Every Floridian who cares about transparency in public affairs and about keeping government accountable to the taxpayers should be worried about the latest effort in Tallahassee to stifle the state’s public records law.
It’s a head-on frontal attack on the law, although it’s disguised as a mere word change in the existing Sunshine statute. The relevant wording states that a judge “shall” award attorneys fees when citizens win a lawsuit over a public records request that was wrongly denied.
The amended version, however, would change that to “may,” allowing a judge to deny legal fees to anyone who has carried out a public service by obliging a public official or agency to produce a public record. Continue…