Florida Five: Pam Bondi helps net historic fraud bust, Jeb says Columba not a ‘political wife’

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

Pam Bondi Medicare fraud
Photo credit: myfloridalegal.com

Florida AG Pam Bondi announces largest national Medicare fraud takedown in history — Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi today joined federal authorities including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Office of Personnel Management and the Food and Drug Administration to announce the charges of 73 South Florida residents for their alleged participation in various schemes to defraud Medicare and Medicaid out of more than $262 million. Read more

Republican Jeb Bush says he met wife, Columba, in Mexico — ‘She’s not a political wife’ – Jeb Bush has been married to his wife, Columba, for 41 years. In a recent interview, he spoke about how the two met. The former Florida governor tells all. Bush surely has “bushels” of love for his wife. They’ve been together for over four decades. In these days, it’s less common to find couples sticking it out for the long haul. However, this Bush family has seemed to pull it off. Read more

On eve of session’s end, House members spar over budget – The long-delayed end of the 2015 legislative process drew into view Thursday, as lawmakers prepared to pass a budget for the year that begins July 1 and leave Tallahassee after a nearly three-week special session. In the House, members sparred over the spending plan ahead of a final vote Friday. While a 72-hour “cooling off” period prevented them from actually approving the budget until Friday evening, the chamber went ahead and finished off debate over the $78.7 billion plan. Read more

2016 state House races continue to take shape – The crash landing that ended the 2015 regular legislative session in the Republican-led Florida House would be a gift to Democrats in any other state, but few seats are in any real danger of flipping come Election Day 2016. Read more

Lawyer John Morgan, other legal-pot advocates re-up for 2016 election – Last week, Orlando trial lawyer John Morgan wrote a $150,000 check to jump-start an effort to get a medical-marijuana initiative back on the ballot in 2016. This week, United for Care — the political group behind the proposal — started hiring petition-gatherers to ensure the group doesn’t get caught playing catch-up again. Garnering more than 58 percent of the vote last November, a medical-marijuana initiative fell just short of the 60 percent approval required for constitutional changes. Read more

ICYMI: Immigration protesters disrupt Rubio speech; he handles it PERFECTLY

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