6:46 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

Florida Senate Seeks To Ban Powdered Booze

Powdered rum and cosmopolitans are among the adult beverages the Florida State Legislature is considering banning

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 1:50 pm

Spirits aren't high on the future of powdered alcohol being mixed in Florida.

The Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee on Monday unanimously supported a measure (SB 998) that would prohibit the sale and possession of powdered alcohol throughout the state.

The effort to ban powdered alcohol comes shortly after the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau approved the sale of a powdered alcohol called Palcohol by the privately held company Lipsmark LLC.

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6:36 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

Circuit Court Ruling Puts Former Miami Lakes Mayor Back In Office

Michael Pizzi after he was found not guilty in August 2014.
Credit the Miami Herald

Former Miami Lakes mayor Michael Pizzi was reinstated to his old position Tuesday.

Pizzi was arrested in August 2013 on bribery charges and found not guilty last August. Since then he’s been trying to get back his seat as mayor.

Current mayor Wayne Slaton won’t budge. This has led to a circuit court judge ruling that Pizzi be reinstated.

A shakeup like this has the ability to affect the town government’s morale.

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5:23 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Poll: Jeb, Rubio Get Boost in Florida

Jeb Bush

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 10:33 am

With voters pointing to concerns about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's honesty, former Gov. Jeb Bush and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio have gained ground on the Democrat in the presidential race in Florida, according to a poll released Tuesday.

Bush, who has been traveling the country and raising tens of millions of dollars in anticipation of a bid for the Republican nomination, leads Clinton by a margin of 45 percent to 42 percent in Florida, the Quinnipiac University poll said. A similar survey in early February showed Clinton ahead 44 percent to 43 percent against Bush.

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8:03 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Seminoles Release More Ads Pushing Gambling Negotiations

A proposed gambling bill in Tallahassee would conflict with the Seminole Gaming Compact. Part of the compact will expire in July unless state leaders negotiate a new deal.
Credit Thomas Davison/flickr

The Seminole Tribe of Florida has released another TV ad -- the third so far -- trying to convince state leaders to renew a portion of the Seminole Gaming Compact.

The portion that expires in July allows the Seminole tribe to exclusively offer games like blackjack at its casinos. In return, the tribe guarantees a billion dollars’ worth of payments to the state over five years.

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2:25 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

Florida's Transgender Bathroom Bill Clears Its Second Hurdle

Originally published on Thu March 19, 2015 9:11 am

  Florida could become the first state to criminalize using the wrong bathroom. The Single Sex Bathroom Bill has cleared its second committee in the Florida House.

Morning Edition Host Nicole Creston spoke with Health Reporter Abe Aboraya.

CRESTON: I understand that the transgender community has rallied against this bill. The bill applies to everyone, but the transgender community are the ones caught in the middle since a man who has become a woman could be penalized for walking into a ladies room.

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2:25 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

Fact-Checking Jeb Bush on Email Records

Originally published on Mon March 23, 2015 12:26 pm

As attention centers on Hillary Clinton’s email records, one left-leaning political action committee is reminding folks about a communication flap from another potential presidential candidate -- former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

Bush famously used his personal email address during his eight years as governor, and he recently posted them online. But the American Bridge 21st Centry PAC says Bush handpicked which emails to disclose.

According to Josh Gillin with PolitiFact Florida, the PAC's claim is Mostly True. 

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2:25 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

Lawmaker Tells Story of Using Gun to Prevent Rape

Originally published on Thu March 19, 2015 11:03 am

When State Representative Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda went to college, she brought a gun with her. She didn't think she'd need it.

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2:23 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

Former Senator: Not Much Government In The Florida Sunshine

Paula Dockery is a Republican who served 16 years in the Florida Legislature. She is now a syndicated columnist.
Credit Tom Hagerty/flickr

This is Government in the Sunshine Week, a week celebrating the importance of open government and freedom of information.

The recent firing of Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey is an example of government leaders making decisions out of the public purview – violating the spirit of Sunshine Week and Florida’s Sunshine Law.

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It's All Politics
7:03 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

Obama, 2016 Contenders Deal With Changing Attitudes On Marijuana

Polls show changing American opinion on marijuana, and it's having an effect on politics.
Leon Neal AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 17, 2015 11:26 am

The divide between Republicans and Democrats on pot politics is narrowing, President Barack Obama said in an interview Monday.

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Florida Roundup
11:31 am
Fri March 13, 2015

Florida Roundup: The DEP Ban On 'Climate Change'

Florida Gov. Rick Scott speaks to reporters outside Hialeah’s Casa Maiz restaurant Monday.
Credit Patti Mazzei / Miami Herald

Gov. Rick Scott's office is continuing to deny that the administration unofficially banned the use of the terms "climate change" and "global warming" after former state employees said they were told not to use those words. 

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2015 Session
7:12 pm
Mon March 9, 2015

Miami Leaders Urge Lawmakers To Expand Medicaid

Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado addressing the issue of Medicaid expansion. On the monitors there's a photo of an uninsured man with a sign that says "no insurance". Harry Melo (also pictured) falls under the coverage gap and is also not insured.
Credit Lisann Ramos

Harry Melo is a 25-year-old grad student from New York who came to Miami two months ago for school. In New York he was able to sign up for Medicaid.

He was surprised to find out that in Florida there’s a “coverage gap” where uninsured people who can’t afford health care insurance also don’t qualify for Obamacare. Melo is now in that gap.

“Shouldn’t my concern as a student be studying and receiving A’s," Melo said, "rather than what to do or where to go and how much this would cost me as an uninsured adult."

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Miami-Dade Politics
3:06 pm
Mon March 9, 2015

Raquel Regalado Will Challenge Miami-Dade County Mayor

Miami-Dade school board member Raquel Regalado filed paperwork to run for Miami-Dade County mayor Monday.
Credit John O'Connor / WLRN

Miami-Dade school board member Raquel Regalado says she is running for Miami-Dade County mayor.

The 40-year-old Regalado filed the paperwork on Monday. She’ll challenge incumbent Carlos Gimenez, who has held the office since 2011.

Regalado says Gimenez is out of touch with county voters.

“I think that a lot of the decisions that are being made at the county have more to do with who comes to visit the mayor, and what ideas they have; what lobbyists bring what proposals," she says.

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12:05 pm
Fri March 6, 2015

Florida Roundup: Technical Problems Delay Testing In South Florida School Districts

Credit Extra Ketchup

Technical problems this week delayed testing in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. Testing didn't resume until three days later on Thursday.

The Florida Senate moved forward with a bill to limit testing.

Gov. Rick Scott gave an upbeat State of the State address in the midst of a challenging start to his administration's second term.

Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties' legislative delegations take their priority measures to Tallahassee.

The Miami International Film Festival kicks off today.

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4:15 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

PolitiFact: Scott's Promises Worth Watching

PolitiFact Florida's "Scott-O-Meter" tracks the promises of Gov. Rick Scott

Originally published on Sat March 7, 2015 12:31 pm

With Gov. Rick Scott's State of the State Address and the start of the 2015 Florida Legislative Session both taking place this past Tuesday, the promises coming out of Tallahassee are going under PolitiFact Florida's microscope.

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4:13 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Scott Drops Welfare Drug Testing Challenge

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 9:13 am

After spending at least $300,000 of taxpayer money on legal expenses, Gov. Rick Scott is abandoning his fight to force welfare applicants to undergo mandatory drug tests.

A federal appeals court ruled in December that the state’s mandatory, suspicion-less drug testing of applicants in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF, program is an unconstitutional violation of Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures by the government.

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