Florida Five: Pam Bondi wants expedited rape kit testing, Music mogul shakes up US Senate race

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

Pam Bondi press conf2
Photo source: WPTV.com

Florida’s top lawyer wants quicker processing of rape kits; backlog numbers in the thousands – Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi says thousands of untested rape kits are sitting in the evidence rooms of law enforcement agencies across the state, though the exact number is anybody’s guess. During a news conference Wednesday at the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, Bondi called for more funding in the next state budget to process the sexual assault kits. Read more

Miami Beach music mogul jumps into Senate race – Steven Machat — a Miami Beach music producer, author and celebrity lawyer — launched an unconventional bid for the U.S. Senate on Wednesday, bringing an independent spirit and a dash of entertainment to the campaign. The deal-maker and social activist promises to overcome political divisions to unite Florida, much like he has rallied music lovers behind hot new rock bands. Read more

Gov. Rick Scott expands executive order to review, coordinate Florida mental health services – Calling Florida’s funding of mental healthcare “too fragmented,” Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday expanded an executive order aimed at developing a statewide model of integrated behavioral health services, beginning with pilot programs in three counties, including Broward. “We have to get better at serving those struggling with mental illness,” Scott said in a written statement accompanying the addendum to the order, which was initially signed in July. Read more

Brandes wants to reform policy of suspending driver licenses for events unrelated to driving – With more than three-fourths of the driver license suspensions in Florida the result of incidents unrelated to driving, the head of the Senate Transportation Committee said Wednesday it is time to reform the system. “I believe that Florida’s policy on driver license suspensions is broken, and far too many Florida residents have had their driving privileges suspended or revoked for reasons unrelated to their driving behavior,” said Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, in a letter to committee members. Read more

Number of Cuban migrants intercepted at sea surpasses last year’s tally amid political thaw – The number of Cuban migrants risking sea crossings to U.S. soil has surpassed last year’s tally, even as Havana and Washington have restored diplomatic relations. Coast Guard officials in Miami said Tuesday that roughly 3,910 Cubans have been caught or intercepted in the Florida Straits, the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean since the fiscal year began Oct. 1. Read more

A new trend? Left turns may be soon be possible on Obama Boulevard in Miami-Dade County

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Cheryl Carpenter Klimek

Cheryl Carpenter Klimek

Cheryl Carpenter Klimek has been a political consultant handling public affairs, political campaigns and PAC management for nearly 20 years.
Cheryl Carpenter Klimek

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