Take a look at the day’s top political stories in Wednesday’s Florida Five:
State Board Of Ed Approves Common Core Changes: The State Board of Education voted unanimously Tuesday to go forward with dozens of changes to the Common Core State Standards, a move that seemed unlikely to quell the grass-roots furor over the educational benchmarks.The approval followed a raucous public hearing that seemed to indicate that passionate opposition to the benchmarks remains despite a concerted effort by Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Department of Education to tamp down conservative anger over the standards. Read more.
Joe Negron asks Congress to return jurisdiction of Lake Okeechobee to local control: Fla. Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, announced Tuesday in a press release that he is asking the Florida Congressional Delegation to enact legislation that would strip Lake Okeechobee water discharge decisions from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and return them to local control. Read more.
Trouble Looms For State Pension Proposal: Hopes seemed to evaporate Tuesday that exempting law-enforcement officials and emergency personnel would make changes to the state retirement system an easier sell this year, as a key senator signaled he had deep reservations about the measure.The Senate Community Affairs Committee voted to introduce the bill (SPB 7046) by a 5-4 margin after Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, joined the panel’s three Democrats in voting against the measure. Latvala was one of a handful of renegade GOP senators who sank a more-sweeping pension overhaul last year. Read more.
FBI: ID theft a ‘huge problem’ in South Florida: It’s time to do tax returns and here’s some motivation to get it done quickly: Identity thieves will try to get your refund before you do.FBI Miami chief Michael Steinbach called ID theft a “huge, growing problem” in South Florida, which in 2012 led the country with 645 such complaints per 100,000 people. That’s double the area’s 2011 rate of 324 complaints per 100,000 people, the Federal Trade Commission says.”Stolen ID fraud is giving healthcare fraud a run for the money,” said Steinbach. He called Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties “victim-rich environments.” Read more.
Economists offer upbeat predictions for Florida: Last year was pivotal for Florida’s economy as the pace of job creation picked up and the unemployment rate actually fell below the national average.
Will the momentum last?It’s a good bet, based on a reports and interviews with some leading bank, corporate and university economists who track the state. Read more.
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