Florida Five: DeSantis/Murphy Senate matchup makes history, Scott appoints 9 to new panel

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

DeSantis and Murphy
Rep. Ron DeSantis and Rep. Patrick Murphy

Patrick Murphy and Ron DeSantis could change Senate’s old boys’ club – U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy and his Republican challenger for Marco Rubio’s seat could help change the U.S. Senate’s image as an old boys’ club. The Jupiter Democrat could become one of the youngest people ever elected to the chamber if he wins next year. His age combined with that of U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis of North Florida, who entered the race for Rubio’s seat last week, would make up one of the youngest matchups in Senate history. Read more

Gov. Rick Scott appoints nine to hospital funding panel – Gov. Rick Scott on Monday named nine people to his newly created Commission on Healthcare and Hospital Funding. None of the members are hospital executives. Only one is a medical doctor. Missing from the list: Sens. Alan Hays, R-Umatilla, and Eleanor Sobel, D-Hollywood. Both volunteered to serve. Scott also announced that Florida Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Liz Dudek and Surgeon General John Armstrong will serve as co-executive directors of the commission. Read more

Florida lawmakers aim to avoid pitfalls of past, troubled special sessions – Special sessions of the Florida Legislature aren’t very special, and as often as not they are ugly and unpredictable. Sometimes they end with nothing accomplished, triggering protests at the governor’s mansion or leaving lasting tensions that can cost politicians their jobs. The challenge lawmakers face at the moment is to prevent history from repeating itself. Read more

Attempt to force Obamacare expansion on states backfires; ‘awakened a sleeping giant’ – Trying to force Obamacare expansion onto Florida by cutting funding for an existing Medicaid program has backfired on President Obama. Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican, is suing Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services over plans to stop funding the state’s Low Income Pool program, which compensates hospitals for seeing uninsured patients. Read more

A new super PAC steps up for Ron DeSantis for Senate – Ron DeSantis already has several conservative political committee lined up to help elect him to the U.S. Senate, and now he has a Super PAC in his corner. The newly created Service.Honor.Country. Action Fund (SHCAF) can raise unlimited campaign donations and make independent expenditures on behalf of DeSantis. Read more

ICYMI: George Zimmerman reportedly shot in the face; sick reaction from social media

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