Florida Five: Bill targets drone ‘spying,’ Budget takes center stage in Legislative Session

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

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Photo credit: The Blaze

Hukill bills seek to stop drone ‘spying’ on private citizens — Two bills offering protection against drones and electronic snooping are moving through the Florida Legislature. The measures, sponsored by Sen. Dorothy Hukill, R-Port Orange, target private citizens who spy on other people. Existing limits, including a 2013 Florida law on drones, have mostly applied to law enforcement. The new legislation would prohibit citizens from using a drone, or any unmanned aircraft, to photograph or record a person in the privacy of their home. Read more

Budget standoff will rule remainder of Legislative Session – As legislators get back to Tallahassee after the Easter weekend, all eyes are on the Florida Legislature where the two chambers are wide apart on the budget, mostly over Medicaid expansion. The divide between the two chambers of the Florida Legislature — both under secure Republican control — was on display in Tallahassee this past week as they try to reach common ground on the budget. For years, Republicans have had the run of the Legislature with massive advantages over the Democrats in both the House and the Senate. Read more

Buzz: Florida chief financial officer may join list of open offices – Chief financial officer Jeff Atwater has been working the phones in recent days, telling Republican activists and donors that he intends to run for the 2016 Republican U.S. Senate nomination and wants their support.With incumbent Sen. Marco Rubio expected to announce his candidacy for president April 13, Atwater is gearing up for what could be a tough primary for a rare open Senate seat. Other Republican prospects include Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera and U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Ponte Vedra Beach. Read more

Former President Fidel Castro appears in public in Cuba for first time in more than a year – Former longtime Cuban President Fidel Castro has appeared in public for the first time in more than a year, official media reported. The Cubadebate website says Castro greeted a group of Venezuelans visiting the capital of Havana. Cubadebate on Friday published four images that show Castro sitting inside a vehicle, each with a different person stretching an arm through the window to shake his hand. Castro’s face is largely obscured by a dark-colored baseball cap. He sports longish gray hair and a beard. Read more

Florida lawmakers set aside little for environmental land acquisition — There’s money for rural lands, beaches and the Everglades. But as lawmakers prepare to negotiate details of the new state budget, debate continues over whether more money from Florida’s land and water conservation amendment should go toward buying property for conservation. Amendment 1, sponsored by Florida’s Water and Land Legacy, passed with 75 percent of the vote in November.  Read more

OUCH! Stealing honey leaves 3 hospitalized, multiple stings

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