Florida Five: ‘Pop-Tart’ gun bill headed to Rick Scott’s desk, Senate passes bill allowing higher speed limits

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

Speed Limit
Photo Source Jacksonville.com

Zoom, zoom: Senate passes bill allowing higher speed limits: A bill that could result in higher speeds on Florida highways was passed Thursday by the Florida Senate. The measure (SB 392) was approved by a vote of 27-11, with Democrats and Republicans opposing. Any increase on a given stretch of highway would happen only if state traffic engineers determine the roadway is safe enough for a higher speed. Read More

Weatherford and Gaetz in standoff — but not just over in-state tuition: It’s not just subsidized higher education for undocumented students that is pitting House Speaker Will Weatherford against Senate President Don Gaetz. It’s also two separate line items buried deep in the dueling higher education budget proposals from the two chambers. The Senate is proposing to spend $10 million for the University of West Florida’s Office of Economic Development and Engagement. Gaetz, R-Niceville, is requesting the money for the Pensacola-based university… Read more

Pop-Tart gun bill wins Senate support: The ‘Pop-Tart’ gun bill is headed to the desk of Gov. Rick Scott. Florida senators approved the NRA-supported proposal in a 32-6 vote Thursday. There was virtually no debate, besides Sen. Jack Latvala asking what exactly HB 7029 would do. The Senate sponsor, Sen. Greg Evers, had a simple reply: It would prevent situations “where you chew a Pop-Tart into the shape of a gun and you are expelled” from school. Read more

Senate approves bill to let court admit noncitizen to the Florida bar: A closely-divided Florida Senate on Thursday championed the landmark case of Jose Godinez-Samperio, of Largo, who can’t practice law in Florida because he’s not a U.S. citizen. On a voice vote — hours after senators rejected the idea on a 19-18 vote — a narrow majority of 14 Democrats and seven Republicans agreed to an amendment that allows the Florida Supreme Court to admit Godinez-Samperio to the Bar after he passes admission hurdles. Read more

School stops serving Mountain Dew before FCAT after complaints: A complaint that elementary school students were drinking Mountain Dew before taking a high-stakes, standardized test has prompted Creel Elementary School to stop the long-standing practice. The Melbourne school has been serving students trail mix and a small amount of Mountain Dew, about 3 tablespoons, before administering the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test each day. But giving students a sugary drink before the test – which is used in educational decisions, from teacher evaluations to student retentions – has raised concerns. Read more

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