Heed county’s sham request: broaden open government

A call to open more state lawmaking to view won near-unanimous Miami-Dade commission approval last week. It was so on target that you’d wish they meant it.

Unfortunately, it was all a clumsy swat at Tallahassee by commissioners who feel burdened by having to meet in public rather than a closed back room.

Commissioners called on the state House and Senate to change rules so legislators can’t pair off to cut deals. Both state chambers ban meetings of three or more legislators but not pairs.

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New public records exemptions at a glance

From Naple Daily News:  A dozen bills dealing with public record exemptions were approved by state lawmakers during the 2013 legislative session. Here’s a quick look at those bills:

■ SB 4: Creates a temporary exemption for written referrals of possible ethics violations submitted to the state ethics commission.

 

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Open government and Florida’s Project Sunburst

From Sunlight Foundation:

Two weeks, Florida’s Governor Rick Scott held a press conference, announcing the launch of an ambitious project that will allow online access to much of his email correspondence and that of 11 members of his leadership team.  Project Sunburst.

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2 cities win Fla. open government award

From news.mcclatchy.com:

Two Florida cities have won an open government award for passing local laws that ensure people's ability to speak at city meetings.

The Lake Helen and Sanford city commissions received the Pete Weitzel/Friend of the First Amendment Award on Tuesday at a luncheon given by the First Amendment Foundation.

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Man who won public records lawsuit must pay his own legal bills

From the Florida Times-Union:

A Jacksonville man who sued a city pension fund over public records violations isn’t entitled to recover the more than $30,000 he spent on legal fees, a judge has ruled.

Circuit Judge James H. Daniel ruled last week that Curtis Lee was entitled to $1,245 for other expenses he faced suing the Jacksonville Police and Fire Pension Fund, but could not get back his lawyer bills.

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R text messages a loophole in Florida records law?

From SunSentinel.com:

Florida public records laws are often called among the toughest in the nation. But that was b4 txt msging.

The state updated its public records rules last year to advise that text messages, Facebook comments, Tweets and other communications on "emerging communications technologies'' might be public records, depending on their content.

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