Around the South for April 20th – FL, VA & TN

Florida: Rubio in the lead. Mason-Dixon released new poll results Friday that showed Marco Rubio has edged out former Gov. Jeb Bush among the state’s registered Republicans. The poll was taken shortly after Rubio officially entered the race. Rubio, the state’s junior senator, had 31% to Bush’s 30%, followed by US Sens. Ted Cruz (TX) with 8% and Rand Paul (KY) with 7%. Others were in the smaller single digits. Of interest, Bush led among white GOPers by 32% to 29%; Rubio led among Latinos by 42% to 20%. ……. Virginia: Ethics bill finally passes. In an effort to clean up both its behavior and its image, Virginia’s lawmakers stayed overtime to pass a new ethics law for legislators. The sticking point, which Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) eventually won out on, was the proposal, which finally passed, to limit gifts to lawmakers from persons or businesses doing business with the state to $100 a year. The GOP majority, however, declined to give in to McAuliffe on some 20 other amendments, reports the Washington Post ……. Tennessee: Legislature acts on the budget, the Bible and guns. Last week Volunteer State lawmakers passed a $33.8 billion budget, but shelved a bill to make the Bible the state book and amended the guns-in-the-parks legislation. The Bible bill passed in the House, but senators, concerned that the proposal would be ruled unconstitutional, sent it to committee. As for guns, reports the Tennessee Journal, lawmakers deleted a provision that would have allowed permit holders to carry guns on the state capitol grounds and in surrounding parks …….