Florida Five: State sues for access to VA hospitals, Florida marks 70th anniversary of D-Day

Five of today’s top Florida political stories at your fingertips:

rick scott w/vet
Photo Credit Howard Altman/Tampa Tribune

Florida sues feds to gain access to VA hospitals: The state Agency for Health Care Administration filed suit in federal court today, demanding access to Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals. News of the lawsuit, requested by Gov. Rick Scott, comes as the U.S. Senate announced a bipartisan agreement that addresses ongoing issues at the network of federally run health clinics for veterans. Scott and AHCA officials have been bickering with the federal VA agency for the past few weeks as state inspectors have demanded access to the hospitals under the auspices of ensuring veterans are being treated fairly. Read more

Immigrant tuition, medical pot, abortion among 105 bills sent to Gov. Rick ScottFrom the News Service of Florida: After drawing heavy debate during the spring legislative session, a measure is now on Gov. Rick Scott’s desk that would allow undocumented-immigrant students to pay in-state tuition rates at Florida colleges and universities. The proposal (HB 851), which Scott has promised to sign, is one of 105 bills forwarded to the governor Thursday by the Legislature. Among the other measures is a bill (HB 1047) that would add further restrictions to Florida’s abortion laws, preventing most abortions after fetuses reach “viability.” Also, Scott received two bills (HB 989 and HB 7141) aimed at curbing human-trafficking in the state. Read more

Florida Marks the 70th Anniversary of D-Day: Friday marks the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the Allied landing of Normandy and the start of the liberation of France from Nazi control during World War II. Florida played a supporting role in the amphibious landing and the start of what Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, the Allied commander, called the “crusade in Europe.” In the latter half of 1943, the 4th Infantry Division took part in maneuvers at Camp Gordon Johnston in Carrabelle over in Franklin County, including amphibious landings at Carrabelle Beach and Dog Island. Read more

Florida, Texas governors make friendly NBA Finals wager: Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Texas Gov. Rick Perry have agreed to a friendly wager on the outcome of the NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs. Perry will send a 3 lb. cinnamon roll from Lulu’s Bakery and Café in San Antonio to Tallahassee if Miami wins; Scott will send Whetstone Chocolates from St. Augustine to Austin if San Antonio wins, according to a statement from Scott’s office. “Coach Erik Spoelstra and the Miami Heat have had an incredible run and I look forward to a great series,” Scott said. Read more

Marco Rubio’s Senate win: fire-bad-workers language added to bipartisan VA compromise: There’s a good chance that the scandal-plagued Veterans Administration will finally be able to fire bad workers more easily. And a big measure of credit goes to Florida’s junior Republican Senator, Marco Rubio, who saw his legislation on that issue defeated last month only to see it resurrected today in a bipartisan VA agreement announced by Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vermont, and John McCain, R-Ariz. The legislation pushed by Rubio, which the House already passed by a big bipartisan margin before Memorial, already had 11 Democratic co-sponsors in the Senate, but Sanders, the chairman of the Senate’s committee overseeing the VA, originally wanted to water it down. Read more

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