Florida Five: GOP candidate pledges to end Common Core, Scott lowers flags for Paris

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

Angry teacher
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Ted Cruz only Sunshine Summit candidate to sign pledge to end Common Core – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-TX, officially committed to end the controversial Common Core State Standards if elected president, signing a pledge with Florida Parents Against Common Core on Friday. The pledge says he will oppose any federal efforts to mandate, impose or influence standards, assessments or curriculum across the country. Read more

Related: GOP summit in Orlando underscores unsettled race for president

Gov. Rick Scott orders flags lowered in honor of victims of Paris attacks – Gov. Rick Scott is ordering the American flag to be lowered at half-staff across the state to honor the victims of the terrorist attacks in Paris. A series of attacks targeting young concert-goers, soccer fans and Parisians enjoying a Friday night out at popular nightspots killed at least 120 people in the deadliest violence to strike France since World War II. Read more

Donald Trump courts GOP voters in Florida – Donald Trump is staking claim to a state that helped cinch the last two GOP presidential nominations, barreling past a couple of native sons in the race. At a weekend gathering of hundreds of Florida Republican activists, he elicited a rowdier reception than Sen. Marco Rubio and former Gov. Jeb Bush and he is leading them in statewide polls. Read more

Lawmakers might resist Scott’s 2016 agenda – Gov. Rick Scott is seeking big things from the Legislature in 2016. He wants $1 billion in tax cuts, major changes to hospital and health care regulations and a fivefold increase in funding for a key economic development program. The large price tag of the cuts, the resistance of hospitals to some of his ideas and the usual reluctance of lawmakers to take on major reforms in an election year all suggest the governor could be facing a tough sell for his big-ticket items. Read more

Rubio’s immigration stance under fire from both sides — Sen. Marco Rubio’s wavering immigration stance is getting hit from the left and the right — just as he gains traction in the presidential race. Rubio’s rise has prompted closer scrutiny of his shifting position on immigration now that many establishment Republicans see him as their potential nominee in 2016. Read more

Session preview: Florida lawmakers so far receptive to online fantasy sports industry 

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