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 […]
The National Freedom of Information Coalition in October 2021 awarded two grants from the Knight FOI Fund in support of litigation to release public records. In Florida The Florida Center for Government Accountability, the NFOIC’s newest member, was awarded a $5,000 grant to support its lawsuit against the Florida Department of Health, which has stopped […]
Records requesters seeking information about COVID-19 in Florida face long delays and large fees. “But perhaps more worrisome, we’re often hearing that some agencies will stonewall, fail to respond, and provide nothing, for months,” said Pam Marsh, president of the First Amendment Foundation of Florida. “It’s basically a ‘so sue me’ kind of attitude, daring […]
TALLAHASSEE — A long-running clash between state water managers and a celebrated environmental activist is heightening tension over aggressive tactics used by Florida governments pushing back against citizens seeking public records. The battle also is putting Florida at the forefront of a rising trend. Instead of turning over requests for records, a growing number of […]
Some Florida lawmakers received better grades this year when it came to transparency in government, but erosion of the state’s famed “Sunshine Laws” continued with more exemptions passed. Lawmakers passed 12 bills creating new exemptions this year, including measures to block access to building plans for health care facilities; U.S. Census Bureau address information; data […]
TALLAHASSEE — Some Florida lawmakers received better grades this year when it came to transparency in government, but erosion of the state’s famed “Sunshine Laws” continued with more exemptions passed. Lawmakers passed 12 bills creating new exemptions this year, including measures to block access to building plans for health care facilities; U.S. Census Bureau address […]
recent back-and-forth between the First Amendment Foundation and Winter Park city officials has highlighted a troubling issue for supporters of Florida’s “Government in the Sunshine” laws: the questionable legality of one-on-one meetings between elected officials. Winter Park Mayor Steve Leary, referring to his meeting with Commissioner Gregory Seidel on Nov. 29 and Seidel’s one-on-one with […]
The State Attorney’s office announced Friday that it found no wrongdoing by Fairpoint Regional Utility System members who were accused of violating the state’s Sunshine Law. Chief Assistant State Attorney Greg Marcille wrote the utility system is not subject to the Sunshine Law, so members of the FRUS board of directors could not have violated the law. […]
In what may become a powerful weapon for governments to use to block people from filing frivolous public records lawsuits, a Palm Beach County judge this week said he will consider imposing sanctions against a Gulf Stream man who has buried the tiny town with hundreds of requests for information.
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.