Will Florida’s Constitution revision follow Sunshine laws?

Florida’s unique quest to update its state Constitution begins Monday as the 37-member commission meets for an organizational session in the Florida Senate chambers, and tensions have already started to mount behind the scenes.

The group, dominated by Republicans, will meet briefly for two hours, review its proposed rules and go over the state’s ethics and Sunshine laws. The draft rules, however, are already stoking some debate.

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Florida reporters to see how lawmakers stand on open records

Because of Florida's Government in the Sunshine Law, the state's records and meetings are more accessible than in most states. But the Legislature has, year in and year out, instituted, or considered instituting, numerous exemptions. The body, on average, imposes up to a dozen a year; the grand total, as of early February, was 1,119.

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Sen. Baxley’s bill takes aim at Florida’s Sunshine Law

The First Amendment Foundation is warning against dangerous implications of a bill filed by state Sen. Dennis Baxley, R-Lady Lake.

“Here’s the bill we’ve been warned about,” said Barbara Petersen, president of the foundation in based in Tallahassee.

She said the bill would poke holes in the Sunshine Law which forbids elected leaders from secretly communicating outside of a public meeting.

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Scott Ellis wins Freedom of Information award from Florida First Amendment Foundation

The Florida First Amendment Foundation has awarded Brevard County Clerk of Courts Scott Ellis its top award for his battle with the Economic Development Commission of Florida's Space Coast to ensure the EDC complied with Florida's public records laws.

The Tallahassee-based foundation cited Ellis' "tenacious struggle to obtain records" from the EDC in giving him the Pete Weitzel/Friend of the First Amendment Award.

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Ratings agency warns in brief against ‘dramatic expansion’ of Florida’s Sunshine Law

State regulators and an organization that proposes workers’ compensation coverage rates in Florida defended themselves in pleadings to a state appeals court this week, seeking to overturn a lower court ruling that they had violated open-government laws.

Attorneys for the National Council on Compensation Insurance, or NCCI, submitted their arguments in a brief filed Wednesday with the 1st District Court of Appeal. The state office of Insurance Regulation is also a party to the suit, filed by Miami workers’ compensation attorney James Fee.

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Florida FAF: All Delray police officers will have body cameras within 5 years

The Delray Beach Police Department will equip all of its officers with body cameras within five years after the city agreed Tuesday to put nearly $1 million toward the venture.

“This is going to be the norm in law enforcement,” Police Chief Jeff Goldman told the city commission Tuesday evening. “We are just a proactive organization and we try to stay ahead of curve.”

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Public’s right to know being eroded, experts warn

What was billed as a celebratory kickoff sounded more like the somber briefing of an embattled and encircled force listing off perils of its situation. Such were the warnings given during the League of Women Voters and The News-Press Media Group’s Open Government and You public forum about the “erosion” of the public’s right to information. 

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Florida First Amendment Foundation Announces Winners of the 2015 Pete Weitzel /Friend of the First Amendment Award

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 29, 2015

CONTACT: Katherine Garner, 850.224.4555

or katherine@floridafaf.org 

 

FLORIDA'S FIRST AMENDMENT FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES WINNER OF THE 2015 PETE WEITZEL/FRIEND OF THE FIRST AMENDMENT AWARD

                 

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