Five of today’s top Florida political stories at your fingertips:
Lenny Curry leaves RPOF, explores Jax mayoral bid: “Lenny Curry, who is exploring a run for Jacksonville mayor, will announce he is stepping down as chairman of the Florida Republican Party on Thursday, according to party officials with knowledge of the situation.”He will send a letter to Republican Party leadership Thursday, officials said. He will stay on as chair through the end of May…. Read more.
State senators revive, advance immigrant-tuition bill: A senator’s controversial, presumed-dead quest to secure in-state college tuition for students whose parents immigrated to the country illegally rose from the ashes Wednesday.Under the measure, undocumented students would be eligible to compete for fee waivers granting them in-state tuition if they had attended a Florida high school for at least three years prior to graduation. They would not be eligible for financial aid.The bills sponsor, Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, encouraged his fellow lawmakers to help remedy an “inequitable situation” that now penalizes children brought to the United States through no choice of their own.Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, feared Florida would be throwing out the welcome mat for illegal immigrants. Read more.
Bill that would overhaul Florida state pensions fizzles: An unpopular effort to alter the state’s retirement system seemingly died in the Senate Wednesday.Senators momentarily advanced a House bill (HB 7181) that had merged controversial changes to the Florida Retirement System plan with a less-problematic fix to local police and fire pensions, but because it wasn’t abundantly clear that was the measure they had taken up they recalled it by a 21-15 vote.Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, an outspoken opponent of changes to the state system, spearheaded the reversal before the Senate’s lunch break. The matter was not recalled during the afternoon session, signaling its demise. Read more.
Rick Scott all that stands between Florida drivers and 5 miles an hour more: Despite emotional arguments against a bill that would authorize the Florida Department of Transportation to raise the speed limit 5 miles per hour on some roads, the House of Representatives — in a squeaker — voted to send CS/SB 392 to the governor.The final vote was 58-56, with eight members not voting.It was close enough so at least one representative, Irv Slosberg, D-Delray Beach, hoping for buyers’ remorse, called for a reconsideration of the legislation at the end of the day’s business; the attempt failed, however. The bill had already been returned to the Senate where it originated.CS/SB 392 doesn’t require increasing speed limits on specific roads, but it enables FDOT to do so. Read more.
New Poll: Scott ahead of Crist; Bondi, marijuana amendment winning: A third poll released Wednesday shows a close gubernatorial contest in Florida, while Attorney General Pam Bondi holds a solid lead over her two Democratic rivals and voters in the Sunshine State appear ready to support a proposed state constitutional amendment allowing medical marijuana use. Conservative magazine Human Events commissioned a poll from Gravis Marketing that reveals Gov. Rick Scott is edging former Gov. Charlie Crist, the leading Democratic candidate, in the Florida gubernatorial contest. Earlier in the day, Quinnipiac University found Crist beating Scott by 10 percent. Read more.
For more Florida political news, visit BPR’s FLORIDA NEWS page
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