Good morning — greetings from Tallahassee.
Among the many, many items that the Legislature worked on yesterday was a resolution in the House condemning President Obama’s overture to Cuba, including a mandate that the White House not even think about having a Cuban consulate anywhere inside the Sunshine State.
That’s certainly not the sentiment among the locals in Tampa. When the Florida Senate voted on a similar measure earlier this session, only Minority Leader Arthenia Joyner dared say anything in opposition.
But the Legislature isn’t going to stop the Obama administration from moving ahead. The next step that Cuba is hoping will happen really soon is being taken off the list of state sponsors of terrorism. Could that happen in the next 24 hours, as the Summit of the Americas convenes tomorrow in Panama?
We’ll see. And if he does that, expect to hear a fusillade of criticism from the GOP presidential candidates, including the two with Cuban roots — Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.
Undoubtedly Cuba will be part of Rubio’s anticipated speech on Monday declaring his candidacy for president in Miami.
And Cruz? Expect the same. By the way, one of the arguments for Jeb Bush’s “inevitability” is that he’s going to blow everyone out of the water when he announces his fundraising totals with his PAC. But Cruz’s PAC reportedly has brought in more than $30 million in just a few weeks.
Apparently Jeb isn’t the only one in the “shock and awe” category when it comes to raising money.
In other news..
Don Gaetz was determined yesterday to get his adoption bill passed without adding any of Lakeland Republican Kelli Stargell’s amendments that would effectively kill it — and he did, as a united Senate passed its legislation without including a provision that would reinstate a ban on same-sex adoption.
While the Senate was pushing through its adoption bill sans poison pills regarding repeals of gay adoption, the House was doing its thing, which meant that the so-called “conscience protection” legislation that critics say would sanction discrimination is moving along.
We just maybe are getting closer to having the right in Florida to purchase 64-ounce growlers in a favorite craft brewery, after the state Senate last night easily passed on a second vote state Sen. Jack Latvala’s bill, which also makes sure not to alienate the distributors who have led the way in opposing it in recent years.
Legislation that would make it easier for doctors to give HIV tests passed a Senate committee yesterday as did a proposal that would allow Miami-Dade County officials to institute a needle-exchange pilot program in their county.