Why do Florida's government-in-the-sunshine laws matter so much? Because when nobody watches government closely, bad things happen.
Because democracy depends on an informed citizenry, and it's impossible to know what's happening without access to records and meetings.
Because how else would we know about the dangers of speeding cops in South Florida, or the prevalence of bear attacks in a Central Florida town, or the enormous number of sexual predators who attack again after their release?
People know about these threats because of government records obtained by the Sun Sentinel — and our sister paper, the Orlando Sentinel — in the past year. Before our reporters combed the records and connected the dots, no one had grasped the magnitude of the problems. No one would know yet, but for Florida's famous open-government laws. Continue>>>