Florida Five: Wasserman Schultz takes on Paul Ryan, Dems hold ‘unity’ rally

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

Paul Ryan, Debbie Wasserman Schultz clash over 2016: U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., the chairman of the U.S. House Budget Committee and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s running mate in 2012, is increasingly thinking about running for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016 — and drawing fire from a prominent Florida Democrat. Ryan, who made nine stops across Florida earlier this month in a tour for his new book, appeared on “PoliticKing with Larry King” on Ora.TV on Thursday, talking to that longtime talk-show host about his future ambitions. Read more

‘Unity’ is the byword for Florida Democrats now: The winners of Tuesday’s primaries for statewide office — former Gov. Charlie Crist and former DCF Secretary George Sheldon — crossed Florida on Thursday as Democrats insisted they were united in trying to take down Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi in November. Crist and Sheldon appeared in Orlando and Fort Lauderdale with other leading Democrats, including the candidates they beat on Tuesday night. Despite Crist refusing to debate her, former Florida Senate Minority Leader Nan Rich appeared at the events… Read more

Florida website aimed at the uninsured draws little interest: Last year, legislators allocated $900,000 to help Floridians find affordable health care through a new state-backed website. At the same time, they refused to expand Medicaid or work with the federal government to offer subsidized insurance plans. Six months after the launch of the state’s effort, called Florida Health Choices, just 30 people have signed up. Another seven plans were canceled either because consumers changed their minds or didn’t pay… Read more

Medical cannabis concerns unfounded, Amendment 2 organizer says: The organizers of Florida’s medical marijuana amendment beat back the latest round of opponents’ attacks Thursday, contending that the proposal says more than enough to address any concerns about the amendment’s legal implications. Ben Pollara, spokesman for the pro-amendment group United for Care, told the Tampa Bay Times editorial board Thursday that Amendment 2 is not a veiled effort toward total marijuana legalization. Read more

Fla. Supreme Court rules that PSC and FPL had right to cut out public counsel: The Florida Supreme Court ruled Thursday in a unanimous decision that the Florida Public Service Commission did not violate the constitution when it approved a settlement agreement with Florida Power & Light that failed to include the legal offices that represents the public in rate cases. The case was argued in September of last year after the PSC approved a $350 million rate case with FPL in 2012 based on a settlement that was reached without the input of the Office of Public Counsel… Read more

Bonus: Wasserman Schultz fails to explain why she now supports Crist

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

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