St. Petersburg Times: Scott veto strikes a blow for openness

EDITORIAL

Gov. Rick Scott acted on behalf of Floridians Friday by vetoing a bill that would have driven underground the business of the state’s airports. Even for a Legislature with open contempt for open government, this bill was extreme and an invitation to scandal. Scott did the right thing by rejecting a measure that could have served as a disastrous model for other public agencies.

HB 913 would have allowed public airports to conduct a whole host of business dealings behind closed doors — even though these airports spend public money, serve unique public missions for entire communities and exist thanks to decades of significant public subsidies. Private firms in business with an airport could have barred disclosure of any information they deemed to be a “trade secret.” The information could have included business plans and audits that airports would need for assessing whether a company was a viable business partner.

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