Florida politics

Sammy Mack / WLRN

On the first day of session, the Florida statehouse smells like a flower shop. Bouquets of lilies and roses and orchids crowd the desks of the representatives and senators.

It’s just one tradition on a day full of first-day-back traditions.

You can hear a dispatch from the Capitol on this day full of pomp:

And here are some highlights from opening ceremonies:

Florida Roundup: Florida Politics In 2016

Jan 8, 2016
flguardian2 / Flickr Creative Commons

An election year like this year means Florida’s politics will be on the national stage -- from our pivotal role in choosing the next president, to the balance of power in the United States Congress, to policy fights in the state Legislature.

All this political intrigue leads back to Florida voters.

Andrew Harnik / Associated Press

Before ringing in the New Year, we take a look back at 2015 national politics and politics in the Sunshine State.

 

It was a critical year for Democrats and Republicans running in the presidential race. From spring through summer, more than 20 major party candidates started campaigning as presidential hopefuls. Four of them have personal connections to Florida: Jeb Bush, Donald Trump, Marco Rubio and Ben Carson.

 

courtsey & Tom Hudson

There is a big gap between $635 million and $1.6 billion. Yet, those are the two estimates of how much extra money state lawmakers may have when they meet in January for their next legislative session. The lower estimate is the official figure from the Legislative Office of Economic and Demographic Research. The higher figure is from Gov.

Bar Jack / Flickr

Following two weeks of nationwide gun violence on school campuses, guns are becoming part of the conversation in Florida, too -- but in the form of legislation. 

 

This week, a bill was filed in Tallahassee to allow concealed weapons permit holders to carry guns in public.  

 

Rubio Overshadows Bush In New Florida Poll

Sep 23, 2015
Gage Skidmore/Flickr

The Donald continues to lead his Republican presidential opponents while U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio has leapfrogged a onetime mentor, former Gov. Jeb Bush, in a poll of Florida voters released Wednesday by Florida Atlantic University.

In critical swing-state Florida, Hillary Clinton holds a significant edge over her Democratic rivals but struggles in match-ups against most Republican contenders, including Rubio and Florida pediatric neurosurgeon Ben Carson, the survey found.

Florida Attorney General's Office

Attorney General Pam Bondi put added pressure Wednesday on lawmakers to increase funding for crime labs as she detailed a massive backlog of untested rape kits across the state.

"Those need to be tested because, hidden in those estimated thousands of untested rape kits, we have the potential to solve cold cases and lock up sexual predators and make Florida the safest place to live and raise a family," Bondi said during a news conference at The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay.

ARCHITECT OF THE CAPITOL

NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

The bronze statue of Confederate Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith, which has stood in the U.S. Capitol since 1922, would be replaced by a statue more representative of Florida, under a bill filed Tuesday by a Republican state lawmaker.

Rep. Jose Felix Diaz said he's been considering the proposal (HB 141) for several years, and the bill comes as people across the country have reconsidered Confederate symbols after the racially motivated slaying in June of nine black church members in South Carolina.

SolarCity / AP

Backers of a proposed constitutional amendment to expand the use of solar energy say it might be four years before they would again seek voter approval if the current ballot language is rejected by the Florida Supreme Court.

A plan to redraw Florida's 27 congressional districts overwhelmingly passed the state House Tuesday, inching closer to a potential face off with the Senate over districts in Central Florida and the Tampa Bay area.

Nine Democrats joined with the majority of Republicans in approving the new map on a 76-35 vote. Nine members of the GOP, some of whom fulminated against a Florida Supreme Court decision that prompted the ongoing redistricting special session, joined the majority of Democrats in opposing the proposal (HB 1B).

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