Your daily look at news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about in Florida today.
Jeb Bush has optimistic message, faces challenges in ’16 bid
Jeb Bush launched a Republican presidential bid months in the making Monday with a vow to get Washington “out of the business of causing problems” and to stay true to his beliefs — easier said than done in a bristling primary contest where his conservative credentials will be sharply challenged. Bush opened his campaign at a rally near his south Florida home at Miami Dade College, where the institution’s large and diverse student body symbolizes the nation he says he seeks to lead.
Legislature OKs more than $400 million in tax cuts
Floridians will get a 10-day tax break on school supplies, computers and clothes under a more than $400 million tax cut package approved by the Florida Legislature. The Senate on Monday passed the tax cut bill by a 34-2 margin. The Florida House also approved it by a 91-2 margin and sent it to the desk of Gov. Rick Scott. The tax holiday will be held Aug. 7 to Aug. 16. The legislation also contains a cut in the state tax charged on cellphones and cable television. Scott pushed legislators to pass nearly $700 million of tax cuts. But legislators scaled back the tax cut amount in order to boost funding to hospitals.
No bond decision for doc charged with Sen. Menendez
A Florida doctor charged with corruption alongside New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez was sent back to jail for another two weeks Monday as a judge tried to ensure he couldn’t flee if released on bond. Defense attorneys for Dr. Salomon Melgen remained tangled with prosecutors over the eye surgeon’s foreign holdings and how to effectively tie up his investments and real estate to minimize the chance he would run away to his native Dominican Republic or elsewhere if freed on bail. U.S. Magistrate Judge James Hopkins held off on setting a bail amount for Melgen, instead ordering the parties back before him on June 29.
Settlement reached in lawsuit over firing of Florida top cop
Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet are settling a lawsuit filed by media organizations over the firing of former Department of Law Enforcement chief Gerald Bailey. The lawsuit contended that Scott and Cabinet members sidestepped the state’s Sunshine Law in the way they handled Bailey’s dismissal. The lawsuit asserted that the firing should have been voted on during a public meeting.
Man crushed to death in compactor at Florida recycling plant
Officials say a man was crushed to death inside a machine at a central Florida recycling plant. Winter Garden police Lt. Scott Allen says the man was sorting cardboard with a bailing machine Monday morning when he somehow “ended up inside and got compacted.” Crews were called to the Robert Wallick Associates Inc. recycling company just before 9 a.m. Monday.