Florida Five: Trump surges in Fla., ‘Stand your ground’ changes still alive in Senate

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

trump_miami_featPoll: Trump surges ahead in Florida – Donald Trump has surged far ahead of his Republican rivals in Florida and leads a hypothetical matchup with Democrat Hillary Clinton in the biggest swing state, according to a Florida Atlantic University poll released Wednesday. The reality TV star and real estate mogul, a part-time resident of Palm Beach, leads the Republican presidential field in Florida with 36 percent, the poll found. Read more

‘We have no control’: Fla. Gov. Rick Scott desperately fights order to take Syrian refugees – While the White House stands firm on bringing Syrian refugees to the United States, Florida Gov. Rick Scott is speaking out about his opposition to sending refugees to the Sunshine State. Scott joins 33 other governors taking a stand against the White House position. On Tuesday, he sent a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Read more

Stand-your-ground changes advance in Senate, despite stalling in House – It’s not done yet. A Senate committee today advanced NRA-backed legislation that would enhance Florida’s “stand your ground” law, a day after a House committee effectively killed its version of the proposal. Republicans on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Criminal and Civil Justice, by a 5-1 vote, approved the bill sponsored by Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island. Read more

Open-carry gun bill narrowly passes second Florida House panel – A plan endorsed by the National Rifle Association that would allow more than 1.4 million Floridians to openly carry firearms continues to garner support in the Republican-led Legislature, despite concerns from law enforcement groups and other critics about the absence of additional training or holstering requirements and other safeguards that they want included. Read more

Democratic chair releases 19-page report for party to recover from midterm losses – Democrats need to map out a multi-year election strategy to maintain the White House, recapture seats in Congress and in state legislatures and rebuild their bench of candidates, according to a task force formed after the party’s dismal 2014 election. Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz released a 19-page report on Tuesday that describes the party’s work to rebuild after massive losses in the midterm elections during Barack Obama’s presidency. Read more

Here’s what the Legislature has been up to during committee week:

Senate submits to court a new redistricting map, rejecting plan that passed full 

Florida may expand help for intellectually disabled children 

Alimony overhaul bill clears first House panel

Florida lawmakers move to replace Confederate statue 

Drone liability bill narrowly advances in Florida Senate

Congrats! GOPAC names Dana Young to Legislative Leaders Advisory Board

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

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