Around the South for Jun. 1: FL, TX & SC


Florida: $82 billion budget faces Scott. Yesterday, in what Sunshine State News writer Allison Nielsen called “one of the most contentious legislative sessions in recent memory,” lawmakers (R) delivered to Gov. Richard Scott’s (R) desk an annual budget of $82.4 billion. Scott, said to be unhappy with the budget, has 15 days to make one of three choices: Accept the bill as delivered; veto the whole package; or use the line item veto to delete some portions. Stay tuned ……. Texas: Scuffler (R) faces reelection battle. State Rep. Matt Rinaldi (R), who reportedly traded death threats with a Democrat on the floor of the Texas legislature while debating an anti “Sanctuary Cities” bill, will face a serious challenge next year, reports the Texas Tribune. Rinaldi apparently inspired the scuffle when he told a member of the Hispanic Caucus that he had called ICE on raucous protesters in the House galleries. But his state House district is one of ten in the state that Hillary Clinton won. After the squabble on the House floor, Dallas attorney Dorotha Ocker, Rinaldi’s 2016 challenger, announced that she will oppose him again next year. Rinaldi defeated Ocker by 1,048 votes out of some 59,000 ballots cast ……. South Carolina: One state, Indivisible. After Donald Trump’s victory last year, former staffers of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sent out The Indivisible Guide nationwide to groups opposed to Trump. The guide suggested strategies to engage members of Congress over Trump’s agenda. In the Palmetto State, there some 50 groups affiliated with Indivisible. Their activities include organized protests at town halls and outside congressional offices. The founder, activist Elizabeth Jones, told The State newspaper that she was recognized by a fellow activist, who said, “You’re the one who yelled at Lindsey Graham.” And you thought those protests were spontaneous. Or maybe you didn’t.  …….