Thursday, April 23, 2015

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

Scott threatens vetoes

"Faced with a budget impasse and the prospect of losing his tax cut plan, Gov. Rick Scott cornered key senators on Wednesday to remind them of his priorities and, some said, suggest he could veto their bills if they don’t pass them." "Scott threatens vetoes as session impasse continues."

See also Gov. Rick Scott calls for special session, says tax cuts may be sacrificed to end stalemate."

Grubbing for wingnuts

Jeb Bush says "he would support repeal of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) -- executive actions from Obama allowing around 5 million illegals to stay in the U.S. without facing being deported. As he nears a presidential bid, Bush has drawn fire from conservatives on immigration. Bush has been a vocal critic of the Arizona immigration law and has backed immigration reform." "Jeb Bush Vows to Repeal Obama's Immigration Executive Actions."

There's plenty of room in the clown car:

"U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., a possible U.S. Senate candidate in 2016, took a larger role in the fight against President Barack Obama’s federal health-care law on Wednesday, leading the charge to end congressional exemptions from the law." "Ron DeSantis Leads the Charge Against Congressional Obamacare Exemptions."

Florida farmers worry

"Congress will be talking up the possibility of expanding agricultural markets to Cuba – a shift encouraged by U.S. farmers and some members of Congress." "As some U.S. farmers see markets in Cuba, those in Florida see worries."

Privatization follies

"The company, American Institutes for Research, acknowledges it failed to follow its own protocols but says it has learned its lesson this time." "Florida lawmakers rip testing vendor after second round of glitches."

Chamber hops into the clown car

"As Gov. Rick Scott threatens lawmakers with a special session and vetoes of their bills, the Florida Chamber of Commerce, one of the governor’s biggest political allies, dropped its support of expanding Medicaid under Obamacare."

The chamber’s health care proposal had included drawing down $50 billion in federal money to expand Medicaid if the plan included spending protections proposed by the group. Scott and House Republicans oppose Medicaid expansion.
"Florida chamber withdraws support of Medicaid expansion."

"Waldo Bill"

"Legislature passes 'Waldo Bill' to outlaw ticket quotas."

"It is naked hypocrisy"

"It is naked hypocrisy -- and proof that they don't really want accountability. They just want to drive families away from public schools." "Florida private schools rely more on public vouchers - without public 'accountability'."

Old men

"Women who want an abortion in Florida will have to wait 24 hours under a bill that passed the House on Wednesday. The Senate will likely vote on its version of the bill, which mirrors the House's, on Friday. It is expected to pass." "Women likely to face 24-hour waiting period for abortion." See also "House passes 1-day wait before abortion" and "Florida House approves 24-hour waiting period for abortions."

Medicaid lawsuit gets Texas backing

"Gov. Rick Scott received the backing of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday over his intention to sue the federal government for allegedly “coercing” Florida to accept Medicaid expansion." "Gov. Scott lawsuit over Medicaid expansion gets Texas backing."

Big of him

"Florida state Sen. Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, said Tuesday the he does not support a proposal allowing private agencies to deny adoptions by gay and lesbian couples on religious or moral grounds." "Florida Sen. Gaetz: I don’t support bill allowing private agencies to deny gay adoptions." Related: "Senate committee doesn’t vote on whether private agencies can deny gay adoptions."

Senate rejects League of Cities' pension flip-flop

"The Senate unanimously approved legislation Wednesday revamping how local pensions for police officers and firefighters are funded, bringing closer to resolution a long-running debate over the retirement plans."

The bill (SB 172), which now heads to the House, cleared the upper chamber 36-0 after less than 10 minutes of debate. It relies on a deal struck between cities and unions last year --- one that cities have backed away from after the re-election of Gov. Rick Scott in November. . . .

The proposal has run into resistance this year from the Florida League of Cities, which supported the bill in 2014.

"Florida Senate Passes Plan to Shore up Local Pensions."

That privacy thing

"Amid an ongoing national debate about police tactics, Florida may soon place limits on who is allowed to access video taken by body cameras worn by law enforcement officers. The Florida Senate on Wednesday voted 36-2 for a bill that would keep confidential police videos that are shot in a house, a health care facility or any place that a 'reasonable person would expect to be private.'" "Florida Senate votes to limit access to police camera videos."