When it comes to lobbying, Florida Sunshine laws are dark

Florida’s Sunshine Law does not shine fully on the sometimes shadowy world of lobbying, a new report found.
BY TOLUSE OLORUNNIPA
HERALD/TIMES TALLAHASSEE BUREAU

TALLAHASSEE — Florida has some of the nation’s most expansive open records policies, but its Sunshine Law does not adequately regulate the sometimes shadowy role of lobbyists, according to a national report released Monday.

The State Integrity . . . → Read More: When it comes to lobbying, Florida Sunshine laws are dark

Open-government advocates celebrate ‘Sunshine Week’

10:50 p.m. EST, March 10, 2012|By Anika Myers Palm, Orlando Sentinel

Laura Williams’ interest in public records was born of tremendous personal tragedy: In 1996, her then-husband, who had abused her, killed both their 2-year-old daughter and himself.

In the years that followed, she joined groups that helped domestic-violence victims. And in 2007, she began working with CourtWatch, . . . → Read More: Open-government advocates celebrate ‘Sunshine Week’

Guest: Open government is at risk

By MICHAEL BARFIELD

Published: Friday, March 16, 2012 at 1:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, March 15, 2012 at 7:14 p.m.

James Madison, the founding father of our open-government laws, once emphasized the importance of citizens having the ability to be informed: “A popular government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a . . . → Read More: Guest: Open government is at risk

Florida Supreme Court Ruling: Sunshine in Lakeland District

Published: Sunday, March 11, 2012 at 12:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, March 10, 2012 at 11:37 p.m.

Two substantial events took place in Tallahassee on Friday: completion of the Florida Legislature’s annual 60-day session — scheduled two months early this year to provide time for the Florida Supreme Court to rule on new voting districts drawn by the . . . → Read More: Florida Supreme Court Ruling: Sunshine in Lakeland District

Trash and storm clouds in Broward

OUR OPINION: During Sunshine Week, the public’s right to know is once again in peril

BY THE MIAMI HERALD EDITORIAL
HERALDED@MIAMIHERALD.COM

As Florida celebrates Sunshine Week and the importance of open government and freedom of information there are some rays of sunshine pushing through the dark clouds of secrecy.

One ray: The Florida Legislature ended its session approving legislation that . . . → Read More: Trash and storm clouds in Broward

SUNSHINE WEEK: Revolving Regulators at the CFTC

By ANDREW WYNER and MICHAEL SMALLBERG

Click here to join POGO’s
Un-Do Influence Campaign:
a movement ot reclaim Washington

As part of Sunshine Week, a national initiative to highlight the importance of open government and freedom of information, POGO is releasing a host records obtained by the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Read more about POGO’s plans for Sunshine Week here.

Since 2006, . . . → Read More: SUNSHINE WEEK: Revolving Regulators at the CFTC

Fla. public access celebrated during Sunshine Week

BY MIKE SCHNEIDER
ASSOCIATED PRESS

ORLANDO, Fla. — Advocates of Florida’s open government laws should focus on the rights of speakers to have their voices heard at public meetings and push to open up the state’s process of making laws to further scrutiny, one of the state’s top defenders of government transparency said Monday.

Too often in the past year . . . → Read More: Fla. public access celebrated during Sunshine Week

OPINION: Sunshine Week ’12: Promoting openness

Sunshine Week seeks to enlighten and empower people to play an active role in their government at all levels, and to give them access to information that makes their lives better and their communities stronger.

Sunshine Week, March 11-17, 2012, is a national initiative to promote a dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of . . . → Read More: OPINION: Sunshine Week ’12: Promoting openness

Negron bill guaranteeing right to speak at public meetings dies in House

Government officials still won’t have a legal obligation to hear from the public at open meetings after Sen. Joe Negron‘s right-to-speak proposal died in the Legislature this year.

For the second consecutive year, a push to require officials to allow public comment at most open meetings has come up short. Negron’s bill, SB 206, passed through the Senate . . . → Read More: Negron bill guaranteeing right to speak at public meetings dies in House

Citizen power starts with knowledge

ames Madison succinctly described the importance of an informed electorate: “Knowledge will forever govern ignorance. And a people who mean to be their own governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.” This is also a call for government transparency, as only voters informed in how their government works can effectively use the ballot . . . → Read More: Citizen power starts with knowledge