Florida: 5 Things To Know For March 28

Your daily look at news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today.

GROUPS DEFEND FLORIDA’S SAME-SEX MARRIAGE BAN

A coalition of groups supporting Florida’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage want a judge to dismiss a lawsuit that seeks to overturn that ban. The groups say the lawsuit threatens to violate the rights of the Florida voters who approved the ban by a wide margin in November 2008. They’re holding a news conference Friday morning to discuss their plans to fight the lawsuit. The ban passed with 62 percent of the vote.

NEW UNEMPLOYMENT NUMBERS FOR FLORIDA DUE OUT

Florida’s latest unemployment numbers are coming out. The state’s jobless rate for February will be released on Friday. The rate in the month of January was 6.1 percent. That was a drop from the previous month, even though the state actually lost jobs at the start of the year. Payroll provider ADP reported that the state added 10,840 private sector jobs in February. ADP’s survey is separate from the one that is conducted by government agencies.

JUDGE: JURORS CAN HEAR WORD “TERRORISM” AT TRIAL

A federal judge says prosecutors may expose jurors to the words “terrorist” and “terrorism” at the upcoming trial of Sami Osmakac. Osmakac’s attorney asked for a ban on “terrorist” or similar words, calling them inflammatory and prejudicial. U.S. District Judge Mary S. Scriven denied that request Wednesday, saying she won’t require prosecutors to obscure Osmakac’s alleged motive.

FLORIDA HOUSE VOTES TO MOVE FUTURE SESSION DATES

Florida legislators could begin their session a bit earlier in 2016. The Florida House on Thursday voted in favor of a bill (HB 9) that would start the annual legislative session in January during even-numbered years. The vote was 102-11. The 60-day session now starts in March. Legislators every 10 years meet in January when they are drawing new Congressional and legislative districts.

FLORIDA HOUSE VOTES TO ALLOW SECRET MEETINGS

State university foundations could meet in secret under a bill passed by the Florida House. The bill (HB 115) barely passed since it takes a two-thirds vote to create exemptions to the state’s public records and open meetings laws. The vote was 83-33 with most Democrats voting no.

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