Five of today’s top Florida political stories at your fingertips:
Florida Gov. Scott vows to focus on jobs during 2nd term – Hardened by winning re-election by another thin margin, Florida Gov. Rick Scott is charging into his second term by promising to keep working on the same agenda that drove his first four years in office. Scott, who will be inaugurated on Tuesday on the steps of the old Capitol, maintains his focus will remain on improving the state’s economy, bolstering Florida’s schools and holding the line on college tuition increases. “I’m going to do the same exact thing now and focus on the things I told people I would do,” Scott said in an interview with The Associated Press. “So when I finish my eight years we will be the best place to get a job, we will be a great place to get a great education and you will live in a safe community.” Read more
House Speaker Ted Yoho? – Ted Yoho is not shy. The large animal vet from Gainesville once showed this reporter a photo on his phone of a hog’s infected rear end that someone back home sent him. So maybe it’s not surprising that Yoho has offered up his services to be the next speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. The tea party congressman told supporters in an email Saturday night that has provided his name “as an alternative.” “The American people have given us this moment in time to fight back against President Obama’s failed policies. We cannot, nor should not, squander it,” wrote Yoho, who was easily elected to a second term in November. Read more
Related: Congress begins public revolt against House speaker: ‘I can’t vote for John Boehner again’
Jeb on gay marriage: courts are overturning a decision by ‘people of the state’ – As he considers a presidential run, Jeb Bush is not offering encouraging words about same-sex marriages coming to his home state. “It ought be a local decision. I mean, a state decision,” the former governor said Sunday in a brief interview. “The state decided. The people of the state decided. But it’s been overturned by the courts, I guess.” His comments to the Miami Herald after a round of golf in Coral Gables tracked past statements by the Republican, who has said the gay-marriage question should be decided at the state level. But with Miami-Dade County ready to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples as early as Monday if a judge approves — and the rest of the state following on Tuesday — the historic change is bound to bring even more attention to Bush’s somewhat guarded take on gay rights. Read more
Florida’s public records tradition in 2014 became the year of ‘oops’ – It was a dark year for sunshine in Florida in 2014. Legal fights by Gov. Rick Scott and the Republican Party of Florida kept crucial documents under wraps long enough to dilute their impact once they were released. The governor took the state’s public records tradition a new direction as he used taxpayer money to defend his attempts to shift the burden for holding the public records from the state to individual employees, and his lawyers opened a new legal vein with his interpretation of the blind trust law. A lawsuit over the state’s congressional redistricting was fought without the aid of emails that showed GOP political consultants conspired to manipulate the process with false witnesses and gerrymandered maps. Read more
Florida leads in Obamacare signups – Florida’s dominant political leaders may have no love for the Affordable Care Act, but the state’s residents are flocking to sign-up for health insurance through the federal marketplace, according to federal data released last week. Between Nov. 15 and Dec. 15, the first month of this season’s sign-up period, 673,255 people had enrolled in a plan through healthcare.gov. That’s the highest number, by far, of any of the 37 states using the federal system. Texas came in at No. 2, with nearly 380,000 Obamacare customers. Nearly half of Florida enrollees this year are new customers, while 51 percent were re-enrolling in marketplace plans, the report said. About 94 percent of them qualify for some level of tax credit to lower their monthly premiums. Read more
Bonus 2016 watch: Mike Huckabee, Florida resident, moves toward presidential run
For more Florida political news, visit BPR’s FLORIDA NEWS page
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