Florida’s Foundation: A Government Accountable to the People

Op-Ed Piece 

By: P.C. Wu, Florida League of Cities president

 

When it comes to having an open and transparent government that is accountable to the people, Florida truly leads the nation. Since the Florida “Government in the Sunshine” law was enacted in 1967, we have served as a model for other states. In a world where technological advancements have introduced . . . → Read More: Florida’s Foundation: A Government Accountable to the People

Florida Perspectives: It’s our right to know

PENSACOLA NEWS JOURNAL – PNJ.COM

April 14, 2014

By: Tallahassee Democrat Editorial Board

In this space we often chide legislators when efforts are made to limit the public’s access to government records. Such access is intended for every citizen, but in all honesty, the media tend to take such restrictions personally.

Thus it was with joy that, in late March, we . . . → Read More: Florida Perspectives: It’s our right to know

Watchdog Groups to Call on Florida Legislature to Come Through With Ethics Reform and Open Government

NEW TIMES BROWARD PALM BEACH

April 15, 2014

By: Chris Joseph

A Florida watchdog coalition, headed by the nonprofit group Integrity Florida, is scheduled to hold a news conference in Tallahassee on Wednesday morning to remind lawmakers of their promises to bring ethics reform and transparency to the Sunshine State’s government.

Joining Integrity Florida will be the First Amendment Foundation, . . . → Read More: Watchdog Groups to Call on Florida Legislature to Come Through With Ethics Reform and Open Government

Lakeland newspaper wins FOI award from Brechner Center

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA NEWS

April 15, 2014

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The Ledger newspaper in Lakeland has been named the winner of the 28th Annual Joseph L. Brechner Freedom of Information Award for its investigative series.  The award-winning series highlights the difficulties reporters and citizens face when they try to exercise their fundamental constitutional right to access government information.

Ralph Lowenstein, dean emeriti . . . → Read More: Lakeland newspaper wins FOI award from Brechner Center

First Amendment Foundation urges Scott veto of warning shot bill

SUNSHINE STATE NEWS

April 14, 2014

A measure that would allow Floridians to fire a warning shot in self-defense should be vetoed by Gov. Rick Scott because it also closes key criminal records from public oversight, the First Amendment Foundation said Monday.

The foundation, which is financed by Florida news organizations, wrote Scott urging that he veto the legislation (CS/HB . . . → Read More: First Amendment Foundation urges Scott veto of warning shot bill

Lawmakers ‘chipping away’ at state’s sunshine laws

THE TAMPA TRIBUNE – TBO.COM

April 14, 2014

By: James L. Rosica, Tribune/Scripps Capital Bureau

TALLAHASSEE — With two work weeks left in Florida’s legislative session, lawmakers have passed just one measure related to creating or widening loopholes in the state’s “sunshine” laws but they are close to passing more than a dozen others.

The bill approved so far (HB 177) . . . → Read More: Lawmakers ‘chipping away’ at state’s sunshine laws

Meet the local paper that’s ‘raising hell’ to keep government open

COLUMBIA JOURNALISM REVIEW

April 11, 2014

By Susannah Nesmith

MIAMI, FL — The Jacksonville-based Florida Times Union is a rare outlier these days, a mid-sized regional paper willing to fight big open-government battles even as most media organizations cut back on the resources they devote to forcing officials to do their work in public.

The paper has been aggressively enforcing the state’s expansive . . . → Read More: Meet the local paper that’s ‘raising hell’ to keep government open

Our Opinion: Right to know – Public records bill is stuck in the House

TALLAHASSEE.COM

April 10, 2014

In this space we often chide legislators when efforts are made to limit the public’s access to government records. Such access is intended for every citizen, but in all honesty, the media tend to take such restrictions personally.

Thus it was with joy that, in late March, we saw the state Senate vote unanimously in . . . → Read More: Our Opinion: Right to know – Public records bill is stuck in the House

Aggregated Post: Valentino E-Mails Under Investigation

Valentino E-Mails Under Investigation

WUSF

April 7, 2014

By: Dave Dunwoody

Escambia County Commissioner Gene Valentino may have violated Florida’s public records law, with personal emails sent to an advisor to the reality TV show “Party Down South.” The State Attorney’s Office is reviewing the allegation. READ MORE

Valentino’s emails to ‘Party Down South’ advisor may violate records request

PENSACOLA NEWS JOURNAL

April . . . → Read More: Aggregated Post: Valentino E-Mails Under Investigation

On Politics: Local websites OK, could be better

FLORIDA TODAY

April 7, 2014

By: Dave Berman & Stacey Barchenger

Brevard County’s government website is better than average, in terms of providing public access to information. But it has room for improvement, according to a study by the Florida First Amendment Foundation.

The Tallahassee-based foundation’s recently released analysis of the websites of Florida’s 67 counties and 47 of its . . . → Read More: On Politics: Local websites OK, could be better