321-283-5274
hello@fsne.org

Author: Lydia Harvey

St. Petersburg Times: Keep openness in court

EDITORIAL As the adage goes, hard cases can make bad law. They also can result in closing public records that should not be kept secret. As the anger over the outcome of the Casey Anthony case fades, so should interest by state lawmakers in filing legislation to keep the names of jurors secret. Judges already…
Read more

Miami Herald: Teen’s death in West Palm Beach lockup raises questions about new law

State juvenile justice administrators have a tape of a dying teen in custody in Palm Beach County. Two lockup workers have been fired and several others suspended. BY CAROL MARBIN MILLER Two weeks after a controversial state law took effect making it illegal for government agencies to make photos or recordings of a death public,  the…
Read more

South Florida Sun Sentinel: Good Government Initiative seeks to improve public service in South Florida

BY KATY SORENSON I dutifully read the agenda for my first meeting of the Miami-Dade County Commission. This was it, the goal I had been pursuing. Finally, a chance to vote on policy issues, to make my mark, to have an effect on the governance of our community. A week before, I had beaten the…
Read more

Tallahassee Democrat: LCSO jail database changes a step backward for public access

BY REBECCAH CANTLEY In response to a scam, the Leon County Sheriff’s Office this past week changed the way the public can search online for information about arrests and people who are being held in the jail. No longer can the public search the inmate database by arrest date or name alone. Now the search…
Read more

TCPalm: Despite bill’s demise, Negron’s effort to ensure public’s right to speak at meetings is appreciated

EDITORIAL VALIANT EFFORT: Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, made a laudable effort during the 2011 Legislature to fix an apparent flaw in Florida’s Government-in-the-Sunshine Law. The 1st District Court of Appeal ruled last year that, while the law requires public meetings be open to the public, the law does not give the public the right to…
Read more

The News-Press: Scott record mixed toward open access

EDITORIAL Florida Gov. Rick Scott sends mixed messages about his commitment to open government. On the one hand, the governor has signed executive orders advancing, or vetoed bills limiting, the public’s access to state documents. On the other hand, Scott continues to insist on a paywall for members of the public who request these documents…
Read more

South Florida Sun Sentinel: Scott’s new aide says his personal email account will be public record

BY KATHLEEN HAUGHNEY TALLAHASSEE — The new chief of staff to Gov. Rick Scott , Steve MacNamara, sent out a blanket email to his contacts from his personal account reminding them of his new job and the changes it might bring. The message was clear: Starting July 5, any emails that aren’t personal in nature…
Read more

The News-Press: Florida public records rule a wonder

BY BETTY PARKER With all the attention given a Florida law that exempts community college employees’ evaluations from being subject to the public records law, there’s some question over how such a narrow, specific exemption came into being. No other groups in all the education world were exempted, just those in community colleges. And how…
Read more

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…
Read more

Sunshine State News: Pam Bondi on public records, her respect for transparency in government

BY NANCY SMITH Transparency in state government has little hope if the attorney general isn’t on board. Florida is fortunate. Pam Bondi, the Sunshine State’s attorney general, most definitely is. She was anxious last week to talk about her respect for the First Amendment and Florida’s open government laws. And her conversation with me about…
Read more