Florida Five: Bills may shield groups opposing gay marriage, Lawmaker moonlights as Uber driver

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

Source: CBS News Channel 3
Source: CBS News Channel 3

Florida may protect religious groups that oppose gay marriage – Two bills have been introduced for the next Florida legislative session that would protect churches who refuse to perform gay weddings from potential legal action. Filed earlier this week and scheduled to be considered during the 2016 session, the identical Senate Bill 110 and House Bill 43 offer legal protection for any church or ministry who refuses to perform a same-sex wedding. Read more

Workman: House Rules chair by day, Uber driver by night –The lobbyist was waiting for her Uber driver Tuesday when state Rep. Ritch Workman pulled up. “How are you doing?” he said, unlocking the backdoor. “Oh no. Thank you for the ride. I’m waiting for my Uber,” she said. “That’s me,” Workman responded. Read more

Lawmakers offer flurry of amendments to proposed congressional districts map – After days of listening to how their staff redrew Florida’s 27 congressional districts in relative seclusion, state legislators Wednesday started taking their own turn at re-mapping the state. By the end of the third day of the 12-day special session on redistricting, at least eight state legislators were working on alternative redistricting plans that, in some cases, would significantly change an initial base map that lawmakers started debating Monday. Read more

Amendment 1 backers start new environmental political group – Florida’s Water and Land Legacy, the group that sponsored Amendment 1 in the 2014 election, has shuttered its doors and relaunched as Florida Conservation Voters, which backers say will have a broader mission of political activism on environmental issues. The change comes after a “disappointing 2015 session” of the Legislature, according to an announcement Wednesday by the group’s executive director, Aliki Moncrief. Read more

Pew Study finds Democrats continue gains among Hispanic voters in Florida – As Florida lawmakers convene for a special session to redraw eight congressional districts in the state, a new study by the Pew Research Center finds that Republicans are still losing ground to Democrats among Hispanic voters. According to Pew researchers, the share of Cuban-American voters — most of whom traditionally register as Republicans — is dwindling as the number of Puerto Rican voters and Hispanic voters of other ancestry (such as Mexico and South America) continues to rise. Read more

Be aware: Potent new stimulant flakka ravages Florida

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