Florida Five: Grayson, DWS resource wasters for GOP, Younger population pushing Fla. left

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

Gov Scott budget tour
Photo credit: Meredyth Hope Hall, FLGov.com

Budget Watch: Comparing Florida’s House & Senate budgets: The Florida Legislature has a lot of work to do to pass a final budget before the end of the legislative session, according to a Report from Florida TaxWatch, the independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit taxpayer research institute and government watchdog. The TaxWatch Budget Watch reveals many significant differences between the House and Senate spending plans, which will have to be ironed out in the last two weeks of session. The report highlights differences in funding for education, water and member projects, as well as tax cuts, as being potential sticking points during budget negotiations. Read more.

Crunch time in the House for Gaetz-Edwards medical marijuana bill: House Bill 843, often called “the Charlotte’s Web bill,” faces its most critical review yet Monday morning when it goes before Rep. Dennis Baxley’s Judiciary Committee. The bill that would speed light-strain medical marijuana to severely epileptic children sailed through the Criminal Justice Subcommittee and Appropriations Committee. But it did so largely because bill sponsor Matt Gaetz and co-sponsor Katie Edwards promised members they would get questions answered and iron out the bill’s kinks before it reaches the House floor. Read more.

Scott, Bush push Senate to pass immigrant tuition bill: Gov. Rick Scott and former governors Jeb Bush and Bob Martinez on Friday pushed the state Senate to advance a measure that would allow some undocumented immigrant students to pay in-state tuition rates. The highly unusual move came a day after Senate budget chief Joe Negron announced he would not hear the bill next week, a decision that could doom the plan, a priority of House Speaker Will Weatherford. The issue has divided Republicans in Florida and across the country. Read more.

Alan Grayson and Debbie Wasserman Schultz resource wasters for GOP: Even as Republicans look to expand their majority in Congress, they could fall into the trap of mining for fool’s gold, mistaking conservative passion for voter discontent with two liberal members of the U.S. House. Republicans would love to knock off Alan Grayson and Debbie Wasserman Schultz in November. But both of those incumbents have done well with fundraising while their Republican opponents simply haven’t kept pace. Read more.

YoungPeopleObamaA younger population is pushing Florida left: Florida is getting younger, and thus a bit more politically liberal.If a stroll down the Miami Beach’s famed boardwalk doesn’t persuade you, perhaps U.S. Census data will.In the 1970s, about 30 percent of Florida’s population was 45 or older. Today, those mid-lifers represent less than 5 percent of the Sunshine State’s population. Read more.

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