Florida Five: Gay-marriage lawsuit called a ‘publicity stunt’, Nelson says new bill could save the world

It’s hump day already! Below are Wednesday’s Florida Five – BPR’s picks for the top political stories from around the state:

Photo: CBS 4 News

Florida gay-marriage lawsuit called a ‘publicity stunt’: The chief architect of Florida’s constitutional amendment prohibiting gay marriage on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit against the state by six gay couples as a“publicity stunt” aimed at a measure backed by a solid majority of Sunshine State voters. “Sixty-two percent of Floridians have decisively spoken on this issue,” said John Stemberger, president of the Florida Family Policy Council, in statement on the policy council’s Facebook page. Read more.

State says schools will now follow ‘Florida standards’: State education officials are pushing forward with a plan to rebrand the standards for what students are expected to learn in Florida schools, hoping to tamp down an uproar among conservative activists who view the current standards as part of a federal takeover of local schools.Almost 100 changes to the “Common Core State Standards” will be considered by the State Board of Education in February, said Education Commissioner Pam Stewart, who outlined some of the changes to board members during a meeting Tuesday. Read more. 

Water-policy momentum grows as Scott proposes $55 million in springs protection: In another step marking water management as a top priority of the 2014 session, Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday announced $55 million in proposed funding to restore and protect for Florida’s springs. Speaking at a Department of Environmental Protection awards ceremony in Tallahassee, Scott called the proposal an “investment [that] will enable state and local partners to protect the quality and quantity of water that flows from our springs,” according to a news release. Read more.

Nelson: New federal spending bill could save the world: The new spending bill approved by Congress last week includes money that could speed up NASA’s next big mission, possibly sending U.S. astronauts to an asteroid by the year 2021, four years earlier than the White House had projected. U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson touted the accelerated prospect of a deep space mission atop a heavy-lift rocket as a hidden detail that cleared through Republican opposition in the 1,500-page appropriations bill approved by the U.S. Senate last Thursday, and by the House of Representatives earlier. Read more.

Candidate Joshua Black

Scott, Curry call for candidate who suggested Obama’s hanging to drop out of race: Joshua Black, 31-year-old Republican candidate for Florida House District 68. A GOP candidate for the Florida House of Representatives is under fire from his own party and said he’s been visited by the Secret Service after he tweeted Monday that President Obama should be hanged for treason. Chris Latvala, a Republican candidate for HouseDistrict 67, shot back: “You aren’t seriously calling for the killing of Obama are you? I know you are crazy but good heavens. U R an embarrassment.”Black then replied, “Execution is the appropriate punishment for traitors. Don’t you have a race? Don’t you have a primary? #MindYourOwnBusiness?” Read more.

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



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