Florida Five: Campus carry proposal advances, Cuba policy stumps Ben Carson

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

Student Concealed CarryCampus carry measure advances in Florida House – A proposal that would allow concealed-weapon permit holders to bring handguns onto college and university campuses continued moving forward Wednesday in the state House, despite opposition from academic leaders. The Higher Education & Workforce Subcommittee voted 10-3, with Tallahassee Democrat Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda joining nine Republicans, to advance the bill (HB 4001), which would allow the state’s 1.45 million concealed-weapon permit holders to carry guns while on state campuses. Read more

Lawmakers stumble toward redistricting finish line – Under a pressing deadline to avoid more redistricting gridlock, Florida lawmakers formally began talks late Wednesday to resolve the differences in their plans to redraw 40 state Senate districts. The House and Senate have passed competing redistricting plans, with the main differences centering on districts in Miami-Dade County. Read more

Related: Short of votes in Senate, Bill Galvano and Jose Oliva agree to try to revise Miami districts again

Cuba policy stumps Ben Carson in Florida – Ben Carson has defied the traditional presidential playbook, taking time off from the campaign trail to promote his latest book and sign copies for hundreds of fans, even in Democratic strongholds like Tallahassee.He heads to more unusual ground in South Florida on Thursday: West Kendall, a Hispanic bastion, and Fort Lauderdale, the seat of the bluest county in Florida. Read more

Family uses tragedy to encourage boaters to buy tracking devices – Blu Stephanos whose 14-year-old son, Austin, was lost at sea July 24 after sailing from the Jupiter Inlet still has “no closure” on the disappearance of his child. But he came to Tallahassee Wednesday to try to find hope. Blu Stephanos Stephanos has started the Austin Blu Foundation to channel the loss of his son, and that of Austin’s friend Perry Cohen, into awareness for others. Read more

Proposal aims to alter Florida school districts – Florida’s school districts would face fundamental changes in the way they operate under a newly filed bill by a Pinellas County lawmaker. Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, has joined Rep. Matt Caldwell, R-Fort Myers, to propose a constitutional amendment ending the requirement that all counties have independent school districts. Read more

They’re back…Body-camera bill, back in Florida House for 2016, easily wins initial approval in first committee hearing 

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

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