Florida Five: Holder urges repeal of Fla. ban on felons voting, Sink looks to Joe Biden

Today’s top Florida political stories from the Sunshine State:

Florida Chamber Unveils 2014 Jobs Agenda: The Florida Chamber of Commerce unveiled its 2014 legislative agenda for jobs on Tuesday. According to a press release from the chamber, the agenda is “focused on making Florida’s business climate more competitive and lowering the cost of living for Florida’s families and small businesses.”The chamber noted that Florida has the potential to add 198,000 new jobs in 2014, which it believes will “provide Floridians with greater opportunities.”“The Florida Chamber remains focused on creating more opportunities for Florida’s families and small businesses,” said Eric Silagy, 2014 chair of the Florida Chamber and president of Florida Power & Light Co. “We can continue to grow Florida forward by focusing on a globally competitive business climate.”Read more.

prisoner1111Atty. Gen. Holder urges repeal of ban on felons voting in Florida: U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder on Tuesday called for Florida and other states to repeal laws that revoke voting rights of felons after they are released from prison. The New York Times reports that Holder, in a speech to a civil rights conference at Georgetown University, claimed that 10 percent of African-American voters in Florida have been permanently stripped of their voting rights in Florida.”The impact of felony disenfranchisement on modern communities of color remains both disproportionate and unacceptable,” Holder said, according to the Times account. Read more. 

Once ’embarrassed’ by Joe Biden, Alex Sink now looks for his fundraising help:  Alex Sink will relocate her campaign to Coral Gables this evening to raise money alongside Vice President Joe Biden.That she would go that far to be with Biden stands in stark contrast to her last run for political office. In 2010, Sink wanted little to do with him.In the heated gubernatorial race with Rick Scott, she was the only statewide Democratic candidate to skip a Biden appearance in Hollywood. Read more.

Gainesville mayor blasts Nelson, Crist in early voting dispute: Gainesville Mayor Ed Braddy Jr. pushed back hard Tuesday at Democrats who are accusing Gov. Rick Scott’s administration of voter suppression because his elections agency ruled that the University of Florida student union does not fit the legal definition of an early voting site.”It is disheartening to see Sen. Bill Nelson and the evermore candidate Charlie Crist attempt to turn the serious issue of voting rights into cheap campaign fodder,” Braddy said in a release issued by the city. “The fact is Gainesville extended the number of locations for early voting this year and we are continuing to look for additional sites in a manner consistent with the law. We will continue to build on our strong relationship with the University of Florida to encourage student participation in local government. Read more.

New Florida public employee pension measure introduced: A Senate measure dramatically overhauling the pension plans for many future public employees has been introduced, setting off a highly anticipated election-year fight between unions and Republican legislative leaders.The bill (SPB 7046), which was filed Monday, would close the Florida Retirement System to most new public employees, instead shifting them to either the state’s existing 401(k)-style plan or a new “cash balance plan.” Law-enforcement officials and firefighters would still be allowed to join the traditional pension plan. Read more.

BONUS: Florida students shine in Advanced Placement exam participation

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Michele Kirk

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