Five of today’s top Florida political stories at your fingertips:
Clinton calls out GOP opponents by name on voting rights – Hillary Clinton accused four potential GOP presidential rivals by name of being “scared of letting citizens have their say” as she called Thursday for every American to automatically be registered to vote. Clinton told an audience at the historically black Texas Southern University that she supports the concept of signing every American up to vote as soon as they’re eligible at age 18, unless they specifically opt out. She called for expanded access to polling places, keeping them open for at least 20 days and offering voting hours on evenings and weekends. Read more
South Florida comms firm debuts newsletter of Spanish-language political chatter – The age of political newsletters has a new South Florida entrant, aimed at readers who don’t speak español. ¿Qué pasa LSNC? intends to compile a digest of the previous day’s news — as delivered on prolific Spanish-language radio and television stations, whose current-affairs programming is far greater than most English-language stations. The daily morning email, which has been going out in test form for a few weeks, is not compiled by a news organization, however. The briefing is the brainchild of Democrat Ben Pollara and Republican Jesse Manzano-Plaza at Miami Beach-based LSN Communications, a division of local government-affairs lobbying firm LSN Partners. Read more
House unmoved by Senate tweaks in Medicaid expansion — The Florida House on Thursday began its consideration of the state Senate’s Medicaid expansion proposal, but the plan’s fate soon bubbled up like a Magic 8-ball answer: “Don’t count on it.” House sponsor Mia Jones, a Jacksonville Democrat, was cross-examined for nearly three hours by successive members of the Republican majority, who mostly teased out what they see as the plan’s flaws. Speaker pro tem Matt Hudson, a Naples Republican, pointed out that Medicaid already consumes nearly a third of the state’s $77 billion budget and questioned how much more it would cost under expansion. Read more
Florida House positioned for dramatically streamlined tax-cut package vote Friday – The House has positioned its dramatically streamlined tax-cut package for a vote on Friday. But it remains to be seen how the Senate, which has offered four individual tax-cut bills during the ongoing special legislative session, will handle the House proposal. Katie Betta, spokeswoman for Senate President Andy Gardner, would only say Thursday that the Senate’s Finance and Tax Committee is “likely” to meet the final week of the special session. The session started Monday and could last through June 20. Read more
Jeb Bush to officially announce presidential bid June 15 in Miami – Nearly six months after saying he was “actively” exploring the idea of running for president, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush will officially enter the race June 15 in Miami. “Gov. Bush is thankful for the support and encouragement he has received from so many Americans during the last several months and looks forward to announcing his decision,” spokeswoman Kristy Campbell told the Tampa Bay Times and Miami Herald. Bush, 62, picked Miami Dade College, the largest institution of higher education in the country, as his announcement location in a nod to his passion for education policy and a campaign theme of expanding economic opportunities for people who, in his words, want to “rise up.” Read more
Beware of crowds: Annual attendance is up at most major Florida theme parks
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