Florida Five: State to halt voter purge, Senate to consider speed limit increase

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

rubio-speech-screenshotRubio makes emotional plea for sanctions against ‘shameful’ Venezuela: In the midst of a crackdown against government protesters that has reportedly resulted in at least 32 killings in Venezuela, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., took to the Senate floor Thursday to deliver an impassioned speech calling for stiff economic sanctions against both the regime and companies doing business with it. Much like one he delivered last month, which one journalist dubbed “the best oration of his political career,”… Read more 

State expected to suspend all efforts to ‘purge’ non-citizen voters: Facing overwhelming resistance from county election supervisors in a busy election year, Gov. Rick Scott’s administration is expected to suspend all efforts in 2014 to comb the Florida voter rolls of suspected non-citizens. Scott’s chief elections official, Secretary of State Ken Detzner, held conference calls with supervisors Thursday, during which he said the state is reluctant to move forward due until it can evaluate new changes to a federal homeland security database, known as SAVE. Read more

Florida Bar president pushes for judicial diversity: Leaders within Florida’s legal community are making a push to have more diverse judges on benches across the state. “We can’t move forward when we’re moving backwards,” Eugene Pettis, president of the Florida Bar, told The News-Journal editorial board on Wednesday. “It’s just not good for the state.” Pettis recently appointed a task force that will examine different ways to increase diversity among judges. Read more

Renewable energy bills backed by Putnam appear dead in the House: Bills that would extend to commercial properties a tax exemption for renewable energy devices are “more than likely” dead in the House, a subcommittee chairman said Wednesday. The bills are part of what Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam calls his “aggressive” legislative agenda for energy. While the Senate bills have cleared their first committees, the House bills are awaiting their first hearings, before the Finance & Tax Subcommittee. Read more

speeding
DEVON RAVINE / NWF Daily News

Higher speed-limit bill headed to Senate floor: A proposal to increase speed limits to 75 mph on Florida’s interstates is ready for the full Senate’s consideration. The Appropriations Committee approved Senate Bill 392 with four dissenting: Sen. Dorothy Hukill, R-Port Orange, Sen. Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa, Sen. Eleanor Sobel, D-Hollywood, and Chairman Joe Negron, R-Stuart. The rest of the commitee sign off on the bill co-sponsored by Sen. Jeff Clemens, D-Lake Worth, and Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg. Read more

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