Florida Five: ‘Stand Your Ground’ changes abruptly halted, GOP reps seek to stop refugee funding

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

Stand Your GroundChanges to ‘Stand Your Ground’ halted in Florida House – A plan to strengthen Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law during the 2016 legislative session died in the state House on Tuesday, after a subcommittee rejected the legislation on a deadlocked vote. House Criminal Justice Subcommittee Chairman Carlos Trujillo, R-Miami, and Rep. Charles Van Zant, R-Keystone Heights, joined with the panel’s four Democrats to oppose a bill by Rep. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, that would have given defendants who claim self-defense more protection from prosecution. Read more

Florida congressmen look to stop Syrian refugees coming over by cutting off funds – In the aftermath of Islamist attacks on Paris last week, two Florida Republican congressmen brought out proposals to ensure federal funds are not used to bring over refugees from Syria. President Barack Obama has called for allowing 10,000 refugees currently in Syria. At least one of the terrorists behind the jihadist attacks in Paris last week came to France under the guise of a Syrian refugee. Read more

Answers to top questions about Syrian refugees in Florida— One thing that has scared a lot of people about the attacks in Paris is the fact that a Syrian passport was found with one of the suspects. That’s led to a lot of speculation that the attackers were Syrian refugees who made their way into Europe. But a top security official in Germany says the passport might have been a decoy, to make Europeans afraid of refugees. Read more

The Hill: Grayson’s hedge funds ‘under fire’ – A new report in the Washington-based news website The Hill contends that U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Orlando is drawing increasing fire for his involvement in two off-shore hedge funds that may have generated up to $700,000 in fees for him. Grayson’s involvement in the funds, which included his name in the title, has been a source of criticism and formal ethics complaints for more than a year, as critics have contended that the funds are violations of house rules that prevent members of congress from profiting from their own names. Read more

Converted former lobbyist Jack Abramoff urges ‘draconian’ reforms – Jack Abramoff, one of Washington’s most notorious former lobbyists, came to Tallahassee on Tuesday as part of his crusade against what he calls “the corrupting influence of money on public policy.” He called out a constitutional amendment on solar energy backed by the state’s utilities, as “one of the oldest lobbyists’ tricks in the book” because it is “intended to confuse people” and detract the proponents of a rival amendment. Read more

ICYMI: Backlash hits Wasserman Schultz after using Paris attacks to slam ‘irresponsible’ GOP

Big money: Florida legislative lobbying hits $30M in Q3 

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