Florida Five: DWS blasts abortion waiting period bill, Alan Grayson brags about small donations

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

Wasserman Schults press conf
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla. Photo credit: Anthony Man/Sun-Sentinel

Wasserman Schultz sees danger in new Florida abortion waiting period—The newest Florida state government move to restrict abortion, a 24-hour waiting period, is an unneeded government intrusion into women’s lives and, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Weston warned Monday, will increase suffering for women and their children. “This measure is medically unnecessary and morally reprehensible,” she said. “It is just another strike in the constant attack on women’s reproductive health, not just in Florida, but all across this country.” Read more

Read also: Florida Senate passes pro-life bill for 24-hour waiting period on abortion

Alan Grayson says he is No. 1 in the house for small donations – A day after a Florida man landed a gyrocopter on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol to demand campaign finance reform, U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson talked up his own efforts to focus on small donations and his potential U.S. Senate bid. Grayson, an Orlando Democrat, told a reporter for Democracy Now on April 16 that he will “probably” run in a primary against U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter, for Marco Rubio’s Senate seat in 2016. Read more

Despite new challenger, Lois Frankel targets GOP in Tallahassee – U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Fla., has a new Republican opponent but the Florida Democrat is targeting other members of the GOP. Earlier this month, Joseph “JB” Bensmihen, the president and CEO of Boca Home Care Services, kicked off his campaign for the Republican nomination to challenge Frankel. Bensmihen was briefly a candidate for the Republican nod to challenge Florida Sen. Maria Sachs, D-Delray Beach, entering the race in June of 2014, but ended his bid a month later. Read more

Fracking regulation bill passes House but companion records bill delayed – A bill that Republicans said would clamp down on oil and gas hydraulic fracturing but some Democrats said would provide a welcome mat for the practice passed the House 82-34 on Monday. HB 1205, one of the most controversial environmental bills of the 2015 Legislative Session, passed the House largely along party lines. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection proposed the legislation. Read more

Bill allows grandparent visitation in some cases – Grandparents denied visitation of their grandchildren may get help in certain circumstances under a bill that is heading to the governor.  In cases where a grandchild’s parents are both dead, missing or in a persistent vegetative state — or if one is and the other has been convicted of a felony — the new law would allow denied grandparents to legally seek visitation rights. “We have been working on versions of this legislation for three years,” said Sen. Joseph Abruzzo, D-Wellington, the Senate sponsor of the bill. Read more

BEWARE! Florida shark bite: Man, 63, gets attacked in 2 feet of water off Marco Island

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