Florida Five: Special election on track, Jeb attacked for opposing medical marijuana

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

Jeb Bush
AP Photo/The Oklahoman, Jim Beckel

Jeb’s opposition to marijuana provokes ACLU criticism: Former Gov. Jeb Bush came out in opposition to Amendment 2 today and his suggestion that people should vote against the amendment to legalize marijuana provoked some harsh criticism from the ACLU of Florida. Bush joined the Florida Chamber of Commerce and other business groups to denounce the proposed amendment on the November ballot that will allow patients with a list of debilitating conditions to get a doctor’s permission to treat the condition with marijuana. Read more

Everglades water quality report shows 19th consecutive year of passing marks: Everglades restoration – a colossal task starved as much for good press as it is water – received more than a passing grade in one of its indicators Thursday, when water managers announced phosphorus-reduction results for the most recent water year were two times better than expected. The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) reported to its governing board that the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) — the farming region between Lake Okeechobee and the Everglades – reduced phosphorus by 63 percent in the water leaving the region. Read more

Elections officials on track to meet Friday deadline for congressional plan: Florida’s top elections official said Thursday he is prepared to meet the noon deadline Friday to present a proposed special election schedule for the new congressional districts passed by the Florida Legislature this week. Secretary of State Ken Detzner told supervisors of elections on a conference call Thursday that he was preparing “to give the court our definition of what it would take to run an election with regard the new maps.” Read more

Lee County school board wants out of standardized tests: Among critics of modern education, standardized testing is one big detriment to public education. And in Lee County — the ninth largest district in Florida — the School Board wants to appeal the process entirely. Whatever the standards, whatever the test, the Lee County School Board doesn’t want it — and board members are looking into exactly how they can pull their district (so far the only district in Florida to discuss this) out of standardized testing. Read more

Court: Florida workers comp law is unconstitutional, legislature cheated injured workers: Miami judge declared Florida’s long-controversial workers’ compensation law unconstitutional Wednesday, saying successive state legislatures had so diminished medical care and wage-loss benefits for injured workers that the statute now violates employees’ “fundamental” rights. In a case involving a Miami-Dade County government office worker, Circuit Judge Jorge E. Cueto said the nearly 80-year-old law forces injured workers into a legal system that is so flawed it does not provide adequate medical care or dollars to replace lost wages. Read more

BONUS: Jack’s 2014 South Palm Beach County Voter Guide

For more Florida political news, visit BPR’s FLORIDA NEWS page

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