Florida Five: Scott Looks to calm nerves over common core, University of Florida sued, Rubio on Gates

Good morning! The Monday morning edition of the Florida Five brings you today’s top political stories from around the state.

Scott Looks to calm nerves over common core: Looking to calm a rising furor in the grass roots of his party, Gov. Rick Scott said Saturday that a state set of revisions to nationwide education standards will be unveiled schools kidsnext week. One day after a caucus of the Republican Party of Florida’s state committeemen and committeewomen backed a resolution opposing the Common Core standards, Scott also said he would support legislation specifying that curriculum is a local responsibility and limiting what information can be gathered about students. Education Commissioner Pam Stewart said earlier this week that her department would propose about 40 changes to the voluminous education benchmarks. Scott’s remarks Saturday, to the annual meeting of the state GOP, signaled that he hopes the changes will soothe conservative fears about the standards. Read more.

Sen. Rubio spills on Gates’ new book: ‘It confirms our worst fears’: Neatly following the “11th Commandment” widely attributed to Ronald Reagan that “thou shalt not speak ill of another Republican,” U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio took a pass on hitting New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Sunday. Read more.

Expanding Medicaid an uphill battle in Florida Capitol: Florida’s 2013 legislative session practically started and ended with Medicaid expansion at the center of debate, with House Republicans blocking a plan to use federal dollars to reduce the number of uninsured Floridians.This year, House Republicans pledge to tackle issues that have long lingered on the back burner, such as more independence for highly trained nurses, increasing the number of medical students who go into primary care and regulating virtual doctor visits. Read more.

David Jolly favorite in Tuesday’s GOP Congressional Primary: The three Republicans running in Tuesday’s primary have been eclipsed by Alex Sink, the strongest candidate Democrats could have mustered in the race. Big-name Republicans like Jeff Brandes, Jack Latvala and Will Weatherford went out of their way to stay out of the race, leaving the field to Mark Bircher, David Jolly and Kathleen Peters.Jolly is, on paper, the front-runner though special primary elections can often produce surprises. Still, Jolly should be ahead. He has the most cash and has been the most active candidate in hitting the airwaves. Polls, always a tricky thing in a low turnout election as expected on Tuesday, show Jolly out front. Read more.

University of Florida sued over campus gun ban: Gun-rights advocate Florida Carry filed a lawsuit against the University of Florida for banning guns on school property despite a court ruling finding the prohibition illegal.Florida Carry prevailed in a lawsuit against the University of North Florida in December, when a state appellate court ruled that a public college or university cannot prohibit guns on property governed by Florida law.Since the ruling . . . Read more.

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Michele Kirk

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