Today concluded three days of U.S. congressional hearings on President Obama’s plan to restore diplomatic relations with communist Cuba. The administration faced tough skepticism – at times some outright hostility – but the new policy came out largely unscathed.
Senate and House committee members from both parties questioned President Obama’s efforts to normalize Cuba relations. Republican Florida Senator Marco Rubio warned Assistant U.S. Secretary of State Roberta Jacobson the policy change “will not be effective” in democratizing Cuba.
Originally published on Tue February 3, 2015 6:31 pm
A measure allowing sexual abuse victims to use secret recordings of their attackers as evidence in court is moving forward in the Florida House. The proposed committee bill gained initial approval in the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee Tuesday.
Florida’s constitutional amendment banning gay marriage was passed by 62 percent of voters in 2008. But various lower court rulings last year found the ban to be unconstitutional, and federal judge Robert Hinkle agreed.
Now, same sex couples can marry in Florida, but four states have gay marriage cases pending before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 3:18 pm
With the Department of Homeland Security’s funding deadline less than a month away, Republicans and Democrats are gearing up for what may be the next stage in Congress’ fight on President Obama’s immigration policies.
House Republicans have already passed their own version of DHS funding that would also block the president’s November immigration orders and deport up to four million immigrants living in the U.S. illegally.
Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 1:16 pm
Attorney General Pam Bondi said Wednesday she believes Gov. Rick Scott's staff acted without his knowledge in the way former Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey was pushed out last month.
Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 6:10 pm
Same-sex marriage gets a hearing in the U.S. Supreme Court this April, and in Florida, the Attorney General is making a familiar argument against a piecemeal approach.
Florida began issuing same-sex marriage licenses at the beginning of this month. At the time, officials argued the federal ruling throwing out the state’s marriage ban was narrow and only applied to the couples named in the case. Wednesday Attorney General Pam Bondi argued the greatest harm is lack of consistency.
Watchdog groups want an outside investigation into the apparent ousting of well respected Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey, and now a private citizen is asking the FBI to investigate claims that Gov. Rick Scott tried to meddle in the affairs of the state’s top law enforcement agency.
Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 11:31 am
Gov. Rick Scott has rejected a request from Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater to consider a search for a new head of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Scott wants the cabinet to consider changes at the departments of insurance regulation, financial regulation, and revenue. The exchange comes as Democratic lawmakers call for an investigation into the ouster of former FDLE head Gerald Bailey.