Florida Five: Scott to Obama – Pay up on Everglades, State’s school testing glitch fires up critics

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

Rick Scott and ObamaScott to Obama: Release cash for the Everglades — Gov. Rick Scott wants the federal government to catch up on payments for the Everglades and Lake Okeechobee, as President Barack Obama heads to South Florida on Wednesday to discuss climate change. Obama is set to appear at Everglades National Park to address the economic impact of climate change, a topic and phrase not mentioned in a release from the governor’s office Tuesday. Read more

FSA server glitches raise concerns of invalidated tests – Monday’s technical malfunctions for the Florida Standards Assessment added fuel to an already hot fire of harsh criticisms of the state’s new standardized test aligned with the Common Core State Standards and raised questions over whether the state’s new assessment test could be invalidated entirely as a result of this week’s technical failures. On Monday, middle school and high school students sat down to take the FSA test, but to no avail — they were unable to log on to the mathematics and language arts test. Read more

Gov. Rick Scott calls for special session, says tax cuts may be sacrificed to end stalemate – Blaming the federal government for Florida’s financial woes, Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday said he was prepared to call Florida lawmakers back for a special session to complete the budget — and even encourage them to pass a bare-bones budget if necessary. Scott also suggested one of his top priorities was in jeopardy: $673 million in tax cuts. Read more

The mystery of a possible Florida Senate candidate – A handful of Republicans are currently being mentioned as possible Senate candidates for the Florida seat being vacated by Marco Rubio, who is running for the GOP presidential nomination. Former Rep. Bill McCollum, who has run repeatedly (and often unsuccessfully) for statewide office, is mentioned, as are a handful of House members, including Rep. Ron DeSantis, a tea party favorite. Perhaps the most interesting, or at least unusual, candidate for the Republican nomination is the state’s current lieutenant governor, Carlos Lopez-Cantera, a former Florida House member (and majority leader) and Miami-Dade County property appraiser. Read more

How Florida is trying to push back against federal government overreach – Federalism at the state level is more often preached than practiced. For all the invocations of the 10th Amendment, state officials tend to act as vassals of the federal government tasked with assisting in the implementation of federal policies. Federal encroachments on state powers are either eagerly embraced—46 states have adopted Common Core—or accepted with passive resignation. Florida is trying to change that. Read more

BONUS: Did Amendment 1 mandate purchase of the US Sugar land?

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