Boosted by Knight FOI Litigation Fund, Florida resident compels county group to meet in public

An Osceola County, Florida, judge ruled Nov. 22, 2021, that the county violated the state’s Sunshine Law by holding Executive Policy Group meetings without public notice or opportunity for the public to attend. County resident Josh Meyers for 613 days challenged the county’s assertion that the Sunshine Law did not apply to the Executive Policy…


Why the secrecy? Florida and other states slow to reveal Covid-19 spending | TBT Editorial

Taxpayers are spending billions to confront the coronavirus on the front lines ― buying medical supplies, protective equipment and other essential gear. But even months into the pandemic, many states including Florida are withholding details about what they’re buying and who they’re paying, according to a new, exhaustive survey by the Associated Press. This secrecy only invites…


News Release – Knight FOI Fund supports lawsuit for “illegal” city council meeting during pandemic

      May 29, 2020 For Immediate Release Contact: Daniel Bevarly Executive Director, NFOIC 352-294-7082 Knight FOI Fund supports lawsuit for “illegal” city council meeting during pandemic After the City of Sebastian (FL) Mayor Ed Dodd cancelled an April 22nd city council meeting due to the Governor Ron Desantis’ Covid-19 Emergency Declaration, three…


Florida First Amendment Foundation 2017 Legislative Review

The Florida First Amendment Foundation worked hard throughout Florida's legislative session to advocate for open government and freedom of information. They just released their final report for the 2017 session, which can be found with their weekly reports.

The reports can be found here.


Florida First Amendment Foundation Challenges Sunshine Law Exemption

Florida lawmakers are considering letting local officials meet one on one, outside of the public eye. But a first amendment advocate says the change could encourage corruption.

Florida’s sunshine laws require government meetings to be noticed and open to the public. But some lawmakers want to let local officials meet one on one. They wouldn’t be able to take votes or discuss publicly funded projects. But that doesn’t satisfy Barbara Petersen with the First Amendment Foundation.


[Op-ed] Protect Floridians’ right to know: Where we stand

The art of compromise seems to have died in Washington, D.C. Fortunately, it still has a pulse in Tallahassee.

This week the Florida Senate sponsor of one of the most pernicious bills in the current legislative session agreed to some positive changes. The amended bill isn't perfect, but it's greatly improved. 

Now the House needs to follow suit.


EDITORIAL: Cyber defense bill in Florida must balance security, transparency

From Social Security numbers to financial information and health records, some of the most sensitive parts of our personal lives are stored on state web servers.

A security breach that exposes this information can leave us vulnerable to identity theft. It also could lead to the modification or destruction of personal data that lets us get a driver's license or business permit, for example.


Florida open-government advocates are ready for a fight

Advocates of open government met in Orlando on Monday to discuss ways to fight what they describe as a growing trend toward government secrecy in Florida.

The Florida Sunshine Coalition, part of the Florida First Amendment Foundation of Tallahassee, called for increased cooperation among newspapers, TV stations, nonprofit groups, academic institutions and law firms to battle a rise in efforts to thwart the state's long tradition of open government.


PRESS RELEASE: Florida Sunshine Coalition to take action against open government attacks at Nov. 16 summit

Open government in Florida is under attack and the Florida First Amendment Foundation (FAF) is taking action.

Gathering in Orlando on Monday, Nov. 16, FAF and other members of the Florida Sunshine Coalition will discuss the issues and open government challenges Florida citizens face today and those the Coalition anticipates for the 2016 legislative session. They will decide on a platform for the Coalition and develop a plan for moving forward.