- Associated Press - Thursday, February 6, 2014

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Gov. Rick Scott formally opened the Florida State Fair and held a cabinet meeting on the Tampa fairgrounds as a way to highlight the state’s agricultural heritage.

Scott, along with Attorney General Pam Bondi, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, met for three hours on Thursday morning after formally opening the Florida State Fair, which runs through Feb. 17.

Much of the meeting was spent recognizing various groups, including 4H, dog rescue organizations and military members. Former Tampa Bay Buccaneer Derrick Brooks was honored for his community service.

The cabinet heard from Florida Association of Realtors president John Sebree about flood insurance rates.

Sebree said flood insurance rate hikes have especially hurt home sales in Pinellas County, where sales were down 8.4 percent in December.

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