Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Our digest of, and commentary on today's Florida political news and punditry.

"A disaster in Florida"

The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "Today the future of the Affordable Care Act is on the line once again at the U.S. Supreme Court. So is health care for millions of Americans, including 1.6 million Floridians."

Florida would be hit hardest. The state's 1.6 million sign-ups through the federal exchange are the most of any state, according to the federal Department of Health and Human Services. The 756,000 sign-ups in Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties are the highest of any metro area. Greater Orlando, with about 193,000 sign-ups, ranks eighth.
"Florida has no backup plan if the high court strikes down the tax credits. Gov. Rick Scott and the Legislature's Republican leaders have shown no interest in crafting one."
Legally, the court has no reason to gut the law. Practically, a ruling for the plaintiffs would be a disaster in Florida and across the nation.
"Ruling against health law would hurt state."

"Problems in the state's prison system"

"The head of a Senate committee probing problems in the state's prison system has received a stream of unsolicited letters from current and former employees describing poor working conditions and a reluctance to root out corruption." "Prison employees detail troubles in letters to lawmaker."

Florida Supreme Court to hear Fair District arguments today

"The Florida Supreme Court is taking up a legal challenge to the state’s congressional districts. The high court will hear arguments Wednesday in a long-running legal battle over whether the Florida Legislature followed voter-approved standards for drawing the boundaries for the state’s 27 congressional seats." "Florida Supreme Court takes up challenge to new districts."

"Devoid of depth, leadership."

The Miami Herald editors: "Gov. Scott’s speech devoid of depth, leadership." "How about some specifics?." See also "Gov. Rick Scott gives upbeat State of the State address, avoids pressing issues."

"All but Medicaid"

"Hundreds of people gathered in the Capitol on Tuesday to hear speeches from Gov. Rick Scott and top lawmakers underlying their policy priorities at the start of the 2015 legislative session." "Session opens with broad agreement on all but Medicaid." Related: "House, Senate Leaders Show Signs of Agreement, Differences."

Scott Cheerleaders

The Scott cheerleaders at the Tampa Trib write that "Four years in office have not greatly sharpened Gov. Rick Scott’s oratorical skills, which even he poked fun at during his State of the State Address on Tuesday. But his tenure has sharpened his understanding of his adopted state." "A boost for Florida and Scott."

Meanwhile, "Democrats Respond to Scott's State of the State By Going on the Attack."

"We hold ribbon-cuttings for convenience marts"

"For decades, this state has cultivated and celebrated low-wage jobs. We offer tax breaks and incentive deals to theme parks and grocery stores. We hold ribbon-cuttings for convenience marts." "Orlando growth must get beyond low-wage jobs, government projects."


"Medical Marijuana, Gambling Both No-Shows on First Day of Session."

Cuba the new normal

Michael Putney: "While many Cuban Americans denounce establishing diplomatic relations with the devil, others are preparing to do business with him." "Cuba and the new normal."

Grubbing for wingnuts

"At a gathering of the nation’s conservative political activists last week, Sen. Marco Rubio won back at least some of the trust he’d lost in 2013, when he helped broker a bipartisan immigration plan." "For Sen. Marco Rubio, immigration shift could win the right but hurt elsewhere."

About those private emails

"News that Hillary Clinton used a private email account during her time as Secretary of State draws contrasts and similarities to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and current Gov. Rick Scott, both of whom have drawn criticism for using private email." "Clinton email controversy raises questions about Jeb Bush, Rick Scott."

Rubio strives for relevance

"Sen. Marco Rubio is teaming up with another conservative senator to release a tax overhaul bill that would reduce the number of tax brackets for individuals and drop corporate tax rates, all in an attempt to boost economic growth." "Sens. Rubio, Lee float tax plan to cut corporate rates, individual brackets."