Florida Five: Franklin Graham prayer rally attracts thousands, Activists protest all over state

Welcome to Tallahassee for five of today’s top Florida political stories at your fingertips as the 2016 Legislative Session gets underway:

Franklin Graham in Tallahassee
Screen grab: Tallahassee.com

Graham prayer rally draws thousands – About 3,000 to 4,000 people flooded the front lawn of the Old Capitol building for Franklin Graham’s “Decision America Tour” Tuesday morning. Attendees were on hand to hear Graham encourage Christians to visit the polls this election season and to pray in unison. During his nearly hour long speech, Graham covered issues including race relations, prayer in schools and same sex marriage. He assured the crowd his father, 97-year-old evangelist Billy Graham, was joining them in prayer from North Carolina. Read more

Activists try to Awake the State – Activists marked the opening of the 2016 legislative session with a Capitol rally calling attention to what they say are Gov. Rick Scott and the Republican legislature’s policies that frustrate the aspirations of working people. The rally in Tallahassee coincided with similar events in cities across the state and was organized by Progress Florida. Read more

Related: Miami activists stage protest to kick off Florida legislative session 

Scott pushes tax cuts, job creation in State of the State – Florida Gov. Rick Scott is pushing lawmakers to pass $1 billion in tax cuts and to create a $250 million enterprise fund to help expand Florida businesses. That was the focus of his State of the State speech Tuesday as he boasted that the state has created more than 1 million jobs since he took office five years ago. (Speech transcript here) Read more

Related: Friends and foes react to Rick Scott’s State of the State  

Florida’s death penalty procedures declared unconstitutional by U.S. Supreme Court – The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the way Florida puts people on Death Row is unconstitutional, creating questions on whether many of the 390 people now sentenced to die in Florida might avoid execution. The ruling also creates doubt about the status of 60 to 70 people on Death Row from Jacksonville, including one white supremacist, Mark Asay, scheduled to be executed in March. Read more

Fantasy sports bill clears committee, but faces opposition from parimutuels – A bill that would legalize daily fantasy sports games that have been banned in other states cleared its first hurdle in the state Legislature on Tuesday, but picked up key public opposition in the process that makes it anything but a sure bet to pass this year. Read more

ICYMI: Water Bill: Special interests are balking at a fair compromise

For more Florida political news, visit BPR’s FLORIDA NEWS page.


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