Florida Five: Senators back war vote, Police body camera bill under fire

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

Both Florida senators back Obama war authorization against ISIS – President Obama formally asked Congress Wednesday to authorize the use of military force against the Islamic State, a group also known as ISIS or ISIL. Though U.S. airstrikes have gone after the group since last summer, congressional approval would bolster the administration’s legal war authority. Both Florida senators, Democrat Bill Nelson and Republican Marco Rubio, support Obama’s request. Read more

Police body camera bill under fire for privacy concerns – As police and sheriff’s departments across the state, including in Pasco County, consider requiring their officers to wear body cameras while on duty, a bill to regulate how the technology is rolled out is taking flak for failing to address privacy concerns. The bill (H.B. 57) by Rep. Shevrin Jones, D-West Park, would require agencies to outline and implement policies for storing video footage, training officers and weighing civilian privacy when starting body camera programs. It passed the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee unanimously Wednesday. Read more

Florida lawmaker files Cuba proposal – State Rep. Manny Diaz, Jr., R-Hialeah, on Wednesday filed a proposal to “expresses disagreement with [the] decision of federal government to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba.” The bill, HM 727, would also urge Congress to “uphold the embargo until such a time when this arcane dictatorship is no longer in power and the most basic human and civil rights are once again recognized in Cuba.” Read more

State, feds negotiate over looming $1.3 billion health care budget shortfall – The state continued negotiations with the federal government on Wednesday in an effort to preserve funding for hospitals that treat large numbers of poor and uninsured patients. Florida had previously relied on a pot of money known as the Low Income Pool, or LIP. But the $2.2 billion program is scheduled to expire later this year, under an agreement between the state and federal government. On Tuesday, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, said it “will not extend Florida’s Low Income Pool in its current form beyond June 30,” according to a statement issued by the agency. Read more

Jeb Bush, Florida’s “eGovernor,” Gets a Social Media F —  For Jeb Bush, who’s trying to build his brand (and a potential presidential candidacy) as a tech-savvy, 21st-century Republican – and by reminding everyone wary of his surname that he’s The Smart One, as opposed to The Decider, his gut-trusting older brother – this week’s had a few epic fails. On Monday, the man who called himself Florida’s “first eGovernor” released a trove of emails he wrote and received when he held office there from 1999 to 2007, an effort to show transparency, and, arguably, how thoughtful he was when conducting state business. Read more

Caution! Florida couple falls asleep in dumpster, ends up in garbage truck

ICYMI: Islamic prayer lessons in Florida history class spark investigation

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


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