Editorial: Government transparency critical to public understanding and official accountability on Treasure Coast

By Editorial Board
Posted March 11, 2012 at 5 a.m.

A key to an effective democracy is public understanding and involvement in the actions taken by elected and appointed government officials as representatives of the citizenry.

That demands that records and meetings associated with governmental actions be open and accessible to all members of the public.

But, too often, those in . . . → Read More: Editorial: Government transparency critical to public understanding and official accountability on Treasure Coast

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

Make a Difference: Support the First Amendment

JOE SAUNDERS’S BLOG | Posted: March 8, 2012 7:20 PM

The First Amendment Foundation has issued an email blast asking supporters to contact legislative leaders to demand passage of a Senate bill that guarantees the right of Floridians to speak at public meetings of their city councils, school boards, county commissions and before any other elected officials.

According to . . . → Read More: Make a Difference: Support the First Amendment

Sunshine Sunday 2012; Op-Ed By Mayors Of Cities Of Lake Helen And Sanford

We were each astounded when our City Attorney, approached us during the course of our service as mayors of the nearby cities of Lake Helen and Sanford and advised us that the courts had ruled that, although the Sunshine Law requires that meetings be open to the public, the Law does not give the public the . . . → Read More: Sunshine Sunday 2012; Op-Ed By Mayors Of Cities Of Lake Helen And Sanford

Florida Senate approves Negron bill clarifying public’s right to comment in meetings

TALLAHASSEE — The state Senate unanimously agreed Tuesday that under Florida law, public meeting attendees should have a fair shot to voice their opinions.

Sen. Joe Negron‘s SB 206, which cleared the Senate 40-0 without debate or drama, would give the public the “reasonable” right to testify during most public meetings.

Without Negron’s bill, there technically isn’t a . . . → Read More: Florida Senate approves Negron bill clarifying public’s right to comment in meetings

Tallahassee Democrat: First Amendment experts applaud Senate action on public-speaking bill

BY JEFF BURLEW

Barbara Petersen, president of the First Amendment Foundation, is applauding senators who earlier today unanimously voted in favor of a bill granting citizens the right to speak during public meetings.

“It’s a great bill — it really is,” Petersen said. “It rights a very significant wrong.”

Florida is known for having a strong Sunshine Law. However, . . . → Read More: Tallahassee Democrat: First Amendment experts applaud Senate action on public-speaking bill