politics

Court To Weigh Allowing Guns In University Housing

Jul 8, 2015

After a high-profile legislative debate this spring about concealed weapons on college campuses, a state appeals court is poised to hear arguments in a dispute about whether guns should be allowed in residence halls and other housing at the University of Florida.

This story was first published by Vermont Public Radio.

Sen. Bernie Sanders spends a lot of time on the presidential campaign trail talking about the plight of the middle class and the prodigality of the "one percent."

Meanwhile, Sanders and his wife, Jane, were likely in about the top 5 percent of American income earners last year, according to copies of their 2014 tax returns obtained by Vermont Public Radio.

Jose A. Iglesias / El Nuevo Herald

President Obama’s announcement last week that the U.S. will restore diplomatic relations with communist Cuba on July 20 – and will open an embassy there a few days after – is angering South Florida lawmakers.

Their options to stop the Administration are limited. But they’re moving against Obama’s new engagement policy nonetheless, and it’s shaping up as one of the summer’s big political battles.

The rhetoric from the Cuban-American congressional caucus is rising with the humid temperature in Washington, D.C.

Court to Rule on Abortion Wait Challenge

Jun 28, 2015

Only days before a new Florida law would start requiring 24-hour waits before women can have abortions, a Leon County circuit judge is considering whether to place a hold on the law while a constitutional challenge goes forward.

The law (HB 633), which passed in April, is slated to go into effect July 1. The day after Gov. Rick Scott signed the law, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a constitutional challenge and sought an emergency injunction.

Creative Commons via Flickr / Jeff Cubina (https://flic.kr/p/tbJue)

In a 5-to-4 vote, the Supreme Court says all states must provide marriage licenses between two people of the same sex, and all states must recognize same-sex marriages.

Florida has allowed same-sex marriages since January. But what happens now for the politicians in Florida who have opposed same-sex marriage, such as Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi? Will this be an issue in presidential campaigns?

States cannot keep same-sex couples from marrying and must recognize their unions, the Supreme Court says in a ruling that for months has been the focus of speculation. The decision was 5-4.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, seen as a pivotal swing vote in the case, wrote the majority opinion. All four justices who voted against the ruling wrote their own dissenting opinions: Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito.

We are reporting today on the Supreme Court's 6-3 decision to uphold the nationwide subsidies called for in the Affordable Care Act. One of the three justices who opposed the ruling was Justice Antonin Scalia, who issued a strong dissent.

Here are some highlights:

'SCOTUSCare'

The U.S. Supreme Court decision on health subsidies keeps intact the way more than 1 million Floridians buy and pay for insurance through HealthCare.gov.

People like Phil Ammann. After nearly a decade without insurance, the St. Petersburg resident on Thursday was thrilled by the news. A $300 subsidy means he pays just $93 a month for coverage.

Roberto Koltun / El Nuevo Herald

Three environmental groups filed a lawsuit this week -- with the state legislature as their target. The coalition claims lawmakers shortchanged environmental spending in this year's budget, going against the will of the voters.

The coalition is made up of the Florida Wildlife Federation, the St. Johns Riverkeeper and the Environmental Confederation of Southwest Florida. These groups claim lawmakers put millions of dollars that should go to buying land for conservation efforts, and used it for expenses not allowed by Amendment 1.

Franklin Reyes / AP

As part of his effort to normalize relations with communist Cuba, President Obama wants to make it easier for Americans to travel there. But there’s still some confusion. So the Administration wants folks to bring their questions to the Twittersphere.

U.S. tourist travel to Cuba is still illegal. But Americans have long been able to travel there if they obtained U.S. government permission for purposes like family visits or academic exchanges.

Florida Power & Light Company

The Public Service Commission last year approved Florida Power and Light's plan to go fracking for natural gas in Oklahoma.

Even then, it was clear the utility planned to charge Florida rate payers for the project in another state, and advocates at the Public Counsel's Office filed suit to stop it. The suit is pending, but now the PSC has voted again.

The Obama administration and the state have reached an agreement to continue funding the hospital Low-Income Pool for two more years but at a much lower cost.

Earl Leatherberry/flickr

Florida voters passed Amendment 1 last November, and funding to carry out the amendment was considered a priority when lawmakers went into the regular session in March. The amendment is also known as the Water and Land Conservation Initiative.

For the next 20 years, the amendment requires that one–third of the revenue from a real estate tax known as documentary stamps goes toward environmental preservation.

The Supreme Court, in King v. Burwell, will soon decide whether more than a million Floridians will lose subsidies they rely on to buy insurance on HealthCare.gov.  

Jeb Bush: "I Will Run With Heart And I Will Run To Win"

Jun 15, 2015
Alex Gonzalez / WLRN

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush ended the worst-kept secret in Florida politics Monday: He’s running for president.

Bush has maintained a will-he-or-won’t-he flirtation with officially entering the Republican 2016 field since he announced he was "actively exploring" a bid six months ago.

But he knew he wasn’t fooling anyone -- and jumped into the race just two minutes into his speech at Miami Dade College's Kendall campus.
 
The nation's largest college “is just the place to be in the campaign that begins today," Bush said.

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