Five Things to Know in Florida for May 25

FLORIDA COST FOR OPPOSING GAY MARRIAGE? $213,000 AND RISING

State officials have agreed to pay that much to the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida to cover attorney fees and other costs. Attorney General Pam Bondi’s office is also actively negotiating to reach a settlement with another group of attorneys also involved in the case. Earlier this year, U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle ordered the state to pay the fees of attorneys who filed federal lawsuits challenging the ban.

NUMBER 2 STEPPING DOWN AFTER MARION COUNTY SHERIFF’S ARREST

Chief Deputy Fred LaTorre will be stepping down at the beginning of next month. Last week, a grand jury handed down an indictment for Blair, who faces three felony counts. Each count carries up to five years in prison. Court records show the grand jury had been investigating the conduct of Blair’s deputies and the possible use of excessive force.

OFFICIAL SNARED IN BRIBERY CASE DIES IN SUSPICIOUS CRASH

Authorities say 43-year-old Opa-locka city commissioner Terence Pinder died Tuesday after the city-owned vehicle he was driving crashed into a tree. The tree was located in an undeveloped part of Miami-Opa-locka Executive Airport, far from any major road. Police say they are investigating whether the crash was deliberate.

FLORIDA JUDGE: SCHOOLS ARE GETTING ENOUGH MONEY

Circuit Judge George Reynolds ruled Tuesday that education groups and parents had not provided enough evidence to show that the state’s schools are not being provided enough money. Reynolds said that while the state’s schools are not “perfect” that there was not proof that it is a crisis that requires the courts to intervene. He also raised questions as to whether a judge could even order the Legislature to put more money aside for schools.

FORMER FLORIDA GOV. JEB BUSH RESUMES ROLE AT HIS FOUNDATION

Bush has been elected chairman and president of the board of directors of the Foundation for Excellence in Education. Bush created the foundation shortly after he stepped down as governor in 2007, but he left the organization as he ramped up his campaign for president. Bush suspended his campaign in February after the South Carolina primary.

 

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