Wise, a Rubio supporter and one of a couple of handfuls of volunteers calling voters Thursday night at a law office in Riverview. Read more

Nancy Pelosi has Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s back at DNC – While increasingly liberals are urging the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to throw U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., overboard, the Florida congresswoman does have a major ally on Capitol Hill in her corner. Read more

Rick Scott tours Southwest Florida community hit by tornado – Gov. Rick Scott spent a portion of Sunday afternoon in Cape Coral, one day after a tornado swept through the community. “Thank God we live in a place where we have great first responders and great law enforcement,” Scott said during a news conference at the Cape Coral Fire Department. Read more

ICYMI: Sorority recruitment video filled with bikini-clad women is over the top

Forget the lotto! Florida man charged with stealing $3.2 million from armored car company 

For more Florida political news, visit BPR’s FLORIDA NEWS page.

Cheryl Carpenter Klimek

Cheryl Carpenter Klimek

Cheryl Carpenter Klimek has been a political consultant handling public affairs, political campaigns and PAC management for nearly 20 years.
Cheryl Carpenter Klimek

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