Your daily look at news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about in Florida today.
Special session seems imminent as Medicaid fight continues
Florida House leaders met behind closed doors Tuesday while Senate leaders held a special hearing in a last-ditch attempt to agree on Medicaid and finalize a budget as the need for a special session seemed imminent. Gov. Rick Scott said in a statement Tuesday that he’d call a special session if lawmakers couldn’t agree on a budget before the May 1 deadline. House and Senate budgets are $4 billion apart and are unlikely to be reconciled. Republican Senate leaders conceded Tuesday that they might not pass a state budget until June, just before the end of Florida’s fiscal year.
Democrats voice opposition to abortion waiting period bill
As a bill requiring a one-day waiting period for abortions moved toward passage on the Florida House floor Tuesday, Democrats showed their opposition with more than an hour of hostile questions and debate. The bill was amended to add an exception for victims of rape, incest and human trafficking. But opponents objected to a requirement that the woman produce documentation such as a police report or restraining order to use the exception.
Congressman promises repairs at Pensacola federal courthouse
A U.S. congressman with direct oversight of facilities is promising to fix up the federal courthouse in Pensacola after years of inadequate repairs. Rep. Bill Shuster — who chairs the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee — toured the courthouse Tuesday, alongside Reps. Jeff Miller and Vern Buchanan and Chief Judge Casey Rodgers. Shuster called the General Service Administration’s management of the building “gross incompetence” and said he would seek to reform the agency this year.
ICE targets 700 Miami firms for money laundering scrutiny
Federal investigators are targeting 700 businesses in the Miami area for enhanced scrutiny to detect trade-based money laundering schemes. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced Tuesday that the focus would be on electronics exporters, including those in the cellphone business. The targeted companies will be required to file certain Treasury Department forms for transactions over $3,000 rather than the current $10,000 threshold.
Jury selected for 3 defendants in FAMU band hazing trial
Four men and four women have been selected in the manslaughter trial of the remaining three former band members charged in the hazing death of a Florida A&M drum major. The eight-member panel was chosen Tuesday morning. Six will constitute the main jury, and two will serve as alternates. Benjamin McNamee, Aaron Golson and Darryl Cearnel are being tried together. They face 15 years on manslaughter and felony hazing charges for the November 2011 death of 26-year-old Robert Champion.