Florida Five: DWS slams Jeb as ‘out of touch’ political bully, Gov. Scott signs, vetoes legislation

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

Wasserman Schultz responds to Bush
Photo credit: Brittany Wallman, Sun-Sentinel.com

Democrats: Jeb Bush an ‘out of touch’ political bully – Florida Democrats wasted no time denouncing a Jeb Bush presidential candidacy. They did it four hours before his announcement. Speaking at Florida International University in Miami, Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston, said Florida knows Jeb Bush best, having watched him as governor. “Jeb Bush only looks out for himself and people like him. He never has, and never will, fight for middle class families,” she said. Read more

Gov. Rick Scott signs, vetoes legislation – Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday signed 17 bills into law and vetoed another three. One of the bills he vetoed would have exempted investigatory records by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services from public disclosure. He said he vetoed it because it required additional legislation to be passed by lawmakers, which did not happen. Another would have allowed property tax increases to help pay for firefighter pensions. The third dealt with agency rulemaking. He signed 17 bills into law. Read more

Florida Legislature ends stalemate, ready to vote on nearly $79 billion budget— Florida’s contentious and messy budget stalemate that divided the state’s Republicans and threatened to force the shutdown of state government is finally over. With just days left, the Florida Legislature has reached a deal on a nearly $79 billion budget. The final budget was delivered to legislators late Tuesday afternoon. The budget has winners and losers in the mix as the GOP legislative leaders battled for months over health care spending, tax cuts and how much money should be set aside to comply with a voter-backed land conservation amendment. Read more

U.S. House Appropriations Approves $150 Million for Everglades Restoration – U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., showcased his pride in federal funding for the Everglades contained in the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill passed Tuesday by the U.S. House Appropriations Committee. Said Diaz-Balart, “As founder and co-chairman of the Everglades Caucus, I am very pleased with the Everglades funding levels in the Interior Appropriations bill for FY 16. Everglades National Park is a natural treasure that we must preserve and protect for future generations.” Read more

K-12 students gain in Florida’s budget plan – Funding for K-12 students would go up but students in preK and college could see funding cut back. The almost $80 billion state budget plan released Tuesday by the Florida Legislature would increase funding for K-12 students, but South Florida students in preK and college could see their funding cut back. The budget calls for spending about $7,097 per student for those in kindergarten through high school. That’s less than the $7,176 called for by Gov. Rick Scott, but it’s an increase from the $6,937 rate of last year. Read more

New poll: Many Floridians want to visit Cuba, poll finds 

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