Florida Five: Lodging for military bill filed, Ros-Lehtinen says Obama’s deal ‘great’ for Castro regime

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

Hager, Brandes bills take ‘pre-emptive’ stance on lodging for military members – Members of the military would be able to rent hotel and motel rooms in Florida regardless of their age, under bills beginning their trip through the state House and Senate this session. Sponsored in the House by Rep. Bill Hager, R-Boca Raton, and Senate by Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St Petersburg, the measure would require overnight facilities to waive age restrictions on room rentals for travelers with a military ID card. Read more

CastroFlorida Lawmaker: Obama’s Cuba deal ‘great’ for Castro regime, ‘bad’ for US – Rep. IIeana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla, today criticized what she called President Obama’s “wrong-headed” move to normalize relations with Cuba. As landmark talks for the United States and Cuba to restore diplomatic ties wrapped up today in Havana, Ros-Lehtinen, who is Cuban-American, warned the Obama administration to proceed cautiously. “It’s a bad deal for the United States and it’s a great deal for the regime [Castro],” Ros-Lehtinen told The Daily Signal in a video interview. “[And] it’s a bad deal for the Cuban people.” Watch video

Headlined by Donna Shalala, Ready For Hillary PAC to raise Miami $ in Bush/Rubio country –Is Miami ready for Hillary Clinton? The Ready for Hillary PAC is about to find out Feb. 12, when the political committee holds its first major South Florida fundraiser. It’s headlined by the former Secretary of State’s close friend, outgoing University of Miami President Donna Shalala, the former health secretary under President Clinton. Read more

POLITICO expands to Florida, names magazine editor –As part of POLITICO’s “growth plan into the states,” the Arlington-based publication on Thursday morning announced the hiring of Miami Herald political writer Marc Caputo, who will focus on Florida. Caputo, who joined the Herald in 2003 and has covered former Florida Governor (and possible 2016 presidential nominee) Jeb Bush aggressively, will also write a daily Florida ‘Playbook” newsletter, POLITICO editor Susan Glasser announced in a memo to staff. Glasser called Caputo’s hiring “a major national move.” Read more

CFO Jeff Atwater, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam call for investigation into FDLE firing – Two Cabinet members on Thursday called for an outside investigation to learn the truth behind Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s forced ouster of the state’s top law enforcement official and claims of political interference by Scott’s office. Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, both Republicans like Scott, said a third party could independently investigate allegations made by former Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey. Read more

ICYMI: Gun-grabbing vigilante attacks concealed-carry permit holder; busted for battery

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