Rep. Mike Fasano earns open government award

From Tampa Bay Times:

Veteran state legislator Mike Fasano was honored Thursday by the First Amendment Foundation for his efforts improving transparency in government.

Foundation president Barbara Petersen praised Fasano’s long record of ensuring the legislative process remains open and accessible while representing the people’s interests, most notably in the 2012 session.

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Sunshine Week: Why We Think Openness is so Important at UCF

From KnightNews.com:

In 1787, a document was birthed in order to regulate a diversified nation; at the time, to only create a government that would not be able to rule tyrannically but instead, serve citizens rightfully. Today that document, known as the United States Constitution, contains important amendments and laws which aim at providing citizens with three things: Life, Liberty and a pursuit of happiness.

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Florida First Amendment Foundation celebrates Sunshine Week

From Florida First Amendment Foundation:

Two events highlight the First Amendment Foundation's 2013 observance of Sunshine Week, the national initiative to promote a dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information. Sunshine Week 2013 runs from March 10-16.

Sunshine Recognition Luncheon

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Sunshine Week audit shows public record delays common

From The Daytona Beach News-Journal:

[…]

The Associated Press and newspapers throughout the state, including The Daytona Beach News-Journal, visited every county’s clerk of court office in recent weeks to see whether each is complying with the law and how much of a delay it is causing in the release of information.

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4 areas need improvement, First Amendment chief says

From Naples Daily News:

Barbara Petersen, president of the First Amendment Foundation, recently sat down with the Daily News editorial board to outline four areas needing improvement in Florida’s Sunshine Laws. She is pushing to have changes made in the coming years and will discuss them further at a free summit March 16 at St. Petersburg College.

Right to Speak

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Naples officials receive kudos for reconsidering public records changes

From Naples Daily News:

(February 19, 2013) — First Amendment advocates are applauding the city of Naples, which delayed and revised a vote on proposed changes to its public records procedures.

But some council members and residents said the city still has work to do to make the process more accessible and affordable.

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Phil Lewis: Speaking frankly about open records and sunshine

Editorial from Naples Daily News:

Florida's government-in-the-sunshine laws, long the nation's leader in making sure the public's business is done in public, could use a freshening.

Court rulings, technology and cultural changes have left us lagging. If we want to continue to be a state that people point to — for all the good reasons — when it comes to open government, we need reform.

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Public records advocate questions West Palm Beach’s 24-hour notice of meeting

From The Palm Beach Post:

WEST PALM BEACH — A four-hour meeting of the city commission scheduled for Thursday to interview six water consultants was not announced until this afternoon, two minutes after The Palm Beach Post e-mailed Mayor Jeri Muoio and asked why the meeting wasn’t made public.

[…]

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