Florida Five: GOP’s 2016 hopefuls gather at Disney, Grayson blasts fellow Dems on trade bill

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

Bush, Rubio, Walker, Christie all at Disney Tuesday – The 2016 presidential campaign kicks off in a big way in Florida Tuesday as U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and six current or former Republican governors who are or are planning to run for president all will give economic speeches at Walt Disney World. The event, sponsored by Gov. Rick Scott’s Let’s Get To Work Political Action Committee, will feature Rubio, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. Scott also will make remarks. Read more

Alan Grayson on BenghaziRep. Alan Grayson blasts fellow Democrats on trade bill – Florida Rep. Alan Grayson is slamming members of his own party for supporting a controversial trade bill — and looking to raise a little campaign money while he’s at it. In an email obtained by POLITICO, Grayson urged supporters to “petition your government to redress your grievances” over an upcoming vote on legislation that would give President Barack Obama new powers to fast-track a massive trade deal with Pacific nations through Congress. Read more

Special session starts with House and Senate far apart – The Florida Legislature went to work swiftly on crafting a state budget Monday, starting a special session right where lawmakers left off when a House-Senate standoff over medical services blew up the regular meeting. “I told you when we left a little early, back in April, that we would more than make up for it, and that’s exactly what we intend to do over these next three weeks,” House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, R-Merritt Island, said in his opening remarks. Read more

Eight Florida lawmakers excused from start of special session – They’re going to miss all the fun! Eight members of the Florida Legislature won’t be at the Capitol for Monday’s start of the special session on the budget. All eight have excused absences, including the Senate president pro tem and two of House Speaker Steve Crisafulli’s top lieutenants. Sen. Garrett Richter, R-Naples, had a long-standing commitment, according to Senate President Andy Gardiner’s spokeswoman, and is the only excused senator. Eight House members — four Republicans and four Democrats — also won’t be at their desks. Read more

Florida Chamber of Commerce: 70 percent of Floridians support cutting cell phone and cable tax – On a day when the Florida GOP tempered its tax cut expectations, Florida voters gave a ringing endorsement of a particular type of tax relief. In a Florida Chamber Political Institute (FCPI) poll, 70 percent of Floridians said they supported a cut of the Communications Service Tax, a tax on cell phone and cable television services. The tax, long supported by Gov. Rick Scott, was opposed by just 12 percent of respondents, according to a Florida Chamber of Commerce release. Read more

A blast from the past: Florida gay-rights group compares Marco Rubio to Anita Bryant in fundraising pitch

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