Politics

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Michal Kranz / WLRN

Activists have been calling for  Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle to bring charges against two prison guards accused of torturing and killing schizophrenic inmate Darren Rainey at Dade Correctional Institution four years ago. They say that the realities facing mentally ill people in Florida's prisons are due to a lack of funding and oversight.

Voters in a Central Palm Beach County will be choosing a new State House representative this year for the newly drawn, majority-Democratic District 87. It’s also a majority Latino district — so much so that the local Publix on Southern Boulevard has a Cuban coffee shop inside.

Palm Beach County’s Hispanic population spiked by 78 percent between 2000 and 2010. Two years later, in 2012, the Florida House of Representatives created this new majority-Hispanic District 87.

Rubio, Curbelo urge Congress To Fund Zika Fight Faster

Jun 3, 2016
Marco Rubio and Carlos Curbelo
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

Coming off of a two-day trip to Honduras, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio joined forces with U.S. Representative Carlos Curbelo at an event Friday to implore members of Congress to come to a speedy compromise on funding to fight Zika.

Congress is set to negotiate on a proposed 1.1 billion dollar spending package to combat the virus. President Obama already put on the table a 1.9 billion dollar plan.

 

Rubio shared his support for spending as much money as it takes, for as long as it takes, to stop the virus.

 

Miami-Dade, 'Focus Of The Political Universe' In Senate Races

May 31, 2016
Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla
Florida State Senate

Miami-Dade County --- long the epicenter of Florida's bloodiest political battles - is hosting three key state Senate races whose outcomes could help reshape the chamber.

The Senate seats are up for grabs for the first time since a fresh map went into effect this year, the result of a legal fight over the anti-gerrymandering "Fair Districts" standards approved by Florida voters in 2010.

Jason Parker/Flickr

The biggest game in sports is coming back to South Florida. The Miami Dolphins will host the Super Bowl in 2020, celebrating a century of the NFL. But is this Miami’s game - or is it South Florida's game? Should the branding leave out Broward County?

Roberto Koltun / El Nuevo Herald staff

A Miami Charter Review Committee has been looking into the idea that the city of Miami should have a strong mayor. Currently it is an executive mayor position, which makes it a mostly figurehead post.

Commissioner Francis Suarez is leading the push to make the  mayor of Miami more powerful and explains why the issue should be taken to the voters. 

http://planzmiami.com/

There have been three deaths of cyclists on the Rickenbacker Causeway in the past five years. The 2012 death of Allen Cohen, led to the creation of the Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act, a law that puts larger penalties on motorists who hit cyclists. 

Tim Padgett / WLRN.org

A recent poll shows presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are neck-and-neck in Florida. As a result, one voter bloc will likely be key to winning the state – and, since this is Florida, maybe the election.

Last week’s Quinnipiac University survey shows presumptive Democratic candidate Clinton leading de facto Republican nominee Trump in Florida by just one percentage point – 43 to 42.

Eraldo Peres / AP via Miami Herald

COMMENTARY

Luis Almagro, the secretary general of the Organization of American States, made a particularly sensible point when I talked to him during his visit to Miami this week.

The recent normalization of U.S.-Cuba relations, Almagro said, is good for the Western Hemisphere because it “has changed the logic of relations between Latin America and the United States.”

Miami Herald

We recently spoke with Mayor Eugene Flinn of Palmetto Bay and Vice Mayor James McDonald of Pinecrest about the debate between new bus lines versus more rail.

The county has a plan for $115 million  to go toward a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system in the South Dade.

Gov. Rick Scott Signs Death-Benefits Bill For First Responders

Apr 8, 2016
City of Coral Gables Facebook

Gov. Rick Scott signed a measure Friday that will help families of first responders who are enrolled in the Florida Retirement System and get killed in the line of duty.

The death-benefits bill (SB 7012), a priority of Senate President Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, was among 17 bills Scott signed into law.

"When people give their lives in the service of our state, the least we can do is make sure we help provide for the families they leave behind," Gardiner said in a prepared statement.

The law covers first responders killed since July 1, 2013.

Federal Judge Closes Books On Florida Gay Marriage Ban

Mar 31, 2016
Peetje2 / Creative Commons/Flickr

More than a year after same-sex marriages began in Florida, a federal judge on Thursday issued a final judgment declaring that Florida's voter-approved prohibition against gay marriage is unconstitutional.

In a harshly worded ruling, U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle rejected state officials' arguments that a final order in the Florida case was unnecessary due to a seminal U.S. Supreme Court decision last year that struck down state bans on same-sex marriages nationwide.

Desmond Boylan / AP

President Obama's visit to Cuba this week drew criticism from Miami and praise from Cubans.

Cubans in Havana watched President Obama speak directly to them on live television, knowing that Cuban president Raul Castro was in the same room listening on. 

"I want the Cuban people, especially the young people, to understand why I believe that you should look to the future with hope, not the false promise which insists that things are better than they really are, or the blind optimism that says all your problems can go away tomorrow," said President Obama in a speech in Havana.

Tom Hudson / WLRN

President Obama is going to Cuba this weekend.

WLRN's Tom Hudson and Tim Padgett are there awaiting Obama's visit. What is the mood in Havana ahead of the historic trip? And they're looking at the changes that have occurred since the two nations started talking again.

Donald Trump looks like the Republican nominee in this presidential election, while Florida's Senator Marco Rubio is back in the halls of the senate, now that’s he no longer running for president. But, what do we make of his claim that he won’t return to politics after January?

Miami Herald

The 2016 Florida legislative session was a much more conciliatory affair -- compared to last year's session that ended early and went to extra sessions. On Thursday, Gov. Rick Scott signed the $82.3 billion budget. He stuck to his earlier announcement of 256-million-dollars in line-item vetoes.

 Why the governor announced so early what he was going to veto.

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