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ICYMI: Florida cools on Trump, smokable medical cannabis ban nears end, plus other news



Ballot measure raising minimum wage to $15 by 2026 heads to Florida Supreme Court: The political committee Florida for a Fair Wage has submitted 87,528 valid petition signatures to the state as of last Friday, making the proposed amendment eligible for review by the Florida Supreme Court. Backers of proposed constitutional amendments must submit at least 76,632 signatures to trigger Supreme Court reviews of ballot wording, a crucial initial step in the amendment process. The Supreme Court reviews whether proposed amendments would be clear to voters.

Florida lawmakers want to expand renter protections amid affordable housing crisis: State Sen. José Javier Rodríguez and Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith are sponsors of identical measures that aim to reform renters' rights. The bill would require landlords to notify their tenants of a rent increase 30 days before renewing their lease; if the rent increase is over 5 percent, notification must be given three months in advance. Landlords who don't return security deposits would be liable for damages in an amount equal to three times the deposit. Application fees would have to be returned when there are no available units. Florida does not limit the amount landlords can charge to just consider a tenant, but under the new bill, they cannot charge "excessive" fees.

Florida Senate passes repeal of ban on smokable medical marijuana: The bill passed the Senate 34-4, with opposition from Sens. Keith Perry, R-Gainesville; Doug Broxson, R-Gulf Breeze; George Gainer, R-Panama City; and Ed Hooper, R-Clearwater. The proposed measure allows patients to purchase up to 2.5 ounces of medical marijuana for smoking every 35 days and bans smoking the prescribed cannabis in public. The bill also lets terminally ill children smoke medical marijuana, as long as they have approval from a second doctor. Florida voters first approved medical marijuana in 2016, but state lawmakers banned smoking it in 2017 upon implementation.

Florida lawmakers want to avoid another recount by fixing election problems: Voters would have more time to "cure" ballot signature discrepancies, county canvassing boards could start counting absentee ballots earlier and election supervisors would have more time to submit recount results, under a sweeping elections proposal approved last week by a Senate committee. The measure would resolve issues that arose last year when problems with statewide recounts occurred. Recounts were held because of narrow margins in the races for governor, U.S. Senate and state Agricultural Commissioner.

Floridians aren't feeling Trump in 2020, survey finds: A poll conducted by Bendixen & Amandi International, Politico reports, found that 40 percent of registered Sunshine State voters said they support Trump's re-election in 2020, while 53 percent said they don't support a second term for the Republican incumbent. The sentiment breaks primarily along party lines: Seventy-two percent of Republicans said they support a second term, and 23 percent said no thanks. Among Democrats, 73 percent of respondents opposed a second term and 14 percent supported one.


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