politics

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.

World Affairs Council of Philadelphia / www.flickr.com/creativecommons/by-2.0/

It's likely not news to you that Miami is ground zero for two of the most watched Republicans in this cycle's presidential contest. Remember the excitement back in April when Sen. Marco Rubio officially hopped in the race at the Freedom Tower?

“Grounded by the lessons of our history, but inspired by the promise of our future, I announce my candidacy for president of the United States,” Rubio said.

Lightblb on Flickr

"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.

Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush became a Republican presidential candidate Monday.

Education has been a signature issue for Bush. He helped start Florida’s first charter school. He says schools and teachers should be judged on student performance. He pushed for vouchers for private schools.

And he spent most of his time since leaving the Florida governor’s office advocating for his brand of school reform.

JIM LO SCALZO / EPA/LANDOV

Sen. Marco Rubio has his eye on the Oval Office.

He announced his bid for the Republican presidential race in April at the Freedom Tower in downtown Miami. The Freedom Tower was a symbolic (and strategic) choice: He appealed to the Cuban-American stronghold in Miami.

Rubio, a South Florida political wunderkind, was elected Florida’s youngest-ever state House speaker in 2006 at 35 years old. He was then elected senator in 2010.

World Affairs Council of Philadelphia/Flickr

Jeb Bush is expected to announce his entrance into the presidential race Monday at Miami Dade College’s Kendall campus.

In contrast to Sen. Marco Rubio’s announcement, which took place in the cramped but historic Freedom Tower, Bush is heading to a community college that has multiple campuses spread throughout Miami-Dade County.

Wikimedia / Illustration by Maria Murriel

The regular session of the Florida Legislature came to an abrupt end in late April as the House disagreed with the Senate over Medicaid expansion. The Senate wants to use federal dollars for expansion, while the House and Gov. Rick Scott want no expansion.

Lawmakers returned to Tallahassee last week for a special session to finish work on their one required duty: creating a state budget that goes into effect July 1.

Nina Agrawal

Gov. Rick Scott was in South Florida Monday to help release three endangered sea turtles into the ocean. The loggerhead turtles had been rehabilitated by the Miami Seaquarium and were released at Bill Baggs State Park in Key Biscayne.

Andrew Hertz, president and general manager of the Seaquarium, said the release was significant because the turtles were just getting to reproductive age. “They are the best hope for the next generation of sea turtles,” he said.

Zack Mccarthy / Flickr

Florida lawmakers are getting closer to a budget deal that will add more money for schools.

Florida schools would get $207 more per student if the Florida House agrees to a Senate education budget, or $7,097 per pupil.

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