Florida: 5 Things To Know For May 2

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

PENSACOLA JAIL EXPOLDES

An official in Florida says nearly all of the inmates and corrections officials injured in an apparent gas explosion at a jail have been released from hospitals. An Escambia County spokesman said Thursday that more than 180 people were taken to hospitals after the blast. Two inmates were killed in the explosion late Wednesday.

SCHOOL TEXTBOOK BILL HEADS TO GOV. SCOTT

School districts would have to give parents a chance to object to textbooks used in schools under a bill passed by the Florida Legislature. The bill is heading to Gov. Rick Scott for approval. It would require school districts to have a public hearing if parents object.

LEGISLATURE PASSES FLOOD INSURANCE BILL

Florida is trying to entice private insurance companies to sell flood policies in the state that’s the most vulnerable to storm surge. The Florida Senate voted Thursday 30-3 for the bill (SB 542) sponsored by Sen. Jeff Brandes, a Republican from St. Petersburg. It now heads to the desk of Gov. Rick Scott.

FLORIDA LEGISLATORS REACH DEAL ON TAX HOLIDAYS

Shoppers buying clothes and schools supplies will get a three-day tax holiday in August. The Senate on Thursday included the back-to-school tax holiday in a $105 million tax cut package that legislators plan to pass this week. The back-to-school sales tax holiday would last from Aug. 1-3. The bill also includes a three-day sales tax holiday in September on the purchase of energy efficient appliances.

STUDENTS INJURED IN HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY SCHOOL BUS CRASH

Authorities say 14 students and a bus driver were injured in a crash near Tampa on Thursday morning. The injuries were minor, but the students and driver were taken to the hospital for treatment. The driver of the other vehicle went to the hospital with family members. There were 21 students on the bus when the crash happened.

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