Politics

Political news

Financial Squeeze Could Limit Florida's Victim Compensation Program

Jul 15, 2019
Sira Anamwong / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A state trust fund used to compensate crime victims is struggling to stay solvent, prompting a proposal last week by Attorney General Ashley Moody’s office that would significantly reduce the amount of money victims can claim.

The proposal means that certain crime victims who want financial aid for out-of-pocket expenses like medical bills, lost wages or mental health counseling, will hit a lower cap on reimbursements from the fund.

Courtesy of Congresswoman Lois Frankel

U.S. Congresswoman Lois Frankel visited Lake Worth's facility for immigrant girls Monday. Frankel, who has also visited detention facilities along the U.S.-Mexico border, said the 37 girls housed in Lake Worth are "the lucky ones," compared to those staying in border facilities. 

"I found it very welcoming, very spacious, very clean," she said. "All the girls were in classrooms, some were learning English."

Tony Tur

Miami is at the epicenter of U.S. politics this week. Zoom in closer, and it's the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County. The Democratic presidential debates are there Wednesday and Thursday. 

Roberto Koltun / El Nuevo Herald staff

In a move to end a "one way cultural exchange" with Cuba, the Miami city commission unanimously passed a resolution last Thursday asking Congress to allow states and local governments to ban contracting with Cuban artists and performers who do business with or are funded by the Cuban government. 

The commission seeks legislation that would prevent Cuban artists from performing in city-owned venues as a reciprocal response to Cuba’s policy of prohibiting American artists or Cuban expatriate artists from performing on the island. 

LYNNE SLADKY / AP/MIAMI HERALD

Governor Ron DeSantis leaves for Israel this weekend with a delegation of at least a hundred different lawmakers, lobbyists and business leaders.

DeSantis' trip will include a visit with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a Florida cabinet meeting next Wednesday. But many of the details regarding the trip remain unclear, including the itinerary and whether the cabinet meeting will be streamed for the public.

Jessica Bakeman / WLRN News

Hundreds of people enjoyed food, drinks and music from the Florida Keys at the state Capitol on Tuesday evening, the culmination of an annual lobbying trip that Monroe County elected officials and business owners use to share local priorities with state lawmakers.

City mayors, school board members, community college administrators and restauranteurs told legislators throughout the day about their biggest concern: affordable housing.

Miami Herald

Republican State Senator Joe Gruters, representing Florida's 23rd District, is the new President of the Florida Republican Party. Gruters won handidly during the annual GOP conference in Orlando last Saturday, defeating Charlotte County Republican Bob Starr.

Robert Hunter / Courtesy of the Florida House of Representatives

A few South Florida Democrats will have new leadership positions in the state Legislature when session starts in March.

Rep. Kionne McGhee, a Democrat from south Miami-Dade County and the incoming minority leader in the Florida House, created four new deputy positions. Three of them represent South Florida.

Each new deputy minority leader will oversee a group of House members; the Democratic caucus of 47 members is divided roughly along geographic lines. There are a total of 120 members in the House.

Florida Senate via Twitter

Florida’s political world is built around two-year cycles.

And the latest acrimonious, head-scratching cycle finally ended Tuesday when the state Elections Canvassing Commission certified the results of the Nov. 6 elections.

The acrimony, of course, did not end with the usual campaign attack ads and nastiness. It lasted nearly two additional weeks as ballots continued to be counted and recounted and legal fights raged.

Wilfredo Lee / Associated Press via The Miami Herald

Florida Democrats in Washington could only watch when the Republican Congress decided against new gun legislation after a shooter killed 17 students and staff at a Parkland high school last year. Nor could they force action to combat rising sea levels off Florida’s coastlines. 

That will change come January. 

After gaining 38 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, including two in Florida, Democrats will control the lower chamber for the first time since 2011. 

Election Changes Eyed As 2018 Results Finalized

Nov 20, 2018
Christian Colón / Miami Herald

After months of mudslinging, weeks of court wrangling and days of ballot counting that again landed Florida in an unwelcome national spotlight, a state panel matter-of-factly finalized the 2018 election results in a five-minute meeting Tuesday.

The certification came on time, but problems with other election-related deadlines in two large, heavily Democratic counties --- Palm Beach and Broward --- are prompting county supervisors and legislative leaders to ponder possible solutions to the state’s ballot-box woes.

Elizabeth Koh / Miami Herald

Miami Lakes Republican Jose Oliva called for civility among lawmakers as he vowed to continue his party’s push for limited government after being formally elected Tuesday to serve as House speaker for the next two years.

Mark Foley / Florida House of Representatives

Upon winning the Florida governor’s race, Ron DeSantis had firmly established himself as an unyielding partisan who’s an ardent defender of President Donald Trump and a relentless prosecutor of his Democratic opponent, Andrew Gillum. 

But in the two weeks since Election Day, the 40-year-old former congressman has been tinkering with his brand. 

Caldwell Concedes Cabinet Race To Fried

Nov 19, 2018
Meredith Gettings / Florida House of Representatives

Republican Matt Caldwell pointed to a need for political “sanity” and a “peaceful transfer of power” Monday as he conceded the race for Florida agriculture commissioner to Fort Lauderdale lawyer Nikki Fried, the only Democrat to win statewide this year.

Caldwell, a real-estate appraiser from North Fort Myers who has served the past eight years in the Florida House, said in a statement that he still had questions about how ballots were handled in Palm Beach and Broward counties, where he had filed a lawsuit. But he didn’t want to use “legal loopholes to win an election.”

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