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February 21, 2018

Friday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 2/2/2018

Judge strikes down Florida’s system for denying felons’ voting rights

US District Court

The state of Florida routinely violates the constitutional rights of its citizens by permanently revoking the "fundamental right" to vote for anyone convicted of a felony, a federal judge ruled Thursday. Judge Mark Walker of the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida, said the Florida "scheme" unfairly relies on the personal support of the governor for citizens to regain the right to vote. In his ruling, Walker writes of the ex-felons:

If any one of these citizens wishes to earn back their fundamental right to vote, they must plod through a gauntlet of constitutionally infirm hurdles. No more. When the risk of state-sanctioned viewpoint discrimination skulks near the franchise, it is the province and duty of this Court to excise such potential bias from infecting the clemency process.

See the full ruling here. Also read more at the Tampa Bay Times, NPR, and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Rick Scott takes big step toward Florida Senate challenge

In the clearest sign he’s ready to challenge Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, Florida Gov. Rick Scott has raised more than $1.1 million for a super PAC he recently revived and stocked it with top consultants from his previous campaigns. [Source: Politico]

See also:
» Putnam brings gubernatorial bid to Pensacola

Florida House eyes tax help for agriculture industry

Florida’s Hurricane Irma-battered agriculture industry, growing anxious as it awaits federal disaster relief, could land some help from the state House as part of a tax-cut package. The House Ways & Means Committee, which is putting together a package, reviewed three measures this week intended to help the industry. [Source: Lakeland Ledger]

Florida authorities open investigation into fake Twitter accounts

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said her office has opened an investigation into "very serious allegations" that a company with South Florida ties has sold fake Twitter followers, some based on information swiped from the social media accounts of real live Floridians, to a wide range of celebrities. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Keys to raise roads before climate change puts them underwater. It’ll be expensive.

It’s a small but significant project — it will be the first road project in the Keys specifically designed for adaptation to future sea level rise, a clear and present problem for the famous chain of islands. [Source: Miami Herald]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› As the guessing game over Amazon HQ2 grows, Miami clamps down on secrecy
On Thursday, the Miami-Dade Beacon Council, which is spearheading the effort to bring the $5 billion Amazon HQ2 to South Florida, asked all participants to sign non-disclosure agreements, said sources close to the project.

› CareerSource Pinellas chair says he has suspended CEO Ed Peachey
The board chair of CareerSource Pinellas says he has placed the embattled head of the agency on paid suspension while a committee investigates whether it inflated job placement numbers reported to the state.

› AutoNation posts record earnings per share in fourth quarter
AutoNation beat Wall Street estimates in its fourth quarter, driving sales of $5.7 billion, up 4 percent over last year. Comparable-store profits increased by 7 percent, the Fort Lauderdale-based auto retailer said in its year-end earnings report. Also read more at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

› Chinese bike-sharing company ofo plans Orlando launch
Bike sharing options in Orlando will soon include a Chinese startup, ofo bikes, that has popped up in major U.S. cities and plans a Central Florida launch. The unique twist on ofo is, there are no bike racks.

Go to page 2 for more stories ...

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