Florida Five: 8 Senators propose vacations to Cuba, See how Nelson voted on Keystone Pipeline

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

Cuba tourism
Photo source: RoutesNews.com

8 senators unveil proposed legislation lifting restrictions on tourism to Cuba – In the first effort from Congress to end the embargo against Cuba since President Barack Obama started to lobby against it, a bipartisan group of senators unveiled legislation Thursday that would allow U.S. citizens to vacation in Cuba. Under Obama’s new rules, tourism remains prohibited and only congressional action can lift the embargo. U.S. citizens are allowed to travel to Cuban only if they fit one of the 12 approved categories, which include educational and humanitarian trips. If the Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act of 2015 passes, tourists would be able to just book their flights and hotels legally online. Read more

Senate Roll Call Vote on the Keystone XL Pipeline – The 62-36 roll call Thursday by which the Senate passed a bill approving the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline Act. A “yes” vote is a vote to pass the bill. Voting yes were 9 Democrats and 53 Republicans. Voting no were 34 Democrats, 0 Republicans and 2 independents. Read more

Party Animal – He’s a former poker pro, motivational speaker, and YouTube celebrity. Now he’s leading Florida’s Republican Party. Blaise Ingoglia is a minor YouTube celebrity, a minor real estate mogul, a motivational speaker, and a tournament poker player. He’s also in charge of keeping Hillary Clinton from winning Florida. Ingoglia recently became chairman of Florida Republican Party—no small gig, given the state’s major implications for the 2016 presidential election—and things are already complicated. Read more

Grab your bills, figure what Scott tax cuts would save you – Rick Scott’s office today released a calculator that Floridians can use to figure out just how they’d save if the governor’s proposed communications tax cut becomes law. But there are two caveats: You’ll need your cell phone and TV bills to plug it what you’re paying now each month in state communications service taxes. The calculator has a handy link that can help you find the line-item tax on your bill. And don’t expect to save a lot because Scott’s office has already said a family spending $100 a month on telephone and TV service would save about $43 per year. Read more

Jeb Bush staffs up for presidential campaign, hires Mitt Romney adviser – From Florida’s capital to early voting Iowa, Jeb Bush dramatically beefed up his political committee this week making it the largest GOP presidential campaign-in-waiting. Bush’s Right to Rise PAC officially hired Iowa strategist David Kochel and opened its Tallahassee headquarters where at least eight staffers are based. The moves are the latest in a series of aggressive steps Bush has taken as he seeks to dominate the critical early game of lining up key staff and campaign money. Kochel is an important hire. He ran Mitt Romney’s campaign in Iowa, which holds the nation’s first nominating contest, in 2008 and 2012. Read more

ICYMI: Standing her ground: Dad’s gift to college-bound daughter might have saved her life

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