Florida Five: Bill Nelson vulnerable in 2018, Uber bill heads to the House floor

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

Bill Nelson
Photo credit: Ricky Carioti -The Washington Post

Rick Scott competitive against Bill Nelson in 2018 Senate race, poll shows – Gov. Rick Scott, R-Fla., looks combative against U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., if he challenges the senator in 2018, a new poll shows. Public Policy Polling (PPP), a firm with connections to prominent Democrats, released a poll showing Nelson with a slight lead over Scott in a potential 2018 match-up. Nelson takes 47 percent of voters while Scott pulls 43 percent, close to within the margin of error. Read more

House Uber bill preempting Orlando’s fees heads to floor – Vehicle fees and minimum fare rates imposed in Orlando recently on cell phone app companies like Uber and Lyft that connect riders with drivers could be eliminated in a bill gaining momentum in the Legislature. The House version of the bill cleared its final committee Thursday and is headed for a floor vote. Florida League of Cities lobbyist Megan Samples said local governments were better situated to set regulations on the new companies. Read more

Buh bye … Speaker Crisafulli confirms many House bills are dead for 2015 session – Bills are dying. Substantive House committees held their last rounds of meetings this week and House Speaker Steve Crisafulli said on Thursday he doesn’t plan on allowing them to meet in the second half of the session. The exception, Crisafulli said, could be the House Civil Justice Subcommittee which he will consider allowing to meet to address settled local claims bills. That means that bills that haven’t cleared those subcommittees are in deep trouble. Or worse. Read more

House, Senate on Different Gambling Tracks – House and Senate leaders are taking divergent approaches to the perennially thorny issue of gambling, with the House vetting a soup-to-nuts gaming measure Thursday even as the Senate pursues negotiations with the Seminole Tribe of Florida. House Regulatory Affairs Chairman Jose Felix Diaz’s comments at the introduction of a four-hour workshop on gambling might have foreshadowed the future of a sweeping proposal released by House Majority Leader Dana Young the day before the legislative session began earlier this month. Read more

Florida may be first to achieve pay equality — in two decades — Florida is projected to become the first state in the nation to close the wage gap between men and women — but it will take more than two decades. The long-sought goal of equal pay for equal work won’t be achieved until at least 2038, according to a report released this month by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. And current trends indicate that both genders in Florida on average will be left with relatively low pay. The biggest challenge in Florida is not so much to close the gender gap but to find a way to boost pay for all, some analysts say. Read more

Only in Florida: Police: Intoxicated man arrived by taxi to rob Florida bank

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