Five of today’s top Florida political stories at your fingertips:
Fla. legislature faces a busy final week of session: The 60-day Florida Legislative session ends on May 2, with some major issues still to be done. Florida legislators enter the final week of their 60-day session with lots of unfinished business, including whether to approve a strain of marijuana for medical use. The last few days could reverberate into this year’s election, especially since Gov. Rick Scott is now pushing hard for a tuition break to college students living in the state illegally. Read more.
Florida budget all but done after late night deals: Lawmakers were on the verge of a final budget deal Sunday night after agreeing on virtually all of the outstanding spending items —putting them in striking distance of finishing the legislative session on time. Negotiators led by Senate Appropriations Chairman Joe Negron, R-Stuart, and House Appropriations Chairman Seth McKeel, R-Lakeland, essentially locked down most of the final budget, which is expected to settle in around $75 billion. Read more.
Ron DeSantis shows no signs of slowing down in 2014: Running for his second term in Congress, conservative rising star Ron DeSantis should easily be able to keep his seat this year. DeSantis has clearly discarded the old congressional rule demanding freshman members should be seen and not heard. Almost every week, DeSantis can be seen on the national cable talk shows, pounding away at Lois Lerner, Eric Holder and Obamacare. Only 35, DeSantis has already made something of an impression in his first term and he’s increasingly one of the leading conservatives on the House Judiciary Committee. Read more.
Senate offers study on FAMU-FSU; House offers lagoon money: The Florida Board of Governors would decide whether to break up the joint College of Engineering run by Florida A&M University and Florida State University under a new offer in budget negotiations Sunday. The Senate, which has pushed $13 million in funding for FSU to create its own engineering school, floated a proposal that would let the Board of Governors study the issue instead. Read more.
Fewer being ticketed by police in Florida: Like to drive fast? Don’t have time to stop for school buses letting off students? Consider a yellow light to be as good as a green when passing through an intersection? You may be in the right state. The latest statistics from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles show police wrote about 5 percent fewer traffic tickets last year than they did in 2011. Read more.
For more Florida political news, visit BPR’s FLORIDA NEWS page
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