Florida: 5 Things To Know For April 29

Your daily look at news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today.

LEGISLATORS GEAR UP FOR FINAL WEEK OF SESSION

Florida legislators are entering their final week of their 60-day session with lots of unfinished business. The remaining issues include whether to grant a tuition break to college students living in the state illegally and whether to approve a strain of marijuana for medical use. Gov. Rick Scott is pushing for the tuition break. By Friday, legislators also have to pass a roughly $75 billion budget.

GOVERNOR NAMES NEW DCF SECRETARY

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has named Mike Carroll as the new secretary of the state’s Department of Children and Families. His appointment comes on the heels of a scathing series by the Miami Herald that highlights the deaths of 477 children over the last five years. He replaces Esther Jacobo, who has been at the helm of the agency since the abrupt resignation of David Wilkins last July.

JURY SELECTION UNDERWAY FOR MOM ACCUSED OF KILLING TEENS

Jurors at the trial of a Tampa military wife accused of killing her two teenagers will see many disturbing images and hear hours of troubling evidence. Jury selection began Monday in the trial of 53-year-old Julie Schenecker. Prosecutors say she fatally shot her children, ages 16 and 13, in their Tampa home. Prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty but she could face life in prison without parole.

CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATES BEGIN QUALIFYING FOR 2014

Florida candidates seeking a spot in the U.S. Congress are now qualifying for the 2014 ballot. Federal candidates and judicial candidates could seek a spot on the ballot starting at noon on Monday. Qualifying closes at noon on Friday. Florida has 27 seats in the House of Representatives. Eighteen incumbents have already assured a spot on the ballot for this year.

FLORIDA’S HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION RATE AMONG LOWEST

Florida’s high school graduation rate is among the lowest in the nation. A report released Monday at the Building a GradNation Summit in Washington found Florida’s 75 percent graduation rate is about five percentage points lower than the nationwide average. Across the U.S., about 80 percent of high school students graduate, a new milestone.

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