Florida Five: Yoho’s immigration bill draws fire, Gun business booming

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

Ted Yoho FB
U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla.

Obscure lawmaker trying to nix Obama’s immigration order suddenly thrust in spotlight – Conservative radio talk show hosts are taking aim at him for being the architect of a House bill that they say was meant to lull those on the far right into passing a $1.1 trillion spending bill and avoiding a government shutdown. And groups that want an end to deportations of immigrants who have no criminal background are taking aim at him, too, because the bill – which the House narrowly passed recently – calls for voiding President Barack Obama’s executive order giving a years-long reprieve from deportation to up to 5 million undocumented immigrants. On Wednesday morning, one of those groups was protesting his pivotal role in that bill outside one of his district offices. It’s a lot of new-found attention for U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho, a Republican from Gainesville, Florida who has been one of the House’s most obscure members. Read more

Gun business, gun bills headline busy week – 2015 is shaping up to be another year where gun issues will be on the front burner. Matt Galka tells us that new legislation filed to allow firearms on campus as well as good news for the gun business is heating up the conversation as we head into the new year. Gun shoppers took advantage of deals on the Day after Thanksgiving this year.  Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey said it was the busiest Black Friday on record. “It was actually the third busiest day on record. The first two were December 20 and 21 in 2012 following the Sandy Hook shooting,” said Bailey. There are about 14,000 background checks in a typical week. There were about 23000 during Thanksgiving according to Bailey. Read more

Jeb Bush tops presidential field among Floridians – A new survey by the Saint Leo University Polling Institute contains some encouragement for former Florida Governor Jeb Bush as he mulls mounting a presidential campaign. Saint Leo University political scientist Frank Orlando termed Bush’s advantage with Republicans in the state over other possible GOP presidential candidates as “massive.” Bush tops the field of prospective candidates among Florida Republicans, named by 34 percent of likely as their first choice. Former presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is named by 15 percent of Republican voters, and U.S. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida has 10 percent. All other candidates trail in single digits. Read more

Florida is No. 32 in health rankings – A new report places Florida as the 32nd healthiest state in the nation. The report released Wednesday by UnitedHealth Foundation says that in the past year the percentage of Floridians who smoke decreased slightly, from 17.7 percent to 16.8 percent. The percentage of adults who binge drink also dropped, from 16.5 percent to 15.5 percent. However, more than a quarter of Floridians are physically inactive, slightly higher than the national rate. Read more

Florida governor names new chief for prisons – The former head of the state’s highway safety agency is being appointed to lead Florida’s prison system. Gov. Rick Scott announced Tuesday that Julie Jones will become secretary of the Florida Department of Corrections on Jan. 5. Jones has had a long career in state government. She served as executive director of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles from 2009 to 2014. She had spent 26 years working for the state’s wildlife conservation agency where she was a sworn officer. Read more

Holiday bonus: 6 amazing holiday shindigs at America’s theme parks (3 of them are in Florida!)

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