The Buzz on Florida politics

Assault weapons
Felon voting

Latest Buzz on Florida politics

TALLAHASSEE — Florida National Rifle Association lobbyist Marion Hammer warned state economists Friday that a proposed assault rifle ban would be devastating to gun manufacturers lured to the state over the last eight years.

“Gov. Rick Scott and Enterprise Florida solicited and offered significant financial incentives to gun manufacturers to come to Florida to bring more jobs,” she said.

Hammer, speaking for the first time since back-to-back gun-related massacres in El Paso and Dayton two weeks ago, denounced the controversial amendment meant to address gun violence in Florida.

Keep reading   5 min. read  

ST. PETERSBURG — The City Council on Thursday voted to support two national initiatives: the Equal Rights Amendment and the Green New Deal.

More than a dozen people spoke during the meeting’s public comment period to urge council members to support the proposals. Some people even stood for one, and as a footnote to their comments said they supported the other. Each proposal only drew one public naysayer, the same person.

The Equal Rights Amendment, passed by Congress and sent to the states in 1972, demands equal rights for citizens regardless of sex, according to equalrightsamendment.org.

Keep reading   One minute read  

Congressional Republicans recently circulated talking points on gun violence that falsely described the El Paso massacre and other mass shootings as “violence from the left.”

A document obtained by the Tampa Bay Times and sent by House Republicans provides a framework for how to respond to anticipated questions like, “Why won’t you pass legislation to close the ‘gun show loophole’ in federal law?” and “Why shouldn’t we ban high-capacity magazines?" The answers are boilerplate Republican arguments against tougher gun restrictions.

But it also included this question: “Do you believe white nationalism is driving more mass shootings recently?” The suggested response is to steer the conversation away from white nationalism to an argument that implies both sides are to blame.

Keep reading   8 min. read  

Federal immigration agents are beefing up their efforts to apprehend undocumented immigrants in South Florida as part of a nationwide effort to “keep communities safe.”

The target: transportation hubs.

In the past few weeks, Customs and Border Patrol officials have been spotted by commuters at Greyhound bus stations across Miami-Dade and Broward counties, asking riders on board, or in the process of boarding a bus, for proof of legal status.

Keep reading   7 min. read  

A federal judge added a new twist Thursday in the legal battle over whether convicted felons who’ve served their time behind bars should be required to pay court-ordered financial obligations before voting rights are restored.

Plaintiffs in the case are challenging a state law that carries out a constitutional amendment granting voting rights to felons “who have completed all terms of their sentence, including parole or probation.” The amendment, approved by voters in November, excluded people “convicted of murder or a felony sexual offense.”

Under a measure approved by the Republican-dominated Legislature this spring and signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis, felons have to pay all “financial obligations” ordered by courts as part of sentencing --- including fees, fines and restitution — to be eligible to have their voting rights restored.

Keep reading   4 min. read  

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