Five of today’s top Florida political stories at your fingertips:
Amazon.com to collect Florida sales tax starting May 1: Internet giant Amazon.com will start to collect sales taxes on purchases made by Floridians starting May 1. Amazon’s entry into the state’s brick-and-mortar retail landscape could mean about $80 million a year in sales taxes, according to a business group. “Amazon will be required to collect sales tax in Florida beginning on May 1,” Ty Rogers, a spokesman for the Seattle-based retailer, wrote in an email Wednesday. Read more.
Rick Scott releases new ad featuring time in US Navy: Florida Gov. Rick Scott has released another TV ad that features more of his personal life, including an early stint in the U.S. Navy. The inspirational ad is well done and doesn’t forget to remind viewers that Scott has added over a half million jobs in the state in his first term as governor. See ad.
Meet the new Nancy Pelosi: Debbie Wasserman Schultz: Debbie Wasserman Schultz would love to move up the congressional ladder and Republicans are already trying to paint her as the next Nancy Pelosi. Republicans across the nation are increasingly taking the knives out for Wasserman Schultz who became a national figure through leading the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Already looking to tie Pelosi around the neck of every Democrat running for Congress or the Senate, Republicans are now looking to add Wasserman Schultz to the equation. Read more.
Darden, Publix, SeaWorld support easing Obamacare requirements: Under Obamacare, workers at large companies who put in 30 hours a week are considered full time and must receive health insurance from their employers. But three powerful Central Florida companies — Publix Super Markets, Darden Restaurants and SeaWorld Entertainment — are backing federal legislation to change that standard to 40 hours. The measure, backed by a broad coalition of businesses, passed the U.S. House this month. It faces a difficult road in the Democratic-controlled Senate, and President Barack Obama has said he would veto it. Penalties start next year for employers with 100 or more employees who do not provide insurance for most full-timers under the Affordable Health Care Act. Read more.
Ethics bills languishing in Florida Legislature: A year after passing sweeping reforms on political lobbying and conflicts-of-interests, proposals to impose even stronger ethical requirements on politicians are languishing in the Florida Legislature. An eclectic group of organizations, including the First Amendment Foundation, Common Cause and the Tea Party Network, held a press conference Wednesday to urge lawmakers in the final two weeks of session to pass proposals to allow the public greater access to meetings and records, banning local officials from lobbying on behalf of other clients, and mandating that elected officials live in their districts. All three bills have stalled out in the Florida House. Read more.
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