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Senate admits election districts are unconstitutional

Senate admits election districts are unconstitutional

BY BRANDON LARRABEE THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA TALLAHASSEE − In what one critic of the Legislature called an “unprecedented admission,” the Florida Senate conceded Tuesday that the chamber’s districts are unconstitutional and should be redrawn in a special session beginning in October. An agreement between the Legislature and a coalition of voting-rights groups and […]

Cutting  the deal

Cutting the deal

Obama’s worldview shows in Iran agreement BLOOMBERG NEWS /TNS WASHINGTON – The Iran nuclear deal is as much the product of Barack Obama’s worldview as any diplomatic accomplishment of his presidency. The agreement reflects Obama’s determination to follow through on a principle – scorned in 2007 as “naive” by his future secretary of state, Hillary […]

Republican candidates divided on Trump’s comments

Republican candidates divided on Trump’s comments

His Mexican immigrants rant sparks criticism as well as defense BY DAVID LAUTER TRIBUNE WASHINGTON BUREAU/TNS WASHINGTON — Weeks after Donald Trump’s disparaging comments about Mexican immigrants, he continues to dominate the Republican presidential campaign debate and to divide his rivals for the nomination. Initially, most Republican candidates tried to ignore him. But as major […]

White supremacist donates money to 40 GOP candidates

White supremacist donates money to 40 GOP candidates

Newly elected Black Congresswoman among recipients of cash BY GREG GORDON MCCLATCHY WASHINGTON BUREAU/TNS White supremacist leader Earl Holt III gave more than $80,000 in campaign money in recent years to more than 40 members of Congress and candidates for federal office – all Republicans – ironically including the party’s first Black congresswoman. Holt heads […]

Budget bills readied as session nears end

Budget bills readied as session nears end

THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA TALLAHASSEE – After months of sparring and a nearly three-week special session, lawmakers will be able to vote Friday – after the Florida Courier’s Wednesday press time – on a $78.7 billion budget for the upcoming fiscal year. The budget was sent to lawmakers and other state officials at 5:37 […]

Lawmakers pump up prisons budget by $43 million

Lawmakers pump up prisons budget by $43 million

BY DARA KAM THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA TALLAHASSEE – While slicing and dicing other areas of the budget, lawmakers plan to boost the state’s spending on prisons by $43 million to address needs such as replacing vehicles and fixing leaky roofs and to wipe out a years-long deficit. House and Senate negotiators have reached […]

Florida GOP approves winner-take-all primary

Florida GOP approves winner-take-all primary

THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA The Republican Party of Florida’s executive board formally voted on May 16 to make the state’s presidential primary a winner-take-all contest, meaning whoever carries Florida will get 99 delegates to the Republican National Convention. Party leaders hope the move, made possible by legislation approved this spring, will bring more attention […]

REJECTED

REJECTED

The U.S. House of Representatives votes to end the Obama administration’s domestic phone spying program; Senate Democrats blocked a broad trade bill considered to be a centerpiece of the Obama legacy. COMPILED FROM WIRE REPORTS WASHINGTON – This week, President Obama couldn’t win for losing. On Tuesday, Obama’s bid for a sweeping Pacific trade deal […]

Fort Walton Beach legislator apologizes for tweet Joyner calls racist

Fort Walton Beach legislator apologizes for tweet Joyner calls racist

State Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, apologized on May 1 for a Twitter post that drew criticism about possible racial overtones. The controversy started on April 30 when Gaetz tweeted about a lawsuit filed by Senate Democrats challenging a House decision to adjourn the regular legislative session early. “This lawsuit reads like it was […]

Stafford to seek fourth term as Miami legislator

Stafford to seek fourth term as Miami legislator

State Rep. Cynthia Stafford, D-Miami, has filed paperwork, signaling that she will run again in 2016 in Miami-Dade County’s House District 109, according to the state Division of Elections website. Stafford, who was first elected in 2010, will seek a fourth term. Meanwhile, freshman Rep. Colleen Burton, R-Lakeland, drew a challenger in Polk County’s House […]