Florida Five: Remembering Gov. Rubin Askew, Evers says pension reform passes when it snows in Miami

Five of today’s top Florida political stories at your fingertips:

Reubin AskewFlorida political leaders reflect on the passing of former Gov. Reubin Askew: Former Florida Governor Reubin Askew passed away early Thursday morning. Askew was the state’s 37th governor, and the first governor to be elected to a second, successive four-year term in Florida history. As a show of respect, Gov. Rick Scott directed flags to be flown at half-staff at all local and state buildings, installations, and grounds. A sampling of comments from Florida’s political leaders… Read here

$400 million vehicle registration rollback passes in key legislative committees: Committees in the Florida House and Senate passed bills on Thursday that will reduce annual vehicle registration fees by nearly $400 million, earning the gratitude of Gov. Rick Scott. “This tax cut will give families back $400 million of their own money,” Scott said in a statement. “I look forward to our continuing work with the Legislature on our ‘It’s Your Money Tax Cut Budget’ to cut taxes and fees, pay down debt and cut government waste, so we can create an opportunity economy where all families can pursue their dreams in the Sunshine State.” Read more

Evers: Pension reform will pass when it snows in Miami: He’s a crucial swing vote that could tip the Florida Senate in favor of House Speaker Will Weatherford’s long-sought pension reform, but Sen. Greg Evers, R-Baker, said such an overhaul is even less likely than last year. “If it passes, it’ll be snowing in Miami,” Evers said during a Thursday news conference with the Florida State Fraternal Order of Police… Read More

Outspoken conservative teacher says school banned him from attending Obama’s speech: When President Obama and the first lady visited a Miami-area school to talk education, one of its teachers was told to remain in his classroom — alone. Why? Because the teacher is not much of a fan of the president. Social studies teacher Randall Scott was told by administrators at Coral Reef Senior High School that he was “banned” from hearing the president’s remarks, according to ABC affiliate Local10.com. Read more

Florida leads nation in ‘zombie foreclosures’: For those who’ve noticed home after home in Florida of overgrown grass, dirty pools and dark windows at night, you’re not seeing the end of the world. It’s just Florida’s zombie foreclosure apocalypse. RealtyTrac considers a “zombie foreclosure” when a homeowner abandons a house that is facing a pending foreclosure action. There are about 55,000 of those in Florida, more than triple the nearest state of Illinois. Read more

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