The St. Petersburg Times: Top adviser avoids creating public records as she shapes Gov. Rick Scott’s policy, e-mails show

BY MICHAEL C. BENDER
Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau

TALLAHASSEE — When U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson’s office tried to contact Gov. Rick Scott’s top lieutenant, Mary Anne Carter offered her cell number, her state e-mail address and a warning.

“I rarely check and almost never respond to work e-mail because of the open records law,” Carter wrote from her private e-mail . . . → Read More: The St. Petersburg Times: Top adviser avoids creating public records as she shapes Gov. Rick Scott’s policy, e-mails show

The Associated Press: Florida House votes to keep death photos secret

BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

he Florida House has passed a bill that would exempt photos, videos and audio recordings of deaths from the state’s public records law.

The 111-6 roll call Wednesday sent the bill (HB 411) to the Senate, which is scheduled to take up the legislation later this week.

Read . . . → Read More: The Associated Press: Florida House votes to keep death photos secret

Orlando Sentinel: Local leaders pledge accessibility, legislators undermine the principle

EDITORIAL

Open government is a constitutional right in Florida, but you might never know it from watching state lawmakers. Lately they’ve been indifferent or even hostile to this principle.

Lawmakers have left it up to more enlightened leaders, such as those in Sanford, to stand up for open government. Late last month, Sanford’s mayor and four commissioners unanimously . . . → Read More: Orlando Sentinel: Local leaders pledge accessibility, legislators undermine the principle

The Florida Law Journal: Advocates say Sunshine Law under attack

Activists worry bills could keep evidence out of public knowledge.

By BILL RUFTY
Political Editor, The Ledger

LAKELAND | Florida’s landmark Government in the Sunshine Law is being attacked again, public records advocates say.

But the proposed bills aren’t always clearly ‘‘good” or ‘‘bad,” making it harder to decide to support or oppose them.

Read . . . → Read More: The Florida Law Journal: Advocates say Sunshine Law under attack

The St. Petersburg Times: Plan to hold private meetings was an insult to the taxpayers

EDITORIAL

Kudos to Hernando County commissioners who figured out the public’s business should be discussed in front of the public, not in private, closed-door meetings. We just hope Circuit Court Clerk Karen Nicolai will figure out a similar, sensible way of governing.

Nicolai, whose job also makes her the county government’s chief financial officer, helped arrange for Hernando’s . . . → Read More: The St. Petersburg Times: Plan to hold private meetings was an insult to the taxpayers

The St. Petersburg Times: Public deserves to see pension accounts

EDITORIAL

Perhaps it’s not surprising that, amid the 2006 bull market, the entire Legislature was hoodwinked into surrendering one of Florida’s core values: transparency in government. That was the year lawmakers agreed to expand public records exemptions to shield the state’s private equity investment deals after some firms threatened to not do business with the state’s pension . . . → Read More: The St. Petersburg Times: Public deserves to see pension accounts

The Daily Record: E-filing to save money and hours

BY JOE WILHELM JR.

The days of file folders at the Duval County Clerk of Court’s office are numbered as the office has begun preparing customers for a transition to a paperless filing system …

… The Florida State Court System has two primary goals for e-filing — to save the state money and to increase the timeliness . . . → Read More: The Daily Record: E-filing to save money and hours

The Tampa Tribune: Commission adopts countywide public records policies

BY MIKE SALINERO

Florida’s open records law allows any resident to inspect and copy most government records without question. The person requesting the records doesn’t even have to give a name.

But the application of the law often varies, not only between local governments in different parts of the state, but between different agencies in the same county.

Read . . . → Read More: The Tampa Tribune: Commission adopts countywide public records policies

Naples Daily News: Records requests Governor’s office policy blocks public’s sunshine

Claiming a “tremendous increase in public records requests” that are taking “a great toll on existing information technology and other labor resources,” the office of Gov. Rick Scott recently announced a new policy establishing procedures and fees for responding to requests for copies of public documents.

Purportedly to reduce the cost to taxpayers in general for providing . . . → Read More: Naples Daily News: Records requests Governor’s office policy blocks public’s sunshine

The Ledger: Advocates say Sunshine Law under attack

BY BILL RUFTY

Florida’s landmark Government in the Sunshine Law is being attacked again, public records advocates say.

But the proposed bills aren’t always clearly ‘‘good” or ‘‘bad,” making it harder to decide to support or oppose them.

For instance, one bill provides an exemption from public records requirements for photographs and video and audio recordings that depict or . . . → Read More: The Ledger: Advocates say Sunshine Law under attack