Florida Five: Obama heads to Fla. for another golf weekend, Pam Bondi tops US Senate hopefuls

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

Obama golf at MV
Photo credit: Golf.com

Here comes Florida: The president takes another golf weekend – Just a brief bulletin, then we’ll move right along. Time to fire up Air Force One, because President Obama is off to the Treasure Coast of Florida this weekend, specifically Palm City. The local press is attentive, reporting that Mr. Obama will play a few rounds at the Floridian National Golf Club. Yeah, well. Rather than prattle on about the cost of operating Air Force One ($206,000 an hour), here’s the description of the course, just for the heck of it. Read more

Poll shows Pam Bondi on top of hypothetical U.S. Senate race – A new PPP survey finds a toss-up if Marco Rubio leaves his Senate seat, as expected. (Note, the pollsters think Allen West is still a Florida resident. He’s not.) From a release: Hypothetical match ups between Patrick Murphy and Alan Grayson on the Democratic side, and Jeff Atwater, Pam Bondi, Carlos Lopez-Cantera, and Allen West on the Republican side find the Democrats leading by an average of less than a point. All 8 of the match ups find the candidates separated by somewhere in the 2-7 point range. Read more

No supplemental Medicaid dollars? Then no tax breaks or member projects, says Senate budget chief – Budget chief Sen. Tom Lee said on Wednesday that tax cuts and member projects will be put on hold in the Senate until there is some resolution of whether Florida will receive additional Medicaid supplemental dollars to help pay hospitals, federally qualified health centers and Medicaid HMOs. After a marathon seven-plus-hour meeting where the committee tackled everything from Medicaid expansion, to land buying, to education reforms, Lee said in a press availability with reporters that the $800 million in tax reductions his chamber has teed up will be delayed until Florida hears from the federal government whether $2 billion in Low Income Pool dollars will be approved. Read more

Jeb Bush releases thousands of emails from a personal account he used while governor—As Florida governor, Jeb Bush used another, previously unreported email address, records show — the newest wrinkle in an evolving debate over public officials’ use of private email accounts. When Bush released thousands of emails from his tenure as Florida’s governor as part of his preparations to run for president next year, he did so from the email account he shared openly, jeb@jeb.org. Those emails also include references to another email address, jeb@gencom.net. Read more

Florida Senate finds compromise on student testing – Florida lawmakers may have found a middle ground on the controversial subject of student testing. A Senate panel tweaked its testing bill Wednesday so that the results of this year’s Florida Standards Assessments would not be used to determine whether third-grade students can be promoted to the fourth grade, or high-school students can graduate until an independent review of the exam is conducted. Read more

Only in Florida: A first for political theater: Bag monster

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