Florida Five: Tom Rooney fights Obama’s gun grab, Plan could bring resort casinos to Miami

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

Tom Rooney leads the charge against Obama’s latest gun grab – President Barack Obama’s administration plan to ban “green tip” ammunition is drawing fire from a Republican congressman from Florida who has introduced a bill against this latest gun grab. The White House announced on Monday that it was behind a proposal from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) to ban the manufacturing and sale of 5.56 mm/.223 caliber M855 “green tip” ammo which is commonly used in hunting, especially with AR-15 rifles. On Monday, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest praised the idea as good for public safety, especially for law enforcement officials. Read more

House rolls out plan to bring resort casinos to Miami – South Florida could become an even bigger gambling haven with two new destination resort casinos and four dog tracks operating slot machines — instead of racing dogs — under a sweeping gaming rewrite filed Monday by House Republican Leader Dana Young, R-Tampa. The measure, filed in the traditionally gaming-averse House, takes a novel approach to gaming by requiring destination resort operators to buy out active gaming permits in order to operate the swanky casinos. The bill also helps the powerful South Florida pari-mutuels, which have contributed heavily to GOP election coffers for the last several years, by reducing the tax rate for existing racinos, allowing dog tracks in Palm Beach and Naples to run slot machines, and ending the requirement that dog tracks race dogs in order to offer gaming. Read more

State legislative session opens Tuesday – The 2015 state legislative session gets underway Tuesday as Gov. Rick Scott gives the annual State of the State address. A selection of cultural issues will be debated, along with a focus on a new round of tax cuts. One bill would allow guns to be carried on college campuses, following a November shooting at Florida State University that wounded three people. “It’s a good idea to let people carry,” said USF student Brian Miller. Read more

Excerpts from Rick Scott’s State of the State – Tuesday morning, Gov. Rick Scott will address both chambers of the Legislature with his priorities for the coming session. Here are a few excerpts from the speech:  · Certainly, we all have our own ideas, and we debate with vigor. But I do believe it is important to acknowledge that we all have common goals for the families that live in our great state. We want every person in Florida to have the opportunity to live the dream of America. · I believe we are the best place in the country and the world to make dreams come true. I call this Florida Exceptionalism. Read more

Locally, Netanyahu speech Tuesday creates divides within divides – Derek Harvey, a retired Army colonel, former advisor to top U.S. military leaders in Iraq, and director of a University of South Florida global thinktank, will be seated in the gallery of the House of Representatives on Tuesday to hear Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu speak about the dangers of a nuclear-armed Iran. Harvey will have plenty of local company in the chamber. Read more

2016 Watch: Florida GOP lawmakers moving toward March 15 presidential primary in 2016

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