Florida Five: SpaceX nails historic rocket launch, Union says teacher bonuses discriminate

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

SpaceX rocket2SpaceX makes history: Successfully launches, lands Falcon 9 rocket – SpaceX’s successfully launched a Falcon 9 rocket on Monday night, the first from the private spaceflight company since its rocket exploded on liftoff in June. The first stage of the rocket, used to propel the payload to 100km (62 miles) or so until the second stage takes over, then successfully landed on Earth again at a prepared landing zone.  Read more

Related: Watch live as SpaceX tries to launch, then land a rocket in Florida

Union: Bonuses discriminate against older, minority teachers – Florida’s teacher union says a new bonus program discriminates against older teachers and minority teachers. The Florida Legislature this year set aside $44 million for the “Best and Brightest Program.” The program gives bonuses to teachers who received good evaluations and who also earned top scores on the standardized tests used to get into college. Read more

Sunshine State News’ top 10 Florida stories of 2015 – It was an off-election year, one you might have thought would be a sleeper for the political class in Florida. But 2015 turned out to be a noisy family food fight from beginning nearly to end, a year dominated by the courts, leaving a shortage of happy people in and around the Capitol. Read more

Lawmakers, Atwater look at pulling the plug on ‘PIP’— The state’s personal-injury protection auto insurance system, known as “no-fault,” would end in 2019 under proposals ready to go before lawmakers. Rep. Bill Hager, R-Delray Beach, filed a proposal (HB 997) last week, two months after Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty tossed out the idea of, “Let’s just repeal PIP and do nothing,” as a way to further reduce fraud in the personal-injury protection system. Read more

Americans for Prosperity goes digital to keep lawmakers in check during holidays – Much like Santa Claus, Americans for Prosperity Florida will be checking its “naughty list” this Christmas. And if the conservative group gets its way, lawmakers shouldn’t expect too much quiet time during their break before the Legislature convenes next month. Read more

Bonus: Super PAC fetishist strikes again – Florida man gives regulators headaches after creating hundreds of odd committees.

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

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