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The day that was in Florida Politics — March 9

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

It was a day of testing at the state Capitol. The House Education Committee took about an hour to dispose of an overhaul of Florida’s school accountability system. The measure reducing testing and allowing an earlier start date of the school year sailed through with a few concerns expressed and a unanimous vote.

While the committee met, Education Commissioner Pam Stewart announced that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating a cyber attack on a server used to administer a mandated state test. At the start of Florida’s spring testing season last week students in some districts could not take a test because of what were thought to have been technical glitches.

“We now know that some of the delays in testing late last week were due to cyber-attacks on our testing system operated by the American Institutes for Research,” said Stewart. “We are holding daily conference calls with AIR to ensure they immediately address any flaws or attacks on our system as we move forward in this second week of testing.”

It would appear to be a safe bet to put money down on the Seminole Tribe wanting to keep its Las Vegas- style games’ exclusivity agreement with the state. Monday the tribe released a television commercial urging Florida to extend its gambling compact.

The ad features the Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association explaining why the two groups think it’s in the state’s best interest. There is more here.

Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet meet Tuesday and the four will discuss a proposal by Attorney General Pam Bondi that includes Sunshine training for Cabinet aides.

In the wake of the dismissal of FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey the governor and Cabinet are trying to come up with a method of evaluating the agency heads for which they as a group supervise.

Monday, Steve Bousquet reported that Scott has drawn up performance measures he wants included in the job evaluations for at least three positions. Aides for Bondi and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater had blocked discussion of Scott’s evaluation proposal at last week’s pre-Cabinet meeting.

More on Bousquet’s benchmark story is here, it adds another chapter in the apparent feud between the Governor’s Office and Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty.

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