Florida Five: 15 years later Elian Gonzalez wants to visit US, Dem rep wants a pay raise

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

Elian Gonzalez
Elian Gonzalez. Photo credit: MSN News

Cuba’s Elian Gonzalez, now grown up, hopes to return to US – Elian Gonzalez, who as a child was at the center of a bitter international custody battle between his Cuban father and his Miami relatives, now dreams of returning to the United States, he said in an interview broadcast Monday. Now 21, Gonzalez was just six years old when he was found floating off of Florida’s coast in November, 1999. A rickety boat carrying his mother and several other would-be refugees, capsized, and Elian — found floating in a car inner tube — was the only survivor. Read more

Some nerve! Dem congressman cries poor, says Congress DESERVES a raise! – U.S. Rep. Alcee L. Hastings thinks it’s time taxpayers show him the money. The Florida Democrat said Monday at a Rules Committee meeting that it is high time members of Congress received a pay raise due to, among other things, to the high cost of living in the D.C. area. “Now in order for us to get a raise, we have to go to the public and prove that we deserve it,” he said. “Well, I think we do.” Read more

Florida quietly sets up an epic 2016 primary clash – The campaign for the Republican presidential nomination may have a new expiration date: March 15. That’s when Florida holds its primary contest – which will now be winner-take-all. The state’s Republican Party quietly approved the new delegate allocation rules Saturday night, while the political world’s attention was focused on Iowa and the 11 Republican presidential hopefuls stumping there. Read more

Cheap and fast, online voter registration catches on – Voters in more than half the states will soon be able to register online, rather than filling out a paper form and sending it in. Twenty states have implemented online voter registration so far, almost all in the past few years. Seven other states and the District of Columbia are now in the process of doing so. That includes Florida, where Republican Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill last Friday requiring the state to allow online voter registration by 2017. Read more

Florida (finally) legalizes 64-ounce growlers – Florida just eliminated one of the most bizarre alcohol regulations in the nation: a ban on half-gallon jugs of beer. Under legislation signed by Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday, the state legalized 64-ounce growlers, after a years-long legislative fight. The law will take effect July 1. “By making the sale of 64 ounce growlers legal in Florida, we are eliminating another burdensome regulation and allowing more Florida businesses to succeed,” Gov. Scott said in a release. Read more

Really? Battle over Florida boy’s circumcision enters federal court

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