Five Bills That Would Erode Florida's Public Records Law
Florida has one of the most expansive public records laws in the nation. Yet our fearless leaders in Tallahassee don't seem too fond of it.
Gov. Rick Scott in 2015 agreed to fork over $1 million in taxpayer money to settle allegations he violated the Florida Sunshine Law by, ahem, using a private email account. New exemptions are carved out just about every year; according to the First Amendment Foundation, there are now 1,119 of them. Compare that to the 250 on the books in 1985.
This year, legislators are again intent on dismantling the public's right to know. The First Amendment Foundation is tracking 59 bills that would create new exemptions or extend existing ones, making the Sunshine State a little shadier.
We're in the midst of Sunshine Week, a nationwide initiative to promote transparency in government, so what better time to run through the bills that could chip away most at Florida's open-records law? Here they are: