Florida politics

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Changes to a proposed map of Florida's 27 congressional districts emerged Wednesday, a day before key hearings in the House and Senate about how to comply with a court order finding the current map violates the anti-gerrymandering "Fair Districts" requirements.

Meanwhile, a congresswoman whose district has been targeted to be radically redrawn made good on her threat to file a federal lawsuit trying to complicate the process.

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News Service of Florida

The League of Women Voters of Florida will start building a coalition Thursday to fight newly filed bills that would allow people to carry concealed weapons on college and university campuses.

But Rep. Greg Steube, a Sarasota Republican who is sponsoring the House version of the bill, remains undeterred. The proposal, which would apply to people who have concealed-weapons licenses, failed to pass the Legislature during the 2015 session.

Andrew Harnik / AP via Miami Herald

The Republican presidential debate drew 24 million viewers on Thursday night, making it the most-watched presidential debate ever.

Was the record viewership thanks in part to Donald Trump? Maybe.

But Florida voters had two homegrown candidates on the stage, and issues like immigration and education were big talking points for both Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio.

"People are frustrated," said Rubio, who called for a border fence and tougher immigration policy. "This is the most generous country in the world when it comes to immigration."

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A bipartisan group is pushing for all registered voters to be allowed to vote in Florida’s primaries.

In Florida, when a candidate has opposition outside of their party, which is often the case, nonpartisan voters cannot cast a vote.

A proposed amendment called “All Voters Vote” could change that.

John Opdycke, president of Open Primaries, the group promoting the all-vote movement, says no American should have to join a political party to vote. 

flguardian2 / Flickr Creative Commons

Pointing to a time crunch, a Leon County circuit judge Wednesday gave the Florida Legislature little more than two months to draw new congressional districts and to defend them in court.

Judge George S. Reynolds III issued an order that said a special legislative session to redraw districts and a subsequent trial must be finished by Sept. 25. The order came after the Florida Supreme Court last week tossed out eight congressional districts because it found that lawmakers violated a 2010 constitutional amendment aimed at preventing gerrymandering.

Bar Jack / Flickr

News Service of Florida

The Second Amendment should supersede a Florida law that bans firearms from state university housing, a gun-rights group argued before seemingly skeptical appellate judges Tuesday.

The 1st District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee heard arguments from Florida Carry Inc., which contends students and other people residing in on-campus housing at the University of Florida should be allowed to maintain possession of firearms as they would at their parents' homes.

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Nearly a third of state lawmakers are millionaires, with two members of the Senate having net worths that top $20 million, according to newly filed disclosure reports.

Almost half of the Senate is in the millionaires club, and more than two dozen senators saw their net worths grow in the past year. Some reports remain to be filed, but so far no senator sits in the red financially, according to the reports posted on the Florida Commission on Ethics website.

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Florida’s congressional districts map just got shaken up. Again.

On Thursday, the Florida Supreme Court ruled 5-2 that eight congressional districts be redrawn before the 2016 elections.

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"Hmm?" answered Sean Spicer to whether a Republican presidential nominee has to win in Florida in order to win the White House.

Spicer is the chief strategist and communications director for the Republican National Committee. The RNC is not picking a favorite among the growing list of Republicans vying for their party's presidential nomination. But the party, like its Democratic counterpart, knows Florida's growing importance to the 2016 presidential race.

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  On the Florida Roundup, the date for the special session has been set to organize a budget.

Florida Legislature

After no agreement during the legislative session, lawmakers will meet again on June 1 for budget discussions. They must decide before July 1.

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