Florida Five: Legislature passes competing maps, Senate Dems call for a new legal team

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

Florida map
Photo source: BrennenCenter.org

Senate passes its own congressional district map – The two chambers of the Florida Legislature are headed for a conference after the Senate approved an amended congressional map that differed from the House version passed Tuesday. Like the House map, the Senate map changes the current landscape of South Florida by stacking one congressional district on top of the other in Broward and Palm Beach counties and by keeping the City of Homestead in one district rather than splitting it in two. But the Senate made a few significant changes in Central Florida over the map passed by the House. Read more

Senate Democrats request separate legal team in redistricting – Senate Democratic Leader Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa, issued a formal request Wednesday for separate lawyers for the Democratic minority in the ongoing redistricting battle. In a letter to Senate President Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, Joyner said Democrats are “increasingly concerned with the ability of the Senate’s legal counsel to render impartial advice and guidance.” Read more

Florida sets tourism record for first six months of 2015 – Florida welcomed the largest number of visitors of any six months in the state’s history this year with 54.1 million visitors, according to Visit Florida. Florida Gov. Rick Scott joined local tourism and government officials at the Miami International Airport to announce the state’s progress Wednesday. “Our growing tourism industry employs over 1.2 million Floridians and is helping us meet our goal of becoming the best place in the world for jobs,” said Scott, in a prepared statement. Read more

Local & state leaders ask FAMU board chairman to step down – State Representative Alan Williams and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum want the chairman of FAMU’s Board of Trustees to step down. They, along with other lawmakers, say it’s best for the university. Rufus Montgomery was re-elected 11-0 just weeks ago as the chairman of FAMU’s Board of Trustees. A group of lawmakers want him out of that seat. Read more

Are Democrats too politically correct? – Are Democrats disowning Thomas Jefferson? It certainly looks like that, all in the name of political correctness. Florida Congressman Ron DeSantis, who is a candidate for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination, has criticized the Democratic Party for distancing itself from the author of the Declaration of Independence. Seems Democratic organizations in a lot of places are dumping the traditional Jefferson-Jackson name from their big fundraising dinners. Read more

ICYMI: ‘Old Dixie Hwy’ suddenly ‘offensive’; proposed change to ‘Barack Obama Hwy’ sending Floridians over the edge!  (Update – they actually did it!)

Where does he stand? Jeb Bush wrestles with Common Core: Higher standards yes, federal government no

For more Florida political news, visit BPR’s FLORIDA NEWS page.

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