Florida Five: State of the State preview, National Dems not betting on Fla., Rubio’s comeback

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

Photo: MyFlorida.com

Scott’s State of the State address provides a preview of legislative session: Florida Gov. Rick Scott is set to deliver the annual State of the State address Tuesday to kick off the 2014 legislative session. The governor has been traveling the Sunshine State recently in his “It’s Your Money Tax Cut” tour to promote a number of measures to put more money back in the hands of the taxpayers.“If we continue to cut taxes – by rolling back the 2009 tax hike on annual motor vehicle fees so Floridians keep more of the money they earn,” Scott said in an excerpt of his speech. “And, if we continue to cut taxes on small businesses – by cutting the tax on business leases and rolling back the business tax to now exempt 4 out of 5 Florida businesses from paying it.” Read more.

DCCC not inclined to play much in Florida in 2014: The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) tipped its hand on Monday, showing little optimism that it will be looking to defeat Republican congressmen from Florida with the exception of Steve Southerland. The DCCC came out with its list of 35 “red to blue” and “emerging races” congressional contests where they hope to topple Republican incumbents. Graham was the only candidate in Florida the DCCC was playing up on Monday. Read more.

Gov. Scott to call for repeal of Differential Tuition Law:  Gov. Rick Scott will use his State of the State address on Tuesday to call for a repeal of a 2009 law allowing universities to increase tuition up to 15 percent a year. Scott, who is running for re-election, will use the annual speech to frame his bid for a second term and to contrast himself with former Gov. Charlie Crist, a onetime Republican now running as a Democrat for his old job. Scott has already said the state should roll back motor-vehicle registration fee increases that Crist signed in 2009 to help fill a budget gap. Read more.

Marco Rubio aims for comeback with conservatives: Marco Rubio probably wouldn’t have been the biggest draw in Alabama last year, but last week he had big donors dropping big checks.The Florida Republican, Rubio-SenateFloorwho championed the Senate immigration bill last year, swung by a state that has taken a tough stand against illegal immigrants and has repeatedly elected the chief opponent of the Senate plan. But last Thursday evening, deep-pocketed Birmingham donors paid up to $32,000 apiece to schmooze with Rubio, raising more than $300,000 for the Senate GOP campaign committee.Rubio’s foray into the Deep South shows how quickly he has tried to put the bitter immigration fight behind him as he positions himself for what close allies say is an increasingly likely presidential bid in 2016. Read more.

Associated Industries of Florida officially backs Gov. Rick Scott, Cabinet incumbents:  One of the most important business groups in Florida cut short its endorsement process Monday to officially back Gov. Rick Scott and the incumbent Florida Cabinet for re-election this fall. The Associated Industries of Florida endorsed Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater without having to interview any other candidates because of their demonstrated commitment to strengthening Florida’s economy, said John R. Smith, chairman of BizPac, the political action committee for businesses in Palm Beach County. Read more.

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Michele Kirk


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